The Blu Pig, known for its “blues, brews and barbecue,” keeps its grills hot, taps flowing and ears open for quality blues acts. So when Road Dawg Touring Co. contacted general manager Jake Tanner about the Andy T Band and Alabama Mike, he jumped at the opportunity to book the five-piece band for a weekend.
The 21-and-over shows will take place in The Blu Pig’s Blu Bar, 811 S. Main St. The band is playing both Saturday, March 17, from 7 to 11 p.m., and Sunday, March 18, from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday’s show will have a $5 cover, while Sunday’s show is free.
“This show is for anyone who loves live music, blues, barbecue, quality adult beverage selections and just flat out having a damn good time,” Tanner said.
Road Dawg Touring is a booking agency representing a long list of award-winning blues artists from around the world.
“This was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss out on,” Tanner said. “The Andy T Band featuring Alabama Mike is sure to please and we are just the venue for this blues band.”
The group pairs veteran Nashville guitarist Andy Talamantez with San Francisco Bay Area vocal legend Michael A. Benjamin, aka Alabama Mike. It’s touring through Moab in a loop from California up to Salt Lake City with Larry van Loon on keyboards, Doug Swanson on bass and Adam Hagerman on drums.
Talamantez said that the band has never been to Moab before, though he has always wanted to come here, and he’s heard good things about its audiences.
“I’ve always been an ‘off-road’ kind of guy, so I’m hoping to get out and into the scenery,” he said.
Talamantez began working as a musician in his teenage years, and moved from Los Angeles to Nashville in 2008. He worked part-time as a musician while in the aerospace industry for 23 years, becoming a full-time musician in 1997. His early years included touring with Smokey Wilson, Guitar Shorty and many other major blues acts. He formed the Andy T Band in 2011, while Alabama Mike joined in 2016.
“We are a unique act,” Talamantez said. “Alabama Mike is a great singer and has a great, interesting personality. We always have a great time.”
Benjamin debuted with the Andy T Band on several songs from the album “Double Strike,” including “I Want You Bad.” The rocking opening track features Benjamin’s vocals soaring to tenor heights and boiling over into gospel-infused shouts.
Benjamin’s diversity weaves through the album, including his confident delivery of a slower tune, “Doin’ Hard Time,” and his passionate R&B performance in “Where Did Our Love Go Wrong.”
The pair have become a sensation.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity of hosting a big name act like the Andy T Band and Alabama Mike because we put so much work into creating nightlife entertainment seven days a week here in Moab and it’s rewarding to get some different big-time acts to come and perform on our stage,” Tanner said.
Tanner said that The Blu Pig is continuing to work with Road Dawg to bring in big names to Moab, and to stay tuned.
Andy T Band featuring Alabama Mike comes to town this weekend
“This show is for anyone who loves live music, blues, barbecue, quality adult beverage selections and just flat out having a damn good time.”
When: Saturday, March 17, from 7 to 11 p.m., and Sunday, March 18, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Where: The Blu Pig, 811 S. Main St.
Cost: $5 cover on March 17; free on March 18. Both shows are 21 and over
For more information, call 435-259-3333.