Maybe it is a cosmic occurrence when all the stars align. Here on earth, the “right fit” just seems to happen- Some might call it “coincidence”, but here at Blue-Byrd’s we call it an out-of-the-blue experience. There is something to be said for the “perfect match” making the world a better place, like words and music, hats on a blues musician, and the color blue on a sweet singing blue bird. And so the story goes, John Blue knew it was more than a coincidence when he ran into Maureen Byrd 20 years after their initial meeting at Marist College. The love match seems like something right out of a Hallmark Movie with its fortuitous overtones: “It doesn’t hurt that my last name is Blue.” Most people thought that was my nickname. My wife’s last name being Byrd, it was almost fictitious and must be fate. ” —John Allen Blue.
Meet John Allen Blue and his wife, Maureen Byrd-Blue, proprietors of Blue-Byrd’s Haberdashery & Music. When the newlyweds began looking for a place to set up shop in 1992, they chose Maureen’s hometown of Kingston, NY. Consequently, for more than 30 years, John and Maureen have been actively involved in the Hudson Valley arts and music scene. They started their family business in “all things blues” to bring their love of American Roots music and the Blues to the community, and they proudly represent African American business owners in Upstate, NY.
John has worked in retail since he was 14 years old. He became enamored with gospel music after hearing it for the first time as a child while on vacation in North Carolina. That encounter marked the start of a lifetime appreciation for many musical genres, with a special affinity for the blues. From the “Blues’” African origins to its current artistic manifestation, he has studied the genre’s past. John has a unique perspective on the blues genre thanks to his expertise and knowledge of regional, national, and worldwide blues musicians. Possessing the gift of storytelling, John provides a fascinating look at blues music and the musicians who make it. As an avid disciple of music, Mr. Blue hosts the popular “Blue’s People” program on Saturdays from 6 to 8 p.m. on Radio Kingston and has presented seminars on “The History of Blues”. Consequently, he has produced and appeared in Blues films and documentaries. His participation in films has taken him to places such as the London Film fest.