Sugar Ray And The Bluetones are widely considered to be one of the biggest, brightest attractions in the greater-Boston/New England blues scene. And although they haven’t played regularly in New Hampshire since the Rynborn in Antrim closed down, many blues fans north of the border must treasure them. They’re headlining the Granite State Blues Society’s Barnful Of Blues Festival this summer, August 1, in New Boston, New Hampshire.
Racky Thomas and his band are gearing up for another BluesNBrews Festival in Westford, Massachusetts this August 22. Thomas was part of the side stage duo at last year’s BNB and he had his full band there back in the summer of 2009. Thomas also has a new CD coming out at this time, so he is doubly excited.
Marshfield, Massachusetts’s booker-promoter John Hall is a one man utility machine, bringing huge music events to his South Shore community and beyond all year long. Hall, who will be hosting the 20th anniversary of his North River Blues Festival at Marshfield Fair this summer, brings the blues goodies home to many in his greater-Boston music scene. His greatest achievement is likely the North River Blues Festival that runs the second weekend at the Marshfield Far.
Listening to blues bands in a Boston Harbor cruiser while docked at Spectacle Island isn’t that much different from listening to blues in a bar and restaurant. The only difference is you have to get there first to enjoy a cool breathe from the open air setting as the boat cruises across the harbor to its destination. A vibe of anticipation could be felt as the engines work beneath one’s feet and the boat moves with the currents beneath it. Blues guitar licks waft through the air as the first band tunes up. There is nothing quite like standing in the front of the New Boston as it maneuvers closer to its docking point.
Red Sky Mary have been on a roll these past few years. After releasing three CDs, the Portsmouth, New Hampshire based-band has been touring the country. At one stop, they ran out of copies of their latest album, River Child, and had their record company send another batch to their next hotel. Last Saturday night’s show at The Village Trestle was a good display of their musical prowess. While it was a cover song gig, Red Sky Mary did a fine job making other people’s music come to three dimensional life while occasionally injecting some of their catchy original material.