The Bobby BlackHat Trio is at the Highland Center May 11th
You never know what’s going to happen at a Bobby BlackHat Band performance! That’s the tag line and the motto of Bobby BlackHat Walters and his band when they bring their high energy blues to a concert venue. You can find out for yourself Saturday May 11th at the Highland Center in Monterey.
Bobby was a lifer in the Coast Guard, serving 27 years before he retired. For most of those years he carried an ever present harmonica with him, playing mostly for his own enjoyment. A second career playing music was never a possibility in his mind until fate stepped in.
“Just before I retired from the military a friend of mine invited me out to see his band perform and I just mentioned that yeah, I like to play a little harmonica,” said Bobby. “They convinced me to come out one evening to one of the local open mics and literally drug me up onstage to play. I was bit by the bug that night, so I never missed an open mic.”
“And at one of the open mics a gentleman walked up and said I’d like to book your band. And I looked at him and said well, I don’t have a band. And he said what about those guys you were just playing with? And I said we’re not really a band, we just get together and he said well I want to hire them [too]. And he did.”
One gig followed another and then Bobby decided to record a cd, allowing him to cross one item off of his bucket list. Now, 6 albums later he says everything is wonderful. And along the way, he’s played with the who’s who of blues, including BB King.
“I tell folks, BB King is the most gracious man I’ve ever met in my life,” he said. “You hear that from a lot of blues musicians who had the opportunity to be in his presence. And he just took his time and he was very nurturing and mentoring for young musicians, he was just a wonderful individual.”
In addition to being a fantastic blues man, he’s also a Veteran who was awarded a medal for heroism while stationed in St. Paul, Alaska, a place he describes as being 320 miles out in the middle of nowhere. It was a station that sent out radio signals for ships and planes to use for navigation.
“One evening we got a report that a fishing vessel was trying to come in to drop someone off and they got into one of the shallow lagoons and they went aground,” said Bobby. “We got the call that they had 81 people on board and the ship was in danger of breaking up on the rocks. So myself and two other gentlemen we went down and were able to bring all 81 off the ship safely.”
For the concert at the Highland Center, Bobby will be on harmonica and vocals and he’ll be joined by Tom Euler on guitar and vocals and Rich Ridolfino on bass and vocals.
“We’re gonna bring some toe-tappin’ hip-shakin’ finger-poppin blues to ya,” said Bobby. “Rule number one is to have fun and my motto, my tag line is you never know what’s going to happen at a Bobby BlackHat show!”
You can catch the Bobby BlackHat Trio at the Highland Center in Monterey this Saturday May 11th at 7pm. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students ages 15-18, and free for children under 15. The doors open at 6:30 and seating is open.