BMHOF Class of 1989
South Buffalo’s Billy McEwen started singing in the mid 1960ss with the Bo Diddleys, Stix & Stones and the Embers Blues Band. These groups played teen dances, college parties, Angola beach clubs like Bill Millers and Grand View Casino, along with dates at the Inferno.
After returning from the Army in 1970, Billy played with Billy & the Beer Nuts and Strom Crow, before joining Posse in 1971 and later the Billy Brite Band in 1975. The two latter bands played all the top area clubs through the ‘70s, including regular dates at the Bona Vista and Belle Star. Posse recorded at Blue Rock Studios in New York City.
In 1980 he was with the eight-piece Buffalo Blues Brothers, which evolved into the Buffalo Blues Band in 1984. This band toured the Northeast and recorded a live album, along with releasing two 45’s.
In 1986 he was a founding member ofthe Soul Invaders, aka the Billy McEwen Band, a group that continues performing blues and R&B at area clubs, festivals and special events today. He also toured the midwest with Billy & the Heartbeatsin 1983,has worked as a duo with Joe Head for more than 20 years and for the past seven years has been a member of the Thirds. In addition to being known for his vocals, he is a proficient blues harmonica player.
Over the past four decades McEwen has won many music awards, received a Muddy from the Western New York Blues Society, sang on numerous radio/television commercials (1985 to present– Keyser Cadillac, Holiday Valley, Tops Never Stops, Value Home Center and many more) and opened concerts for various groups including: Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Bobby Blue Bland, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, Dickey Betts and Peter Frampton.He worked as an actor in the Randy Kramer/Jim Ronfolo 2009 MusicalFair production “Cross Road Blues” and since 1996 has played George Norman Pierce in annual productions at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Billy was individually inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and his group The Soul Invaders was inducted in 2006. On October 30, 2015, at the Sportsmans Tavern, all original members of the Billy Brite Band played an 40th anniversary concert.
Videos (click on the links below for other videos from Bill McEwan):
Billy McEwen & the Soul Invaders - Caravan - At Richie-Palooza
Bill McEwen & the All-Stars – “The Letter”
Bill McEwen & the Soul Invaders at Thursday in the Square
Billy McEwen & the Ronnie Davis Combo – It’s Not Unusual
Billy McEwen & Mary Stahl – I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Doug Yeomans, Chris Haug ,Billy McEwen talk about a Billy Brite reunion show on “Heard it on the X”
(Bio update by Rick Falkowski)
Back - 1989