Recipient of the 2014 "Keeping the Blues Alive Award" (category: Commercial Radio), Graveyard Blues brings you the very best
in blues music! The show features "live" in-studio performances from national acts as well as the hottest blues bands in the
Long Island / NYC area, concert info, "blues" news with Marisa and all of the information that you could possibly want on your
favorite blues artists!
Look for some of the biggest names in "blues" music to stop by the Graveyard Blues studio in the coming weeks! Since it's
inception, Jerry has interviewed B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Mick Fleetwood, John Mayall & Hubert Sumlin! Warren
Haynes and The Derek Trucks Band have played "live" in the Graveyard Blues studio!
Jerry's on-air radio career began in 1990 at WNYG 1440AM, an oldies station in Babylon, NY. That gig led to on-air positions at
Magic 94.3 in Melville, NY, Beach 104.7 in Amagansett, NY and WBAB in Babylon, NY, where Jerry enjoyed 9+ years at "Long
Island's Home of Rock-n-Roll!" A common misconception is that Graveyard Blues began on 102.3 WBAB. It did not. In fact,
WBAB never had a blues show. I think the misconception stems from the fact that, for a short time, a couple of local business
men paid for air-time each week (like an info-mercial) and hosted a show that featured a few local blues and rock bands.
However, that show only aired on the station's east end signal, 95.3 WHFM. Graveyard Blues started in January of 1998 on
WBAB's sister station 1240AM WGBB. It held the Thursday at 10PM time slot until the station was eventually sold. In May of
2002, Graveyard Blues found a new home, on Sunday night, at WRCN! After a format change occurred at WRCN, Graveyard
Blues was again on the lookout for a new home... and in September of 2016, the radio show landed at 94.3 The Shark! Graveyard
Blues airs on Saturday night at 11:00 and is currently in it's 17th year of broadcasting on Long Island radio! In June of 2012,
Jerry was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame!
The story of Gravefest:
Several months after the first anniversary, of Graveyard Blues, quietly passed in May 2003... many of the bands began
suggesting some type of party / free concert to commemorate the show's milestones.
Rather than begin with the second anniversary, in May, we decided to celebrate the "100th Broadcast on WRCN" in April, 2004!
On a rainy Sunday (04/04/04) at The Velvet Lounge in Setauket, NY... great bands (Dare Ya, Black Cat Bone, Joe Vicino & The
Smokedaddys, Phil Varca & The Slamjammers, Bob "Hooch" Paolucci, Sam "Bluzman" Taylor, Lex Grey & The Urban Pioneers
and The Kerry Kearney Band) great friends, the WRCN staff and the best listeners in the world... celebrated the 100th Broadcast
of Graveyard Blues! The free event was a huge success and everyone wanted to know when the next party would happen!
Gravefest was born!
Everyone agreed that waiting, for show #200, was too far down the line... so Gravefest '05 was held at The Viking in Islip, NY on
Sunday, May 15th! The lineup included: Little Toby Walker, Breakaway, Dare Ya' w/ special guest Andy Aledort, Tommy Keys,
Hooch & The Bluesicians, Kane Daily and Joe Vicino & The Smokedaddys! In an effort to give something back to the community...
most of the proceeds, from the event, went to The Honeysuckle Foundation... a local charity that helps the families of children
with cancer. The last musical notes, from Gravefest '05, had barely faded, when plans for Gravefest '06 got started!
The Mill House in Yaphank, NY was the site for "Gravefest 06", on Sunday May 21st, and it was supposed to be an outdoor event.
Mother Nature had other ideas and the rain forced everybody inside. The party had a swampy, honky-tonk feel and the music
was great! Performances from Jack O'Diamonds, Little Toby Walker, Joe Vicino & The Smokedaddys, Pam Betti and head liner
Eddie Kirkland (The John Lee Hooker Band) rocked the house and even made the sun come out! A close friend's 1 year-old son
was diagnosed, with Cerebral Palsy, shortly before the event. This news led to the decision of making The Suffolk County
Chapter of United Cerebral Palsy, the official charity of Gravefest.
