Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gainesville Blues Challenge - North Central Florida Blues Society Throws a Blues Party!

North Central Florida Blues Society
Gainesville Blues Challenge, Sept 2, 2012.
Dirty Bar
2441 Northwest 43rd Street
Gainesville, FL 32606 (352)373-1141

The local competition to determine who will represent the NCFBS in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge in 2013 was held on Sunday, September 2, 2012 and the winners are:

Mark Armbrecht (acoustic bass) & Barbara Armbrecht (vocals & acoustic guitar)

R. Mutt Blues Band

The competitors, in order of presentation, included:
Wicked Son - Johnny Lindsay & Kirby Stanley
Bridget Kelly & Tim Fik

Bridget Kelly Band
R. Mutt Blues Band

Wicked Son
Johnny Lindsay & Kirby Stanley
The name of the band “Wicked Son" comes from a Canned Heat song " on the road again "  "My dear mother left me when I was quite young , she said, Lord have mercy on my wicked son."
John's Story
"Kirby and I have only just started working together. I was the bassist and lead vocalist for ”The Craggier White Band" for 7 years. Kirby was our guitar tech. that's how I met him. At the time he was only 15 yrs. old and we had to have an Alachua sheriff’s permission slip to take him on the road with us. The tour was national and through a talent agency so we had to toe the line. We were called “Rainbow Bridge" and did a Hendrix tribute for three years. I have played on the blues and rock and roll scene for 40 years. I was accepted into the west Texas state university music program, so I have some classical training. I’ve been on stage with BB King, Luther Allison, James Cotton, Big-boy Kruddup, Johnny Winter, and many other luminaries. I’m a real hard headed sob and I refuse to toe the line, so I play single a lot. I just returned from Europe in 2009 after touring 2 1/2 yrs. solo, mainly in Austria, Germany, Holland, and the Czech Republic. I had some major health issues and laid low until just a few months ago when my doctor prescribed "singing and guitar playing as a comprehensive exercise regime." God bless her! I have the written prescription if you don't believe me. I play guitar, bass guitar and bass viol, harmonica, and I sing.  My guitar is an old Washburn, Mahogany Dreadnought. I don't think it is made anymore. When I first got out of the hospital in late '09 my next door neighbors were a young couple whose daughter needed kidney dialysis twice a week. Their car broke down and since I wasn't doing anything I took her to the hospital for about 3 months till they got another car. The father went in his house and brought that guitar to me. He said "my mom bought it for me so I’d quit smoking and I never did. That was ten years ago so my wife and I want you to have it ". I had had to sell everything I owned to save my life. That guitar restored my spirit. I don't know what Kirby plays. He’ll have to tell you that. Suffice it to say we're in it for the music, not what kind of guitar you have."
Kirby's Story
"Well, my grandfather played steel guitar for Hank Williams Sr. way back in the day & my father played steel guitar in Nashville for awhile, so music is very rooted in my background. I started playing guitar in 1986 @ age 12. I was born in Gainesville & raised in High Springs by my mother after my parents split up. I didn't have any real traditional training in music other than through school playing the alto saxophone. Having hard times through school with my peers, I believe I used the guitar as a way to get away from everything. It got to a point where I would skip school & stay home to play guitar all day.
My first real influence in guitar was a friend named Bobby Kato who lived across the street while living ibn Lake City with my father. He showed me 3 chords & tried to describe to me how you could change them around to make small simple songs. He was a KISS fan as well & we would talk about how Ace Frehley would structure his solos & such. He also introduced me to such players as Malmsteen, Vai, & Satriani. Once finding a cassette tape of Jimi Hendrix I had found another calling. Through Hendrix is how I found the blues. Over the past 20 years I've heard A LOT of players from every genre of music & there’s something I like about all of them. But when I hear the blues, it just seems a little real to me than anything else. Almost just like a feeling of being at home & being able to kick your feet up.
My first live performance was down at a small bar in Lake City that doesn't exist anymore with my father while he was down visiting. I didn't own my own electric guitar at the time, so my father put down a payment for me on a Telecaster at a pawn shop. I was never very happy or confident in singing very much, so I mostly backed other bands or people up. At that time it made me feel more comfortable. But as of late, I'm finding my own voice & becoming more & more confident about it. Theres also not really any bar or club in north Central Florida that I haven't played at some point in time. I guess thats about it."
Booking info: 386-454-0471 or

"Barbara and I are grateful that we'll be able to represent our region of Florida in Memphis but we are more grateful for the reception we have received by the music community in this wonderful town."
"The bass is a Martin EB1. Several years ago I decided that I needed a bass sitting around the house so I could pick it up when the urge hit instead of pulling out the amp and the rig. So I started searching. None of the acoustics I played sounded worth a damn. So I called my friend Roger Hoard back up north who is a Martin performing artist and asked him if Martin built a bass. He said yes. I said I want one. He called his buddy at the factory and was told that they quit making them. Roger said he  needed one more. The dude got up from his computer went back in the warehouse and found it and shipped it to me. That was seven years ago. I love it. It is really sweet for jazz and works great for the set that Barbara and I do."
Booking info:

