Blues Beat: Harmonica fans should head to Black-Eyed Sally’s
Published 12:00 am, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
On Saturday Dave Robbins, aka “the Kosher Kid” is once again bringing the Northeast Blues Harmonica Showcase to Black-Eyed Sally’s. Fans of outstanding blues harmonica playing will be treated to another evening of off-the-charts performances by four nationally recognized artists.
Heading the talented group is world renowned Severn Recording artist, Sugar Ray Norcia. Singer and harp man Norcia’s career kicked into high gear in 1979 when he formed the original Sugar Ray and the Bluetones with guitar giant Ronnie Earl. Norcia has appeared on over 50 albums including discs with The Bluetones, Ronnie Earl, Roomful of Blues, and more.
He has been nominated for a “Best Traditional Blues” Grammy in collaboration with fellow harmonica virtuosos James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and Billy Branch. He continues to tour with the Bluetones and in recent years has received numerous Blues Music Award nominations. Today Norcia’s clean and robust tone makes his voice one of the most distinctive, well-defined and recognizable instruments in modern blues.
Cheryl Arena will show you why she is a Boston Top Shelf Blues Lady. Arena sizzles with excitement and mesmerizes audiences with her sultry voice and powerhouse energy. She is a winner of the 2009, 2013 and 2015 Blues Audience Magazine’s Readers Poll for “Most Outstanding Harmonica Player” and teaches at Jon Gindick’s Harmonica Camp in Clarksdale, Mississippi and Ventura, CA.
Wally “Sweet Daddy” Greaney formed the popular, “Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze” in 1990. ”Sweet Daddy” has developed a loyal following throughout Europe, and on the East Coast and Mid-West. In 35 years in the blues business he’s worked and recorded with many big names. His smoking lead vocals and soulful Sax add to his crowd pleasing harmonica prowess on stage and always create a memorable evening.
Rounding out the evening acts is Dave “Kosher Kid” Robbins. In the 90s, he was a side man for Boston’s West End Blues Band. Later he formed The Robbins Blues Band playing clubs throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. Nowadays, blues fans know him as bandleader for “The Incredible Amplifires.” The Kosher Kid can also be seen as part of The Orb Mellon Trio.
Backing up the harp players is the Ricky “King” Russell Band. A seasoned performer, Russell is one of blues most and one of a handful of today’s Cream of The Crop. This band will enhance the evening.
Comstock Station is at Sally’s for a CD Release party on Friday. The power trio are long time friends playing together as youngster and reuniting as Comstock Station. You can expect a variety of high-octane, raw, guitar-driven classic rock & roll and hard hitting blues.
Sunday, the Connecticut Blues Society hosts another in its series of monthly afternoon Blues Jams at The Pine Loft. The CTBS All Stars (Phil Caron, Joey Primo and River City Slim) are the house band with this month's featured guitar star, 2011 CT Blues Challenge winner Petey Hop. Musicians bring your instruments, drums and a keyboard are provided. Music starts at 1 p.m.
Gary Hoey has a series of Ho Ho Hoey Christmas CD’s and in-person concerts. His visits have become an annual event across the airwaves and with high profile concert venues nationwide. Friday, he is at The Mohegan Sun Wolf Den, and Saturday at Infinity Music Hall Norfolk.
On Thursday, Infinity Norfolk has Grace Kelly. Take a saxophonist, singer, composer, and producer, who plays with the heart and passion of an old soul and that is Kelly. She presents a soulful and uplifting show. It is easy to see her positivity and charisma on stage which gets all the audience to enjoy the show. She is truly one of a kind and will bring a fun night of music and some fun covers.
Southington has some good solo acts week. Saturday, Orb Mellon is at Witchdoctor Brewing, going on at 6:30 p.m. Dan Stevens will be playing the Kinsmen Brewing Co. And Thursday, Smokin' With Chris has Chris D'Amato.
Saturday, at the Willimantic Town Hall Big Jump with Patty Tuite will be playing a to benefit an organization named CLICK. They help vendors with a commercial kitchen so they can participate in festivals and outdoor events in Willimantic and the surrounding areas.
The holiday benefits continue with The Outer Space Ballroom’s Annual Holiday Benefit for The Children's Center of Hamden on Saturday. Also on Saturday, The Shamrock Pub & Grill is hosting Crosseyed Cats’ 5th annual Toys for Tots. At the The Knickerbocker Café on Friday it is the 2nd Annual Swing into the Holidays Fundraiser featuring Johnny and the East Coast Rockers.
On Saturday Olde Mistick Village has a Holiday Carnival. Sue Menhart will be playing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Also on Saturday, Filomena's has Skylark City, while The Hungry Tiger has Jeff Pitchell & Texas Flood. Openning the show will be the IBM Band.
Sandy Connolly will be joining Washboard Slim & the Blue Lights at the Country Tavern Café, Saturday.
Get the complete Blues Beat schedule on Thursday at the blog http://bluesbeatnews.wordpress.com/. Any questions or comments should be sent to Domenic Forcella at TWBlus@aol.com.