Like many other aspects of the Queen City, Buffalo has always been under-appreciated as a music city. To a certain extent, it can’t be helped. The nerve centers of the music industry are elsewhere, including New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville. And then there’s the Buffalo Mentality; that secondary market syndrome that contends that something or someone from out of town is better than something or someone from here.
“The Buffalo Shuffle” every Monday night at The Tralf Music Hall will showcase the development and foundation of the Buffalo style of traditional rhythm and blues. We welcome musicians young and old to take part in the ongoing development of the Buffalo Sound. The house band each Monday will be featuring local Buffalo Musicians Doug Yeomans, Mick Hayes, Pete Holquin, Jim Ehinger, Steve Sadoff, and Al Monti with special guest musicians weekly. (More detailed information on individual musicians below)
Fifty some odd years ago, a Rock and Roll, boogie woogie blues style band called Stan and the Ravens started playing the local bar circuit with a sound influenced by the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Ray Charles . Many local musicians worked with the pianist and band leader, Stan Szelest, following his pounding left hand. When Stan and the Ravens broke up, bassist Tommy Calandra and drummer Gary Mallaber joined a band called The Rising Sons with vocalist Tony Galla, guitarist John Weitz, and pianist/keyboardist Jimmy Calire. This line up became Raven.
Many Musicians have followed in the footsteps of these players, all recognizing the feel, the sound, and the energy that is The Buffalo Sound. Sometimes referred to as the Buffalo Shuffle, the drum beat is a shuffle best described by drummer Gary Mallaber: “If you boil a shuffle down to something you go to a Jimmy Reed record. That’s what I go to, or I go to the song Honkey Tonk by The Bill Dogget Quartet. Between those two, anything Jimmy Reed does and “Honkey Tonk,” you have the absolute shuffle the way it should be. If you play it the right way, that's Buffalo and it’s gusty, earthy. There’s a geography, it’s true to itself. There’s a Texas shuffle. There’s a Chicago shuffle. There’s a New York City way of playing a shuffle. There’s almost a California way of playing the shuffle. This is about rediscovering another identity that is truly our own."
Jim Ehinger - After leaving Buffalo to find his fame and fortune in L.A., Jim Ehinger was the keyboardist of choice to play on albums and/or tours with musical greats such as Coco Montoya, Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, George Harrison, Steven Stills and Bob Weir. His rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue" opened the 1984 Olympics in LA and he served as Dennis Quaid's piano coach for the movie "Great Balls of Fire." His performance on "At This Moment" with Billy Vera and the Beaters helped propel the tune to be a million selling number one record. Ten more years in NYC saw Jim serve as musical director for B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill and for the Mayer Theater in addition to his playing with other greats. Jim now can be heard playing in local clubs in the WNY area along with our top blues or R&B talent.
Mick Hayes is the quintessential young front man the music industry was built on. With his sharp dressed attitude and his “born lucky charm” he is sculpting the sound of contemporary blues and R&B today with powerful vocals and the cleanest home grown skills that pass through all of the blues sub-categories in one night. Within the last year the multi-award winning guitarist/vocalist/songwriter has opened for: Robin Trower, Dave Mason, Dickey Betts & Pete Frampton.
Mick joined the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame group Only Humen at the ripe age of 20, and it was with this band where he began to learn his trademark showmanship and a 4 gig per-week worth ethic. As a member of Only Humen, he opened for Marshall Tucker and Molly Hatchet, and contributed on four songs of Only Humen’s release, Slightly Twisted Fiction. After three years with Only Humen, Mick decided to form the Mick Hayes Band in 2003. Acclaim arrived quickly in the Trio’s first year, with Mick earning a People’s Choice Award for Best Blues Guitarist, and placing 10th in the USA International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Mick’s passion and conviction on stage has done more than sold thousands of copies of his CD it’s opened up the eyes of some of the industries most recognized artists.
Doug Yeomans - plays a hybrid style of Rock & Roll, Blues, Country, and Bluegrass. His career has taken him from New York to California, with stays in Nashville, Toronto, and Austin with many other stops in-between. He plays concert stages, festivals, clubs, private functions, theater shows, studio dates, guitar clinics and is a teaching artist in schools. Awards: 2004 Inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, 2001 & 2003 Best Blues Guitarist by the Buffalo Music Awards, 2003 and 2004 representative of the Blues Society of Western New York in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN, 2002 and 2003 Listener Awards for Best Acoustic Blues and Best Bluegrass Act, 2001 North American Rock Guitar Champion at the Buffalo-Niagara Guitar Festival, 1990 Best Country Guitarist (Buffalo Music Awards) and in 1988 – 1994 Toured with Award winning Coppercreek Bluegrass Band, Creekbend
As an educator, Doug Yeomans is an experienced clinician. He has lead workshops at the Mayville Bluegrass Festival yearly since 2003; Guitar Center, Tonawanda, NY, Jackson Music, Grand Island, NY, Wellsville Creative Arts Center, Wellsville, NY, Guitar Summit, Jordan Ont, Melodee Music, Leesburg, VA, Generations Guitar Society Master Clinician, Bradford, PA and is facilitator of a popular Bluegrass Guitar Club. Doug has been a contracted clinician with Young Audiences of Western New York since 1997, each year sharing his talents and knowledge with thousands of elementary to high school children. Workshops include Blues to Bluegrass, Erie Canal History, Stringmen, and Just Guitar. Twice chosen as a feature performer on the Robby Takac (Goo Goo Dolls) and University of Buffalo produced television series: Music is Art – Live
Pete Holguin of The Soul Invaders (BMHOF Class of 2006) (now known as The Billy McEwen Band) have been Western New York's leading Rhythm and Blues band for over a decade. Led by "Buffalo Music Awards" Hall of Fame vocalist Billy McEwen, they punch out a crowd pleasing mix of Classic Blues, Funk, Rock 'n' Roll, R&B and Originals. Over the years, this award winning band has shared the stage with acts such as Muddy Waters, James Cotton, John Mayall, The Neville Brothers and The Average White Band. The Billy McEwen Band are guitarists Jay Dzina and Ed Bores, drummer Pete Holguin, bassist Jim Brucato, and Al Monti on saxophone. All members contribute both lead and background vocals which, when combined with the gritty vocals and aggressive harp playing of Billy McEwen, produce the biggest and most distinctive R&B sound in the Western New York area.
“The Buffalo Shuffle” will commence every Monday night at The Tralf Music Hall at 8pm beginning Monday, December 28, 2009. Check out The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and The Tralf Music Hall for more details.
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