Americana under the influence of Jump Blues, Swing, & Rockabilly...Ba - ba - ba - Boogie! With a dab of N’awlins for extra spice! Smoke & honey vocals, Cigar Box Guitar, Upright Bass, Banjo, Washboard...servin’ up high energy & deep vintage vibes is our specialty. Roots Baby Roots!
Cast of Characters:
April Mae: Washboard, Vocals, Victory Rolls, Kazoo, Implements of Percussion.
Dave ‘Catfish’ Fecca: Cigar Box Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Vocals.
Topher: Upright Bass, Comic Relief.
Bad JuJu is a Delaware Blues band that is all about good old fashioned, shoot-from-the-hip blues, rhthym, blues and soul! Much of what we put out there for you may be on a list, but is not really scripted. I doubt that it ever happen the same way twice, and that is what keeps it interesting, energized and full of vibe! We hope that you enjoy what you hear, and can get lost in the music just enough to forget the day-to-day things that sometimes get in the way. We Are Bad JuJu!
Barrelhouse Blues Band is all about creating the music and vibe to have a great time through music, dancing, carrying on and any kind of shennigans that gets us and the venue into a feel good, party mood. The hooligans in the band live to get into the music and see everyone having as good a time as we are.
If you're lookin' to have a carefree night of solid Blues music at some great venues, then come out and spend an evening with us and our friends. We'll be playin' our butts off to give you something to dance, groove, shake your booty to, and generally cut loose with a bunch of folks just like you who are there to do the same!
Billy “Got Slide” Pierce is a Wilmington Delaware Blues Slide Guitarist.
Pierce has received a number of accolades; a recent one includes: The Saint Georges Session acoustic recording of his song Take Me Back To The Delta, which won the Big City Rhythm and Blues Magazines first round CD sampler contest 2013.
As Billy “Got Slide” Pierce grows his reputation as one great slide guitar player, he is also evolving into a charismatic blues-rock star and singer-songwriter of stylistic depth and emotional resonance. His ability to connect with live concert audiences is transformational, and his latest project, The Billy Pierce Band, Take Me Back To The Delta CD disc: captures the magnetism and maturity Pierce showcases as an artist.
Billy is just about to release his new CD titled “Take Me Back to the Delta” recorded in Billy’s living room studio and at New Orleans Oak Street Recording Studios.
Billy says of his band, The Billy Pierce Blues Band, this is a power trio of slide guitar, bass and drums.
A few of his earlier acoustic songs he turned into songs for the power trio. For his CD he wanted a few extra colors in the mix
Billy has several New Orleans guests on his CD. Craig Klein, Mark Mullins and Greg Hicks from Bonerama added trombones, Slide virtuoso Sonny Landreth added his slide guitar, and New Orleans funk master Charlie Wooten added bass on two songs. Waylon Thibodaux adds his Cajun Fiddle on three songs and New Orleans own Jimmy Carpenter plays some sax. Ex Allman Brothers alumni Johnny Neel from Nashville added piano on two songs.
Thursday Nov 21 At 7:00 PM the Billy Pierce Blues Band will be our “Jonathan’s Landing” headlining act doing a 30 minute set …. and what a show Billy presents !!! After working with several other bands, Billy began his solo career. Billy “Got Slide” Pierce is the consummate performer…he does it all !! With great charisma, a big smile and a twinkle in his eyes, he masterfully entertains with his great vocal, songwriting, and slide guitar skills… this guy is the real deal and not to be missed !!
From Wilmington, Delaware, the fabulous Blue Cat Blues Band plays good-time, party music that gets your foot to tapping. They’ve been featured at the renowned Wilmington Riverfront Blues Fest. Expect some great harmonica blues from this four man musical explosion!
Master musician and multi-talented blues performer, Vanessa Collier, was recently nominated for a 2017 Blues Music Award (BMA). The Philadelphia based vocalist/saxophonist/songwriter is currently on an 11 country European tour with Ruf’s Blues Caravan, alternating between tour legs in Europe and touring back in the U.S. with a talented 5-piece band. With searing saxophone solos, soulful vocals, and witty lyrics, Vanessa’s songwriting takes you through an engaging blend of blues, funk, rock, and soul in an exceptionally entertaining, high-energy performance.
A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Vanessa’s alluring vocals and stinging saxophone work saw her light up stages as part of Joe Louis Walker’s band (2012-2013), while her 2014 debut album Heart Soul & Saxophone was declared “magnificent” on Dan Aykroyd’s blues radio show, winning her accolades as a Best of 2014 Blues Breaker.
With the success of her debut album and her charismatic live performances, Vanessa has been in demand touring throughout the world and is excited to celebrate the March 2017 release of her highly anticipated sophomore album Meeting My Shadow.
Skyla Burrell was born in Los Angeles and raised in Orange County, California. Skyla formed her first band at the age of 13 and has been a working musician ever since. Skyla played with several bands as a teenager, working her way up and down Southern California. At 18 she recorded her first original demo with some help from Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - she also later recorded backing vocals for Mike Campbell's first solo album) and Jerry Swallow (Tanya Tucker). Later that demo was re-mixed by legendary producer Dennis Sands (Whitney Houston). Skyla also had a brief stint on NBC's hit sitcom Wings and appeared in a Movie of the Week with Charles Bronson before relocating to the East Coast where she continued learning and growing from her musical experiences and eventually co-forming the Skyla Burrell Band. In addition to her singing, writing and guitar duties, Skyla also plays piano and bass.
Philadelphia’s blues and soul drenched vocalist and songwriter Deb Callahan grew up in the Boston area but has been a mainstay on the mid-Atlantic music scene since the late 90′s. During this time she has gained a reputation for writing creative blues, soul and roots influenced original music and using her powerful, expressive voice and engaging stage presence to deliver an exciting live show. Her 2002 debut CD “If the Blues Had Wings” was featured as the hot debut in the October/November 2004 issue of Blues Revue Magazine. Blues Revue referred to her as the next Bonnie Raitt and raved “Philly’s Deb Callahan has the pipes, the songs and the raw talent to graduate to the next level”. Her fourth and most recent CD, entitled “Tell It Like It Is” was released in October 2010 which debuted at #19 on the Living Blues Radio Chart and received regular airplay on the XM/Sirius Bluesville radio channel as well as blues and Triple A radio stations around the country. The songs are blues based with gospel, soul, rock and jazz influences and deal with a range of topics and issues such as experiencing love and joy, finding spirituality, giving voice to the experience of homeless children without family support and how hard it can be to make life changes. Doing social work in the heart of Philadelphia would be a good place to learn about life’s hard knocks and this urban school ground taught singer/songwriter Deb Callahan well. Her rich, honest and soulful tunes resonate with listeners and run the gamut from soulful ballads, to upbeat, dance oriented grooves. Her road tested band includes Allen James, Garry Lee and Tom Walling. Deb is working on her 5th CD which she is hoping to release sometime in 2014.
Callahan’s voice has the spiked fervor of contemporary Susan Tedeschi, but it’s richer and smoother. Stylistically she’s picked up a lot from one of her earlier influences, Nina Simone – Simone’s squirming rhythms and hypnotic vocals reverberate in Callahan’s music.” “Deb Callahan is a shouter, a crooner, a soul-belter and above all a gifted lyrical interpreter. She could sing the phone book and make it sound good.”
– Living Blues Magazine Feb 2011
She has shared the stage with Buddy Guy, Billy Preston, James Cotton, Shemekia Copeland, Hubert Sumlin, Debbie Davies, Savoy Brown, Big Jack Johnson, Sean Costello, The Holmes Brothers, Phil Guy, Deanna Bogart, Ann Rabson, Nick Curran, Southside Johnny, Floyd Lee, NRBQ, Joe Bonamassa, Guitar Shorty, Little Ed and The Imperials, Bob Margolin, Paul Cebar, Tommy Castro, Anthony Gomes, Johhny Lee Hooker Junior, Sister Monica Parker, Marcia Ball, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Duke Robillard, Eric Lindell and many more.
Lin Doughten comes from a family of musicians that span five generations. The jazz, blues, soul and rock that he grew up on strongly influence his fluid guitar style. His “less is more” approach is out of respect for the blues guitar masters he admires. Lin has been a staple on the Delaware/Maryland club circuit for over twenty-five years as a member of bands such as Freedom, Alibi, Backstage Pass, Nozmo King, Fatback Blues and the Shakers. He has backed up and opened shows for international blues and soul recording artists Johnny Rawls and Sidney “Guitar Crusher” Selby.
The Fred Miller band is a group of Delaware County musicians who share a love of the Blues. A few of their main influences would be: Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Albert King, Paul Butterfield, and Slim Harpo. The band features a variety of styles and beats from several regions. Members are: Fred Miller on harp and vocals, Frank Luca-guitar, Steve Price on bass and vocals, and Paul Albrecht on drums. They have performed at restaurants, bars, blues festivals, and several major charity events. Their song list runs the gamut from classic blues to vintage rock such as the Stones, Yardbirds, Creedence, and many more; back to more eclectic tunes by Elvis Costello and The Black Keys. A live performance might also feature tunes by Hank Williams Sr. or Willie Nelson. The main theme is the love of music, and the band’s motto is ,” Play with passion and let the chips fall where they may.”
Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipient Gary Allegretto can barely remember a time when Blues wasn't a powerful part of his life, and playing harmonica wasn't as natural as his own voice. As a young child he received his first harmonica from his grandfather on which he discovered and taught himself to play the Blues. This early strong devotion to the music he loves began a journey that has rewarded him in abundance. Indeed, down the road his performances have captivated and intrigued audiences at innumerable venues and festivals nationally and worldwide. Allegretto has led one of the finest Blues bands in Angeles for over two decades. He has been joined on stage by such notorious artists as Prince, Warren Haynes, Mick Taylor, David Lee Roth, and Queen Latifah and many others who have notably requested to sit in with him to play the Blues - not the other way around. He's been repeatedly praised in the pages of prominent Blues press including Blues Revue, Blueswax, Living Blues, Big City Blues, Blues Matters, and more; calling his musicianship "world class", "virtuosic", "masterful", 'jaw-dropping", and "exemplary". Further, Gary's recordings have received multiple Grammy® Award nomination considerations, including Best Contemporary Blues Album, and topped the Living Blues and Roots radio charts internationally. He has recorded with such heavyweight and diverse artists from Pinetop Perkins (legendary Mississippi Bluesman from Muddy Waters band) to Ivan Neville (New Orleans Neville Brothers). Allegretto's songs have been featured on major film and television productions, including the soundtracks of Johnny Depp's film "Rum Diary". Gary is also one of the chosen harmonica players featured prominently in the recent KBA award-winning harmonica documentary film "Pocket Full Of Soul". For over two decades Hohner, the world’s top harmonica manufacturer, has professionally endorsed Allegretto as one of their elite artists and recently honored Gary with his own signature model Hohner harmonica. To read more about Gary's musical artistry please seehttp://www.garyallegretto.com.
Of special note, Gary is the founder and director of Harmonikids (see www.harmonikids.org), a nonprofit humanitarian organization that provides music therapy with harmonicas and lessons to special needs children internationally. He has provided aid to special needs children - from the earthquake devastated Port Au Prince, Haiti, to the tsunami refugee camps of North Sumatra, Indonesia to the Katrina evacuee trailer villages of Louisiana and hundreds of points in between. Gary's work has earned him the Blues Foundation's aforementioned 2011 "KBA Award", "2010 Artists for a Better World Spirit of Youth Award" and syndicated radio program E-towns "E-chievement Award".
Joey is a highly sought after musician known for his dynamic guitar work and his soulful vocal style. Starting on harmonica in second grade while also performing in school chorus, Joey got the music bug at a young age. A tragic skateboard accident at age fourteen led Joey to learn the guitar starting with his older brother’s hand me down hollow-body. Performing in area nightclubs since age seventeen he developed a reputation with his incendiary playing and wild showmanship. Realizing the potential for a life long music career Joey set about learning many styles of music, making him an incredibly versatile musician.
Joey says” I sort of backed into the blues” being influenced by ZZ TOP, The Pat Travers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd he discovered these groups were influenced by the classic blues recordings by Muddy Waters, Albert King, and Robert Johnson sending him on yet another journey of discovery.
Joey has performed with such bands as Hyde Park, The Cutters, Joey & The Hurricanes, The Drifters, The Coasters, The Platters The Marvelettes, and most recently toured the world with the legendary Chubby Checker.
Together, Johnny and Zep churn out a blues magic that is infused with mojo, spirit and authenticity. They have been referred to as “The Blues Dream Team” offering up performances of soft blues ballads, passionate Delta slide moans and driving Little Walter and Muddy Waters riffs. Johnny’s exquisite finger style guitar work and passionate voice are complimented perfectly by Seth’s deep range of sound and harmonica styles. They are the dynamic duo of Delta Blues!
Johnny Never delivers Delta, Piedmont and East Texas Blues with a passion, authority and authenticity that has been pleasing blues lovers for a decade. In 2011, Johnny, along with his band, was one of only three national acts selected by the Philadelphia Folk Song Society to perform in a concert honoring the 100th birthday of blues legend, Robert Johnson. Johnny has been recognized by blues clubs in the greater metropolitan area as one of the most authentic Delta blues artists in the region. “… Johnny Never is the real deal!! Delta and Piedmont blues rarely heard this far north! A rare treat.” - Dave Strickler – Baltimore Blues Society
Harmonica player Seth Holzman AKA ZEP HARPO, blows 'em away with deep, passionate harp playing and percussion. This is not idle boasting. Seth has performed with Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, John Mooney, Roomful of Blues, Dave "Honeyboy" Edwards, Magic Slim, Big Jack Johnson, Ronnie Earl, and other dignitaries of the blues.
“When you listen to the music of Johnny Never and Zep Harpo you will NEVER look back! They are as authentic as it gets” - Bob Corritore, Blues Harmonica, Delta Groove recording artist.
“Johnny and Zep are regular performers at Nora Lees. They own the blues! Our customers ask for them by name” - Becky Smith, Manager, Nora Lees
Judy Sings the Blues is a local band performing traditional and contemporary blues songs for happy hour, private parties, country clubs, community events and weddings.
Judy has been singing since she could talk. She never wanted to be a teacher or nurse like most little girls. Her life long dream was to entertain the masses on stage!! Now that she has raised her kids, she is ready to fulfill that dream!!!Influences......Danielle Schnebelen (Trampled Under Foot), Susan Tedeschi/ Tedeschi Trucks Band, Shemekia Copeland, Etta Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Ann Wilson/Heart, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Walter Trout, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins.......