Gravefest '07, was held on Sunday May 20th at Bobbique Restaurant in Patchogue, NY and featured the legendary "Hubert
Sumlin" as the head-liner! Hubert was backed by the New Jersey based "Billy Hector Band." Phil Minissale opened the show
with his "finger-picking" style of guitar and he was followed by the infectious blues/rock of "Breakaway!" "PP & Hooch"
followed Howie, Lou and the boys and they got the crowd into it with their uniques style! Our good friends, "Joe Vicino & The
Smokedaddys" (w/ Jack Licitra) on keyboards, hit the "Gravefest" stage next... and they whipped the crowd into a frenzy! In
between sets the "Gravefest Girls" collected raffle money for the Suffolk County Chapter of United Cerebral Palsy. When the
"smoke" (from the Smokedaddys set) cleared and with the Bobbique staff working feverishly to keep the crowd happy with
great food and drink... "The Billy Hector" Band took the stage! After a few tunes... blues legend (and one of the nicest men that
I've met in the business) "Hubert Sumlin" joined them on stage! He wowed the crowd with his unique style of guitar playing as he
ripped through "Howlin' Wolf" and "Muddy Waters" tunes! Many of them, that he originally played on the records!!! Although the
clock approached 10:00... we weren't done yet! "Dare Ya" hit the stage with their blues/rock/R&B style of music and even threw
in a cover of the Clarence Carter tune (that Gregg Allman had a hit with on After the Bullets Fly) "Slippin' Away!" Looking back on
the days events... we realized that we saw some amazing musical talent, ate a lot of great food, witnessed "blues royalty"
up-close and personal and raised a lot of money for a great cause! Basically... what "Gravefest" is supposed to be all about!
Gravefest '08, happened on Sunday May 18th at The Brickhouse Brewery in Patchogue, NY! The incredibly talented Jack Licitra
and fellow guitarist Dave Raccanelli (Jack's Waterfall) kicked-off the festivities at 1PM and the crowd got into it immediately!
Everyone was hoppin' and very impressed! The inside was packed while the outside area was just getting started! The pig
(probably the only one not having fun that day) was roasting, the special "Graveyard Blues" beer was flowing and C&B Blues
Revue was getting ready to attack their set at 2PM! Dave, Pat and "Ed the Hat" tore threw an amazing set (despite popping a few
breakers along the way) that left the crowd shaking their collective head in awe! Some equipment issues caused a minor delay
but Jack Licitra came to the rescue (thank you again, Jack!) and entertained the crowd with a stripped down acoustic set inside
while the Kerry Kearney Band set-up on the outside stage. Kerry, Frank, Eileen and Tony (w/ Papa Jim Flemming on fiddle &
mandolin) "wowed" the crowd as usual... despite the fact that the rain had begun to fall. Meanwhile... back inside, MisBhavin hit
the stage at 5PM and everyone dancing! Pat Hunter, Danny Kean, Don Celenza & Phil "Boom Boom" Bloom brought down the
house with the blend of blues, soul and R&B! At 6PM, Joe Vicino & The Smokedaddys hit the stage for an inspired set that kept
the crowd jumping! Joe, Pete & Chris ripped through their set without restraint! Pam Betti sat in and sang a tune or two... and at
the end of the set, Joe slid his strap off and threw his guitar to the stage... leaving thre crowd wanting more! Jimi would be
proud! 7PM brought the Gary Sellers band to the outside stage and with them came the end of the rain! Gary and the boys
(featuring drummer extrordinaire Mario Staiano of Savoy Brown) picked up where The Smokedaddys left off! As darkness fell on
The Brickhouse, the Gary Sellers Band played an amazing set and the crowd loved every note! Now it was time for the featured
act and our old friends... all the way from Atlanta, Georgia by way of Brooklyn and Minneapolis... Scrapomatic! Some lighting
issues required the use of car headlights to illuminate the stage from the side, but that little hiccup didn't affect Mike and Paul!
Actually, the unusual "stage lighting" created a old-time, spiritual feel with Paul Olsen's haunting guitar licks and the soulful
sound of Mike Mattison's voice coming from under the tent, with the stage bathed in a warm, eerie glow! The guys rose to the
challenge and the crowd soon found themselves to be part of something very special! Their incredible set included some
covers, Scrapomatic favorites from earlier albums and some new tunes sprinkled in, as well! We'd love to have them back for
future Gravefests! All in all it was a fantastic day of great music, great food & drink and great friends... old and new! As always,
the best part is the passion and generosity of the greatest music fans in the world! We raised serious money for the Suffolk
County Chapter of United Cerebral Palsy and we had a lot of fun doing it! I know that I sure did! Thank you all from the bottom of
Gravefest '09 happened on Sunday, May 17th at "Fatty Beltbuckles" in Rocky Point! Opening the show at 2PM, and making their
first Gravefest appearance, was Brother Peach! They ripped through a blistering set of Allman Brothers classic tunes... much to
the delight of the folks who got there early! Phil Varca made a triumphant return to the Gravefest stage with his high-energy
blues/blues rock! Bassist Pete Kiernan and drummer Ed "The Hat" rounded out Phil's line-up and added some "punch" to the
raucous set! Next up was The Josh Allen Band. Josh (playing without the other Jack's O'Diamonds guys) put on a great show
with a couple of "young guns" on drums and bass! The Electrix, who just 2 1/2 months earlier, lost a dear friend and long-time
band member, Rob DePaulo... played an amazing set and mixing in some originals to compliment the cover tunes that they do so
well! It was bittersweet to watch their performance, knowing the circumstances surrounding the band. Finally, Joe Vicino &
Friends took the stage and played a "jaw-dropping" set... that sent everyone home with a smile on their face! As always, a great
time was had by all!
