On “Life During Wartime,” the first single from Talking Heads’ 1979 album Fear of Music, David Byrne famously sang the immortal lyrics, “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco…no time for dancing…” Yet all those anti-fun declarations go gleefully out the window when Mystic Bowie, aka the “Head Dread,” takes the stage, re-imagining and infusing fresh life into TH’s classic catalog with his high octane mix of roots reggae, ska and lover’s rock (aka “romantic reggae”).Since debuting his musically revolutionary Talking Dreads project live at the High Times Music Festival on the beach in Negril in late 2015, the charismatic Jamaican-born singer and performer has electrified audiences at over 100 shows across North America – spinning the heads of initially skeptical Talking Heads fans, and getting everyone else grooving along to the infectious, joyous rhythms and jubilant spirit of his native island. Considering the success of these events, it was only a matter of time before Bowie – who has lived in the Northeastern U.S. for many years – headed back to his cherished homeland and set up shop at the famed Barry O’Hare Studios in Ocho Rios. He gathered old friends he had played music with since childhood, along with younger musicians, legendary Jamaican artists and other surprise guests to capture all the magic of his live performances on the epic, 13 track recording Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads.
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.
Tues. Aug 27 – Victor Wainright and the Train @ Fanatics Pub – SOLD OUT!
Though his career began over a decade ago with genuine rock n’ roll honky-tonk, Wainwright has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the blues. His insatiable interest in music discovery, sheer love for entertaining and curiosity have led him all around the world, and the resulting perspective is a reflection of his passion for entertaining and creating progressive roots music in an effort to move the art-form forward. Composer, producer, vocalist, and award wining entertainer and piano player; Victor Wainwright is a raucous high-octane, dynamic performer and crowd pleaser with soul to spare.
“Wainwright serves as an electrifying guide to a good time-spinning tales, telling his listeners how to beat the blues, and meticulously conjuring raw soul and energy out of his acoustic piano. He displays a sharp sense of humor and a knack for storytelling… every track is brilliant.” -Living Blues Magazine
“Victor Wainwright is a world champion piano player, two times over! Not only is Victor one of the greatest blues piano players in the business, he’s also a world class entertainer and vocalist.” – Blues Revue Magazine
“Victor Wainwright, winner of this year’s Pine Top Perkins Piano Player Award at the BMA’s, is a force to be reckoned with on a piano. He IS honky-tonk and boogie, with a dose of rolling thunder. Wainwright’s playing is simply beautiful madness.” -American Blues Scene
“Savannah, GA native Victor Wainwright is all about boogie woogie piano, deep soul, and a voice that recalls Dr. John at his best. He is a blues star, a tremendous player.” -Chicago Blues Guide
- 2017 BMA Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year
- 2016 BMA BB King Entertainer & Band of the Year
- 2016 Blues Blast Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
- 2016 Cover of the The Blues Festival Guide
- 2016 Top #10 Billboard
- 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise Performer (Solo & Band)
- 2017, 2016, 2015 Big Blues Bender Performer in Las Vegas
- 2014 & 2013 BMA Pinetop Piano Player of the Year
- 2013 Blues Blast Award “New Artist Debut Release” Southern Livin’
- 300+ Days a Year Touring 2012-2013
- Top #10 Billboard May 2013 “Easy Livin'”
- Top 10 Billboard Debut March 2013 “Easy Livin'”
- 2013 Blues Blast Music Award “Sean Costello Rising Star” Nominee
- 2013 Blues Blast Music Award “Blues Band of the Year” Southern Hospitality
Tues. Sept 3 AND Thurs. Sept 5 – Lil’ ED and the Blues Imperials @ Fanatics Pub 7:00pm
In Chicago, a city overflowing with unrivaled blues talent, world-renowned Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been standing tall for almost 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed’s gloriously rollicking slide work and deep blues string bending, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.”
Lil’ Ed Williams comes to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Nine albums and thousands of performances later, Lil’ Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre. Lil’ Ed and The Blues Imperials—bassist (and Ed’s half-brother) James “Pookie” Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton—have remained together for nearly 30 years (an extraordinary feat for any group), the band fueling Ed’s songs with their rock-solid, road-tested, telepathic musicianship.
The Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials is the musically electrifying, emotionally intense and downright fun new album from the band Guitar Player calls “a snarling boogie-blues machine…they blow down the walls.” The CD features Lil’ Ed’s incendiary playing and playful, passionate singing, with the ragged-but-right Blues Imperials cooking like mad alongside him. Produced by Williams and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, it is a tour-de-force of authentic, deeply rooted Chicago blues. Williams wrote or co-wrote all but two of album’s 14 songs, the other gems written by Uncle J.B. The Chicago Reader says the band’s music “is a soundtrack for dancing and celebration infused with a sense of hard-won survival. Williams attacks his lyrics like he attacks his guitar: with bare-bones intensity that makes each word sound like a matter of life or death.”
Fri. Sept 6 – Slambovian Circus of Dreams @ the Geneseo Riveria
Called everything from ‘hillbilly-Pink Floyd’ to ‘folk-pop’ to ‘surreal americana’, New York’s Slambovian Circus of Dreams “is a riveting, mesmerizing, crazy, amazing machine of music.” – Chronogram Magazine. A rootsy psychedelica that MAVERICK MAGAZINE calls “Mightily impressive and hugely original rock from the cool end of Americana,” their melodic avant-folk conjures with an exotic instrumental arsenal and palette of styles ranging from dusty Americana ballads to huge Pink Floydesque cinematic anthems. The Slambovians charm from the first note with “Great songs and a whole lotta heart!” – DJ Meg Griffin, SiriusXM.
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.
INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: Waterboys, Bob Dylan, Bowie, Cracker, Pink Floyd, The Decemberists, Incredible String Band, Leonard Cohen
Sat. Sept. 7 – JB Aaron @ Fanatics Pub, 8:00pm
Singer/Songwriter JB Aaron was born in Niagara Falls, NY. He has opened shows for various artists over the years including Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, LoCash, Frankie Ballard, The Cadillac 3, Phil Vassar, Darryl Worley, Eric Paslay, Brian McComas, Josh Thompson, Terri Clark, Wade Hayes, Jeff Carson, and Gloriana. In 2014 he recorded his second EP in Nashville, TN with hit songwriter/producer Greg Crowe and engineered and mastered by Grammy nominee Jim Lightman. 2014 was a big year for JB. He entered the 33rd Annual Country Showdown in Rochester, NY, where he successfully triumphed over thousands of performers to become the North East Regional Champion. This secured him a spot as one of the top 5 finalists in the United States vying for the title of Best New Act in country music. JB proudly placed 2nd in the entire nationwide competition. His biggest reward was the opportunity to achieve one of his lifelong dreams and perform on the original Grand Ole Opry stage, the Ryman Auditorium.
In September 2014, the Buffalo Bills invited JB to perform the National Anthem in front of a sold-out crowd of 80,000+. In 2015, he was given the opportunity again to perform the National Anthem, along with God Bless America, for the Salute the Troops game against the Miami Dolphins.
He has performed for and worked with many non-profit organizations such as Niagara Falls Firefighters Toy Fund Telethon, Make a Wish Foundation, the American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society, and the Brian Moorman Punt Foundation. Coming from a family with a strong military background, JB performs and donates much of his time to various military organizations.
In October 2014, JB became involved with a cancer benefit in Illinois. The benefit was to raise money for former MLB player of the Chicago White Sox, Rick Carone. Rick was also a Buck Commander member along with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and many others. Rick was battling pancreatic cancer and JB was hand-picked by Rick to come and perform at this event. He was honored to be able to perform for this because his mother passed away from the same disease in 2013. JB was able to perform again for this event in 2015. Sadly, in 2017 Rick passed away. But JB continues to support the event.
When not on the road touring and performing, he is continuously writing new material and working with top hit songwriters such as Craig Martin, who has written many songs including, Don’t take the girl for Tim McGraw. JB also works with Hawkshaw Hawkins Jr, who is the son of country music legends Jean Shepard and Hawkshaw Hawkins Sr.
