Gaye and the Wild Rutz

www.adegbalola.com

TOUR DATES:

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

Sue Foley

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: suefoley.com

 

Sue Foley is a multi-award winning musician and of the one of the finest blues and
roots artists working today. Foley spent her early childhood in Canada, mesmerized by her
father’s guitar and started her professional career at sixteen. By twenty-one, she was living
in Austin, TX and recording for Antone’s—the esteemed blues record label and historic
nightclub that helped launch the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Foley’s first release, Young
Girl Blues, quickly rooted her unique talents as a proficient blues guitarist/singer/songwriter
and launched her out on the road—working and sharing the stage with greats such as BB
King, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker and Tom Petty. In 2001, she won the prestigious Juno Award
(Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) for her CD, Love Coming Down. Foley also holds the
record for the most Maple Blues Awards (seventeen) and has earned three Trophees de
Blues de France. She has also garnered several nominations at the International Blues Music
Awards in Memphis, TN.

 

Foley is an accomplished and award winning songwriter. Her music has been featured
in the major motion picture You Can Count On Me and she also contributed the theme song,
“Two Trains,” for the internationally syndicated television series Just Cause. She has been
featured numerous times in major print publications including The New York Times, The Los
Angeles Times, The Toronto Globe and Mail, The National Post, Downbeat and Mojo Magazine,
and has performed and been featured on nationally syndicated radio shows: House Of
Blues, Sirius-XM’s BB King’s Bluesville, CBC’s Saturday Night Blues, NPR’s Mountainstage,
West Coast Live, Kentucky Woodsongs and Beale Street Caravan.

 

In 2001 Foley started a project called Guitar Woman based around dozens of
interviews she conducted with the world’s leading female guitarists. For eight years she
wrote articles, organized and promoted concerts, and worked on a book—fueling her passion
for gender studies in music and her desire to bring the work of great women guitar players
to light. The Guitar Woman project entered a period of dormancy from 2009-2015 while
Foley pursued several musical collaborations and returned to university to get her
graduate’s degree.

 

When she’s not recording or performing internationally, Foley is a Professor of
Music. Her specialty is teaching courses related to the roots of American music, creativity,
musician entrepreneurship, and empowering women musicians. In her spare time, she
studies the cello, reads voraciously, continues to work on Guitar Woman and is planning on
pursuing her PhD.

 

Look for Sue Foley’s new CD to be released in fall 2016.

Joe Louis Walker

 

Official Website: joelouiswalker.com

TOUR DATES

Joe Louis Walker is a true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer and prolific songwriter. Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner, has toured extensively throughout his career, performing at the world’s most renowned music festivals, and earned a legion of dedicated fans. His latest, highly-acclaimed album Everybody Wants A Piece, from Mascot/Provogue, cements  his legacy as a prolific torch bearer for the blues. Looking back on his rich history, Walker shares, “I’d like to be known for the credibility of a lifetime of being true to my music and the blues. Sometimes I feel I’ve learned more from my failures, than from my successes, but that’s made me stronger and more adventurous, and helped me create my own style. I’d like to think that when someone puts on one of my records they would know from the first notes, ‘That’s Joe Louis Walker.'”

Born in San Francisco on Christmas Day 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, prior to joining Alligator Records in 2012, Walker 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. He 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.

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, according to Walker, “a dream come true.”

With each subsequent release Walker’s audience continues to grow as his touring schedule expands. 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.”

NPR Music has called Walker “a legendary boundary-pushing icon of modern blues,” and he is already being referred to within the blues world as a living legend. However, at this stage of his life, Walker profoundly shares, “I’d really like to inspire younger musicians to carry on the legacy of blues/roots music – but play, and do it your way – don’t be afraid to mix it up. There’s no right or wrong way, just the way you wanna express yourself.  And above all, ENJOY YOURSELF.”

Katy Guillen & The Girls

Official Website:  Katy G & the Girls

TOUR DATES

Katy Guillen and The Girls may have deep roots in the blues, thanks to leader Guillen’s considerable skills and long history as a blues guitarist, but this trio—Guillen (guitar, vocals), Claire Adams (bass, vocals), and Stephanie Williams (drums)—brings a wide range of talents and tastes to the band’s sound.  Guillen’s searing and lively licks, William’s heavy, driving drums, and Adams’s rock-solid bass create a dense sonic background for Guillen’s honest and powerful lyrics, delivered with soul and verve and complemented by Adams’s intense harmonies.