Gravefest '10 was HOT... figuratively and literally! The Brickhouse in Patchogue was the host venue and the stage was set up
outside in the sunshine and 90 degree heat! The festival kicked off at 1pm and the early birds were treated to the incredibly
talented Jack's Waterfall! Jack Licitra and the guys wowed the audience with treasures from their songbook, past and present!
Up next, was The Gary Sellers Band, featuring Sly Geralds on bass and the inimitable Mario Staiano on the drums! The fellas
(along with guest harmonica genius, Ken "The Rocket" Korb) tore through an amazing set that featured blues and blues
rockers... including a couple of brand new tunes that will be featured on Gary's new CD! In between sets we gave away a guitar
to a long-time listener who, over the course of a few years had some health issues, that left him unable to play his guitar. He had
recently felt better and wanted to start playing guitar again, but he had sold off all of his guitars years ago and currently, wasn't
in the financial position to buy one. His reaction and the look on his face, when we handed him his new electric guitar... was
priceless! It was definitely the highlight of my 20 year radio career. Keep on rockin' Don! OK... then the Joe Vicino Band took the
stage next and they delighted the crowd with a mix of blues, classic rock and a little bit of R&B thrown in for good measure! The
4 O'Colck hour brought The Electrix & Friends to the stage for a little blues, a little Dead, a little Allman Brothers and a lot of fun!
Papa Jim Flemming was the only member of the Electrix on stage but he was helped out by Ed Travers and other very talented
musicians! As we approached the 1/2 way point of Gravefest '10... it was time for The Kerry Kearney Band! As usual, the KKB
supplied their crowd-pleasing brand of "psychedelta" blues that had the folks up dancing. Bass player Frank Celenza couldn't
make the show but the talented Pete Kiernan sat-in for the set. Somewhere between raffle give-aways, live radio breaks and
other fun stuff going on... the KKB morphed into the Dashboard Saints, featuring Kerry, F.L. Lombardo, (and Gary Sellers' rhythm
section from earlier in the day) Sly Geralds and Mario Staiano. Look for the 'Saints' to make a lot of noise (in a good way) on the
L.I. music scene this summer and fall! Beer was flowing, people were dancing, money was being raised for UCP of Suffolk
County and a live radio broadcast was happening in the middle of all the partying! At this point... Tale Wagon hit the stage with a
fiery brand of blues-rock that hinted of Sticky Fingers era Stones! The band featured Kane Daily on guitar/vocals, Pete Kiernan
on bass and Chris Anstiss on the drums. Their smokin' set gave way to the vocal stylings of Miss Pamela Betti and the PBB. The
Pamela Betti Band ripped through tunes that got people up and out of their seats again! Sound man and harp master Bob
"Hoochie Coochie" Paolucci even got to 'sit in' from his post at the sound board! As the sun was setting on Patchogue and just
when you thought that the musical energy had to slow down... Jack's O'Diamonds hit the stage with a hard-drivin' brand of
rockin' blues! Both original music and covers had the tired crowd back on their feet for one last time! Graveyard Blues and
WRCN is extremely thankful to every single musician that was involved in Gravefest '10! Their musical talent is only surpassed
by their graciousness and class! We raised a good chunk of money for UCP, we partied, we danced and we had a lot of fun! We
rocked Patchogue, NY on a hot, sweaty Sunday afternoon! if you were there... thank you for coming out and supporting 'live'
music on Long Island!
Gravefest '11 was back at The Brickhouse on Sunday, June 26th! The sun was shining and the outdoor stage was ready... and
shortly after 1pm, MOTU kicked things off! Their set was great and they were followed by an amazing set from Jack's Waterfall!
Tommy Keys got the crowd on their collective feet and then Lex Grey & the Urban Pioneers kicked some serious ass! The
Marzipan Cherubs (fronted by a familiar face) ripped through a rockin', bluesy set that featured the 12 yr-old guitarist/vocalist,
Annika Scilipote! Annika, "the little lady" amazed the crowd with her voice and guitar playing and set the table for the headliner...
F&G Band, featuring Edlene Hart. The F&G Band, with Edlene, tore the place down and sent everyone home happy! This year, we
partnered with Make-A-Wish of Suffolk County and raised quite a bit of money for them! We raffled off some pretty cool prizes,
for Make-A-Wish, the Brickhouse donated a percentage of the sales of their specialty menu items and the generous listeners
and fans of Graveyard Blues reached into their wallets and helped make this year's charity fund-raiser, a huge success! A big
thanks to Don Audio for handling the sound... he did an awesome job! Lookin' forward to the 10th Anniversary!!! We'll see you all
back at "The Brick" on Sunday, July 1st, 2012!