Big Bend Blues Bash set for this weekend

July 24, 2013

POMEROY — The Pomeroy Blues & Jazz Society’s Big Bend Blues Bash kicks off its annual event on Friday evening and continues throughout the day on Saturday.

The bash will kick off on Friday at 6 p.m. with a multiple performers throughout the evening.

Ben Davis Jr. of Jackson, Ohio, will kick off the evening at 6 p.m., followed by local rock group Blitzkrieg at 6:45 p.m..

The Muggs, a Detroit, Michigan based group, will perform at 8 p.m., followed by The Gas House Gorillas at 9:30 p.m.

Day one will wrap up with a 10 p.m. performance by Rattle Snake Shake at the Court Street Grill.

Ben Davis Jr. is an Americana/Alt. Country/Folk singer. A veteran of the stage at the young age of 23, Davis has been host of Open Stage at the Court Street Grill. A new release, and his first full-length album with the Dirt Poor Troubadours, is expected later this year. “I’m really excited to share this record with everyone and let you hear the intensity and variety the band brings into the picture!” The Dirt Poor Troubadours are Jacob Dunn a fellow singer/songwriter from Pomeroy on bass, Dustin Nash of Middleport on lead guitar and Nate Sisson of Pomeroy on drums.

Blitzkrieg is a fast paced, hard hitting rock band formed in 1978 in the rolling hills of Meigs County. The current lineup includes the bands founding father, Phil Moon on lead guitar and vocals, his brother, Lyle Moon on bass and vocals, Rob Heady on drums and vocals and Ed Sisson on rhythm guitar and vocals. Touted as an “arena rock bar band” the boys in Blitzkrieg love playing hard rock and classic metal covers from your favorite bands as well as originals.

The Muggs is an American blues-rock band from Detroit, Michigan. Formed in February 2000, the band features guitarist Danny Methric, bassist Tony DeNardo and drummer Todd Glass. The Muggs are many times over winners of the famed Detroit Music Industry awards including Best Blues Artist and Best Rock Band and stars of several automobile television commercials for Chevy and Dodge.

The Gas House Gorillas are a New York City based band lead by singer Rick Fink and bassist Crusher Carmen. The Gorillas are considered by many to be the most fearlessly uninhibited performers ever witnessed and a sure fire guarantee for a rippin’ good time. The band describes their sound as “Punk Americana” a broad range of styles that include Jump Blues, Rock & Roll, Swing, Cajun Music and early Punk Rock.

The Rattlesnake Shake are a 4 piece Fleetwood Mac tribute band from Detroit, Michigan, covering the work of the great Peter Green. The Peter Green era of Fleetwood Mac, 1967-1970, is considered to be some of the most influential British Blues music ever produced. The Rattlesnake Shake consist of the Muggs, Danny Methric on guitar and vocals, Tony DeNardo on bass, Todd Glass on drums plus the addition of Betty LaVette guitarist, Brett Lucas, on guitar and vocals.

Saturday’s events will feature the return of the Blues School for Kids, the film fest and 10 bands performing on the Pomeroy Parking Lot.

Blues breakfast will be served at Court Street Grill beginning at 9 a.m., where the film fest will begin at noon.

The Blues Film Fest is featuring the blues documentary Songs From the Road at the Court Street Suite. The great blues singer and guitarist Luther Allison died in August of 1997, just a month after being diagnosed with a malignant lung tumor. Four days prior to that diagnosis, he played a blistering show in Montreal; it was filmed for later airplay on Canadian television, and most of the show is captured on the CD/DVD set. Songs from the Road is a bittersweet but more than welcome look back at one of America’s lost musical treasures.

For the sixth year a Blues School for Kids will be held on Saturday at the Court Street Mini-Park. The Blues School, which begins at 1 p.m., is a free songwriting and performing workshop conducted by Todd Burge, a full-time performing country folk songwriter from West Virginia. The kids coming to the Blues School will write a blues song and learn to play it on harmonicas. Following a free luncheon in the park, they will have another practice and then perform on the main stage at the Big Bend Blues Bash .

Performing on the main stage on Saturday will be The Euphemism (1 p.m); Blues Cowboys (2 p.m.); Echo Mecca (3 p.m.); Blue Z Band (4 p.m.); Hank Poole as Elvis (5 p.m.); Chris Sutton (5 p.m.); Pett-Crow Band (6 p.m.); Chaz Humley & the Effects (7 p.m.); Albert Castiglia (8 p.m.); and Bernard Allison (9:30 p.m.).

