In the vast world of blues music, artists and bands come from many different backgrounds. Some are born into the blues, like Shemekia Copeland or Big Bill Morganfield, while others hear their calling mid-life and make the transition from other genres.

A prime example of the latter is Danny Klein, former bass player for the J. Geils Band, one of the hottest rock acts to hit the stage. Klein now has his own blues band called Stone Crazy and will appear at the Midnight Blues Club Sunday, March 27, as part of the Auburn club’s Sunday Night Blues Series.

As former bass player for J. Geils, Klein helped to define hard-driving rhythm and blues in the 1970s. His career with J. Geils spanned over a decade, and included more than 14 hit albums and literally thousands of gigs. Klein’s roots in the blues date back to 1972, when he played on a record with Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.

Today, Danny is continuing his lifelong musical journey with Stone Crazy. The band consists of Ken Pino on guitar, brother Babe Pino on harmonica and vocals, Mark Hylander on drums and Klein on bass guitar. Together, they produce a unique blend of blues, jazz and rock that is both fresh and original.

Ken Pino was guitarist for Grammy Award-winning artist Johnny “Clyde” Copeland for 10 years and appeared on seven of his albums. Pino has toured with such blues greats as Hubert Sumlin, Magic Slim, Joe Hughes, Johnny Johnson and Debbie Davies.

Davies, incidentally, is rated among the top female guitarists/singers in blues today and will perform at the Midnight Blues Club July 17.

Blues legend Muddy Waters called Babe Pino “one of the finest harmonica players in the country.” As front man for the Babe Pino Blues Band, he was the opening act for some blues giants, including B.B. King, James Cotton, Freddie King, Guy and Wells.

Hylander has 26 years of professional drumming experience. He toured extensively and recorded with many high-profile bands, including Duke and the Drivers, West and the Swinging Johnsons. His rock-solid beat provides the perfect foundation for Stone Crazy’s unique sound.

Stone Crazy released its self-titled debut album in early 2004, a 14-track effort featuring songs garnered from the pens of blues greats the guys have toured with over the years. Four are covers of Johnny Copeland songs, understandable given Pino’s 10 years with Copeland. Four of the songs are original to Stone Crazy, including “Fooled Myself,” “Buttercup,” “Mr. Blue” and “Woulda Coulda.” Geils himself played rhythm guitar on three tracks.

With Klein’s punchy bass grooves, phenomenal guitar and harp riffs from the Pino brothers and hard-driving beat by Hylander, the performance should be exhilarating from start to finish.

The Midnight Blues Club and Restaurant is located at 34 Court St. Tickets for all Sunday Night Blues Series shows are $15 and offer $3 off any entree. Shows start promptly at 7 p.m. and conclude at 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.3clubs.com.


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