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The BC Combo
Bev "BC" Conklin - Vocals | Wayne Smith - Guitar, Percussion, Vocals | Nick Franclik - Bass, Vocals
"It's all about having fun..."
The BC Combo brings their wealth of experience and passion to Blues, Jazz, Swing, Folk, R&B, Soul and more. The list of who's who continues from their stage performances with Ray Charles, Koko Taylor, Ronnie Earl, Shemekia Copeland, Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks, Rhonnie Baker Brooks, Saffire, the Holmes Brothers, Carl Weathersby, Eddie King and so many more. The BC Combo is among the Lehigh Valley’s top performing groups being honored since 1999 by the Lehigh Valley Music Awards. The band has been performing over 21 years, performing at festivals and events in the Northeastern U.S. Their signature style is recognized by audiences across the region and abroad. Bev Conklin (BC) has an extraordinary compassion and grace that compliments her broad range of vocal styles and effortless power in voice. Wayne Smith on guitar, is the band leader, producer and arranger on all their material. This well respected band is often backed by combinations of seasoned musicians on bass, drums, horns, keys and/or guitars on any given showcase event when warranted, to bring their full band offering to concerts, festivals and special events.
Our motto…”It’s all about having fun!”
Videos and CDs:
What people are saying...
"It was a powerful show. It was a whisper and a roar all in one."
"I thought your set was fabulous--your band filled the music to perfection."
"What a superb performance you and the whole band put in on Friday evening – it was magnificent!"
"what a beautiful and outstanding performance - it just bristled with feeling."
"Your new originals are powerful and they capture each of you as individuals - extraordinary."
"Infectious grooves. Great playing and singing."
"Great vocals. The drums were tight. ...Loved it!"
"BC, no one has topped your delivery on Hip Shakin Mama yet!"
"Great vocals, great harmonies. Obvious seasoned veterans. Perfect fit for one another. Great job!"
"You and your mates are the best combo I have ever heard. Thank you so much for making this day one of the most memorable I've ever had."
"I dare you NOT to love BC"
Bev Conklin, also known as BC, began her career as the lead singer of BC & The Blues Crew, formed in 1992. This band, based out of the Lehigh Valley PA, became the premier, female-led Blues band in the region for 18 years with 5 CDs receiving international play and publication reviews. The 5 CDs recorded, represent their singer-songwriter skills and have continued to receive international attention and sales. This group became 1 of 7 bands who made it to the Finals in Memphis TN, during the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge (IBC). There, they represented the Billtown Blues Society after winning its local IBC. Most of the band members have received Lehigh Valley Blues Awards over the years for Best Vocalist (BC), All-around Performer (BC), Best Band, Best Website, Best CDs, Best Instrumentalist (wind, keyboards, bass and guitar) and many others over the years.
In 2010, the band changed its name to The BC Combo and recorded a CD representing the trio version of the group, primarily for smaller venues having live music today. The purpose was to remove the “Blues” out of the band name because it limited their opportunity to expand their broader Americana, roots-based original material to a wider audience. They also wanted to become sustainable performers by being able to perform as a duo, trio… or a full-size horn band, depending on the venue or event. Now, over 2 decades together, the band has reached a level of entertainment by well-respected supporters. The BC Combo has performed at nearly every concert hall, music and wine festival and major events old and new. They have headlined and featured many of these arenas and continue to perform locally as area favorites. The highest honor aside for opening for Ray Charles, was the most recent years as the host band for the Pennsylvania Blues Festival (formerly known as the Pocono Blues Festival), featuring regional and national Blues artists on the opening day of this all-weekend event.
Bev Conklin manages and books the band. Bev is the founder and producer of The Lehigh River Blues Jam Festival in Catasauqua PA going on 10 years. Prior to this she was part of the team for The Hack’s Blues Festival, Easton PA’s Beer Festival and Cementon PA’s Lehigh Valley Blues Festival. Bev and the band have helped many local artists reach their own level of maturity at their weekly jams and have played a role in numerous philanthropic efforts, including hosting benefits to support local artists when in need. BC and the band have been invited to perform with many of the region’s finest bands, on recordings and for numerous events in prominent venues over the years. They are already booked for major regional blues festivals and events for the upcoming year.
Their motto... "It's all about having fun". They are in the process of recording a new CD, which will represent new songs written over the past 4 years. The BC Combo is a well respected group from diverse backgrounds and has international years of touring experience by most of its members. They are always up for new experiences and the rewards of growing their large community of supporters.
