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
    Featuring the BILLY PRICE BAND

    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 interview with 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 ‘Billy Price’.”

    Price has been entertaining audiences in the Pittsburgh region since the mid 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),
    Eric DeFade (tenor sax) and Rick Matt (baritone and tenor sax).

    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. Price is 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 blues revivalists, 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 for many national acts in the 1970s, Owen fronted The Dynatones in the Bay area in the early 1980s. Now back in Maryland again, Owen released a CD Worth the Wait in 2015 featuring several of San Francisco’s finest sidemen. Owen will no doubt perform cuts from Worth the Wait, which, according to Blues Blast, celebrates the heyday of American rhythm and blues. “He has the perfect voice for vintage R&B,” said Blues 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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