Herbie D and the Dangermen and Friends: Bringing You Bare-Bones Blues 

Let’s face it. Most of us have a love affair with the electric guitar. And there’s no denying the great sound of a Hammond B-3 organ with a Leslie cabinet in full tilt. Electric blues? Okay, we’ve got to admit that it’s awesome. But the acoustic blues is equally – or dare we say it? Perhaps even -- more awesome.

To hear White Stripes front man Jack White tell it, “I dabbled in things like Howlin' Wolf, Cream and Led Zeppelin, but when I heard Son House and Robert Johnson, it blew my mind. It was something I'd been missing my whole life. That music made me discard everything else and just get down to the soul and honesty of the blues.”

We can’t argue with Jack. Acoustic blues is a raw, bare-bones way of approaching everything that is the blues – from the melancholy mood to the simple “call-and-response” patterns and common chord progressions often associated with the genre. Acoustic blues strips away the layers of electronic effects, overdriven amplification/distortion, and synthetic instruments. What’s left? The very essence of the blues.

That’s why on February 28, 2015, Herbie and the Dangermen are teaming up with three other regional bands for to bring you the classic, pure acoustic blues at the Hampton Acoustic Blues Festival.

In Layman Terms is a brother-sister duo from Williamsburg, VA, whom we first met three years ago at a Norfolk blues jam. We still can’t decide whether we’re more mesmerized by 17-year-old Cole’s impressive guitar work, or 14-year old Logan’s accomplished bass-playing and her vocal power that’s akin to Janis Joplin’s! Cole holds supportive rhythms and wows with his guitar solos, while simultaneously doubling on percussion. Logan expertly uses Cole’s perfect foundation to awe the crowd with her voice. The pair write their own songs, and even the classics they cover, boast their special touch.

Cole Stevens and The Delta Daggers are a relatively new band made up of seasoned, terrific musicians. We first met our friend Cole last year when he sat in on harmonica and slide resonator guitar at one of our gigs. His talent and stage presence made him an instant fan favorite, so we’re thrilled that he’s since teamed up with Mike Connell on bass and Peter Zink on drums to form the Delta Daggers. You’re going to love the band’s Delta Blues spin on the acoustic blues.

The Delvers are a must-have at the festival! A staple in the area’s Newgrass and Americana scene, they’ve performed in the Hampton Roads and Williamsburg areas for quite some time and are long-time friends of Herbie D and Dangermen. We can’t wait for you to hear Michael Glass, Jay Shenk, David Merrill and Howard Anby when they bring their phenomenal talent and eclectic background to the stage and play their bound-to-be-original take on the blues.

And if celebrating acoustic blues as an audience member isn’t enough for you, come on out and participate in a FREE blues performance clinic! Let Cole Stevens help you with bottle neck slide guitar, join Herbie D and Michael Glass for some tips on blues acoustic guitar rhythm, or learn about supporting blues strings, featuring upright bass and fiddle, from Chris Gifford and Jay Shenk.
written by: Darla Parris Smallwood
videos by: Chris Grooves