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HomeArtVinny Marini isn’t “Blue” about the Blues Bringing the Blues to Hernando...

Vinny Marini isn’t “Blue” about the Blues Bringing the Blues to Hernando County

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Many people associate the Blues with the early 1900s, juke joints and Ragtime. However, Blues music is much more diverse than that. It was incorporated into jazz by musicians such as Duke Ellington. It became part of country music with Jimmie Rodgers and part of rock and roll with Elvis Presley. Music by some of today’s acts like The Black Keys and even Bruno Mars is rooted in the Blues. It may not be as popular as rock, hip-hop and country music, but it has an ever-widening niche following.

Now, the Blues is coming to the Spring Hill music scene. BarrelHouse Talent is partnering with Stage West to present an afternoon of Blues music on March 13th at 3 pm. The performance will feature Terrie Odabi, Annika Chambers-Deslauriers, Paul Deslauriers and JP Soars.

Vinny Marini founded BarrelHouse Talent in 2017 in Mississippi. He dissolved the company there and refiled in Florida when he moved here in 2019. Marini explains why he chose BarrelHouse Talent as the name of his company.“I wanted something that was relatable to the Blues and fun, with an energetic, juke joint feel.” The dictionary defines BarrelHouse as a cheap drinking and dancing establishment, as well as an uninhibited and forcefully rhythmic style of Jazz or Blues.

Marini’s love of music goes back to his days as a teenager when he started a pirate radio station at the age of sixteen. Later he worked in college radio and helped bring a couple of Long Island bands to the Rochester, New York area.

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After finishing college, Marini started a management company called Music On The Couch, LLC. Now, Music On The Couch serves as the name of his radio show that livestreams on True Grit Roots Network (www.tgrn.net) on Monday evenings. Through this program he has met hundreds of musicians and bands. He has also acted as stage manager and emcee for festivals.

There are a number of challenges in his line of work. As a manager you have to ensure your artist is receiving the attention they deserve. As a booking agent it’s breaking through to the venue owners and managers, getting their attention and putting together a show that actually makes money. Being a talent promoter has many rewards and helping musicians get noticed is the main one. “I did a promotion for a young country-blues artist during the pandemic and he is blowing up now. I know I helped kick-start it all.”

Speaking of the pandemic, the past two years have been rough for his business, as well as the entertainment business, as a whole. “I have friends in the business who are hanging on by a thread. For the last two-plus years, the ‘middle-class’ musicians−those who tour 200-plus days a year, don’t perform in huge arenas and travel mostly in vans−have been TOTALLY out of work due to the pandemic. Some have taken full-time jobs to keep their families alive and we will never hear their brilliance again.”

However, Marini is not letting “little” things like a pandemic defeat him. He has a number of goals for the next few years. One is to bring more acts, like the ones coming to Stage West, to this area.
“I am in discussion with a ranch owner in Brooksville, who already has stages and infrastructure to put on outdoor events. We are looking at partnership opportunities.”

Marini hopes to bring Blues Education programs to schools, hospitals and senior living facilities throughout Hernando and Pasco Counties. He wants to “spread the word that Blues music is not sad, ‘crying in your soup’ music.”

As he states, “It is the music upon which all other music was born.”
His goal, along with that of Stage West, is to show people in this area that you don’t have to go to Tampa, St. Petersburg or beyond to find quality live, original music. Marini remarks, “Tribute bands are great for those acts not around any longer, but come out and see young and older songwriters and singers perform THEIR music!”

The show coming up this Sunday, March 13 at 3 pm at the Stage West Playhouse, entitled “Women of the Blues,” also includes two gentlemen. It promises to be a great way to introduce folks to this style of music who may not be familiar with the Blues genre and rewarding to those who are already fans of the Blues.

On April 3, BarrelHouse Talent will bring two other Blues acts to Stage West−Trey Wanvig and two-time Grammy nominee John Primer.
Tickets for all shows can be purchased online at www.stagewestflorida.com or by calling the box office at 352-683-5113. Group discounts are available.
To learn more about BarrelHouse Talent go to www.barrelhousetalent.com


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