OWENWS-05-14-21 VENUE CENTERPIECE BEYOND BLU

Bob Fisher, second from right, is shown with his band, Beyond Blu.

Music has always been important to Bob Fisher.

He grew up in Brooklyn, New York when doo-wop was on the rise, and soaked up that influence, along with other classic rock and blues. He joined a band at 14, playing guitar and drums.

Through his connection to the jam-band, Fisher met his first employer, a sign-maker who designed signs for a lot of venues throughout the city. That relationship allowed him opportunities to attend many concerts in the city. He even met many musicians, like Bob Marley.

He attended Woodstock in 1969, an act that upset his parents enough they grounded him for month.

And when he moved to Owensboro a dozen years ago, he carried his lifelong passion for music with him, creating the blues band here called Beyond Blu.

The band is comprised of members Kelly Ainnan, Jeff Taylor, Chris Goodenin, Scotth Etheridge, Robert Mattingly, Joshua Vanover, Gary Jaines, Roy Carter and Fisher. The group has been performing together for several years, typically within the tri-state area.

Their influences include BB King, Albert King, Steve Ray Vaughn, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, and Robert Johnson, among others.

Like many musicians this past year, the members of Beyond Blu were disappointed when all of their shows were canceled due to the coronavirus.

“We had 25 gigs canceled,” Fisher said. “The band was upset that we had no gigs. We were laying low, like everyone, and we were wondering if live music was ever going to come back.”

So, Fisher said, he and his band members decided to instead turn the downturn into a positive.

“We went into the studio, and decided that we would so something positive so that 2020 wasn’t such a bad year,” he said.

The band’s self-titled album was released earlier this year. It contains five original blues and rock and roll tracks. The band also has booked its first gigs in over a year, one in Indiana, and a few in Owensboro.

On May 23, Fisher will be hosting a blues jam at 4 p.m. at Banky’s on Ninth Street, in which he is inviting all types of musicians to participate. On May 28, Beyond Blu will perform at Friday After 5, and they will be performing at Evansville’s upcoming Funk in the City Art Festival.

“Things are slowly starting to open back up, and we are grateful,” Fisher said.

His band’s music is available on all streaming platforms, including Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music and Apple Music.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

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