Cozy blues in­side on a cold af­ter­noon

Fans find a mu­si­cal par­adise at the weekly Got Blues Mati­nee and Jam in Char­lot­te­town

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - Todd MacLean Todd MacLean is a lo­cal free­lance writer and mu­si­cian. If you have a com­ment or sug­ges­tion for a re­view, you can get in touch with him at tmaclean@the­guardian.pe.ca or at 626-1242. But he won’t be of­fended if you don’t.

“An­other great show in par­adise!” is how one de­voted fan of the weekly Got Blues Mati­nee de­scribed last Satur­day’s fiery af­ter­noon of blues mu­sic at The Fac­tory Cook­house & Dance­hall.

And when the wind is howl­ing cold out­side while the blues are fir­ing things up in­side, it cer­tainly feels like there’s no bet­ter place to be on a win­ter week­end af­ter­noon.

Now in its sixth sea­son, the Got Blues Mati­nee and Jam is a mu­si­cal main­stay looked for­ward to each week by blues mu­sic fans from all over the Is­land, from Septem­ber through to June.

Hosted by the P.E.I. elec­tric blues band Got Blues (with Chris Roum­ba­nis on vo­cals/bass, Mike Ro­bicheau on gui­tar/vo­cals and Reg Bal­lagh on drums), the mati­nee al­ways fea­tures a dif­fer­ent spe­cial guest each week for the first set, with the sec­ond set be­ing a blues jam.

Last Satur­day the fea­tured guest was found­ing mem­ber of The Sad­dle River String Band, tal­ented Is­land guitarist/singer James Phillips.

“Wel­come to The Fac­tory on a Satur­day af­ter­noon, folks!” said the af­ter­noon’s host Roum­ba­nis, as he greeted the Fac­tory room, where no ta­bles were left avail­able amid the great early-Jan­uary turnout for the show.

Pre­sent­ing a Muddy Wa­ters theme for the show, the band fo­cused in on play­ing a hand­ful of greats from the leg­endary fa­ther of mod­ern Chicago blues - wellde­liv­ered tunes led by Phillips on lead vo­cals and elec­tric gui­tar, like I’m Ready, Blow Wind Blow, Baby Please Don’t Go and Cale­do­nia.

Also of note that day was the fact that drum­mer Al­bert Kays was fill­ing in for Bal­lagh on the kit, and will be for the rest of the win­ter while Bal­lagh is on a wellde­served va­ca­tion down south.

“Reg is sip­ping drinks down in Puerto Rico right now,” laughed Roum­ba­nis be­tween songs at one point.

A new­comer to the P.E.I. blues scene, vo­cal­ist/guitarist Ray Holden also hopped up be­fore the first set was through, and with a soul­ful, grav­elly voice he piped out a couple of tunes, in­clud­ing Muddy Wa­ters’ Got My Mojo Workin’.

Holden re­cently won the chance to go to the In­ter­na­tional Blues Chal­lenge in Mem­phis at the end of Jan­uary, rep­re­sent­ing On­tario as a re­gional fi­nal­ist, and Holden will cer­tainly prove to be an as­set to P.E.I.’s blues com­mu­nity now that he has re­lo­cated to be an Is­lan­der.

The sec­ond set’s blues jam fea­tured per­form­ers like drum­mer Mark McKear­ney, drum­mer Bill Dobbin, trum­peters Neil Knud­son and Josh Un­der­hay, guitarist Graeme Hunter, har­mon­ica player Colin Camp­bell, melod­ica player Spencer Solo­duka and vo­cal­ist John Bar­rett, who rocked the room solidly with Flip, Flop, Fly.

And it all fin­ished with a bang, fea­tur­ing a 10-piece band on stage as they jammed out Hen­drix’s Lit­tle Wing as a wild fi­nale, which gar­nered a stand­ing ova­tion from the crowd.

But of course, this is all just par for the Blues Mati­nee course - all for what would sim­ply be called “an­other day in par­adise.”

The Got Blues Mati­nee con­tin­ues tomorrow at The Fac­tory at 2:30 p.m. with guest Joey Kit­son. Jan. 16 will fea­ture guest Colin Camp­bell, while Jan. 23 will present John Cain and Neil Knud­son as the guests.

The first Blues Mati­nee of the month is a themed show, and the first Satur­day in Fe­bru­ary will fea­ture vo­cal­ist/pi­anist Jon Re­hder (also known as “P.E.I.’s Tom Waits”) for a Tom Waits trib­ute.

For more in­for­ma­tion and up­dates on the se­ries, visit the Got Blues Mati­nee Face­book page at www.face­book.com/groups/306 169336775/

Next week: Win­ter­jazz tomorrow at The Pour­house with spe­cial guest vo­cal­ist Erin Costelo.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.