Sunday, September 26, 2010

Miss Freddye and the Blue Faze

Miss Freddye and the Blue Faze

Miss Freddye and the Blue Faze, formed in 2002, is a blues band that also pumps out soul and R&B; they like to get the crowd away from shoe gazin' and onto the dance floor.

The group is a popular draw for venues on the Tri-State circuit and local clubs such as Moondog's, Cefalo's, and the Valley Hotel. They've opened for acts like Kelly Richie and Greg “Fingers” Taylor. They play all the blues jams: Pittsburgh Blues Festival, Wheeling Heritage Blues Festival, Elkin's Riverside Blues Festival, Charleston's Blues Brews and Barb-Q Festival and Sharon's Music Festival.

The Blue Faze represents the genre well. The band won the 2008 Appalachian Blues Competition in West Virginia, which earned them a spot in Memphis for the 2009 International Blues Competition. They've also played The Blues Divas Show for the Western PA Blues Society, the Blues Society Picnic, and Stand Down 2009 for vets.

Blue Faze is made up of Miss Freddye (vocals), Chris Nacy (harmonica), John Erskine (drums) and Matt McClintock (electric and upright bass). Greg Casile often plays the ax for them, but that's a rotating position since Jason Caliguri, one of the founding members, went off to join Jimbo and the Soupbones, along with other acts.

Fredericka "Miss Freddye" Stover: Originally from the North Side, the Natrona Heights resident started out singing in church when she was 15. She has been singing professionally for eleven years and carries the torch of Etta James, Koko Taylor, Susan Tedeshi and Tracy Chapman. For a blues singer, she has a lot of local jazz musicians she follows: Harold Betters, Rodney McCoy, Roger Humphries and Southside Jerry Mellix among them.

She's the face of the band, and as the lead vocalist, she can belt the blues or go slow with a ballad.

She's just released a CD for Bonedog Records in the Mon Valley, "These Are My Blues," a collection of mostly original Mike Sweeney tunes (and not to be mistaken for the Big Joe Williams LP of the same name). Miss Freddye is backed by Boneyard's session players, a strong group of blues/soul musicians. The title track, though, was recorded with Blue Faze, and written by Stover and Bubs McKeg.

Chris "Kit" Nacy: Nacy provides the finishing touch for any true blues band: the harp line. His influences are Smokin’ Joe Bisceglia, Greg "Fingers" Taylor and Matt Nacy. From Cheswick, he's also half of Izzy & Chris, an acoustic roots blues act formed in 2006 that won the West Virginia Blues Society IBC "blues duo" title in 2008 (Izzy Stetar is from Weirton).

Izzy and Chris have also released a CD, 2008's "Preachin' The Blues...Vol 1."

John Erskine: Erskine is another Valley suburbs guy, hailing from Indiana Township. He's a veteran behind the kit, having play with the bands like The Vogues and Jimmy Adler.

Matt McClintock: He's the bassman for several bands around the area, laying the beat from jazz to blues. When not playing with the Blue Faze, he can be found sitting with Erin Burkett and the Mean Reds or teaching music. McClintock has also played with the Drew Bentley Band, The Minda Brothers and Kenny Blake.

He's the newest group member, replacing original bassist Keith Gamble from Freeport, who now plays for the Bobby Hawkins & The Blues Train Band, and also The RumpShakers.

If you're looking for a band that features one of the top blues/soul voices in the district and whose musicians can get you out of your seat with their blues beat, look no further than Miss Freddye and the Blue Faze.

"That Kinda Woman" - Miss Freddye and the Blue Faze

No comments: