We’re eager to make our establishment a community gathering place, so we’re always hosting new music and entertainment in our venue and at The Geneseo Riviera. Check here often for bios of each of our acts, as well as reviews of performances and more.
FREIGHT TRAIN @ Fanatics Pub, Sunday, July 8
- 2018 Indigenous Nominee and Winner for Best Blues Album for “Freightrain Live”
- 2015 Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Inductee, First Indigenous Musician to be Inducted
Parker is a native of Buffalo N.Y.. Being brought up in a musical family peaked his passion for music at an early age. At around 13 years old he began to play gigs with Brother Kenny on sax and Dad on guitar, mostly house gigs but also at Dads gigs in between sets. Although heavily influenced by jazz and rhythm & blues heard growing up, he developed his own rhythm and style that is unique and hard to match. He was quickly established on the Buffalo music scene as a well known and sought after bass player. His booming rapid fire licks earned him the name “Freightrain from New York musicians as he always leaps into the depths of the rhythm section with the strength of a Train.
Parker moved to Florida in the mid 90’s ready for new challenge. With help from friend and mentor Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Parker was connected with internationally acclaimed blues artist Rock Bottom, whom he recorded with and toured with over much of the late 90’s. His mainstay status on the Tampa Bay blues scene was established as “Freightrain” was not only known for his bass playing but also for his soulful lead and powerful backup vocals.
Parker has also toured internationally with Texas bluesman Sherman Robertson, Chief James Billie and over the past several years has toured both the U.S. and Canada with award winning Canadian artist Paul Reddick and his band the Sidemen. he has been seen filling in with Big Bill Morganfield the son of legendary blues man Muddy Waters. He also has been the Go to for touring musicians passing through WNY, Joe Beard, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Mike Morgan and The Local Legendary Members of Raven and more…
Robert “Freightrain” Parker is Seneca from Buffalo, New York. In 2015, he became the First Indigenous Person Inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Parker’s music is not easily defined by one genre. His distinctive approach to American roots is a breath of fresh air, leaving fans energized and mesmerized from live shows.
Freightrain recorded his debut album, “Freightrain Live,” at The Sportsmen’s Tavern in Buffalo, NY in the winter of 2016. In the fall of 2016 he successfully toured Europe with his band in support of the release. A year later he released his second album of all original material, “Outside Ourselves.” Parker produced and arranged all tracks on both albums, receiving high accolades in both areas of production as well as performance. Most recently “Freightrain Live” has been Nominated for a 2018 Indigenous Music Award as “Best Blues Album”.
“Outside Ourselves” is equal parts soul and funk, blues and roots, an all original build on the masterful “Freightrain Live.” The title track “Outside Ourselves” is a choral anthem, a cut that both uplifts and jams out. It received critical acclaim nationally and internationally. Each of the original songs on “Outside Ourselves” is unique, ranging from an earthy ballad to a dirty blues shuffle, showcasing his broad musical influences and pushing the boundaries of his blues beginnings.
Each track includes the dynamic key Freightrain players, Robert “Freightrain” Parker on lead vocals and bass guitar, Grace Lougen on lead guitar, Damone Jackson on drums and Greg Leech on keys. A wide range of musicians and vocalists are interspersed throughout the album.
SEAN CHAMBERS @ Fanatics Pub, Tuesday, July 10
“Guitarist Chambers achieves the distinctly American blues/soul/country/rock sound that the Stones used to aspire to long ago.” – Jerry Shriver, USA TODAY
“The thing about Sean Chambers is that he’s the real deal!
He’ll give you the shirt off his back and he’ll give you a show that will leave you emotionally exhausted, wanting more!”
-Barry Kerzner, American Blues Scene (May 01, 2017)
-Florida born Sean Chambers began his career in the Blues back in 1998 when he toured with the legendary Hubert Sumlin as his guitarist and band leader until 2003. During Sean’s tenure with Mr. Sumlin, Britain’s own Guitarist magazine named Chambers as “One of the top 50 blues guitarists of the last century.”
In 2009, Chambers went into the studio to record his critically-acclaimed album, Ten Til Midnight.
When Ten Til Midnight was released in October, 2009, it garnered rave reviews and also appeared on the Living Blues chart for the first three months after its release. It received steady airplay in 45 states around the U.S, as well as many markets overseas. The title cut was featured on “The House of Blues Radio Hour” as a “Blues Breaker;” and the album also generated significant airplay on Sirius/XM Radio’s blues channel as a “Pick to Click.”
