The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 11, 2013

Blues and brews this Saturday

By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz
For The Daily Item

DANVILLE — The holiday season has passed us by and all that remains are a few broken candy canes and a box full of bills, leaving some folks with a bad case of the post-holiday blues.

Other folks around the Susquehanna Valley are experiencing a different case of the blues with the blustery winter blues.

And for those folks not singing the blues, this Saturday they will have a chance to immerse  themselves in the blues and feel anything but blue as the blues, in all their colorful glory, will come to life at the Old Forge Brewing Company in Danville for a celebration of bluesy blues.

The day will feature a host of blues tunes from three popular blues infused acts, Doug McMinn and Hanna Bingman, The Blind Chitlin Kahunas and Teddy Young and the Aces.

“The blues are a very emotional genre of music that ranges from joy to sorrow and every emotion in between,” said Doug McMinn, a blues legend and musical mainstay across the Susquehanna Valley. “As a musician, playing the blues allows me to perform some of the classic blues songs by great blues artists and also some of my own original songs.”

Old Forge’s day of blues will kick off on a bluesy note with McMinn and Bingman performing from noon until 3 p.m. followed by The Blind Chitlin Kahunas from 4 to 7 p.m. and Teddy Young and the Aces from 8 to 10:30 p.m.

“The day is going to be filled with stellar blues, plus there is no cover, so the music is free,” said McMinn, a noted vocalist, songwriter, saxophonist and guitarist.

For the past five years McMinn and Bingman have performed at numerous venues across the Valley, bringing a sound and style that makes them one of the most authentic and original blues acts in the area.

“Few acts of any type have the number of original songs that Hanna and I play, so that and also with our musical style makes us more unique when it comes to the blues,” McMinn said. That bluesy style balances McMinn’s sax and guitar abilities along with his soulful and raspy voice that drives home every note he sings, while Bingman, who sounds like a young Lucinda Williams, fills each note with emotion. Together the act creates a musical tapestry of feeling and vibrant sounds.

For 32 years, McMinn has been entertaining audiences with a wide range of musical styles, including jazz, rock, soul and of course, the blues.

So what makes this musical mainstay blue?

“The blues are difficult to play and play well, so it can be a little frustrating when performing at a venue where there is a lot of loud conversation and people talking non-stop,” he said. “Unlike an electric band, who are a lot louder, it’s difficult for an acoustic blues act to grab their attention. So we have to work extra to really impress the crowd.” And a crowd is what is expected for Old Forge’s blues event, which will also be a terrific way to chase away those post-holiday and winter blues.

“There will be a lot of great blues, great beer and great food at the Old Forge Brewing Company,” McMinn said. “People will get to hear the blues from three very different acts all performing in a different style.”