May 23, 2010

Hi, Everybody! Spring is here in St. Pete after what was one of the coldest Florida winters in history (good riddance!).

The BOOGIE WOOGIE PIANO STOMP at the Palladium Theatre in St. Pete on January 30th was not only a dream fulfilled, but also a huge success with over 650 people in attendance. In addition to Liz & me, Ricky Nye (Cincinnati), Bob Seeley (Detroit), and Barry Cuda (Key West) brought their notable talents to the stage on two grand pianos. The show culminated in the Grand Finale that some audience members referred to as “Fireworks!” Also, the show was filmed and condensed into a one-hour video that is airing on some local TV stations and can also be seen on YouTube. To view the Piano Stomp, go to & search “Liz Pennock,” then click on the “A Night At The Palladium” video. Our thanks to the Suncoast Blues Society, Paul Wilborn & staff at the Palladium Theatre & all who attended for helping to make this event so wonderful.

We’re already planning the next Boogie Woogie Piano Stomp at the Palladium scheduled for January 29th, 2011- stay tuned…

Also at the Palladium in their Side Door Cabaret room, the ST. PETE BLUES ALLSTARS performed on Nov. 20th, 2009 and April 30th, 2010 to large, enthusiastic audiences. This seven-piece jump blues band features Jon Puhl (guitar), Kim Harpo (harmonicas), Mike Delaney (sax), Denny McCarthy (drums), Don Cox (upright bass), Liz (piano & trombone), & Doc (guitar). These were fun shows with many dancers. A Fall 2010 show for the Allstars is in the works.

We recently received a copy of DAVID SPIEGEL’S CD “Dance Your Pants Off” which reached #7 on the SHAG/BEACH Charts. Liz played piano on four tracks of this CD. Email us for info on how you can purchase this very danceable CD.

Thanks & congrats to all the FREQUENT FAN winners in 2009! The #1 winner was Judy R., followed by: Terry, Mary, Dan, Priscilla, Art, Teresa, Marlyn, Harriett, Jim, Barry, Judi L., Ralph & Hildegard. Come on out to a gig soon to meet & join these fine, loyal supporters!

We had alot of out-of-town guests this winter: Ricky Nye & wife Nancy from Ohio, our friend Reefe from West Virginia, Doc’s brother Charlie from Nebraska, his daughter Katrina from Maine, and both of our moms from Ohio. Although it was mighty cold here for Florida, our weather was alot better than where they all came from!

We’re getting some airplay on internet radio Liz’s song “Blue Illusion” is #58 on the charts this week. Write in their guestbook to request our songs & move it up the charts! Thanks for listening & sure do hope to see you in the crowd soon!

October 23, 2009

We just returned from Fredericksburg, Virginia where my son Drew’s wedding to Kristen Baumbach took place on October 10th. Liz & I played for the Cocktail Hour at the reception, and it was a beautiful wedding; it was also a great time for a family reunion, with Doc’s mother, brothers, and others in town. Congrats to Drew and Kristen! Also, we did a show at the COLONIAL TAVERN in Fredericksburg on October 16th before leaving for Florida.

Since our last News Report, Liz & I played at the COTEE RIVER SEAFOOD FESTIVAL in New Port Richey on May 9th. This was a nice (and HOT!) festival where we enjoyed hanging out with the other musicians, including SEAN CARNEY and his band from Ohio. Then, on May 23rd & 24th, we performed once again at the FLORIDA FOLK FESTIVAL in White Springs- unfortunately, the pouring and driving rain put a damper on half of the weekend, but at least it was cooler than usual.

We were saddened at the passing of our dear friend and fan OPAL COLDIRON on June 26th. Over the past few years, Opal had been coming to many of our gigs and, despite her declining health, Opal was always fun & feisty. We miss you, Opal & will think of you whenever we play “Layla” or “Throw Me a Line.”

Our six-week Summer Tour took us to Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia from late July to early September. Kicking off the tour was the CINCY BLUES FESTIVAL (Cincinnati), our 15th year at this fantastic festival and the Arches Boogie Woogie Piano Stage. Other noteworthy shows included DOC’S PLACE (Lebanon, Ohio) on August 14th, where our good friend ROY BOOK BINDER came to the gig. Roy just happened to be in Lebanon in between his tour gigs. Great to see him!