JB is a proud active CMA member and currently resides in Nashville, TN. His passion for singing and performing inspires him to continue to entertain and support the country music industry. He wishes to share his love of music with the world for as long as he can.
Mon. Sept 9 – Mark Hummel @ Fanatics Pub, 7:00pm
Grammy Nominee, Blues Award Winner, Author, Harp Man Mark Hummel had a banner year in 2014. Grammy Nominated for his Remembering Little Walter CD he produced and performed on, Mark also won Best Blues CD and Best Traditional Blues CD at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN. Mark’s The Hustle Is Really On climbed to #2 and stayed in the top five for four months on the Living Blues Radio Charts. Hummel’s book “BIG ROAD BLUES:12 Bars on I-80” garnered rave reviews and was nominated for best Independent Book release.
Mark Hummel started playing harmonica in 1970 and is considered one of the premier blues harmonica players of his generation. Thanks to over thirty recordings since 1985, including the Grammy nominated 2013 release Blind Pig recording Remembering Little Walter (part of the Blues Harmonica Blowout CD series). Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout™ started in 1991 and have featured every major legend (Mayall, Musselwhite, Cotton, etc.) on blues harp as well as almost every player of note on the instrument – a who’s who of players.
Tues. Sept 10 – Packrat’s Smokehouse @ Fanatics Pub, 7:00pm
Packrat’s Smokehouse band is a national recording blues band that was originated by Anthony “Packrat” Thompson, Gary Bavis, and Ture Hayes in New Smyrna Beach, FL. “It wasn’t until 1988 that they began to explore their common roots and their love of the Blues” (All-music Guide). “Packrat”, was born in Lake Helen, but raised in New Smyrna Beach, FL along with his long time friend and band member Robert “Top” Thomas who had together formed a band during their early school years. Packrat had originally named the band “Smokehouse”. Smokehouse recorded their first two albums: “Let’s Swamp A’While” (1991) and “Swamp Jive” (1992) under King Snake Records in association with Ichiban Records Select-O-Hits. The third and fourth albums “Cadillac in the Swamp (1996) and “Edge of the Swamp” (1998) under Black Frost Music (BMI). Packrat’s Smokehouse is looking to release their fifth album ” The Men of the Swamp” in 2018.
Tues. Sept. 17 – TONY HOLIDAY @ Fanatics 7:00pm
With him on guitar is Landon Stone. Tall and lean with the brooding face of so many guitarists who have melded with the instrument, he places a perfect counterpoint to Tony’s harp. When the two play off of one another, well… frankly… you forget your damp and tired and hungry after a long rainy day of festival music, and you just have fun!
Fri. Sept 20 – Roomful of Blues @ the Geneseo Riveria
For the last 50 Years Roomful of Blues has become legendary in the Blues World.
Roomful has toured the world and recorded over 25 albums. With five Grammy nominations and a slew of music awards and accolades Roomful has become a recognized leader in their genre.
“In a class by itself . . ..” —Down Beat “. . . irresistible on the dance floor. —Mademoiselle
“If you are afflicted with podomotophobia—the fear of tapping your feet—stay clear of this band.” —People
“[They are] the baddest big blues band in the land.” —Boston Herald
“Roomful of Blues blows ’em out of the door . . . the hottest, most solid and wonderfully entertaining band of its type around.”
—San Francisco Examiner
“Roomful of Blues gave an object lesson in how to tackle modern blues with traditional swing and verve.” —The Times, London
“They were f**king great!” —Drew Carey (after Roomful of Blues played a season-ending wrap party for his TV series)
Tues. Sept. 24 – TAS CRU AND THE TORTURED SOULS @ Fanatics 7:00pm
Raucous, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent are all words that fittingly describe Tas Cru’s songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today. Cru has received wide praise for his songwriting from critics, industry professionals as well as from his fellow musicians. As Downbeat magazine noted, “His songs are blues poetry – crafted with rare verbal flair and his ability to cast a memorable hook is magical!” Alligator Records president, Bruce Iglauer calls him a rare, real writer and many of the top blues musicians of today are eager to join Cru in the studio and on stage to perform his songs.
