Our 2006 Summer Tour has come to a close as we returned home to St. Pete on Labor Day weekend. We started off our tour at the CINCY BLUES FEST (Cincinnati, OH) on July 29th, our 12th year there and always one of our favorite events of the year. Liz and I were thrilled to hang out with 93-year-old PINETOP PERKINS (Muddy Waters’ piano player), who received an Award, and also played on the Arches Piano Stage (see GALLERY photos). Also, our friend, BARRY MELLITZ, pleasantly surprised us when he showed up at the festival after driving all the way from Connecticut. Further, Liz’s nephew DAVID PENNOCK and his three young children whom we’d never met from Pensacola, Florida also surprised us there. After the Blues Fest, we went with a number of the piano players to ARNOLD’S, Cincy’s oldest bar, where Liz played an old trombone that was hanging on the wall with ROB RIO and RICKY NYE on an old upright piano.
The first week of August found us sharing a gig with Cincy piano great RICKY NYE at CHEZ NORA (Covington, KY). We then played at HOLDERBY’S LANDING in Huntington, WV on August 3rd- a beautiful stage and sound system on the Ohio River but sweltering heat. ALEX KENDALL, who played drums with us some in the 1990’s, came to the show- great to see him again.
Then on to Marietta, Ohio where we did two shows at MARIETTA BREWING COMPANY. Saw a lot of familiar faces there, and our old friend MICHAEL “MOON” MULLENS (Marietta’s mayor) stopped in. After our Marietta show on Saturday night, we met up with our friend and musician extraordinaire MIKE MORNINGSTAR at the Mountaineer Restaurant at 3am for a late-night breakfast and visit. You can check out Mike’s website on our LINKS page.
We did our annual show at the PARKERSBURG MOOSE LODGE on Wednesday, August 9th. This year, we were pleased and surprised to see our friend BOB PEARSON from St. Augustine, Florida. The last time we saw Bob was on the BLUES CRUISE to Cozumel, Mexico in 2001.
Liz and I then went to Lebanon, Ohio, where we did two shows at WILD BILL’S NEW AMERICAN GRILL (Aug. 11 & 12). A fun place with great food and a cool vibe. Liz’s sister MARY, husband PAT, & nieces all came out. Our friend and blues photographer LES GRUSECK, his wife LILYA, and daughter MAYA also came both nights at Wild Bill’s.
The following week, Liz & I played three gigs in the Columbus, Ohio area, all new to us. The first was at THE COPPER PENNY (Buckeye Lake) where we shared the stage with guitarist RIC BOALS and his band- a wild, fun place with lots of partying regulars. More surprise friends & fans at The Copper Penny: JUDY RADA & HARRIET from Florida with various family members; Liz’s relatives the GARRIS’ and sister TRISH & husband DON; and “MAMA BLUES” (Doc’s mom) and the NOBIS’ from New Philly, Ohio.
The following night, we played DONAHUE’S (Springfield, OH), a very cool blues club with appreciative owners and audience. T.C. BROWN, our old friend from Parkersburg, West Virginia surprised us here- we hadn’t seen him in years.
Saturday night found us at ROOP BROTHERS BAR in Delaware, Ohio. This nice club is owned by AL ROOP, a renowned drummer in the Columbus area with the WILLY POOCH BAND and others.
The final leg of the tour was in the Dover/New Philadelphia area of Ohio- my hometown. My son DREW and his wife MARY traveled from Maryland to visit with us and came to our shows at RASCAL’S (Dover, Ohio) and ATWOOD YACHT CLUB. This was our first appearance at Rascal’s, where our longtime friend ALAN STACY showed up. The AYC is our longest-running gig in the country!
We started heading home with our last tour date at SISTER’S COFFEE HOUSE (Princeton, West Virginia) on August 29th. DON BARKER showed up as usual and took us out to dinner after the show. A nice end to the road. Liz & I then holed up in a Motel 6 in Columbia, South Carolina to ride out Hurricane Ernesto until Friday, when we drove home under sunny skies to St. Pete.
Thanks so much to all the venues who booked us this tour, and special thanks to Dr. Leming & Dr. Cody and the Cincy Blues Society, and to Ric Boals & Ricky Nye for sharing their gigs with us; The Gruseck’s, Bookman’s, Benedik’s, and our moms for their hospitality and road accommodations. And special thanks to all of you who came out to the shows and bought albums. We hope that you all continue to support these fine venues and blues clubs so that we can return again next year.