Henry and I hope you will join us this Saturday night (July 29) at 11:00 as we gear up for another slam-bang, action packed episode of Time For The Blues. You got the ticket, now it’s time to take the ride!
You won’t have far to travel far this weekend, we’re featuring a couple of great acts from right here in the Old Dominion. I always enjoy finding excellent performers that are usually within a few hours drive time – and we’ve got them for you.
First up is an old pal, Forrest McDonald, and the Forrest McDonald Band, a two-time winner of the River City Blues Society’s Blues Challenge (and a semi-finalist at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2015). McDonald has been kicking around the blues and rock world for more than a few years and he’s only gotten better.
McDonald recently released a new album, Stand My Ground, and I was fortunate enough to be one of the first people to write an official review of it. It’s really a top shelf album that pretty much rocks from the first note on. We’ve been trying to get this one played for a few weeks now, and finally – it’s going to happen!
Besides McDonald on guitar, the rest of the band is made up of lead vocalist Becky Wright; John Hanes on drums; Pix Ensign on harp; and Lee Gammon on bass. They have a great sound and they have assembled a fantastic album that we are delighted to share with you.
Another treasure from Virginia is the Jon Spear Band from Charlottesville. We’ve been friends with Spear and his merry men for several years and have played each of their previous albums just as quick as they dropped them. (Look back a few days on the blog to see a review I wrote for their recent appearance at The Tin Pan.)
Their new album, Hot Sauce, has got some solid blues and some rock, and even a song with heavy Caribbean influences. This tight foursome is comprised of Spear on rhythm guitar and vocals; Dara James on lead guitar and vocals; Andy Burdetsky on bass; and John Stubblefield on drums.
Just for fun we’ve got a few tracks from Hot Sauce and one from their first album, Old Soul. I think you’re going to like them as well, giving you two hard working blues bands from within 60 miles of each other.
Since we’re spending time here in Virginia, how about we take a little road trip up I-95 and see what’s happening north of here. One of my all-time favorite bands is The Nighthawks, and they have a brand new album out called All You Gotta Do. We’re going to sample a song from that album as a prelude of a show to come soon. Another performer I’ve gotten to know through her work is Patty Reese, and I can’t wait to share a recent track from her latest CD.
We’ve got more for you as well, recent releases from the Dogtown Blues Band, King James & The Special Men, and the Scottie Miller Band.
So, do what you have to do to join us at 11. Sleep late, take a nap, grab that caffeine, just be sure to join us. So, do what you have to do to join us at 11. Sleep late, take a nap, grab that caffeine, just be sure to join us. This just might be the first episode where Henry will be on time. But I doubt it!
We’re going to have a great time and we sure would love for you to come along for the ride. You know where we’re going to be, point your browser to http://ideastations.org/radio or join us on one of the Idea Stations: 89.1 WCVN, Northern Neck; 90.1 WMVE, Chase City; and the flagship, 88.9 WCVE-FM, Richmond, where it’s always Time For The Blues!
**Hey, if you are looking for some great shows to see this summer, may I recommend some of the following:
Sunday, July 30
Natchel' Blues Network's Blues Challenge Triangle, Williamsburg, 1:00 PM [This will feature some of Virginia’s best blues bands vying for a chance to represent the Hampton Roads area at next year’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis! Also somebody you know will be acting as a judge for the competition.]
Tuesday, August 1
The Charles Walker Band with The Analogue Republic at The Tin Pan
Thursday, August 10
Bobby "BlackHat" Walters Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 6:00 PM Richmond Jazz Festival
Saturday, August 12
Tajmo (Taj Mahal and Keb Mo) Maymont, 5:30 PM Richmond Jazz Festival
Sunday, August 13
Robert Cray Maymont, 5:15 PM Richmond Jazz Festival
Friday, August 18
Janiva Magness Tin Pan, 8:00 PM (doors 6:00), $30-35
Friday, September 8
Selwyn Birchwood Capital Ale House Downtown, 8:30 PM
Saturday, October 21
ZZ Top Altria Theater, 8:00 PM
Our Live Music Correspondent, Anita Schlank, is always finding the great shows to see. For these, and so many other great shows coming to town, take a look at the River City Blues Society’s Calendar page at http://www.rivercityblues.org/.