Alvin “Youngblood” Hart

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The cosmic American love child of Howlin Wolf and Link Wray! Known as a “musician’s musician,” Alvin Youngblood Hart’s praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan to Brit guitar gods Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor.

Since the release of his 1996 debut recording, the all-acoustic BIG MAMA’S DOOR, Hart has relayed his eclectic musical message around the world. A devout follower of the “no barriers” approach carved out by veteran performers like Gatemouth Brown and the late/great Doug Sahm, Hart aims to delight the masses and points to challenge the so-called blues purists.

BIG MAMA’S DOOR was reviewed with blessings by Playboy with the prospect that Hart “had the power to bring the blues to Generation X” also stating that “Charley Patton would approve of Hart’s version of Pony Blues, and the cover of Gallows Pole is the coolest since Led Zeppelin’s.”

Based on the strength of his record debut and the allure of his live shows, Hart received five nominations at the 1997 W.C. Handy Blues Awards. He was nominated for Best New Artist, Best Acoustic Artist, and Best Traditional Blues Artist and his album (BIG MAMA’S DOOR) was nominated for both Acoustic Album of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year. He received the award for Best New Artist. Hart also received two Living Blues Awards that same year. The anticipated sophomore release of TERRITORY in 1998 gave a rousing tribute to all forms of American music and received the Downbeat Magazine Critics’ Poll Award for Best Blues Album (though TERRITORY is not a Blues album).

The summer of 1999 found Hart teaming up with celebrated producer Jim Dickinson to begin recording START WITH THE SOUL, a record hailed as a new-breed Southern Rock classic and one that piloted Hart’s return to the “sacred garage.” START WITH THE SOUL was chosen by the New York Times as one of the top 10 releases of 2000, as well as the BBC’s Blues Record of the Year.

In 2001 Hart shared Living Blues Magazine’s best guitarist honors with fellow road dog Big Jack Johnson.

The 2003 release of DOWN IN THE ALLEY garnered a Grammy nomination. Despite critics’ recurring attempts to suggest Hart was “best enjoyed when performing solo,” Hart continued to diversify his audience by extensively touring as a member of Job Cain, a hard-rocking side project he assembled with guitarist Audley Freed (Cry of Love/Black Crowes) and Nashville musician Robert Kearns (The Bottle Rockets/Lynyrd Skynyrd). In August of 2003, Hart was invited to fill in for Taj Mahal for five nights in Tokyo as a member of Kip Hanrahan’s Conjure, the world’s longest running jazz poetry ensemble. Assembled to lend musical support to the words of Bay Area poet Ishmael Reed, Conjure featured the talents of tenor sax giant David Murray and original Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli. Hart remains a member of the revolving cast and recorded with the group on BAD MOUTH.

In 2004, Hart received a Grammy for his philanthropic contribution to the compilation BEAUTIFUL DREAMER: THE SONGS OF STEPHEN FOSTER. All of the proceeds from the recording benefited American Roots Publishing, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving American regional culture through literature and art.

In the summer of 2005, fortified in the wake of much recognition and determined to defy any stereotypes attached to his artistry, Hart released the self-produced (and personal favorite) MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER a rock guitar free-for-all, paying homage to fallen and missing rockers like Phil Lynott and Sly Stone. Hart’s songwriting, singing and electric guitar prowess are all championed on this project and showcase the versatility he continuously strives to offer his fans and profession.

In 2006, Hart collaborated with several Memphis area musicians in the Craig Brewer cult hit film “Black Snake Moan” by both serving as a guitar tutor to the film’s leading actor, Samuel L. Jackson, and recording a duet with the film’s female lead, Christina Ricci, for the films riveting soundtrack. In the fall of 2006, Hart was invited to hit the road for two months with Rock-n-Roll legend Bo Diddley for what turned out to be Diddley’s final coast to coast tour.

In April of 2007, Hart’s extended and varied interests led him to influence his local educational arena by participating on a tour of Mississippi high schools as a member of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

Hart then joined fellow notable string playing colleagues Corey Harris, Don Vappie, Keb Mo and Guy Davis and contributed to the uniquely progressive 2007 OtisTaylor record RECAPTURING THE BANJO.

Later that year, Hart was called upon to contribute his doyen knowledge of blues music to the Denzel Washington-co produced and directed film “The Great Debaters.” Based on a true story about the black historical Wiley College debate team, the release of the film coincided with a nationally stepped-up effort by urban debate leagues to get hundreds of inner-city and financially challenged schools to establish debate programs.

As an avid roots music performer and connoisseur, not only did Hart fit the bill to record predominately on the films dynamic soundtrack, Hart also proved a natural onscreen fit for the role of a juke joint musician. Songs for the GREAT DEBATERS SOUNDTRACK were comprised of remakes of traditional blues and gospel songs from the 1920s and 1930s and were hand-picked by Denzel Washington from over 1000 selections.

A personal career highlight occurred in the summer of 2008 when Hart met the late Irish guitar legend Gary Moore. Moore invited Hart, a lifelong Thin Lizzy fan, onstage to jam with himself and original Thin Lizzy drummer, Brian Downey. In the Spring of 2009 Moore requested Hart’s band as the opening act on a tour of Germany. Moore was seen offstage most every night with friends, cheering Hart’s band along during their set.

In 2010 Hart joined forces with friends Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes) and Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Tri-State Coalition) to form “The South Memphis String Band”. The fun-loving and regaling trio was quickly dubbed by the media as an “acoustic super group”. Recorded in a borrowed radio station studio while the band was on its first road trip, their debut record HOME SWEET HOME was received with rabid enthusiasm. The 2011 Blues Music Awards (The Blues Foundation) nominated the record for “Best Acoustic Album”. The group released a second album “Old Times There” in the spring of 2012. A third album is scheduled for release sometime in 2015.

The singles “Watching Brian Jones” and “Helluva Way [For a Man to Make a Livin]” were released on a 45 with Big Legal Mess records in November of 2014. A full LP is scheduled to follow.

When not touring solo or plugged in with his revered rock trio “Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory,” Hart enjoys researching, collecting, repairing and modifying obscure musical equipment.


Cedryl Ballou




A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Cedryl (pronounced “see-DRELL”) Ballou began playing music at the tender age of five, making his professional debut as a drummer with his grandfather, legendary guitar pioneer Classie Ballou, at the age of 11. His future as a frontman was inevitable—both Cedryl’s father, Cedric Ballou, and step-grandfather, “Rockin’ Sidney” Simien, were successful touring musicians, and Cedryl grew up steeped in Creole music and culture.

“Being raised in a family of musicians gave me the chance to learn the ropes,” says Ballou, “but also the freedom to try new things. This music is all about people—people change, and the music changes with us.”

A young but seasoned Zydeco musician and singer, Ballou shifts easily from drums to accordion and vocals, fronting the Zydeco Trendsetters and touring extensively with regional Zydeco artists, including Andre Thierry, Corey Ledet, Rosie Ledet, Step Rideau and Soul Creole.

On Country Roads, Cedryl’s playing is equal parts tradition and innovation. His original songs speak to life in south Louisiana, with an undeniable groove that gets you, and keeps you, on your feet. With this first release on Maison Fou Records, Ballou promises to follow in his family’s well-worn footsteps as a powerful, authentic force in Zydeco music.

Selected performances include:

Accordion Kings & Queens Festival, Houston, TX

Ponderosa Stomp (New Orleans, LA)

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans, LA)

Rock N’ Bowl (New Orleans, LA)

Mud Bug Festival (Shreveport, LA)

Waterfront Blues Festival (Portland Or.)

