by Kevin Hill, Journal Newspapers
band had just finished 30 minutes of up-tempo, jump blues Saturday at Bogart's
Billiards Café in Livonia, as Kerry Adams leaned toward the microphone.
"We are the Bluescasters," he said. "Hopefully we're not interrupting
too many games." Some venues are more receptive than others, but the bar
scene is remarkably difficult for musicians today-more so than 30 years ago, when
Adams and his bandmates, in various and separate road bands, toured the country.
The popularity and profitability of karaoke, for one example, has made live music
an increasingly rare commodity.
Doug Wolgat, who plays bass for the Bluescasters,
said the situation has strengthened the bands that slog it out. "If you're
the right band and you've got the right talent, you weed out the weaker ones,"
he said. Tonight, however, the Bluescasters won't need to worry about interrupting
anyone's pool game. They take to the stage at the Village Theater in Canton Township
at 8 p.m., and the entire house will be there for them.
The Detroit-area band,
which formed two years ago, hopes to draw some new fans to their growing base.
Besides Bogart's, they've played to appreciative crowds at Hermann's Old Town
Grill in Plymouth and Enzo's in Ann Arbor. They are finalists in the Detroit Blues
Society Blues Challenge this year, and will travel to Pontiac to try to win an
entry to an international competition in Nashville.
Their blues--at turns
jump, swamp, and blues-rock--certainly has broad appeal. And while the theater
hasn't booked many blues groups during it's short existence, a listen to Five
Dimes, their debut CD, convinced bookers at the theater that they were for real.
"Musicians tend to be stand-offish," said Wolgat, who said one of the
band's strengths is an understanding of the aspects of the music business. Drummer
Harry Rodman, a Plymouth-Canton graduate, handles promotion and marketing, booking
shows and keeping fans informed through their website, www.thebluescasters.com.
Wolgat and his wife brought design experience to the CD and other materials; and
Adams has produced records in his studio for decades.
Their collective experience
both on and off the stage bodes well for the Bluescasters. The band is tight and
well rehearsed, with an extensive repertory. They mix originals--"This Old
Guitar," "That's all She Left Me," and "Greyhound Blues,"
to name a few--with cover songs, such as Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up."
As that track on their CD shows, however, covers are completely transformed to
match their sound, a process, they quipped, called "Caster-izing."
Adam's guitar solos are both technically sound and moving, and whenever organist
Phil Ryski picks up the harmonica the song is sure to reach the next level. But
no one member of the quartet ever overpowers the rest of the group, and Wolgat's
bottom-end bass is heard clearly grooving along with Rodman's exceptional drumming.
They all share vocals on several songs and can be heard to harmonize--both rare
feats for a blues band, said Adams. And tonight, after the first half of their
two-hour show, they'll be joined by a three-piece horn section from Lady Sunshine
and the X Band.
Their professionalism at live performances shows up on their
disc, too. Recorded in Adams' studio, Cell Block #3, and professionally mastered--another
rarity for local bands--the finished product does justice to the Bluescasters'
But most importantly, said Adams, audiences can tell that
the band is having a good time. Wolgat, who has been in the music business since
the 1960s, said he's having the most fun with the Bluescasters out of all the
bands he's played with. "Everybody takes a professional approach," he
said. Tickets are available at the door for the show, which begins at 8 p.m. The
box office opens at 7 p.m. The Village Theater is located at 50400 Cherry Hill
Article from RootsTime
magazine translation from Dutch
It could not be further delayed, at last, the first album of the "Bluescasters".
Kerry Adams, Phil Ryski, Harry Rodman, and Doug Wolgat from Ann Arbor,
Michigan met each other during the summer of last year, and as so often
occurs; their love of the blues was that great, that this record could
not wait any longer. The Bluescasters preferred to play their own ten
compositions on their debut except for three "covers", among
those "Something's Going On In My Room" by S. Johnson and "All
Shook Up by the duo Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley.
To describe this band as the usual "run of the mill" blues band
would certainly shortchange them. So thirteen heavenly blues tracks sparkle
on this disc, where we recognize all "kinds" of blues, originating
from Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, and Texas. Purists may argue
this, but that will not keep me awake. These are the blues in the real
sense of the word! This band is proud to show the blues in all it's facets
and how!! Guitarist Kerry Adams proves it's penetrating creativity in,
among others, "This Old Guitar" and "Big Brother Blues",
as his guitar playing sounds "mean and raw" and then "subtle
and sweet". That is the way I like to hear a guitarist! The perfectly
balanced songs show all kinds of influences. A fusion of blues, roots,
and blues/rock gives their sound a touch of uniqueness, but one with "character".
Contrary to the average blues/rock fanatic, the ones who like the ambience
and swinging blues will consider this a "rich dog bone". However,
it is not always easy to recognize this as a simple style. It matters
that you open yourself for this kind of music to be able to enjoy this
fully, and that means Enjoy with a capital E, this swinging "new
21st century-style blues music. A masterly debut is the only word to apply
The Bluescasters, according to me, are a true stage revelation, sparkling
because of Kerry Adams (guitar, vocals), Phil Ryski (harmonica, vocals),
Harry Rodman (drums, vocals), and Doug Wolgat (bass, vocals). And now
course, buy the album.