The Rusty Wright Band is one of Michigan’s top blues outfits. The group won the Detroit Blues Challenge in 2010 and made it to the semifinals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
Saturday’s show at Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills will be a special one for the group. It will be the last show with current drummer Pete Haist and keyboard/organ player Dave Brahce.
Brahce has been in the band since 2007. Haist, who joined in 2008, has continued as a key member despite developing eye problems that have left him legally blind.
The demands of touring have become too much for the duo, explained singer-guitarist Laurie LaCross-Wright, who co-headlines the group.
“We'd like to send them off with a really great crowd Saturday,” LaCross-Wright said. “They have been hugely important to the band and wonderful to work with and travel with. We don’t want to see them go because they have been an integral part of our sound, especially the dueling parts between Dave and Rusty. Their lifestyles changed ... it wasn’t anything between the band members.”
The group, which also includes singer-guitarist Rusty Wright and bassist Dennis Bellinger, will soon be auditioning to fill the two spots.
“We intend to continue on and we’re really excited about the people who are applying,” LaCross-Wright said.
They have a unique method of auditioning potential band members.
“We set up a Web page with an audition application and detailed information about what we are doing, what we expect, and what they can expect as a member of the band,” LaCross-Wright said. “Once they respond, we send three songs for them to work on.”
The band isn’t your typical three-chord blues group. Their music is more complex.
“For last year's bass auditions, 40 people applied and, after they got the songs, only four came to the audition,” LaCross-Wright said.
“We already have applicants from as far away as Oklahoma. It should be interesting this time around.”
Click here to obtain audition information: http://www.rustywrightband.com/audition.html
For information on Saturday’s show, click atcallahans.com. For more on the Rusty Wright Band, click www.rustywrightblues.com. Click here to see a previous blog post on the Rusty Wright Band: http://jbblues.blogspot.com/2013/03/rusty-wright-shows-versatility-on-new-cd.html
Detroit Blues Challenge continues
Round 4 of the 2013 Detroit Blues Challenge will be held Saturday at Freddy’s Bar in Clinton Township.
Competing in the band competition will be the Delta Twins, The Hatchetmen, Sweet Willie Tea and the Teabones, Sanctuary Blues Band, and the Lost City Band.
The top two acts will advance to the finals on Oct. 20 at Callahan’s. The ultimate winners of the Blues Challenge -- in the solo/duo and band categories – will represent Detroit at the International Blues Challenge.
Michigan Blues Hall of Fame
There will be an induction ceremony for the Michigan Blues Hall of Fame from 4:30-8 p.m. Sunday at Freddy’s Bar.
Inductees include Sir Mack Rice, Curtis Sumter, Aaron “Little Sonny” Willis Sr., RJ Spangler, Bobby Murray, Terry “Thunder” Hughley, Howard Glazer, Harmonica Shah, Johnnie Bassett, James Anthony, Don McGhee, Larry McCray, Greg Manning, Jef Reynolds, James Cloyd Jr., Jeff Grand, Freddy’s Bar (Geno Genova)
, Emanuel Young, Ray Cooke, Alberta Adams, and Joe Ballor.
The event will be hosted by Sweet Claudette and the Vibe Axis Band. Sweet Claudette has been recognized as a Master Blues Artist and Ambassador to Michigan by the Blues Hall of Fame.
Admission is $15, with $5 from each ticket going toward school supplies for needy students.
Click here for more information.
Blues Heritage Series
The Detroit Blues Heritage Series continues with a performance by singer-guitarist Billy Davis at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Scarab Club in Detroit. Davis, who was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, will be joined by special guests the Boa Constrictors.
Be sure to get there early.
To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com.