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!

February 22, 2003

OUR NEW CD, LIVE FROM ST. PETE, IS FINALLY RELEASED! Our first CD Release Parties were held February 15th, 16th, and 17th at CASPY’S in St. Pete, where the album was recorded November 16th. We’re excited to have finally released our 1st album since 1996 (SIX FINGERS BOOGIE), our 5th album on Upright Records, and our 1st live recording. LIVE FROM ST. PETE contains eighteen songs- roughly half of these have Florida themes. Also included are two Rock Bottom songs and one from Roy Book Binder, along with 14 previously unrecorded originals. LIVE FROM ST. PETE is now available on our STORE page and at all shows. Thanks to everyone who attended the CD Release Parties at Caspy’s and who have bought this CD so far. We’ll be having more CD Release Parties at every town we play throughout the year.

We appreciate the recent feature stories with photos in the following St. Pete press: Paradise News, Beach Beacon, Bayside News, and Beach Life.

We were quite surprised when 19 of Liz’s relatives from Ohio walked into our Caspy’s gig on December 28th! It’s been great having Mama Blues (Doc’s mom) and many of her friends show up at numerous gigs since January; wonderful to see the “snowbirds” again!

We were saddened to learn that our friend MIKE “DIGGER” WALDRON passed away in January. Digger was a harmonica player, music lover and supporter, and he took good care of Diamond Teeth Mary in the final months of her life. We’ll miss you, Digger….

On January 14th, Liz became a great aunt for the first time with the birth of Abrianna Marie. Liz’s only regret is that she won’t be able to see her for awhile.

Hope to see you soon at Caspy’s, where we now play every Sunday and Monday- and be sure to check out our calendar on our DATES page for new venues, such as The Peninsula, Sun Downer’s, Ten Beach Drive, Sloppy Joe’s, etc.