One of Florida’s longest-running and most accomplished bands, The Backtrack Blues Band, has performed high-energy, Chicago-style blues continuously since its founding in 1980. The group has established a strong reputation for creative songwriting through six CDs and one DVD of original music — all of which charted on the U.S. blues radio charts.
The quintet’s latest masterpiece of an album, Make My Home in Florida, is an exciting in-concert collection that’s the next best thing to experiencing them in the flesh, capturing the group as it lights up the stage of the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg. The set list ranges from stone classics of the blues genre (B.B. King’s “Woke Up This Morning,” Sonny Boy Williamson II’s “Your Funeral and My Trial,” T-Bone Walker’s immortal “T-Bone Shuffle,” to Sonny Charles originals such as “Heavy Built Woman,” “Shoot My Rooster” and the title track.
The members of Backtrack bring with them authenticity and immense talent. Sonny Charles is an accomplished harmonica player whose tone recalls Little Walter and Paul Butterfield, while Kid Royal, whose style was influenced by the great Texas guitar players, is widely respected as one of Florida’s top players. Joe Bencomo is an exceptional drummer who has played in Tampa Bay blues and jazz bands for 40 years; Little Johnny Walter adds solid rhythm guitar and backup vocals; and bassist Stick Davis was a founding member of the Amazing Rhythm Aces (of “Third Rate Romance” fame). The Backtrack Blues Band has appeared with legendary blues artists from B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Stevie Ray Vaughan to Gregg Allman, Robert Cray and Johnny Winter. The group has garnered three Tampa Bay Music Awards as the area’s “Best Blues Band.”
“Charles is a top-class harp player and there is much of the muscular power of Kim Wilson in his playing. [Kid] Royal is a fine lead guitarist, playing solos and fills that flow with an almost inevitable certainty, sounding like Freddie King with a hint of Albert Collins.” – Rhys Williams (UK)