We asked Gina Coleman: What's your favorite song?

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If the end of summer has you feeling a bit blue, you might want to head over to Knox Trail Inn on Saturday, Sept. 8. That night, Misty Blues will be playing a blend of bluesy folk, gospel, funk and classic rock at the East Otis establishment from 9 to 11:30. Frontwoman Gina Coleman has once again guided the group to Memphis for the The Blues Foundation's 2019 International Blues Challenge, where the band will compete against more than 260 acts for top honors in January, according to the foundation's website. A fundraising concert to help cover the band's travel expenses will be held on Sept. 28 at Jiminy Peak in Hancock, but nothing is stopping supporters from showing up in Otis, too. Before Coleman and the rest of the group (guitarist Jason Webster, bassist Bill Patriquin, drummer Rob Tatten, saxophonist Aaron Dean and keyboardist Ben Kohn) head there, the Williamstown-based singer answered some questions by phone about her favorite songs.

What's your favorite blues song?

Right now, one of my favorite blues songs is one that was released in 1929 by Bessie Smith. It was released two weeks before the big Wall Street crash, and it's called "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out." It's a song I've recorded with the band on our album "With All Due Respect." ... It resonated with me because it's almost kind of soothsaying: I'm like, how did she have any idea, because it seems like the lyrics in that song were forecasting what was the impending doom.

What's your favorite folk song?

I guess it would have to be "I Know You Rider."

What's your favorite gospel song?

My favorite gospel song is "His Eye Is on the Sparrow."

What's your favorite song to dance to?

I don't do a lot of dancing other than some onstage.

What's your favorite song to belt out in the car?

In light of the passing of Aretha Franklin, I've been doing a lot of singing of Aretha Franklin tunes at the top of my voice. ... It's funny because she is really one of my all-time favorite female vocalists, but I have so much respect for her that I've never really put any Aretha tunes in my own sets until recently when people have been like, "You're going to do a tribute to Aretha, right?" And I'm like, "Oh my God! That's putting me on the spot there." ["I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)"] is a song that I really love of hers. In fact, in April, we were touring with the band down in Birmingham, Ala., and took a little day trip to Muscle Shoals. We got into the studio where Aretha crafted that song on the fly. I was standing right where she was. It was pretty intense.

What's your favorite song to perform live?

Of my own music, it has to be something right off of our latest album called "Call & Response," and it's "Chasing Gold." "Chasing Gold" is a really great tune to do.

Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at bcassidy@berkshireeagle.com, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.


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