Sean Chambers released Live from the Long Island Blues Warehouse in 2011, which featured 10 tracks of mostly originals, along with Sean’s distinctively searing takes on “Full Moon on Main Street,” a highlight song from an early album by The Kinsey Report; as well as a blistering version of Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom,” which recalls Johnny Winter in its approach.
Live from the Long Island Blues Warehouse appeared on BB King’s Bluesville XM/Sirius Blues Charts as a “Pick to Click” for 6 weeks in a row, as well as 15 weeks on the RMR Weekly Blues Roots Chart and 11 weeks on the House of Blues Radio Chart. The album was voted “Best Live Blues Album of 2011” by Canada’s Blues Underground Network and ranked as one of the Top 3 Live CD’s in Germany by the magazine Wasser Prawda. In addition it was nominated for a Jimi Award for “Best Live Blues Album of 2011.” Guitar Player Magazine did a full page feature story on Sean in February, 2012, and the same month Vintage Guitar Magazine ran a two page feature story.
On October 15, 2013, Sean Chambers released The Rock House Sessions, on Blue Heat Records. The album received great reviews and was also nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award in 2014 for “Best Blues Rock Album of the year”. The album was recorded at Rock House Studios owned by acclaimed keyboardist
-Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton Band) – hence the album name The Rock House Sessions.
On March 17th 2017 Sean Chambers released his newest album entitled “Trouble & Whiskey” on the American Showplace Music label. Trouble & Whiskey hit #11 on Billboard, reached #7 on the Living Blues Charts during the first week of it’s release, and was nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award for “Best Blues Rock Album of the year”. The album is produced by Ben Elliott who has recorded classic artists such as Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons and Leslie West among others. The core band on the album aside from Sean on lead vocals and lead guitar includes Michael Hensley on Hammond B3 & keyboards, Todd Cook on bass and Kris Schnebelen on drums. Special guests include Jimmy Bennett on guitar on track #8, John Ginty on Hammond B3 on track #4, and Andrei Koribaniks on percussion on tracks #1 and #7.
Trouble & Whiskey features 10 tracks which include 7 new original Sean Chambers compositions, and 3 well chosen covers including “Bullfrog Blues” by Rory Gallagher, ‘Cut Off My Right Arm” by Johnny Copeland and “Be Careful With A Fool” by Riley B. King/Joe Bihari.
TOMMYZBAND @ Fanatics Pub, Sunday, July 15
Tommy Z is a contemporary blues artist and radio host from Buffalo, NY who has been described as a “blues treasure” by legendary 97 Rock/WBFO DJ Jim Santella, and “one of WNY’s best kept secrets” by Sarah French, Blues Matters Magazine. He is a guitar-driven electric blues-based stylist onstage, but in the studio Tommy composes a variety of music. So while experienced and studied in traditional blues, jazz and rock styles, Tommy is an artist who puts that soulful blues feeling into all the different styles he plays. He’s been been recognized with numerous awards over the years, including being voted Top Blues Vocalist in Western New York 2003/2004/2006, Top Blues Guitarist 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2006 and his band has won the Top Blues/Crossover Blues Band categories 1994, 2005, 2006, and was honored with the Muddy Waters Award for “Artist of the Year” by the Blues Society of WNY in 2004. In 2007 Tommy was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, recognizing him alongside some of the best talent to ever come out of WNY (and also making him ineligible for any more music awards!). He has had the opportunity to perform with/or co-bill with some of the worlds’ top artists in the blues/rock genre including: B.B. King (and daughter Shirley), Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jeff Healey, Colin James, Tinsley Ellis, Roomful of Blues, Blues Traveler, Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph, Peter Frampton, Carey Bell, John Mayall, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tommy Castro, Duke Robillard, Elvin Bishop and many more including a tour backing up Grammy-winning blues legend Pinetop Perkins (Muddy Waters Band). Tommy has come a long way from playing the top bars and music venues in Buffalo to being an international and domestic festival headliner.
BRUCE KATZ BAND @ Fanatics Pub, Sunday, July 22
Bruce Katz is a four time (2008, 2009, 2010, 2015) Nominee for the Blues Music Award (W.C. Handy Award) for “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year”, selected by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, TN.
