"Infectious grooves. Great playing and singing." Judge #1 IBC 2010, Memphis TN
BC & Lea/The Girls @ The Ice House (Bethlehem, PA; Feb. 3 2007) "Dear Beverly, Lesley and I thoroughly enjoyed The Girls and the Ladies concert on Saturday! You were rockin!! It was so nice to see you surrounded by so many people who love, respect and admire you, from Lori, and Sarah, to the audience, your family, your band, and Lea. And we were totally blown away by your son's performances! It was so nice to hear his words of pride in you, and to see his love for you was very, very special. Wow, what a night. We really enjoyed BC & Lea a lot! How did you get hooked up with her? She is quite dynamic, and doing such great stuff according to her web site. Lesley sings gospel music in a church choir and is really interested in Lea's work with gospel and advocacy. And you have now gained another loyal fan of your own brand of blues in Lesley. We enjoyed listening to the BC & Lea CD that she bought from you, and we are committed to coming to more gigs of yours, hopefully ones that would include dancing and the like. Please keep us in the loop on your gigs! In closing, it was really great to be part of this special evening. Thank you for reaching out to us on this. Peace, Mark" (Executive Director, United Way of Warren County, NJ)
BC & Lea/The Girls @ The Ice House (Bethlehem, PA; Feb. 3 2007) "Bev...
you rocked the house down,,,
your family is so nice and your son can SING!!!!!!
he's a real sweety, like his mama...
you looked stunning...you are the queen....god bless, (love gloria, WIAIPA)"
Closing out the show, BC & The Blues Crew left no question as to why they had won our audition competition in 1998 and advanced to the finals in the IBC, in Memphis. Beverly Conklin is a dynamic performer, with an incredible stage presence. Back that with a well-seasoned band, and you've got a winning combination. Bill Wilson, Billtown Blue Notes, March/April 2005
...Bluzin, a local band featuring Bev Conklin (known by local blues fans as BC), Thom Palmer, and Mitch Shelly, filled extra time with aplomb. BC has a strong fan base in the Lehigh Valley, and on Tuesday (@ The Ice House with Duke Robilliard), she showed why... Daryl Nerl, The Morning Call - Musikfest Blognotes, August 2006
BC & Lea - Live at Godfrey Daniels with The Blues Crew and Eric Byrd (Bluescrew Records) If it’s been awhile since you’ve experienced the energy and ambience of a live club performance, BC & Lea will bring you back to life. Lea Gilmore was recently named one of the “25 Women Shaping the World” in the October 2005 issue of Essence magazine. Bev Conkiln has received accolades (in awards and recognition) with The Blues Crew and is currently focusing on an acoustic trio called “Bluzin”. These two accomplished singers usually get together once a year to tear up the place with their brand of blues, soul, and gospel. The CD, recorded live at Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem, PA. during February 2004 and February 2005 opens with a rousing version of Sippie Wallace’s “Women Be Wise.” Backed by BC’s (Bev Conklin) band, The Blues Crew, and Lea Gilmore’s long-time friend and award-winning pianist Eric Byrd, there is a lot of fun going on here as they ad-lib back and forth with each other and the audience. Lea’s gospel background steps forth in “Blind Willie” Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and her powerful vocals lead the audience to clap and sing along with her on every chorus. Nothing short of going to church and testifying! By contrast, BC brings the house down with her sultry version of Gershwin’s “Summertime.” Dave Smith’s extraordinary sax plays in and out with BC’s impassioned vocals. They continue to cover a variety of styles as together they trade off their vocal abilities on “Rock Me Baby”, among others, and end the CD with an all hands version of the classic “You Are My Sunshine.” Bob Unger - Elmore Magazine, Jan/Feb 2006
BC & Lea - Live at Godfrey Daniels with The Blues Crew and Eric Byrd (Bluescrew Records) All good entertainers know the occasional thrill of a night, (or in this case, two nights) when absolutely everything works to per- fection — but few live recordings capture that sort of magic. Here is one that does. From the opening strains of Sippie Wallace’s rag- time-flavored Women Be Wise to the closing notes of You Are My Sunshine (the last part of a three-song tribute to Ray Charles), Allentown’s Bev “BC” Conklin and her esteemed collaborator, the Baltimore-based singer/activist/historian Lea Gilmore, take turns delighting an all-too-willing audience. The girls sang together on the afore-mentioned tunes as well as a refreshingly funky Rock Me Baby. Gilmore goes it alone on a swinging See See Rider, a hard rocking version of Blind Willie Johnson’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine (one of my favorite songs when I first got into the blues, about a million years ago), and a rendition of BC's smoldering Love Me Like A Man and a superlative reading of Summertime. The Blues Crew provides expert backing throughout, with fine solos by Wayne Smith on organ, brother Dave on electric guitar and saxophone, and Mike Brandt on acoustic guitar. The rhythm section of Mitch Shelly and Craig Coyle is rock-solid, and Eric Byrd’s educated piano brings it all back home. – “Chicago” Carl Snyder - LVBN Blues Net, Fall 2005
