December 08, 2004

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Another year is coming to a close, but this Autumn has been an exciting one for us. Liz & I flew to Ohio the week of Halloween to play for her niece’s wedding in Lebanon, Ohio. So good to see all the relatives, and Alicia’s & Elijah’s wedding was great; our good friend and blues photographer, LES GRUSECK, took the photos, and we had a chance to visit Les, his wife Lilia, and their daughter Maya in Florence, Kentucky for a few days. On Monday, November 1st, Liz & I performed for Blues In The Schools in Cincinnati; thanks to TODD HEPBURN and The Cincy Blues Society for putting this together. We then split a gig with Cincy piano master RICKY NYE at Chez Nora in Covington, Kentucky on November 3rd before returning home to Florida.

Thanksgiving found us flying to Belgium where we performed at the BRUSSELS BOOGIE WOOGIE PIANO SUMMIT on November 27th. Liz & I shared the bill with RENAUD PATIGNY (Belgium’s “King of Boogie Woogie”), CHRISTOPH ROIS (Vienna, Austria), and CAROLINE DAHL (San Francisco) at Theatre St. Michel, a gorgeous old theatre with two Yamaha grand pianos onstage. The enthusiastic audience of 1,300+ received us well, and we also did a couple songs with Brussels blues harpist GENEVIEVE DARTEVELLE. You can view photos from the festival on our PHOTOS page. Many thanks to Renaud Patigny for having us perform!

Liz and I had a chance to sightsee in downtown Brussels (at the Grand Place) on Sunday and sample the fine waffles, chocolate, beer, and other Belgian cuisine before leaving on Monday. Brussels is an absolutely beautiful city, and we truly hated to leave.

Our sympathies go to fellow musician TOMMY McCOY on the sudden loss of his girlfriend, BRENDA. We also mourn the loss of 2 dear fan/friends: MORGAN CUMMINGS of Crystal River and just got word that singer/songwriter MIKE LOREN passed last night. It’s hard to lose friends our age & we’ll miss seeing them in the audience. Life is short and as Morgan said, “Keep the faith and seek the light.” We so appreciate every one of you & hope to see you often in 2005. Happy New Year!

September 05, 2004

As I write this on Sunday, September 5th, we’re hunkered down at home in St. Pete riding out Hurricane Frances, the largest hurricane diameter-wise in recorded history. So far, there’s been lots of wind and rain, but no major property damage in our area. This was quite a stormy homecoming after our five-week Summer Tour, but we’re really glad to be home!

Our 2004 tour took us to shows in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, and Tennessee. This was our tenth year at the Cincy Blues Festival (Cincinnati, Ohio), and the rainy weather cleared in time for our 6 PM performance. Liz & I truly enjoyed seeing so many of our friends and fans there, and we had a great time staying with our good friends Les & Lilia Gruseck and their daughter Maya. While at Gruseck’s, we had the chance to get together with our pal Roy Book Binder, his wife Nancy and her sister Maureen; we also had a cookout there with our friends Dave Warford, Mary Ann Kindell, and Dilip Tripithy, courtesy of the Grusecks. Check out the new Cincy 2004 pics on our GALLERY page.

Liz and I did two shows at the Canal House Tavern in Tuscarawas, Ohio- our first time there. It turns out the owner is Liz’s second cousin, so it was a reunion of sorts.

One of the joys of touring is playing in familiar towns where we reunite with old friends and fans. Liz and I had a nice time at our Slippery Noodle show in Indianapolis, where we saw friends Stephanie Griffin, Jim & Kate Kirk, and Jack Bailey, who graciously put us up for the night in his beautiful home (Thanks, Jack).

Also, we had a great two nights at the Marietta Brewing Company in Marietta, Ohio (our old stomping grounds) and at Court Grill (Pomeroy, Ohio), where we reunited with many friends from Southeastern Ohio & Parkersburg, West Virginia. Further, we did two shows at Wild Bill’s New American Grill in Lebanon, Ohio, where we stayed with Liz’s sister Mary and her family.

Liz & I played at Brackins Blues Bar in Maryville, Tennessee for the first time on August 27th (this is a fine blues club with a nice stage & house PA). The Maryville Daily Times did a story on us prior to the gig. We then headed south to Chattanooga, Tennessee for our gig at The Tropicana Room (where we saw our good friend, Dr. Russell Linneman- the “blues doctor”) before heading home.

On Friday, Just before Hurricane Frances hit, Liz & I played our homecoming gig at Dave’s Aqualounge to a great crowd of familiar faces. Among the new songs that we’re now doing is “Straight At Me”, a new tune by our friend Terry Gregory (music by Liz). This new song was well-received on our tour, and people are finding it quite danceable. Liz also has a new original entitled “Last Song”; both of these songs will be on our next album. Further, we’ve introduced our new logo-embroidered blues berets, which come in four colors and are available at our shows.

Among our other upcoming Florida gigs, Liz & I will be performing at the Jazz-Up Dunnellon Festival on September 25th, The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel/Casino (Tampa) on September 13th, and at Classic Wax in Sarasota on September 17th. Please check our DATES page for details. Also, we’ll be going to Brussels, Belgium in late November to play at the Brussels Boogie-Woogie Festival.

