Message from Paul Toscano, President of HVBS:
I'm going to brag a little bit here. Yesterday, a joint collaboration of the Long Island Blues Society and The Hudson Valley Blues Society held the Inaugural Downstate Blues Festival. There were 16 spots where bands or solo/duos performed "live" from various locations on Long Island or here in the Hudson Valley. Tests were performed in advance to keep any technical glitches to a minimum, and they were minimal.
To my knowledge, this event is the first of its kind. That being said, it was a great success. I would like to thank every band or solo/duo that played. I would like to thank everyone who tuned in, donated or signed up as members of the respective societies.
I would like to thank those at the LIBS who worked this project and helped to make it special in delivering live music to Blues lovers everywhere. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
I'm saving my biggest thank you for last. Thank you Hillary Fontana and Cristy Benvenutti. If it wasn't for you both, this event would not have happened. They were the driving force, and the architects of this festival. They worked tirelessly organizing, promoting and testing every facet. You are so very appreciated. I wouldn't know what to do without you amazing and talented women.
Performers (beginning top row/left to right)
Sly and LeeLee (LIBS)
Mark Shane (HVBS)
Russell "Hitman" Alexander (LIBS)
Agape Blues Company (HVBS)
Sweet Suzi, Anna Bell & Brother Dave (LIBS)
Chris Raabe Band (HVBS)
Felix Slim (LIBS)
Full Stop Blues Band (HVBS)
Phil Kennelty (LIBS)
The Special Sauce Band (HVBS)
Cyndi Hazell Duo w/ Special Guest Nic Reeger (LIBS)
Jim Lloyd (HVBS)
Kerry Kearney (LIBS)
Alice Nielsen Shane (HVBS)
Matty Bear Levine (LIBS)
Petey Hop (HVBS)