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Update - March 13, 2016

The last year has been interesting for us as we decided to take on some fresh matrerial and spend a little more time rehearsing. We have focused a little bit on vocals and vocal arrangements, as well as taking on some new material that is a slight stylistic shift. Some tunes have been more R&B than The Bluescasters in general with the likes of Sam and Dave, Delaney and Bonnie, etc. Some songs are more current (only 20 years old instead of the usual 50 - 80 year old variety). Johnny Lang and Joe Bonamssa have entered our set list for example.

Kerry Adams has been back for two years now as the band is closing in on 12 years of gigs and recordings. There is no sense of being stale musically and the communication has become cerebral. It's a good feeling to be able to sense the next note or the next beat when you're off into jam-land with the familiarity of a dozen years and 500 live shows behind you. Next on the agenda is expressing our current state of being with some new original material. That takes time because we throw away fifty percent of everything we create to keep the standards high.

Our hope this year is to enjoy the fruits of 12 years of growth with no sense of urgency. The boys would like to think more of the Michigan festival folks will be compelled to do their audience right and bring The Bluescasters into their lineups. So far only the Clinton festival and Northville Friday Night Concert Series has us penciled in. Every band and working musician knows that each festival opening has 25 bands trying to fill it and 24 will be left out. It's both a numbers game and, at the same time, a "who-you-know" game. We have never been good at whining our way into any venues and that is simply the nature of our collective personality. Our fingers are crossed that the Ann Arbor Top of the Park board sees fit to have us return. It's fair to say that Ann Arbor has become our home field.

We want to say thank you to the many, many folks that turn out for every one of our shows these days. We have not had a dead room or silent audience in recent years. Some of that might be the improved economy, but we like to think you just like us...not a Facebook "like" REALLY and TRULY like The Bluescasters, our style, and our songs. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Catch you at the next one and keep bluesin', swingin', and rockin'

Kerry, Harry, Phil, and Doug

Update - March 11, 2015

This is just a shout out to our pal, Dan Kafila. Dan-o! What's happenin' brother?

Oh, yeah...and Alicia Marie stopped by Guy Hollerins last Saturday with a fine Gibson in hand!

Until this moment, we didn't know there WAS a hoochie coochie woman!

See ya...

Update - March 28, 2014

It's time to bring everyone up to date all all things Bluescasters…twice in the same year even! Believe it or not, trying to update band information is no easy thing when it's pretty much "business-as-usual". That IS what business usually is in the life of non-touring club bands like The Bluescasters…for long stretches of time. Even when something new and exciting occurs, it can be stated in a single sentence. If you are taking the time to come to this page and check on us, we want to have at least a couple bits of worthwhile news to share.

The biggest news of the past few months is that our co-founding, guitar playing, always entertaining former frontman, Kerry Adams has returned to the group after a five year vacation (if you call playing country music a vacation!). Seriously speaking, Kerry took this opportunity to tour with and produce potential rising star Justine Blazer starting way back in the summer of 2009. It was a chance to play for new audiences in larger venues in new exotic locations like Alabama (OK…"exotic" might have just a hint of sarcasm) while rolling the dice on the "big break" possibly coming along. Justine has since relocated to Nashville and is still writing songs and performing with a new band. Meanwhile, Kerry Adams has relocated to The Bluescasters, much to everyone's delight. The baritone singing, beer glass slide-playing, center stage presence that is Kerry Adams is back home and we're very happy to have him back in the fold!

Of course, there is a yin to every yang. Kerry's re-entry is in lock-step with the departure of guitar maestro Brian Delaney. When Brian stepped into the band, replacing a departing Kerry Adams, it was a gift from guitar heaven. Not only did he fill that musical void left is the wake of Kerry's departure, but he greatly expanded the musical pallette of The Bluescasters in the process. Those famliar with Brian know that his level of talent is rare and his mastery of so many styles even rarer. While Brian didn't step up to the microphone often, he did everything short of launching guitar fireworks with has array of classic Gibsons, Gretsches, Fenders, and crazy Alice-in-Wonderland guitars. He often attracted a circle of photographers doing his "slide guitar limbo" act while playing Bo Diddley's "Can't Judge a Book". We thank Brian from the bottom of our collective hearts for entertaining our audiences and his band mates week in and week out for five years. Once a Bluescaster, always a Bluescaster! (Right, Kerry?)

