June 2020 News

    For over 40 years, my professional life has centered around practicing, preparing, researching & looking for, planning, promoting & playing gigs.   Since this pandemic stopped most of that on March 15, 2020, it sure has been strange.   Dr. Blues & I have spent much of our time at home since then, tackling lists of chores & projects that have piled up over the past hectic decade or so.   For the 1st time since childhood, I went 40 days without touching a musical instrument, partly out of shock & grief over the situation, & partly due to working on so many other things.    

    Of course, we miss playing & seeing our fans, but consider ourselves lucky so far, as we feel for those who have been sick or died alone, & for all those who care for them.    We pray for better treatments & a vaccine ASAP.    

    Thankfully, our 11th Annual Boogie Woogie/Blues Piano Stomp happened 2/15/2020, before all shut down.   This year featured Barry Cuda, Victor Wainwright, Rob Rio & yours truly.   On 2/7/2020, Dr. Blues & I appeared on Tampa’s ABC-TV show Morning Blend.    

     My sister Trish Benedik surprised us & visited that week from Ohio & came to the Stomp.   Trish recently published a book entitled Franchising Without Fear, a good read for entrepreneurs.    Check it out!   Our family also welcomed Trish’s granddaughter Devna 5/1/19.   Niece Shannon surprised us all & brought Devna to my gig at The Golden Lamb in Lebanon, OH last August.   

     A year ago, our Brussels, Belgium friends Andre & Lil Hobus visited St. Pete & came to 2 of our shows.   Avid blues & boogie woogie fans, writers & photographers, it was magnifique to see them again!

     Last September, our kids Drew & Kristen, & grandkids Jackson & Julie (now 7) & Greyson (now 4) visited from Marietta/Atlanta, GA.   They’ve just moved to Charlotte, NC, so will be looking for gigs there when things open up.

     Thanks to our Frequent Fan winners of 2019:   1. Wayne K. (attended 40+ gigs!);    2. Midge P. (30+gigs!);   3. Linda M.;    4. Priscilla H.;    5. Harvey L.;    6. Sue L.;  (each 20+ gigs!);     7. Jerri E.;    8. Ruth Ann L.;    9. Johnny L.;    10. Art O.  (each 10+ gigs!).     Ask for a free card at any show & join the fun!

     We hated to lose the Architect of Rock & Roll, legendary pianist, songwriter, singer Little Richard on 5/9/2020 at age 87.   RIP also to Uncle Gerald Clark, & loyal longtime fans Ralph Nobis and Art O’Hara.   They have all enriched our lives & are missed.

     Especially now,  we’d be mighty grateful if you’d visit our STORE page & order some CD’s & merch.   Hang in there & stay well, everyone.   Hope to see you real soon!

Liz  

 

April 2019 News

We’re still high from our 10th Annual Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Stomp at the Palladium Theatre here in St. Pete on March 23rd.   This year’s event featured RICKY NYE (Cincinnati, OH), EDEN BRENT (Mississippi), 90-year-old Detroiter  & boogie master BOB SEELEY, and us.  Eden’s talented husband BOB DOWELL also added his trombone to a couple of tunes. 

Just before the intermission, Liz was surprised when longtime friend & piano player STEVE WILLIAMS (Columbus, OH) introduced MANDY SAHHAR (representing Yamaha Music Corporation), who presented her with a new Yamaha CP4 Stage Piano as a “Gift of Appreciation” for almost 30 years of using Yamaha pianos!  Many thanks to Yamaha for this extraordinary gift, for their outstanding acoustic pianos, and keyboards with very realistic piano sounds and feel.

Liz & I celebrated our 35th Anniversary on June 18th, 2018.  One way we marked this milestone was spending 5 different days at Walt Disney World in May, September, and October.  We hadn’t been there in six years and for the first time ever, we stayed at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort in May.  We loved the music decor and the piano & guitar-shaped swimming pools!  For the 2 days spent there in September, we were joined by son Drew & his wife Kristen & our three grandchildren, who are now 6 and 3 years old- magical fun!

Thanks & Congrats to all the Frequent Fan winners of 2018:  1. Diann F., 2. Wayne K., (each attended 40+ gigs!),  3. Linda M.  (30+ gigs!),  4. Dan H.,  5. Midge P.,  6. Priscilla H.  (20+ gigs!),  7. Ruth Ann L.,  8. Johnny L.,  9. Walt H.,  10. Jerri E.,  11. Art O.,  12. Sue L.,  13. Harvey L.  (10+ gigs!).     Ask for a free card at any show.

RIP- Dan Hoon, Great Aunt Ruth Garris, Jamie Farquharson

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 2018

On March 3rd, 2018 we had our 9th annual Boogie-Woogie/Blues Stomp at the Palladium Theatre here in St. Pete.  The concert featured Matthew Ball (Detroit), Chase Garrett (St. Louis), Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues, and Wendy DeWitt with Kirk Harwood on drums (San Francisco)    It was a blast!

Another blast was playing at Ricky Nye’s 18th Blues & Boogie Piano Summit in Newport, Kentucky on Nov. 3 & 4, 2017.  Other players included Ricky Nye & Bekah Williams (Cincy), Martjin Schok & Greta Holtrop (Netherlands), and Wendy DeWitt & Kirk Harwood (San Francisco).

Although our song Quirky Boogie didn’t win “2017 Coolest Blues Song of the Year” (Big City Blues Magazine), it did make the finals & top third of 36 songs.  Thanks again for all your votes!

