By Jesse Bertel

The Arizona Blues Hall of Fame (ABHOF) is hosting a blues event to celebrate its two newest inductees, the Windsock Cocktail Lounge and blues bassist Roger Smith from Flagstaff.

The induction ceremony will be held at the Windsock, 1365 Iron Springs Road, Prescott, with live blues music from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug.13.

The 2023 Northern Region Induction Ceremony will feature live performances from Arizona Blues Hall of Fame members Bob Blasi, Carla Brownlee, Glenn Velardi, Freddie Cisneros, George Bowman, Lucius Parr, Mike Blommer, Ray DeSylvester, S.E. Willis, Steve Grams, Tom McMillian, Tommy Dukes, Hank Tomlin and Jimmy Mac.

Additional musicians scheduled to appear include Bob Sellani, Darryl Porras, Dave Duncan, Dominic Terrien, Jimmy Boyd, Scott O’Neal and Tim Robinson.

A guitar signed by all 14 scheduled ABHOF musicians will be part of a drawing on the day of the event.

The Windsock was nominated for induction by Scott O’Neal, vice president of the ABHOF board, because of its focus on blues music.

“They’re practically the only venue in Prescott that does blues on a regular basis,” O’Neal said. “The Windsock is like blues central for Northern Arizona now.”

Smith is being inducted because of his long history as a prolific blues player in Arizona.

“Everybody knows Roger and he’s a good player,” O’Neal said. “Roger is like the go-to bass player around here.”

Originally from Southern California, Smith was influenced by the music of the ’50s and ’60s and developed an appreciation for many blues stylings, collecting recordings by Lightnin’ Hopkins, Otis Spann, B.B. King, Reverend Gary Davis, Willie Dixon, and many other greats. He moved to Flagstaff in 1972, and worked his way into the local music scene, playing bass with everyone he could.

Over the years, Smith has been bandmates with the northland’s most influential bluesmen and was part of the Monday Night Blues Band, a staple at the ABHOF venue, Charly’s Pub in Flagstaff.

As an Artist-in-Residence with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Smith toured and performed across the state of Arizona. He has also appeared in several projects at Arizona’s largest Blues Festival, the Flagstaff Blues and Brews Festival. Over his 50 years playing in Arizona, Smith has performed in countless clubs and festivals as opening acts for music legends Bo Diddley, Robert Cray, Buckwheat Zydeco, Cyril Neville, Tommy Castro, North Mississippi Allstars, and War, among others.

To date, 12 honorees from Northern Arizona have been inducted into the ABHOF. Some notable names include Tommy Dukes, Hank Tomlin, S.E. Willis, Bob Blasi and Charly’s Pub at the Weatherford Hotel.

A complete list of all inductees can be found at the ABHOF website, www.azblueshof.com.

There is a $5 cover at the door on the day of the event. Windsock Blues Hall of Fame T-shirts will be available at the event for $20 each, tax included.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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