Delta Blue books bands for holiday

LAKE PLACID – Delta Blue at the Northwoods Inn will host a myriad of live bands throughout the holiday season, including Brian Ready and Fade to Blues tonight, George Boone Friday, Funk Wagon Saturday, the Dave Keyes Band Sunday and Money and, for New Year’s Eve, Mark Emanatian and Soul Sky.

All shows will go on from 9 p.m. to midnight.

About the bands

Former southern Connecticut resident and guitar slinger, Brian B. Ready, relocated to the Adirondacks in 2008.

After performing with numerous bands in and around Fairfield and Westchester Counties, and in New York City for 15 years, he formed Fade to Blues in December 2005. The band entered the Connecticut Blues Society’s annual Blues Challenge a month later and was one of the top three blues bands in the state for three years running. Their CD entitled “In the Dark,” was released in May 2006 and received regional, national, European and South American airplay.

A typical evening’s set list includes songs from many Texas guitar legends like Johnny Winter, SRV, Albert Collins and Freddie King, as well as some funk, classic rock, fusion, a little bit of swing, as well as Fade to Blues originals. In this two guitar blues band, there are Cuttin’ contests throughout the evening. Listeners can also look for some guitar duels and stage theatrics.

Dressed to the nines in the obligatory fine suit, gold, leather, fur collar and the patented G clef etched into the hair on the back of his head, electric bluesman George Boone immediately changes the atmosphere of any room he’s in.

“Stranger in My Hometown,” Boone’s debut album was cut in one afternoon in a converted church studio in Rensselaer. Veteran blues critic Don Wilcox calls George Boone “one of the best blues guitarists/singer/songwriters in the world”.” And he says of the album, “Angry isn’t a strong enough word to describe the dangerous and predatory emotions laid down and burned off in this fantastic album recorded in one day at Cathedral Sound.”

Like so many in blues, George Boone had to wait decades for his recording “debut.” Gulf Coast blues legend Phillip Walker cut Boone loose from his band in 1987. The young firebrand had already toured Europe with Walker, sharing festival stages in Germany, France and Holland with Robert Cray, Johnny Littlejohn, Jimmy Rogers, and Wild Child Butler.

Boone’s late father began taking his 8-year-old son to live performances along “the Miracle Mile” in New York’s Capital Region more than four and a half decades ago. By the age of 12, George was on stage with these same performers, closing his eyes to block out the fear as he showed them he’d learned his lessons well.

While compared to everyone from jazz master Wes Montgomery to the late Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, with whom he also toured, Boone says a big influence also, was sax player Hank Johnson whom he met while Johnson was doing 25 to life.

Since 1987, Boone has been honing his crack band in hometown Schenectady.

The group has won numerous Best Blues Band awards and represented the Northeast Blues Society in Memphis at the Blues Foundation International Blues Talent Contest where they were written up in a five-page article in The King Biscuit Times Blues Journal. George is supported on stage by veteran performers Raoul Bowman on Bass, Tim Fiato on Keyboard, and Mark McKay on drums.

Funk Wagon is a gospel infused funk band based in Burlington, Vt. The band was formed in 2005 by Aaron Burroughs.

“I like to think of it as a church with a smoker’s section and a bar,” Burroughs said.

Funkwagon is not a typical funk band, as the name might suggest. “Well, for one thing, it’s very vocal oriented,” Burroughs said. “We pay attention to our lyrics. It’s popular: it’s pop music in a way that hook oriented, and bass driven, but we have five and sometimes six part harmonies stacked on top of it all, so it really does feel kind of like a choir.”

Burroughs grew up with music playing a large role in his life. He sang in church choirs and always had a piano in his home. A Michigan native, he came to Vermont in 2005 with the idea of creating a band with his unique choral/gospel/funk style.

“Everything I do kind of has that church choir feel to it, but it’s kind of raw but not in a way that’s imposing and won’t be on the radio. You know what I mean?”

New York City Keyboardist and band leader Dave Keyes has just released his 4th CD, “Roots in the Blues,” features Dave’s songwriting and his award-winning band augmented by the guitar work of Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm) and Popa Chubby.

Dave has been a mainstay on the New York music scene for more than 20 years. This varied musical journey started in the spiritual Southern sounds of blues, soul and classic boogie-woogie, and continues through Dave’s recent CDs and his vibrant soulful live shows. Their many festival appearances include King Biscuit Blues Festival, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, the Chicago Blues Fest, and France’s legendary Cognac Blues Fest, where Dave has also been featured as a solo performer, as well as annual appearances at the Lugano Switzerland’s Blues to Bop Festival.

Dave has also worked as sideman for a who’s who of roots music masters, such as Bo Diddley, Sleepy La Beef, Big Jay McNeely, Eddy Clearwater, Tracy Nelson, Wayne and Ronnie Baker Brooks, and the late Ruth Brown, in addition to accompanying such diverse artists as Gladys Knight, Pam Tillis, David Johansen, and the late Lou Rawls. He currently appears frequently with bluesman Popa Chubby.

Soul Sky is a new, bluesy, jammy rock and roll band formed in late 2012 with Blues Hall of Famer, Mark Emanatian, Jeremy Walz, Tom Dolan, and Josh Bloomfield.

It was formed out of the merger of two great Northeast bands that had had enjoyed years of success, Folding Sky, led by Mark, and Right Coast Soul, led by the dynamic Jeremy Walz. These two award winning guitarists, vocalists and songwriters are joined by the killer rhythm section of Josh Bloomfield on drums and Tom Dolan on bass. Together they form a band that combines original material with unique versions of classic blues, delta blues, Chicago blues, and an eclectic array of other rock and soul tunes.

Emanatian made his name playing for 11 years with Ernie Williams and the Wildcats.

The band is also known for their charitable work in raising money for homeless programs, food pantries, and veterans’ causes. Soul Sky is currently recording its first album of original material that is scheduled for a late summer release.