Monday, July 30, 2012

NY Blues Siren Nikki Armstrong headlines Blues Unplugged Concert Series

Nikki Armstrong
KEY WEST, Fla. (July 30, 2012) -- One of the most raw and passionate voices in the New York Blues and Jazz scene comes to Key West at Island Dogs on Wednesday, August 1, at 8 p.m. for Larry Baeder's newly launched Wednesday Night Blues Unplugged Concert Series.

The Wednesday Night Blues Unplugged Concert Series features legendary guitarist Baeder performing alongside a different blues artist, either local or visiting, every week.

See a full listing of upcoming Blues artists for the concert series

Also known as "Lady of Song" and host of 89.1 FM-WFDU's Blues in the Grooves on Across the Trax, Nikki Armstrong has been compared to Anita O'Day, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight, Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin. Noted for soulful interpretations of material from standards to rock, Armstrong performs everything from full band blues, rock and soul originals to carefully crafted jazz standard renditions with startlingly raw passion.

She studied music and voice in Boston, LA, and New York--most notably with Hal Schaefer (Peggy Lee and Marilyn Monroe)--and wrote and did session work on the West Coast and Sydney, Australia, before shifting focus to live performance.

Armstrong has performed in the New York Tri-State area for the past 15 years with her bands Whole Lotta Blues (blues/rock/funk) and The Nikki Armstrong Project (jazz/blues). And she has performed and recorded with Melvin Sparks (Acid Jazz Guitarist), Les Paul (Father of the Electric Guitar), and many others.

She has opened for The Commitments, Joan Osborne, Dave Mason, Dickey Betts, Hubert Sumlin, Ivan Neville's Dumpstafunk, John Tropea Band, Johnny A, Coco Montoya, Cornell Dupree, Parliament Funkadelic, and performed in the Florida Keys, on Caribbean Cruise ships, and can be seen regularly at BB King Blues Club in Times Square.

An important voice in the New York area Blues and Jazz scene, Armstrong served on the Board of Directors of the New York Blues & Jazz Society for over eight years as Musician Liaison when she coordinated, performed, and produced shows at Birdland, B.B. King's Blues Club, and Sirius Radio.

In 2007, Armstrong became the on-air show host of Blues in the Grooves, broadcasting every Wednesday afternoon on WFDU 89.1FM,  During that time, Nikki produced a number of live radio and internet video broadcasts featuring notable blues & jazz musicians, live tribute shows, and benefit shows for the victims of Katrina in New Orleans.

Armstrong has four independent CD releases: Blues and Jazz, Live at B.B. King's, Turnin' & Burnin', and New, Borrowed & Blue. Most recently, Nikki has resumed touring outside of the New York area. She will perform in Europe this fall (Sept. /Oct. 2012).

Also at Island Dogs this week:
  • Tony "Baltimore" Durante plays lead vocals and guitar for the LoFi's, a 3-piece rock band of Key West transplants, and will perform solo at Island Dogs on Thursday, August 2, from 8 p.m.
  • The LoFi's, a 3-piece rock band of Key West transplants that performs throughout Key West and the Keys, will hit the Island Dogs stage on Friday, August 3, from 8 p.m.
  • Con Leche brings its "tropical Hip Hop with a twinge of jest" to Island Dogs on Saturday, August 4, at 8 p.m.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ericson Holt headlines Larry Baeder’s Wednesday Night Blues Unplugged Concert Series

Ericson Holt
Due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, Ericson Holt will perform at next week Wednesday's Blues Unplugged Concert Series on  July 25. We apologize for any inconvenience.

KEY WEST, Fla. (July 16, 2012) -- With a voice that the Nashville Scene calls "Jackson Browne with more swagger", Ericson Holt comes to the Island Dogs stage on Wednesday, July 18, at 8 p.m. with his rootsy, bluesy, soul-dipped, leaning-towards-country sound.

Holt is the second guest at Larry Baeder's newly launched Wednesday Night Blues Unplugged Concert Series where legendary guitarist Baeder performs alongside a different blues artist, either local or visiting.

A brave, raw and insightful songwriter, Holt has recorded, internationally toured and had TV appearances with Grammy winners the Mavericks, and Oscar nominee and critics' favorite Allison Moorer. He has played alongside Lee Roy Parnell, Rodney Crowell, Jim Lauderdale, Lari White, Tracy Nelson, Phil Lee, Ricky Van Shelton, the Amazing Rhythm Aces, and Delbert McClinton, just to name a few.

Ericson has performed solo at B.B. King's and the Bluebird Café in Nashville, as well as numerous other venues in the Southeast, and he has also appeared live on several radio stations, including WFPK and WPLN. Before moving to Nashville, Ericson, a Virginia native, worked on the East Coast Blues and Roots Rock circuits, fronting his own bands, and playing with other popular bands such as the Meteors and Lil' Ronnie & the Blue Beats, often opening for national acts including the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roomful of Blues, and Delbert McClinton.

In 2005, his album The Blue Side began to climb the Americana Music chart on the strength of original songs like "Lonesome River," "Tired of Waitin' Around," "I've Got Your Number," and the title track. Though it's independently released, the album reached the Top 30 during the week of April 18, the Top 5 on the Roots Music Rock chart.

Also at Island Dogs this week:

  • Tony Roberts' unique sound is best described as "islandreggaebluesgospel". And he couldn't have found a better home for his music than Island Dogs on Thursday, July 19, at 8 p.m.
  • Jeff Clark has been a musician/entertainer for almost six years. He brings soul, folk, funk and pop to Island Dogs on Friday, July 20, from 9 p.m.
  • Con Leche brings its "tropical Hip Hop with a twinge of jest" to Island Dogs on Saturday, July 21, at 8 p.m.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Black Cat Cocktail

In honor of Friday 13th, here's an interesting recipe to try.

Black Cat
Recipe from A History of Drinking blog by way of Hiram Walker. Photo from here.

1/3 part Kahlua®
1/3 part Hiram Walker® Anisette
1/3 part Tequila

Glass: Shot
Garnish: None

Layer slowly into a chilled shot glass starting with the Kahlua.