Texas Folklife Festival (San Antonio, TX)

Taste Of New Orleans Festival (San Antonio, TX)

Medina Lake Cajun Festival (Lakehills, TX)

Long Beach Crawfish Festival (Long Beach, CA)


To reach Cedryl for interviews, road questions or any advancing of dates, please contact:

Chad Fouquier, Maison Fou Records: 337-322-4726,

All other inquiries, please contact your Tina Terry Agency Agent.

Gaye and the Wild Rutz


Gaye Todd was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She graduated as valedictorian of the then-segregated Walker-Grant High School. She finished Boston University with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked as a technical writer for TRW Systems, a biochemical researcher at Rockefeller University, and a bacteriologist at Harlem Hospital. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Media (with a concentration in photography) from Virginia State University.

In the early ’70s, she began her teaching career. She was an educator in the Fredericksburg City Public School system for 18 years, and honored as Virginia State Teacher of the Year in 1982. Throughout her teaching career, she directed Harambee 360º Experimental Theater. She was able to creatively use performance as a tool to assist black youth in gaining confidence as they struggled with identity issues during the spread of “integration.”

During her teaching career, Ms. Adegbalola moonlighted as a musician. By maintaining the blues legacy, she now sees herself as a contemporary griot – keeping the history alive, delivering messages of empowerment, ministering to the heartbroken, and finding joy in the mundane. As a founding member of Saffire – the Uppity Blues Women, she became a full-time performer. (Saffire ended in November, 2009, after making music together for 25 years.)

She has toured nationally and internationally, and has won numerous awards including the prestigious Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Award – the Grammy of the blues industry). Also of importance, in 2011 Gaye was named an OUTstanding Virginian by Equality Virginia for championing GLBT equality. Further, in 2012, she received the Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Music for her children’s CD, “Blues in All Flavors”. As of 2015, Adegbalola has 16 CDs in national distribution, including 5 on her own label, Hot Toddy Music. Gaye composes, sings and plays acoustic guitar, slide guitar, and harmonica.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Is It Still Good To Ya?:

Gaye Adegbalola was a part of Saffire — The Uppity Blues Women for a quarter century (1984 – 2009). She may have left that group behind but her songwriting skills, sassiness, and edge have carried over to her newest incarnation. . . It is not a do-wop group but a gritty blues outfit with Adegbalola’s voice out front. It is a combination of smooth harmonies meeting raw lead vocals. . . . Is It Still Good to Ya? is an album that approaches the blues from a different perspective. More authentic than slick, it is a different mix that is worth exploring.
– David Bowling, Cash Box Reviews

These women make it clear that the human voice is one of the most beautiful and powerful instruments in an artist’s arsenal . . . Is It Still Good to Ya? is precisely what I imagine when I think of a band of Angels coming after me and what that would sound like. This is one of the finest pieces of work I have heard in quite some time. Gaye Adegbalola & The Wild Rutz have breathed new life into an old style and made it sound fresh and exciting. This is powerful, passionate and timeless, the kind of thing you will find yourself listening to repeatedly.
– Bill Wilson, Billtown Blue Notes

Saffire alumna Ms. Adegbalola here recasts the charm and chutzpah of that celebrated sisterhood in a highly appealing mix of roots and sophistication. Earthy percussion and roots-based backup choruses, that at times take very tasty harmonic turns, are key components of one of this young year’s freshest sounding releases.
– Duane Verh, Roots Music Reports

You very rarely come across a blues release with this caliber of vocal precision, writing quality and artistry. Gaye Adegbalola & The Wild Rutz’s latest release Is It Still Good To Ya? is just great listening.
– Brian “The Bluesman” Beachum, Natchel’ Blues Network

Harlis Sweetwater




 “Music has always been a huge part of my life.  From the time I was 5 years old my mother was playin’ great music in the house. Cats like Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley…she sang and played a little bit of guitar too.

