Midnight Blue: David Toy, John Burt, John Betts, Todd Armstrong
Todd Armstrong (Drums) is rock-solid at all the gigs. He's our cosmopolitan guy, an eclectic background as an educator plus due time in tech and lot's of cultural experience from living in France. His earliest recollection is drumming in 6th grade. He believes music is the core expression of the community. He is influenced by the Allman Brothers, Radiohead and Pearl Jam. "The emotion of the Blues gets me every time, after all, B.B.King can make you cry just playing Happy Birthday".
John Betts (Vocals, Harmonica, Guitar, Piano) he was born in Carmel. He embraced the early music of the Blues and Rock 'n' Roll and is influenced by Bo Diddley, Elvis Presley, Paul Butterfield, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Slim Harpo, and many more. His first "garage band" was in the Palo Alto 'HP Garage', now a private museum where Hewlett-Packard was founded. He played in a Local Jug Band that performed at the Free University and protest events in the 70s. Through the years he's played with top Blues artists at many of the venues on the Peninsula. One of his bands was featured on local T.V. and played at some of the early Palo Alto Blues festivals.
John Burt (Vocals, Guitar, Slide, Piano) He is from Flint, Mi. He is dedicated and respectful to the blues and rock 'n' roll originators' songs. He studies how they performed back in the day and makes the music his own. Every performance accentuates feelings you get deep, down inside, when the music moves you. Key influences: rock, funk and Blues bands: Grand Funk (Railroad), B.T.O., Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Freddie, King, and Howlin' Wolf. John has been playing with multiple blues bands and musical groups in the bay area since the early 70s when he relocated from Michigan. His band hosted the Blues Jams at the Original JJ's Lounge in Santa Clara.
Don "Opossum" Estavan (Guitar, Vocals) Born in the rural Louisiana Bayou and lived some heavy Blues all his life. He learned to play guitar at a very young age from a neighbor who showed him his first chords.. His principle influencers were the famous 'Blues men' on the East side of Chicago.
Lijah (Vocalist/Tambourine/Percussion), born and raised in San Jose, CA. She began singing in the high school choir and never stopped. Lijah set serious goals for performing and sharing her love of music with the world one day! She did independent vocal studies for over six (6) years and honed her skills with the help of a terrific vocal coach, Lorna Goodman. "I still do the vocalization warm ups I was taught then, to save my instrument and prep for singing my heart out. In 2010, I was the back up vocalist in a local Reggae Band Marquis Melody. In 2020-202 I met John Burt, when he came on board to fill in on guitarist. He invited me to sing with MIDNIGHT BLUE." "I’m inspired and influenced by Luciano, Etana, Bitty Mclean, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, Amy Winehouse and Nat King Cole. I have a passion for Reggae, 90's rock and heavy metal. I love the Blues and can’t wait to see what magic we'll create in 2022!"
David Toy (Bass, Vocals & Management) grew up in Milwaukee, Wi. He started singing in the church at age 10. He played lead guitar in a true "garage band" (Stones and Beatles), wrote his first songs at age 12. At 16 he co-produced Sunday concerts in a local park, the local version of what would eventually become 'Be-In's'. He's performed in multiple musicals, vocal groups, folk, rock, bar bands and jazz projects. He's was one of the Seven Up "Wet, Wild & Away Dancers" featured with Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon and the Lemon Pipers at the inaugural Milwaukee Summerfest program, and in Robert Simpson's "Brothers and Sisters" Musical Reviews. His early musical influences include: Bob Dylan, the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Sly & the Family Stone, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, Taj Mahal, Santana, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Sting, Eric Clapton, plus the Music of Broadway. Special note of thanks to Bill Graham who gave the world the opportunity to see and hear great musicians perform at the Avalon Ballroom, Winterland and Fillmore West.
Guest Artists: Lijah, Vocals and Don Estavan, Guitar and Vocals.