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BAND HISTORY/BIOS

(LIKE YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW THESE MOOKS?)

 
The Back Alley Blues Band was originally formed in November, 1996 by Franc Robert (Guitar/Vocals), and Smokin Joe Sadowski (Harp/vocals). The band started out playing true hard core Chicago Blues (think Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Little Walter, Buddy Guy, and many others), mixed with the best of the Texas/Louisiana style (think T-Bone Walker, Slim Harpo, The Faboulous Thunderbirds, SRV, and more). After going through numerous rhythm section members over the years, the band found Don Cox (bass) and David Simmons (drums) in May, 2002 and has been in this form ever since. The resulting combination has been creating an exciting, dancable brand of blues that has won over blues fans and bar patrons all over Pasco and Pinellas Counties, in the great state of Florida. In August of 2004, we released our first CD (right in the middle of Hurricane Charley!) and have started playing more fesitvals and large events. The new CD, Boxcar Tourists, was released in February of this year-check out the sounds on the samples page!! And now in April 2006, we added Alza Perez on guitar and vocals, making us a 5-piece band for the first time. This formation will be recording a new CD in the fall, once we get all the new songs written (what else is new!?!?) So here's the gang...
 

Don Cox-Bass & Vocals

Don started playing in his native Virginia, where he played with the Home Cooking Band, amongst many others. Since moving to Florida, Don has played with many local bands, including Ed Wright, The Stingrays, and Tom Bell and the Bellacasters.

All photos on this page by Chris Keezer
 

Alza Perez-Guitar & Vocals

A true "Cracker" (FL born and raised) Alza loves the blues. With a driving voice capable of many tones and textures, and a good second guitar he has brought a new dimension to the band's sound. Since returning from South Florida in 1988 he has led several bands, among them Nothin' But Trouble, Rock & Roll Xpress, and the Wilde Knightz.

 
 

Franc Robert-Guitar & Vocals

A Native Montrealer, Franc started playing in various bands throughout the 80's, hosting the popular jam at the famous Rising Sun Nightclub in Montreal, where he learned at the feet of many blues greats, including Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, and Robert Cray. Moving to Florida in 1990, he played in several bands before forming the Back Alley Blues Band in 1996.

 
 

Smokin' Joe Sadowsky-Harp & Vocals

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Joe started the way most musicians start, by being a "jam rat", eventually leading to gigs with Lazy Boy and the Rockers, Nuthin But Trouble, and the Rock'n'Roll Xpress. Joe brings his life into his playing, wailing, crying and making his harp sing.

 
 

Dave Simmons-Drums & Vocals

Don's running buddy for nearly 30 years, David also hails from Virginia, playing in many of the same bands as Don. Moving to Florida, David continued playing with Don and many others, including The Stingrays, Cool Corporate Cats, Tom Bell, and Take It Back.