A Successful Get Outta’ Town Party
The first of May saw blues lovers meeting at Salty’s Beach Bar for the annual Get Outta Town party to raise funds for the JSJBF representatives to the International Blues Challenge, held in Memphis on May 6-8. This event was postponed from January due to the Omicron variant which saw the IBC postponed from the last weekend in January to the current dates. This gave our solo/duo representative James Dalton and our band reps, the Shadetree Mechanics more time to raise funds on their respective GoFundMe sites. That, coupled with the money received from the Foundation that was generated at the local competition in October and the aforementioned party, should cover the bulk of their expenses in Memphis. They have all been there before, and with our former chairperson, Gene Iadanza accompanying them, it should be a great trip. Members Janet and Bob Musso will also be in attendance and look for an article chronicling their adventures in Memphis.
The afternoon began with a solo set by James Dalton. Always a crowd favorite, his animated playing and singing along with some story-telling was very entertaining. Next up was board member John Fernandez and his band, The Incinerators. As the hosts of Blue-Collar Blues, we see them on a regular basis, but they are constantly incorporating new material into their sets, so the sound is always fresh. Today they brought up James Dalton who accompanied them on harp, mandolin and vocals. About halfway through their set they also invited member Sharon Lasher up to sing the Junior Wells classic “Little By Little.”
Peter Veteska and Blues Train followed them with a great set that drew heavily from their latest chart topping CD, “So Far So Good.” With Peter was original drummer Alex D’Agnese, and bass player Ted Palumbo, filling in for Coo Moe Jhee who couldn’t make the rescheduled gig, producer and keyboard player par excellence Jeff Levine and our own board member Gary Neuwirth on harp. Member Jenny Barnes also joined them to reprise her roll on two duets with Peter from the CD, “I Miss You So” and “You Give Me Nothing But the Blues.” The “Rev” Mike Rochelle even got up at the end of the set to add some vocals to the mix!
Our IBC band representatives the Shadetree Mechanics closed out the day with a high-powered set. When the “Rev” dons his rub board and guitarist Mark Redman puts on that slide you know you’re in for a dancin’ good time. With Elmo on bass and Brad on drums, the rhythm section kept everyone boogying. They then switched gears featuring “Rev” on harp for “Crazy Mixed Up Blues” and slowed it down for a beautiful version of “Dock of the Bay.” It was a great day of music and for them and James Dalton, the perfect send off to Memphis.
Thank you to everyone who supported the musicians at the The Get Outta Town Party at Salty’s Beach Bar on May 1st.
Good luck to James Dalton and Shadetree Mechanics who will be heading down to Memphis to represent our region at the International Blues Competition!