Blues music series will bring national acts to Live at PJ's
A new, Thursday night music series from local music promoter Peter Andrews plans to bring national blues acts to downtown Ann Arbor nightspot Live at PJ's.
The lineup will start with two shows a month, but Andrews said he is hoping to add more shows early in 2012 if the event proves popular enough. “We’re booking really strong acts. If the audience responds, we’ll go to four a month and take it from there,” Andrews said. “There is not as much blues going on as I think the market can support.”The series, which is being promoted in conjunction with Eastern Michigan University public radio station WEMU, starts Thursday, Nov. 10, with Chicago’s Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials, and continues Nov. 17 with the multi-award-winning Tommy Castro Band, which won four BMAs (Blues Music Awards) in 2010 including Band of the Year. Ann Arbor favorite the Commander Cody Band will return Dec. 8 followed by three-time BMA nominee/three-time Blues Blast Award winner Nick Moss and the Fliptops on Dec. 15.
To come in January and February are tentative shows by Michael Burks, Deanna Bogart, Magic Slim and The Teardrops, and Duke Robillard, Andrews said, adding that if the series expands some area blues talent could be booked as well.
Andrews explained that he was at a reunion at PJ’s and got to thinking the place would make a fine blues venue. He approached club owners Rob Perkins and Derek Aldridge and they thought it was worth a try as well.
The series is aimed at an older crowd.
“Doors open at 6:30, the first show is at 7:30 and the second show is at 9, so everybody is done at 10,” Andrews said. “If you want to hang out you can hang out, or you can go home and be to bed at a regular time this is not for college kids, it’s for a more mature audience.”
PJ’s has 170 seats; there will also be 30 standing room only tickets available, probably in the bar area, for each show. “It’s such an intimate atmosphere. You are right there,” Andrews said.
Andrews, who was a co-founder and director of the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, previously booked the Local Blues and Brews series at Guy Hollerin’s on Plymouth Road, which continues on Saturday nights but without Andrews’ involvement.