While Blues is a very important part of his music, Bruce’s music has more angles and influences, occupying a unique space where blues, “soul-jazz”, jam-band rock, and all aspects of Americana Music collide into a style of original music all his own. He is equally comfortable playing Hammond B-3 Organ and Piano.
Besides leading the Bruce Katz Band, Bruce performs regularly with the Delbert McClinton Band, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, John Hammond, and other artists as well. He was a member of the Gregg Allman Band from 2007-2013.
Bruce was also an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music for fourteen years (1996-2010), teaching Harmony, Hammond organ labs, Private Instruction and Blues History.
As a performer, Bruce has been an in-demand sideman as well as leading his own band. He has played and recorded with many of the leading names in blues and roots music, appearing on over 70 albums with artists such as Ronnie Earl, John Hammond, Delbert McClinton, Gregg Allman, Duke Robillard, Joe Louis Walker, Little Milton, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Witherspoon, Paul Rishell, Mighty Sam McClain, Debbie Davies, David “Fathead” Newman and many others.
Bruce has a lengthy background in classical piano. After hearing a Bessie Smith record when he was 10 years old, he started teaching himself blues and early jazz on the piano. He then heard boogie-woogie and swing music and continued his musical journey into more aspects of jazz and American roots music. Bruce attended Berklee College of Music in the mid-1970s, studying Composition and performance.
For the next fifteen years, he performed with many of the leading musicians in New England, and played “on the road” for long stretches of time. After a particularly long stint of touring in the late ’80s with Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, he decided to come off the road and enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance and studied with Geri Allen, Paul Bley, Cecil McBee and George Russell. It was during this time that he conceived of and started writing music that became the Bruce Katz Band.
In 1992, he met Ronnie Earl, who soon invited him to join his band, The Broadcasters. During his nearly five-year stint with Earl, Katz toured the world and performed on six albums, writing and co- writing many of the tunes, such as “The Colour of Love,” “Ice Cream Man,” and “Hippology.” The album “Grateful Heart” (Bullseye) won the Downbeat Critics Poll for Best Blues Album of 1996.
In 1992 as well, Katz debuted his first solo album, “Crescent Crawl”, on the AudioQuest label. He released “Transformation” the following year. Just before the release of “Mississippi Moan” in 1997, his third solo album, Katz left the Broadcasters to concentrate on a solo career. At that point, the Bruce Katz Band began touring the U.S. and Europe, and has been his ongoing focus, in addition to his many other projects.
In these years, Bruce played with Duke Robillard (2001-02), John Hammond (2005 – present), Gregg Allman (2007-13) and many other high profile roots, blues and rock performers, while continuing to tour and record with his own band.
Bruce’s 2008 CD, “Live! At the Firefly” (Brown Dog Music/Vizztone), was received with critical acclaim. The CD rose to #11 on the National Living Blues Radio Chart, and received substantial play on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio His newest CD, “Homecoming (American Showplace Music, 2014) is receiving international acclaim and wide radio play, putting this album at or near the top of many radio charts, including the Living Blues Radio Chart for 4 months and The Roots Music Report for 18 weeks, rising to #3 on the Contemporary Blues Chart.
Bruce has also been the subject of a feature stories and reviews in most of the leading blues and jazz publications throughtout the world.
In addition to performing, Katz teaches piano, Hammond organ and theory privately at his studio in West Shokan, NY. He also conducts Master Classes in Hammond B3 and Blues History, which he has done at various schools and music festivals worldwide.
Formerly from Boston, Bruce has been based in Woodstock, NY since 2005.
The Bruce Katz Band maintains an active touring schedule throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.
2015 – Living Blues Outstanding Musician (Keyboards) Award nomination.
2013 – Blues Hall of Fame inductee
2008, 2009, 2010, 2015 – four time Nominee for the Blues Music Award (W.C. Handy Award) for “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year”
Johnny Rawls – Evening of Blues @ the Geneseo Riviera Theater Aug 19
Johnny Rawls was born in Columbia, Mississippi in 1951 and raised in Purvis and Gulfport, Mississippi. He acquired an early interest in music when hearing his grandfather play the blues guitar one Christmas morning. He began playing professionally while still in high school with such stars as ZZ Hill, Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex and the Sweet Inspirations. In the mid-70's, Johnny went to work for OV Wright as Wright's band director. After Wright's death in 1980, Johnny led Little Johnny Taylor's band until 1985, when he began touring as a solo artist and made his first solo recording under the Rainbow label.
