(ROCKLAND, ME) – Live blues returns to the Midcoast Monday night, Feb. 11, and how. The New England Winter Blues Tour, featuring a bunch of Blues fest faves, will play a 7 to 10 p.m. show in the upstairs music room of Time Out Pub, 275 Main St., Rockland, Maine. Admission will be $25 at the door, which opens at 6 p.m.
The tour includes Sugar Ray & The Bluetones featuring Charlie Baty; Rick Estrin; Nick Moss and Joe Moss; Jason Ricci; Jerry Portnoy; and Nick “Mr. Nick” David, the heavily sought-after blues shouter and unorthodox harmonica ace who produces and hosts the show.
Sugar Ray & The Bluetones have been playing their distinctive style of blues for almost 40 years the world over — and all over the genre map, too. Chicago blues, Kansas City swing, Texas blues and Louisiana swamp are all on the dance card. Band leader “Sugar” Ray Norcia on vocals and harmonica; guitarist “Little” Charlie Baty; Anthony Geraci on piano and Hammond organ; Michael “Mudcat” Ward on acoustic and electric bass; and drummer Neil Gouvin have all been featured on other artists’ recordings.
Joe & Nick Moss: The Brothers Moss, two real-deal Chicago blues guitarists, have only ever played as a duo on one other festival, so Time Out Blues fans have a real treat in store. The brothers grew up in the Windy City, and Joe was first to pick up the ax. He introduced young Nick to the blues via a club concert by Little Charlie & the Nightcats (founded by Baty and Estrin). Both have gone on to front their own bands.
Rick Estrin: No one on the blues scene writes or sings like Rick Estrin, he of the wily and unforgettable original songs and hipster, street-smart vocals… and no one looks like him either, always dressed to the nines and sporting his trademark pencil-line mustache and pompadour haircut. He and his band deliver a high-energy show capable of bringing any audience to its feet.”
Jason Ricci: Originally from Maine – is one of the most popular harmonica players on the planet today. His style of playing is so revolutionary and influential that there exists an entire younger generation of players imitating his music, clothes, gear and even stage presence. Nicknamed Moon Cat, Ricci has been an almost constant force for decades in the studio, festivals, club dates and press.
Jerry Portnoy: The New England Winter Blues Tour is particularly rich in harp players. Chicago-born Grammy nominee Jerry Portnoy spent six years as a member of the Muddy Waters Blues Band; another six as leader of the Legendary Blues Band; four years at the head of his own band The Streamliners; and another four as a featured member of the Eric Clapton Band.
The weekly Monday series continues Feb. 18 with Gracie Curran ($15). Shows are subject to change. For more information, visit the North Atlantic Blues Festival site and click on the Time Out Blues link; call 596-6055; or email. Also on the site are information and ticket sales for this summer’s North Atlantic Blues Festival.