The Next Blues Band


This most excellent band performed in the Monterey Blues Festival so I donít need to tell you how talented they are. Bill Bouchard has a wonderful blues voice and bass playing blues man, along with his band to sauce up the BBQ a little bit. Please come and wear your danciní shoes. Raised on the far south side of Chicago, Bouchard is no stranger to the Blues. In college, Bill Bouchard of The Next Blues Band got some handy advice from Howlin` Wolf, an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player. In a Chicago club, the blues icon placed his hand on Bouchard`s chest and said, "You have to play from here." In the late `80`s, Bouchard put together The Next Blues Band in Monterey, California, and heeded Wolf`s words. The gritty blues group has played the Monterey Bay Blues Festival and Seaside`s Blues in the Park series, where they cut their live CD "I`ve Got News." One thing The Next Blues Band does not do is practice. "We put out more of an emotional music," Bouchard says. "You can`t rehearse emotion." Michael Curtin I`ve been playing Sax so long, it feels like it was attached to me at birth. I recall choosing to play sax because of its appearance- shiny brass with all those buttons- and things happened so quickly after that. I made All-Country and All-State band in middle school, and band President in high school. At the same time I began playing in a series of dance bands that in the later years widened my interests in different musical genres. I`ve played and recorded with Paul Jackson (bass player for Herbie Hancock) and recorded for Jerry Miller (of Moby Grape) and played diverse venues from Monterey Blues and Jazz festivals to the Heritage Festival in Sacramento to Marriott`s Great American show band. But, throughout my career in music, I found that the blues was the style that resonated with me the most. In the 80`s, I hooked up with John "Broadway" Tucker and began a journey through the blues that lasted 35 plus years, many festivals throughout California and four CD`s. I was in the band when John was awarded the "Artist of the Year" award at the Monterey Blues Festival. I am proud to be playing with Bill, Alan and Jim in the current line-up of The Next Blues Band, having played with "Chicago" Bill for six years prior to rejoining the band. Russ Stemple Russ started playing drums in the forth grade, and in his 50 years if experience, has had the good fortune the have studied under some of the best. Ralph Humphrey (Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, Don Ellis Big Band, Manhattan Transfer, Barbara Streisand and many more), Alex Acuna (Weather Report), and David Garabaldi (Tower of Power), are some of the most notable. Over the years Russ has become fluent at just about all musical styles, but playing the soul touching sounds of Blues brings it all back to the roots.