James Montgomery Photo credit John Lappen

James Montgomery Photo credit John Lappen

WESTERLY — In what has become somewhat of a local blues tradition, a pair of giants will join forces at the Knick next week for a show predicted to be a "barnburner" by the folks at the Knick.

New England blues musician extraordinaire James Montgomery and his band will be sitting in on vocals and harp with acclaimed guitarist Jeff Pitchell and his band, Texas Flood.

"Together, James and Jeff get their dueling axes on and backed by Jeff's band, Texas Flood, tear up a high energy mix of rhythm and blues, rock, soul, pop, funky Texas Blues and even a little country," according to the Knick website. 

Montgomery, the legendary blues harmonica player who has played with Patti LaBelle, Gregg Allman, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Winter, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, James Brown and Mick Jagger, is always up for a show at the Knick.

Montgomery is a "musician of many talents," said John Lappen, a music promoter and longtime friend of Montgomery's. "James is an iconic figure in blues music for over 40 years ... an accomplished blues harpist, singer, front man and bandleader, lending these talents to his own band, the James Montgomery Band, and to countless sessions and tours over the years .... that it would take two pages to list them all. He’s also hosted his own syndicated blues radio show, interviewing and playing the music of numerous blues and blues-rock luminaries. This man has stories to tell!"

Montgomery, who was was inducted into the New England Music Hall of Fame earlier this month, was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2018.

Pitchell, who plays regularly in and around Westerly, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist known for his skill in blending Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix with his own soulful vocals.

His song “Eye for an Eye” won an international songwriting contest a few years back and was recorded by John Mayall. He has performed with the Allman Brothers, BB King, Ted Nugent, Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, and J. Geils, and played for the Boston Red Sox on national television and radio.

Montgomery's latest album, "The James Montgomery Blues Band: A Tribute to Paul Butterfield," was released on Cleopatra Records, and he recently finished a new CD, "From Detroit To The Delta," which includes such guest musicians as members of Aerosmith, Johnny Winter, James Cotton and DMC from the band Run DMC.

— Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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