Knights of Columbus Council 333 will host a “Mid-Winter Blues Night” Saturday, Jan. 28, in Ticonderoga. The event will include a happy hour 6 to 8 p.m. and the show 8 to 11 p.m. Ernie Williams and his band will be the featured performers.
The blues are coming to Ticonderoga.
Knights of Columbus Council 333 will host a “Mid-Winter Blues Night” Saturday, Jan. 28, at its lounge on Montcalm Street. The event will include a happy hour 6 to 8 p.m. and the show 8 to 11 p.m.
Ernie Williams and his band will be the featured performers.
“Ernie Williams has played in the area before and has quite a following,” said Rollin Slattery, Grand Knight. “We think this will be a show everyone will enjoy. It should be a great night.”
Tickets are priced at $15 a person and $25 a couple. Tickets can be purchased at the Knights of Columbus or by calling 585-6520.
Williams, who is “80 plus” years old, is a blues legend, Slattery said.
“Ernie Williams, an extraordinarily talented musician, has paid his dues and has won the right to take his place among the legends of the blues,” Slattery said. “His voice — the voice — is instantly recognized and personifies the blues.”
Williams began playing guitar in the 1930s while living in a shack on a Virginia Plantation. He spent his days picking tobacco and his nights learning the blues. By the 1940s, he earned the right to play with the local bluesmen at the Saturday night Fish Fries in Halifax County, Virginia. At the age of 19, he bought a one-way ticket to Harlem.
In the 1950s, he played seven nights a week from amateur nights at the famed Apollo Theater to juke joints around the city. In the 1960s, he moved to Albany and in the 1970s formed his own blues band.
He has since been a fixture of Albany’s blues community. Williams has performed at the House of Blues in Boston, at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago and festivals around the country. He has released six CDs.
The band includes Charlie Vatalaro on alto and tenor saxophone, Rocky Petrocelli on drums, Michael Kelley on keyboards and David Malachowski on guitar.
Vatalaro was a member of the Greater Boston Youth Jazz Ensemble and played in the U.S. Army Band.He has a bachelor’s degree in jazz history from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s degree in jazz techniques from Goddard College.
Petrocelli has played with the Ernie Williams Band for 20 years. A teacher for many years, he is the co-author of a text on contemporary drum set technique and styles with legendary drummer Dino Danelli of the Rascals.
Before joining the Ernie Williams band in 1997, Kelley played with the The Sharks, recording six albums and touring the northeast.
David Malachowski is a guitarist, producer and journalist based in Woodstock. He is bandleader/guitarist for Shania Twain as well as a bluesman. Malachowski also played the San Francisco Blues Festival in 2005 with Long John Baldry, Rod Price and Kim Simmonds as the British Blues All-Stars.