There's a new ax slinger in town, and his name is Reggie Sears.
Sears kicked off his stateline tour with veteran blues musicians Link (drums); Bob Levis (rhythm guitar); and Dave Kaye (bass) on Saturday, July 15 for two performances. They began at Sinnissippi Music Shell as part of the Charlotte's Web 2006 Summer Series. They followed with a stellar performance at Big Cities Lounge.
The Summer Series drew plenty of fans on the muggy, July evening, and things got hotter yet as the four bluesmen wailed, grooved, jammed and rocked through two 45-minute sets of hard-driving blues and a superb encore.
As the band packed up, Reggie met with his new fans to sign his debut CD Transitions (2005 Redd Dawg Records). The band headed over to Big Cities Lounge to round out the night with two more full sets of energy-laden blues classics such as Albert King's "Blues at Sunrise," new favorites from the blues circuit like Chris Beard's "Born to Play the Blues" and Reggie's own original and title song "Transitions."
Bassist Dave Kaye enhanced the night with his crowd-pleasing solos, fronted the band on Albert King's "Call My Job" at the Music Shell, and on Roscoe Gordon's plaintive "No More Doggin," Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35," and a Kaye original "Your Move" at Big Cities.
Kaye and Link formed a super solid foundation. Levis' melodic progressions added texture and color. Sears charged through a variety of industry techniques, including unbelievably mature slide work.
Reggie's taste in music is, indeed, mature for a 15-year old. His choices are determined by a pure love of the blues and by his ability to express himself through the genre.
Sears gladly offered the following comments for Beetcafe.com:
BC: Why did you pick the blues? (No pun intended).
RS: Because I can't feel no other music like I feel the blues.
BC: What about Rap?
RS: I don't like it.
BC: Why not?
RS: There ain't nothin' about it that excites me. That's all it is is a good beat. It gets boring after a while.
BC: How do you like your new band?
RS: Oh, I love it, I love it, I love it. Best band I ever had.
BC: What other projects are you working on? Are you writing material for a new CD?
RS: I am trying to write some songs, but not particularly for a CD. I'm just writing.
BC: How did you like performing in Rockford?
RS: It's been a thrilling experience.
Booked by Manager Lynn Bennehoff of Timeless Entertainment, Sears went on to perform at local venues and festivals including Mike's Roadhouse; JT's Bourbon Street Grille; and Rockin' Ribfest.
After a short hiatus, Reggie will return to Rockford for two more special shows. He returns to Big Cities Lounge, 905 E. State, on August 25. Show time is 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. On Friday, September 1st, he will appear at the Left Bank Stage at On The Waterfront, Downtown Rockford. Show time is 7 p.m.
The kid's a natural, and when he sings, "I was born to play the blues," I believe him.