Recorded live: "Lea Gilmore and Bev "BC " Conklin flat tore up Godfrey Daniels the other night. I have heard lots of blues there, both from out in the house, or, like Saturday, from behind the soundboard, but I have NEVER seen an audience on its feet like they were then, and I haven't heard many performers having this much fun, either. From smooth soul to roaring blues, alone or together, BC and Lea, backed by the Blues Crew with Eric Byrd on keys, just kicked some major butt! There is a lot of blues happening in the Lehigh Valley, but if you want to have a first rate howling good time, I suggest you catch this Crew." Mike Space Entertainment Director - Godfrey Daniels, February 2004
As a local venue proprietor, I am constantly on the lookout for new and talented acts. Though the interest in live music in the Lehigh Valley has waned in the past years, the talent of our local musicians has not. There are many 'diamonds in the rough' right here in the ABE area. We have many established acts, like Todd Wolfe, BC and The Blues Crew, and Jake Kaligas, as well as talented up-and-coming young bands, such as The Teeth and Insidious Rays. As a musician myself, my house band, Greezy Chitlins, has run an open jam at our establishment, The Tally-Ho, for over 4 years now, and we have had countless local talents join us on our stage. Mr. Ian Bruce and the entire Lehigh Valley Music Awards staff should be magnanimously commended for their commitment to local music and musicians. They know the scene extremely well, and both give and garner support for all local bands and acts. Mr. Bruce, not only do we greatly appreciate being included in your nominations, but we, and I, are extremely grateful for The Music Awards spearheading the advancement and upkeep of the entire local music scene in the Lehigh Valley. Thank you all for all that you do, and congratulations on another successful Awards ceremony!
Bev, (Unfinished Business Remix, 2003) Let The Good Times Roll
has strong vocals and the band grooves well. I like the New Orleansy
piano solo, which is a surprise. Chain of Fools - You show
nice phrasing here, clippin some words and stretching others in a very
mature and sophisticated way. The breakdown section, so naked, works
really well for me and presents nice contrast to the main part of the
song. Solid harp solo. The final breakdown section really works, and
was a bold thing for you to do. Mellow Down Easy - Good vocal,
very sexy. You have a sultry voice; the sexiness in the line endings
in Call My Job was good too. Unfinished Business -
another original. I like that the subject is implied rather than stated.
Kind of sassy attitude in the vocal. There were some here that impressed
me (especially "Chain")..."
BC, (Creole Etouffee) you guys are tight and professional. I respect
the good musicianship and that you have a distinct style and aren't
an imitator, plus you do originals, which is refreshing. Searched
So Long - I like this one. Simple, but you sing it with a lot of
soul. Good guitar solo too. Tear It Down - good harp, lots of
energy. Good solos all the way around. Don't Mess With Me Baby - good guitar work here, nice slinky groove. This is probably my favorite
song on the album. You do more with your voice. It's bluesier, the band
groove is tight. What's not to like."
been ages since I heard a true rhythm and blues band that bears a mid
60s groovy feel. This band was fantastic. Miss Conklin has a voice so
powerful and yet she's so laid back, a true queen of the blues. It was
difficult to highlight one member of this wonderful quintet, but keyboard
player Wayne Smith created a sound on his Hammond B3, which nearly made
my hair stand on end. Together they had a distinctive style, and it was
refreshing to hear so much original material of such a high quality. My
only regret is that I couldn't package them all up, and bring them to
Tenerife (Canary Islands) and have you all share my great experience."
BC & The Blues Crew get adventurous, with hints of influences from Stax to Santana, on their fat-sounding Creole Etouffee. "To Whom It May Concern," like much of the album, bears a mid-60's R&B-groover feel, but Wayne Smith's organ veneer suggests a countryish, Band-like iinfluence. The heart of the batting order? "Baby She's Your Crime," with cool changes and Mike Brandt's torrid guitar; the Steely Dan-ish "Taking Out the Garbage"; Bev Conklin's roaring, funky "Searched So Long." Smith cracks that toughest of nuts, the midtempo ballad, with "Many Miles" on the strength of BC's delivery. . . Tom Hyslop Blues Revue, November 2000