Makin’ MovesWhat’s up friends and family?! Black Coffee has had an eventful start of the summer and the month of June is looking as busy as ever. We have shows at familiar haunts and some new places as well, including our first gig at a winery, a couple of festival shows and a free concert on the streets of Pittsburgh. Keep checkin’ out our website for the latest shows and happenings . . . also don’t forget to see Vince’s latest video blog of our travels, you might be in there somewhere!
Friday, April 27th we played what was the first of 4 new venues for Black Coffee. First up was a ruckus club called the Crooked I in Erie, PA. For all of us in the group, this was our first time to Erie, so we were pumped to check this place out. We had a couple of hours after our sound check to take a walk around downtown and saw a cool mix of architecture from the late 1800′s to houses built in the 40′s, then we made our way over to Jekyll & Hyde’s for some dinner (and what turned out to be a couple of free beers!). The Crooked I is tailor-made for folks who want to see live music, which has a big raised stage, a house sound guy running a killer sound system and lights galore! And of course there is fog for those who desire the complete effect of hair metal bands!The following week on May 3rd, we played at the Grape Room for the first time and it was also BC’s first gig in Philadelphia, PA. The Grape Room is a cool little place that is focused on having live music and giving all different types of bands a chance to play a show with a good stage and sound system. BC played on the bill with some amazing talent . . . Janet Robin, a crazy good acoustic guitarist, songwriter and a voice to boot who is a seasoned LA stalwart who has toured with many famous acts, including Lindsey Buckingham and she was given lessons while in high school from RANDY RHOADS!! Also on the bill was Christie Lenee, based out of Philly performing with a top-notch band, she is another excellent guitarist and vocalist who is starting to make some waves.
Two days later we were back down in Morgantown, WV playing at a new place for us called The Cue. A billiards hall and bar, the Cue is a huge place with 2 stages for bands. A few months ago we met the guys in the band Aristotle Jones & The Like Minds and we have been checking each other out at past shows, and thought it would cool to do a double bill together. BC hit first in the middle of the place on a square raised wooden stage that allowed the audience to view us from all directions. Then on the stage across the room, Aristotle & The Like Minds took over with their funky/hip-hop grooves. Good to see Tessa and her crew of fellow WVU graduates tearing up the dance floor!
On May 11th we played at the Rex Theater on the Southside in Pittsburgh, PA and it was one of my favorite shows to date! All of us in BC have wanted to take the stage at the Rex, a place where we have seen many of our favorite acts play, and we jumped at the chance when asked, especially after finding out who else was on the bill! Black Coffee had the honor and privilege to be the opening act for one of the greatest soul singers on the scene today . . . the one and only Lee Fields! From the first song Lee and his band were COOKIN’!! For you youtubers, there are a couple of videos of their performance this night, type in his name and the date 5-11-12 and see for yourselves. Don’t sleep on this band!! They are touring heavily all over the map, so no excuses!As we continue to find the bass player that is the perfect match for the group, we are excited to have our new friend Paco Mahone holding down the low end for us at our gigs this weekend down in WV. On Friday, the 25th we are at the Morgantown Brewing Company in Morgantown, then the next night we travel a little ways south to Clarksburg where we will play at PJ Kelly’s. BC has played at both places before and the crowd, staff and atmosphere at each venue is always great, so come and check us out!
During the first few days of June, BC has 3 cool shows and they are all outside, so pray, cross fingers, do a dance, anything so we can keep up the nice weather! On the 3rd we play at the Christian W. Klay Winery in Chalk Hill, PA. On Sundays at the winery they have bands play outside and BC has the spot on the first Sunday of each month this summer. Sunshine, wine and soul on a summer day sounds like a good time! June 8th, BC is playing as part of the Southside Works outdoor concert series on the corner of Sidney St. and S. 27th St. in Pittsburgh. Check out their FB page to see all about the concert series and other happenings with the Southside Works. On Sunday, June 10th we are part of the Arts Alive Festival in Morgantown, WV where all weekend long many great acts are playing for FREE, including Keller Williams, Larry Keel & Zach Deputy!
Another show that BC is excited to play is at the site of the annual Flood City Music Festival. On June 16th they are throwing a concert to commemorate the opening of the Peoples Natural Gas Park and we were honored to accept their invitation to play. Black Coffee gets to share the stage with some of our favorite acts and serious road warriors, who have dedicated their lives to music. BC hits at 6pm, followed by Eilen Jewell, Los Straitjackets (who I remember seeing at Zeno’s Pub many years ago and they threw down!) and Tab Benoit!! The tickets are cheaper pre-sale so get a hold of yours right away!I just want to say on behalf of myself and the band that we know it’s not possible to do what we do without many of you out there supporting us . . . a big thanks and lots of love to the following folks (in no particular order) for helping Black Coffee along the way these past few weeks . . . Ben at Grey Area Productions for giving us a chance to play in front of another soul legend and for being one of the best promoters in the region, Andre and Dave for committing their time and bass talents to us, our good friends from C-ville who ALWAYS come out for the shows, especially Craig for holding down the merchandise table for us, to Tony at the Crooked I for having us play his killer club, Scooter at the Grape Room and Barry the sound guy there, Chelsey at Little Red Media for the pictures and shout outs on her site, Aristotle and the fellas for having us out, Lee Fields and the guys in the band for allowing us to use their backline, especially Evan for lending me his ’67 Ludwigs, my peeps Mary and Andy, my main man Josh Ferko for bringing a crew with him to our Rex gig (fellow vinyl lovers, check out Josh’s site ‘Stax of Trax’ for one of the best places to get records anywhere) Mama Cuneo for the fried chicken at practice, . . . and lastly, thanks to Courtney for breakfast at 6am after a long drive from the gig.
COTW: The Beatles – Revolver