LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: Chicago area based music group Kevin Purcell and the Nightburners kicked off the first annual Sin City Soul and Blues Revival at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Sunday afternoon with a stunning 90 minute onslaught of blues, blues rock and a little funk thrown in. Hundreds of soul and blues enthusiasts from all over the western hemisphere crowded into the standing room only Casino Bar while another 150 surrounded the open curtain perimeter and saw lead vocalist and harp player Kevin Purcell and his Nightburners perform several of their songs from the new all original CD "Beyond the Storm" as well as selected covers from many of the great blues artists. 34 plus bands from the blues and soul world performed over the three day event on four stages including greats like Robert Cray, Tedeschi /Trucks, John Nemeth, Curtis Salgado and Trampled Under Foot.
"We were looking forward to this event", said Purcell "and just produced our fifth CD to bring along for what we were convinced would be a whole new series of fans". They got what they were looking for…the 'new' fans went crazy! "The harmonica/ fiddle interaction was phenomenal" commented one fan from Ohio. "They are both great musicians." Original songs "Shake 'em On Down" and the slow blues tune "Its Not Love" seemed to be audience favorites but the surprise came at the end when the Nightburners delivered a blistering rendition of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", featuring fiddle player Andy Ohlrich. Two standing ovations later a very satisfied crowd left with a new favorite blues group.
"I don't know how anyone is going to top this" said one fan from Austin, Texas and similar comments were heard from several other patrons as they left the Casino Bar.
Kootenay, British Columbia radio DJ Richard Metzner was also impressed and asked for a new CD to present on his radio show.
Word got back to promoter Terry O'Halleran, president and CEO of Live Music Vacations, an Austin Texas based corporation who put on the three day event. "I heard that you guys really set the bar" said Terry. "It apparently was quite a lead off performance". Over 1500 soul and blues fans descended on the Riviera Sunday to see some of the best in the business. "I think with the response we received and the quality variety of entertainment we provided, I would look forward to presenting another event next year" remarked Terry.
Purcell reflected on the festival later remarking on the talent present, the atmosphere and the fact that "the band came ready to put on a show; and I have some of the best players in the business; high caliber musicians with non-stop energy". The Nightburners feature Don Laferty on guitar, Tony Root on bass, Bill LeClair on keyboards, Pete Kruse on drums, the aforementioned Andy Ohlrich on
fiddle, with Bill McGuinn maintaining sound and equipment logistics. "We earned a spot at the International Blues Competition in Memphis last January and the some of Sin City festival organizers saw us. They had us submit our live video from Memphis, and then folks voted for their favorite live video song. The Nightburners beat out the the next closest band by almost 1000 votes. We took Vegas by storm too!!!..", said Kevin. "Next month we play at one of the largest blues festivals in the south, the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas. We hope the enthusiasm for the band and its music will continue." You can keep posted at www.nightburners.com and follow us on Facebook.
James H. Schneider
Deven Ventures, Inc.