Indian Summer

1445268994127So I’m not sure what happened to the summer or the first half of fall. Seems like a dream. Not sure it even all happened, either way here we are…..halfway into fall. Over the last several weeks the temps have been dropping and the leaves have been turning. Friday we had a cold front come through and the rain stripped about half the leaves off the trees. There were little leaf tornadoes all over the road that day.

1445521417263Over the weekend it warmed up some. All next week it will be sunny and pushing 70 thanks to the southern winds that will be blowing up from the south. The first warm air in Autumn after a frost so says wikipedia. I love this time of year up here in Steelers country. Fall festivals everywhere, Cooler temps, Beer, Bonfires, Apple Cider….Steelers Football, more Beer…..whats not to love?

1446415626368Over the last week and a half I have watched flocks of geese fly overhead…..directly overhead. My Brother Jayson said at the first sign of Canadians….head south. I guess Geese count as well. Hmmm… snow yet.

SO what’s been going on?

1445189619493Busy, busy, busy…..been playing a friends guitar that I really really like. I want one. I absolutely fell in love with this guitar.

1444046027701Went to see Tim Woods and Sons at Mr. Toads one night with Gashouse Annie and a few other friends. Had a great time. Crawdad Joe is Awesome! As are the Woods family! Saw this on the brick wall in the men’s room there. Above the men’s urinal of course.

1446171863633My brother Gary sent me this pic the other day. Awesome pic. I saved it as the background on my phone.

So I’m gonna enjoy the next couple of weeks of Indian Summer before old man winter rears his ugly head. Then I’ll be Southbound. Enjoy!



images (6)I get allergies at the end of every summer and the last three weeks have been no exception. They last anywhere from a couple of days up to six weeks. Nothing really works except Claritin D and that is a trade off because I can breathe but mentally I’m a zombie. And the ragweed is everywhere here in Western PA. The good news is that for the last three days they have not been too bad. So hopefully they will subside from here on out.

It has been all I could do to get through the days and the gigs I had. Keeping up with anything else like this blog and my website was too much. I need to modify my diet and nutrition throughout the rest of the year. I did that one year and it helped tremendously. Reduced the length and severity greatly.

  1. Eliminating dairy is one. My biggest problems here are the creamer in my daily coffee regimen and pizza. I am addicted to my daily starbucks fix. I’ll have to switch to a non-dairy creamer. And I just can’t eleiminate pizza from my life. I don’t eat it that often but love a good pizza. Just have to reduce consumption or eliminate it before and during Ragweed season.
  2. Eating local honey is another.  I used to eat local honey all through the year anyway I could. I put it in everything I could. Bagels, breads, and sauces instead of sugar. have to get back to that.
  3. Supplements are another. Butterbur, Fish oil, Quercitin Bromelain and Freeze dried Stinging Nettle all help reduce symptoms.
  4. Citrus, Fruits, Salmon, Walnuts and flaxseed also help. Need more of those.

So this week we will be trying to get back on track and hopefully the allergies will (1)Thanks for supporting me on My Blues Americana Adventure.


Last Week’s Gigs

It was a busy week.10420387_849350078441585_163831630155531413_n

Tuesday night found me back at Blush Sports Bar at Shari Richards open stage with Max Woodall, Joe Munroe, Antone, and Larry Manganero. I got to play a few Blues tunes with Shari, man can she sing.

11890000_10204845459835832_129131821642840429_oWednesday I played a benefit fundraiser for The West Penn Trail Association at Speal’s Tavern. I played five songs on my Resonator solo and then got Chris Volpe and Lauren Condon up to play some songs together. Then I was joined by Joe Neidlazowski on bass, Emil Herby on Guitar, and Chris Volpe on trumpet. That was a lot of fun. We ran through a blues set that was kind of like an unplugged set although we were all playing electrics.

11873511_10204834166834587_3421410202890750334_n 11892103_10204834166634582_5275433472229634230_n 11891143_10204834167114594_6854265661536984329_n 11898935_10204834168034617_7334268660222316066_n11887874_10204834168914639_2071715360471208733_n

Friday I played with Angry Johnny Stangry and his CRS band, Joe Cunningham on Drums and Jack on Bass. It was good to play with these guys again, I had a lot of fun.


Thanks to Joe Niedzalkoski and Mary Ann Maxwell for the photos.

“You have to have lived the Blues to play the Blues”   Harry “Sweets” Edsion

Uncle Jay says, “Cheers Brother! The Beer’s Cold!”

