2019 International Blues Challenge finalist Misty Blues is led by lead singer/band founder Gina Coleman. The band is based out of Berkshire County, Massachusetts playing original and traditional blues with hints of jazz, soul, funk and tent revival gospel since 1999. The band has recorded and shared the stage with Charles Neville and opened for contemporary blues artists like Tab Benoit, John Primer, Albert Cummings and Michael Powers. Misty Blues performs extensively throughout New England and has toured New York City, Harrisburg, Mishawaka, Knoxville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Muscle Shoals, Clarksdale, Memphis, New Orleans and Ontario Canada. The band recently earned an Independent Blues Music Award nomination for the best contemporary blues song. The band’s original recordings have wide radio airplay in the U.S. and UK.
In the summer of 1999 Gina Coleman was performing in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of A Raisin In The Sun. That production featured the acting of Ruben Santiago Hudson, Viola Davis, Kimberly Elise and Gloria Foster. Coleman was casted as a gospel singer. Nearing the end of the show’s run, Ruben Santiago Hudson gave Coleman a cd collection entitled Men Are Like Streetcars. He told her that her voice was well suited for the blues and urged her to take that next musical direction. Coleman heeded his advance, and after 20 years, Misty Blues has stood the test of time.
Band founder and lead singer, Gina Coleman, entered the music scene in the early 90’s as the lead singer of the folk/rock group Cole-Connection. It wasn’t until 1999 when she played a gospel singer in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of A Raisin In The Sun that she was steered down the path of blues. The lead actor in the production, Rubin Santiago-Hudson, told Coleman that he felt her voice was well suited to sing classic blues. This sentiment was echoed by actor/singer, Mandy Patinkin, who sought her out after seeing the opening performance of the production. After actress Gwyneth Paltrow commented on her performance, Coleman knew a musical shift was imminent. Guitarist Jason Webster and bassist Bill Patriquin from Cole-Connection were on board and thus began Misty Blues.
With a deficit of blues music in the Berkshires at the time, they felt the musical change would be well received. Misty Blues pays homage to the older blues made popular by the bold and brassy women of its time, while still paying respect to classic male artists of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. The band hasn’t completely abandoned their musical roots; they frequently perform classic rock and folk tunes infused with a healthy dose of the blues. Over the years, Misty Blues has produced four albums, Electric Juke Joint features classic blues renditions, Roadhouse Revival is a danceable twist on traditional gospel music, Between The Stacks their completely original album with Charles Neville on sax, and With All Due Respect which pays homage to some of the earliest blues music ever written. The core members are Gina Coleman, Jason Webster, Bill Patriquin, Jeff Dudziak, Benny Kohn and Rob Tatten. The band has been fortunate enough to perform with some great musicians in the Berkshires and beyond including Charles Neville, of the legendary Neville Brothers, Matt Berger, Aaron Dean, Jake Keplinger and Dave Vittone.