Thursday, June 30, 2011

Beldon's Blues Points June 30, 2011

Steve Simon is known for an annual blues festival in the Virgin Islands; the “Bluzapalooza” tours bringing live blues to troops and other U.S. personnel in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Egypt; as well as the upcoming “Bluestock” festival in New York State.
For twenty years, Michael Cloeren organized the Pocono Blues Festival. This summer he too will start a new venture, The Pennsylvania Blues Festival in Palmerton, Pennsylvania.
Now the two prominent blues promoters have joined forces. Cloeren has joined Simon’s company, Steve and Jeff Simon Presents, as Vice President of Artist Relations.
“Michael is an award-winning concert producer and promoter who founded the Pocono Blues Festival 20 years ago,” e-mailed Simon, whose Bluzapalooza shows have featured Michael Burks, Shemekia Copeland, Deanna Bogart, Zac Harmon, Janiva Magness and others. “He is one of the true ‘gems’ in our business and when he informed me that he had the time to devote to more Blues events I immediately reached out and offered him an opportunity to join our organization…He is now responsible for all artist relations during each of our concerts and festivals.”
Cloeren founded the Pocono Festival in 1992 at Jack Frost/Big Boulder Ski Area in Pennsylvania and in 2009 started a second festival in Vermont. Last year, Jack Frost Big Boulder discontinued the festival citing economic concerns and let Cloeren go. He then started his own production company.
Scheduled for July 30-31 at the Blue Mountain Ski Festival, the Pennsylvania Blues Festival will feature Shemekia Copeland, Bettye Lavette, Kenny Neal, the Lee Boys, Big Daddy Stallings and Magic Slim and the Tear Drops, among others.
Describing the music community as “close-knit,,” Cloeren emailed he knew Simon through “mutual friends.” “My goal will be to make the artists feel at home,” he wrote. “And the better they feel, the better performances we usually witness.”
Cloeren will play a big part in Simon’s Bluestock, which will feature Buddy Guy, Elvin Bishop, Tab Benoit, Ronnie Baker Brooks and others in a festival scheduled for August 26-28 at New York State’s Hunter Mountain—about twenty minutes from the site of Woodstock, the famed 1969 rock concert.
“At Bluestock 2011, Michael will be the point person to work with all of the bands, from transportation to housing to meals to performance” wrote Simon.
Simon will not be involved in the Pennsylvania Blues Festival--at least this year. “But who knows what the future will bring?” he wrote.

We’ve also had music sent by readers. "Yoga Girl,” is from Scott Wilson and the Contradictions, a band based in San Diego:

“We've been playing at Claire de Lune in San Diego every two weeks for five months and we're doing mostly electric gigs right now,” Wilson wrote. “We recently played the San Diego County Fair on opening night, and we're looking for gigs in LA.”

He described how his group recorded “Yoga Girl:”

"The song was recorded in six different home studios in San Diego (3), Portland, L.A., and Pennsylvania. The parts were all transferred by FTP and mixed in a home studio in San Diego. It was a collaboration done by email and FTP sharing programs. At least two of the solos were recorded directly into the computer and then re-amped in another studio and mic'ed back into the computer. Most of it was recorded in Digital Performer but one of the solos was recorded direct through ProTools LE. So the tools were simple but the process was not. This sort of process is becoming increasingly common but I'm not sure how much of it is going on at an independent level. I'm sure it's becoming extremely commonplace, but it's a recent innovation for making music."
He added he is looking for a yoga studio to help him shoot a video.

We also heard from bassist Freddy Valeriani, who sent his MySpace page containing some of his songs. His website is in Spanish, which I was able to read somewhat with help from a BIG English-Spanish dictionary. From what I could hear, his sound is what could be described more as jazz than blues, but I'm not trying to be a traditionalist with this. I'll feature stuff if it sounds good, and his does. Besides, it all goes back to the blues anyway, right?

As for upcoming events, we heard this from the BluesAholics
of Southern California:

Hello fellow BluesAholics... are we just the luckiest bunch of BluesAholics in the whole of Southern California! It just goes on & on... with our fabulous local talent! As promised, the BluesAholics have put together an incredible awesome foot stompin and major groove list of some of our favorite Blues Artist Shows from all over. So.. if you live there or over here or down the road... you'll have a fabulous time representin' and testifin' to da Blues! Go out there & get ya some! And be sure to make some noise... :>)

They listed the following up coming shows. If you are out that way, check them out:

7.8.11 The 44's @ Gallagher's Huntington Beach Contact: (also playing in Fullerton, Reseda, Fresno etc)
7.7.11 Tom Ball @ Savoy Santa Barbara Contact:
7.8.11 Rob Rio @ Yolie's Ventura Contact:
7.9.11 White Boy James @ Regal Inn Lakewood CA Contact:
7.9.11 2000 Lbs of Blues @ Renaissance Dana Point Contact:
7.21.11 Johnny Mastro @ Savoy Santa Barbara Contact:
7.14.11 Jimmy Claire @ Savoy Santa Barbara Contact:
7.23.11 R & B Bombers @ Nick's Taste of Texas Contact:
7.29.11 Gary Allegretto @ Harvelle's Santa Monica Contact:
7.29.11 Dona Oxford @ Yolies Ventura Contact:

And Scott Robertson contacted us about a special event in Nashville for bass players. Here are the basics:

Wanna Play Music Day at 2011 Summer NAMM
Saturday, July 23
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Nashville Convention Center, Nashville, TN
Tickets: $15, $20 after July 8

And here is a link:

Keep letting us know what y'all are doing out there. We have readers in other countries, so this means you too. Contact us at and we'll do our best to put it out there....

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