By Barbara Kent
It is true that the Hamptons
rock all summer, but the remainder of this complex of diminutive islands collectively
known as LONG Island rocks on right through summer past autumn and winter clear through
the rest of the year. PERHAPS the vast expanse of pervasively azure sky, the omnipresent
Mighty Blue Atlantic, or the lapis hues of the Long Island Sound, the Great South
Bay or ZACKS Bay, home to the fabulous Jones Beach Theatre --are what make Long Island
a natural for the blues.
Last summer the First Annual Riverhead Blues Festival made a successful debut. Tom Gahan, producer and directof of the event believes that "Riverhead is the perfect venue for a Blues Festival. It has all the components necessary to give the event a real Blues flavor. The river and paddlewheeler give downtown an authentic 'New Orleans" feel. It is my dream to see Riverhead become the Blues Capitol of the Northeast. Itís a working town, there are no false pretenses in Riverhead. Riverhead in and of itself is a Blues tune." This year, Long Island Cablevision. the Long Island Rail Road, Huang, Inc., Riverhead Building Supplies, the Town of Riverhead, the Tanger Outlet Center and the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association present The Second Annual Riverhead Blues Festival. This will be a three day FREE event on Friday, July 21, 6 - 11 pm Saturday, July 22, 3 - 11 pm and Sunday, July 23 1 - 6 pm.
Black Cat Bones at EASTPORT LUNCHEONETTE
Sam Taylor with Heather Hardy
The Waffle Davis Band featuring Bob "Hoochie Coochie"
The Bobby Nathan Band
Jim Moran and the Boulevard Blues Band
The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns
Boom Boom Johnson
Lex Grey & The Urban Pioneers
Phil Varca & The SlamJammers
Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers
The Dallas Fisher Band
You can party to the blues every night of the week at one of these or other very cool spots.
Back Street Blues
60 N. Park Avenue Rockville Centre
Sophisticated blues club tucked into a downstairs space. Tuesday is LADYís night, top shelf all night...and cranking blues
Terry Road, Smithtown
Civilized and spacious this club supplies itís loyal patrons with a very comfortable living room/bar and outstanding music by local talent. Most recently Paul Ferguson and Planet Soul.
Perched over artsy fartsy Huntington Village, Chesterfields is one more reason to visit this town. Open mic on Sundays, and a mostly under-appreciative, under-30 crowd.
58 W Main, Riverhead
Great pub, brass and tin feeling-- lots of jumping music--young and raucus crowd 25-50, most recently host to the Straight Jackets.
497A Montauk Highway Eastport
The best kept secret on Long Island, the Eastport Luncheonette is an unassuming little diner weekdays, and a showcase for blues on weekends. The coffee is strong, and the blues smoke bigtime.
Fat Lucyís Fish House
Right on Dune Road, the view alone is worth the trip, but, the music cooks as well as the chef! Catch Sam Taylor and BLACK CAT BONES July 4th weekend. Go for dinner, the scallops are a must.
Big disco, but blues night brings the cats out to play.
1016 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park
A large loyal crowd, host to the Smoke Daddys--
Nice blues place, the real thing for afficionados.
Young crowd, mostly rock and roll but the staggered blues schedule is worth watching and for. Great regular bar, live music Wednesday through Saturday.
Open Jam on Sunday nights-music music and more music...
Thursday nights blues and jazz. Mixed crowd 25 and up, food until ten pm--most nights there is live music.
Paula Jean's Supper Club
Beautiful supper club, frontroom bar, great food great music. Paula Jeans is the paradigm for this type of club.
1005A Fulton, Farmingdale
A long blues history, this little club goes from frenetic to mellow and has open mic on Thursdays.
If you want to play
the blues rather than just listen:
Our Daily Jam
Cat's Meow, Smithtown
Wrong Way Inn, Amityville
Paula Jean's, East Setauket
Jake's Tavern, Islip
Backstreet Blues, Rockville Centre
Oakdale House, Oakdale
Someplace Else, Farmingdale
Blues Jazz & Funk jam, Mr. Beery's, Bethpage
On the first Saturday of each month The Rocket hosts an accoustic blues jam at the Eastport Luncheonette. After the featured act performs a set, the open jam/open mic begins. Bring your ax but leave the Strat home!
Iím sure I didnít catch everyone, so please email me, Bkent@aol.com and tell me what/who/and where I am missing!