Exclusive interview

Misty Blues

Blues Music Group, Misty Blues!

Who all makes up Misty Blues? Gina Coleman (Lead Vocals/Founder, Cigar Box Guitar, Percussion); Bill Patrquin (Founding member, Bass, Trumpet, Vocals); Benny Kohn (Keys, Vocals); Seth Fleischmann (Guitar, Vocals); Aaron Dean (Saxophone); Rob Tatten (Drums, Trumpet, Trombone, Vocals).

Where did you all grow up? Band founder, Gina Coleman, grew up in the South Bronx, NY. The rest of the band were born and raised in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

How did the group get together? In the summer of 1999, Gina Coleman was performing in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of A Raisin In The Sun. That production featured the acting of Ruben Santiago Hudson, Viola Davis, Kimberly Elise and Gloria Foster. Coleman was casted as a gospel singer. Nearing the end of the show’s run, Ruben Santiago Hudson gave Coleman a cd collection entitled Men Are Like Streetcars. He told her that her voice was well suited for the blues and urged her to take that next musical direction. Coleman heeded his advance, and after 20 years, Misty Blues has stood the test of time.

What inspired you to get into music? Band founder, Gina Coleman, was initially inspired by stories of her grandmother, who was purported to be the next Marian Anderson. Gina’s grandmother had long stopped singing when she came into the world, but her home was infused with a healthy dose of soul, r&b and Latin music. Gina’s grandfather got her a piano at the age of 5 and she had instruction until the age of 13.

What is a songwriting session like for you as a group? Gina writes the greater part of the original music recorded by Misty Blues. She brings the lyrics, a simple song melody, and structure to the band and then lets go to allow the rest to bring it fully to life. She has full trust in the musicianship in the band to flush out the fullest potential in any given song.

What are some of the struggles of being in a band? Navigating personalities can always be challenging, but the members of the band are all very easy going aside from individual eccentricities. The biggest struggle is scheduling rehearsal sessions for 6 people with very busy lives.

What is your local blues music scene like right now in Williamstown? Notable blues musician, Albert Cummings, is a Williamstown, MA resident, but he doesn’t perform in our immediate area as often as Misty Blues. We are really the only two blues artists in our county. Berkshire County is probably better known for a rich tradition of folk and classical music. Arlo Guthier is a long-standing resident, and Tanglewood is the summer venue of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Has the band toured a lot? Misty Blues performs extensively throughout New England and has toured New York City, Harrisburg, Mishawaka, Knoxville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Muscle Shoals, Clarksdale, Montgomery, Virginia, Memphis, New Orleans and Ontario, Canada.

Tell us about your latest project. We are about to embark on our 11th album in partnership with our new label, Lunaria Records. The album is due to release on January 28, 2022, but we recently released the first single from that album with legendary blues artist, Joe Louis Walker, on guitar. That single is entitled “Take A Long Ride”. Our last album, None More Blue, was only released in February of 2021.

What can we expect from you in the future? We hope to produce an album with even wider global distribution and collaborate with other musicians who are equally invested in blues music. We also intend to tour the UK in the upcoming year provided international travel opens up again.

-Misty Blues

www.mistybluesband.com


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