I like to keep it old school and create often. I'm a Blues Man.
Price Range: $300-3500
Gig Length: 120 - 180 minutes
What to Expect
40 years of studying the blues and music. One man blues army. I've been playing with the same guys for over 20 years. Improvisation, under control. Originals, Muddy, Neil, Bob, Elmore, Johnny, etc. I have enough style and grace to play to kids (Wheels on the Bus), entertain seniors for a Sunday Brunch or everyone else in between.
In the late eighties, Bowie Maryland native, Pete Lancaster, briefly moved to Cleveland, Ohio.
Pete became a veritable one-man blues army, as he sang the songs of old blues masters while simultaneously playing acoustic slide-guitar, rack-mounted harmonica and stompin' box.
Pete then brought his passion for the blues to Hagerstown in the early 90's, where he soon became a solo street performer during the then-Hager Fest.
After initially forming an acoustic duo, Pete later teamed with bassist Arnie Helmick, electric guitarist Alan Mason, and drummer Bart Lay in the band, 2BLUE Ensemble, which was a contributor to the birth of Blues Fest and to the then-burgeoning Hagerstown blues scene.
In 1998, after the earlier group disbanded, Pete, along with many of its original members, formed the band now known as Stack O' Blues. Like its predecessor, Stack O' Blues is simultaneously grounded in the early, traditional blues masters, yet leavened with influences from later masters like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Johnny Winter and even Neil Young. On the Stack O' Blues band's 2006 CD "Scraps of History," Lay and Helmick's rock-steady rhythm supports Mason's powerful Page-inspired guitar as it leads the group through twelve Lancaster-penned original blues. NightHawks, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and Pinetop Perkins.
Arnie has played bass professionally for over twenty-five years in the Western Maryland area and beyond. Born in Cumberland MD, he was raised on a great variety of music in the household, ranging from the great musicals to Elvis to the Beach Boys. After playing numerous instruments, Arnie found his true calling playing the bass in high school when he heard the music of Rush, Led Zeppelin, and the Who. While attending Frostburg State University he actually played jazz on his first professional gigs, followed by a stint in Shadowfax, a local Top Forty band. This was the period he began teaching bass and guitar privately, which he continues to do. He also added fretless bass to his sound at this time, influenced by Jaco Pastorius of Weather Report.
After college he played in a diverse array of groups, including LPH, an acoustic trio, and Mr. Smartypants, an eclectic rock band. In 1993 he formed the blues trio Black Manhattan with Duffy Kane on guitar and traveled the east coast playing their mixture of electric blues and jazz. Bart Lay joined the band in 1994 and they have been playing together ever since. Arnie then revisited his big band roots in 1995, joining the Gary Marvel Orchestra. Simultaneously he started to jam with 2Blue, which gave birth to Stack o' Blues. At this time Arnie joined in a project with guitarist/singer Gary Jackson called Koko Blue. Outside of the band Gary and Arnie started a unique collaboration called the Masters Quartet, featuring Julie Belle Huff on flute and Wendy Winters on sax/clarinet/flute. In 2002 Arnie added the electric upright bass to his repertoire.
In 2006 Arnie joined the twenty-year Hagerstown musical institution the Holders. This was later supplemented by the creative outlet of the Prophets of the Abstract Truth, featuring the sax of Carl Disque, a founding member of 2Blue, and Bob Courter on guitar and perc.
Arnie has had the honor of backing up some true legends of the blues, including Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards, and Byther Smith. He also had the thrill of playing for the Platters and the Shangri-Las. He currently resides in Hagerstown and teaches at Carpenter's World of Music.
Bart showed his first interest in the drums at the age of 3 when he would get out pots and pans and start banging away. He hails from a musical family: his father is an accomplished trumpet player who performed with the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force, the Airmen of Note, for over 25 years. His mother sings beautifully and played piano and organ for their local church, and his two brothers are pianists, singers and songwriters.
Bart majored in music performance in college, but decided to leave school to follow in his father's footsteps to perform in the Air Force band. He auditioned and joined the Air Force in 1983 to play in the 13 piece show band "Flight One" and the concert band stationed at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. He did a lot of touring and played over 1,000 concerts in a variety of venues while in the Air Force.
He returned to Maryland in 1987 upon finishing 4 years in the military, and started doing freelance work in a variety of jazz groups. He began playing in a jazz trio, 3 DC, with his brother Larry and bassist Dennis Michaels, and the trio appeared in the movie He Said She Said, starring Kevin Bacon, which was filmed on location in Baltimore. He soon hooked up with 2nd Story, a neo-folk-rock band based in the D.C. area and played with them for several years.
Around 1990, he fulfilled one of his lifelong ambitions with his brothers Larry and Stephen to form an original rock band called the Koo Koo Heads, writing, performing and recording their own original songs. Close friend Mike Shannon soon joined the band as guitar.
Charles DC Carnes - DC's done it all including a 2008 Grammy! His resume includes touring and recording alongside blues legend Robert Lockwood Jr. D.C's raw yet humble approach to the electric guitar is not an event to miss.
Additional Booking Notes
I am self sufficient but I need at least one outlet.
Original set list.
Influences & Inspiration
Mance Lipscomb, Mark Winter, Johnny Winter, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, and the man with the guitar, Jimi Hendrix.
Recent review: Kept the dance floor packed all night! Great songs and great evening!
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