     When I was 7 my mother  sat down with me and showed me an album she had. It was Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade Vol. 1. and When I opened that  double record set and saw the photo of him on the inside, man, that did it. Iconic photo. Chuck lookin’ down at his guitar, flooded in stage lights, sweat drippin off him…THAT, is Rock N’ Roll, and THAT’S what I wanna do! I wanted to be THAT guy!”

     From Huntington Beach California, Harlis Sweetwater, as a singer /guitarist/ songwriter and frontman, has shared the stage with everyone from Jimmie Vaughan, ZZ Top, Los Lobos Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Everlast and Brian Setzer to R&B/Blues legends Etta James, James Cotton, and Wilson Pickett to name a few. He has been called “the best singer in any genre” by music critic Robert Kinsler of the OC Register, While SugarBuzz Magazine had this to say: “From the heart, Harlis Sweetwater,you know instantly the real deal is upon you. This man knows the blues.”  Recently CBS online named Harlis one of Orange County’s best singer songwriters.

   Harlis first arrived on the scene with his band Barrelhouse O.C. and the group came into its own in the early 1990s. A favorite of L.A. and Orange County CA music critics, the  band possessed a deep passion for the music of Otis Redding. It was the groups mission to bring Soul music to the masses behind the orange curtain. With a 3 piece horn section, piano, 2 guitars, bass and drums, and Harlis’s  broad and gravely vocals at the helm, the band was like an explosive soul revue.

 The band quickly became known for their highly entertaining shows and authentic southern soul sound. After 3 albums and an EP they began feeling like they had run their course and called it quits in 2001.  After the break up, Harlis experimented with other styles and genres, but he longed to get back to the music that inspired him.

   Formed in 2011 to get back to the Blues,Soul and Americana music he loves, The band is now a national touring  act, that headlines venues and festivals across the U.S. with Harlis continually enlisting the help of  seasoned musicians to “keep the train movin'”  bring  the music and live show on the road. The chemistry of the bands players makes for high energy performances that both entertain and mesmerize, and often times the party on stage rivals the one in the audience, making the Harlis Sweetwater Band one of the more fun and entertaining bands to see live.

   The band released “Lights Goin’ Down” in Oct. 2012, to rave reviews. Gary Schwind of the stated “This Album Is Brilliant.” and Incognito Magazine wrote in its review of the album “If you want some music you can feel and not just hear, check out this band.” The album was featured in iTunes Blues “New and Noteworthy” section, as well as making on iTunes top 200 best selling blues albums with songs from the album charting on the top 100 Blues songs in U.S., Sweden, New Zealand and Ireland

  The groups second album “Put It In Dirt” released May 2014, debuted on iTunes Top 200 Best Selling Blues albums at #106 and reached #30 and continues to receive rave reviews from all over the world.


Legendary Blues Harmonica players converge with HARMONICON: The Ultimate Harmonica Experience

Sugar Blue “…an extravagantly lyrical harmonica player” – New York Times

Billy Branch “can effortlessly segue from vintage Little Walter to thoroughly up-to-the-minute funky blues without dropping a beat.” – Bill Dahl, author and music critic

Jason Ricci “…is one of the best harmonica players of his generation.” – Adam Gussow, Blues Access Magazine


Award winning artists Sugar Blue, Billy Branch and Jason Ricci have launched HARMONICON. The ultimate harmonica experience. The new harmonica driven blues ensemble is dedicated to advancing the heritage of the harmonica art form. HARMONICON is an amalgam of two legendary players (Blue and Branch) with Ricci, a relative new comer to the Blues world. HARMONICON spans generations and gathers traditional fans as well as new recruits to the genre of Blues driven harmonica music.

*Grammy Award Winner Sugar Blue was raised in Harlem, New York, where his mother was a singer and dancer at the fabled Apollo Theatre. He spent his childhood among the musicians and show people who knew his mother, including the great Billie Holiday, and decided that he wanted to be a performer. In a career spanning decades, Blue has played and recorded with Willie Dixon Stan Getz, Frank Zappa, Johnny Shines, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones,… That’s his harmonica blasting on their platinum disco hit “Miss You” from the Some Girls album.