We also shared a show with the SEAN CARNEY BAND at CANAL HOUSE in Tuscarawas, Ohio on August 22nd. It was a great evening and fun to visit with Sean and his band after last seeing them in Florida in May.

Near the end of the tour, we played the FOOTHILLS BLUES AND ART FESTIVAL near Pomeroy, Ohio. This is a fantastic annual festival (our first time here) on a 500-acre farm with a Woodstock appeal and a fine lineup of musicians. Liz & I met ALBERT CASTIGLIA here and fell in love with his award-winning song “Bad Year Blues.” We’re learning it now.

In addition to our regular gigs (please see DATES page), Liz and I have two special upcoming shows worth noting. On Friday, November 20th, we’ll be playing with the ST. PETE BLUES ALLSTARS at the PALLADIUM in St. Pete. This seven-piece jump blues band is comprised of KIM HARPO (harps & vocals), JON PUHL (guitar & vocals), MIKE DELANEY (sax & vocals), LIZ (piano & vocals), DOC (guitar & vocals), DON COX (bass), and JUNGLE DENNY McCARTHY (drums). We’ll be playing in the Side Door Room- please see our DATES page for details.

Also at the PALLADIUM, we will be hosting and performing at the BOOGIE WOOGIE BLUES/ PIANO STOMP on Saturday, January 30th. This show will also feature RICKY NYE (Cincinnati), BARRY CUDA (Key West), and BOB SEELEY (Detroit) on dual grand pianos in this fine venue. You can check out the Palladium on our DATES page.

Many musicians and venues are suffering through this ongoing recession. You can really help by putting your face in the place, tips in the jar, & buying their CD’s! Hope to see you soon at a gig near you- as always, thanks for your continued support.

April 26, 2009

2009 started out with a bang when we opened for PINETOP PERKINS at Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa on January 9th to a sold-out audience. Backed by the fine STEADY ROLLIN’ BOB MARGOLIN BLUES BAND, 95-year-old Grammy-winning Perkins played his usual amazing show, and Liz & I finished out the night jamming with Bob Margolin’s band. Check out our PHOTOS page for some nice shots of the evening.

On January 25th, Liz & I hosted the DIAMOND TEETH MARY MEMORIAL MARKER FUNDRAISER at Dave’s Aqualounge (St. Pete) to raise money for Mary McClain’s Memorial Marker in Huntington, WV. Many notable bay area blues musicians (most of whom performed with Mary at one time or another) played, including JONNY PUHL, KIM HARPO, MIKE DELANEY, DAVID LEE MAXWELL, BONESHAKER, SARASOTA SLIM, NITRO, and SANDY ATKINSON among others. Even our good friend ROY BOOK BINDER did a great solo set, and we raised over $500 for the Historical Marker Fund. Thanks to the Suncoast Blues Society and all who came out in support of this event.

We played a fun fundraiser for ST. PETE PRESERVATION at the historic St. Pete Women’s Club on March 28th. We enjoyed meeting the Guest of Honor, LINDA RUTH TOSETTI, Babe Ruth’s granddaughter. We discussed HERB PENNOCK, another baseball legend and Babe Ruth’s best friend, & how he may possibly be a distant relative of Liz’s, given the family resemblance & unusual surname.

Liz & I also performed at the WMNF 2ND ANNUAL BLUES BLAST at Skipper’s on March 29th to a great audience. Other musicians were DAMON FOWLER GROUP, NERVOUS TURKEY, T.C. CARR, GREG POULOS, JIMMY GRISWOLD, and THE GARY BROWN BLUES BAND.

On April 9th, we shared the stage with BOB SEELEY from Detroit at the BOOGIE WOOGIE/BLUES PIANO STOMP, held at the PALLADIUM SIDE DOOR cabaret. Bob, whom we have known for many years, is arguably the best boogie woogie piano player on the planet! This was perhaps St. Pete’s first official boogie woogie piano show, and thanks to the enthusiastic sold-out crowd, we hope to present more here in the future. A bonus that night was the rare presence of all 3 of Liz’s sisters; Donna from Tampa, and Trish & Mary visiting from Ohio!

The following day (April 10th), Liz & I returned to Skipper’s in Tampa to see SAFFIRE: THE UPPITY BLUES WOMEN perform to a huge audience. We first met Saffire (GAYE ADEGBALOLA, ANN RABSON, and ANDRA FAYE) at the Augusta Workshops in Elkins, WV in 1992, and it was a trip down memory lane for us, knowing that this is their farewell tour before disbanding later this year. We’ve become close friends and shared some stages with them over the years, and we’ll miss seeing Saffire perform as a band, although they all will be pursuing their solo careers. Watch for them when they come to your town & get their new CD “Having the Last Word!”

