The Magazine has been dogging the footsteps notes of the five members of the Statesboro Blues Band for nigh on to a month and a half and can report that they do indeed have the right amount of funk.

When first seen at the home of harp and keyboard player Brooks Keenan, the men in the band were worried about set structure- that is which songs should be included in a particular set and in what order.

Guitarist Patrick McAndrew, "Aren't we pandering to the audience including (commercial) hit like this?" They had just finished a truly elevating rendition of Jack Wilson's "Your Love (Is Lifting Me Higher)" and were considering what to continue with.

Professional concern is not wasted on the audiences the SBB performs to Terry & Zeke's. As a friend with me commented "So this is where all those people go." Those people are the hardcore dancers, jazz and music lovers who populate a good entertainment establishment. They did not look like they would take much pandering.

But, any band with exuberant talent and expertise of the men in this band are probably only equaled only by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Comprising the rest of the band are George Howard on drums and most vocals; Bob Benedon on bass and Bruce Tost the omnipresent saxophone player whose loomy presence dominates proceedings.

Howard, from Asbury Park, N.J. is a professional photographer. He says he got burned out working in the finance department of banks for 10-15 years. He has played with Benedon and McAndrew in the Subterranean Blues Band a group that opened for such national acts as the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roy Buchanan and John Cougar.

Howard does an admirable job combining vocals with percussion that any drummer will attest is a hard job. On B.B. King's "The Thrill is Gone" for example, Howard gives an unique twist drawing the lyric out just a couple of belts longer than "Thrill" listeners might expect. It is appreciable

Indeed, the beat is the message. "I'm real interested in keeping the beat steady and uncomplicated," says Howard. "Maybe that sounds too simple but when I see people dancing I just want to keep it going.

Keenan who contributes to some of the original material ("Midnight Kitchen") is an architectural engineer with a local consulting firm. With a penchant for three-piece suits this unassuming baby-faced keyboardist can give the audience a real goose with his jazz-blues harp playing. Several solos had the Terry & Zeke's crowd hooting while they were hoofing.

Keenan sums up the group's philosophy: "What we're aiming for is playing some of the nation's blues festivals. There's one in New Orleans in April, for example. That's really what we want to do continue to play locally and go to a few festivals."

Playing locally is what the SBB is all about. They are the house band at Terry & Zeke's. The club seems designed for them Owner Terry Glassman says he put a couch near the club's dance floor to induce a feeling of home and the band members agree. "It's like playing in our living room."

It must be. We've never seen veteran sax man Bruce Tost quite so comfortable. Weaving a knitted cap down to his ever-brooding eyes. Tost actually danced his saxophone into the audience and up to a table or two during their performance.

Seeing Tost let loose is a treat. You've heard him for years as he puts it, "In every idiom from jazz to gospel." He seems to dominate many sets on Sunday nights at the Marriott Hotel where Tucson's jazz musicians gather to jam. "Dr. Sax," who shows great facility on all four saxophones, holds an MA from Illinois State University (where he also taught.) He is employed as music teacher in Tucson Unified School District.

Bob Benedon helping Howard keeps the steady beat displays a frantic marionette approach to bass playing. From Wisconsin, Benedon finds the blues a spiritual medium he has been chasing off and on since the early seventies.

Patrick McAndrew  [44] is a teacher. Political science is his medium in Marana and at Pima Community College. His music contributions can be found on three albums by Dusty Chaps, as well as on movie and on television soundtracks. Like Keenan, Howard and Benedon, he also played with the Subterranean Blues Band. But like his band brothers, he is a familiar face to Tucson audiences. He writes ("Working Man's Blues") and props up the band with quicksilver licks that pack a lot of sound. Music, he feels, "is a generational thing."

The Blues has transcended the generations and Statesboro Blues Bandin their new living room off Speedway is proving that Tucson has an appetite for this all American art form.

Statesboro makes changes

From December 1983-January 1984 - The Magazine. Page 7

On other musical fronts, Don Lupo, bassist, has retired from the Statesboro Blues Band. Bassist extraordinaire Bob Benedon has taken his place. Benedon played with the Subterranean Blues Band. He now joins two other ex-Subterranean George Howard and Pat McAndrew with Statesboro. The band occasionally plays at the Riverfront Saloon and has a New Years Eve performance scheduled at Nino’s.

“Subterranean Blues was more on the rock side of blues,” says Benedon. “Statesboro Blues Bend is more on the rhythm and blues side.” Brooks Keenan and Bruce Tost are also members of the Statesboro Blues Band. Benedon hopes the blues concept will become as popular as jazz in Tucson.

2014 © Entertainment Magazine and BZB Publishing, Inc., Robert Zucker and Newsreal, Jonathan L.

All rights are reserved. These are the compiled works of contributed materials from writers and photographers previously published in the Tucson Teen, Magazine, Entertainment Magazine and Newsreal newspapers, and from Entertainment Magazine On Line ( No part of the material protected by this copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher.

Permission is granted to use quotes and cite references to the contents in this book with proper credit noted: “Entertaining Tucson Across the Decades,” © 2014 Entertainment Magazine.”

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Entertaining Tucson Across the Decades
Volume 1

by Robert E. Zucker

The local entertainment scene in Tucson, Arizona during the 1950s through 1985 was vibrant– from the ‘50s rock and roll of the Dearly Beloved to the ‘80s with the Pills, Giant Sandworms and everything in between– classic rock, disco, alternative, punk, hard core, country, swing and Big Band. Hundreds of bands and thousands of entertainers over three decades. Within these pages are the memories and the experiences of those people and places.

These are the original articles and interviews published in several local newspapers that covered the Tucson entertainment scene over the decades. Follow their stories through the years– the big breaks, record releases, hot performances and duds, break ups, tragedies, personal insights and struggles.

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