Videos by Dan Hogan
Downtown Albany was awash in the blues last Friday night, as 10 bands performed at eight different venues as they battled for top honors in the second annual Downtown Albany Blues Music Competition.
This year’s competition was based on a new scoring system – 50% of the vote was calculated by popular vote of the general public, while the other half of the point total was determined by the competition’s guest judge Steve Daub, a 2012 inductee into New York State’s Blues Hall of Fame and longtime radio host of WRPI’s “Stormy Monday Blues.”
The two winning bands were Blues Sanctuary, who performed at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen (formerly the Bayou Cafe) and the Tom Healey Band, who performed at Franklin’s Tower. As winners of the competition, both bands will perform at the Alive at Five concert series in Albany’s Riverfront Park on Thursday, July 25.
“Sanctuary Blues was right on the money tonight, original tunes and soaring solos,” said Daub. “The Tom Healey Band was also very tight. The drummer and bassist had the groove while Matt was able to hammer it out, and Tom has such a great blues voice.”
The 10 blues music acts who competed in the battle included:
Joe Lowry & the Second Mile Blues Band | 74 State Hotel
J.V. & the Cutters | Blue 82
The Tom Healey Band | Franklin’s Tower
Sly Fox & the Hustlers | The Hollow Bar + Kitchen (formerly Bayou Café)
The Hallertau Band | Legends on Pearl
Blues Sanctuary | The Hollow Bar + Kitchen (formerly Bayou Café)
Nite Train | The Peral Street Pub
Soul Sky | Olde English Pub and Pantry
Kylie & the Sympathetic Strangers | Pearl Street Pub
Holly & Evan | Taste