Starr Library
Roger Phillips Conce
Roger Phillips Concert Series presents East River Blues Band

Saturday, Jul. 20, 4:30-5:30pm
The East River Blues Band features hypnotizing harmonica, soul-filled guitar, soaring fiddle and lots of singing in their energetic and eclectic sets of blues and Americana.

Bill, Tom and Ken co-founded the East River Blues Band with the late “Howling” Dan Cumberland in 1996. The band played widely around the tri-state area appearing at the Riverhead Blues Festival, The Cape May Jazz Festival, The International Blues Competition in Memphis and for many years hosting the blues jam in Greenwich Village at the landmark Wreck Room. (formerly the Gaslight Cafe) The band’s first record was released in 2001. The follow-up release High Tide (2005) received dozens of positive reviews while enjoying national airplay highlighting the band’s songwriting, arranging, singing and playing. The band is currently working on a new recording of original songs along with Caren Wright-Schilling.

Bill Acosta, Bass:
Bill is from New York City where he discovered Jimi Hendrix and Cream. By following these artists, he discovered their influences and became a fan of Muddy Waters and the "Kings", Freddie, B.B. and Albert. Bill has worked with many bands in the New York City area and the Mid-Hudson region out of New Paltz. His bass-playing influences are Duck Dunn, Willie Dixon, Francis "Rocco" Prestia, Jack Cassidy and Chuck Rainey. He has worked in several bands with fellow member Ken Hughes over the last 30 years.
Tom Brumley, Harmonica and Vocals
Ripping fat harmonica solos and purring sweet vocals into the mic, virtuoso harmonica man Tom Brumley performs to wide audiences throughout the United States. Playing and practicing since a young age and being self-taught Brumley went on to play and record with renowned national bands such as Big Head Todd & the Monsters, TomCat Courtney, Fred Heath and the Slidewinders, and East Coast bands including Big Frank & the Healers and The East River Blues Band.  Brumley met Ken Hughes, Dan Cumberland, and Bill Acosta at an open jam at the funky and historic ‘Charleston’ in Brooklyn in 1996.

Marc Copell, Drums:
Marc Copell started studying drums at age nine and began playing sweet sixteen parties and social events at twelve.  After playing with the "Inner Moods" band in the late 1970's he went to SUNY Buffalo where he received a BA in music performance while studying with Jan Williams.  While in Buffalo he also had the opportunity to study with local be-bop drummer Louis Marino and play in the "Turtle Island" band with Elliot Sharpe, the Lewiston Artpark Theatre Orchestra and appeared with the Buffalo Philharmonic.
Marc has been a member of the "Bobby Kyle Band” since 2000 which also performed as the “Energy Band” backing the late Eddie Kirkland for East Coast tours and in Thailand from 2002-2009.  He recorded the EP "Last Call For the Blues in 2003 and the record “It’s My Life” in 2017 with the “Bobby Kyle Band”. In addition, Marc is a founding member of the jazz band AME, with Atsushi Ouchi and Everett Boyd.
Marc met Ken Hughes in the late 1980’s, was invited to play with the “East River Blues Band” in the 1990’s and recorded their first record in 2001.  Marc has been working with ERBB in various tours with the band since.  

Ken Hughes, Guitar and Vocals:
Ken is from Astoria in New York City where he studied with legendary guitar instructor Kevin Allen. Ken has taught music in NYC for 35 years since receiving a BA from Hunter. He learned to play fingerstyle blues listening to Jorma Kaukonen, Reverend Gary Davis and Mississippi John Hurt later playing with Jorma several times at his Fur Peace Ranch. He cites Mike Bloomfield, Hubert Sumlin, Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton as primary influences in his electric guitar playing. Hubert signed and played his Gibson guitar with the band at a “Wreck Room” appearance. Ken enjoys writing and arranging songs.

Caren Wright-Schilling, Fiddle:
Caren Wright-Shilling, classically trained as a violinist from a very young age and discovered the power of the blues while playing at local jams. Since then, she has performed with blues, rock, and country cover and original bands in the Tri-state area, New England and Pennsylvania. Her influences are Papa John Creech and Martin Wright.  She is honored to have been asked to join a band she has been a fan of for over a decade.

All concerts are indoors unless otherwise noted. 

The Roger Phillips Concert Series is a new concert series partnership with Starr Library. All concerts are free and open to the public. This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson. For more information and a complete list of sponsors, please visit our website
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