*Three time Grammy Nominee, Billy Branch was discovered by Willie Dixon, the “father of modern Chicago Blues,” while Billy was still in college. Willie encouraged Billy to finish his college education, which he did, but instead of going to law school after receiving his political science degree, Billy began touring with the Willie Dixon Chicago All Stars. This gave Billy the unique opportunity to travel and work as an understudy for the legendary Carey Bell who was planning to leave the All Stars and form his own band. When Carey took his leave, the young Billy Branch took his place, touring with Willie Dixon for six years. In addition, he has won multiple W.C. Handy Awards from the Blues Foundation, an Emmy Award, an

Addy Award (this is like an Oscar for TV ads), two Chicago Music Awards, and numerous humanitarian achievement awards.

*Raised in Portland, Maine, Jason Ricci started playing music in punk bands at the age of 14. After discovering a love of the harmonica and Blues music, he turned his attention in that direction. In 1995, Ricci moved from Portland to Memphis, TN, where shortly thereafter he placed first in the Sonny Boy Blues Society contest at 21 years of age. Later that same year Ricci recorded his first album, Jason Ricci. In Memphis, Ricci began playing with David Malone Kimbrough, son of blues great Junior Kimbrough, and also sat in with R.L. Burnside. In 2014 he entered the studio with Johnny Winter for his final album, Step Back. This album is the proud 2015 Grammy Nomination for Best Blues Album of the Year. Jason is considered one of the finest harmonica players of the new generation.


HARMONICON is in rehearsals and will be available beginning in May 2015.

Ian Siegal

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They say you can’t sing the blues until you’ve lived the life, and when Ian Siegal steps up to the mic you can hear the slings and arrows. Recent years have seen this singer and songwriter catch fire, with British Blues Awards raining down, consecutive nominations in 2012 & 2013 for Best Contemporary Album in the Blues Music Awards, and a BBC album recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Had Siegal been around in the sixtes he would today very likely be accorded with the same reverence as artists like Van Morrison and Joe Cocker.

Instead, he is a child of the seventies who started busking in the late eighties. From the streets of Berlin he progressed to Clubs around Nottingham in the UK, then to London and ultimately to major stages around Europe.

Ian has been gaining a growing following in North America through his albums and airplay.

He has a string of successful and much applauded recordings but a legion of fans will tell you that Ian’s real forte is playing to an audience. He takes command of the stage in a way very few artists alive today can match. Sweat, passion, humor, incendiary slide guitar and a soul-infused voice big enough to fell trees! Ian tours extensively in Europe either solo, or with his European band, or in special projects that include a duo with Jimbo Mathus, and an occasional (super) group, The Mississippi Mudbloods.

Ian continues to return to the US for performances across the nation.

“Magnificent is an understatement.”  


“Live performances of this energy and excellence take him into another stratosphere.”


James “Blood” Ulmer



James Blood Ulmer is among the most distinctive and influential electric guitarists to emerge in the past four decades. Over time, Blood’s reputation has morphed from that of an avant–garde jazz visionary out of the Ornette Coleman school to elder statesman of the African–American musical vernacular encom – passing jazz, blues, funk, and whatever lies beyond.

Forging an unyielding synthesis of musical styles, vision and virtuosity, Ulmer has left an indelible mark on those keen ears who’ve dared to follow him to that intangible place where the fiercest, most holy music occurs.

Whether it’s art imitating life or life imitating art, the trials of James Blood Ulmer’s career have only made his art that much more potent. It appears he’s capable of channeling life’s experiences through his soul in order to lay it bare in the music. If he were never to record again, his reputation as an American music pioneer is already cemented in stone. One would think, however, that there’s a great deal more to come, because Blood lives the music, is the music and he’ll grow old bringing the music. And as always, that devout audience with big ears and keen instincts will be taking it all in.