The Delaney-era Bluescasters are nearing the end of a year long odyssey also known as recording an album of original material. Sure, most bands take a month or two to accomplsh that for which we need a year or more. Let's just say that we're kind of slow. To put it any other way would be almost like saying that other bands just sort of jam things together and stamp a $15 price tag on it so they can start getting the money back they spent on production. I wouldn't personally want to say that. Instead, I'll stick with my premise that The Bluescasters are simply the tortoise to all of the musical hares out there. Anyway, we expect to have a rather exciting and somewhat diversified new CD in hand sometime this coming June. It will feature some musical guests (all of whom have performed live with the band), and feature some interesting sides to what the band has been all about from the start. That is...beyond any standard genre classification. We hope to have a CD release party on our calendar before long which will feature the five-person version of the band (both Kerry Adams AND Brian Delaney) that was seen and heard on opening day of the 2013 Ann Arbor Top of the Park series. Too good to miss! Our musical partnership with the Chris Canas Band will also be on display. If you see Chris, let him know so he isn't taken by surprise.

This year, at our current pace, will probably see our 400th performance since our formation in 2004. That's a lot of notes played and a lot of whiskey consumed! That's also a lot of hours spent in the rehearsal space and in transit to gigs. I'm thinking that if you weighed all of our equipment and multiplied that by the number of times we lifted it, it would be roughly the equivalent of an aircraft carrier. If you added up the amount of money we have taken in in the process and divided that by the number of hours spent doing band business, we are probably looking UP at minimum wage. If you were to ask anyone in the band whether or not it's worth lifting an aircraft carrier for $5/hr, they would all tell you "it's not only about the money". It does, however, present an interesting debate topic. The very thing that motivates musicians, the love of creating and performing music, probably is the very thing that keeps their wages criminally low. Music is thought to be a luxery, not a necessity. Some things are just taken for granted…until they're gone! However, live music is here to stay. The musicians, including us, are addicted to playing and the world is a better place because of it.

Next update: Whenever there is more than a sentence worth.

See you soon!

Update - December 23, 2013

Another year down and a good one at that. The Bluescasters played forty-five shows in 2013 and enjoyed every one of them. This is no small feat (the “enjoyed every one” thing), considering that this summer we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first show, which was played June 26th, 2004 at the Wayne County Fair. Has it become old hat? Not no way, not no how! Like wine or marriage, a band changes over time. For better or worse, change is inevitable. If the musicians don’t take each other for granted and avoid the ego trip, the change should be…MORE enjoyment and a greater sense of the SONGS, rather than the individual performances. I believe it has worked that way for us and count on more of the same going forward.

Speaking of going forward, a convergence of the stars aligning with this planet will likely put our next CD and our ten-year anniversary squarely on top of each other. All we need to do is plan a good way to celebrate the event(s). If next summer is like the last, it’s going to be hard to pick the right moment as there could be many from which to choose. Last summer saw our first Top-of-the-Park performance...on opening night of that series. Along with Laith Al-Saadi, Lady Sunshine and the X Band, about 5,000 other folks, and near perfect weather, it was truly a night to remember! The past year also saw The Bluescasters at the Plymouth Music in the Air Series, the Plymouth Ice Festival, Jazzin’ on Jefferson in Downtown Detroit, the Alpena Blues Festival, the Howell Melon Festival, the South Lyon and Wixom City Concerts, the Ann Arbor Street Fair, and the Tawas Blues by the Bay Afterglow Party, where guest stars Big Ray Haywood and Thornetta Davis & band jammed the evening away with the ‘casters. We also played as part of the regular rotation at Ann Arbor’s Guy Hollerins and Mash clubs, along with several other juke joints. It would not be a bad choice to hold a 10 year commemoration/CD release party at ANY of these venues! I guess it all depends a little on timing and who might invite us. Perhaps it's time to sponsor and event for ourselves. Time will tell.

