No music genre has cooler names than the blues, and this week’s Bluesdays band is no exception, as the J.C. Smith Band takes the stage in the Village at Squaw Valley.
The band includes Tommy “Tuesday” Maitland, Donnie “Dynamite” Green and the bandleader is known as Johnny Cozmik on his KKUP FM radio program. Keyboardist Paul Smith probably has a nickname, too, but folks will have to make it to the show to learn what it is.
The East San Jose band is known for its smooth sound and sharp clothes. It delivers various hues of blues, from horn-driven soul to Chicago style to early rock ’n’ roll. Singer-guitarist J.C. Smith is clearly influenced by T-Bone Walker, the player Chuck Berry emulated. He also has plenty of charisma and he makes sure the crowd has a good time.
A former drummer, Smith plays a Gibson 335, the same ax wielded by Freddie King, Otis Rush, Larry Carlton and the aforementioned T-Bone Walker and Chuck Berry.
Honors include the 2012 Metro Newspapers Best Of Silicon Valley “Best Original/local Band” and a Grammy nomination for the album “Defining Cool.” The band has toured Russia, Eastern Europe, Mexico and South America, and Smith has recorded with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and shared the stage with Son Seals, B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy and Buddy Miles.
On his website, Smith said his goal is “to keep the Blues alive and take the message to the people.”
- Bluesdays 2016
6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the Village at Squaw Valley, free
July 19 – J.C. Smith Band
July 26 – Dennis Jones Band
August 2 – David Jacobs Strain
August 9 -Lloyd Jones
August 16 – Joe Louis Walker
August 23 -James Armstrong
August 30 – Mark Hummel Band featuring Little Charlie Baty and Anson Funderburgh
September 6 – Kenny Neal