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"The Bluescasters"

The band had just finished 30 minutes of up-tempo, jump blues Saturday at Bogart's Billiards Café in Livonia, as Kerry Adams leaned toward the microphone. "We are the Bluescasters," he said. "Hopefully we're not interrupting too many games." Some venues are more receptive than others, but the bar scene is remarkably difficult for musicians today-more so than 30 years ago, when Adams and his bandmates, in various and separate road bands, toured the country. The popularity and profitability of karaoke, for one example, has made live music an increasingly rare commodity.
Doug Wolgat, who plays bass for the Bluescasters, said the situation has strengthened the bands that slog it out. "If you're the right band and you've got the right talent, you weed out the weaker ones," he said. Tonight, however, the Bluescasters won't need to worry about interrupting anyone's pool game. They take to the stage at the Village Theater in Canton Township at 8 p.m., and the entire house will be there for them.
The Detroit-area band, which formed two years ago, hopes to draw some new fans to their growing base. Besides Bogart's, they've played to appreciative crowds at Hermann's Old Town Grill in Plymouth and Enzo's in Ann Arbor. They are finalists in the Detroit Blues Society Blues Challenge this year, and will travel to Pontiac to try to win an entry to an international competition in Nashville.
Their blues--at turns jump, swamp, and blues-rock--certainly has broad appeal. And while the theater hasn't booked many blues groups during it's short existence, a listen to Five Dimes, their debut CD, convinced bookers at the theater that they were for real. "Musicians tend to be stand-offish," said Wolgat, who said one of the band's strengths is an understanding of the aspects of the music business. Drummer Harry Rodman, a Plymouth-Canton graduate, handles promotion and marketing, booking shows and keeping fans informed through their website, Wolgat and his wife brought design experience to the CD and other materials; and Adams has produced records in his studio for decades.
Their collective experience both on and off the stage bodes well for the Bluescasters. The band is tight and well rehearsed, with an extensive repertory. They mix originals--"This Old Guitar," "That's all She Left Me," and "Greyhound Blues," to name a few--with cover songs, such as Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up." As that track on their CD shows, however, covers are completely transformed to match their sound, a process, they quipped, called "Caster-izing."
Adam's guitar solos are both technically sound and moving, and whenever organist Phil Ryski picks up the harmonica the song is sure to reach the next level. But no one member of the quartet ever overpowers the rest of the group, and Wolgat's bottom-end bass is heard clearly grooving along with Rodman's exceptional drumming. They all share vocals on several songs and can be heard to harmonize--both rare feats for a blues band, said Adams. And tonight, after the first half of their two-hour show, they'll be joined by a three-piece horn section from Lady Sunshine and the X Band.
Their professionalism at live performances shows up on their disc, too. Recorded in Adams' studio, Cell Block #3, and professionally mastered--another rarity for local bands--the finished product does justice to the Bluescasters' rollicking sound.
But most importantly, said Adams, audiences can tell that the band is having a good time. Wolgat, who has been in the music business since the 1960s, said he's having the most fun with the Bluescasters out of all the bands he's played with. "Everybody takes a professional approach," he said. - by Kevin Hill, Staff Writer, Journal Newspapers


It could not be further delayed, at last, the first album of the "Bluescasters". Kerry Adams, Phil Ryski, Harry Rodman, and Doug Wolgat from Ann Arbor, Michigan met each other during the summer of last year, and as so often occurs; their love of the blues was that great, that this record could not wait any longer. The Bluescasters preferred to play their own ten compositions on their debut except for three "covers", among those "Something's Going On In My Room" by S. Johnson and "All Shook Up by the duo Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley.
To describe this band as the usual "run of the mill" blues band would certainly shortchange them. So thirteen heavenly blues tracks sparkle on this disc, where we recognize all "kinds" of blues, originating from Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, and Texas. Purists may argue this, but that will not keep me awake. These are the blues in the real sense of the word! This band is proud to show the blues in all it's facets and how!! Guitarist Kerry Adams proves it's penetrating creativity in, among others, "This Old Guitar" and "Big Brother Blues", as his guitar playing sounds "mean and raw" and then "subtle and sweet". That is the way I like to hear a guitarist! The perfectly balanced songs show all kinds of influences. A fusion of blues, roots, and blues/rock gives their sound a touch of uniqueness, but one with "character". Contrary to the average blues/rock fanatic, the ones who like the ambience and swinging blues will consider this a "rich dog bone". However, it is not always easy to recognize this as a simple style. It matters that you open yourself for this kind of music to be able to enjoy this fully, and that means Enjoy with a capital E, this swinging "new 21st century-style blues music. A masterly debut is the only word to apply to this.
The Bluescasters, according to me, are a true stage revelation, sparkling because of Kerry Adams (guitar, vocals), Phil Ryski (harmonica, vocals), Harry Rodman (drums, vocals), and Doug Wolgat (bass, vocals). And now….of course, buy the album.
- RootsTime Magazine (translated from Dutch by Pieter Vreede)


Five Dimes



Always entertaining, The Bluescasters use unique arrangements, diverse musical backgrounds and vocal harmony to distinguish themselves from other blues bands. The melodies are infectious and the lyrics are intriguing and thoughtful.