Congrats to all the Frequent Fan winners of 2017!  #1:  Wayne K.; #2:  Linda M.;  #3:  Diann F.; #4:  Midge P.;  #5:  Walt H.;  #6 Teresa W.;  #7:  Priscilla H.;  #8:  Art O.;  #9:  Dan H.;  #10:  Harvey L.;  #11:  Sue L.   

Besides our road tours, we’ve really enjoyed playing St. Pete venues including The Hangar, Pesky Pelican, & M-N-M BBQ.   Thanks for being there and supporting us and these fine local venues!  Please check our DATES page for our full schedule.

RIP:  Uncle Norman Clark, Shirley Seeley, Doug Naumann, Uncle Noah Garris, Jean Moore, cousin Mike Pennock, & Bob Pearson.   

2018 Milestones:                                                                                                                                                                                                            

1988- 30 years ago- met & first played with Diamond Teeth Mary. 

1993-  25 years ago- released Walking Mary’s Blues CD.     

2003- 15 years ago- released Live from St. Pete CD.     

2008- 10 years ago- released Boogie Woogie Staircase CD. 

2008- Inducted into Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame.    

 

MAY 2017

Liz’s song “Quirky Boogie” from the new CD is in the running for “Coolest Blues Song of the Year.”  We need your VOTE by MAY 15th!  Go to  http://www.bigcitybluesmag.com  and click on”Vote for Sampler #21 Round 3″, then click on Happy Face for our song (only one vote per computer or device).   Please invite your friends to vote, too.   Thanks-  we really appreciate your support! 

Thanks to each of you who has bought our new CD Quirky Boogie so far, and thanks to Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine and Suncoast Blues Society’s Twelve Bar Rag for the fine reviews.  

Congrats to all the Frequent Fan winners of 2016:   #1 Diann F.,   #2  Dan H.,   #3  Priscilla H. (each attended 20+ gigs), and #4 Diane G.,  #5  Linda M.,  #6 Wayne K.,  #7  Sarah S.,  #8 Judy R., #9  Robin A.,  all attended at least 10 gigs in 2016.   

We had tickets & were so excited to again see Liz’s fave piano player/singer/songwriter/guitarist/rockstar/legend/influence Leon Russell in concert, & get our new CD to him, especially since we finally recorded one of his songs.    So we were devastated when he passed away 11/13/16 at the age of 74, after a career spanning 6 decades.   Liz loved Leon & his music for 45 of those years, and we thank God for his talent, inspiring songs, records, and every concert we were able to attend, especially when we opened for him in 2008.  

Other famed musicians we loved & lost recently were pianist Mose Allison (2 days after Leon, on 11/15/16),  harmonica bluesman James Cotton, & guitarist Chuck Berry.    We were blessed to hear all 4 of these legends live, & actually met 3 of them in person.   

A reminder to never take your favorite artists for granted…see them live, buy their CD’s & merch, tell your friends & family about them.   It’s always money & time well spent for music & memories in your ears & your heart forever.

 

 

   

 

OCTOBER 2016 – NEW CD!

We’re proud to announce the release of our seventh album Quirky Boogie on Upright Records!  Engineered by GEORGE HARRIS at Creative World Recording in Largo, Florida, the new CD contains 15 songs, 10 new originals and 5 cover songs.  Quirky Boogie was officially released July 25 when we began our seven-week summer tour, and it is now available on our “STORE” page- order now along with our other cool merch!  Also, since we are celebrating the 30th year of our Upright Records label, you will receive a FREE CD of our first album Bluesy Atmosphere (1986) with every $10 you spend in our store, or at gigs.  This FREE CD Offer expires December 31st, 2016, so hurry!

Amidst recording Quirky Boogie in April & June, Liz and I also flew to California for ten days in May, where Liz did five shows with the QUEENS OF BOOGIE WOOGIE, along with pianists WENDY DeWITT & SUE PALMER  with KIRK HARWOOD on drums.  Venues included the iconic jazz & blues club Yoshi’s in Oakland, Soper-Reese Theatre in Lakeport, and KRUSH Radio Concert in Santa Rosa.  To our surprise, DENNY CHANDLER flew in from Las Vegas for the Yoshi’s show; Denny was the engineer for our first 4 albums at Chandler Audio (Huntington, WV) , and he is now running sound at Wynn in Vegas.  Great to see you, Denny!

Our 2016 Summer Tour went well, and all the shows were basically CD Release Parties for Quirky Boogie.  In addition to club dates, the tour also included three festivals:  Diamond Teeth Mary Festival (Huntington), Bloomington Boogies Fest (Bloomington, IN), and our 22nd year at the Cincy Blues Fest (Cincinnati, OH).  This year in Cincy, we got to meet CHUCK LEAVELL (piano player for the Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton “Unplugged”, etc), who also played the Arches Boogie Piano Stage.   Chuck & his wife RoseLane are very cordial & engaging people, and it was pleasure to hang out with them and the other outstanding pianists for three days.

We had a great time when Doc’s older brother CHARLIE SHAMBARGER from Lincoln, Nebraska visited us in February.  Sadly, after returning home, Charlie suffered a stroke and passed away in April at age 70.  We’re so sorry to lose Charlie, yet we’re also grateful for the quality time we had with him during that final visit, and all the years of love we shared.

We were also shocked & saddened to lose longtime fan TERRY GREGORY in June, and also YANKEE BILL and JOEY GONZALES in October.    We miss them every time we play their favorite songs, and are thankful for their support over the years.

Losing so many in 2016 makes us love & appreciate all of you even more.   Hope to see you in the crowd soon!

DR. BLUES