Joe Louis Walker – Evening of Blues @ the Geneseo Riviera Theater Aug 19
Joe Louis Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner celebrates a career that exceeds a half a century. His new album Everybody Wants A Piece cements his legacy as a prolific torchbearer for the blues. Looking back on his rich history, Walker shares, “I’d like to be known for the credibility of a lifetime of being true to my music and the blues. Sometimes I feel I’ve learned more from my failures, than from my success . But that’s made me stronger and more adventurous. And helped me create my own style . I’d like to think that when someone puts on one of my records they would know from the first notes, ‘That’s Joe Louis Walker.'”
Mary Fahl – @ The Geneseo Riviera, Saturday, October 20
“Sounding like no other singer of her generation” (Allmusic.com), Mary Fahl is an expressive, emotional singer/songwriter who first achieved fame as lead singer and co-founder of the mid-1990s NYC- based chamber-pop group October Project. The hallmark of their sound was Mary Fahl’s awe-inspiring power vocals over gorgeous melodies played with passion and sophistication. As a solo artist, Mary has released several compelling albums, including the fantastic re-working of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” for V2 Records and her wonderful, original studio album “The Other Side of Time” on Sony Odyssey. She has also written and performed songs for several major motion pictures, including the lead song (“Going Home”) for the Civil War epic Gods and Generals. Her most recent album “Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House”, winner of the Indie Acoustic “Album of the Year” award, is a collection of twenty-four tracks recorded live at one of America’s oldest vaudeville theaters that captures the soaring, soul-permeating vocals and musical breadth that makes the Mary Fahl concert experience what the Portland Press called “soul-permeating”. The show was filmed for PBS and is currently airing on PBS affiliates around the country. Fahl’s elegant, cinematic songs draw on classical and world music sources, American art song, as well as thinking man’s folk-pop which she performs with an earthy, viscerally powerful contralto that Boston Globe critic Steve Morse calls “a voice for the gods that can transport listeners to other realms”. Her music appeals to a wide range of musical enthusiasts, including a large, loyal fan base of Mary Fahl evangelists. Her discography includes:
With the October Project
- October Project (1993, Epic Records)
- Falling Farther In (1996, Epic Records)
- Lenses of Contact EP (2001, Roughmix Records)
- The Other Side of Time (2003, Sony Odyssey)
- Gods and Generals – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2003, Sony Classical)
- The Guys – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2003, Sony Classical)
- Classics for a New Century (2003, Sony Classical)
- Mary Fahl: From the Dark Side of the Moon (2011)
- Love and Gravity – (2014, Rimar Records)
- Mary Fahl: Live from Mauch Chunk Opera House – Live album, DVD and PBS (2014, Rimar Records)
Most recently, Fahl has been touring around the U.S. to promote Love and Gravity. The album is filled with flowing, folk-etched ballads produced by the legendary John Lissauer, who has collaborated with some of the greatest musicians of our time – including producing Leonard Cohen’s classic recording, “Hallelujah.”
Sugar Mountain – Celebrating the Genius of Neil Young @ The Geneseo Riviera Theater – Oct. 12
Sugar Mountain brings together an ensemble of veteran musicians from the New Jersey music scene who faithfully replicate the songs of one of our era’s most prolific and beloved singer/songwriters, Neil Young.
Neil Young’s career spans an amazing five plus decades, from the seminal country rock sounds of Buffalo Springfield and super group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to garage band Crazy Horse and countless genre bending solo releases, spanning everything from folk, country, electronic and hard rock to rockabilly.
Sugar Mountain brings to life the Neil Young concert experience, covering all of the best known songs, hits and deep cuts that are sure to thrill all, from the most ardent of fans to the casual Neil listener.
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams @ The Geneseo Riviera Theater – Nov. 10
Formed in Sleepy Hollow, New York over a decade ago, they pioneered the alt-folk circuit, staying on the fringes of the music industry. Winning support from indie radio and press since their inception, fans fueled their career from the ground up to an international status. Having headlined major music festivals and venues across the US, Canada and UK, this band has a devoted cult following. “Soothing and bewitching as a snake oil tonic, the entire root system of Rock Family Trees is embedded in Longo’s voice.” – The Big Issue, Scotland, UK. Lead singer-songwriter Joziah Longo is joined by Sharkey McEwen (guitar, mandolin), Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, etc), and Felipe Torres (drums, percussion). They create a captivating vibe that feeds the soul.