Review and photographs by Wanda Callagy
Though more than a month has passed, the Orpheum Performing Arts Center in Tannersville may still echo with some of the great blues music performed at the New York Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, February 16. The event drew more than 300 blues enthusiasts to see the latest inductees perform.
Michael Packer, president and ambassador of the organization, was enthusiastic about honoring both Kerry Kearney and Big Joe Fitz, as well as the crowd that gathered there to welcome them.
“What a fabulous night! It was a great performance by the artists and what a warm appreciative audience of blues lovers attended!,” Packer said.
Guitarist Greg Dayton opened the festivities, which also included stellar performances by Professor Louie & the Crowmatix, the Greene Room Show Choir, Grammy nominee Bill Sims, Jr., Sonny Rock (a former inductee in the house band) and new inductees Kerry Kearney and Big Joe Fitz, who received awards for their talents and showmanship in the blues world.
Sonny Rock summed up the event, saying, “I am truly blessed to be able to play in the company of some of these great people. The night moved well with class acts, and it was just a really great show. From the moment that Greg opened the show with his acoustic set – which is hard to do with a crowd that size – I knew we were in for a treat.”
Packer does not sit still for long. His upcoming plans are for Chicago in April, where he and his band will open for and induct the legendary Buddy Guy at Guy’s club, Legends.