Welcome to the Blues Society of Central PA (BSCP) website!
The BSCP is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation, promotion, support and enjoyment of the truly original American art form, the blues.
Our goal is to be a complete local resource for all blues lovers, or anyone seeking to broaden their musical experience. During the course of the year, we host or sponsor many blues events and festivals, some free to the public, featuring local, regional and nationally known acts. And via our free weekly electric blues jams each Thursday night and acoustic jams the first Wednesday of the month, we’re promoting local talent. We invite all local blues men and women, no matter where they are on their blues playing journey, to get up on stage and perform and grow in front of appreciative audiences.
All of our events are open to the public, but being a BSCP member has its privileges and helps in the effort to host and sponsor great blues events. You can become a member for $10 a year, which gets you into both the annual Mississippi Railroad event in July and the annual all-you-can-eat Christmas party in December.
On this website you’ll learn about events and personalities that drive the blues genre in and around Central PA. We hope you enjoy it and join in on the fun.
SAVE THE DATE! - Saturday, October 7th
A SOUL/BLUES EXTRAVAGANZA
Heading to a concert
featuring a soulful blues vocalist with
four-plus decades of performing under
his belt as well
as 15 albums and CDs, you might think
you’re about to experience an iconic
figure in the genre. His soulful sounds
might suggest it too, but truth is, you
might instead be witnessing one
of the genre’s best kept secrets. With
his 15th and possibly best release, Alive
and Strange, Billy Price, well
known in the Pittsburgh region but not
so much, say many reviewers, outside
of it despite his association with Roy
Buchanan for three years, might finally at age 67 be close to nailing
down that illusive iconic status.
The Blues Society of
Central Pennsylvania welcomes Price to
the Champions Sports
Bar and Grill stage in Highspire
on Oct. 7. Charlie Owen & Pocket
Change will open the show at 8 p.m. Admission
is $20. Card carrying BSCP members will be admitted for $15.
“Price is a terrific
vocalist who deserves to be a bigger
star,” said Hal Horowitz
of Blues Revue, in which he was reviewing
his 2009 release Night Work. Horowitz
called that release “a thrilling
collaboration that...should delight lovers
of soul or blues.” With Night Work, Price
gathered some momentum toward
emerging from the shadows. He
kept the ball rolling with his Blues
Music Award winning (Best Soul Blues
album) 2015 release with the late Otis
Clay This Time For Real, and gained more
steam, and national recognition,
with Alive and Strange. “Catch him
live on tour. You’ll feel his pain, his
joy, and won’t be able to sit still,”
said reviewer Jim Hynes of Elmore Magazine. “Don’t be surprised if (Alive
and Strange) leaves your CD player smoldering.”
Price was born in Paterson,
New Jersey as Bill Pollak. In a 1999
Deep Soul magazine, Price explains
how he became known as Billy Price. “Billy
Price initially came from
Lloyd Price. In a talent contest - which
I won - one night at a club they asked
me my name. I was a kid then -
about sixteen years old - and I guess Lloyd Price was in my mind, so I said
Price has been entertaining
audiences in the Pittsburgh region since
1970s, so much so that he’s been
officially recognized as a Pittsburgh
Rock and Roll legend, according to his
website billyprice.com. Some notoriety
came his way when Price joined up with
Buchanan and became his vocalist
on two of his albums. Price formed
the Billy Price and the Keystone Rhythm
Band in 1977, and before their
breakup 13 years later the band had
recorded four albums. Shortly after the
breakup came the Billy Price Band,
which still tours today. In addition to
performing popular songs from Price’s
years with Buchanan and the Keystone
Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band
features new interpretations of blues,
R & B, and soul classics.
Members of the Billy Price Band are Steve Delach (guitar), Paul Thompson (bass),
Dave Dodd (drums), Jimmy Britton (keyboards),
Joe Herndon (trumpet),
In April 1997, Billy
Price released the critically acclaimed
The Soul Collection,
which featured a duet by Price and Clay,
his friend and mentor, called “That’s
How It Is.” In the Sept/Oct, 1997 edition
of Living Blues, Bill Dahl called The
Soul Collection “an inspired stroll through
the glorious history of soul
music [invested with] uncommon passion and
authenticity.” The Washington Post’s
Mike Joyce described
The Soul Collection “an R & B
homage full of
revealing and compelling performances.
a terrifically expressive soul singer.”
Then the Post summed
up Price in a way that comes as no surprise to
folks in the Steel City: “Unlike so many
Price is not an imitation of older, better singers--he’s the real thing.”
Vocalist Charlie Owen
brings a bit of San Francisco soul
to the stage, despite spending most of
his life on the
East Coast. After a stint in the house
band at the Stardust
Lounge in Maryland, a stopping off place
national acts in the 1970s, Owen fronted
in the Bay area in the early 1980s. Now back
in Maryland again, Owen released a CD
Wait in 2015 featuring several of San
sidemen. Owen will no doubt perform cuts from
Worth the Wait, which, according to Blues
the heyday of American rhythm and blues. “He
has the perfect voice for vintage R&B,”
Blast. “Just a little rough on the edges
and full of soul.”
BSCP ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3RD
It’s hard to resist a good two-for-one bargain during the Christmas season. People flock from all over at all hours of the morning to scarf up a sweet deal. On Dec. 3, The Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania (BSCP) offers for its annual Christmas party a killer two-for-one bargain rivaling any midnight madness sale. Only you can sleep in and still reap the harvest. Oh, and it’s free to BSCP members!
Performing at the Hummelstown Fire Hall are two national touring performers who between them have been nominated for 12 Blues Music Awards. Moreover, combined they have cut or been included on dozens of albums, either soloing or accompanying a who’s-who list of blues and rock performers.
Eight time BMA nominee Tad Robinson, who rose to fame singing and playing harp on the Chicago blues circuit in the 1980s and 90s and is still drawing accolades from blues reviewers nationwide, will be accompanied by The Dave Katz Band – Katz himself a 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee and legendary Hammond B-3 organist and keyboardist who has toured with The Allman Brothers Band, Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard and Delbert McClinton among others, in addition to having an impressive solo resume. That’s a mouthful, but that’s a one-two punch with so much history in the genre that it’s hard to sum up simply.
Memo to those who like to arrive fashionably late: Take a different tactic this time. The Hummelstown Fire Hall has a finite capacity and late comers may have to be turned away.
Admission to the concert and all-you-eat potluck is free to BSCP members. Memberships and membership renewals can be purchased at the door for $10. Feel free to bring a covered dish or a dessert to share!
Doors open at 1:30 p.m.
The buffet line will open at 2 p.m. and
two sets of music
will follow at 3 p.m.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The BSCP is proud to announce our newest feature in our quarterly newsletter, "In the Sportlight". This article will feature many talented musicians who regularly perform at the Thursday night blues jam, hosted by the BSCP at Champions Sports Bar & Grill in Highspire, PA. Please click HERE to read the newest article (pages 5 thru 7), featuring our own Gary "Rocky" Rothrock.
OUR JAM VENUE
Champions Sports Bar & Grill (www.championsportsbar.net) at 300 2nd Street, Highspire, PA is our home venue for the free weekly electric blues jams each Thursday night, beginning at 8 pm. Champions offers a full food and beverage menu and entertainment at least several nights a week.
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