"The New York Blues Hall of Fame honors legendary, master and great local blues artists from the great state of New York. We have formally inducted artists such as John Hammond, Levon Helm, Johnny Winter to name a few but we also like to keep the focus on the local, in the trenches blues musicians who play their hearts out night after night and give them the recognition they truly deserve." - Michael Packer, NY Ambassador
"A great organization that recognizes the working musician for their achievements" - Prof. Louie (Woodstock Records)
Michael Packer Blues Band
Michael Packer is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was born in New York City in 1950. After doing his first gig at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village at the age of 15, he formed and recorded with numerous groups throughout the late '60s, '70s, and '80s, including Papa Nebo (with saxophonist Bob Mintzer of the Grammy Award-winning Yellowjackets), Free Beer, and Coolstep. He also worked with the likes of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Johnny Rivers, Dr. Hook, Clifton Chanier, and the Matt Murphy Band.
Tara Layne is truly a power-house on the local New Jersey blues scene. Her incredible, dynamic vocal prowess and amazing stage presence have blues fans across the tri-state area wanting more with every performance! Ever since Tara began honing her musical skills at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in the early 1980's, she's been wowing audiences with her intense vocal delivery. This quickly led to incredible singing opportunities, backing up Dr. John's touring band as one of his "Creolettes", and also performing with the likes of the world-famous Holmes Brothers. Tara has taken her amazing singing talents and formed her own blues band, which has evolved over the years. Tara continues to thrill audiences with her amazing voice and her deep love of both traditional and modern iterations of the blues. She never fails to enthrall blues fans for miles around with her brilliant and exhilarating voice!
RK Scott is an electric bassist on a mission. Ever since picking up the instrument at the tender age of eleven, he's been ramping up rhythm sections all over New Jersey and the rest of the tri-state area with his massive low-end grooves, innovative bass stylings, and sheer passion for the instrument. While forming rock, fusion, and even punk/hard core ensembles and playing in traditional jazz big bands regionally as a high school student, RK then sought to hone his musical skills at the prestigious Jazz Studies and Music Performance program at William Paterson University in the late 80's. While there, he studied under and learned from the likes of such jazz power-houses as Rufus Reid, Jim McNeely, and Dave Samuels, among others. From here, RK began to pursue other diverse playing opportunities all over the tri-state area, seeking to bring his own style and bass vision to any musical genre, including modern and traditional blues. Over the years, he's performed live and recorded with an impressive array of local and regional bands and projects. The past few years, RK has focused his bass skills particularly on the blues, with a vision toward bringing a modern flair to both traditional blues forms, and modern blues. RK has always brought and continues to bring a modern, eclectic spirit, energetic vibes, and solid, "thunderous" groove factor that leaves blues lovers and music lovers of all sorts dancing in the aisles!
A professional vocalist since her teens, Billie Williams has a rich repertoire that includes blues, rock, soul, jazz, and country.
Ms. Williams is a native of the Boston area where, at age 16, she co-founded the country swing band Columbus East. She went on to sing with the rock band Mezz and 8-piece R&B band City Edition. During her years with City Edition she shared the stage with R&B legends Wilson Pickett and Sam & Dave. The Boston Globe called Billie's performance with City Edition "...riveting...she sang of joy and heartache with equal conviction."
At her Joe's Pub concert in May 2014, Billie celebrated the release of her first original single "Lonely Night in Harlem," inspired by life in her long-time Harlem neighborhood. Billie was also featured singing her new single in the short film" Triangle," and appeared in the musical "Your Name on My Lips" at the Midtown International Theatre Festival in July 2014. Her original single "I Can Read The Signs" was released in December 2014." Billie Williams was inducted into THE NEW YORK BLUES HALL OF FAME at the Iridium Jazz Club on March 15, 2015.
Seaton "Chuck" Hancock
Seaton "Chuck" Hancock is known as an eclectic saxophonist playing everything from blues to punk in multiple NYC bands for the last 34 years. He has played with the late great Frankie Paris, Big Ed Sullivan who still has his World Famous Monday Night Jam Session every Monday night in the Village of which Mr. Hancock is a member of the band. He also has roots in the Lower Eastside rock scene.performing with Joey Miserable and the Worms. Simon and the Bar Sinisters, blues man Jonathan Kalb and the punk band "Murphy's Law". Seaton Hancock is diversified, a class act.and a NYC legend.
Boxcar Joe Laing
Born in Montclair NJ, middle child in a family of seven kids, the Boxcar's two uncles, both of them Roman Catholic priests, used to plunk this kid in the back of their car and head for the Jersey shore. Music fiends themselves, these men of the cloth blasted the radio while little Joe soaked up Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, the New Christie Minstrels. A little guy no more, Joe will bounce you right out on your butt if you snicker at the fact that he loved the big sound that Lawrence Welk's band made. When he was 11, he built his own transistor radio from a Heathkit, locked himself up in his room and listened to church music gospel tunes coming from nearby Newark on Sunday nights. If music can calm the beast and put you in a state of ecstasy at the same time, that's how it was for young Joe as he approached his teen years.
In the winter of 1970, Sonny Hudson traveled from NYC to Chicago when he was only 15 years old to meet his idol Muddy Waters. Sonny had envisioned himself playing harmonica with the master but that was not to be. After living in Chicago he went on to San Francisco and New Orleans, eventually making his way back to New York spending the next 25 years honing his craft in a wide range of musical styles on diatonic and chromatic harmonicas and vocalese. Hudson studied with Robert Bofiglio and Cham Ber Huang for classical chromatic harmonica and Big Walter Horton for blues harmonica. A love of jazz led him to study vocals with originator Eddie Jefferson. Sonny also plays sax, flute and Cajun accordion. Hudson worked as a harmonica technician for Huang Harmonicas helping build harmonicas for the late Norton Buffalo, Stevie Wonder and Steve Miller among others. Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Jaco Pastorius , Bob Marley, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Rick Dankp and Levon Helm, Popa Chubby, Moogy Klingman, Hiram Bullock, Big Eric, Gil Parris, Stew Cutler and Terrance Simien among others.
As Paul Butterfied once incredulously said - HUDSON?? "He's a whole 'nother hit"!!
Saturday Beatles Brunch