Bluestate is a band known for their “make no apologies”, non-traditional approach to the blues. It blends elements of jazz, funk and soul into an eclectic contemporary gumbo that stills pays homage to their blues roots.
Whether it’s opening a big show for the likes of Magic Slim, Coco Montoya, Kenny Neal, Tab Benoit or Jimmy McCracklin, entertaining thousands of fans at a blues festival, filling a local club, or entertaing a private event, Bluestate brings it everytime they play. Bluestate infuses jumpin’ blues from Louis Jordan and BB King, soul from King Curtis and Delbert McClinton, contemporary blues/rock from Coco Montoya and ZZ Top, and jazz/blues from The Crusaders and Robben Ford with energy, spontaneity and always, an irreverent sense of humor.
The buzz about Bluestate…
“I’ve got it (Bluestate’s Duracool CD) playing right now. Sounds really good. It’s a good band with good players and an outstanding singer. I ain’t lyin’!”
Charlie Musselwhite – Harp legend and multi Blues Award winner
The High Calibre of Musicians is obvious , it’s not the typical 1-IV-V7…with no variations…your cats can play, a tight Rhythm section. Nice colors from the Keyboards on Organ and Piano. Sax Work adds another color to the Mix and especially dug the slower groove on ‘Up The Line’, that’s a unique arrangement of the walter Classic. I like the Guitar’s “Willow weep for me” quote…nice!
This is a very diverse collection of grooves and tunes, you don’t hear many bands cover a Spady or Primich tune. BTW, I did a few gigs w/ Spady when he first started out…
The Singing is REALLY good and you have your own sound don’t change a thing! The Harp playing is exactly what is needed on these grooves and not a million extra notes….your Tone is superb. I could definately hear a chick choir behind you on the next HIGHER budget CD,-) go for it… I’m not just BS-in’ you…this is the kind of band I’ll pay good money to go see!
Rob Paparozzi – Lead singer for Blood Sweat and Tears reviewing “Duracool” on iTunes
“In a lineup with 4 other bands (at the Celebrate Healdsburg Festival), there’s no question that Bluestate stood out as the favorite. They sound amazing and Greg’s silky smooth rich voice is one of the best I’ve ever heard from a local band. Their unique arrangements are fresh while not losing that distinct blues rhythm that we all know and love. They’ll definitely leave you wanting more!”
Nancy Beeken, Entertainment Chair, ‘Celebrate Healdsburg’ Festival
“Bluestate was the hit of Passport Weekend! We had many of our guests tell us that they were ‘the best band in the Valley”. They had the crowd on their feet screaming for more. We enjoyed it so much we are trying to think of events so we can have them back.”
Renae Perry, Papapietro Perry Winery about the 2009 Passport to Dry Creek Valley event
Bluestate & The Volker Strifler Band at Last Day Saloon 6-12-08
“Saturday night the darkened lights and the polished wood floor beckoned me through the half opened curtain of the dance area of the Last Day Saloon. As the doorman slid the curtain open my anticipation grew. This is a favorite dance floor of mine and two favorite bands were on the bill, Bluestate and headliner the Volker Strifler Band.
Bluestate does a lot of less well known songs and they came right out of the box with “Treat Me like The Dog I Am.” This semi-mocking send up on the suffering confession was delivered in true hound dog fashion by Greg Heumann, lead singer, tenor saxophone and harmonica player for the band. Greg has an understated way of doing the vocals at the beginning of a show that grows on you, and his harp playing really has that organ tone.
Another feature of the night was being able to hear Vince Caminiti’s guitar playing within the big sound they were getting that night. Last Day Saloon’s sound system was turned well up and the bass and guitar were emphasized. Vince’s licks were ripping and he broke out the wah-wah pedal for some tone color on “Got A Feeling” which used the positive qualities of a wah-wah to produce nice harmonic distortion and never went near mindless ankle-cranking wah-wah wanking.
In a world weary voice Greg Heuman harped and sang,
“Is that you again, Baby,
outside banging on my front door?
You say you had another baby,
Now you’re coming’ back for more,
But that’s alright.
I said that’s alright.
I may not want to admit it,
I’m just a fool for your stockings, I believe.”
