Greetings all! Hope this finds you well. Let me begin here by telling you about a seminar I attended several years ago at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. This was a music business seminar focusing on knowing when you need a manager. What it all came down to was asking yourself one simple question: “Is my phone ringing?” Well my friends, I can honestly say yes, my phone is indeed ringing! That means there is a lot to tell you about in this newsletter. I will do my best to keep to the gist of things and let the pics Vinny (my much needed and loved manager) has included tell more of the story.
September took us on the road in support of the new album, Memphis Song. On this leg we hit the Midwest and played an interesting array of gigs. We played for crazed baseball fans in Cleveland,
cruised on the Big Muddy playing a riverboat party
for the Mississippi Valley Blues Society,
Added a New Room to those we have visited,
this one in Dubuque, Iowa,
Played the House of Blues in Chicago
(where I got to meet one of my fave guitarists, Joanna Connor),
Visited good friends in Topeka
headlined the Paxico Blues Fest – a hidden gem of a
music festival in a delightful Kansas prairie town,
where we got to make many new friends,
both 2-legged & 4-legged!
and played a celebration of life for a Nebraska hero
Back in the Northeast this past weekend we played the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH. For this concert venue we were a six-piece band – Anthony Geraci (keys), Tom Terry (bass), Mary Ann Casale & Gail Sparlin (vocals) and of course, Sonny on drums. It’s so sweet to have the full, rich sound of this six-piece to add layers of subtlety and finesse on top of our usual high-energy performance.
In October, I will have the six-piece band with me for both the Canal Bank Shuffle Festival (Thorold, Ontario) and the WBFO Blues Bash (Buffalo).
Speaking of high-energy, for most of October I will be touring with a new crew – Colin Beatty (bass) and Gabe Stillman (guitar). I want you all to welcome them – you will not be disappointed!
These young bloods will surely bring even more energy to our already torturous set! For a few gigs we will be reuniting with Pensacola’s Chris Alexander (keyboards), who is always a treat to have in the band.
We are looking forward to visiting some of our fave haunts in the Southeast including a return to the Camping with the Blues Festival and hitting some new venues too - especially looking forward to our Blues education program and concert with our friends, the Augusta Blues Company. Check out the tour schedule for the details.
Memphis Song continues to get lots of airplay thanks to blues djs and their listeners. So far it’s been 17 weeks on the Roots Music Top 50 Blues charts including a week at #1 and several weeks in the top 10.
The review in the current issue of Living Blues exclaims, “Cru comes through with frenzy and finesse!” Also, the UK’s Blues Matters ran a nice feature in their current issue.
Oh my, I almost forgot – Belle! Belle (as in La Belle Poutine) is the name I settled on for my brand new tour van. Going to take her out for a shakedown cruise on the October run. When she gets back she is going into the custom shop!