Southwest Michigan’s Bosco Gee Blues Band is headed to the International Blues Competition in Memphis, Tennessee next month.
After winning the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association’s competition in September the seven-piece group has been busy performing and raising money for their trip. Members of the band say they are really looking forward to playing in Memphis at the International Blues Competition.
“We’re gonna let it rip. And, it’s gonna happen,” says saxophone player Bob Hunt. Michael Gee plays guitar and sings. He says since they won the local competition they’ve heard lots of advice.
“The best advice I’ve heard is go down there and do what you do” he says. “That’s what got you there…ride the horse that got you there.”
The Bosco Gee Blues band recorded their newest CD, called The Rain Falls Anyway in Lansing.
“We started out with a bag of cover tunes we wanted to do," says Gee. "For both of the CD’s I’ve been the primary songwriter. I just write about life, that’s what it is. We could call it by-mistake-blues. Because we just fell into our own sound, not trying to copy anyone else. And we have a pseudo-funk groove and it works for us and everybody falls into it.”
Gee continues, “Another unique thing that we have going on is two guitar players that are real comfortable working together and that’s a rare situation. But Jerry and I have always done that well. I’ve got a traditional straight-up blues bag. And, Jerry’s got a bit more pizzazz. And, he’s a tremendous slide guitar player. And, I understand they just love slide guitar in Memphis.”
Bosco Gee’s slide player is Jerry Patterson, Jimi Tulk plays drums, Jeff Bosco is on harmonica and Terry Gibson plays bass. The band has Martila Sanders as featured vocalist. Sax player Bob Hunt has done some research into what judges at the International Competition are looking, and listening for.
“The first thing they look at is blues content. And, they say it’s somewhat subjective and each judge has their own opinion about that," Hunt says. "But these guys are musicians, it’s not just anyone doing the judging, so they have a pretty good idea of what blues is.”
As confident as Hunt sounded earlier in this report, he also admits to being quite nervous about playing in front of blues fans, other musicians and the judges in Memphis.
“But that’s my middle name,” he says. “Bob Nervous Nellie Hunt. But you know I get some energy from that, too. And, I’ve always tried to use it in a positive way. And, it’s worked.”