Jason Ricci

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In 1995 Portland Maine’s Jason Ricci began his international music career by moving to Memphis to study with former Johnny Winter sideman Pat Ramsey. That same year Ricci won the Sonny Boy Blues Society contest and played the King Biscuit festival at 20 years old. Since then Ricci has won dozens of blues and harmonica contests, toured the world and amassed an impressive collection of awards, honors and accolades. In 2010 Ricci’s album “Done With The Devil” (Delta Groove) was nominated for a BMA Award. In 2010 Jason won the BMA Award for  “Best Harmonica Player” beating his childhood heroes: Kim Wilson, Billy Branch, Mark Hummel and Rick Estrin. In 2014 Ricci was a featured artist on Johnny Winter’s Grammy Award winning album “Step Back”produced by Paul Nelson appearing along side names like Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Brian Setzer, Billy Gibbons, Leslie West and more.  In 2015 Ricci was invited by Paul Shaffer to play on the HBO televised Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for Paul Butterfield. At The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ricci performed in front of 10,000 people and millions of HBO viewers with Zac Brown ( Multi-Platinum Singer Songwriter) and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello with the Paul Shaffer band.

Jason Ricci is well known for having one of the most exciting, energetic and unpredictable live shows on the circuit. His live performances are sweaty, sexual, intense and creative events. Ricci has been actively touring the Blues circuit in the USA and Europe for over twenty years. In 2005 The Mercury News listed Jason Ricci’s show in a “Top Ten Best Shows” of 2005 list alongside acts such as Springsteen, Rush, Prince and Green Day for best concerts of the year. Jason’s shows feature a variety of music from Blues, Punk, Jazz, R&B, and Fusion. He s just as likely to cover music by Little Walter, Otis Rush, Sonny Boy Williamson and Slim Harpo as he is The Misfits, Sun Ra, Lou Reed or Cheech and Chong. Ricci is an edgy performer, singer, songwriter and interview. Jason’s career has been ripe with discussion, controversy and appreciation alike. He was/is the first and only male Blues performer in history to admit, interview, discuss and own the fact that he is openly gay/bi-sexual or “queer” as he call’s it. His song “Broken Toy” is a a testament to those struggles and a favorite amongst his audiences straight, gay and otherwise.

As a sideman Jason Ricci has professionally gigged or toured with: Walter Trout, Nick Moss, Junior Kimbrough, RL Burnside, Big Al and The Heavy Weights, Damon Fowler, Sugar Ray Norcia,The Mark Hummel Harmonica Blow Off, The Johnny Winter Remembrance Project, Mike Zito, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Ana Popovic and many more.

As a recording artist Jason Ricci has released eight solo albums. His last two (Delta Groove/EclectoGroove Records) “Rocket Number Nine” (produced by John Porter) and “Done With The Devil (produced by Phil Wolfe)” both charted The Billboard Blues Charts in top five positions and both won numerous awards. As a session musician Jason Ricci has played harmonica on albums by: Nick Curran, JJ Appleton, Rue Davis, Nick Moss, Walter Trout, Johnny Winter, The Mannish Boys, Ana Popovic, Cedric Burnside and Lightin’ Malcom, Joe Louis Walker, Sean Kellerman, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, JP Soars and so many more.

Additionally, Jason Ricci has one of the most popular harmonica related youtube channels with over 150 free harmonica lessons, 15,000 subscribers and and well over 4,500,000 total million views. Ricci is well known in the harmonica community as an early pioneer of the “over-blow” technique (transforming the 10 hole diatonic into a fully chromatic instrument) invented/popularized by Howard Levy, the mastery of this technique has earned Jason a variety of jobs recording and performing in musical situations where other players technically simply could not. Jason is also one of the very first harmonica players to widely use, incorporate, design and popularize the use of effects pedals for harmonica.

