Bluz is on the move and alive and well on Long Island.
For most of my adult life I have been living on this island we call Long Island. Just minutes from New York City, one of the major music entertainment cities in the world. As music fans and artists we have been exposed to many forms of music from our early childhood up to the present day. Growing up with Do-Wop, the summer of love, 70’s power rock, the 80’s hair bands, the 90’s alternative and then back to our classic rock days. But the root of all our listening is and always was “The Blues.”
On Long Island, the Blues is as prominent today, just as any other genre of music being played live in our local music venues. Some may say that the Blues originated in the “Deep South” at the end of the 19th century. Rumor has it at the Cross Roads in Memphis, Tennessee when Robert Johnson makes his famous deal. But here on Long Island, in the not too distant past, growing up we had the likes of Little Buster and the Soul Brothers and the one and only Sam “The BluzMan” Taylor. Sam’s music is not only well known here on Long Island but is being covered by other blues artists. Particularly, Rachelle Coba from Wichita, Kansas by way of Miami, Florida just released her CD, “Mother Blues” and covered Sam’s “Blues on the Move.”
Recently, in honoring Sam’s legacy to the Long Island Blues and Music scene, Victor Calabro, made certain that Sam is not forgotten. On Uncle Vic’s birthday we not only celebrated his birthday, but on the anniversary of Sam’s passing there was an impressive gathering of many Long Island musicians that played with Sam or were his contemporaries. Eric, the proprietor of Bobbieques located in Patchogue, Long Island provided the venue and made sure this event was such a success.
Playing Sam’s music on this incredible evening was Long Island’s own consummate harp man, Frank Latorre, renowned drummer, Mario Staiano, bassist, Gary Grobe, flawless keyboardist, Danny Kean and guitarist, Gary Sellers. The icing on the cake was Sam’s daughter, Sandra on vocals. It was a totally incredible evening. Very sorely missed were disciples, JP Blues and Heather Hardy.
But to make things even more amazing were the special guests such as, Pamela Betti, Joseph Felicetta of the 60’s invasion, Nancy Garzino D”erasmo of Blue Tourmaline and Sterling Bailey on saxophone, just to name a few. We heard songs like “Darling Be Home Soon,” “Tired of Being Alone” and “Keep on Keeping On.” Pam Betti’s “Got My Mojo Working” and Joseph Felicetta’s “When Something’s Wrong With My Baby” made this evening even better, if that was possible.
Not only did the musician’s come out to perform and honor a friend and mentor, but other musician’s lingered in the audience soaking up the blues and this honoring event. We had Frank and Kathy Patterson, Dawn Delouise Banks, June Eysel, John Vop and Suzanne and Frank Foschino. Mark Klein of the Long Island Blues Warehouse and WUSB’s Sam Taylor Blues Show could not miss this event. Last but not least there were the Long Island Blues fans that came from all parts of Long Island for this celebration of the Bluz man and his music. From the Nassau/Queens boarder, from Montauk and Orient Point. Once again, Long Island’s local music scene came out for a special event. All having tons of fun between every song and leaving with peace, love and happiness.
The Bluz is on the move and still alive and strong on Long Island