The doctor is in. Mount Sinai’s own Mark Gresser aka “Doc Blues” is reviving his annual Cedar Beach Blues Festival after a four-year break. The Oct. 7 event, in cooperation with the Greater Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council, has a new location at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson.
“This is the gathering of the tribe,” says Gresser, who has kept the Cedar Beach name because that’s where the festival originated even though it’s no longer held there. “These are some of the best blues bands Long Island has to offer. I try to bring in an interesting mix of old and new acts so everyone can enjoy all their musical talents.”
The daylong concert will feature 14 acts across two stages — the Main Stage and the Acoustic Stage. Here’s a sample of who will be on the bill.
HOOCH AND THE BLUESICIANS
After 20 years together and success with their 2005 album, “Fly Right,” Hooch and the Bluesicians are making a comeback. This five-piece band, led by singer/guitarist/harmonica player Joe “Hooch” Paolucci of Manorville, is ready to deliver a blend of Chicago blues mixed with California swing and Texas blues.
“We like to play tasty songs. Not too many slow ones,” says Paolucci, 68. “The goal is to keep the set up-tempo. We want to make every performance count.”
Expect to hear Freddie King covers like “Sittin’ on the Boat Dock” and “See See Baby,” plus Hooch’s signature rendition of the ‘50s classic, “Rockin’ Robin.”
SET TIME 12:45 p.m. on the Main Stage
THE DAVE CHRISTIAN PROJECT
Dave Christian of Commack is a Cedar Beach Blues Festival veteran. He used to play the event with his old band Finally Balanced and now he returns with the Dave Christian Project.
“It’s always a good scene. There’s a lot of camaraderie,” says Christian, 58. “We enjoy playing with like-minded bands.”
The band, who regularly plays at Katie’s of Smithtown, Mr. Beery’s of Bethpage and RipTides in Lindenhurst, is focusing on original tracks like “Cool Fish,” “Bringing It Back,” “Keeping Reason” and “Paradigms” with an occasional cover thrown in like Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown.”
“Our live show is a mix because we play both acoustic and electric,” says Christian. “Our set gets bluesy, funky and rock oriented therefore it varies in both energy and presentation.”
SET TIME 4:10 p.m. on the Acoustic Stage
FRANK LATORRE & THE KING BEES
For over 30 years, Frank Latorre of Mastic Beach has been delivering indie blues rock on the mic armed with his harmonica and guitar. He has represented Long Island five times at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
“It meant the world to me,” says Latorre, who also won a Grammy certificate in 2014 for playing on Johnny Winter’s album, “Step Back.” “I might try again one time.”
Latorre is planning on performing some new tunes like “Angela,” “Candy Apple Purple,” “Moonlit Walk,” “Dreams of Lovin’ You” and “Time Machine.” He will also pull out some of his old classics.
“The crowd loves to hear ‘Louisiana Rain’ and our standard, ‘King Bee Boogie,’ ” says Latorre, 69. “We’ll even dedicate a song to the late Roy Buchanan like ‘The Messiah Will Come Again.’ ”
SET TIME 4:45 p.m. on the Main Stage
CJ’s SAY HEY CREW
Stony Brook resident Claudia Jacobs loves performing live and can’t wait to bring out her band CJ’s Say Hey Crew to the festival.
“I’m brassy and saucy on stage,” says Jacobs. “I love people and I think that comes through in my performance plus outdoor festivals are my favorite.”
Jacobs is known for blending soul, R&B, Americana, country and blues. Her set will be a mix of covers like Jimmy Rogers’ “Walking By Myself” and Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” as well as originals such as “C’mon Sunshine” and “Crossroads.”
“When I do a cover, I serve the song and find my comfort in it to give it my own spin,” says Jacobs. “A lot of my show is improvised. We practice a lot but we like to go off in different directions.”
SET TIME 6 p.m. on the Acoustic Stage
JOE LOUIS & THE GROOVE
Make way for the 2023 winner of the Long Island Blues Challenge, Joe Louis & The Groove. This quintet plays traditional style blues fronted by 24 year-old singer/guitarist Joe Louis Seher of Farmingdale with a backing band of 60- and 70-year-old musicians.
“I wanted guys with experience because I play better with older, wiser players,” says Seher, who grew up listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan records. “Every day I learn from them because they are seasoned. The guys don’t mess around.”
The band can be found gigging at Charlotte’s Speakeasy in Farmingdale, Big Daddy’s in Massapequa and Bobbique in Patchogue. They made their festival debut this summer at the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue.
“To be around people that share a love for this genre of music creates a happy vibe,” says Seher. “It encourages me to keep going.”
SET TIME 6:45 p.m. on the Main Stage
CEDAR BEACH BLUES FESTIVAL
WHEN | WHERE Noon-7 p.m., Oct. 7. Harborfront Park, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson
INFO 631-473-5220, gpjac.org