One of the many less known songs Bluestate does is the mordant self-mocking “(Caught with my) Hand In The Cookie Jar” about getting caught cheating. Greg did this with a whole lot of wide eyed false innocence and regret. Greg really has the quality of selling a song through living it on stage right there in front of you.
The unusual song selection just kept coming with Little Walter’s “Up The Line“ done almost as jazz, hot harp on “Gonna Forget About You” and a real mind blower, Duke Ellington’s “Nothin’ But The Blues” which swung like mad, and the funk treatment of “ A Good Fool Is Hard To Find.” Delbert McClinton’s “Something Special” had me wondering how much time they spend looking for tunes, and then the talking romp through Larry Garner’s “She Was Klepto” convinced me they all have huge CD collections. “I took her shopping at Best Buy, she came out with a home entertainment system between her thighs, She was Klepto!”
Then just to show they’re a lot more than witty, Bluestate did a powerful slow blues, “Salt In My Wounds” with tons of emotion and aching solos. Then by God, they finished off with Tony Sheridan and the Beatles’, “Take Some Insurance On Me, Baby,” one heck of a crazy R&B boast song. Bluestate sure does have a wild song bag –and they do them right. Combined with powerful musicianship and great solos Bluestate keeps growing and getting noticed.
– Rolf Olmsted – Sonomatunes
“Bluestate is one fine band with great musicians…and who isn’t afraid to sound like a California Blues Band with jazz and jump influences.”
– Rolf Olmsted, Sonomatunes (read the whole review here)
“I trekked down specifically to check out Bluestate. I was really impressed- You don’t see or hear many groups like this nowadays. They are tight, have cool tunes, nice arrangements…….what more can you ask for!”
– Steve Freund, Grammy Award winner & Delmark recording artist
“Bluestate is one of those bands that always delivers with great eclectic music and then knocks your socks off when you least expect it!”
– Dorothy Hill, wwwbluesource.com and President of The Golden Gate Blues Society
“WOW! Bluestate tore it up last night at Biscuits (and Blues)! I must say, I was so impressed and glad I had a chance to check you guys out! We had a great time! I loved the song selections, and the band is TIGHT!. You guys have somethin’ really special goin on there! I have a feelin we’ll be seein/hearin a lot more from Bluestate! Fun band, great musicians, a cool mix of tunes- loved it! Great job you guys! It was a fun night (and) I know the crowd really dug what ya laid down! If any of ya haven’t had a chance to see these guys yet, make a point of it!”
– Amy Lou, Amy Lou’s Blues
“Just wanted to say what a fine time it was last night. The place (The Seahorse Saloon) was packed to the max! I’ve never seen it that full – EVER! The guys sounded fantastic as always. You guys have your grove down nice and tight. The dance floor was packed. Thanks guys a fun, fun evening!”
– Vicki Henry, Fan
“The Bluestate band is tight, jumping and very fun to listen to. Greg Heumann does a great job on harp vocals and sax and Vince is probably the most underrated and unknown “great” guitarist in the Bay Area. He seems to be multitasking on the fretboard yet keeping it real and soulful. Bluestate is a happening band that’s time has arrived. Everyone who is into supporting the blues should see this band.”
– George Schoenstein, producer – Redwood City Blues Festival
Great, great band this Bluestate… Gregg Heumann…..you can sing me the blues any ol’ time! Man, I love his voice!
And Vince’s guitar work is amazing, the keys, the rhythm section, the whole band…tight!…
Each of the front guys, the keys, the guitar, Gregg’s singing and playing harp & sax, they are each very talented individually… the guy (George Landreth) is incredible in dem keys!
Vince got to stretch a bit more this time on guitar and it was great! That guy can play some blues guitar, no doubt.
– Maureen Hayes – Sonomatunes
“We had 500 guests at our annual Summer Barbecue Festival and everyone raved about Bluestate! BBQ & Blues is the perfect combination and Bluestate gave an outstanding performance. The guys from the band were easy to work with and sensitive to our needs throughout the day… and most importantly… the crowd loved them!”
– Dana Macaulay, Special Events Manager, Seghesio Family Vineyards
“Excuse me. Can you play something better?”
– Unknown fan