Judy Mangini on lead vocals/percussion, Bob Clifton on Keys and back up vocals, on Lead guitar is Brian Calloway, Carl Thompson on Bass and James Sudimak percussion and vocals.
"If you don't feel it, don't play it!!"
"When I leave this earth, I will look back with great love because I got the chance to sing." Ann Wilson- Heart
Let it Rain is a collection of musicians from the Delaware Tri-state area performing live in the spirit of Eric Clapton. From Cream , Delaney and Bonnie to his critically acclaimed album "From the Cradle", "Let it Rain - A tribute to Eric Clapton" delivers every time!.
.The voice and guitar of Eric Clapton, Wayne Dean from "Wayne Dean and the Bailouts" has been performing and playing the blues for more than 30 years. On a lucky day you can catch Wayne at the renowned blues venue "The Cat's Eye Pub" in Baltimore. He is a highly respected regional blues musician and his vocals and guitar playing make him the perfect man for the job.
Wayne is flanked by his two angels Ellen Salcedo and Stacy Lundin whose outstanding vocals fill the room with sweet harmonies. Ellen has roots in musical theater and Stacy is a songwriter, having written and recorded numerous original songs with her sister for their band I'm Not Sally. Ellen and Stacy's special blend comes from having sung together for almost twenty years, from the early days of their acoustic act The Mental Notes, to their more recent venture in which Ellen played rhythm guitar and Stacy was the drummer for the rock band Bigheart.
On bass is the one and only OB. A leading area musician from "The Box" has also performed, recorded and been on tour with numerous east coast acts and has shared the stage with various headliners over the years including: Johnny Winter, Jimmy Vaughn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, James Cotton, Elvin Bishop, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Edgar Winter, Pat Travers, Tabby Thomas, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and The Holmes Brothers…just to name a few!
.The first chapter of "The Bloke" Ian Greaves' life was in London England, a witness to "Clapton is God" graffiti plastered all over the city. Ian jammed with Cream's "Jack Bruce" as well as Pete Townsend and Bruce Dickinson. He also toured with King Crimson, recorded at Abbey Road Studios several times with Beatles engineer Tony Clark. Lucky for us he then decided to jump the pond to the U.S.
Ian is a class A percussionist and vocalist who has worked with some of the most successful regional bands such as "Rocket 88", Roger Girke, Bad Juju , Gretchen Emery and Blue Cat Blues to name a few. He also represented Delaware three times in the IBC (International Blues Competition) in Memphis TN.
Ian's perspective on Eric Clapton is simple ... He's bloody brilliant!
Gerard de Vries, also an established blues player from the Tri-State area shares the responsibility with Wayne Dean in helping bring the Clapton sound alive. Gerard has as well shared the stage with numerous national acts. He is also heavily involved in the 4w5 Blues Jam ,the longest running Blues Jam in Delaware created by David Bromberg (Room full of Blues). He helped get Central Delaware Blues Society, one of the most successful blues societies in the nation, off the ground. Gerard is also the co-founder of the Roadhouse Bluesfest Summer Festival in Magnolia Delaware, a mix of local and national acts ,which is becoming more popular every year. Having been a member of "The Box" for the past seven years with O.B., the rhythm section of "Let it Rain" along with Ian Greaves cannot be denied.
The best part of "Let it Rain" is that the members play music because they love to. Their comfortability with each other is evident and reflected in their music. Their personal touches to Eric Clapton's Classics is refreshing, and fun.
We hope you come see "Let it Rain" and join in the Eric Clapton experience.
Lower Case Blues is a power trio originating from Newark, Delaware. The band features Jake Banaszak (lead guitar), B.J. Muntz (bass and vocals), and Paul Weik (drums). Since the Band started in '03, They have established themselves as some of the best in the area.. Taking blues to a whole new level and earning respect as being some of the best up and coming musicians.
Lower Case Blues has many influences ranging from blues greats like Buddy Guy, Tinsley Ellis, SRV, Albert Collins, Big Joe Turner, and Muddy Waters to others such as Bootsy Collins, The Allman Bros., Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top and Victor Wooten. LCB focuses on playing original music with a reasonable amount of covers thrown into the mix to pay tribute to there inspirations. The band always plays with feeling and improvisation… you’ll never hear a song played the same way twice.
I was born in Chicago Illinois raised in Wheaton Illinois, Chicago and Los Angeles California. Depending upon my mom & dad’s relationship. My childhood influences musically was from my family and my environment. My grandfather played seven instruments, my great uncles (my grandfather brother) played in symphony orchestras. My uncle founded the Rizzo School of Music located in downtown Chicago on Jackson Blvd. My mother played 4 instruments and sang, sang, sang. Sundays were always a pleasure being with the family… great food. Great music. I was around great classical music. Great Classical Musicians. Fabulous swing music and we all danced to it… I think I was singing and dancing when I came out of the womb. I learned soul, gospel, scatting how to jitterbug and sand tap all before my 5th birthday by which time blues, jazz and swing were as big a part of my life as were the classics and the church.
My mom and dad had a roadhouse restaurant in Cloverdale Illinois on Old Army Trail Road called Angie’s Place where as a baby I sang and people thru change on the floor in front of me. I started singing professionally at the age of 10. I developed physically around 8-9 years old and learned how to fool the club owners into believing I was a young looking 18 year old. I had to sing to pay my way thru school… catholic school. I studied voice with the nuns. I studied Jazz at the Family Music School and performed 5-6 nights a week at the Amber Light in Cicero Illinois from 1am to 6am. The off I went to school by 7. Yep Wed. Thru. Sat. I studied also under David Collyer Sorin, All Stouffer Frank Capelli Jimmy Amadie and Tommy Lawton. I loved rock n’ roll, the blues, jazz and R&B. I have been more than blessed to share the stage with such greats as Margaret Whitting, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Grover Washington, Jimmy Rogers, Carrie Bell, Stevie Raye Vaughn, Little Charlie & the Nightcaps, Koko Taylor, Johnny Copeland, Elvin Bishop, TAJ Mahal, Dizzy Gallespie, Saffire, Rev. Billy Wirtz, Lonnie Brooks, Queen Bee & the Survival Band, Mickey Jr, Bluesman Willie & Star, Sonny Rhodes, The Legendary Blues Band, Duke Robbilard, Steve Guygher & The Excellos, Frankie Lee, Willie Lockett, Flamin Harry, The Dukes Of Destiny, Jim Obie Band, Tommy Comwell, The Voodudes, Tom Larsen, The Spare Tire Blues Band, Sister Blue, The Mighty Flyers, The Allstars, Lora Watkins, Tino Gonzales & The Sante Fe Blues, The Horizontals, Pine Top Perkins, Charlie Musselwhite, David Bromberg. Then to have played with Bobby Lenti, Chuck Parkinson, Hooter Sassloff, Richie Orr, Steve Bernstein, Kenny Robinson, Chuck Hearn, Ani Azzoto, Courtney Colletti, Tony Juliano, Tony Basile, George Sinkler, Vince Faye, Frank Dibussolo, Nax Steel, Gerald Veasley, Kenneth Veaseley, All Price, Jackie Brown, Kenny Jones, Frank McKitty, Adolphus “Fletch” Fletcher, Leroy “Shubaby” Schuler, Myles Mayo, Joel Schecter, Mark Berkewitz, Jimmy Supra, Steve Nicely, RB, Andy, Bo, George, Bernie Pruett, Billy Pierce, Emile Di’amico, Denny Diblassio and guess what? Life ain’t over yet.
I love the blues, it lifts me up. When I have the blues & I have the blues each and every day, I can talk about it or I can sing and release the pressure. Makes me feel like a brand new gal. I wish every living soul had an outlet like I have. You know blues & gospel have so much in common. Take the lyrics outta a gospel song you got a blues instrumental. The blues is a religion.
Every day that I wake up, I have the blues for some reason or another. Be it happy, spiritual or sad. This is reality and blues is real. It’s life. With its ups & downs & successes. I love it. I am so proud to be a musician, singer songwriter, arranger, performer, and vocal coach. I am in a great community.
What do I do when I’m not doing all that. I love cooking & baking. I love being with my friends I love to draw and paint. I love gardening. Love growing my own food. I love working with older folks. I love my animals. When I get more dollars I wanna couple of cows, chickens and a family of horses.
CD NUMBER 3 IS IN THE WORKS!! The Return Of The Son Of The Album's Revenge has begun and the guys have laid down the basic tracks on 7 songs so far with many more to follow. All new material penned by each of the members, giving the followers the guitar-driven, full-harmony sound that is the trademark of an NBT live show. Be prepared to dance, or at least receive a ticket if you're listening to it in the car. *(Note: Nothin' But Trouble takes no responsibility for, nor encourages the injudicious use of the gas pedal of any of our fans, but hey, it's gonna do what it's gonna do.)
Jimmy started playing Bass professionally in 1980 with the band Masque featuring guitar wiz Vinnie Moore. He moved to Florida in 1986 and took up with Easy Excess for 2 years on non-stop gigging.
Wanting to pursue Blues as his main music, he returned to the Tri-State are in 1989 and picked up a gig with Lisa Jack & The Reputations and this led to many years of work backing up Regional Acts such as Sister Blue, Jim McCarthy, The Homewreckers & Roni & The Eldorado’s.
In 1996, he hit the road with Blues Great Sonny Rhodes touring Europe, Canada & the U.S. It was on this tour that he met and played with many Great Bluesmen including the Legendary Frankie Lee, and would go on to back up the singer on some East Coast dates.
In 1997, he recorded with Randy Lippincott & began backing up Randy as well as Georgie Bonds & The Blueskeepers and Arkansas’s own Lonnie Shields. It was at this time that he recorded & backed Delaware artist Socco, & was touched by his sparks of creativity.
Jimmy stayed busy with various blues artists ,even backing L.A.’s Arthur Adams at the 2000 Pocono Blues Fest and Chris Cain at the 2001 Riverfront Blues Fest.
In 2003 he hit the road with Big Jack Johnson touring the U.S. & Canada with one of the kindest artists in the blues. Since 2003, he has played & recorded with harmonica ace Mikey Jr. Around the same time he started backing multi-talented blues man Richard Ray Farrell . He’s been hosting the blues jam Every Tuesday @ Warmdaddys in Philly since the Late 90′s with The Randy Lippincott Band.
Joining up with Roger Girke in 2004, he toured with Roger supporting the album, ”My Baby Loves that Stuff” enjoying many powerful nights of music.
He recorded his own record of originals “Shopping for the Blues.” It was very well received and nominated by the North Jersey Blues & Jazz Society for The Blues Foundation C.D competition in 2007.
In 2008 he tracked for the a new CD from Lonnie Shields, “Keeper of the Blues”& backed Gary Allegretto @ The Riverfront Blues Fest in support of his record “Many Shades of Blue“. In the same year he took up company with Philly’s own Zydeco-a-Go-Go, letting the good times roll.
In 2009 he toured the south with Mikey Jr & had a chance to back up the great Eddie Kirkland a real special man with very deep ties to the music.
In 2010 his second record “Goin’ Down 9? was released & featured many of the areas finest musicians, the album was nominated by the Diamond State Blues Society & made the first cut the 2011 IBC CD competition. That same year at the IBCS he backed Mikey Jr , went to the semi-finals & in 2012 to the IBCS finals. Also in 2010 Jimmy started fronting his own three-piece band which sometimes features a double sax threat.
2011 brought a producing credit for Blue Cat Blues debut CD “Whiskey Feet.” He played bass and contributed an orinigal song on The St.Georges Sessions.
He was part of the rhythym section at the Little Walter Birthday Bash in 2012 with old friend & musical commerade Chris Sherlock, “we spent a many a day together servin’ up the groove,” which featured nine of the area’s top harmonicist.
Currently writing songs for a new record & developing a show of his own , he did find time to back Albert Castiglia at the New Candlelight Dinner Theater
Roger Girke is a Wilmington, DE based guitarist, singer and songwriter who has performed over 3,500 live shows and has numerous recording projects to his credit. Roger got his start in the mid 70’s performing throughout the musically fertile Southeastern PA, NJ, and NY music scene. In 1978 Roger scored a pivotal 1978-79 touring gig with Capitol/Ariola Recording Artists Pickins, lauded at the time for their fusion of blues and rock. Roger’s rapidly evolving guitar skills combined with contacts made at that time set up a string of touring opportunities with diverse artists on Arista, Elektra and RCA records. At the conclusion of twenty years of averaging 200+ dates per year as a first-call road guitarist, Roger relocated to Delaware in 1995 and became immersed in the vibrant blues club, concert and festival scene there and in nearby Philly and Baltimore. In 2012 Roger joined forces with drummer Glenn Ferracone (Joe Cocker, Papa, Joey, and Johnny DeFrancesco) and bassist Paul Klinefelter (Luther Allison, Melody Gardot, Todd Rundgren, Jim McCarthy) and together they are recording tracks for a 2013 release.
The Roger Girke Band was also a top 10 live finalist in the 2009 International Blues Challenge – which takes place each year in Memphis, TN.
In addition to his work with Glenn Ferracone and Paul Klinefelter, Roger also collaborates with a who's who of musicians who join him on selected shows including: Pete Kanaras, bass/guitar (Nighthawks), Jimmy Pritchard, bass (Sonny Rhodes, Mikey Jr, Randy Lippincott), Kenny Aaronsen, bass (Derringer, Dylan, Setzer) Jim Orr, keyboards (Root Boy Slim) and Terry Klinefelter, keyboards (Phila jazz sensation)
Roger and his talented band continue to evolve each year with a solid mix of original compositions combined with Roger’s interpretations of New Orleans R&B classics and blues favorites – all centered by Roger’s strong vocals, guitar skills and onstage charisma.
The Teletones are an allstar group of veteran Delaware-based musicians who joined forces in 2009 to create their own unique gumbo of blues, soul and funk music. The band combines the toneful stylings of guitarist Joe LaSorte, the bluesy growl of guitarist Lin Doughten, the soulful drive of bassist Scott Siska, and the soaring harmonies of drummer Neal Tillotson into a no-nonsense, get-out-on-the-dancefloor fun machine.
Currently promoting his upcoming release, Toney Rocks: The Self Titled EP, TONEY ROCKS dives into the abyss of progressive, blues rock music, pushing the culture forward by delivering a bold hybrid of blues, and rock music peppered with electronic elements. He isn't just another guitar slinging bluesman. Toney Rocks conscious penmanship reveals a poet that identifies with todays struggles and triumphs such as poverty, love, and self-liberation. He writes for the people, as a voice of the people who can't be heard.