That’s all for now- Hope to see you at a show soon and thanks to all who made our tour wonderful!

January 28, 2004

Happy New Year, Everybody! Hope the holidays treated you well. 2003, the Year Of The Blues, turned out to be a great year for us, particularly with the release of LIVE FROM ST. PETE. Thanks to all who have purchased this and our other albums.

December was a busy month for us. In early December, we performed in Indianapolis at the annual meeting of the Wabash Valley Power Company, followed by a trip to the Slippery Noodle in Indy, where we played at their Wednesday night Jam Session. It was a wonderful three days, but we were glad to get back to sunny Florida.

John Hammond, one of America’s great acoustic blues artists, showed up at our Caspy’s gig on December 18th following his concert in Gulfport and sat in with Liz on a few songs- quite a treat! We actually hadn’t seen John since we opened for him in 1989 in Marietta, Ohio (see photo in our GALLERY)- great to see John and Marla again.

Thanks to all who joined us New Year’s Eve at the Peninsula Inn in Gulfport. Sax player Mike Delaney performed with us, and it was a good place to ring in the New Year.

We attended our good friend Roy Book Binder’s Birthday Bash in Gulfport in January, where most of the Tampa Bay’s blues luminaries were in attendance, including Norwegian guitar legend Vidar Busk. Check out Roy’s website (on our LINKS page) when you get a chance- he could be playing in your area soon.

If you’re in the Tampa Bay area, please stop in at a show and say hello. Our DATES schedule is kept current daily.

November 18, 2003

We’re in the “nice season” here in Florida (windows open, offshore breezes, sunny, no a/c or heat), and it’s time to update you on what’s been happening. For starters, it was a year ago Sunday that we recorded our CD “LIVE FROM ST. PETE” at Caspy’s, and what a year it’s been since then! The Summer Tour was great- always wonderful to see old friends along the road. Thanks to all who came out to our tour shows and who bought our CDs.

The Queen City Blues Festival in Cincinnati was fabulous as always, where we shared the Arches Boogie-Woogie Piano Stage with Ann Rabson, Big Joe Duskin, Ricky Nye, Rudy Blue Shoes, Rob Rio, Bob Seeley, Mr. B and all the rest. We also performed at the Ribfest in Huntington, West Virginia- thanks to Dave Lavender for the great press in the Herald-Dispatch! While in Huntington, we visited Heritage Station where we laid Diamond Teeth Mary’s ashes to rest on the railroad tracks three years ago.

While playing in Lebanon, Ohio, Liz was thrilled to meet and visit with her great-niece Abrianna, who was six months old in August, had just learned to crawl, and is extremely cute. There is a photo of Liz with Abrianna on our PHOTOS page. Our last stop on the tour was Blind Willie’s in Atlanta, where we had an enthusiastic turnout of blues fans for our show.

Of course, it’s always great to come home to St. Pete after the tour and get back into the swing of things. We’ve begun our Frequent Fan Cards again and have already had two winners (Yankee Bill and Terry Gregory). With their near-constant presence at our local gigs, these two epitomize the Ideal Fans!

Recently, our song “Gotta Get Going” from our new album was released on the Oasis Blues Sampler CD, which goes out to radio stations across the country. Please call your local radio stations to request songs from our new CD. Upcoming events: In early December, we’re flying up to Indianapolis to perform at the annual meeting for the Wabash Valley Power Company. New Year’s Eve, Liz & I will be playing at the Peninsula Inn (Gulfport, Florida) with the fantastic sax man Mike Delaney. Please check our DATES page for showdates and updates. Remember: It’s always a good idea to call the venue to confirm before traveling distances to shows.

Happy Holidays to All!!

July 16, 2003

Liz and I are getting ready to hit the road for our six-week 2003 Summer Tour. We’ll be looking for you along the road in Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia, and we’re bringing our new CD, LIVE FROM ST. PETE, with us. Please check our DATES page for details.

We spent a week in Germany (June 10th – 18th) with Liz’s family while we played for her brother’s wedding. Liz also sat in on piano at Berto’s Pub adjacent to our hotel in Birkenfeld, where they wheeled the piano out on the street for her. While there, we also visited Idar-Oberstein and the ancient city of Trier. A Fantastic time!

Liz & I celebrated our 20th anniversary (June 18th) on the flight home from Germany. Many thanks to Dave Scheiber at the ST. PETE TIMES for the great story (“Blues In The Key Of Love”) which came out the next day. If you haven’t seen it, you can read it via the link to it on our LINKS page.

Thanks to Ken Torvik for the nice review of LIVE FROM ST. PETE in the July/August issue of the TWELVE BAR RAG (Suncoast Blues Society). Also, thanks to Larry Lisk and Pete Gallagher for the radio airplay our new CD has received on WMNF (88.5 FM) in Tampa.

We’ve had a very good and busy year so far. Liz & I played a record twenty-three gigs in March alone. Whew! Thanks to all for your wonderful support this year. To you “northerners,” we’ll see you real soon- to you Floridians, we’ll miss you and look forward to seeing you in September!