The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Ohlman, Montgomery to open Bridge Street Live

- By Domenic Forcella

One of Connecticu­t’s premier listening rooms roars back to life Friday, when Bridge Street Live reopens with a show by two of the state’s favorite performers, harmonica ace James Montgomery and “The Beehive Queen” Christine Ohlman.

Montgomery works hard to keep the blues as a vital entertainm­ent choice. Whether he’s recording with Kid Rock or fronting his hot band of 30 years, Montgomery plays with authority. While growing up in Detroit, he learned first-hand from the masters James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, and Jr. Wells. Over the years, he’s carried on in the tradition and continues to be an active presence in Blues as one of the most dynamic performers on the scene.

At this event, Montgermy will be inducted into the class of 2022 of the New England Music Hall of Fame.

Christine Ohlman continues as the queen of blueeyed rock n’ soul. She grew up loving both the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff. In honor of Ronnie Spector she teased her blonde hair into a beehive and never looked back. Ohlman picked up a guitar and forged a career as a songwriter in the process. Ohlman tours relentless­ly, rockin’ clubs up and down the Eastern Seaboard. She is the current, long-time vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band, and was featured with the B52’s and Jimmy Fallon during the recent SNL 40th Anniversar­y post-show concert. Cliff Goodwin guests on guitar.

Sunday, Ohlman headlines the Goshen Fair with the James Montgomery Band and will close out Northwest Connecticu­t’s premier festival fair stage. Join these two to celebrate Labor Day.

Also on Sunday, Jr Krauss and the Shakes will play the Goshen Fair from 12 to 2 p.m.

Before the fair, Ohlman will rock the Rhythm and Roots Festival 2021 in Rhode Island, for “Sunday School with Christine Ohlman.” Join the Beehive Queen with Rebel Montez (Cliff Goodwin, Lorne Entress & Michael Colbath) plus The Sin Sisters (Patti Rahl, Kathy Kessler, Janice Ingarra) and a special appearance on guitar Frank Viele. The show starts a 1 p.m. in the Ninigret ParkRoots Stage, aka “The Gospel Tent.”

Under the big tent, “Sunday School” has become a roof-raising tradition at this festival, which showcases a wide array of musical styles on three stages such as Cajun, Zydeco, blues, country, bluegrass, Americana and many other genres.

Some of the featured favorites include Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys Quartet and Donna the Buffalo, along with Richard Thompson, Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, The New Orleans Suspects, and Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys.

Friday at Chateau Le Gari in Marlboro, you can catch the Bayou Boogie, an all day music festival from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with Ramblin Dan Stevens, Scott Fellows, Jim Carpenter & The Hoolios, and Vince Thompson & Friends.

The main event is Steve

Riley & The Mamou Playboys. A jam session will finish the day. Food trucks supplying Creole foods such as gumbo, jambalaya, red beans rice, sausage fried shrimp, fried catfish, and po boys will be available.

Besides the Bayou Boogie, Dan Stevens has a number of other shows. Saturday, he plays Olde Mistick Village at 2 p.m. and Joe’s Filling Station that evening. Sunday is Tour d’Lyme at 11 a.m. with the Lyme Land Trust. He concludes the week Wednesday Sarah’s Wine Bar.

Friday, Scott Sharrard & Friends provide something ,a little different by going green| celebratin­g the music of Grant Green, “Green is Beautiful.” Grammy nominee Scott Sharrard & Friends celebrate the work of unsung hero, sublime blues interprete­r and jazz guitarist, Grant Green (1935-1979) at the Falcon Main Stage.

The Orb Mellon Trio, playing original swamp boogie at its finest, has a busy three days. Friday they play Hartford’s Half Door. Then Saturday they are at Theodores’. Sunday you’ll find them at Housatonic Brewing at 6 p.m.

Blues on the Rocks will play Bishop’s Orchards

Summer Concert Series on Friday; meanwhile, the Tony Ferrigno Band is at the Windmill.

Friday also has the Bone Dry Trio is at Notch8 Bar and Grill and the BanC House has an outside show that Adelaide Punkin is part of the line-up. The Good Luck Blues Band returns to Walrus Alley on Friday.

Sunday, the Rowayton Summer Music Festival has a variety of music including Eric Lindell & The Natural Mystics and Jamie McLean Band, Monday Lindell is at Milestone in Redding.

Thursday. Cassandra (of the Knighthawk­s) has a solo show at the Station House Wine Bar & Grill.

Thursday. The Falcon Main Stage has Big Joe Fitz & The Lo-Fis. Soulful, swinging, pre-rock era blues and more.’ Big Joe Fitz & The Lo-Fis, deliver an eclectic playlist of American classics, ranging from Bobby Bland to Johnny Mercer to Ernest Tubb and beyond.

See the Connecticu­t Blues Society for more gig listings: weekly-calendar Any questions or comments should be sent to Domenic Forcella at

 ?? Domenic Forcella / Contribute­d photo ?? Christine Ohlman and James Montgomery re-open Bridge Street Live on Sept. 3.
Domenic Forcella / Contribute­d photo Christine Ohlman and James Montgomery re-open Bridge Street Live on Sept. 3.

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