Considered an epitome of the do-it-yourself musician, Toney Rocks records and produces the music featured in his solo shows from the ground up. In fact, there is no part of the Toney Rocks operation that he doesn't touch. Born to Live Free, released in 2012, continues to enjoy airplay both in the US and abroad. His sound has been compared to the soulful sounds of Robert Cray and fusion of Jean Luc Ponty.
Onstage, Toney Rocks features distinct shows. The full band show features Toney Rocks joined by an outstanding band featuring a bassist, drummer, and many times, keyboardist. This show gives audiences the raw, natural interaction of a live band with the essentials of the music.
The solo show also turns the amplifier up to 10 and continues the progressive blues influenced rock party. This show features Toney Rocks dynamic vocal and guitar performance with the support of epic, hard hitting prerecorded backing tracks from Toney Rocks independent releases. Both of these show are rocking club, theater, and festival stages all over the country.
His third solo release, Born to Live Free, delivers ten songs penned by Toney Rocks. Songs from this release continue to enjoy airplay both in the United States and abroad. Released on his own Baby Deer Recording label, the music landscape stretches from a soulful upbeat approach with songs like "Empty", to a gritty distortion filled roots-blues with "Explode", onto blues-rock anthems such as the title track, "Born to Life Free". The album was produced from the ground up by Toney as he performed all instruments on the recording excluding piano on the ballad, "Miss You".
Toney Rocks has shared the stage with blues/roots music heavy hitters such as David Bromberg, Louisiana Red, and Tom Larsen. His debut as a recording artist and band leader came in 2006 when he released New Life, a jazz-fusion album with his band, Tony Robinson Trio. The trio performed clubs and festivals in the Mid-Atlantic region for about two years before calling it quits.
A slew of groups came and went under Tony's leadership until 2008, when he was signed as a recording artist to the Oklahoma based independent record label, Tate Music Group. This deal brought about the 2009 release of Explode, an electronic/dance album produced by Tony released under the name, Tony Robinson. Though it pushed him into the realm of singing and lyric writing, disappointing product marketing and a compromised artistic direction ultimately sealed the deal with Tate Music. However, it taught Tony a valuable lesson. He didn't need a record label to tell him who to be or how to market his product.
After leaving the label, Tony vowed never to release control over his artistic vision or business direction. In 2011, Tony went back to his instrumental roots, this time focusing in the direction of world-fusion, releasing, My Hearts Rise, under the artist name Ynot Nosnibor. The album reached the Top-50 on the SoundClick World-fusion charts and inspired his first book, My Hearts Rise: Inspirations Behind the Music. Ynot Nosnibor performed several concerts and festivals before the strain of managing seven musicians and finding a wider audience became too much. After Ynot it was back to the drawing board, but this time music was not the focus.
Though he never stopped performing, his recording and solo efforts took the back burner. Ynot Nosnibor was left behind and Tony Robinson focused on artist development coaching, speaking, and his second book, The Ultimate Guide to Artist Development. The Ultimate Guide to Artist Development identifies five keys that make an artist more valuable in the market place. It shows artist how to pinpoint their Talent, Originality, Identity, Core Values, and Ability to Showcase to the world.
From 2010 through 2011, Tony traveled to high schools, and music conferences including Millennium Music Conference, Dewey Beach Music Conference and Singer Songwriter of Cape May to speak on the concepts covered in his book. He founded the Mega Star Coaching company and began coaching on artist development strategies so that they, like him, could learn to manage their career on their own terms.
Ultimately Tony found that coaching and speaking wasn't all he wanted to do. Music had to be there and it had to be a huge part of his professional life. That being so, he wasn't going to doing it "half-assed" so he had to go 100%. This time there was no turning back, no compromising, and no stopping. This understanding of the five keys he had been teaching over the past year lead him to the ultimate self-discovery... and the blues within himself. Not wanting to use his full name as an artist name he dropped the last name and added an 'e' to his first name just to be different.
Toney Rocks will always be eclectic and progressive. He'll always press his own boundaries and the boundaries around him. He'll never be controlled or predictable. He may change musical directions at the drop of a hat. After all... he is BORN TO LIVE FREE!
This is going to be HUGE! Ten years ago Roger Girke, Wayne Dean, Joey Fulkerson, Chris McAfee played a series of gigs as the Smokin' Joes at the venerable Perryville, MD blues hot spot The Rendezvous. Now, just like the blues brothers, they're "getting the band back together" for a series of reunion shows. This show at Jonathan's Landing is going to be awesome with all original Smokin Joes band leaders fronting the show (Chris, Wayne, Joey and Roger) with the tremendous rhythm section of Billy Myers and Rick Tremble. Head on down to this not to be missed show!!
The Mid-Atlantic's hottest Blues band performing original work and remakes of Blues greats such as Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, the Chambers Brothers and other Blues legends. Venom Blues is currently appearing in the Northern Delaware area and rolls out several sets of seriously smokin' Blues tracks that will have you out on the floor and "stompin' yo' feet". This ain't your Grandma's Blues, so come prepared to hear a little something special and don't be surprised if you get bit - by the seduction that is "The Blues"!
With the understanding that The Blues is an art form that deserves serious attention to detail, The Blues also leaves a lot of room for interpretation and innovation. Venom Blues carries that one step further into today's music scene with a bit more edge and a lot more energy. The musical dynamics and variety of styles presented at a Venom Blues show always leaves the crowd "wantin' mo", so c'mon down y'all, don't be shy - give Venom Blues a try!
Venom Blues was formed in late 2005 by veterans of the Delaware and Northeast music scene, who collectively, have well over a hundred years of musical experience. They were brought together by an extreme desire to rekindle the flames of the artistry known as The Blues and carry it forward to a new generation. Delaware has seen it's share of the best Blues musicians that have toured the world. Venom Blues seeks to carry on that tradition, so keep your eyes open - The Blues can strike real fast...
We'd definitely like to give special thanks to those lovers of "da blues" who continue to make every show special. It is for you, that the blues continues its dominance in the musical world!
Make sure you check out the fourth and latest CD from Venom Blues! Just Waiting!..
"What's in the Box?" is a Hard Driving, High Energy Classic Rock / Blues Power Trio covering a wide variety of artists including; Taj Mahal - Lynrd Skynrd - The Rolling Stones - S.R.V. - BB King - Marshall Tucker Band - Beatles - Frank Zappa - Jimmy Hendrix - Eric Clapton - Stevie Wonder - Van Halen - Indigenous - Pink Floyd - Eddie Money - Savoy Brown - Atlanta Rythm Section - Blues Brothers - Johnny Winter - Deep Purple - Allman brothers - Hall & Oats - Grateful Dead - Black crows - Wilson Picket - Robin Trower - Warren Zevon - Zep - Little feat - Lenny Kravitz - Al Green - Jeff Healy - ZZ Top - Foghat - Kenny Wayne Shepherd and more.
Members of "What's in the box?" have shared the stage and worked with various headliners over the years including: Johnny Winter, Jimmy Vaughan and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, James Cotton, Elvin Bishop, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Edgar Winter, Pat Travers, Tabby Thomas, Buddy Guy, ,Junior Wells, The Holmes Brothers, The Temptations Rebview, Johnny Neel…just to name a few!
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Albert Castiglia [pronounced ka-steel-ya] was born Aug. 12, 1969 in New York, the son of a Cuban mother and an Italian father. Castiglia's parents moved to Miami when he was five, and began taking guitar lessons as a 12-year-old. As a teenager, he realized the passions in his heart and thoughts in his mind were best expressed through his own music.
He made his professional debut in 1990 when he joined the Miami Blues Authority. He was named ‘Best Blues Guitarist' in Miami in 1997 by New Times magazine, a local alternative paper.
Castiglia completed his four-year college education and then worked for four years as a social services investigator for the state of Florida. He continued to fine-tune his guitar playing, songwriting and singing chops at nights and on weekends in the Miami area.
He struck out on his own and released his debut, "Burn," in 2002, collaborating on the album with his friend Graham Wood Drout. He followed up with his 2006 release for New Jersey-based Blues Leaf Records, "A Stone's Throw."
Given that he's young by blues standards and has a depth and breadth of live, studio and life experience, it is possible Castiglia may yet become a major force behind another blues and blues-rock rebirth.
Rock ‘n’ roll is a conveyor belt. Every year, another bright young thing, famous for a finger-snap, then forgotten forever. Albert Castiglia has walked a different path. As the man who once sang, “The road to riches is playing guitar, that’s why I’m living inside my car”, he’s spent two decades climbing the greasy pole and paying dues with interest. Now, Solid Ground is payback.
Released in February 2014 as Albert’s debut album for Ruf Records, Solid Ground will let the global blues-rock scene discover what the hardcore fans have known from the start. Namely, that here is an artist who sings from the gut, shoots guitar licks from the hip and writes songs that articulate your hopes, fears and heartaches. “Solid Ground is my best album to date,” says the 44-year-old bandleader, simply. “I put more time, love, blood, sweat and tears into this recording than any of the others, and it shows. I love every song on it and I’m sure there’ll be something for everyone to like.”
He’s right. Recorded at Fat Rabbit Studios in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, this album isn’t just solid, it’s special. There are plenty of thrills in the musical execution, with Albert leading the line on vocals and guitar, backed by the crack team of Matt Schuler (bass/vocals), Bob Amsel (drums), Jeremy Baum (B3/piano/wurlitzer), Lou Bevere (guitar/vocals) and Debbie Davies (guitar/vocals) – plus Dave Gross on multi-instrumentation and production. Ultimately, though, the real stars of the sessions are Solid Ground’s 14 songs.
Lighting the album’s fuse, Triflin’ hits listeners with Albert’s soulful fretwork, while his vocal spins tales of a life both bitter and sweet (“We all have our share of problems, damn near every day…”). Woman trouble is a recurring theme, whether it’s on the defiant bounce of Keep You Around Too Long or the shattered slow-blues of Have You No Shame (“I saw you last night under them parking-lot lights, wrapped up in someone else’s arms…”). But alongside personal issues, there are also songs plugged into the wider social context, as Albert implores us to seize the day – or, as he puts it, Put Some Stank On It – and bemoans the war-torn modern world on Love One Another (“It seems like hate is on the rise, it’s enough to bring tears to my eyes…”).
A shape-shifting artist with an eclectic vision, Albert’s songwriting is equally convincing on the Latin-tinged instrumental Little Havana Blues (Arroz Con Mango) as the sunny strum of Celebration, and even when he takes on the Stones’ mighty Sway, he prises it out of Mick and Keef’s grasp. He’s just as magnetic when he strips it back on the sparse acoustic slide-blues of Hard Time. “I was born in a broke-down Chevy,” he sings. “Now I feel like it’s on me heavy. I was raised in a dirty junkyard, my only friend was this guitar...”.
That might be bending the truth, but Albert’s path has certainly been colourful. Born August 12, 1969, in New York, he was a product of that city’s great melting-pot community, the son of a Cuban mother and Italian father. At five, the family moved to Miami, Florida, and when the twelve-year-old Albert took his first guitar lesson, a spark was lit that couldn’t be snuffed out.
Even so, bills needed paying, and although he made his professional debut in 1990 with Miami Blues Authority (and was later named ‘Best Blues Guitarist’ by that city’s alt-music magazine, New Times), Albert juggled early gigging with his day job as a social services investigator. Regardless, word spread, and Albert truly arrived on the international radar after Buddy Guy’s iconic harp-blower, Junior Wells, heard the young bluesman sing and invited him into the solo band for several world tours. The gig was a shop-window, and though Wells sadly died in 1998, Albert stayed busy, joining the great Atlanta vocalist Sandra Hall for national tours in the late-’90s, and holding his own in onstage jams with everyone from Pinetop Perkins to John Primer.
For a lesser talent with lesser momentum, that role as sideman and gun-for-hire might have been enough. Right from the start, though, Albert had a creative itch that only a solo career and a songwriting carte blanche could scratch. So it began, with 2002’s Burn opening his account, followed by 2006’s A Stone’s Throw, 2010’s Keepin On and 2012’s Living The Dream.
Each new release was a step up, hammering home Albert’s reputation and ensuring there was plenty of classy material to fuel his increasingly well-attended live shows. Now, in 2014, comes Solid Ground. Surfing on the buzz from press and public, supported by a major touring campaign and bolstered by Ruf’s marketing muscle, this album is the game-changer and the giant leap. You can keep your bright young things and your overnight success stories. Albert Castiglia is a talent built to last.
Billy Walton Band
In the history of rock n roll there is a long tradition of guitarists trading in their jobs as sidemen to become virtuoso frontmen in their own right. Early on Jimi Hendrix played in Little Richards' band and Eric Clapton worked with numerous groups like John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, Cream and Derek and the Dominos before starting his legendary career as a solo artist. Even Stevie Ray Vaughn had a stint as a member of David Bowie's touring band before going solo. There seems to be something about apprenticing with another artist that brings out the best in some guitar players. After spending years honing their craft it becomes impossible for their unique style and personality to be held back. Such is the case with Billy Walton.
Since the age of 15, Walton has plied his craft in the Asbury Park/New Jersey shore music scene – most notably as the guitarist/vocalist for Boccigalupe & the Bad Boys which features Tony Amato a veteran of the Asbury scene since the 70s (the nickname ... Boccigalupe was actually given to him by Bruce Springsteen & Little Steven Van Zandt). During his time with Boccigalupe, Walton has played countless gigs in both the United States and Europe and sat in with numerous of rock luminaries including Springsteen, Gary US Bonds and Stevie Ray's backing band, Double Trouble.
The 30-year old Walton's talents are no secret among everyone in the Jersey shore music scene and with the founding of the Billy Walton Band there's little doubt his reputation will grow far beyond the Garden State. The Billy Walton Band's sound is a combination of hard blues reminiscent of Hendrix, Clapton and Vaughn mixed with a healthy dose of Warren Hayes and Derrick Trucks.
Live, Walton has always been an explosive performer with jaw dropping talent but with the addition of bassist William Paris, Richie Taz on sax, and drummer Johnny D'Angelo the Billy Walton band churns out a singular brand of funky blues that has deep roots in both the jam band musical tradition as well as the Jersey shore Walton has cut his teeth on.
Walton's connection to his heroes is not just through his record collection. Over the years he has developed a close friendship with Roger Mayer, the well–known British guitar effects guru whose devices have played such a pivotal part in rock'n'roll for nearly every major player since Hendrix.
But regardless of his influences or where he's from, the Billy Walton Band's ultimate appeal lies in the unique musical gifts of its founder, Walton himself, who, like his forebears is poised to join the long and storied list of sidemen whose time has come to step out front.