That’s all I’ve got…….

Thanks for supporting me on My Blues Americana Journey!



20 and counting………….

So WordPress informed me that the last post I made, Blues Jammin”,  was my 20th Blog Post! Woohoo! I don’t think I won anything but it is an accomplishment nonetheless. I started this blog for a couple of reasons but the main reason was to get better at it. And I guess after 20 posts surely I am making progress.

So if you are reading this, I thank you for listening….or reading. And for Brother Jay who is fighting the good fight…….Here’s a few pics I took of the hills on my way home with my cellphone. Here on top o’ the mountain.


And if Annie is listening…’s a pic of those meatballs….just like Mama used to make!


Thanks For Listening!



Blues Jammin’

1437843154384This past Thursday I went to the Blues Night Jam in Irwin at The Colonial Grille Taproom. Hosted by Dave Erny and Kenny Blake, it also featured Lou Franconi on drums and Larry Siefers on keys. Man what a band. Lou is an incredible drummer and Larry sounds a lot like Leon Russell and Dr. John. 1437697587417They played an absolutely incredible first set before they started getting guests up. These guys are seasoned veterans. Just amazing! I got to play with my new bass player friend Larry Manganaro and Kenny Blake on sax. Truly an experience to sit in with these seasoned musicians. My blues slinger buddy Randall Troy was there as well and we shared a few laughs. We didn’t get to jam together but hopefully we’ll get to do that soon.

0725151252Saturday afternoon I joined my good friend Gashouse Annie at The Greendance Winery in Mt. Pleasant. It was a beautiful day out in the country and we had a good time. 1438026153576I left from the gig there and drove to Pittsburgh to pick up my bass player buddy Max who was having some transportation issues and we headed down the highway to Johnstown for the VOMA Blues Gathering. It’s a monthly Blues show where they invite regional Blues Musicians to perform together for the evening. Usually the musicians have not performed together so it’s always interesting. No set list, no rehearsal, just throw a group of Blues Musicians together and see what comes out of the mix.

0729151936Well that was the week before and I never got to finish blogging last weekend. Just ran out of time. I went to The R Bar in Dormont on Wednesday for their Blues Jam which featured Craig King on guitar, Twizzy Thornhill on drums and my friend Max Woodall on bass. Boy they are one tight group. And Craig King is one hell of an entertainer. I got to sit in with Max and a few other players. Debi Quinten Hodill(The Owner) took a video you can see here: Video.0729152058 There were a lot of talented musicians there that night. Billy The Kid, Ubrei Bey, Josh Mineer, Stevee, Mr. B. and Billy Bass Nelson(A member of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame). I also had a really nice conversation with Shari Richards who I met a few weeks ago at her Blush open jam. It was a great night.

Friday I went to Speal’s Blues Jam hosted by Tom Bielak And The Sharks. Angry Johnny Stangry showed up and it was good to see him. First time since I’ve been back. Had a good time jammin with Tom and the Sharks.

Saturday I went to Sammy Brant’s studio to lay down some lead guitar tracks on a collaborative Singer-Songwriter CD Project he is working on. That was fun. A lot of great songs on the CD. Then I was off to a private party with Gashouse Annie. We had a lot of guest musicians sit in with us. We closed out the night with All along the Watchtower and The House Of The Rising Sun. Joined by Diane Cipa and Pete Zecora, Gashouse Annie said it sounded like Woodstock. She sounds like Janis Joplin, Diane sounded like Joan Baez, Pete sings like Bob Dylan, and she said I sounded like Jimi Hendrix on guitar. It was a lot of fun.

So as my Soul Sister says, “Blues On My Blues Brother and Sisters.”

Thanks for supporting me on My Blues Americana Journey!



A Week In The Pittsburgh Music Scene……….

It was a busy week exploring The Pittsburgh Music Scene. I went to some new places and met some new faces, went to some old places and saw some familiar faces.

10420387_849350078441585_163831630155531413_nTuesday night I went to an open stage at The Blush Sports Bar in downtown Pittsburgh hosted by Shari Richards and her band. Had a good time and met some new friends. It was a pleasure to meet and play with Shari and her band. A bunch of very talented musicians. I also met Larry Manganaro, a bass player, we got to jam on a couple of tunes. Great night!

