Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

"The Blues" is in the heart and soul of the individual. Everyone hears and feels "The Blues" in a different way. We believe the "Blues"
 feeling is simply your inner-self telling you that there needs to be change in your life. The task of the "Bluesman" is to find the musical
 key that unlocks those feelings and prompts you to make positive changes. The "Straightup Blues Band" has found the key...........
Honest, Straight from the Heart "Blues". We have been writing, playing and living the "Blues" as a group since 1998. We perform
well together because we are all co-workers and good friends. We survive as a group because we work as a team. Each member
contributes to the music and our goal of reaching audiences with a big dose of down-home Florida

Dave Schlafley Growing up in Michigan, music has been in my family for generations. My grandparents, dad and uncle have all played
in bands thru out the years.. I started playing the drums at age 8 and formed a rock n roll band with my cousin and a few good friends
in the early 70's playing high school dance's and parts, then on to bars in the late 70's- 80's .. Moving to Fla. in the mid 80's I joined a
wedding band for a few years and then a rock band for a while and now with the Straightup Blues Band .. Getting to play the blues is
a real treat for me and getting to play with great musicians is even more special , there's nothing like hearing the blues performed live,
hope to see you at our next gig!!!!! DS

Larry Johnson Born and raised into a musical family in Knoxville TN, my roots have always been in country. It wasn’t until I relocated
to Florida in the eighties that I discovered just how much I loved the blues. I hooked up with Alvina Moore and Ralph Straight in early
2002 and it has been a great privilege to play bass guitar for these blues greats. Other inspirations are Delbert McClinton,
Stevie Ray Vaughn, Luther Allison, Jeff Healy. It is a great feeling to play music that truly comes from the heart.


Mike Gardner Born in Indiana and raised in Florida, I grew up in a musical family, with my father playing guitar, brothers playing
trumpet and sax, and sister playing flute.I started playing piano at a very young age and this continued until junior high when I
switched to brass which I played through junior high and high school. I spent hours listening to records and the radio, loving
music which I came to know as the blues. I played in various "garage bands", all of which were just exactly that. Working with
Ralph and Vic gave me the opportunity to play in a band that has existed for over 6 yrs and my experience in brass and piano
has aided me in the chops needed to play the blues.

Andrew Baraban Andrew “A Train” Baraban started playing music at an early age. He picked up a guitar when he was thirteen
and fell in love with jazz & blues a year later. His first band was the high school jazz band and during his sophomore and junior
years in high school he was chosen  to play in the All County Jazz band. After this he was “discovered” at the Molten Mike Blues
Jam by Diamond Dave Dimas, and was asked to join the Florida Swamp Dogs. “A Train” has worked with several local bands
and is currently playing with The Straightup Blues Band , and Tina & The Whiteboyz.

Andrew has a wide range of musical interests and influences. This range begins with classical music and ends with modern
music. He has a theory about what type of music he likes, “It’s all the same twelve tones just different interpretations and
 arrangements that makes them appear to be different.”

Tori Mancinelli  was born and raised in Florida. She got involved with music at the age of 7, and the passion has been growing
ever since. She didn’t begin singing until around 13, but since then has been singing anywhere and everywhere she could. No bar,
car, or shower has been safe. Through a chance meeting with Andrew, Tori got hooked up with the Straight Up Blues Band.
Grateful cannot begin to describe how she feels to be given this opportunity to work with such an amazing group of musicians.

Ralph G. Straight Born and raised in Florida during the 50s and 60s, I followed the crowd and played the standard "Rock and Roll"
of that era. But always felt a little empty and sought something more from the music. Then I discovered "Blues". It wasn't easy
pursuing my interest and love of the genre because of the social and cultural differences of the times. As a result, my desires
lay dormant for many years. In the mid 90s, in my late 40s I decided to "come out of the musical closet" and follow my dreams.
The Straightup Blues Band is the result of that decision.



dave schlafleyMike Gardnerlarry johnson

tori mancinelliralph g. straight