Racking up miles with the High Mileage Blues Band

PLATTSBURGH - Though the Vermont-based High Mileage Blues Band is a relatively new name to the music scene, its members hardly are.

Guitarists Bob Boyd and Bob Butterfield and drummer Paul Stanton consider themselves veterans of venues across Vermont and New York, playing their style of rockabilly, blues and rock and roll for several years now.

"The four of us have played in bands for 30, 40 years," said Boyd.

However, the High Mileage Blues Band formed last year following the passing of friend and former bandmate Sam Spear and the departure of their former band's bassist. The four were on the search for another guitarist when they came across Steven Hirsch, who had played with the North End Rhythm Kings, a band popular in the late 1970s and '80s in the Burlington Area.

"Steve had been filling in for a gig we were doing at the South Hero Winery, where they host a regular music series," said Boyd.

That left the band only looking for a bassist. Peter Rocha, who works with Butterfield at CVPH Medical Center, eventually came on board, bringing his talent - and youth - to the slightly more seasoned band.

"Pete's definitely from a different age group. He turned out to be a real spark," said Boyd. "He came in and we found that we were rehearsing more, working harder and we decided to rename the band."

That was the birth of the High Mileage Blues Band known today.

"The old bass player didn't like the name because he didn't want any reference to us being older," said Boyd. "But, he was out, Pete was in and we liked the name."

The High Mileage Blues Band played their first gig in Plattsburgh at Irises Caf and Wine Bar over Memorial Day Weekend earlier this year, which Boyd said made the band interested in coming back to Plattsburgh more often.

"It's a good gig," Boyd said of playing Irises. "It's a good vibe there. The people were nice. It was a great crowd."

The band will return to Irises this Friday, Dec. 10, at 9 p.m.

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