"Chambers' brand of blues is a no-frills blend of Chicago, Texas, and Delta styles, played with an understated sense of ferocity. Sean came to wail, and he does so with a transparent sense of devotion and scholarship to the music he plays so well." - Mark Uricheck, LIVING BLUES MAGAZINE
Sean Chambers toured with the legendary HubertSumlin as his guitarist and band leader from 1998-2003. Britain's own Guitarist magazine named Chambers as “One of the top 50 blues guitarists of the last century.” After his tenure with Sumlin, he performed on his own, and in 2003 was asked to headline the prestigious Maryport Blues Festival.
In 2004, shortly after his second CD release, Sean was forced to relocate when his home in Florida was struck by two of the major hurricanes that hit the state, and flooded out his home. In 2009, Chambers went back into the studio to record what would be his most critically-acclaimed album to date, Ten Til Midnight.
When Ten Til Midnight was released in October, 2009, it garnered rave reviews and also appeared on the Living Blues chart for the first three months after its release. It received steady airplay in 45 states around the U.S, as well as many markets overseas. The title cut was featured on “The House of Blues Radio Hour” as a “Blues Breaker;” and the album also generated significant airplay on Sirius/XM Radio’s blues channel as a “Pick to Click.”
The Sean Chambers Band released Live from the Long Island Blues Warehouse in 2011, which featured 10 tracks of mostly originals, along with Sean’s distinctively searing takes on “Full Moon on Main Street,” a highlight song from an early album by The Kinsey Report; as well as a blistering version of Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom,” which recalls Johnny Winter in its approach.
Live from the Long Island Blues Warehouse appeared on BB King’s Bluesville XM/Sirius Blues Charts as a “Pick to Click” for 6 weeks in a row, as well as 15 weeks on the RMR Weekly Blues Roots Chart and 11 weeks on the House of Blues Radio Chart. The album was voted “Best Live Blues Album of 2011” by Canada’s Blues Underground Network and ranked as one of the Top 3 Live CD’s in Germany by the magazine Wasser Prawda. In addition it was nominated for a Jimi Award for “Best Live Blues Album of 2011.” Guitar Player Magazine did a full page feature story on Sean in February, 2012, and the same month Vintage Guitar Magazine ran a two page feature story.
On October 15, 2013, Sean Chambers released his newest album, The Rock House Sessions, on Blue Heat Records. The Rock House Sessions features a number of firsts: it’s the first album he’s recorded as Sean Chambers rather than the Sean Chambers Band; producing for the first time is legendary keyboard player Reese Wynans (best-known for his long tenure as a member of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band); and it’s his first recording exclusively using studio musicians, as Sean and Reese drew from the deep talent-laden pool of Nashville musicians and songwriters. The album was recorded at the studio of another acclaimed keyboardist – Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton Band) – named The Rock House, hence The Rock House Sessions.
The core band on the album aside from Sean on lead vocals and lead guitar includes Reese Wynans on keyboards, Tommy MacDonald on bass and Tom Hambridge on drums. Special guests include Rob McNelley on guitar, TJ Klay on harmonica, Chaz Trippy on percussion, Etta Britt on backing vocals, Bob Britt on guitar, Steve Herman on trumpet, and Jim Hoke on sax.
Besides three new original Sean Chambers compositions, The Rock House Sessions includes “Choo Choo Mama,” written by Alvin Lee; “Holding On” written by Gary Moore; and “Come to Poppa,” written by Willie Mitchell and Earl Randle but made famous by Bob Seger. Other tracks include new songs by Gary Nicholson, Tom Hambridge, Kenny Greenberg and Rick Vito.
Sean Chambers will support the release of The Rock House Sessions with his most extensive cross-country touring yet. Plans call for dates beginning in early fall through the end of the year, with a specific tour itinerary forthcoming. Sean Chambers is booked by The Jo-Ann Freda Agency (email@example.com), 203-530-1019.
In June, 2012, Sean was invited to be the new front man for classic Southern rock band, Blackfoot, by founding member (now with Lynyrd Skynyrd) Rickey Medlocke. Chambers is currently working on a new CD with Blackfoot and continues to perform with them when not performing with his own band.
If you like your blues blazin’ hot, The Sean Chambers Band will definitely light your fire!
Bryan Lee, 2010 Grammy Nominee, 2011 BMA Recipient, has been playing the Blues consistently for over 50 years now to fans all over the world. He is referred to by his peers as a “Living Legend”, “New Orleans Blues Institution” as well as your “Braille Blues Daddy”.
Bryan Lee is one of the few seasoned Blues musicians who consistently honors the art form of the Blues while incorporating his own personal touch which fans love to hear all over the world.
Bryan has performed with many of his peers over the years such as Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Freddie King, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Willie Big Eye Smith, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Luther Allison, Sonny Landreth, Mike Zeto, Larry Garner, JW Jones, Tab Benoit, Albert King, Duke Robillard, Albert Collins, Michael Burkes and BB King to mention a few.
While performing at the historic Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street, a gig that lasted for 14 years five nights a week, Bryan gave Kenny Wayne Shepherd his first opportunity to perform on stage, at the age of 13. Since then the two of them have remained close friends. Bryan appeared as a special guest on Kenny Wayne Shepard’s “10 Days Out, Blues from the Backroads” CD/DVD released in 2007. Bryan Lee’s original hit tune “Tina Marie” was recorded with the KWS - Double Trouble and hit the top ten charts on Billboard, was featured on The Jay Leno and Tavis Smiley Show.
Bryan continues to mentor young Blues musicians such as Matthew Curry, Mike Imbasciani, Tallan Noble Latz, and Magnus Berg from Norway, in hopes of keeping the art form alive and true to its original form.
Bryan Lee has 13 CD’s and 1 DVD out, all released on Justin Time Records from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. “Katrina Was Her Name” released in 2008 was nominated for a BMA, (Contemporary Blues) and won The German Critic’s Award for Outstanding Blues. He is expecting his new CD to be released spring of 2013 on Severn Records featuring Kim Wilson on harp.
Bryan Lee and The Blues Power Band continue to tour all over the world with Brent Johnson on guitar, John Perkins on drums and Nick Hern on bass.
Joel DaSilva has blues running through his veins. Born and raised in his sweet home, Chicago, DaSilva hails from a musical family. His mother and father traveled throughout Brazil and Ukraine, his mother a singer and father accompanying her on guitar. His father passed away when he was 3, but Joel continues to channel that soulful energy in his live performances to this day.
As soon as he was old enough to work, Joel took a job as a bar back in a blues joint where his older brother tended bar. The goal was to get closer to the music, immersing in the scene. Eventually, he was setting up equipment for touring bands and getting to know them inexchange for lessons from the masters and lessons in Music Business 101.
By the age of 18, DaSilva joined his first band as lead guitarist for Junior Drinkwater & the Thirstquenchers. He went on to play guitar and sing in jump blues in the Regulators, psychobilly, and surf-oriented band The Underbellies, and the frontman for rockin' blues act,the Hep Cat Boo Daddies before breaking out on his own as a solo artist.
Joel DaSilva and the Midnight Howl formed and with a resume that includes performances with heavy hitters like B.B. King, A.C.Reed, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Reverend Horton Heat and opening for acts as varied as: J.J. Grey, Nick Curran, the Smithereens, Foghat, Los Lobos, The White Stripes , The Black Crowes, Nighthawks, and Jimmie Vaughan, etc,etc.
DaSilva has already made a mark in the industry; and is poised to become a power player..
....He is the real deal. You have to see his high energy mojo LIVE as heBRINGS it. Soulful guitarwork and vocals.
Joel also enjoys Acting as he has been in some regional theatre, some indie films , extrawork, and is currently playing Sheriff Cousins and also doing Soundtrack work for the indie film "Sleep" .
Please check out the Links page for more info.
An artist’s lifetime is sometimes dictated by the heights they reach, the reaction they register or the body of work compiled during their working years. Chris Duarte is certainly making a case for his body of work he’s producing, this being number eleven of releases, but is he achieving the right reaction for his efforts? With the release of Chris Duarte’s latest opus, ‘My Soul Alone’, Chris Duarte is still reaching for new ground while also throwing out some of his best blues work to date. The maturity in the phrasing and melodic statements are a far cry from the early raw days of his first few releases. This could only be achieved through relentless roadwork that allows Chris to ply his trade and to work and rework melodic ideas. “I can practice all day in my basement but it’s a totally different ballgame when I get on stage. More of a physical dynamic is the currency I trade in when I’m playing live.” Even though Chris is in the studio, I can hear him getting more physical while there.
The album starts off with a swinging type of blues with a vocal more akin to 40’s big band style. The rough and course voice is still there rather than a crooner’s touch but he’s swinging the lines. The guitar solos are full bodied with just a touch of frenetic moments that Chris is known for. ‘Show Me That You Want It’ sets a good tone for the opening salvo.
Next up is another example of Chris taking clues from his early years growing up and mixing it with these pseudo county leanings on the guitar. ‘Yes It’s You’ is a nod towards the Beatles and other ‘Pop’ efforts Chris has been penning and with each release I can hear the improvement. Time will only tell if this song is a winner but it makes me hopeful that one day that hit will come. It will be long overdue.
‘Take Me Now’ is more of the ‘naff’ pop Chris is exploring like his previous release of ‘Summer’s Child’. “I keep hearing these retro-like grooves with a Steely Dan like vocal line over it. I’m probably going to go to my grave taking chances like this song.” Jazzy guitar work over a bluesy mode wins out on this song. This one always perks my ears up for new things every time I hear it.
Almost every album that Chris has put out with Mike Varney, there’s always been a minor blues and a slow major blues on the album. Normally I would really grow tired of the repetition but Chris challenges himself to tweak and twist the songs arrangement so that no two are going to sound like the last. His latest minor offering, “A Dollar Down and Feeling Low’, stays low and evocative with what I think is his best minor work to date. The phrasing is more moving and flowing with its subtle nuances achingly played. Chris’s touch on the guitar is definitely much improved and the notes actually touch the inner core. Then on the flip-side there’s ‘Lazy Afternoon’ with its true reach at a crooner standard style. The lyrics are lyrical and time dated and the guitar work is first rate jazzy with a touch of BB here and there. If we were to stop here with the album I would consider it a success.
We can’t deny Hendrix is a big muse for Chris and it’s plainly stated in this album. ‘Outta My Way’ is a spot on Hendrixian nod but obviously with Chris’s style thrown in the mix. Starting off with a hard driving riff but then it opens up with the patented Hendrix 7th chord accents that propel this rocket of a song on its way. The guitar accents are vocal like and at times a frenzy. The quirky lead in to the middle solo is typical of the twists and turns for originality and lends to it that ‘turn-on-a-dime’ wildness that should be present in songs like this; Hendrixian. The next Jimi offering is ‘Can’t Shut Me Out’. First the riff at the top and in comes the effects drenched guitar. With an almost vocal like quality to the guitar the phrasing is no doubt from Jimi and the driving rhythm underneath enables all the elements to come together when the vocals start. The interlude at the top of the chorus is the only departure from the Hendrix mode but it plays well with the chorus hook shouted out. Another adrenalin driving guitar vehicle and I wouldn’t expect anything less on this album. This is the CDG we’ve come to know and love.
Jumping back on the blues side of the album, because if there’s one thing that put Chris Duarte on the international stage; it is his blues playing. ‘Being known and referred to as a blues player is not a hindrance to me. If there’s anything that makes it easier for people to relate to me or if it’s easier to gain access to me than it’s all for the better’, Chris remarks. “I don’t shrink behind it or cringe from it because I love playing the blues.” I agree. It’s Chris’s prowess and originality in the blues field that has always made him an interest to me. So when I heard ‘Sweet Little Girl’ I knew Chris was drawing from one of his favorite blues masters; Howling Wolf. Back in the day when Chris was just a sideman in Bobby Mack and Night Train, Howling for My Darling was in every day rotation with the band when they played. It’s no surprise that the infectious rhythm and drive the song has would be inspiration down the years in his career. Written for his daughter, the vocal phrasing isn’t the same as Wolf but the ‘sweet’ sentiments he gives to his little girl is heartwarming. Then Chris quickly takes over when the solo romps and rolls along this jumping number. “Keeping this rhythm going isn’t as easy as it sounds” quips Duarte, “You always find out your studio limitations when you’ve got to track your rhythm tracks.” On the heels of Sweet Little Girl you’ve also got the Party swing song, ‘Bucked It Up’. “The male anthem for some of us” as Duarte claims as he has not been without his foibles in life. Why not poke fun with it and put your troubles in song. This song is just classic with the Hubert Summlin like tone on the lead and the rhythm guitar borrowing from piano phrasing and horn section kicks on the chorus. Later the solo tone turns towards a Buddy Guy styling and this party just rocks and rolls. Not to be forgotten is the ‘Stripper’ like tom-tom beats on the verses. Really like this song.
The title cut, ‘Leave My Soul Alone’ is Chris giving a nod towards the Black Keys. “I was first exposed to those guys when I did the Romp album.” “Our producer at the time, Dennis Herring, brought that song in, the Romp that is, and it was the Black Keys version of it.” It definitely has that stripped down sound with the classic vocal and guitar unison lines in it. With the verse rolling along like a tire with a bump on it, the song then blows wide open with the chorus and a rock and roll scream to “Leave My Soul Alone!” The guitars thicken up and the drums pound out the booms and the solo is an all-out assault on the instrument itself. Bending and twisting through sonic blasts and high vertical bends it settles back for another verse and then blows up again. Emotionally stirring this song deserves to be the title cut for its shear ferocity that it wields.
