Free blues jam in Magnolia every Thursday.
Craig Coffield is five years into fronting his first and only group, Bad Avenue Band, and the journey has been a mind-blowing one for the 57-year-old.
The band is now playing almost every weekend.
“It’s been a fun ride,” Coffield said. “It’s really grown from what it originally was.”
Coffield is the founder of the Central Delaware Blues Society and has been responsible for bringing national blues acts to Jonathan’s Landing Golf Course in Magnolia, where he’s employed as the general manager.
Some of the big names he’s brought there include Victor Wainwright, Albert Castillo and Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Louis Walker.
Coffield and Bad Avenue will perform as hosts of the Fairway Blues Jam at Jonathan’s Landing on Dec. 20.
Musicians of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to share their talents at the free and weekly Thursday jams from 7 to 10 p.m.
Is there a Bad Avenue show that stands out most?
We actually played a festival in a town called Canal Winchester, Ohio. It was a two-day blues festival [in 2017] and we got Albert Castillo to come up on stage and play with us; and he’s a national [performer].
Albert is the first guy I booked at Jonathan’s Landing when I started the Central Delaware Blues Society. It was a large crowd and he’s a national guy on stage with us. It’s pretty exciting. It’s something you never thought you would do, due to the fact that I started doing this so late in life. To be able to do something like that is one of those bucket-list things.
What’s your vision for the band?
I’d like to continue to get better and maybe branch out from Delaware and do some other areas, and someday maybe perform at festivals and events like that, instead of the local clubs.
What needs to happen for you to do that?
Something we hope to do will be performing more originals than covers. It’s pretty easy to record, nowadays, on your own and get things on the internet where people can hear you. But I think to be able to do the festivals and what not, you have to have original music.
Blues often get overshadowed by other genres like rap, country and pop. How lucrative is the blues industry?
It’s kind of a closer-knit family of people, meaning there’s not a lot of us. Hopefully it’s growing, but you can never count on that. It’s tough to make a living right now, I’m sure for even the top guys. Buddy Guy is in his early 80s and he’s like the last of the original guys and he’s still out touring, I’m sure, to make a living. You can’t write a record anymore and live off the royalties of the records, because of all of the options of downloading with iTunes and all of the other music streaming platforms.