Robert Kimbrough Sr.

Website: https://robertkimbroughsr.com/

Robert Kimbrough Sr. is the youngest son of the great blues legend Junior Kimbrough. Robert grew up in North Mississippi where blues music was a part of everyday life inside and out of his father’s juke joints.

Robert continues his father’s musical legacy of Cotton Patch Soul Blues, a form of blues that was created by his Mississippi family and recently made famous by The Black Keys and Buddy Guy who have both released CDs of music written by Junior Kimbrough.
 
Robert has 5 full length CD releases garnering a great buzz from the blues world’s best magazines like Living Blues. Robert’s 2019 release, I Been Fixed won AMG’s, Artist’s Music Guild, Album of the Year.

Robert has also been featured in many interviews and blues shows like Moonshine & Mojo Hands (episode 2).

Robert has played his blues all over the world headlining festivals both big and small from Switzerland to Argentina. Robert also hosted his 5 th annual Kimbrough Cotton Patch Soul Blues Festival this year in Holly Springs, MS where he currently resides.

Look for Robert and his band on the road this year bringing his original juke joint style of blues to America and the world.

Rory Block

 
2023 Blues Music Award nominee for Acoustic Blues Album, Acoustic Blues Artist & Traditional Blues Female Artist (Koko Taylor Award)

Heralded as “a living landmark” (Berkeley Express), “a national treasure” (Guitar Extra), and “one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists” (Blues Revue), Rory Block has committed her life and her career to preserving the Delta blues tradition and bringing it to life for 21st century audiences around the world. A traditionalist and an innovator at the same time, she wields a fiery and haunting guitar and vocal style that redefines the boundaries of acoustic blues and folk. The New York Times declared: “Her playing is perfect, her singing otherworldly as she wrestles with ghosts, shadows and legends.”

Born in Princeton, NJ, Aurora “Rory” Block grew up in Manhattan a family with Bohemian leanings. Her father owned a Greenwich Village sandal shop, where musicians like Bob Dylan, Maria Muldaur and John Sebastian all made occasional appearances. The rich and diverse Village scene was a constant influence on her cultural sensibilities. She was playing guitar by age ten, and by her early teens she was sitting in on the Sunday jam sessions in Washington Square Park.

During these years, her life was touched – and profoundly changed – by personal encounters with some of the earliest and most influential Delta blues masters of the 20th century. She made frequent visits to the Bronx, where she learned her first lessons in blues and gospel music from the Reverend Gary Davis. She swapped stories and guitar licks with seminal bluesman Son House, Robert Johnson’s mentor (“He kept asking, ‘Where did she learn to play like this?’”). She visited Skip James in the hospital after his cancer surgery. She traveled to Washington, DC, to visit with Mississippi John Hurt and absorb first-hand his technique and his creativity.

“This period seemed to last forever,” Block Recalls nearly forty years later.” I now realize how lucky I was to be there, in the right place at the right time. I thought everyone knew these incredible men, these blues geniuses who wrote the book. I later realized how fleeting it was, and how even more precious.”

By the time she was in high school, her family had splintered in different directions. With nothing holding her down, she left home at 15 with her guitar and a few friends – heading for California on a trip marked by numerous detours and stops in small towns. Along he way, she picked her way through a vast catalog of country blues songs and took her first steps in developing a fingerpicking and slide guitar style that would eventually be her trademark.

She recorded an instructional record called How To Play Blues Guitar in the mid-60s (she was billed as Sunshine Kate on the original recording), but then took a decade off from music to start a family. In the mid- and late ‘70s, she made a few records that ran counter to her inherent blues instincts, and the result was frustration. “Eventually disgusted with trying to accommodate a business which never seemed to accept me or be satisfied with my efforts,” she says, “I gave up totally and went back to the blues.” The result was a record deal with the Boston-based Rounder label, which released her High Heeled Blues in 1981. Rolling Stone referred to the album as “some of the most singular and affecting country blues anyone – man or woman, black or white, old or young – has cut in recent years.”

Back in a groove that felt comfortable and fulfilling, Block threw herself headlong into an ambitious touring schedule that helped hone her technical and vocal skills to a razor’s edge, and at the same time nurture a distinctive voice as a songwriter. She stayed with Rounder for the next two decades, making records that simultaneously indulged her affinity for traditional country blues and served as a platform for her own formidable songwriting talents.