The last two cuts are more experimental and artistic reaches. “I just wanted to tell a story in one of the songs and this western motif I settled on was a lot of fun.” Telling the story of a young man that takes up and life of crime to feed his family is scattered among this country’s western lore. “I just wish I could write like Dylan” The guitar is playing this almost hypnotic folk type melody and the solo comes in mirroring the vocal line and then soaring on high as if it’s flying in the vast open Big Sky of the Midwestern plains. This song kind of hung with me after it was over. Then we have the most different of all the songs; Carelessness. “This is the name of a lodge that I met the violin player at during a jam we did in Northern California; Careless. The first song we jammed on was Freedom Jazz Dance and it was a blast.” Then when Mike Varney thought the collaboration between the two; violin and guitar, could yield some potential fireworks, Mike wanted to get Madz Tolling on one song with the upcoming album. So it was up to Chris to write one for the occasion and with that he drew on their first time together as inspiration. “Since it was Freedom Jazz Dance that brought us together then why not come up with a melody that’s angular and quirky like Jazz Dance.” Add a bit more spice with the solo section being in 7/8 time and then give a nod to one of Chris’s favorites John McGlaughlin and you’ve got the vehicle for a fusion tour de force. Madz violin just soars throughout the song with the agility and ease of a master conjuring up the voice of Jean Luc Ponty. Chris then answers in his unbounded energetic style that you can’t help but bop your head and smile while the drums lay down a furious barrage and the bass acts as the glue that brings it all together. One of the most adventurous songs Chris has put down so far in his career. I hope there are more like this one in the future
My opinion is that this is a level up in Chris’s all around skills. His songwriting is getting better, vocals phrasing and lyrics are better and his tone is still a marvel at how dexterous he can be with the varying styles he continues to display time and time again. Watching Chris grow has not been meteoric but it’s been steady and he’s still getting better on the guitar. In a time when most of our legends have been content to rest on their laurels and continue to mine familiar ground, it’s both a pleasure and refreshing to see that Chris always wants to expand and grow even after over 20 years of being on the road. Not many have the energy in them to do that and not many have the soul to pull it off.
Samantha Fish Is Playin’ Up a Storm on New Ruf Records CD, Black Wind Howlin’, Due September 10 Follow-Up Album to Her Blues Music Award-Winning Debut Was Produced by Mike Zito and Features Guest Appearances by Zito, Yonrico Scott, Charlie Wooton and Paul Thorn
KANSAS CITY, MO – Ruf Records announces a September 10 U.S. release date for Black Wind Howlin’, the new CD from blues-rock guitarist/singer Samantha Fish and follow-up to her 2012 Blues Music Award-winning label debut, Runaway. Produced by Mike Zito, who did the same honors on her last album, Black Wind Howlin’ was recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana, and features Samantha’s blazing guitar and vocals backed by Mike Zito on guitar and vocals, plus his fellow Royal Southern Brotherhood members Yonrico Scott on drums/percussion and Charlie Wooton on bass. Special guests include Paul Thorn on vocals, Johnny Sansone on harmonica and Bo Thomas on fiddle.
Kansas City-based Samantha Fish has been on a major roll ever since she teamed up with Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on Ruf’s 2011 release, Girls with Guitars, and fueled by the trio’s Blues Caravan tour of Europe and the U.S., created an international buzz in the blues world. Later that same year she recorded Runaway, her solo debut on Ruf, which mixed gutsy riff-blues rockers like “Down In The Swamp” with the mellow small-hours jazz of “Feelin’ Alright,” while marinating her songwriting in the groove of the Rolling Stones and even tipping a hat to Heart. “It’s all the sounds I grew up with,” she explained at the time, “with my own spin.” Earlier this year Samantha joined labelmate Devon Allman for a sultry duet of the Tom Petty classic, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” that appeared on Devon’s Turquoise CD and accompanying video.
Hitting a receptive international blues and rock press, Runaway was hailed as a thrilling opening statement, earning a string of rave reviews and radio airplay, climaxed by her winning the Blues Music Award (BMA) for “Best New Artist Debut” in 2012. “I’m truly humbled by the recognition,” Samantha said afterward. “I can barely wait to make record number two…”
Now, the wait is over, as Samantha Fish unleashes a major storm of her trademark guitar work and soulful vocals on Black Wind Howlin’. “It has a rebellious streak,” says the bandleader of her game-changing new album, “and a prevalent theme is, ‘I’m not gonna take your sh*t anymore…’”
No “sophomore slump” here, as Black Wind Howlin’ leaps from the speakers with 12 smoking tracks that chart Samantha’s evolution as songwriter, gunslinger and lyricist. “Since completing Runaway back in 2011, I’ve been on tour pretty much non-stop,” she proclaims. “I’ve spent a lot of time writing, playing and listening to music. I feel like the themes and the sound of my music have matured. To me, it’s about the human experience from my perspective, as well as people I’ve come into contact with over the last few years.”
With his hybrid of roots rock, blues, and sacred steel, Florida native Damon Fowler started wowing audiences with his musical exploits as a teenager, building a reputation as one of the hottest young players on the scene. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with critics extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise. In last year's "Best of Tampa" poll, Creative Loafing magazine named him "Best Guitarist... And Slide Guitarist... and Lap Steel Player... And Dobro Player."
Sugar Shack, Damon Fowler's Blind Pig Records debut showcases a fresh and exciting rising star at the height of his powers as a performer and writer. Damon's sparkling original compositions pair perfectly with well-chosen cover tunes from Billy Joe Shaver, Merle Haggard, and the Amazing Rhythm Aces. And Damon's soulful vocal delivery and instrumental prowess continually excite and delight. He said he was honored and excited about working with Blind Pig, noting that he's looking forward to furthering the blues tradition by "making roots music for my generation as well as for generations to come." Scott Cable, renowned for his work on Blind Pig's acclaimed comeback album by Nappy Brown, served as producer.
Fowler's guitar work has been compared to Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck, while his slide guitar has a hint of the late Duane Allman. He can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, but it's his lyrical work on lap steel and Dobro that makes him stand out among the legions of guitar heroes.
Reviewing a recent performance in Illinois, Juke Joint Soul said, "Fowler's heavy helping of swamp rock and slide guitar blues conjured up a huge lightning storm. Having full command of his voice as an equal instrument to his guitar, Fowler can easily croon you to sleep as he could belt out a jump blues or a Credence-like swamper. This kid has got the tools to take on the big stage."
Born and raised in Brandon, Florida, just outside of Tampa, Damon Fowler first picked up the guitar at the age of twelve. After being shown a few chords, it was apparent that he was a natural. While his friends were listening to the musical flavor of the month, Damon was digging into the Blues, and was soon playing small clubs in and around the Tampa Bay area. Years later, with thousands of shows behind him, he is one of the most unique and seasoned artists on the national circuit.
Damon, already a master of the six string, developed a powerful command of the lap-steel, dobro, and slide guitars, and continues to astound audiences at every performance. Because of his versatility, he has been called upon to work with such acts as Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Robin Trower, Gregg Allman, Jimmy Vaughn, Junior Brown, Rick Derringer, Little Feat, The Radiators, Chris Duarte, Delbert McClinton, and numerous others.
Damon's first CD, released in 1999 and titled Riverview Drive, is a solid recording of all original material. After hearing Damon, Rick Derringer was sufficiently impressed to produce and perform on the project. Electric Blues called it "an all-around solid effort," with "plenty of strong guitar jams." In a review of Damon's second self-released CD, 2000's Roots And Branches, Robert Murphy wrote, "He doesn't just play the blues, he feels it and it shows in most everything he does. He has the style and guitar chops to please the guitar freaks and the singing ability and personality to please the women in the audience." In 2003, Damon released a sizzling live album called Live At Skipper's Smoke House. It garnered quite a bit of attention. As Gary Weeks wrote in Southwest Blues CD Review, "When one hears Fowler's shit kickin' slide on "Sweet Marmalade" and his ultimate Warren Haynes' slide impersonations on Johnny Winter's "TV Mama", you wonder how such a good thing can stay buried. Take a listen to the CD of The Damon Fowler Group Live and you won't need too much convincing... If you're not feeling a groove, then check your pulse."
Local, state and national audiences are flocking to Damon's sizzling stage shows. Described as having a 'take-no-prisoners' attitude, his trio generates powerful energy and presents a dynamic and dramatic delivery. Fans in the audience get swept up in the moment, and there's no doubt the guys on stage are having a ball performing.
Sugar Shack's producer Scott Cable remarked at the end of the sessions, "Working with Damon, I really understood why so many people are in his corner. He is talented, bright and just a very gifted artist without all of the usual ego and weirdness that sometimes accompany someone so talented. Catching someone like Damon on their way up is a refreshing experience."
A guitar prodigy from the age of four, South Texas born Brent Johnson always knew where he wanted his playing to take him. Drinking in the very best of Blues, Jazz, Rock, Punk, Country and World Music, by the time his family moved to New Orleans in his teens, he was predestined towards a career in music.
Writing his own material, Brent formed several high-school bands, all with a lean to the Blues, then joined ‘Under The Gun’, who built a considerable following on the local live circuit in Louisiana and beyond. As admiring of the style of The Clash, Albert King, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix, Albert Collins or Black Flag and Thelonius Monk, Brents passion for playing was immediate and intense for his audience.
By serendipity, New Orleans’ legendary ‘Braille Blues Daddy’ Bryan Lee heard Brent's playing and immediately recognized his virtuosity, drive and dedication to his Craft and to the Blues. At 22, Brent was seconded into Bryan Lee and the Blues Power Band with whom he has recorded and toured nationally and internationally for the past ten years.
Brent credits Bryan as an ever encouraging Mentor, sharing and expanding his deep love of the Blues and playing guitar; “ playing with Bryan has really helped me open my ears. For example, Bryan always had keyboard players before I joined him – so I had to learn how to play like an organist, like a horn section – how to play rhythm like a group of instruments... instead of solely like a guitarist. I’ve learned how to swing, how to play be-bop and also how to take that aggression that I love and give it room to move – new colors to paint with”.
Through his long association with Bryan Lee, Brent has played many major Jazz and Blues Festivals around the world and had the pleasure of playing with many outstanding Blues Artists such as Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks, Eddie Shaw, Gatemouth Brown, Michael Burks, David Maxwell, Bruce Katz, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Howlin Wolf associate Hubert Sumlin. Some from this circle have given Brent great accolades for his abilities as a player, a fact he underplays.
In between touring with Bryan Lee, Brent went out on the road with John Perkins (drums) and Bill Blok (bass) playing Brent's original compositions, with himself on vocals. They garnered a great response and decided to go into the recording studio, with the inclusion of Wayne Lohr on keyboards.
Brent Johnson and The Call Up release their debut album ‘ Set The World On Fire’ in ‘2014’ through the renowned Justin-Time Records out of Montreal . Owner Jim West is a longtime fan and gave Brent free rein over the material and production. Renowned musicians Sonny Landreth and Alvin Youngblood Hart guest on several tracks at Brent's invitation, and he is looking forward to releasing and touring these original songs and feeling the reaction to his work from an audience.
“My sound is rooted in the Blues, though I don’t pretend to be a purist, and I don’t want to be” he explains, “ I write music based on my experiences and the sounds I grew up with... I never want to pretend that I had the same experiences as the old Bluesmen did – so I’m not going to go around trying to sound like them. What I do is put the emphasis on the feeling of the music, the passion, the urgency, the directness – that’s the goal”.
Brent describes himself as “always a guitarslinger... I always loved songwriters and wrote songs for myself”.
Interestingly, despite an omnivorous musical appetite and a very distinct love of Blues, Brent, when pushed , would list his four favourite songwriters as eclectic Houston guitarist Chris Whitley, Austin's own Ian Moore,( a writer himself influenced by World, Folk and Blues music), along with British stalwarts Elvis Costello and Joe Strummer. He describes his favourite music as “raw, honest and dirty.”
As his debut album comes of the press, Brent emphasises his commitment to keep writing his own songs –“ I want to bring something to the audience that sounds familiar but that is our own in the end”. Always demonstrating his creativity in his playing, he is excited and apprehensive about putting his own songs before the public. “I believe there are no limits – I’m going to have fun with this for a long time!”
What do you get when you combine an inner calling, a sick passion and an uncommon urgency with The Blues, Rock N’ Roll and Americana?... You get the highly evolved musical madness of guitarist Duffy Kane. Duffy is a man who just wants to play guitar. His music is as diverse as he is American. His fever for the guitar is evident in his sheer electricity on stage. Like a volcano that is ready to erupt… Duffy is the real deal on stage and off.
Born in Weirton WV, Duffy Kane was surrounded by the sounds of Jazz, Classical, Blues and Country. A classically trained violist; he altered his knowledge of the violin and easily transferred it to the guitar. A self taught guitar player with a classically trained ear is the foundation for Duffy’s provocative guitar style. His mother was a guitar player. When Duffy was a kid there was a beat up guitar that sat in the corner of his living room. Duffy remembers grieving as a child because his yearning to pick up that guitar was so strong but his father forbade him. That created even more of a yearning to grab that guitar and let it rip! Finally, when he was 16… he saved enough money to buy his own Les Paul and never looked back.
A cross between Stevie Ray Vaughan’s musicianship and Ted Nugent’s stage presence… his style evolved into a need. He started playing festivals and performed with Blues greats: Johnny Winter, Big Jack Johnson, Tino Gonzales, Debbie Davies, Sonny Rhodes, the Nighthawks, and Smokey Wilson. He recorded his first studio album Let Your Insides Do the Talking at 16th Avenue Sound in Nashville with Grammy nominated producer Brian Hardin (Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Daniels).
Duffy Kane’s new record is set for release Spring 2014 and has been inspired by Duffy’s need to tell his story. The debut album touches on geo politics but is not preachy. Duffy says, “I write to wake people up to the true nature of the geo political dogs that are screwing up our planet. I feel the need to present the truth and music is a safe way to do that... well maybe not safe… but a good way to convey emotion.”
The debut single entitled “I’ve Been Lied To” deals with the lies and disappointments that Duffy has experienced in the music business It stretches tonal boundaries and introduces more colorful, harmonic passages.. The second single, “Why My Road” is a slow cooked tribute to Texas Blues. Kane’s musicianship is based deep within the roots of The Blues while showcasing his original signature sound.
Duffy’s new work aims at powerful and wins. The songs will make you laugh and cry and will hopefully enlighten. Duffy says, “The songs on this album are really about being an individual in the light of truth and not in darkness. They are my own personal struggles to choose the light. I want to do what is good and I hope I can help others through my music and my message.”
Duffy is currently on tour throughout the Northeast. Seeing Duffy live is an experience that will uplift your soul. He’s been called aRoadhouse Mozart and that name follows him because of the truth behind it. A rogue renaissance musician who is ahead of his time… Duffy is a man on the run. Please check his website: www.duffykane.com for tour dates.
Chris’s musical background includes duties as lead singer and front man for rock and roll hall of famer and Grammy award winner Levon Helm’s band The Barnburners. During the 6 years that Chris and Levon played together they toured across the US and Canada lighting up stages everywhere they went.