Todd Wolfe Band will also perform at 10 p.m. on Saturday at Court Street Grill.

The Euphemism is an Athens based group which has an already accomplished talent as high school classmates with six years of experience. This band has now graduated to a new level of music as college knocks on their horizons. Their originals cover a broad range of musical sound and genres, with a refreshing flavor of rock, blues, jazz, and well owned covers. Zack Shafer serves as the guitarist and vocalist. He is accomplished in acoustic and electric guitar playing with an occasional harmonic accompaniment. John Mollica adds soulful bass lines that give their songs a perfect depth and originality. Yonry Zhu, on drums, lays down his own creative beat with high speed riffs to low bass rhythm that begs the body to move.

The Blues Cowboys are a group of friends who’ve played music together in some form or another most of their lives, often with each other. The group began when David “Uncle Buck” McPherson began having bands appear at his rustic saloon and dance barn in the deep-country near New Marshfield, Ohio.

Echo Mecca is an Ohio-based musical collaboration between longtime friends and co-conspirators Stephanie Filson and Brad Hoffman. Hoffman, who is an accomplished bass player, began relaying the music in his head via computer software a few years ago, but Echo Mecca wasn’t born until those musical gems were fused with Filson’s lyrics and vocals. Compositions are at times jazz-like, ethereal or even spiritual. The duo is just getting started, but Echo Mecca is on the rise.

The Blue Z band hail from the river cities, playing classic rock and blues. This power trio includes guitar madman Sammy Doolittle, bassist Milt Call and drummer Anthony Call.

Chris Sutton has been playing acoustic blues as a soloist and with his band C&S Railroad since 2003. As soloists go he is a triple threat, vocals, songwriting, and guitar playing. His talents have taken him twice to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee as a soloist. Once in 2004 sponsored by the BJFM and again in 2006 with the Western Pennsylvania Blues Society as his sponsor. He won again in Marietta, and will return to the IBC’s in 2013.

An all-original blues-rock band, Pett-Crow has an up-beat sound that is all their own. Young in age but seasoned beyond their years in talent, each member plays multiple instruments, writes and records their own music and is putting a new face on Blues-Rock. Front-man Wes Crow (age 15), bassist Julia Crow (age 14) and drummer Brandon Pettiford (age 13) are swiftly making a name for themselves on both local and national scenes in their quest to keep the blues alive for the next generation. Their unique take on blues blends a very robust mix of blues, acoustic, funk, soul and, of course, some good ol’ rock ‘n roll.

Spanning 60 years, the music of Chaz Humley and the Effects is as timely today as it was when Robert Johnson went down to the crossroads, as it was when Albert King made his memorable remark about bad luck being all that he had, or as it was when BB King lamented that the ‘thrill is gone.’

Albert Castiglia is a South Florida guitar man who’s made a big splash on the National Blues scene this past decade. He got a big break after meeting Junior Wells in 1996, and became Junior’s lead guitar player until Wells passing in 1998. His 2008 CD, These are the Days, contained five original Castiglia songs, including a tribute to his mentor Junior Wells, “Godfather of the Blues.” These are the Days earned a Blues Music Award nomination for “Song of the Year” for the original track, “Bad Year Blues.”

Bernard Allison — headliner for the 2013 Blues Bash — is the guitar-playing, singing, and songwriting son of late legendary blues guitarist Luther Allison. True to form for this “chip off the old block,” the young Allison injects every bit as much energy into his live shows as his father did. When he was seven or eight, he began having aspirations of becoming a guitar slinger like his father. Luther Allison was more than just a casual record collector, and so Bernard benefited from his father and brothers’ collections of classic blues and gospel.

The Todd Wolfe Band are based in New York state. Wolfe began playing on the New York scene back in 1979 with his band Nitetrain. The wave of guitar players that included Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Bloomfield were and are influential and evident in Wolfe’s style and approach to guitar-playing. The Todd Wolfe Band with Todd on guitar and vocals, drummer Roger Voss and bassist Justine Gardner play with real tubes, tones crackling with a blues-a-delic sound reminiscent of the best rock and roll bands of the ’60s.

Admission to the event is $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday, with kids 12 and under admitted free. Weekend passes are also available for $20. Admission to the events at Court Street Grill is $5.

Lawn chairs are welcome, but pets and coolers are not permitted.