11412420_917105828331468_2567136157672434973_nWednesday night I went to The Steel City Steakhouse open jam hosted by Gil Snyder and featuring The Band Duquesne Slag. Gil was sick that night and couldn’t make it. I have played with Gil a few times at Speal’s and he is one heck of a Blues keyboard player and frontman. I got to play with Dave Blake on Drums, Brian DeHass on Guitar(both from Duquesne Slag), and my new friend Larry Manganaro on Bass. Had a good time and I’ll definitely be back to jam with Duquesne Slag. Personally I think these guys rock!

11179944_873016926107170_2470571207429141160_nThursday night I went back to my roots.( Read more about that here:Why I Love Speal’s Tavern)  I went to Speal’s Tavern’s Acoustic Open Mic hosted by Chris Volpe. It was really good to see Chris and the Thursday night regulars again. I haven’t been to a Thursday night there in over a year. I pretty much played all night with almost everyone there. We played til midnite and it felt good! And boy have I missed Dar’s Tacos!  Although I was a little disappointed that Chris forgot his horn and I didn’t get my fix of Resonator Blues with a side of Trumpet. Maybe this coming week.


Friday Night I went back to Speal’s for the Friday night Blues Jam emceed by Kenny Skovenski. This week it was hosted by my good Friends TK and George with their band Black Cat Moan. It was so good to see Black Cat Moan play again. These guys are awesome. New Vintage Blues. TK reminds me of a cross between Jim Morrison and Jack White of the White Stripes. You just never know what he’s gonna do to push the envelope. George plays incredible finger-pickin old school delta blues. Not many people play like that anymore and it is always something to watch. I got to play a couple of songs with Kenny on Drums, Joe Niedslakowski on Bass, Jim Berger on keys, Cordie on Congas, and Nate from Cosmic Blues Attack on Sax. We did a killer version of Thrill Is Gone. Man that was good for the soul. I think that was the best I’ve played and sang in a while.1234376_10204632387350226_6650210158878061321_n

Sunday I played a private party with Gashouse Annie. Had a good time, met some new people and ate some awesome food. I was so stuffed when we left. We both got huge amounts of leftovers to take home. It was a good way to end a busy week of networking and playing.

So what’s on the agenda this week. Not so much running this week. I’ve got three gigs next weekend as well as showing up at Speal’s Friday night for the Blues Jam. I’m going to be spending most of this week practicing for my gigs and working on some songwriting.

So that’s all I’ve got.

I hope you have a good week!

Thanks for supporting me on My Blues Americana Journey!



I Love Speal’s Tavern!

I know what you’re thinking…’ve already wrote about Speal’s in your blog post: Why I Love Speal’s Tavern. But I had such a good time Friday night at Speal’s, I had to write about it.

11665412_870643753011154_4078556693919774660_nI made it to Speal’s on Friday for the first time since I came back to Steeler’s Country. Kenny was out of town so Joe Rindt filled in as Emcee for the night. Randall Troy was the host with Max Woodall on bass, Dennis Ondrusek on keys, and the unknown drummer(for the life of me I can’t remember his name).11229300_870643783011151_5322258205841858249_n

11251775_870643849677811_3066717485221896388_nI got there a bit early and there were already a few familiar faces there. They were happy to see me and everybody gave me a hug, welcomed me home, and said they were glad to see me. It was really good to see everybody. When Randall saw me he asked if I had brought my gear. I said of course and he asked me to set up so I could sit in with them on the first set. It turned into pretty much all night. I love playing with Randall Troy. He is such a phenomenal guitar player and entertainer. Blues Man Extraordinaire!11253221_870644126344450_5063764404193933391_n

11009839_870643996344463_3867639151555251839_nVince Adams(Trumpet) and Jean Peterson(Sax) came up as well. It was such a good night of playing. Randall and his band really tore it up. I was really happy they asked me up. All the music and the other musicians were awesome. It was a perfect night to have gone back home to Speal’s. We didn’t stop playing til 2 AM and my ears were bleeding all the way home. It did get a little loud. But man it was good for the soul! Nothing like Blues Night at Speal’s! Somebody took some videos and I’ll post them when I see them.

The Motel Sessions FrontI talked to a few of the guys about “The Motel Sessions” CD and the possibility of using them in the studio. Vince Adams does transcription services, so we are talking about getting him to handle transcribing the music for the publishing and copyrights. I did get a couple of studio recommendations and a line on a couple of blues jams this coming week.

I also heard from my Blues Brother TK and booked the 24th of July in Johnstown at VOMA for the monthly Blues Gathering. I’ll post more details on my site as I find them out.

