The Legendary Blues Review, by The Virginiabluesman

Posted on 4/08/2010 by Virginiabluesman

(Washington DC) Every now and then you get a chance to see something really special. A great blues band, a great blues vocalist, a great guitarist or a great piano/keyboard player. Then there are those special nights when you see them all on one night on one show. This was the case Saturday April 3rd at The State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia.

Tommy Castro and his band, Deanna Bogart, Joe Louis Walker, and Debbie Davies gave the crowd their money's worth and THEN some. Attending a show of this caliber spoils a person. I now expect EVERY band to totally entertain us in this fashion. Of course that's an unfair expectation for all bands that follow this supergroup at The State Theatre, or ANY venue for that matter!

Tommy Castro (Photos by The Virginiabluesman)
The Legendary Blues Review was started by Tommy Castro. Everyone in the band Saturday night has been part of the famous Blues Cruise that is held once a year on a cruise ship. Tommy felt like the shows were so successful that he asked everyone if they would like to try the show on "dry land". They all said yes, and this led to shows across the country.  Everyone in the band seems to genuinely enjoy each others musical skills, and feed off of each others solos, pushing them to another level with their OWN solos.

The show was opened by The Tommy Castro Band which is comprised of sax (Keith Crossan), trumpet (Tom Poole), keyboards (Tony Stead), bass (Scot Sutherland), and drummer ( Ronnie Smith). It's easy to see why Tommy's band was nominated for Band Of The Year in the BMA's. The band was solid, and, as good as the band was, it was hard to take my eyes off Scot Sutherland. His driving bass riffs kept the sound tight, but his style of playing is also very unique. He has a great stage presence, sporting a "beatnick" beard, a sporty hat, and his stance resembled that of a bassist of a hard rock band. Tommy's blazing, slashing guitar riffs were exceptional, and at one time, he left the stage with his cordless guitar and walked through the appreciative crowd jammin' away without losing a step.

Debbie Davies, Scot Sutherland (Photo by Virginiabluesman)

After Tommy's energetic set, he introduced Debbie Davies to the crowd. Debbie was well received by the large crowd, and didn't disappoint her adoring fans. Debbie plays the blues the way they are supposed to be played. Her riffs are pure blues, nothing flashy, just pure blues. Debbie toured with the great Albert Collins, and I think he would have been very proud of her on this night. If you like your blues genuine, pure, and intense, Debbie is as good as it gets.

Debbie Davies (Photos by Virginiabluesman)

I didn't quite notice when it was that Deanna Bogart came on to the stage to start her part of the show. I turned my head towards Debbie, and Deanna was blowing away at her saxophone. Deanna is a great showman, and her seemingly endless energy and obvious love for her music shown through on this night. Possessing a great voice and equally great musical skills, she wowed the crowd. Deanna's highlight of the evening was her performance of "Still the girl in the band". The song has it's hard, driving moments, but the true highlight of the song was when she played a long, mellow keyboard solo. At some points of the song, you could hear a pin drop in the theatre. She also displayed something I didn't realize she had ... a great vocal range. She hit some high notes that would have made Mariah Carey proud. Deanna is a showman of the very highest level, and it's really hard for me to imagine why she isn't a household name across the globe. Not only does she excel at the keyboards and vocals, but she won a BMA for best instrumentalist the last two years for her saxophone skills.

Deanna Bogart (Photos by Virginiabluesman)

Next to come onstage was the great Joe Louis Walker. Joe posseses a great blues voice and mesmerized the crowd with his incredible slide guitar skills. Joe covered so many styles of music during his short set from traditional blues, to old school r&b to rock, and had a little something for everyone. His vocals are strong, perfectly suited to sing the blues. He showed a unique talent of being able to blaze through a hard blues jam one second, and blend it in slowly to some nice slow blues that again builds to a resounding finish that makes your hair on your neck stand up!

Joe Louis Walker (Photos by Virginiabluesman)

The band took a break from the stage, and Tommy and Deanna came to the lobby to talk with the fans and sign CD's. I was able to talk to Deanna and Tommy and they both came across again as genuinely nice people and unspoiled by their success on the stage and recordings. I don't know if the other musicians had an opportuity to talk to their fans during the break, and was quite surprised to see Tommy and Deanna there.

The entire band took the stage at the end of the break, and totally blew the crowd away. The show ended with a tribute to the great Albert Collins, led by the charismatic Debbie Davies. Some of the crowd had left, the "faint of heart", as Tommy Castro put it, but that didn't stop anyone from giving the crowd even more for what they paid for. I had a chance to talk with Deanna and Debbie before the show, and they both credited Tommy's organizational and people skills for putting this show together.

Encore Encore !!! (Photos by Virginiabluesman)

All in all, this was one of the better Blues shows I have attended, and will gladly see them again the next time they come around. It is worth noting that any of these musicians can hold a crowd on their own, and I look forward to seing each of them live with their own band members.

NEXT WEEK : Interviews with Deanna Bogart and Debbie Davies

Virginiabluesman ...

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

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