Tuesday Night Blues returns and adds after hours jams
Some of us regret the love we lost or the career we never pursued. Some of us just regret that entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s we ate last night. Me, I regret the fact that I have absolutely no musical gifting whatsoever. I can’t even whistle. I so admire those with such a gift because it’s their gift of music that keeps my spirit strong even on my most-trying days.
It’s why I’m thankful for the Chippewa Valley Blues Society and its commitment to keeping the blues alive in our community every Tuesday all summer long in the Owen Park bandshell in Eau Claire. Thanks to this wonderful group of people, we have Tuesday Night Blues every summer, but even this special event got off to a dreary start.
It was the Annual Coalition Blues Festival of 2007. “(We) were under a tree, watching a small crowd of people sitting, drenched in the rain. We decided it was crazy to put all of our efforts into one multi-blues event to have it rained out.” That’s how Ken Fulgione remembers the spark of what became Eau Claire’s Tuesday Night Blues.
“Being outdoors and giving people an opportunity to enjoy great music is what it’s all about,” Fulgione said. “We have a strong blues history in this community dating back to Jim Solberg and Luther Allison in the ’70s. Blues has influenced the sounds of our town today.”
Eau Claire’s bluesy soul is ever present, and citywide interest in Tuesday Night Blues continues to grow from year-to-year. Fulgione remembers the days TNB attracted 200-300 people. Since its introduction, the Tuesday Night Blues family has expanded to more than 1,000 attendees each week. “Blues is the basic sound in every genre of music, and is enjoyed by people of all ages,” Fulgione says. “The growth in popularity continues to amaze us.”
The growing interest in Tuesday Night Blues has encouraged Fulgione and the ECBA to create more opportunities for the great bands we have in our community to showcase their talents. It’s why the Blues Society is excited to introduce a new addition to TNB this year: the AfterHours Blues Jam at The Plus Tuesday nights from 9 to midnight.
“There will be a series of host bands (likely the main acts on a given night of TNB) who will kick off the evening and set the stage for other blues musicians to plug in and jam,” Fulgione says.
The AfterHours Sessions will feature 14 jams this summer. The lineup for this year’s concert series (and very possibly some late-night jam sessions) includes: The Sue Orfield Band, Lucas Fisher & The Rhythm Posse, Wolves at the Gate, A Ladies Night with Anastasia, the Nick Foytik Band, and more. Fulgione is also pleased to let us know that The Plus will be offering coupons to those who attend TNB, so they may enjoy food and beverages at a discounted rate during the jams.
As tradition holds, Tuesday Night Blues will run between Memorial Day and Labor Day. (This year’s first show is Tuesday, May 30.) Whether you’re more into acoustic blues, whether you can rock the sax, or even if you can’t even give a little whistle, there will be something for us all.
For full details on the 2017 Tuesday Night Blues series, check out chippewavalleyblues.com/tnb/