"Big City"

by Bob Putignano

"New York + NOLA French Quarter Fest "

New York Report

Here in the Big Apple blues music continues to circulate throughout the NYC Metro area. B. B. Kings in Times Square continues to attract the best blues talent, upcoming events include those never aging blues icons Robert Lockwood Jr. with Honeyboy Edwards, the incomparable Godfather for Soul- James Brown (for 2 nights,) Rock & Roll Hall of fame inductee Chuck Berry, Little Feat, Southside Johnny, Steven Seagal & Thunderbox (see previous issue of Big City for review,) Robin Trower, The Chicago Blues Reunion- (featuring the legendary Nick Gravenites, Barry Goldberg and guitar god- Harvey Mandel,) & speaking of guitar god's-Johnny Winter, and the always crowd pleasing return of Miss Bonnie Bramlett. The Blue Note mostly known for Jazz, has their annual Memorial Day week of 6 nights with Taj Mahal. Terra Blues in Greenwich Village continues to showcase blues 6 days a week, and the Dinosaur Bar-B-Q is hosting blues on Friday's & Saturday's.

The outlying areas of the city also provide a regular diet of blues programming with The Turning Point in Piermont, NY bringing in Rhett Tyler, Duke Robillard, and how is this for a great flashback- Danny Kalb who was an original member of the Blues Project, the always outstanding Coco Montoya (who should destruct this tiny 80 capacity venue!) from down-under slide guitar ace-Dave Hole, and ex Roomful of Blues saxophonist- Greg Piccolo. Mexicali Blues Café holds there own with the blues with a weekly blues jam of the NY area's crème de la crème of NY.NJ area musicians lead by the red haired dynamo Miss Nikki Armstrong, and they also have guitar great Walter Trout coming in as well.

On the Festival front the seventeenth annual Crawfish Fest is back in June with their usual outstanding lineup featuring one of my favorites- Long Tall Marcia Ball, The Radiators, Little Feat, The Rebirth Brass Band, Henry Butler, Steve Riley and many more. For more info about the Crawfish Festival just go to: www.CrawfishFest.com

Upstate in the historic artsy town of Woodstock, NY- Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble constantly sells out, and here is why- so many great players congregate to perform there, and in Levon's band you can usually find Jimmy Vivino, Little Sammy Davis, Michael Merritt, Bruce Katz, Brian Mitchell, and lots of surprise guests. I am looking forward to my first visit to see Levon's all-star band with featured guests- The N'Awlins Gumbo Kings. More on that next month, and for more info about Levon's Midnight Ramble, go to www.LevonHelm.com

Finally, the NY Blues & Jazz Society is having its first in a series of "members only" band showcases at the historic Bitter End on Bleeker Street in NYC, featuring International Blues Competition winner Little Toby Walker, and The East River Blue Band. The perrforming bands must be a member of the Society. Additionally both Toby Walker & the East River Blues Band just released new recordings, and this event will also serve as their CD release party. For more info about how to become a member and to participate- go to: nybluesandJazz.org

Until next time.......

Bob Putignano www.SoundsofBlue.com

Bob Putignano
Radio Host WFDU's "Sounds of Blue"
President of the NY Blues and Jazz Society