With three hot albums in the last five years – You Keep the Money, Simmered & Stewed and Memphis Song – Cru is readying another – Drive On, slated for release this coming late fall 2019. In addition to his best-known albums is Tas’ 2009 release, Even Bugs Sing the Blues, an album of original blues music for kids based on book characters from the works of acclaimed author-illustrator, Eric Carle. In 2016 he recorded a blues album for dog lovers called Doggone Blues that is now being turned into a three-book series featuring the dog characters from these songs working together to try to form an all dog blues band. The first of this book series, Bad Dog Bubba will be out in late summer.
As a Blues Foundation, Keeping the Blues Alive award recipient (2014), besides performing, Cru brings his Blues Education programs and workshops to festivals, schools, and hospitals everywhere he travels. In 2019, Tas began his affiliation with United By Music North America; a program serving differently challenged young adult musicians. Thus far, Cru has traveled to the Pacific Northwest and Memphis, TN to mentor participants. Tas says, “Working with UBMNA has brought me back to why I began playing music in the first place – for the pure joy of doing so!”
Tas Cru is based out of upstate New York and performs in multiple formats ranging from solo acoustic to a 7 piece-backing band. He sings and plays a wide variety of guitars – at home on either electric, acoustic, resonator or cigar box. Tas is a Delaney Guitars (Austin TX) endorsed artist and is signed to Subcat Records, Syracuse NY.
In his early bands, Tas was introduced to the great Sun Records sound and the country blues that later served as a counterpoint to the rock-blues he idolized as did so many young aspiring guitar players of his time. Cru grew up in a very musical and generally unquirky family (except for him). Unlike his talented brother and sisters, he did not pursue music in school. A brief attempt to play the trombone abruptly ended after being kicked by his 7th grade music teacher who’s name actually was A (alden) Sharpe! Tas says he deserved it. Instead Cru explored and developed his talent by taking up with a rougher crowd of older, self-taught musicians where he was introduced to the songs of the Sun Records legends. His first foray into the blues came after leaving the US Navy when he was asked to join a band formed by a former shipmate named Delray Streeter, an Arkansas-raised bluesman with boundless bravado and attitude but rather limited singing and even lesser harmonica skills. This partnership, though short-lived, proved to be very influential as Streeter’s repertoire tended toward the older, rough-hewn country blues. Cru’s schooling in country blues later served him well and is heard in his original songs along with the Sun Records and, of course his rock-blues influences.
His latest album, Memphis Song completed a trifecta of Tas Cru’s creativity that began with his breakthrough effort, You Keep the Money (2014) and followed by the Blues Music Award nominated Simmered and Stewed. Released in June 2018, Memphis Song showcases Cru’s talents as an acclaimed songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. This album, as captured in the title track, pays homage to the great music city for the role it has played in bringing blues, soul and rock ‘n roll to audiences world-wide. Memphis Song can be heard on blues radio across the globe. With over six months of charting prowess, including hitting the #1 slot, the album still spins in regular rotation elevated there by its many shining reviews. Memphis Song also brought Cru his second Syracuse Area Music Award (SAMMY) for best Blues album.
You Keep the Money grabbed the attention of blues radio worldwide, debuting on the prestigious Living Blues Radio Chart at #2 and, quite noteworthy, debuting #1 on the Roots Music Report Blues Radio Chart. Simmered & Stewed also enjoyed wide airplay including being featured as a BB King’s Bluesville “Pick to Click” on SiriusXM radio. Likewise it made its way on to the highly regarded Living Blues Chart and resided at or near the top of the Roots Music Report’s Blues Chart for most of 2017. Simmered and Stewed earned Cru the first of his two SAMMYs as well as nominations for several prestigious awards including the International Blues Foundation Blues Music Awards and the Independent Blues Awards. On the strength of these two albums Tas has since performed at several major blues festivals and notable venues bringing music from these great albums and Memphis Song to their stages.
Tas Cru is represented by Barrelhouse Talent, Hudson. FL Road Dawg Touring Company, Evergreen, CO and Electric Blues Bash, Bremenhaven, Germany.