Jim McKay - vocals
Bryan Blair -bass
Richard Groene -guitar
Chazz Scales -guitar
Ben Andrews - drums
Jim Reynolds - congas

Bridget Kelly Band
Bridget Kelly Band is a smokin' hot blues band that plays original music (with a new CD scheduled for release in December 2012).  The group also performs covers of artists like B.B. King, T. Bone Walker, Muddy Waters, Bernard Allison, Allman Brothers, and many others.  The band’s original compositions have been featured on Qquincy's Blues Show on WXJZ (Smooth Jazz) in Gainesville… and the group enjoys playing a host of  music venues and festivals across North and Central Florida.  The group features Bridget Kelly – vocals, Tim Fik – guitar and vocals, Mike Hamm – bass, and Michael Barady – drums.  Members of the group hail from Gainesville and Palatka, Florida.
The Story, as related by Tim Fik (JBF's "Guitarist of the Night" award winner)
“It was an uplifting experience... one of those treasured life memories. We find the blues community to be a very supportive and loving one... and the friendships made here will always be cherished. All in all, a good time was had by all last night... and our band really stepped up to the challenge.  We viewed our performance as successfull on several levels.  We played mostly original tunes... and they were very well received... judging by audience response.  It was a blast to get the crowd engaged in the show... and we gave it our all.  And I think that the people got their money's worth.  Personally, it was a memorable gig... as we were be able to get into "the zone" and channel the blues and its vibe directly from the source out to the crowd... and I think the crowd picked up on that... that was cool.  It's always magical when you get into the zone and share the life energy with your audience.... nothing like it.  That's what the blues is all about... conveying emotion and transferring those emotions and energy to and from the source.  It was both real and surreal!  Man, it was electric!
In addition, it was an honor to play for such a distinguished panel of judges... and I think we made some new friends and fans.  Our group believes in borrowing from the blues of the past... bringing it to the surface of the present (the holy instant if you will)... and laying it down just right and fresh... moving the blues forward.  It's all about the give and take of those glorious moments when the music moves us... sharing the experience... and being richer for it.
On another note, I think Rob Richardson is doing an amazing job with the NCFBS... his leadership is inspiring.  He has become a blues guru around here... and his efforts have not only kept the blues alive... they have advanced the blues.  The blues challenge has become a sacred and honored tradition in Gainesville.  And we look forward to participating again next year.'
Bridget Kelly Band -- Set List
(Dirty Martini Bar / NCFBS Blues Challenge:  9/2/2012)
1. Stone Cold Treatment – original (as featured on regular rotation on Qquincy’s show on WXJZ)
2. Mr. Blues – original
3. Stormy Monday (w/solo intro – tribute to T. Bone Walker)
4. Nuthin’ Left But the Shoutin’ & the Blues – original
5. Walkin’ (Bernard Allison... done our way)
Bridget Kelly Band is…
Bridget Kelly – vocals; Tim Fik – guitar & vocals
Mike Hamm – bass;  Michael Barady – drums
Bridget Kelly & Tim Fik (duo)
1.    Turn Me On (Norah Jones blues... done our way)
2.    Bring My Baby Back—original
3.    Blue Cadillac—original
4.    Thrill is Gone (B.B. King... done our way)
5.     All Dressed Up (No Place to Go)—original
6.     Crossroads (Robert Johnson... rockin’ acoustic version)
Approx. running time: 23 minutes
Reserve:  7.  Nine After Midnight—original (time permitting)

Tim Fik's guitar rig (for NCFBS Blues Challenge):
John Suhr custom classic Stratocaster (main axe) cherry metallic w/rosewood fret board; G&L Legacy (back-up axe) tri-color sunburst; Boss "Blues Driver", Texas 2-Step drive/boost (by Pedalworx); D'addario strings; Dunlop Tortex picks; Fender Deluxe Reverb.  Tim's acoustic guitar: 1992 Gibson Gospel w/ LR Baggs pickup/preamp.
Booking info: or

R. Mutt Blues Band
Booking info:  (352) 222-1988 or

Duo Category Winners
Mark & Barbara Armbrecht w/
NCFBS President Rob Richardson

Good hosts! NCFBS jam are held here, too!

Friendly efficient staff, and not dirty in the least!
Blue(s) Crowd!

The "Bench"
Pete Karnes, Little Mike Markowitz, Robert J. Campbell, Good ol' Whatzhizname, QQuincy

Great layout for the competition!

Some pics just don't need a caption. This one, for instance!

Little Mike joins in...

What a great way to enjoy a whole lot of music!

Blues people are happy people!

Artists supporting artists. Luv it!

Brian, Mark & Tim - another band right here!

North Central Florida Blues Society Blues Society info at:

Dirty Bar
2441 Northwest 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32606
Oct 21: NCFBS Blues Jam w/ host band The Jacoby Brothers Blues Band.
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1 comment :

  1. I PROMISE to get up sometime later today to clean this up a bit and do some proper tagging and such over in facebook...