The world finally started taking notice in the early 1990s, and Block scored numerous awards throughout the decade. Her visibility overseas increased dramatically when Best Blues and Originals, fueled by the single “Lovin’ Whiskey,” went gold in parts of Europe. She brought home Blues Music Awards four years in a row – two for Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year, and two for Best Acoustic Blues Album of the Year. Then in 1997, she won the Blues Music Award for The Lady and Mr. Johnson, a tribute to Robert Johnson, taking home Acoustic Album of the Year.

Today, after more than twenty highly acclaimed releases and five Blues Music Awards, Block is at the absolute height of her creative powers, bringing a world full of life lessons to bear on what she calls “a total celebration of my beloved instrument and best friend, the guitar.” Her newest project, titled “The Mentor Series,” is a growing collection of tribute albums to the blues masters she knew in person. Her recent release “Blues Walkin’ Like A Man/A Tribute to Son House,” will be followed by “Shake Em On Down/A Tribute to Mississippi Fred McDowell,” due out in early 2011 on the Stony Plain label.

Silent Partners

Website: https://silentpartnerstheband.com/

As young men, Tony Coleman and Russell Jackson first met in 1974 when they were in the U.S. Army. Jackson returned to Ft. Riley, KS after a 2 year stint in South Korea, when he met Tony, who happened to be looking for a bass player to start a band. In literally crossing paths on the Army bus, Tony noticed the bass on Russell’s back and shouted where to meet the next day at the Army post as he disembarked. Russell was excited and eager to jam the next day and a partnership was created. They added another Army buddy guitarist Welton Everette and the band “Solid Funk” was created and performed locally. The young musicians would often drop by Tony’s Aunt’s house in Kansas City, for it was a gathering place for the top musicians of the day who were members of the Kansas City Musician’s Association. Charlie Parker, Count Basie, John Coltrane, and many more frequented the home and of course, jams would take place.

In late 1975, Jackson and Coleman relocated to Chicago and heard through a mutual Army friend that Otis Clay was looking for a bass player and drummer. An audition was set up with Otis and his guitar player Leonard Gill and the two were hired on the spot. With money very tight, they were happy to accept Otis’s offer to sleep on the floor at the old Chess Records Studio which happened to be where Otis had his office at that time.

In 1977 Otis took them on tour to Japan where they recorded his first live album “Otis Clay Live at Touranimin Hall,” released in 1978.

When they returned from Japan, the band played at the famed Burning Spear Club on the south Side of Chicago, where Jackson/Coleman/Gill gained the reputation for being a tight and polished rhythm section. There were always heavy hitters in the club, from Diana Ross to Bobby Bland, George Clinton and the man who became their new employer in 1979, Mr. B.B. King (Coleman went on to play with Bobby Bland but joined B.B.’s band 3 years later). The band had what B.B. was looking for, a perfect blend of “old school, new school.”

After 7 years, Russell Jackson left to attend the Dick Grove School of Music, where he completed a 3 year program in 18 months. Coleman remained with B.B. while Leonard Gill settled in the Bay Area. In 1987, Coleman, Jackson and Gill reunited and formed Silent Partners. After 6 months Gill was replaced by Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones who quickly became the renowned rhythm section touring with Katie Webster with whom they recorded “Swamp Boogie Queen” on the Alligator record label. They then toured with Charlie Musselwhite during which time Jr. Boy decided to remain with his band.

Coleman and Jackson relocated to Austin, TX and joined forces with guitarist Mel Brown, recording the Silent Partners debut album “If it’s All Night, It’s All Right” on the Antone Label. They often performed at the famous Antone’s Club and recorded a handful of other projects on the Antone label including work by Matt Guitar Murphy in ‘87 and Luther Tucker in ‘89.

In 1990, the band broke up. Mel Brown went to Toronto, where he became a staple on the scene. Tony Coleman and Russell Jackson went to Vancouver, B.C. where they joined the Powder Blues Band. In 1992, they recorded on Long John Baldry’s album “It Ain’t Easy” with Lucky Peterson.