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t take a minute to thank all of those who support live blues and especially those of you who support our little old band from Ann Arbor. Dan Kafila (who pushed me into writing an entry on this news page) for one, along with Lettie, Bob, Bob, and Bob, Diane, Diane, and Diane, Al, Al, and Al (yes, it's true…people share names in this country), Margie, Mr. Streety and Mr. Konwinski with their fab photographic skills, Jim, John, Phillis, Bill, Griff, Jesse, Tanya…far too many to remember at this moment. THANK YOU all from the Bluescasters! Also, to a few extraordinary musicians who bail us out in times of need…Kerry Adams, Chris Canas, Angie Cottingham…what would we do without you? THANK YOU! What a load of talent! I want to mention the owners, managers, and promoters that work hard to provide a stage for musicians and a venue for audiences to enjoy music…Steve at Mash, Heidi at Guy Hollerins, Bill Vlisides from AAACVB, Sam Walton from Signature Audio, Jeff and Nick at Zukey, Elio DelCol, Amy Nesbitt at T.O.P…again so many names and so few brain cells still functioning. Radio people! …like Brad Saunders from the Sunday Night Blues program, all the fine folks at WEMU and WHFR... It takes MORE than a village, but when the efforts of many all push in the same direction, good things can and will happen!

Merry Christmas, Happy (fill in the blank), Happy New Year, and may you never lose the groove!

...from Doug, Harry, Phil, Brian, and Kerry!

Update - February 26, 2013

The 2013 Bluescasters music season has started off with a bang! Eight shows so far and people calling us already for summer engagements (calling us, not always us calling them...THAT'S a good sign!). We have found a very enthusiastic late-night crowd at the recently opened Mash Whiskey Bar in downtown Ann Arbor. Man, those twenty somethings can party all night long! The room is small and always packed tight. They have delicious micro-brews and waitresses.

We also played the Plymouth Ice Festival for the third straight year. The first time it was zero degrees out and we played in a 12' x 12' tent with a little propane heater. It was so cold the propane kept freezing and the heater would quit. We wore chemical heat packs in our shoes and on the backs of our hands and our fingers froze anyway but the show went on. Last year the tent was about 60' x 100' and a couple of huge gas fired heaters dumped large quantities of hot air in and the temperature was tolerable. Plus, the audience could come in where the music was. It was pretty well attended and some people danced and a new party scene was born. Then, on January 18th, 2013, the party grew up! The tent was even larger and the heaters bigger, and a stage was included. The MGM Grand added their support and a full bar was in the tent carved completely from ice complete with a functioning liquor luge. Over 1,000 people passed in and out of there that night and the dancing was a big the point where the tent poles were incorporated into the action (if you know what I mean). The only way to get bigger now is with a bigger tent!

We recently began playing in Fenton, which is a first for The Bluescasters, at a cool little place called Raymo's. The place is kinda unique as music venues go. It's a classy food place that was designed for fine dining. However, the management was thinking outside the box and built a stage with stage lighting, acoustic treatments, a full P.A. with satellite speakers spread throughout, and full backline including drum kit, Fender guitar amps, and an Ampeg bass amp. Nice to walk in with just guitars, sticks, and picks in hand (well...Phil's piano too) and set up in five minutes. It's a growing scene there and we're proud to be on board from the start.

E.G. Nick's hired us to play at their Plymouth location after seeing how well the Ice Festival came off right in their own parking lot. Nick's was also a sponsor of that event and we can't thank them enough for how great they have been to us. Plymouth can appear to be a sleepy little town to the casual observer. However, when you look a little closer, that place turns out in force for events, and they do more events than any other city of that size. We've been invited back for their 2013 Friday night Music-in-the-Air Series for a sixth straight year. Don't try to say "sixths" out loud. It will mess you up bad. Anyway, the Plymouth Friday concerts average 3,000 in the audience!

Then, of course, there's still the place that feels like home to us, and that would be Guy Hollerins. We've played there 30-plus times since it became a blues club and each one has been better than the last. We played their New Year's Eve Party for the third time in five years and we recorded a live CD there in 2009. The place recently got a fresh coat of paint and some carpeting, but we still like it anyway. We miss Amy, though. Between the cool folks working there and cool sponsors like WEMU and local brew masters (first ABC and now Wolverine), and a VERY supportive audience, it just gets that "feelgood" vibe ...especially on nights when The Bluescasters are rocking the joint!

See you down the road, whiskey in hand

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