What is Blues Music?

By Freddie Joseph

To paraphrase the incomparable Delta blues performer Robert Johnson, “The blues is a low-down aching chill; if you ain’t never had ‘em, I hope you never will.”  Blues is the most emotional, gut-wrenching style of 20th century American secular music. It evolved in the Deep South shortly before the turn of the century from the spirituals, work songs, and country dance instrumentals sung or performed by African-Americans. This music has long exhibited strong regional as well as racial characteristics, and it is always evolving, keeping up with the times.


Friday January 4

Gin Mill, 9:00 pm

The Easy Street Sliders are one of the Buffalo area’s best proponents of the “Chicago Style” of blues, which is really basic Delta blues with electric guitars and up-tempo readings of the classics…very danceable…a must see!

Balloons, 7:00 pm

Brandon Santini and His Band do it all while in Memphis and will cover all the bases here in EVL. Playing harmonica and singing edgy, rockin’ Delta blues to STAX/VOLT-sounding soulful blues to smooth jazz blues. His debut CD “Songs of Love, Money & Misery” is gaining new listeners daily.

The Depot

There will be continual blues performances on the big-screens at the Depot. Chris “Moose” Brown promises nothing but the best classic blues & ski videos, because the Depot “works hard to keep the ART in PARTY”!


Saturday January 5

Gin Mill, 9:00 pm

A returning favorite to the Gin Mill, “Speedy” (Gary Sterlace) and his band of singing bluesmen do it all when it comes to blues…very listenable and danceable.  Stop in and see for yourself why “Speedy” comes back to EVL!

Holiday Valley Main Lodge,       

3:00 pm

Jay McDonnell, vocalist and guitarist, will perform at the new Holiday Valley Main Lodge.  His wide repertoire consists of pop and rock favorites from the 60s through the 90s.

Balloons, 5:00 pm

Patty Parks and her “Big” band, will put on a show! Her sultry voice is quite versatile, fast or slow, shout or soft, and not just blues either. Parks’ and the band’s range, both in repertoire and dynamics, is most impressive.

Madigan’s, 7:00 pm

Yvonne Schmidt boasts a 3 ½-octave range that will cure any blues you might have. Close your eyes and you’ll think you’re hearing Janis Joplin or Bonnie Raitt. Miss Y will not disappoint!

EBC, 9:00 pm

Jony James and his trio will hold your attention. Jony has “that voice” which has blues written all over it and they are no strangers to Ellicottville.

Sunday, January 6

Balloons, 2:00 pm

A great way to wind-down your blues weekend of dining, drinking and dancing is to have a Bloody Mary (or Caesar, if you’re Canadian), and listen to the Tas Cru band. With them, the words are as important as the music; a kind of lyrical blues “story of my life” kind of songs – folky, yet powerful. A band you will want to listen to.


We at the Ellicottville Times hope you enjoy your EVL Blues Weekend experience, and please come back. We miss you already!


Monday, January 7

Homemade Jam, 6:00 pm

Try some Homemade Jam. Their music is like their name implies – a familiar, delicious blend of pop and country standards everyone can hum along to, stylized by the superb vocals of Liz “Red Door” Boberg. You won’t find this “jam” anywhere else but here at the Gin Mill. Spread it around!


Wednesday, January 9

Gin Mill, 8:00 pm

“Wings & Wagner” has been a Gin Mill mainstay for 29 years (that must be some kind of record!) With John Winston on winter sabbatical, Joe is being helped out by fellow musicians Gary London, Freddie Joseph and others, to keep the Wednesday Wing-Fest happening hot, medium or mild.


Thursday, January 10

Gin Mill, 8:00 pm

“Freddie” Joseph, percussion and vocals, teamed with “friend” Rod Tucker, guitar and vocals, entertains every Thursday at the Gin Mill, with an exciting mix of new and old classics from pop, rock, country and even reggae, usually sweetened with the saucy spoons of Joey “D”.  Stop in and enjoy the “Friend-ly” difference.

Balloons, 9:00 pm

Rhubarb is Buffalo’s funky, jazzy rock-jam quartet.  Eclectic blending of styles with a high energy, organic, funk-infused lyrical & musical cornucopia.

Madigan’s, 9:30 pm

Buffalo’s premier cover/party band, Party Squad, has been a ski season staple here at Madigan’s for years – one visit and you’ll see why!

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