JJ Appleton & Jason Ricci

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The joining of forces between award winning blues harp master Jason Ricci and singer/songwriter/guitarist JJ Appleton is one of the most unexpected and exciting blues music releases of 2015.

Containing original songs that nod to Delta blues and roots history, the album stakes a claim in modern Americana authenticity to bring raw, powerful emotions and world class musicianship in an acoustic format. Ricci’s fiery harp performances blend perfectly with Appleton’s deep, wry, truthful songs and fierce resonator guitar skills.  The recording’s intensity is pushed even higher with upright bassists Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks) and Neal Heidler (Eddie Harris) bringing fat-bottom grooves to the albums already supple tracks.

Appleton’s skill as a producer captures the charged atmosphere of the sessions, and with a “Dirty Memory” tours coming 2015/2016 fans can expect to see that energy and passion up close and personal. 

Throughout Appleton’s varied musical career as a touring/recording artist and producer he has worked an eclectic roster including Keb ‘Mo, Kesha, Jamie Cullum, Ashford & Simpson, Maya Angelou and Leslie West.  JJ was signed to Universal/UK as a rock artist and has toured extensively throughout the US and UK. Appleton says, “My first concert was Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and soon after I witnessed the brilliant harp player Sredni Vollmer perform with Rick Danko. Those performances left a permanent mark that one day I would find a way to make an album and perform with a blues harp master.”  

For years, Appleton has been a go to New York City session man, producer, bandleader and songwriter alongside members of Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks, Black Crowes, Lenny Kravitz and John Scofield bands. Now he steps back into the role of frontman alongside Ricci in this unique musical partnership.

With “Dirty Memory” Ricci and Appleton are keeping alive an American musical tradition, while bringing a 21st century sound and viewpoint to songs that speak to the heart and soul of Americana Blues.

Joe Krown Trio



Joe Krown (Hammond B-3), Walter Wolfman Washington (guitar & vocals) & Russell Batiste (drums & background vocals) started playing together in March 2007. The trio has been performing every Sunday at a local New Orleans nightclub, the Maple Leaf Bar. The combination of the soulful vocals of Walter with the big sound of the Hammond B-3 (which Joe also plays all of the bass parts on the B-3) and the masterful drumming skills of Russell Batiste Jr. has developed it’s own unique sound. The Trio currently has 3 CDs, Live at the Maple Leaf (2008), Triple Threat (2010) and their latest CD, Soul Understanding (2013). Live at the Maple won a 2009 Offbeat Award for Best R&B/Funk CD. Soul Understanding charted as high as number 7 in Relix’s Jam Band radio play charts in Sept. 2013. The Trio won a 2009 Big Easy Award for Best R&B band. In the fall of 2010, the Trio did a 3 week, 18 city tour with Allen Toussaint & Nicholas called “New Orleans Nights”. The Trio had a feature set and then backed up Nicholas & Allen on the their sets. “A killer collaboration between three of New Orleans greatest players!”–Jan Ramsey, offBEAT Magazine.

Joe Krown
Joe held the keyboard chair with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown & Gate’s Express from 1992 until Gatemouth’s passing in the fall of 2005. Joe is featured on 4 Gatemouth CDs, The Man, Gate Swings, American Music, Texas Style and Back to Bogalusa albums and as a member of Gate’s Express, Joe did a 62 date world tour as the opening act for Eric Clapton and Gate’s Express is featured on Carlos Santana’s Carlos Santana Presents Blues At Montreux 2004 (2006) DVD.

Joe has played a Traditional Piano Night slot since 1996, first at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans and Le Bon Temps Roule in New Orleans. Joe is currently the featured piano player at Irvin Mayfield’s Playhouse’s Piano Professor Series.

Joe has had several bands playing around New Orleans featuring Joe playing both piano and the Hammond organ. His bands have played all of the local New Orleans clubs, Tipitina’s, House of Blues, Maple Leaf, Rock & Bowl, etc. His bands have toured all over the U.S., Canada, Europe and Brazil.