Guillen began participating in blues jams in the Kansas City area at age 14, and within a few years she was playing as a featured guest with local blues legends and seasoned veterans like John Paul’s Flying Circus, but she and The Girls don’t stop there.  Their combined experiences playing in bands with genres ranging from baroque pop to Appalachian acoustic folk to classic rock ’n roll, as well as Guillen’s education in traditional Flamenco guitar, have added depth to their musical vocabulary and allowed them to shape a sound all their own. Influences span from timeless guitar god Jimi Hendrix to sweet songstress Patty Griffin, with nods to contemporaries such as Heartless Bastards. KG&G are as known for packing blues-and-BBQ roadhouses as well as they fill up a multi-bill alternative venue.

Proving that necessity is the mother of invention, Katy Guillen and The Girls formed in September of 2012 when seasoned guitarist Guillen found herself without her previous collaborator, Go-Go Ray (with whom she released LP “When I Get Away” in early 2012).  She was offered an opportunity she simply couldn’t pass up—an opening slot for the Royal Southern Brotherhood at Kansas City’s legendary venue Knuckleheads, so Guillen recruited bassist Claire Adams and drummer Stephanie Williams to create a trio.  Their chemistry onstage proved irresistible, and the band has been crafting their unique brand of bluesy roots-rock ever since.

After nearly 3 years as a band, their success continues to build.  The trio kicked off 2014 as finalists at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.  Since then, they have played festivals in their native Kansas City (Boulevardia, Middle of the Map Fest), as well as fanning out to locales such as Des Moines, IA; Austin, TX; Daytona, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Denver, CO; and Santa Monica, CA.  As backing band for singer/songwriter Jenny Wood, KG&G opened for rock legend Joan Jett.  Not content to stay domestic, they accepted an invitation to play the prestigious 35th Annual Montreal International Jazz Festival, toured Sweden in November 2014, and participated in Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea cruise in February 2015.  They’ve maintained a busy tour schedule so far this year while working on material for their second full-length release; slated for spring 2016.

They released their first full-length album in September 2014.  90.9 The Bridge celebrated the release by featuring KG&G and their single “Don’t Get Bitter” in their Local 909 Series.  Kansas City’s preeminent alternative weekly, The Pitch, awarded them with Best Emerging Artist at their 2014 Music Awards.

Katy Guillen and the Girls plan to continue writing, performing, and touring into 2016 and beyond.  Their already sizable fan base grows with every stop they make, allowing them to spread their infectious and original mix of classic American genres from the heartland of Kansas City to music lovers around the world.

Alvin “Youngblood” Hart

Official Website: ayhmusic.com

TOUR DATES

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.

 

Jason Ricci

Official Website: mooncat.org

TOUR DATES

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.

Zac Harmon

Official Website: www.zacharmon.com

Tour Dates

Zac Harmon is an award-winning guitarist, organist, singer, and songwriter whose distinctive style combines the best of old-school soul-blues artists with modern lyrics and themes that bring the blues into a new century.  His new Blind Pig CD, Right Man Right Now, is contemporary music that proves just how alive and relevant the blues is today.

Blues Revue called Harmon “aImasterful musician and performer of the blues.”  Blues journalist Don Wilcock referred to his “Bobby Blue Bland uptown sophistication with a touch of Freddie King guitar.”  And JazzReview said, “With his big blues sound from Mississippi, Harmon can go toe to toe with some of the best blues men in the business. Please don’t be shy, go ahead and mention Harmon’s name in the same sentence with Bobby “Blue” Bland, Albert King and Bobby Rush—just to name a few.”

Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Zac Harmon is a true embodiment of the music that emanated from the city’s historic Farish Street district, home of blues legend Elmore James. Given that Zac was exposed to a lot of music in his home, neighborhood, and local culture, it’s not surprising that he turned out a blues musician.   His mom played piano, and his dad, the city’s first black pharmacist, played harmonica and tended to the needs of artists such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Ike and Tina Turner, Albert King, and Little Milton.