Chris has appeared on stage with: Legendary Rolling Stones sideman Bobby Keys, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmy Vivino, Jeff Healy, Dan Akroyd, Albert Lee, Dave Edmunds, Dave Maxwell and the great James Cotton to name just a few. Chris has also recorded with Bill Perry and Hubert Sumlin among others.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Johnny Neel blind at birth cut his first single at the age of twelve, as Johnny Neel and The Shapes Of Soul. As an adult, the Johnny Neel Band had a strong following up and down the East Coast and released two well-received independent albums; “One Hot Night& “You Shoulda’ Been There”. Neel moved to Nashville, the premiere song writing city, in 1984. Where he immediately became recognized a session “A” studio player. Others began to notice Neel’s songwriting talent and decided to take advantage by recording his songs on their albums.
Performing with various bands in area clubs drew the attention of former Nashville resident Dickie Betts, who asked Neel to join his road band, and begin working on Dickie’s solo LP for Epic Records. That relationship led to seven cuts on the “Pattern Disruptive” LP including the Top 10 AOR hit, “Rock Bottom.” Neel’s talented keyboard and harp playing on that album convinced Gregg Allman to ask Neel to tour with his road band.
Neel decided to join the reunited Allman Brothers Band, immersing himself in a successful tour, which led to a number one AOR smash hit during the summer of 1990. Car radios all across America blasted “Good Clean Fun”, from the Seven Turns Album, co-written by Neel with Allman and Betts. The chart topping hit provided the reunited Allmans with their highest charting single since “Ramblin’ Man” fifteen years prior. Neel’s songs have been recorded by such artist’s as “Montgomery/Gentry, Delbert McClinton, John Mayall, John Louis Walker and many others…. Johnny Neel is a recipient of the “Life Time Achievment Award” from the 2012 Grammy’s with his work with the Allman Brothers.
In 2000 Neel released “Late Night Breakfast”, which was recorded at his studio, Straight Up Sound Studio, with the members of his band, “The Last Word”, and special guests such as Shane Theriot (The Neville Brothers), Rick Vito (Fleetwood Mac) and Wayne Jackson (The Memphis Horns). This record was released on Neel’s label, Breakin’ Records, which showcased his pleading vocals as well as brilliant piano, B-3 and harp work.
During that same period of time the recordings were made, Neel also became a member of Blue Floyd, a premiere jam band with variations on the material of Pink Floyd. In addition to Neel, band members were comprised of Marc Ford (Black Crowes), Matt Abts (Gov’t Mule), Berry Oakley Jr. (OKB Band & Bloodline) and, the late Allen Woody (Gov’t Mule).
Neel and Abts went into the Straight Up Sound Studio: www.straightupsoundstudio.com and record the X2 project which was graciously received by fans and the media.
More recently, Neel has toured with the Italian rock band W.I.N.D. and has recorded the proclaimed “Italian Experience in 2002, and they are looking forward to record again….
Neel has released on Breakin’ Records “Gun Metal Blue, Criminal Element Vol 1 & 2, and Vol 3 along with a DVD. Johnny also has contributed tracks on the Truckers Tracks compilation series: www.truckerstracks.com
In 2010 he released a solo effort titled “Harmonious” with a mini documentary that featured a intimate side of Neel never seen or heard
In 2012 Johnny is releasing his eighth solo effort titled “Every Kinda’ Blues”, this release has every kinda blues that you never heard before. This recording has been well received by the blues community and features two (LIVE) tracks with the Italian band W.I.N.D., as well as tracks that cover all variety of the blues. a man with boundless energy, Neel still manages to juggle studio work, local club gigs, road work and hit song writing, and somehow between the chaos maintains his sanity
“They say that you can’t do it all; Hell, I’m trying to prove ‘em wrong.” – Johnny Neel
* Grammy nomination for keyboard work as an Allman Brothers Band member on the instrumental cut, “True Gravity” LP from the Seven Turns album
* ASCAP Country Award for “Take The Long Way Home” recorded by John Schneider
* BMI Citation Award as a member of The Allman Brothers Band
* Vocalist of The Year – 2001 Bands of Dixie Magazine (France) Readers Poll
Television / Movie / Video Appearances
* XXXS and OOOS (Movie)
* Good Clean Fun (Video) – MTV Unplugged
* CBS This Morning
* The Tonight Show
* Nashville Now
* Music City Tonight
* Volunteer Jam – TNN
JP started playing guitar at the age of 10 and it was clear that something special was happening here. This “Something Special” was recognized by legendary bluesman Sam “Bluzman” Taylor. Sam took JP under his wing and began to school him on the blues, or what Sam use to call “SAMerizing”. It was under Sam’s watchful eye that JP began to flourish as a musician and a bluesman!
JP has had the pleasure of either performing with or opening for such legendary artists asMichael Falzarano (Hot Tuna), Chris Beard, Debbie Davies, Pete Sears (Jefferson Starship), Buddy Cage (New Riders), Kerry Kearney (Marty Balin), Phil Grande (Joe Cocker), Scott Holt (Buddy Guy), Dennis Innessibuw (Robert Plant), Sam Bluzman Taylor, , Derek Trucks, Johnny Winter, Robben Ford, Joe Bonamassa, Kofi Burbridge (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Yonrico Scott (Derek Trucks), Todd Smallie (Derek Trucks)
JP released his first CD in 2009 called, “Die Happy”. In that same year JP went on to compete in the International Blues Competition representing The Long Island Blues Society. The JPBlues band, at the time consisted of Pat Adkins (Gary US Bonds, Chuck Berry) on Drums and John Young (Ryan Leslie) on Bass. At the time JP was 17 and was one of the youngest competitors to have entered into the IBC. Competing in the same venue, was Ruff Records recording artist Oli Brown. He and JP struck up a fast friendship. Also in the same venue was the band “Trampled under Foot”, who went on to win the whole competition. In 2010, JP once again competed in the IBC this time as lead guitarist for the band Frank Latorre and the King Bees. Frank Latorre, can be heard on Johnny Winters Roots CD as well as many other great recordings. Ironically competing in the same club that Year was Grady Champion, who, you guessed it, won the whole competition.
His second CD, “I Will Not Go Quietly” charted on Roots Music Report for radio airplay at #4 and remained on the RMR charts for 28 weeks straight. It was also voted by RMR as Top Blues CDs of 2011. Giving JPBlues the nod, this CD has special appearances by Albert Castiglia andCaroline Aiken! This was unprecedented for an independent artist!
After graduating High School, JP realized that music was going to be his career. So, while touring and Playing the local NY blues scene, he attended “Five Towns College” where he received a degree in Music Business. He knew that if he was to be successful as a musician and a band leader, he needed to become as adept at business as he had become at performance.
In 2011, JPBlues left the New York blues scene and moved to Atlanta Georgia. It is here that he met his drummer Shiloh Bloodworth, and in 2013 they both were hired to back Australian blues artist “Anni Piper” (Blues Leaf Records) on her first US tour, which was a great success. With the addition of Tony Hossri, JPBlues had put together a power trio, which took to the road and toured throughout the Northeast and South.
JP’s newest CD,”Make Room at the Table”, was released in Sept 2013 and has received critical acclaim from the blues press and continues to chart on RMR Blues airplay Charts. Once again some of the top musicians in the Atlanta area came out to give JPBlues a nod and contribute to his latest CD, in addition to his new Band. Both Yonrico Scott (Derek Trucks, Royal Southern Brotherhood) and Todd Smallie (Derek Trucks, JJ and Mofo) appear on this new CD.
JP was voted by www.Truefire.com as one of their TOP 100 GUITARISTS “YOU SHOULD KNOW”!
It is clear that JPBlues searing, soulful guitar gives hope to the rebirth of passion and soul in music!
JP Soars is not a typical blues guitarist. He has a diverse musical background that encompasses a multitude of influences. " I love T-bone Walker, Jesse May Hemphill, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, Muddy Waters, Johnny Guitar Watson, Guitar Slim and Louis Jordan. But I also love Tito Puente, Miles Davis, Hank Williams, Black Sabbath and Slayer." Soars toured the globe and recorded several records with some of the most extreme metal bands in the world before finding his home in the blues! It is these attributes that are giving Soars an instantaneously recognizable style. ……… "When I first heard JP Soars I knew right away that he was separate from the rest of the pack" Jimmy Thackery……
Soars is also a prolific songwriter, penning a number of tunes in his repertoire himself. His first blues cd Back of My Mind 2008 garnered rave reviews and received a considerable amount of airplay on XM Radio's Bluesville; Comcast digital and other blues stations aroundthe world and continues to do so. Soars' newest release More Bees With Honey 2011 was voted 2nd coolest cd of the year for 2011 by Little Steven and his Underground Garage XmRadio station! It was also in the top 5 click to pick for weeks on BB Kings Bluesville. Xm Radio. More Bees With Honey has earned Soars a BMA "blues music award" nomination for Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist of the year!
One of the most intriguing components in Soars' musical arsenal is his use of a two-string homemade guitar that he and his brother made. ……"Its basically a plywood box, a stick, two strings and a pickup"…………. By applying a modern approach to a primitive instrument Soars manages to conjure up sounds that usually leave folks in disbelief.
In February 2009 Soars and His Band took home top honors in Memphis TN by winning first place in the IBC "International Blues Challenge" as well as the coveted Albert King award for most promising guitarist. That win combined with Soars' intense work ethic, pure passion for the music he plays, a constant desire to improve and a continual strive for "customer satisfaction" has allowed Soars and Company to develop themselves into an in demand international touring band that is growing day by day, week by week and year after year.
Lil’ Ronnie & the Grand Dukes are, to quote one reviewer, "...the real deal! ... superb talents well versed in traditional blues". While Ronnie & the band are well schooled in all styles of blues they also use elements of 50's r&b, soul, vintage rock & roll & jazz in their unique blend of American roots music. They are led by harpist, singer/songwriter and Hohner Harmonica endorsee Ronnie Owens. Ronnie has been performing since 1963 and has been fronting his own bands for over 30 years. He has played with and opened shows for some of the biggest names in the blues world, John lee Hooker, James Cotton, Taj Mahal, Gatemouth Brown, Carey Bell, Anson Funderburgh / Sam Mayers, Big Bill Morganfield, Mark Hummel's renowned 'Blues Harmonica Blow Out' and many, many others.
Ronnie and his band 'the Grand Dukes' are a critically acclaimed touring band and play anywhere from funky little blues bars, where the music was invented to major blues festivals, including a swinging, jumpin' night as headline artist at New York's prestigious Lincoln Center. They have earned the reputation as an exciting must see band. The band has released 4 top shelf rockin' CDs. The most recent,
'Gotta Starnge Feeling' debut at # 6 on Roots Music Radio Report and reached # 14
on the Living Blues Radio top 25 Charts. You can also hear it on Sirus / XM radio's 'Bluesville'.
Bob Margolin is a Blues guitar player and vocalist, a recording artist who tours worldwide both leading his own band and The Bob Margolin All-Star Blues Jam. He won a Blues Music Awardfor Guitar in 2008, known as the W.C. Handy Award in 2005 when he won that year, and played guitar in Muddy Waters’ Band from 1973-’80.
He can be seen with Muddy Waters and The Band in The Last Waltz, the classic music documentary. His most recent album is The Bob Margolin All-Star Blues Jam for Telarc Records, which features many of today’s surviving Chicago Blues legends. Since the ‘90s, he has also recorded albums for the Powerhouse, Alligator, and Blind Pig labels. He writes a regular column for Blues Revue magazine and contributes to BluesWax.com online magazine.
Bob also has played on, produced or consulted on, and written liner notes for four reissues of Muddy Waters’ albums on the Sony/Legacy label. He appears on the Muddy Waters Classic Concerts DVD, playing in 1977 with Muddy and writing liner notes for the DVD.
In today’s Blues music scene, Bob Margolin is carrying on the tradition with a full schedule of festivals, concerts, and club appearances. For more details and depth, visit the other links on this website.
Moreland & Arbuckle crafted three self-produced album in rapid-fire succession – Caney Valley Blues in 2005, Floyd’s Market in 2006 and 1861 in 2008. “There have been times in the past when I’ve gone on a rant that we’re not writing enough,” says Moreland. “But then I look at our catalog and say, ‘Well, that’s stupid. We’ve put out all this stuff in a short period of time.’ When I look at it that way, I’d say we’re fairly prolific.”
The band took that hefty catalog to Iraq for nearly two weeks in the fall of 2008 to play for the American troops stationed there. “It was a crazy awesome experience,” says Moreland. “Super-grueling. Twelve days of about four hours of sleep per day. From a physical standpoint, it was pretty tough. But to go into a tattered, war-torn area where tens of thousands of fellow Americans were putting their lives on the line every day, minute by minute, was a very rewarding experience. I’d never experienced anything like it before.”
Moreland & Arbuckle made their debut on Telarc International, a division of Concord Music Group, with the February 2010 release of Flood. The critically-acclaimed album was a giant step in the group’s never-ending quest to unearth the rawest and most honest elements of the American music tradition – without getting caught up in definitions and categories that would only serve to limit the vision.
After the release of Flood, Moreland & Arbuckle hit the road for tour dates with ZZ Top, George Thorogood, Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Los Lonely Boys and other blues and rock veterans.
Moreland & Arbuckle built on that solid foundation with the August 2011 release of Just A Dream. Featuring a guest appearance by legendary soul guitarist Steve Cropper, the 12-song set is a showcase for Moreland’s dynamic and compelling guitar work and Arbuckle’s emotionally charged vocals and edgy harp.
On July 30, 2013, Moreland & Arbuckle, along with new drummer Kendall Newby, are set to release 7 Cities, their most ambitious work ever. Teamed for the first time with Seattle-based producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, the Sword) and recorded in Stone Gossard’s studio, the album tells the story of Spanish explorer Coronado and his fabled search for the seven cities of gold in the Kansas plains, not far from where the band lives. The sounds of 7 Cities include vintage rock (“Kow Tow”) and twang (“The Devil and Me”), along with a few barnburners (“Tall Boogie,” “Road Blind”) and a surprising version of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” all of it rooted in the spirit of the Delta blues.
“It’s hard to say exactly what we are and what we do,” says Arbuckle. “Blues is definitely at the core, but we’re huge fans of all sorts of American music, and all of that comes through as well. Obviously, there are elements of traditional country in what we do, elements of vintage rock and roll, soul and all that sort of stuff. We always try to stay grounded in that traditional blues center, and at the same time branch out and do as many different things as we can while still keeping it consistent with the sound we’ve developed.”
The Nighthawks are: Mark Wenner - vocals, harmonica; Johnny Castle - vocals, bass; Paul Bell -guitar; and Mark Stutso - drums, vocals. The new CD was recorded at the Severn Studios in Annapolis and produced by The Nighthawks and David Earl.