We were quite pleased to see that our latest album, BOOGIE WOOGIE STAIRCASE, has received two good reviews in two separate publications. SOUL BAG MAGAZINE (France) gave our CD a nice review (in French) in their March issue #194. Also, the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE Music Blog (April 13th) reviewed Boogie Woogie Staircase, as well as reviewing our Palladium show with Bob Seeley. You can read this review by going to our LINKS page and clicking on the link to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (click on the link, then go to bottom of page and click PREVIOUS POSTS until you get to APRIL 13th).

We were sorry to hear of the deaths of RICH SCHNEIDER, friend, major blues supporter and editor of BLUES BEAT MAGAZINE (Blues Society of Western New York), and drummer/bandleader LUCIAN IERNA. We also got word of the passing of two venue owners we worked for numerous times in West Virginia who loved the music and treated us well: FRED STARKEY, owner of the SLY FOX in Parkersburg, and JANE GIBSON of SISTERS COFFEE HOUSE in Princeton.

Liz & I want to congratulate and thank the FREQUENT FAN winners for 2008. Once again, TERRY GREGORY was the #1 Frequent Fan, and this year, his mother MARY tied him for #1. #2 was Judy, #3 Dan, #4 Opal, and the following Fans each won once (came to at least 10 gigs): Priscilla, Marlyn, Art, Marv, Dennis, Ralph & Hildegarde. Their loyal support & friendly faces in the crowd help keep us going.

October 03, 2008

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.

June 12, 2008

2008 has been a very busy year! Between January and March, we had seven weeks of company, including both our moms, Liz’s niece Alicia and her husband Elijah, as well as Liz’s sister Mary, all from Ohio. Our son Andrew had two surgeries in January and April, and is recovering at home in Virginia.

In December 2007, we traveled down to Bradenton to hear our old friend STEADY ROLLIN’ BOB MARGOLIN at Aces Lounge. What a great show of deep blues, and Bob had us sit in with the band for a few tunes. Bob’s new CD, IN NORTH CAROLINA, is phenomenal.

Also in December, we were sorry to hear that songwriter BOBBY HICKS died. We also lost pianist TRACY PURCELL, the “Saltwater Bluesman” in May. These two contributed greatly to the Florida music scene, and we miss them.

Liz and I were featured along with JAMES PETERSON in Issue #64 of Britain’s JUKE BLUES magazine. The story and photo were submitted by Belgian writer ANDRE HOBUS.

Speaking of print, two books we recommend are MAKING RECORDS by Phil Ramone, and THE PIANO SHOP ON THE LEFT BANK by Thad Carhart; if you love Paris and/or pianos, this is a fascinating read.

The state of West Virginia has declared August 30th as DIAMOND TEETH MARY DAY! We’ll be part of the festivities in Huntington, WV. Mary would be so proud!

After weeks of rehearsal and planning, we laid down basic tracks for our next album on April 1st and 2nd at PROGRESSIVE MUSIC studio in Tampa. We recorded a few more tracks and mixed there in May. After a photoshoot on May 26th, the artwork and graphics are now in progress. With a release set for late July, our summer tour gigs will be all CD Release parties. It’s been a tremendous amount of work, details & decisions, but now that it’s almost done, we’re getting very excited for all of you to hear it.

A lifelong dream came true on April 25th when we opened for LEON RUSSELL at Bourbon Street Night Club in New Port Richey, Florida. Liz has loved Leon since her uncle Ron Clark turned her on to him at the age of fourteen. He became a major piano influence and inspiration. After first seeing Leon live in 1973, Liz has been to many Leon concerts since, but this was the first time to appear on the same bill- what a thrill! Leon sounded as amazing as ever & had a fine band with him. Leon also said a few words to Liz backstage after the show, which hasn’t happened since we met him briefly after a show in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1988. Visit Leon Russell’s website (on our LINKS page) to order his albums and learn more about this legend’s incredible career.

The rain on June 18th, 1983 must have indeed been good luck, as next week Liz & I will celebrate our 25th Anniversary! We hope that you will share our joy at our June gigs, as we love you all and consider you part of our family. Thanks for being there and sharing our musical ventures!