Blues in Motion

See Mark & Jill in Playoff Mode Saturday

SARATOGA SPRINGS – On rare occasions, The Tout in me comes out.

And this is one of those times.

The slide at the top tells you all the deets. I’m going to bring the Flava, as it were… The bottom line is you want to be at this Saturday’s gathering.

Because then, your timing will be perfect, The Tout in me says…

And here’s why…

Bound for Memphis in May

It’s because you can see Mark & Jill this Saturday. Or, you can travel from May 6-9, and see them at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN!   

That timing thing: Mark & Jill’s gig on Saturday is not only sooner and closer, but it will have a dimension that even the International Challenge will not…

In November 2021, Mark Tolstrup was introduced to Mr. William Douglas, a graduate of the TRF Second Chances Program in New York. On stage at Caffe Lena, at Truesongs 2021, the two shared William’s story and Mark introduced his original song “Horses And Men” inspired by William and the horses of the TRF.


I recently visited with Mark Tolstrup. We hadn’t seen each other for awhile. He told me about the format of the upcoming Intl. Blues Challenge (similar to the NCAA’s March Madness with brackets and cut down rounds, although compressed into 4 intensive days). They are in the solo/duo bracket, and also Jill Burnham has been chosen to be 1 of only 8 in a female artist showcase.

What I learned from Mark was that he and Jill had done this Challenge before – 3 years ago, in fact – but that was when they were new as a duo entity. Now, with the familiarity that only comes from working and playing together, Mark was able to say that they know the lay of the land in Memphis, and even though he had major respect for the other small combos they would face,, Mark said some bottom line words that resonated strongly:

“This time, we are ready.”

There’s that good timing thing again.

So, let’s summarize: A great cause; performers who will be super tight as they prep for their ‘playoffs’; the congenial good feeling that Principessa Elena always provides: a Memphis-style menu (ribs, pulled pork, salt taters, dessert) right in the neighborhood. Plus a chance to lose your winter blues, while wishing Mark & Jill well as they put their Memphis-bound blues in motion.

Add it up, and that’s called great timing, pal. The only thing missing is you.

Get your tickets HERE. The Tout is out. See you Saturday.

Arthur Gonick – March 23, 2022


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