“This is a totally cool moment to be into my 41st year as a Nighthawk, the last of the originals, as we release our first album with the band as it is today, the band I have been working toward since early 1972,” says Mark Wenner. “Paul Bell and Johnny Castle are deep into a decade with the band. Mark Stutso, after two years of hard road and 500 shows, at last appears on his first album as a Nighthawk. Singing lead on five tunes and involved in the creation of four, he and Johnny are a magnificent groove machine. And the harmonies! I dreamed of them, too, when I began dreaming of a band like this.”
Going into their fifth decade, The Nighthawks are blessed to have three strong lead singers, and they take advantage of the unique qualities of the trio of Wenner, Stutso and Castle. The wide array of originals and covers demonstrates The Nighthawks’ great strength as a true American roots music band. They roar through a repertoire of everything from blues and soul to rock and rhythm and blues on Damn Good Time. Bassist Johnny Castle contributes the romping “Bring Your Sister,” and also sings on a version of Jimmy McCracklin’s “Georgia Slop.” The band also taps into the songbooks of good friends and kindred spirits Billy Price and Norman Nardini, and serves up spirited takes on classics from Elvis (“Too Much”), Nat King Cole (“Send for Me”) and Wilbert Harrison (“Let’s Work Together’), as well as a raucous “Smack Dab in the Middle.”
In addition to their stellar catalogue of acclaimed albums released since 1974, The Nighthawks have long enjoyed wonderful touring and recording relationships with some of the best and brightest names in roots and blues music. On their 1978 release, Jacks and Kings, they backed up such blues all-stars as Pinetop Perkins, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Calvin Jones and Bob Margolin, and backed up John Hammond on his Hot Tracks album. The Nighthawks have toured with John Hammond, as well as John Lee Hooker, Hubert Sumlin, Elvin Bishop, Tracy Nelson and Eddie Hinton, and have played with such national treasures as Muddy Waters and Carl Perkins. Over the years, several other star artists have become de facto members of the band at various times, including Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes and Bob Margolin.
The Nighthawks continue to be one of the hardest-working bands on the road and have an extensive national and European tour set up to promote Damn Good Time, including showcase club dates and festival shows. The band is booked by Blue Mountain Artists
From way down South, here come The Nouveaux Honkies. This violin, guitar, bass and drum quartet are Roots and Roll that Rocks.
“If Johnny Cash and Freddy King had a baby it would be the Nouveaux Honkies,” said the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.
Their 2007 self titled cd won best roots band in Palm Beach County. Their 2008 cd “Where Do I Go” hit #3 on the National Roots
Country (Americana) Ch...art, “Roots Music Report” and 48 weeks later was still on the charts when their 2009 cd “Live at Sun” was in
the top 30 on the National Roots Blues Chart. Blues Revue Magazine linked their sound to the Stones, with hints of Dire Straights,
Curtis Mayfield, Hendrix and Howlin’ Wolf. Singer/guitarist, Patrick Timothy O’Donnell’s vocal style was said to be “an amalgam
of Van Morrison and Willy De Ville.” Add in violinist, Rebecca Dawkins with her crafty lead lines and poppy rhythms and their
unique blend of blues, swing and countryis described as a reinvention of the musical wheel. The group has been touring since
July of 08’. Thier live show is an elegant display of frenzied mayhem. Their summer tour of 09’ put the band through the
northeast with Elmore magazine naming them their favorite newcomer at The Rhythm and Roots Festival in Rhode Island. 2010
started with work on their upcoming LP entitled “Your Town”.
Ray Fuller from New Albany Ohio, was given his first guitar at the age of 8, a Gibson Melody Maker. At an early age, Fuller was inspired by the British Invasion; Rolling Stones, Yardbirds and the Animals bands. Fuller’s first Blues album he ever heard was John Mayall and the Blues Breakers featuring Eric Clapton. “I could tell good blues guitar when I heard it…it was different.”
Fuller’s passion for the Blues was fueled with the discovery of the original Blues greats; John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, BB King, Elmore James. Young Ray Fuller was especially fond of John Lee Hooker.
The Ray Fuller Band was formed in 1974, evolving into Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers in 1978; releasing a self titled album on vinyl and Fuller has not looked back since. Mastering his craft throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Fuller was quick to become the “go to act” throughout Ohio to open for iconic Blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Albert Collins to name a few.
MUDDY WATERS after witnessing an opening act performance by Ray Fuller on slide guitar exclaimed for all to hear "That was some hot slide boy! I could smell the smoke backstage!
JOHN LEE HOOKER was so impressed with the band and their performance that he took Ray and his entire band and the John Lee Hooker band out to dinner and picked up the tab. He then invited Ray Fuller to be his special guest at his next show 100 miles away the very next day!
These opportunities to hang out and learn at the feet of the masters were not wasted on young Ray. He paid close attention to every pearl of wisdom and every nasty riff and blues lick generously shown to him as an eager student of the blues.
In 1989 Fuller began touring as far west as Colorado, south to Florida and north to Michigan and New York. Fuller released “Damn Guitars” in 1989 which was quick to become a top seller for Rounder Records; followed by “Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers Live” in 1992.
Touring paused with the end of Fuller’s marriage which ended in true blues fashion in 1995. This break up inspired many great songs, still receiving airplay today. Fuller went on to release “Pearlene” in 1997; Twist of Fate in 1999 and in 2003 “Live Rockin’ the Blues.”
With new determination and new marriage in 2009 Fuller pressed on. In 2010, Fuller played his first overseas show at the Vodacom Ampitheatre in Port Elizabeth South Africa, donating all proceeds to a local South African friend/fellow musician whose daughter was fighting a life threatening illness.
Under new management in 2010, Fuller began focusing on his passion for slide guitar, playing in his own style which has been compared to and inspired by Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor and even Earl Hooker (cousin of John Lee Hooker). Fuller found himself in demand with renewed focus on his unique style of “Rockin’ Slide Guitar Blues”; playing major Blues Festivals in both USA and Canada. In January 2013, Ray Fuller signed with Blue Gate Media, Germany, to tour Europe!
Coming full circle from being a young musician/painter straight out of Columbus College of Art & Design opening up for the great Buddy Guy, Ray Fuller is now a Saturday night Headliner at the world famous Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago IL! In-fact April 27, 2013 Fuller had the honor and rare privilege of recording Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers “LIVE at Buddy Guy’s Legends” with Mr. Buddy Guy in attendance! “LIVE at Buddy Guy’s Legends” CD will be released April 15, 2014, using Blind Raccoon, Memphis TN as the publicist.
Ray Fuller’s immediate focus is on bringing his unique “Rockin’ Slide Guitar Blues” to Blues Festivals and major Blues venues throughout USA, Canada, Europe and beyond; putting on high energy, dynamic performances full of fire and energy audiences won’t soon forget!
"Sounds like Elmore James and Houndog Taylor tempered with the rowdiness of George Thorogood." -- Guitar Player Magazine
The USA Bluesrockers:
Harmonicist Doc Malone brings a ton of stage presence with his performances! Bassist Lenny Fatigati and drummer Daryl Jumperare the driving force behind our tight rhythm section, "Totally in the pocket" - Living Blues Magazine Together they are an unstoppable force of rockin' blues energy! !
With his latest album, …Before The Beginning, Anthony Gomes offers a powerful collection of unplugged compositions, promising to be the artist’s most compelling work to date. “On this CD I wanted to show that there is more to our music than loud, ripping guitars. By stripping everything down, we could feature the voice and songs. I wanted to capture the spirit of the old field hollers and get back to where the music came from,” says Gomes, “We only used acoustic instruments – drums, piano, acoustic guitars and acoustic bass. The most powerful of all the acoustic instruments is the human voice. When you put the harmonies in there, it’s just soul shaking.”
Born in Toronto, Canada to a Portuguese father and a French-Canadian mother, Gomes began playing guitar in his early teens and was drawn to the blues sounds of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. While he honed his skills in the blues bars at night, Gomes earned a master’s degree from the University of Toronto focusing on the racial evolution of blues music. He relocated to Chicago in the late '90s to learn from the blues masters. During his brief stint as a sideman for Magic Slim and the Teardrops, Gomes put together his own group and won the first annual Buddy Guy’s Legends “Best Unsigned Blues Band” competition in 1998. Later that year, Gomes released his debut CD, Blues in Technicolor, which introduced him as a guitar-slinger loaded with impressive firepower.
On 2002's Unity, he accomplished the album's title with a heavy mix of styles leading Bandit Blues Radio to name it one of the Top 30 Essential Blues CDs of all time. Gomes was elevated to the top of the blues field just one year later when BluesWax Magazine named him “Artist of the Year,” an award he would claim for several years in a row due to his endless commitment and touring. Music Is the Medicine (2006) peaked at number four
on the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart, only to be outdone by LIVE (2008) debuting at number one. Last year, Gomes received critical acclaim for his release of Up 2 Zero. The album claimed “Best Blues CD of 2012” (A1 Blues.com) and “Best Blues Rock CD of 2012” (Blues Underground Network). Art Tipaldi, Editor of Blues Revue, declared Gomes “at the forefront of modern blues.” Anthony recently climbed to the number one position on Reverbnation’s Global Blues Chart.
Instead of following up with more of the same, Gomes boldly steps back to deliver an acoustic recording showcasing his vocals, songwriting, and acoustic guitar work. “I feel like this is my most soulful release to date. The album has a lot of weight to it. The theme is the cycle and circle of life.” The disc opens with the title track, “…Before The Beginning,” a stirring field holler equally rooted in the gospel tradition as it is the blues. Gomes follows with the upbeat “Blues Is Good” and the powerful first single “Lady Soul”. “The song was written about Aretha Franklin and how her music helped me get through some tough times. She really has been a light when the world can sometimes get dark,” says Gomes. The album includes the haunting slow blues of “Rescue Me,” the inspiring “Love Is Everything,” and the ominous “Sinner’s Song.”
The CD features another first for the singer-songwriter – his first recorded duet. “I wrote this song called ‘Let’s Fall in Love’ and I thought it would work best as a duet. My favorite singer is Minnie Murphy from Nashville, and I thought she’d be perfect for the song. I am delighted she agreed to sing on the CD.” With the exception of three co-writes, Gomes penned the album in its entirety; a gesture he feels gives his listeners a direct line to himself as an artist. The most personal tracks on the CD are “Golden Wings” and “Beautiful Goodbye.” The former was inspired by Gomes’ survival of a massive vehicle fire while on tour this past fall, and the latter chronicles the last conversation between the bluesman and his grandmother. “My grandmother took sick when we were on the road in the middle of Montana. There was no way I could get to an airport quick enough to fly and see her. We talked on the phone and when we said good-bye we both knew it would be last time we’d speak. The world stood still for a moment.” Releasing an acoustic album is a gutsy move for Gomes who is seen in the music community as a high energy blues rocker. The artist, however, believes that the source of the blues comes from the same place, regardless of presentation. “Musically, most people try to look ahead for inspiration, seeking out the latest cutting edge soundscape. I seem to go in the opposite direction. In awakening the sounds of Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson, I hear the future of the blues tradition. This time, we went way back. This album is so yesterday, that it’s today.”
The sultry vocals of Australian blues performer Anni Piper attracted significant overseas interest & saw her sign with Blues Leaf Records (USA) in 2008. The ‘Blues Leaf’ catalogue includes releases by many successful American performers including the award-winning Janiva Magness. Piper’s latest CD 'Split Second' was recorded at Showplace Studios in New Jersey, USA & has received rave reviews since its release in April 2013, debuting at #3 on the USA RMR Blues charts.
The album features Piper’s bass playing talents throughout and this time she shares vocal duties with talented Florida based beauty Nicole Hart. The Blues Leaf bombshells beguile listeners with butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-your-mouth harmonies and heart-rending ballads of love gone sour. But as well as showing their sweet side, there’s a little spice with diverse originals and covers from Janis Joplin to Ronnie Earl.
Anni Piper began playing electric guitar at 12 years old, but became a devoted musician when she got her first bass at age 14. She quickly discovered an affinity with the instrument, preferring to lay down a groove rather than scream out a solo. Piper’s musical ability and strong focus led her to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Contemporary Music) at Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW, at the age of 19.
Piper remembers with clarity the first time she heard the blues back in her school days
“It was Paul Butterfield Blues Band playing ‘Born in Chicago’ - I knew straight away this was the direction I was heading.” she says.
In early 2004 Piper made the decision to record ‘Jailbait’ (BMM287.2), her debut CD. The album was an immediate success, winning the category of ‘Best New Talent’ at the 2005 Australian Blues Music Awards, plus making finalist for ‘Best Female Vocal’. Piper also achieved first place in the 2004 ABC Radio ‘Fresh Air’ competition. These weren’t the only accolades for ‘Jailbait’ and Piper went on to become a top 5 finalist in the blues category of the 2004 MusicOz competition, and garnered 2nd place in the blues category of the 2005 Australian National Songwriting Contest.
Piper’s second album ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ was recorded in early 2007. It was a much ‘rawer’ recording, and represented Piper’s live sound at the time more effectively than her first album. Already acknowledged as being an accomplished bass player and singer, this album showed that Piper had blossomed into a songwriter of distinction; her songs having a blues sensibility whilst still addressing the issues of today.
Piper’s USA debut, titled ‘Two’s Company’ was released in January 2009 and hit #1 on the Australian Roots music charts and # 21 on the USA ‘Living Blues’ chart.
‘Chasin’ Tail’ was launched in February 2010 at the Australian Blues Music Festival & has also been released by Blues Leaf Records world wide to rave reviews. For this album, Anni employed a tougher sound, influenced by the blues / rock idols she enjoyed in her youth.
Other career achievements include nomination as a top five finalist in the 2010 Musicoz Awards in the Blues / Roots category, and finalist in the 2009 APRA Professional Development Awards. Piper was also a finalist for ‘Best Female Vocal’ at the 2008 Australian Blues Music Awards and received a nomination for the ‘Rudy Brandsma’ award at the 2007 Australian National Songwriting Contest.
"Her smoky alto is a striking instrument, but the way she harnesses its earthy power reflects a maturity that's also found in her frank songwriting. The result is a combination of polished craft and gut-level emotion that is a knockout, and earns Sicilia the right to comparisons between herself and James."
- Philadelphia Inquirer
"...Sounding like a Petri dish mixture of mature Maria Muldaur and mature Bonnie Raitt, this mostly original set is going to force the blues world to take notice of Sicilia all over again as she adds the rhythm to the blues and brings on the soul. A solid set from a vocalist with real chops that just keep getting honed sharper, contemporary blues vocal fans will find this set indispensable. Killer stuff throughout."
