Lowcountry Blues Bash
Charleston, South Carolina
February 9-18, 2007
Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ in Charleston, South Carolina has emerged as one of the south's premiere blues clubs. Opening in late 2006, owner/operators Aaron Seigel and Randy Abraham have put their heads together to create the best BBQ, the best bourbons, and the best music, offering all in a quaint, rustic atmosphere that aludes to some of the most prominent jukejoints and honky tonks around the region.
Using Gary Erwin's (Shrimp City Slim) Lowcountry Blues Bash as a springboard for success, FRHTBBQ introduced an incredible line-up for this year's festival. Featured on this year's bill was Michele and the Midnight Blues, Big Bill Morganfield, local bluesman and Home Team House Man Davis Coen, Lil' Dave Thompson, and many other local and regional performers.
Michele and the Midnight Blues kicked the event off at Fiery Ron's, performing an eclectic mix of originals standards as well as twisting some favorite rock and roll songs into a blues flavor. Michele Seidman can be heard on many radio stations throughout the USA and abroad, in part to their first commercial CD release Eyes Set to Midnight and their appearance at the 2006 International Blues Challenge.
Next up on the Home Team stage was Big Bill Morganfield, the son of the late blues legend Muddy Waters. The largest turnout for the venue to date, Big Bill packed a sellout crowd into the BBQ joint, treating the energetic crowd to two full sets of standards and originals including "Mannish Boy," "Blues in the Blood" and "Champagne and Reefer." Accompanied on stage by lead guitarist Brian Bisesi, who in 1978 was invited by Big Bill's father to replace an ill Luther 'Guitar Jr.' Johnson. Also accompanying Big Bill was Larry Griffith on drums, Cindy Adler on stand-up bass, and Lil Joe Burton on trombone, all responsible for the crowds' high level of participation.
Midway through the week The Home Team House Man, Davis Coen added a relaxed set to the line-up as the only acoustic act of the week. Supporting his newest release Can't Get There From Here, Davis' performances of his originals such as "Fool's Gold," "Soft of Heaven" and "What's Wrong" as well as traditionals like "Prodigal Son" and his twist on Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Going Nowhere" provided the warmup he needed. Davis is heading out on his annual trek to the jukejoints of Mississippi, so be on the lookout.
The final highlight of a successful blues festival took the stage on February 17 in the form of Lil Dave Thompson. Hailing from Hinds County Mississippi, Dave Lonzo Thompson treated the audience to the most intricate guitar playing by a featured musican. His guitar solos combined the buzz-saw solos of Albert King and the sweet, metallic sting of Little Milton. Supporting his latest release Got to Get Over You, Lil Dave brought all of his energy and stamina to the Home Team this cold February evening.
The success for this year's blues bash is still being evaluated; however, such great local acts as The Michael Garrett Band, The James Garner Band, and Cotton Blue Band as well as out-of-town up-and-comers such as The Rev. J. Peyton's Big Damn Band and Jon Short cannot be overlooked.
Success is seen in the way those boys at the Home Team love their blues.
Success is seen in the way Gary Erwin promotes his festival.
Next year's performances promise to be off the hook.