Feets Don’t Fail Me Now!Black Coffee has been going strong since the beginning of 2012, settin’ things up and gettin’ busy for an action packed year of playing a ton of shows, organizing a couple of 10 day runs and hittin’ the studio for another recording session, featuring brand new originals from BC. Mr. Friendly has been busy booking us in all of your hometowns and beyond as usual, including a few opening slots that we are pumped for, one being with a certified soul music legend! We have many shows all over the Northeast this summer, and more dates are being added each day, so please keep checking’ out our website for all the BC happenings.
The past few weeks have been flying by and we have had the privilege to play some memorable gigs with some incredible folks helping to make it all happen . . . here are a few of the highlights from the past couple of weeks.
On Friday, February, 24th the crew was back down in West Virginia at the Morgantown Brewing Company. BC has been in WV quite a bit lately and we never knew how funky the Mountaineers could be! The MBC is a great brew pub, featuring some amazing beers and good grub. We felt at home on the little stage in the corner and had a good time performing, even though a mysterious gremlin was messing with Ryan’s gear seconds before we hit! It was great to see Soul Sista Tessa again and her friends gettin’ funky.
The following Friday, March 2nd we played at P.J. Kelly’s in Clarksburg, WV. What a cool freakin’ place! The stage is large and the sound system rocks, and for the traveling musician they have a place to crash and unwind after the show. Vince & Caitlin have also been laying down some acoustic sets at this venue so check them out! We would like to thank Brandon for making the show, driving further than we did to come and hang with us! And big thanks to the staff for making sure we had some food at the end of the night going to the restaurant for us before they closed down! That is some love right there.After this year is over and looking back, our next show will always stick in my mind as one of my favorites. On Saturday, March 10th, Black Coffee played its first concert in the Arts Capitol of the World, New York City. We played at the Greenpoint Gallery, a cool spot in Brooklyn where the outside looks beat up, complete with spray paint marking the address on the rusty metal door, but when you enter and go up a flight of stairs you are in a creative, artistic place full or energy and great works of art and the people who make them. We were one of 5 acts that night and the talent level surrounding us was truly astounding. The eclectic mix of acoustic acts, soul, funk and new age made the night especially fun for the audience who were able to hear and watch something different from each individual or group. Big thanks to the other acts for sharing the stage with us . . . Arthur Lewis, Soul’d Out, House of Waters and the incredible Lynette Williams, who just floored myself and everyone else in the room. I couldn’t stop hearing her songs in my head and when I got home I ran around like a geeky fan-boy telling everyone to listen to her!
Friday, March 16th we played our first show at the Abbey Bar in Harrisburg, PA. We have played in Harrisburg a few times at different places and always have a good time in our State’s Capitol. The venue is right above the Appalachian Brewing Company and it is tailored made for seeing music . . . spacious stage, big dance floor, good sound system with someone who knows what’s up behind the knobs. BC opened for H-burg’s own, The Greatest Funeral Ever and we can’t thank them enough for their hospitality and sharing equipment. A bunch of good folks who happen to wail as a funk/jam band, complete with a hot 4 piece horn section. We have to thank Mike and the staff for having us out and we especially want to thank the many family members and friends who made it, even my very hip father in-law all the way from Georgia!
The Abbey Bar gig happened to also be Keith’s last night on bass. We want to thank Keith for all his dedication and skills that he brought to the band. He’s a good player and an even better dude. I’m sure he will be playing around his hometown area and we’ll run into him in the future. For the next several weeks we have the honor to have the talented Andre La Velle back in the mix sitting in on bass for us for a few shows. My main man Funky Dre has been busy being first chair contrabass in the local symphony and playing upright bass all over the place with the jazz bands in the area, so he feels good to be laying down the funk again!
March 23rd, BC was back at the Morgantown Brewing Company and the dance floor was BUMPIN’! We know that most of the WVU students were away on Spring Break, but those who stayed in town and came down to check us out were ready to party! Also, it was good to see Mama & Papa Cuneo and their friends in the audience, and as always a big thanks to Sarah & the crew for the show. We had such a good 3 month residency that BC just signed on for the rest of the year! Starting in May, we will be at the MBC 1 Friday a month, usually the 4th or last Friday, so keep on the lookout!
Friday, March 30th we were at the famous Red Horse Tavern in Pleasant Gap, PA. just outside of State College, our old stomping grounds. We love playing in central PA. where we got our start and the Red Horse was packed with many old-time friends and family coming out for the show. Just so you know you CAN find some dance floor in the Red Horse, which was proven by a few hip-shakin’ party people!
The next night we traveled out to Cape May, NJ to take part in the Singer/Songwriter showcase, with our performance at the Boiler Room at Congress Hall on Beach Avenue. We are trying to hit all of the States in the Northeast this year and this was our first time performing in New Jersey. The showcase had many great artists and we enjoyed the cozy little bar underground. Thanks to the band, Amber Blues for allowing us to use some of your equipment.
On April 12th we were back in one of my favorite cities, Pittsburgh, PA. We once again played at the James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy on the North side. A funky little spot on the corner of James and Phineas, and what some consider a mini-historical jazz joint (check out the legend jazz drummer Roger Humphries on certain nights of the week). Big thanks to Dave Pfister for sitting in on bass with us and playing some funky azz stuff! Don’t sleep on this place . . . they are bringing in great acts and helping to build a music community in the area.We have some cool shows coming up over the next several weeks . . . This coming Friday, on the 27th, Black Coffee makes our first voyage to Erie, PA to play at the Crooked I. We have heard great things about this place and look forward to funkin’ it out for the folks on the lake. On Thursday, May 3rd we will be in the Philadelphia area at the Grape Room. We are pretty pumped to be playing there our first time and have heard that it is a great venue for live music. A couple of days later, Saturday May 5th we will be down in Morgantown, WV at the Cue on High Street. We will be sharing the bill with some new friends of ours, Aristotle Jones & The Like Minds. We met these guys back at the MMC in Harrisburg a couple of months ago and they really rip it up on stage with their blend of soul, funk and a little hip-hop flavor. A bunch of talent and cool mofos to boot! That will be one funky Saturday night!
One show I want to tell you all about that I think will be one of the best soul/funk shows happening in the area this year! On May 11th, BC will be opening for the legendary Lee Fields & The Expressions! We are honored to be sharing the stage with one of the greatest soul singers touring today. The show is at the Rex Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA on East Carson Street, one of the premiere music venues in the city. You can purchase tickets ahead of time and they are only 12 bucks! A crazy great deal for a soul legend!
The summer is here for the BC crew and we are lining up dates all over the Northeast, including PJ Kelly’s down in Clarksburg, WV, the MBC year-long residency, some cool festivals are also on the bill, featuring Arts Alive Fest (Keller Williams headlining!) & FarmJammaLamma and some dates in Pittsburgh not to be missed! Please keep checking out our website and the FB page and thanks for being such good fans, everyone in BC knows what you do for us out there!
COTW : The Band – Music from Big Pink (RIP Levon)