A concert featuring The Old Blues Kats will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Somerset Abbey, 98 Main St. in Madison.

Band members, DW Gill on harmonica and vocals with Doug Wainoris on guitar and vocals, perform delta, ragtime, Louisiana, Zydeco, Cajun, Texas and country blues.

The duo started their musical journey together back in 1970 with a Waterville based blues band called The D&A Blues Band, amongst other titles. The band’s major influences at this point were Chicago blues stylists like Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Paul Butterfield and Howling Wolf. The blues quartet configuration of guitar, bass, drums and harmonica, with vocals, was the format they used until 1976 when they formed the Blues Prophets. In 1977 the addition of piano filled out the classic blues quintet sound. All the while, travels to Chicago helped solidify and form the character of the sound they sought. These trips had the boys working with Big Walter Horton, Eddy Taylor, Otis Rush, as well as back in Maine, with Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, James Cotton, Jimmy Rogers plus Eddy Shaw and the Wolfgang. After the 1978 release of the self titled “Blues Prophets” LP on Astro-Jet Records, the fellas found themselves on stage in New Orleans at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, with Professor Longhair and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. The formation of the Blue Flames in 1982 found Doug and DW fronting a new quartet with material ranging from the sounds of Magic Sam to Rockabilly, then to jump and swing, with Cajun and New Orleans influences added in for good measure.

During the 80s and 90s the combo started creating their own compositions and arrangements while still maintaining the authentic sound and feel. Concert outings had them working with Jimmy Johnson and opening for Stevie Ray Vaughn and BB King. Doug developed his solo finger picking blues act, while recreating the music of Mance Lipscomb, Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Nighthawk, Robert Johnson, John Jackson, amongst many others. Soon, DW came on the scene with the duo and they started doing Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Sonny Boy Williamson, Jazz Gillum, Big John Wrencher, whilst inserting in the sets, some more of the original blues and Cajun tunes.

Since 2002 the Blues Prophets have performed around Maine reprising the quartet and quintet configuration. After collecting original tunes and arranging some old blues standards, the guys went back in the studio in 2012 and released the CD Astro-Jet Records 013, Blues Prophets “Keep On Jukin.” The Old Blues Kats blues duo of DW and Doug keep on performing for many special events, in order to preserve the blues tradition and pay homage to the original blues masters dating back to the early 20th century.

Tickets cost $15. For tickets, visit somersetabbey.net or stop by Pizzarama in Madison. Tickets will be available at the door the night of the show if available.

For more information, call 696-5800 or email [email protected]

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