Nearly 35 years later, Tony Coleman received a call from award winning keyboardist Jim Pugh, who had built the Little Village Foundation, a non-profit record company in Santa Barbara, Ca. With Pugh’s persuasion, Silent Partners with Tony Coleman and Russell Jackson reunited once again to record. They’re happy to welcome the newest member to Silent Partners – the man currently known as the new King Of Beale Street, guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Ellison. Jonathan was Denise LaSalle’s band leader for many years and worked with Latimore to name only a couple of his accomplishments. The new Silent Partners album “Changing Times” released in July 2022.

Tony Holiday

Website: https://tonyholidaymusic.com/

Tony Holiday is a multi-talented, award winning musician and entertainer hailing from Memphis, Tennessee.

Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Tony moved to Memphis in 2017 and has attached himself to the North Mississippi style of music. Tony infuses his traditional roots into a melting pot of different styles which covers multiple genres of music.

Tony’s drive and his incredible talent on the harmonica has earned the soulful singer opening spots with people from many genres including Willie Nelson, BB King, Steve Miller Band, Jason Isbell, Blind Boys of Alabama, and Charlie Musselwhite to mention just a few. Tony has also performed with legends such as Bobby Rush, John Nemeth, Guitar Shorty, Samantha Fish, Victor Wainwright and Southern Avenue.

Touring nationally and internationally, Tony is a family man and an entertainer who loves connecting with people and above all, bringing people together. The Memphis Flyer described Tony’s show as “Electric Hill Country, three part harmonies, and a heap of Memphis Lightning that is flat out ENTERTAINING!!”

Tony has released 3 critically acclaimed records on Vizztone and Nola Blue Records, (Nominated for 2 Blues Blast Awards) and 2 volumes of his Porch Sessions, as well as an EP called “Soul Service” produced by Ori Naftaly of Southern Avenue at the legendary Zebra Ranch recording studio in Coldwater, Mississippi. Tony is currently signed with the renowned Forty Below Records.

Tony has played the Legendary Blues Cruise multiple times and has played festivals and shows all over the world. So whether you catch the “Prince of the Porch,” as dubbed by Blues Blast Magazine, sitting with blues icons on porches across the world, on a cruise to paradise, or watching him play at a local club or festival, Tony is sure to entertain!

Trudy Lynn

2023 Blues Music Award nominee for Soul Blues Album and Soul Blues Female Artist

Trudy Lynn was born Lee Audrey Nelms in Houston’s Fifth Ward, where she began singing as a teenager. After high school, Lynn went to visit her aunt in Lufkin, where a club called the Cinderella needed a singer. She decided Lee Audrey Nelms wasn’t going to cut it as a stage name. The club had a bunch of cartoon character names painted on the wall and she noticed “Trudy,” which she quickly paired with Lynn. “Lynn was something in those days,” she says. “Gloria Lynne, Barbara Lynn. I thought, ‘I’m going to be one of those Lynns, too, baby.'” Prior to striking out on her own, Trudy was the vocalist for such Texas greats as I.J. Gosey and Clarence Green, where Trudy spent five years as the vocalist for his band. Green was a stern mentor, but Lynn credits him with helping her become a professional. “He molded me well,” she says. “He’s still in me because of what he taught me. It takes that.” After leaving Green’s band, Lynn began performing on her own. Since joining forces with harmonica wizard Steve Krase and the Connor Ray Music label in 2014, Lynn has played curator for herself. She has written her own songs that blend nicely with the vintage songs, mostly about good times and bad men. “Each one of these songs means something to me,” she says. “I truly understand something about each one of them.” I’ll Sing the Blues for You is Trudy Lynn’s 12th solo album and the third release on the Connor Ray Music label following up on 2014’s Royal Oaks Blues Café, which hit #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart and 2015’s Everything Comes with A Price which spent 4 months on the Living Blues Radio Chart. Trudy is also a five-time Blues Music Award nominee and was inducted into the Houston Music Hall of Fame in 2015. I’ll Sing The Blues For You peaked at #6 on the Billboard Blues charts. Her 2018 release Blues Keep Knockin’ was recently named one of the top 50 Blues recordings of 2018 by Living Blues magazine. In 2023, Trudy was nominated for Soul Blues Album and Soul Blues Female Artist Blues Music Awards.

