Another Summer Tour has come and gone, and we’re back in St. Pete with our new album BOOGIE WOOGIE STAIRCASE. We’re very excited about this CD of 15 all-new originals, our first album since 2003 and our first studio album in twelve years, with special guest SMILIN’ MIKE DELANEY playing sax on two of the songs. Although we sold Boogie Woogie Staircase at all of our tour gigs, we didn’t release it in Florida until our return home in September.
Our 17-show, 5-state tour began in Pensacola, Florida on July 26th when we played for VALERIE PENNOCK’S wedding (Liz’s niece). The wedding was a nice Pennock family gathering, and was followed by a Monday gig on July 28th at PARADISE BAR & GRILL on Pensacola Beach, the first official CD Release Party. This gig was truly “paradise” for Doc because he was able to park the PT Cruiser in front of the hotel room which was only 25 feet away from the outdoor stage area! (No moving the car!)
We played our 14th year at the CINCY BLUES FESTIVAL on August 2nd. Not long after our set on the Arches Piano Stage, we were called back onto the stage, along with ROB RIO (the L.A.-based piano master); to our surprise, the three of us were inducted into the BOOGIE WOOGIE PIANO HALL OF FAME! This was quite an honor; some of the previous inductees include PINETOP PERKINS, JOHNNIE JOHNSON (Chuck Berry’s piano player), BIG JOE DUSKIN, ANN RABSON, ALBERT AMMONS, and BOB SEELEY. Check out our PHOTOS page for pics taken at this event.
Another tour highlight was playing at BUD & TOOTIE’S in New Philadelphia, Ohio (Doc’s hometown). Doc last played here forty years ago with his first band! We were also surprised when our good friend JUDY RADA (from Largo, Florida) walked in at Bud & Tootie’s. A great night with a number of Doc’s high school classmates in the audience.
The last show of the tour was on Sunday, August 31st at the V CLUB in Huntington, West Virginia for the governor-declared DIAMOND TEETH MARY DAY celebration. As many of you know, we spread Mary’s ashes on the railroad tracks in 2000 after she died, and the WVBS is presently working to raise funds for a permanent memorial marker to be placed on this site (for memorial marker donations, please go to our LINKS page and click on “West Virginia Blues Society” link). The “Diamond Teeth Mary Day” event included the Proclamation Ceremony, reminiscences about Mary’s life, and performances by C&S RAILROAD and ourselves, with local TV news stations covering the event. Thanks to the West Virginia Blues Society for their efforts and to the V Club for providing their fine venue for this memorable ceremony. The WVBS plans to make Diamond Teeth Mary Day an annual event in Huntington.
We were deeply saddened to hear of the Sept. 12 passing of JOE STRASSMAN, our great fan and friend from Ohio, who always came to our shows there with his wife, Beth. Our condolences to Beth and the family- we will miss Joe dearly….
Also, we are grieving the loss of our sister-in-law, MAURINE SHAMBARGER, who passed away on September 23rd at age 62 of cancer. Maurine and Doc’s brother Charlie lived in Lincoln, Nebraska where she worked as a nurse at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to Charlie and their four children.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the road gigs and CD Release Parties and bought our CDs and T-shirts. If you don’t have them yet or want more for gifts, please order from our STORE page.
Word-of-mouth is the best advertising. Your comments about your favorite songs, etc. regarding the new CD would be welcome entries to our GUESTBOOK. Also, requesting songs from BOOGIE WOOGIE STAIRCASE or any of our albums to your local radio station would be greatly appreciated. If a station doesn’t have it, send them to our website to request a copy.