May the blues be with you

. May 14, 2012.
Chris-Canas-feelinit2-cropped

This month’s title may sound like a veiled threat from a long time ago in a galaxy far away, but it is actually a modern day blessing in disguise. The Blues music we’ve inherited from decades of sweat, tears, holler and stomp is still with us. More than ever it is a viable medium to chase away or render hopeful our troubles and misery. Check out our wonderful array of roots music at our local clubs.

Guy Hollerin’s Local Blues & Brews Pub in the Holiday Inn near UM’s campus at Plymouth Rd. & US-23 has the staying power to bring you the finest local blues and roots acts in SE Michigan. They will defrost your Saturday evenings with some red hot music.

Steve Nardella returns for an evening of roots rock-n-roll, jump blues and swing ballads on the 3rd. As a staple of the area music scene since the early 1970’s, and founding member of the Silvertones, Nardella has garnered a repertoire that has been pleasing crowds, appealing to both younger swing dance enthusiasts and their boogie-down parents.

The Saints of Soul return for an energetic evening of R&B, and funk covers that will keep the dance floor full on the 10th. Vocalists Rib Stone and Levi Johnson Jr. lead this nine-piece ensemble that spans the range of popular soul, Motown, and rhythm & blues covers.

The Chris Canas Blues Revolution delivers R&B, gospel and soul influenced blues on the 17th. Canas’s passion for music and depth of style is evident with every smokin’ guitar lick he plays and every note he belts out or croons. Backed by Angie on vocals, Kevin on bass and Mickey Coleman on drums this is one soulful groovin’ blues band.

Jerry Mack &The Terraplanes are drivin’ the blues your way with house rockin’ R&B and roots rock-n-roll on the 24th. Front men Dave Fero on lead guitar, Jim Merte on keyboards, and Joe LaBeau on saxophones, with Al Kalaf on bass and George Eberhardt on drums, lead the dancers through an array of classic tunes that keep the good times rolling all night long.

Chef Chris & His Nairobi Trio is led by the front man, Chef Chris on vocals and harmonica. The band will put you in a blues trance with their stripped down rhythms and urban blues covers on the 31st.

WCBN-FM, Ann Arbor’s student-run community radio at 88.3 FM thanks you for your generous support of their annual on-air fundraiser in February. . The area’s unique alternative experiential radio station is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special brew, The Listenership, served exclusively at Arbor Brewing Co., and a commemorative coffee blend courtesy of the Ugly Mug in Ypsilanti. The station is always seeking interested listeners and supporters. Check ’em out on the radio dial, at 88.3 FM, or on the web at www.wcbn.org.

Hot Tuna returns to The Ark on the 6th. The duet of guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Cassidy has formed one of the longest-lasting relationships of American music in modern times. Their formative years were spent in the Washington DC area. They grew through the psychedelic rock era with the Jefferson Airplane, then transcended to the formation of the original Hot Tuna band with Papa John Creech on violin and Spencer Dryden on drums. In the present incarnation, Jorma and Jack have remained loyal to their blues, jazz, bluegrass, and folk roots. Their acoustic approach to these styles is authentic and refreshing with every performance. 

Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub keeps Main Street thawed out with three hot bands this month. The Shelter Dogs deliver a blend of jump blues, swing, and rock-n-roll covers on the 8th. Michael May & the Messarounds will swing it for you with classic jump blues and rockabilly on the 10th. The Terraplanes cover the blues and roots rock on the 22nd.

Catch guitar wizard Laith al-Saadi every Monday at Woodruff’s in Depot Town Ypsilanti for some great classic rock, pop, blues covers and originals. Dave Boutette and friends host a very cool acoustic open-mic on Tuesdays from 8 to 11PM.

The Tap Room In Ypsilanti hosts an open mic- jam with the Martindales every Thursday.

No word yet about a resurgence of the Friday happy hour that was last hosted by Live at PJ’s. We hope the new owner’s of PJ’s will oblige the multitude of requests to continue that popular local event.