In the fall of 2007, Joe was invited to be a feature artist in the Solid Blues Tour. The tour was a 38 U.S. city tour in October and November 2007 and it featured Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, the North Mississippi All-Stars and Joe. Joe performed a 20 minute solo piano set featuring music from his latest CD Old Friends, and then he joined the North Mississippi All-Stars backing up Mavis Staples and Charlie Musselwhite.

In the spring of 2007, Joe started playing every Sunday night with Walter Wolfman Washington (guitar & vocals) and Russell Batiste Jr. (drums). It features Joe playing Hammond B-3 organ. The trio released 3 CDs, Live at the Maple Leaf, Triple Threat and Soul Understanding, tours all over the world and has won a couple of local awards.

Joe has released 10 self produced CDs ranging from solo piano performances to trios, up to a 6 piece band playing both piano and Hammond B-3 organ.

Russell Batiste Jr.
As a member of one of N’awlins legendary musical families, Russell Batiste Jr. knows his way around a sound stage. He’s played multiple instruments, and has been at the drum kit since the age of four. Even before that, Russell recalls watching his daddy, David Batiste (of the city’s seminal funk band David Batiste and the Gladiators), jam with an endless array of the city’s most talented musicians. That band hosted a virtual “Who’s Who” of ’60s musicians. One of Russell’s earliest memories is sitting on Jackie Wilson’s knee listening to him sing “Lonely Teardrops”!

Russell joined the Funky Meters in 1989. Russell has recorded with Allan Toussaint, Robbie Robertson, Harry Connick, Jr.; performed on the last two Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians’ CD’s and two unlicensed CD’s of The Funky Meters featuring the JB Horns, recorded live in Switzerland. Russell has played with a wide variety of performers including Mike Gordon (Phish), Eric Krasno (Soulive), Champion Jack DuPree and Maceo Parker. In 2001 Russell joined the legendary trio Vidal Blue with Page McConnell (Phish) and Oteil Burbridge (Allman Bros). Vida Blue toured for almost 5 years and released 2 CDs. An industrious artist and creator, the busy Batiste also manages to put time into his own projects, too, like Orkestra from da Hood, who released their debut The Clinic a few years back and Russell Batiste and Friends.

Walter “Wolfman” Washington
Walter “Wolfman” Washington has been an icon on the New Orleans music scene for decades. His searing guitar work and soulful vocals have defined the Crescent City’s unique musical hybrid of R&B, funk and the blues since he formed his first band in the 1970’s.

Washington began his career during the fertile heyday of the 1950s Rhythm and Blues period that spawned dozens of Number 1 songs and made New Orleans the recording destination of choice for hit makers like Ray Charles and Little Richard. Born in 1943, Washington was on the road by his late teens spending over two years backing the great vocalist Lee Dorsey who was touring in support of his smash hits, “Ride Your Pony” and “Working in a Coalmine.”

His tenure with Dorsey took him to all of the great music halls in America including appearances at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Before he went out on his own with his Solar System band, he also did stints with acclaimed New Orleans songstress Irma Thomas as well as with the legendary jazzman David Lastie’s Taste of New Orleans band.

During the 1970s, Washington began a 20-year association with one of the most important vocalists to hail from Louisiana- the late, great Johnny Adams. Dubbed “the Tan Canary” for his peerless vocal stylings, Adams was a mentor of sorts to Washington who developed his singing style while the two worked together at back-of-town clubs including a long stint at the famed Dorothy’s Medallion in the Mid City section of New Orleans.

When Washington formed his first band as a leader he was often pigeonholed into the blues genre. But by taking his cues from the likes of Dorsey, Thomas, Adams and the jazzman Lastie, his sound reflects the full range of music from New Orleans. He certainly can howl the blues, hence his nickname, but his musical talents have always defined pure Crescent City soul. In later years, with the second rise of funk, Washington fully embraced that genre as well.