Waylon Thibodeaux

Website: www.waylonthibodeaux.com

“Waylon Thibodeaux is a master at his instrument! He is a true and authentic voice of South Louisiana. He genuinely embodies what the old folks in the old country used to call a real ‘Music-man’” ~
Anders Osborne

“It’s a mixture –it’s Cajun, but not too traditional, it’s Zydeco with a pinch of New Orleans’ sound, a small pinch of South Louisiana “Swamp Pop”, a taste of Country and a little Rock ‘n’ Roll that’s sure to get you on your feet and dancing.” – Waylon Thibodeaux


Out of the Bayou and off Bourbon Street, Louisianan musician Waylon Thibodeaux struts his rocking blues roots side with Here We Go Again out on January 17, 2020, on famed Rabadash Records headed by John Autin, with distribution by Clay Pasternack Inc/CPI DIST. Radio promotion will be handled by Al Moss at Al Moss Promotions in Nashville.


Here We Go Again is Waylon’s third album with Rabadash, and for a change, the native Louisianan wanted to explore his Blues side with some of his original songs. “I call it blues with a Cajun accent,” laughs label owner John Autin. It was recorded and produced by Autin at his studios in New Orleans with musical guests Johnny Sansone, Josh Garrett, and Autin on keys. John called on Benny Turner, brother of Freddie King, and other more Blues-based musicians to help flesh out the sound. “Waylon’s happy tenor voice, and fiddle playing doesn’t belie a down, and dirty blues feel, but I think in a way we have created something quite new and interesting and unequivocally “WAYLON.”
Songs that talk about bad luck on “Smoke Signals,” personal decisions “Fail, Fail, Fail” and time sliding away, “Funny How Time Slips Away,” are all on Here We Go Again and the gumbo rue magic is in Waylon’s fiddle and tenor vocals. He is always working on expanding his sounds through guitar pedals to create different textures in his music. Everyone loves a steamboat whistle sound from a fiddler, right? His thoughts on “The Riverboat Song”: “I’ve seen the steamboats pass by the Riverwalk in New Orleans, and that whistle has always intrigued me. It’s a very loud, obnoxious sound, but it gets the job done to warn people of the passing of the steamboat.”


Waylon’s influences run wild like the Mississippi River from Cajun to Swamp Pop, blues to rock to country, but not many know he started as a drummer playing the old country music. Then one fateful night, when he was a kid, he saw Bob Wills on TV with fiddler Johnny Gimble, and down the road, the young Thibodeaux went; “I wish I’d had the chance to tell him how much he influenced me.” Then he started to dig around a little more, and he discovered Stephan Grappelli from Paris and Rufus Thibodeaux (no relation) of Neil Young’s band, then up to Nashville for some Conway Twitty then back to Pete Fountain in NOLA.


Waylon Thibodeaux (pronounced Thib-ah-doh) was born on the Bayou, down in Houma, LA, which is located about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans. At the age of eight, he picked up the violin, and by 16, he was crowned Louisiana State Fiddling Champion. He spent decades (started at 13) on Bourbon Street playing in various bands along the famed avenue in the clubs. The only equivalent to this type of musical culture would be Lower Broadway in Nashville, TN, where top touring and session players are known to play the city’s honky-tonks.


Over the years, Waylon has played festivals and shows in Canada, France, and South America and is a member of Voice of The Wetlands All-Stars, a group of some of Louisiana’s best musicians, advocating awareness on the eroding wetlands that run along the state’s coastline. Members include Voice of The Wetlands founder Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, and Cyril Neville. During a show at the Democrat National Convention in Minnesota, Waylon sang with Randy Newman on his 1974 song, “Louisiana 1927,” that vividly recalls the great flood that hit the area, and that was a wow moment for him.


Having played New Orleans Jazz Fest, French Quarter Festival, and every other Louisiana Music Festival in between, they all seem to center around music and food, and Waylon has a gumbo recipe that is to die for. He has no formula on file, but he puts it all in an iron pot; “Start with a chocolate-colored rue, throw in the onions, peppers, and the sausage…” and he compares cooking gumbo with being in a band, “the lead singer is the sausage cause he’s such a ham!” he laughs.


When Waylon pulls out his white custom-made electric fiddle from Sal DiGerano out of Metairie LA, you know it’s time to hit the dance floor with Here We Go Again!