Mon. Oct. 7 – Biscuit Miller and the Mix @ Fanatics 7pm
“Miller has one of the best smiles in the blues.”
– Big City Blues Magazine
DAVID “BISCUIT” MILLER
“Wishbone” is the eagerly awaited 3rd studio recording of 2012 Blues Music Award Winner for Bassist of the Year, Biscuit Miller. The title track was inspired by Biscuit’s two grandsons Jordan and Josh who were excited about making a wish when they got their hands on the turkey wishbone during Thanksgiving dinner. Their excitement sparked an idea in Biscuit’s ever creative mind, and he literally began singing and writing the song on the spot! He then jammed with his grandsons in his music room after dinner. That special day with his family and the birth of a song were all the motivation Biscuit needed to get back into the studio to begin working on “Wishbone.”
Biscuit and his band, The Mix, have been touring extensively ever since he won his first BMA in 2012, and had to squeeze in their recording sessions during breaks in the tour. Biscuit is known for his high energy shows and blazing million dollar smile. He is a born entertainer and is at home on the stage where he connects with his audience through a fun and funky approach to the blues. But don’t let the fun and food songs fool you! This is a dedicated group of musicians with an amazing depth of talent.
Biscuit was introduced to the bass for the first time at the age of eleven when visiting his friend Datrick. It was sitting in a corner collecting dust when the young Biscuit picked it up and started playing it. The four string electric bass belonged to Datrick’s older brother Darnell, who taught him a couple of songs. Biscuit took to it immediately and thus began a love affair with playing bass that has taken him places he could never have imagined. He formed his first band, Clever, with childhood friend Ivan Wallace. They moved to Minneapolis in 1982. Soon after, a mutual friend, Joe Rowe introduced Biscuit to Sonny Rogers who taught him a lot about playing basic blues. During his time with Rogers, they recorded “They Call Me the Cat Daddy”, which won Rogers a Handy Award for Best New Artist. Sadly, Sonny passed away before he was able to accept the award.
Biscuit then went on to play with other respected blues artists such as, Mojo Buford, formerly with Muddy Waters, and Lady Blue, backup vocalist for Ike and Tina Turner. One day, Biscuit received a phone call requesting him to come back home to sub for Chicago’s own legendary Lonnie Brooks who needed a bass player for one night. That one night lasted for over ten years as Biscuit became the permanent bass player for the Lonnie Brooks Band.
In 2000 he formed Biscuit and The Mix to fill up some down-time. During this time, he also completed his first studio recording “Come Together”. Biscuit frequently could be found sitting in with the up and coming blues guitarist Anthony Gomes. During one of these sessions, he was asked to join the band full time and he spent the next five years touring with Anthony. During his time with Anthony Gomes, they released five CD’s; Unity, Sweet Stringin’ Soul, Long Way Home, Music is the Medicine, and Live at the Triple Door.
By 2009 Biscuit was fronting his own band, touring the country playing clubs and festivals, and gaining respect as a front man and bassist alike. Biscuit Miller has graced the covers of several publications, including the 2006 Blues Fest Guide and the February/March 2010 edition of Big City Rhythm & Blues. In 2012 he was awarded his first Blues Music Award following the release of his second studio recording, “Blues With A Smile”. Having received wide air play on Sirius XM Radio, “Blues With A Smile” is aptly named, as Biscuit is known around the world for his huge, heartfelt smile as well as his antics as a funky bassist turned front man.
When he is not busy touring or recording, Biscuit loves to spend time with his friends and family. His grandchildren are especially precious to him. Also precious to him are the rare occasions when he is able to sit down with his entire family over a home cooked meal. Like the one that happened the day “Wishbone” was born! Thanksgiving at Biscuit’s house became a joyous celebration of life and music that will never end.
Whether you’ve been hangin’ with Biscuit for years, or are a newcomer to the party, “Wishbone” is sure to please. So grab on – and make a wish!
Sat. Oct. 26 – Talking Dreads @ the Geneseo Riveria
MYSTIC BOWIE’S TALKING DREADS BIOGRAPHY
Sat. Oct. 19 @ the Geneseo Riviera
“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.”