NEWS & REVIEWS
Deborah Stafford & State of Affairs opens for Buddy Guy
My Blues band "Deborah Stafford & The State of Affairs was honored to be able to open for blues legend Buddy Guy on Sept 28, 2019 at Blues, Brews and BBQ.
We opened the show along with Taylor Scott Band and The Blues DoGs and got to play a 45 min set of our originals. It was a chilly evening in Loveland CO and Buddy joked that at least Coloradans were used to it. But I was up on that stage earlier and the many lights kept me toasty warm. Hopefully, he was warm while he was playing at least. He put on the usual great show, playing his guitar with a drumstick, a towel, his teeth and telling stories. He sipped his Cognac (or something in a blue coffee cup). He told the crowd that before the British invasion brought Blues back in the 1960's Americans didn't know who he was. He gave us a history lesson while he played some instantly recognizable songs and guitar liks from the other Blues legends he has outlived. Buddy is 83 years old now and probably feels like he carries the torch for this music alone, but there are so many that love the Blues.
We started the sound check with Buddy's band, soon learning that the bass player had broken his amp the night before and needed a loaner. Kent Oberman from the Blues DoGs came to the rescue with only one request. If he used the amp "would he please ask Buddy to sign it?" He said "I'll ask, but there's no guarantee." Buddy has come to the time in his career that he can do pretty much whatever he wants. If he wants to play for an hour, he plays for an hour. If he wants to play longer, he does that. He has a helper on stage that brings him whatever he needs, from guitars to drinks to Kleenex if he needs it. That guy was running around the whole night making sure everything was just right for him. I was excited to meet Buddy or at least watch him walk by me on to the stage, but his security cleared us all out of backstage area so that he wouldn't be bothered while he was walking out. When you've been around as long as he has I guess you have earned a few privileges.
I, on the other hand, ended up changing in the hallway, since there was only one bathroom for all the opening bands and someone was hogging it right before I needed to go on. So much for the big time, I thought, hoping no one would walk by while I was in my underwear. I didn't get to redo my hair or check my makeup. I just had to go for it. I went out there to applause from fans and friends who had come to the show. That was a great feeling. Andrea Buell and Dan King were right there in the front row cheering us on. After a couple of songs people started nodding their heads and smiling and it was magic. At one point I reminded myself to take time to appreciate it while I was up there. Everyone played well and my voice sounded great, I was thankful. Before, I had been worried that a crowd that paid to see Buddy Guy might not like us, but all the comments I got after I'd come off stage were great and I think we got a lot of new fans. It was an amazing night!
State of Affairs Goes to Memphis
Deborah Stafford & The State of Affairs won the Mile High Blues Challenge this year and got to go to Memphis to represent Colorado at the International Blues Challenge. January 2019 was the 35th Annual International Blues Challenge put on by The Memphis Blues Foundation. They host Blues Challenge winners from all over the world for a week of mayhem on Beale Street every year. Deborah and the band got to perform twice at The Blues City Cafe (the place with the best ribs around) and to also check out the other bands on Beale. There were two other Colorado Bands there, Mojomama representing Colorado Blues Society and The Movers & Shakers representing Colorado Springs Blues Society. We ran around trying to see everyone else play while keeping track of what was going on at our venue. There were so many great acts! We were thankful to have gone, it was the experience of a lifetime.
Deborah Stafford is excellent. The best female vocalist we've had at our Avalon Swing Series ever.
Jim Borzym, Avalon Ballroom
On stage, she enchants the audience with a seductive world of human experience and emotion that is the hallmark of the great Jazz performers through history. Audiences that have not yet had the chance to experience this amazing music form are potentially missing something they will enjoy immensely. This is a truly great heritage, and not only has she discovered it, she lives it.
Kris Ditson, professional musician
Deborah has a natural allure onstage, which really propels the show forward
MHBS Blues Challenge Judge
She gave me chills and goosebumps at that Dazzle show!
Deborah sings at the Women in the Blues Showcase
This summer Deborah was invited to participate in the Women in the Blues Showcase. National Blues acts Karen Lovely, Bridget Kelly Fik and Brigette Rios Purdy came to town to sing with local blues sisters Cass Clayton, Stacy Turpenoff, Melody Hodges and Deborah Stafford. Deborah was honored to be included in the group. She had seen most of these women in Memphis at the IBC Women in the Blues Showcase and was excited to meet them. It was an afternoon of rockin Blues, so much fun!