The next week or so will be a transition time for singer-guitarist Greg Nagy.
On Saturday, Nagy performs at the Cooley Lake Inn in Commerce Township. There’s no cover charge and the first 50 people who mention the Facebook event will get a free copy of Nagy’s “Walk That Fine Thin Line” CD on Big O Records.
The Cooley Lake Inn gig and a performance at the Hot Blues, BBQ and Art festival in Lake Orion on July 20 comprise a “farewell tour” of sorts for Nagy and his longtime bandmates, bassist Jim Shaneberger and drummer Karl Schantz.
According to Nagy, bassist Shaneberger -- who formerly played with Donald Kinsey and who has been with Nagy for four years -- is also a fine singer, guitarist and songwriter who has a new solo record called “Work In Progress.” He’ll be reuniting with Schantz, who has been in Nagy’s band for two years, in a new trio with bassist Robert Pace in their hometown of Grand Rapids. Like Nagy, the new trio will feature a variety of blues-based musical styles.
Nagy, meanwhile, has been in twice-a-week rehearsals with his new bandmates, bassist Joseph Veloz and drummer Scott Veenstra. Veloz, who is classically trained, has performed or recorded with a “who’s who” of blues artists, including Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Lucky Peterson, Joanne Shaw Taylor, and Jason Ricci. Veenstra, a Grand Rapids resident who is originally from New York, is a jazz and roots drummer who has performed and recorded with the critically acclaimed NYC band Hazmat Modine.
The new band makes its debut this Thursday in Monroe at McGeady's Pub and next Wednesday at The Bob in Grand Rapids.
It’s an unusual situation for Nagy, who values the time spent and music created with Shaneberger and Schantz, but who is also looking forward to performing with his new band.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a band break up that’s been amiable,” he said. “It’s liking having two wives. I’m in the transitional stage.”
Blues around town
Guitarist Bobby Murray, a Detroit Blues Society Lifetime Achievement Award winner, will sit in with the Rick Stel Project tonight, July 10, at the Blue Goose Inn in St. Clair Shores. The band starts about 8 p.m. and an open jam follows at 9 p.m.
Murray also performs at noon on Friday at the Midday Music Series at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. Joining Murray for the free concert will be vocalist Lenny Watkins, Mark Thibodeau (keyboards and vocals), Dave Uricek (bass and vocals) and drummer Renell Gonsalves.
The weather forecast is good too.
On Saturday, the Bobby Murray Band featuring Lenny Watkins will take the stage at Guy Hollerin’s in Ann Arbor.
On Friday night, catch singer-harmonica player Alvin Smith and the Detroit Blues Crew at Pub 1281 in Clinton Township. The band starts at 10 p.m. and there’s no cover charge.
Also on Friday, the three-day Bluesfest International at Riverfront Festival Plaza in Windsor kicks off with Larry McCray, Dick Wagner, Cactus, and Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels.
On Saturday, Bluesfest International features Saigon Phamacy, Jack deKeyser, Harper, Scott Holt with special guest Neal Evans from Soulive, and Gregg Rolie.
On Sunday, the event’s final day features Ray Fuller & The Bluesrockers, Chuck Jackson with Sab & the Family Band, Thornetta Davis, Savoy Brown, and Powder Blues.
For more info on Bluesfest International, click thebluesfest.com.
On Tuesday, July 16, enjoy a taste of New Orleans with Buckwheat Zydeco at The Magic Bag in Ferndale. Admission is only $20.
On Wednesday, July 17, Smokin’ Joe Kubek and B’nois King return to Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills. Tickets start at $20.
To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com