Weekly jam hosted by The BC Combo every Sunday at Pitcher's in Allentown, PA (5:30 pm).
Some of the Festivals and Events over the years
• The Pennsylvania Blues Festival, Musikfest, Das Awkscht Fescht, and The Lehigh River Blues Jam
• Steel Stacks Musikfest Cafe and Blast Furnace Blues Festival
• Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts
• Central Pennsylvania Jazz Fest / Berk's Jazz Fest
• Kutztown Fair and Allentown Fair / Kapona Music Fest / Pinnacle Blues Fest
• Kempton Music Festival and Bethlehem's Harvest Fest
• Pocono Blues Festival Weekend – Big Boulder Corp. Sponsored Club Act
• Briggs Farm Blues Festival
• Mosconetcong Blues Festival / Knowlton Blues Fest
• Memphis in May Festival
• Baltimore Blues Festival
• Billtown Blues Society Blues Festival
• Lehigh Valley (Cementon) Blues Fest | Blues 2000 & Beyond
• Split Rock Wine Fest | NJ State Wine Growers Assoc Wine Fest | Penns Peak Wine Fest
• Bernie J. Crum Stadium July 4th Celebration
• 2nd Harvest Food Bank Gala
• Illicks Mill Galas, United Way Galas, Angel 34 Foundation Gala,
• Anglesea Blues Festival
• Lehigh Valley Health Network Galas
• Annapolis Yacht Club Luekemia Lymphoma Fundraiser | MDA Galas
• The Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge
• Mauch Chunk Opera House, State Theater, Allentown Symphony Hall, Sellersville Theater, Roxy Theater, Civic Theater
More of what people and venues are sayin...
"I thought your set was fabulous--your band filled the music to perfection. Dave Smith is such an important part of your show - loved it..." Michael Cloreen (Blast Furnace Blues Festival 2012)
"What a superb performance you and the whole band put in on Friday evening – it was magnificent! Thank you for all the extra preparation that you put in for this performance, adding new jazz material to your playlist like Memphis Underground, or new material in the jazz tradition of jazzy takes on popular traditional material like Scarborough Fair and House of the Rising Sun and other popular songs, as well as your fabulous rendition of Summertime. I’m sure that you won over a number of new fans that had not been exposed to your music before. It’s a pity it wasn’t recorded, it would have made an excellent live album. Thanks again for all of your effort and for the tremendous performance." August 2012, Allentown Symphony Hall Jazz Cabaret Series - Bill Dautremont-Smith - Executive Director WDIY
"Ditto Bev, one of the top 3 shows in the Cafe so far. Great job Bev!" February 2012, Musikfest Cafe - Jeffrey Parks - ArtsQuest President
"Bev, Unbelievable show! It was among my top favorites at the Café so far! Next year - a dance floor for sloooooow dancing." February 2012, Musikfest Cafe - Robin Zaremski - Performing Arts - Business Development
"Bev, What a beautiful and outstanding performance you and the Combo put on at the Lehigh Valley Christmas Concert this evening - it just bristled with feeling! What a great idea turning Fly Like an Eagle into Fly like a Reindeer to make it fit the bill as a Christmas song while still allowing you to contribute a really soulful and jazzy blues performance - it was the highlight of an excellent evening for both Charleyne & I. And it was great that Dave Smith was with you - his performance on alto was phenomenal. We don't get to hear him often enough in recent years!" November 28, 2010, Allentown Symphony Hall - Bill Dautremont-Smith, Executive Director WDIY Radio
"Bev, I really enjoyed the arrangement on "Fly Like An Eagle" and was amazed at how the trio sounded like a 5 piece band. Wayne's musicality on guitar and drums at the same time is something special to experience and watch. I really loved your set overall and was really impressed with your sound." October 17, 2009, Sellersville Theater - Bruce Ranes
"...featured Bev Conklin on vocals, accompanied by bassist Nick Franclik and Wayne Smith, who handled not only the guitar but a bass drum pedal. Conklin belted out originals and covers and reminded us why some locals refer to her as Queen of the Blues. Jodi Duckett, The Morning Call, posted May 25, 2009 - Mayfair
"I have been following Bev around the Lehigh Valley for over a decade. Bev is the most verstatile and talented entertainer in a hundred mile radius. I have to stop at 100 miles because BB King has a place in NYC and Patty LaBelle has a place Philly. But I need to add, Bev is as good as both of them... " Fran Abuisi, March 2009
"... featuring Bev Conklin (known by her blues friends as BC), 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
Photo: All web page header photos taken by Jeffrey Heller, our official band photographer