Eric was instantly embraced by a knowing European fan base over the following years filled with marquee festival dates and sold out concert tours in Holland, Germany, Belgium and Italy. He opened for Johnny Winter at The Paradiso in Amsterdam, thrilled audiences at the Tegelen Bluesrock Festival and shared the prime-time bill with Gregg Allman at the legendary Pistoia Blues Festival. Back in the States, Eric rocked the main stage four years in a row at the Springing the Blues Festival in Jacksonville, Florida and became a yearly fan favorite at Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Eric released a series of quality records beginning with “Havana”, a live record that recalled the sound of the 60s and 70s Bluesrock era and featured a stirring performance of the Hendrix classic “Little Wing”. Eric followed with the Allman Brothers influenced “Feels Like Home”, a Bluesey record that featured original songs like “Southern Skyline” and the radio-ready “Just Walk Away”. Later, Eric’s quest to put the feel and soul of the Blues into a modern day rock record led him to the Pocono Mountains and the powerful sound of the “Milestone” release.
10 Years After
Road-tested and seasoned from 10 years on stage and in the studio, yet young enough to deliver the passion and feeling of the Blues to a wider audience, Eric is a skilled player with a powerful voice and a winning personality. And he is on the move to the next level with the critically acclaimed new album, “Dismantle the Sun.” Don’t miss this young star on his way up!
VISIT THE RECORDINGS PAGE TO PURCHASE THE ALBUM THAT HAS BEEN FEATURED IN AND HAS RECEIVED RAVE CRITICAL REVIEWS ON FIREBRAND ROCK MAGAZINE, BLUESROCKREVIEW.COM, BLUESWIRE RADIO & MAGAZINE, ROCK-TIMES MAGAZINE, BISHOP.FM RADIO, SIRIUS/XM RADIO, BLUESMOOSE RADIO, PURPLE HAZE RADIO, AND MANY OTHERS!
Eric has been featured in The Allentown (PA) Morning Call, The Doylestown (PA) Intelligencer, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The (NY) Times-Herald Record, Music Head Magazine, The Warren (NJ) Reporter Forum, Guitar World Magazine, The Easton (PA) Express, The Bridgewater (NJ) Courier Times, The Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, the Lancaster (PA) Sunday News and The Florida Times Union. International press includes features in the Haagshe Courant, De Telegraaph, BluesMagazine (NL) and a MusikMaker (NL) feature. Eric was also featured in a Comcast CN8 TV News Extra and he has appeared on NBC 10 in Philadelphia, Comcast CN8, Fox Philadelphia, SNN6 in Sarasota and Reuters TV.
Though his career began over a decade ago with genuine rock n' roll honky-tonk, Wainwright has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the blues. His insatiable interest in music discovery, sheer love for entertaining and curiosity have led him all around the world, and the resulting perspective is a reflection of his passion for entertaining and creating progressive roots music in an effort to move the artform forward. Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Victor Wainwright is a raucous high-octane, dynamic performer and crowd pleasure with soul to spare.
"Victor Wainwright, winner of this year’s Pine Top Perkins Piano Player Award at the BMA’s, is a force to be reckoned with on a piano. He IS honky-tonk and boogie, with a dose of rolling thunder. Wainwright’s playing is simply beautiful madness." -American Blues Scene 2013
"Savannah, GA native Victor Wainwright is all about boogie woogie piano, deep soul, and a voice that recalls Dr. John at his best. He is a rising blues star, a tremendous player." -Chicago Blues Guide 2013
"Newcomers including Southern Hospitality are putting out albums that are exciting, relevant and visceral. Given the amount of fluff flooding the market today, these acts offer us hope for the future. Wainwright makes himself a tormented presence, his blues as hot as the fire stoked by the band. Damon Fowler, Victor Wainwright, and JP Soars may be relative babes in the woods and swamps, but on the strength of their collaborative Southern Hospitality, the term supergroup can’t simply be shrugged off. Altogether, the roughneck laid back ways of this fine debut are reminiscent of the best days of Southern rock." -Hitting the Note Magazine 2013
“Wainwright serves as an electrifying guide to a good time-spinning tales, telling his listeners how to beat the blues, and meticulously conjuring raw soul and energy out of his acoustic piano.” He displays a sharp sense of humor and a knack for storytelling.... Every track is brilliant.” -Living Blues Magazine
Award-winning blues master, Blues Hall Of Fame member and Alligator recording artist Joe Louis Walker will release his new album, Hornet’s Nest (AL 4959), on February 25, 2014. Walker is among the greatest bluesmen of his generation. He is known worldwide as one of the genre’s top musical trailblazers — a mesmerizing guitarist and soul-testifying vocalist. On his dynamic new CD, Walker’s music is equal parts rock ‘n’ roll fire and blistering, passionate blues.
Hornet’s Nest was recorded in Nashville and produced by songwriter/ drummer Tom Hambridge (producer of James Cotton’ Grammy-nominated Cotton Mouth Man, Buddy Guy’s Grammy-winning CDs Skin Deep and Living Proof, as well as albums for Susan Tedeschi, George Thorogood and Walker’s previous CD, Hellfire). Hornet’s Nest — featuring 12 songs, including nine new originals — blends Walker’s boundless energy and his myriad influences into a contemporary blues tour-de-force. His always-inventive guitar playing is matched note-for-note by his fervent vocals. From menacing, hard rocking electric blues to cool Memphis funk to R&B rave-ups to Sunday morning gospel, Walker’s blues-fierce and untamed, adventurous and fun — continue to define the genre.
The band — Hambridge on drums, Reese Wynans on B-3 organ and piano, Rob McNelley on guitar, and Tommy MacDonald on bass — pushed Walker to deliver his absolute best performances. “It comes through loud and clear,” Walker says. “If I don’t believe it, nobody is gonna believe it. And ain’t nobody is gonna listen to it or buy it. Tom made everything exciting.”
j2Joe Louis Walker was born in San Francisco on Christmas Day of 1949. His parents were both from the South and they brought their love of blues with them when they headed west. Joe’s dad played blues piano, and his mom played B.B. King records. Walker picked up the guitar as a child, and by the time he was 16 was regularly backing touring blues artists rolling through town. San Francisco’s music scene was quickly becoming a melting pot of blues, jazz and psychedelic rock, and Walker was right in the center of it. As a 16-year-old, Walker was the house guitarist at San Francisco’s famed musical playground, The Matrix, where he played with or opened shows for everyone from Lightnin’ Hopkins to Jimi Hendrix to Thelonious Monk. He was also a regular at The Fillmore West. The blues legends Walker accompanied shared not only musical knowledge but also their personal wisdom with the teenage up-and-comer. Fred McDowell, Ike Turner, Albert King, Freddy King, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Lightnin’ Hopkins and many others taught, fed, and chastised the youngster.
Inspired by what he learned, Walker developed his own fiery, melodic, and always unpredictable guitar attack. Walker met guitarist Michael Bloomfield in 1968 and the two became fast friends. Bloomfield helped push Walker’s blues in a more rock-fueled direction, and he became the single biggest influence on Walker’s sound. The two shared an apartment for years and remained close friends until Bloomfield’s death in 1981. From 1975 to 1985, Walker performed nothing but gospel music, playing and singing as a member of The Spiritual Corinthians. In 1986, after Walker returned to playing the blues, Hightone Records released his debut CD, Cold Is The Night. Firmly rooted in blues, gospel, R&B and rock, the album caught the attention of music fans around the country.
JLQ - Collection Blues 1988-2009Prior to joining Alligator Records in 2012, Walker had released 23 albums and toured the world virtually non-stop. He has garnered four Blues Music Awards (and has been nominated a whopping 52 times) and holds an international reputation as one of the blues’ most prolific and talented stars. He’s also recorded as a guest with some of the blues world’s best-known artists, including appearances on Grammy-winning records by B.B. King and James Cotton.
Alligator debut, Hellfire, took the blues world by storm in 2012, receiving the Living Blues Critics’ Award for Blues Album Of The Year. The Chicago Tribune said, “His playing is ferocious. His solos spin wilder and wilder with the kind of fierce embellishments that Jimi Hendrix might’ve conjured.” The success of the album helped land Walker and his band on TBS’s CONAN.
In 2013 The Blues Foundation inducted Walker into The Blues Hall Of Fame. “I am honored to be in the company of the great artists already inducted,” Walker said at the time. “I hope to live up to the honor.” Joining the ranks of previous inductees including B.B. King, Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin’ Wolf and other blues greats while still at the peak of his musical powers, is, as Walker says, “a dream come true.”
With each subsequent release, Walker’s audience continues to grow, as his touring schedule continues to expand. He’s played all over the U.S. and Canada, major European festivals including The North Sea Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, Notodden and Montreux, as well as festivals in Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Ireland, Turkey and Brazil. Now, with Hornet’s Nest, Walker is excited about bringing even more people to his music. “Blues is a big tent,” he says, “morphing into a bigger tent. Young folks like good blues when they hear it, and I’m here to make sure they want to listen.”
Todd began playing on the New York scene back in 1979 with his band Nitetrain, a trio that clearly reflected Todd's influences—60s bands like Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac and other bluesy-rocking-jamming bands. The wave of guitar players that included Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Bloomfield were and are influential and evident in Todd's style and approach to guitar-playing. His next venture was Troy & the Tornados, a band based in the New York metro area. Todd met two women in this time period that would eventually play a part in his guitar-playing and song-writing experience: Carla Olson of the Textones and Sheryl Crow, at the time an unknown back-up singer. By the late '80s, Sheryl had sat in several times with the Tornados in New York City. Eventually Todd decided to fly to Los Angeles and write with Sheryl and showcase their new band in hopes of a record deal. Nothing came of this particular venture, but these two would find each other again on the same stage just a few years up the road!
After relocating to Los Angeles with a revamped line-up, Todd began to perform in clubs in southern California, while also scoring music for the Playboy Channel and connecting with old friend Carla Olson and her latest band. But it wasn't long before Todd was back with Sheryl Crow, who had just completed her about-to-be-released debut album, the multi-platinum Tuesday Night Music Club. Crow needed a touring band, including a lead guitarist that could add some extra excitement to the live shows, and Todd filled that role from 1993 until 1998.
Todd eventually went on to form several bands, including a talented bunch dubbed MojoSon that were signed to A & M Records and included alumni of Sheryl's band along with alumni of Sun 60 and Five for Fighting. With parent companies swapping ownership of A & M Records, the MojoSon album sadly was never released. Always active, always playing, Todd has never slowed down. Todd has had many excellent partnerships with fine musicians from coast to coast. Todd has also worked as a duet with famed Mountain guitarist Leslie West, touring and recording on two of Leslie's solo albums as well as recording on Mountain's tribute to Bob Dylan, "Masters of War" album!
Todd is especially proud of his current lineup with Roger Voss on drums and Justine Gardner on bass. Roger is a powerful pocket drummer. The young Ms. Gardner plays a deep groove. And they both back Todd on soulful vocals. This lineup recorded Todd's upcoming summer release “Miles to Go,” his eighth album since departing Sheryl's band. The new album is mostly originals that range from swampy grooves to all-out rockers and even a wistful ballad from which the title of the album was derived called, I Stand Alone. The band was joined by John Ginty (keyboards), Steve Guyger (harmonica) and Sweet Suzi (backing vocals). The Todd Wolfe Band is keeping busy with tours criss-crossing North America and Europe through 2013!
The Todd Wolfe Band recall the days when "Men were men and amps were amps," real tubes crackling with a bluesadelic sound reminiscent of the best rock and roll bands of the '60s. This band jams and rocks, but their music is deeply soaked in blues. Todd Wolfe, Roger Voss and newcomer, bassist Justine Gardner have established themselves as one of top power trios by relentless touring and spreading their legend from coast to coast and beyond.
Hittin' the Note magazine, “Imagine some power trio mixed into a Texas blues foundation and overlaid with trippy psychedelia ... that’s the essence of Wolfe’s music.” And the essence of the Todd Wolfe Band
…his fiery Strat playing elevates each and every song, as do the swallow-your-emotions vocals. –Vintage Guitar
…one of the finest, most creative musicians on the competitive blues-roots scene. –Blues Revue Magazine
His music flows into the veins and moves the body in ways that can only be described as free and wild… –Jazz Times
Mike Zito couldn’t help but be great. It was either that, probably, or end up on a wanted poster in the post office. There is something deep down in Zito’s soul that will not stop screaming, pushing him to take life to the limit and worry about the tab later. Before he found music and really let it become the guiding force in his world, the young man ran in all the wrong directions. Sometimes people were chasing him, but just as often Mike Zito was running from himself. Finally there was nowhere to run. It was time to literally face the music. And what Zito found was that he had a sound buried inside, something that was trying to get out and share itself with the world.
That’s where the Greyhound bus enters the picture — in a big way, because the singing guitarist grabbed one out of town with a ticket to anywhere else. When he got there, Zito started playing like his life depended on it, because it actually did. He put his shoulders and heart into it with everything he had, and worked his way up the mountain to where he stands today.
Greyhound, produced by Grammy-award winning guitarist/singer/songwriter Anders Osborne, is the continuation of the songwriting process established by Zito on his two previous critically acclaimed recordings on Eclecto Groove Records. His music retains its bluesy Americana charm and big wide-open Texas sound as he explores more personal and introspective themes inspired by that fateful bus trip that helped determine his path in life.
There have been hundreds of shows, a few albums, and the same desire to make a claim on eternity. That’s where the music lives, and that’s where Mike Zito is destined to go. Thank God for that Greyhound. Mike Zito got there.
2009 Blues Music award winner Mike Zito is one of those rare artist that can sing like nobody’s business, can write songs that instantly grip you, play one hell of a mean Gulf Coast style guitar and has the stage presence to draw in any audience. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO he grew up listening to Van Halen and Led Zepplin and it wasn’t until later he became interested in the great blues men who were from in and around St. Louis. On his 2011 Blue Music Award nominated CD (Best Blue Rock) Delta Groove release “Greyhound” he tells the rest of the story of how things could have been much different. He lived a rugged life much like many great musician endings while his beginning had not yet begun. Homeless, addiction, living the life of a criminal Zito had reached his rock bottom before cleaning up and ending up in Texas to live a sober life still today. It would be fair to say that is the time he draws from that creates all the emotion in his guitar style and singing. In 2009 Zito and Neville won the Blues Music award for “Song of the Year” for “Pearl River” the title track to Zito’s 2009 release. Zito comes armed with raw tone and pure grit that he can turn on a dime into silky smooth guitar melodies but it is the aged depth to his vocal that make Mike Zito stand out amongst the other cats claiming to have “the stuff”. Some lucky bastards are just born with it!!