All Night Boogie Bands brings blues to Burlington
February 2, 2022
Young ears meet old souls in All Night Boogie Band as the group brings a fresh sound to the Burlington music scene.
2021 University of Connecticut graduate, songwriter and guitarist for All Night Boogie Band Brendan Casey said he felt compelled to bring blues music into the hearts of local students. Senior Jessica Leone, All Night Boogie Band’s lead singer, was on board from the beginning, Casey said.
“I’d always say we need to start a blues band,” Casey said. “We got something going here, every time we play. We just got to start.”
Casey and Leone met senior Van Garrison, keyboard player, in 2021 through a mutual connection, Leone said.
After hours spent ripping over blues-inspired Allman Brothers tunes together, the idea of a band began to take shape, Casey said.
Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Mike Bloomfield, Muddy Waters as well as early ‘60s folk musicians such as Dave Van Ronk and Bob Dylan are a few major inspirations Casey said.
Leone knew senior drummer Zach Santos and sophomore bassist Bruno John from UVM’s music department, she said.
“We kind of picked them up through there, asking around for phone numbers like ‘Hey, do you know a drummer?”’ Leone said. “‘Do you have Zach’s number? Do you have Bruno’s number?’”
In Burlington’s jam band scene, 15 or 20 minute songs are common, Casey said.
“Honestly, I like jam music,” Casey said. “I just thought it would be so badass and punk rock to roll up playing blues songs that were three and four minutes long.”
All Night Boogie Band played their first show on June 29, 2021, after holding their first official rehearsal the night before, Leone said.
“We had done one backyard show, one basement show and another backyard show before we got into town,” Casey said.
Their fourth show, their official venue debut, was on Sept. 4 at Red Square, Leone said.
Vermont blues band Left Eye Jump’s lead guitarist Dennis Willmott inspired All Night Boogie Band to bring their music to Burlington, Leone said.
In the wake of a recent resurgence in student jam bands, word of the young band’s bluesy sound is well received in Burlington, Leone said.
“Sound guys and owners of bars and stuff have come up to us after shows saying, ‘We haven’t heard this music in the Vermont, Burlington area in so long and we’re so happy that a young group like you are bringing it back,’” Leone said.
Casey is excited to bring the band to an audience who might be less familiar with hearing live blues music, and hopes to alter common misconceptions about the genre, he said.
To some, the “blues” might bring to mind depressing songs of dark Chicago streets or desolate back porches, while oftentimes the reality is the opposite, Casey said.
“It’s super upbeat and fun and danceable,” Casey said.
Packed basement shows are a huge part of the college experience in Burlington, Casey said.
“I feel like people up here, they have very open ears, you know?” Casey said. “They’re down to listen and play whatever.”
Two years ago, as lockdowns were in full swing, Casey said he began really diving deep into the heart of blues music.
“I was listening to an ungodly amount of music just trying to fill my brain and it kind of felt right for the time,” Casey said.
Leone, too, said COVID-19 left her feeling unfulfilled.
“I finally realized it was because I wasn’t performing,” Leone said. “So now that we’re back, I’m like really putting all of my energy into it.”
All Night Boogie Band’s latest single “A Women Like I,” was released on Spotify Dec. 31, 2021 and they continue to play local shows in the Burlington area.