So here’s the tentative schedule for this week:

Tues. – Blues Jam in Pittsburgh(Gotta get with Max….don’t remember the venue name)

Weds. – Blues jam at The Steel City Steakhouse in Monroeville

Thurs. – Gotta go to Speal’s acoustic night and see my old friend Chris Volpe!

Friday – Speal’s Blues Night again!

No gigs this week but you can catch me at these other venues.

I hope you have a good week!

And as my Blues Sister Tammy says: Blues on!

And thanks for supporting me on My Blues Americana Journey!



Back in Steelers Country

10152036_10202266697289453_2543537956831787060_nSo its been six weeks since I’ve blogged. I’ve had a number of people ask”, What happened…….your sites been stuck on “Memorial Day” for weeks…?”. Well I got so busy down south helping Uncle Jay with a couple of projects, and helping my folks with their house it turned into a 7 day a week ordeal for the last 7 weeks. And it was all I could do to keep up and everything else had to take a back seat.

I am back in Steelers country and am in the process of catching up. It’s gonna take a week or two so thanks for your patience as I get things back on track. I have been here four days and have already played three gigs with Gashouse Annie and Kenny Blake. I played Saturday night the Fourth at The Lost Mountain Campground with Gashouse Annie and had a wonderful time. Met a lot of people and made some new friends. Looking forward to more of that.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be out and about so if you’re in the Pitsburgh, Greensburg area maybe I’ll see you soon. I plan on being at Speal’s Tavern later in the week and if you are in the area and know of any open mic’s or jams….let me know.

Alright that’s all I have right now. I hope you had a great Fourth of July weekend. Have a good week and I’ll see you next week.Video 3 0 01 51-16

Thanks for supporting me on My Blues Americana Journey!



The King is gone……….

0515151251aThe sky started to cry as I looked at the text message my Dad had just sent,”BB King has died in his sleep at age 89.” I just felt numb. I knew it was coming but it didn’t help. Just sad. We lost a great man. A great Blues Man. One of the best guitar players I’ve ever heard. And one hell of an entertainer. I can’t imagine how Lucille feels right now. She’s been by his side for a long long time and now he’s gone…..

downloadI can’t remember when I first became acquainted with BB King’s music but I suspect it was through Eric Clapton. I discovered The Blues through Eric Clapton, chasing the roots of the music he was playing. I was heavily influenced by Eric Clapton as a young wannabe guitar player. I was heavily influenced by BB King as well. The raw emotion that that man could pour into one note was always something that amazed me. Every time I heard  BB King grab a note, shake it with that vibrato and pour his heart and soul into it, it would give me goosebumps.

bbkingbusMy Dad took me to see BB King at The Great Southern Music Hall in downtown Orlando, Florida in the early 80’s. What a show! There had to be 20 musicians behind BB in a semi circle. Back up singers, Horn players all moving and groovin to the King and Lucille’s Blues and Boogie. It was a raw emotionally energized performance and something I will never forget. I have been so influenced by the way BB played guitar. No frills. Just pure raw emotion. I consciously attempt to emulate BB every time I play a solo. Trying to grab that one note and shake it with just the right amount of emotion to convey what I’m feeling. Pure BB King.

images (1)BB King was playing a dance in Arkansas in 1949 when two men got into a fight. They knocked over the burn barrel used to heat the place and the place caught fire. Everyone ran out and when he got outside BB King realized he’d left his guitar and ran back inside to rescue her. He later found out those two men had died in the fire, and they had been fighting over a woman named Lucille. He decided to name his guitar “Lucille” to remind him not to ever do anything foolish like fight over a woman or run into burning buildings.

1019141214I name all my guitars. Every single one of them. A friend asked me a while back,” Why do you name your guitars and are all your guitars female?”. I name my guitars because of BB King and Lucille. It’s just something I was driven to do after I found out about the story of Lucille. All my guitars are female, well at least they have female names except for one. My 1969 Les Paul Gold Top, aka “Sir Paul”. I wrote about my resonator “Baby” and how I got her from my buddy Hambone in my blog post “Hambone & Baby”.

The King is gone, The King has gone away.

The King is gone, The King has gone away.

But his legacy will live on, each and every day.

My guitars have been silent since the news about The King.

Out of respect for one of the greatest Bluesmen and guitar players the world has ever seen.

Out of respect for The King Of The Blues.

Every time I play a solo I will shake it with all the raw emotion I can muster and think of you.

Whenever I get a guitar I will name her just as you did your “Lucille”.

Rest In Peace Mr. King and thank you for sharing your music with us and inspiring so many guitar players like myself.

Bobby Guitar Martin