His next door neighbor was a music instructor who would host friends such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Harry Belafonte in her home.  Another neighbor, Bill Farris, a blues scholar who worked with noted folklorist Alan Lomax and founded the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, recorded a number of Delta blues artists in his home, including Skip James.

Zac started his professional career at age sixteen, playing guitar with Sam Myers, a friend of his father’s.  Two years later he was playing with Dorothy Moore, Z.Z. Hill and other well-known blues artists who were passing through on regional tours.

In the early eighties, at age 21, he moved to Los Angeles to take a real shot at the music business.   He worked as a studio musician at first and eventually established a very successful career as a songwriter and producer.   He worked on major films, television shows, and well-known national commercials, even being hired at one point by Michael Jackson as a staff writer for his publishing company.  Harmon wrote songs for the likes of Evelyn “Champagne” King, Freddie Jackson, the Whispers, K-Ci  & Jo Jo, and the O’Jays.   He also produced songs for reggae band Black Uhuru‘s Mystical Truth album, which received a Grammy nomination in 1994.

After composing and performing some blues songs for a movie score, Harmon felt compelled to pursue his longtime dream of returning to his roots and recording his first blues project.  The result was 2003’s Live at Babe & Ricky’s Inn, an electrifying testimony to Mississippi blues, which showcased the sound at its best and introduced Harmon as a true torchbearer for the “next generation of the Blues.”  In 2004, Harmon and his band, the Mid South Blues Revue, sponsored by the Southern California Blues Society, traveled to Memphis and won the Blues Foundation’s prestigious International Blues Challenge title of “Best Unsigned Band.”

His next release, in 2005, was The Blues According To Zacariah, which garnered major national airplay, including XM, Sirius and the American Blues Network.  XM listeners voted Harmon “Best New Blues Artist” in the inaugural XM Nation Awards in 2005.  In 2006, Harmon won the coveted Blues Music Award for “Best New Artist Debut” for The Blues According to Zacariah.  Later that year, he was featured in Blues Revue magazine as one of the 10 artists that “represent the future of the blues,” calling him a “latter-day Eric Clapton or Robert Cray with shades of Luther Allison and BB King.”

Zac Harmon entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait in 2008 as one the stars of Bluzapalooza and while headlining “The Pizza & Pyramid Tour” of Sicily, Italy and Cairo, Egypt in late 2009, Harmon and company made history with a rare performance at site of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx, making the ensemble only the second blues act to do so; Louis Armstrong being the first.

In 2008, he released Shot in the Kill Zone in Europe, which was recorded live at the Lionel Hampton Room in Paris.  He then signed with the Northern Blues label for his third and much-anticipated U.S. album, From the Root, which was released April 2009.   Living Blues said, “It takes a truly gifted artist to go in as many directions over the course of a single CD as Harmon does here and still retain a sense of coherence.  For that alone, this is a pretty remarkable outing—but the real treat is the quality of the music itself, from beginning to end.”

Also in 2009, Zac was honored for his career achievements in his beloved hometown at the Jackson Music Awards, and weeks later in Nashville, the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation bestowed the “Little Milton” Guitar Award for “Outstanding Guitar Player” upon him.  That same year Harmon branched out into acting, with a major role in the independent feature film Black and Blue, released in 2010.

Zac was a featured performer for the 2010 “Mississippi Celebrates its “Grammy Legacy” celebration, hosted by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, where he was presented with a Peavey Award, which honors the state’s many Grammy winners and nominees as well as individuals who have played a significant role in developing and furthering Mississippi’s musical heritage.

Harmon released his next album, Music Is Medicine, in 2012.   Blues Bytes called it an “album of his exciting brand of blues, which mixes elements of soul, funk, gospel and R&B effortlessly, and this latest disc ranks as his best so far.”

Since then he’s been on a roll, becoming one of the blues’ strongest live performers, thrilling fans everywhere from Memphis to Mumbai.  His live performances combine elements of everything that influenced him: soul-blues, gospel, reggae, and modern blues-rock.

BluesWax said of a festival appearance, “Harmon’s stage show is like a Blues symphony where he segues from one song to the next without a moment’s hesitation, building a head of steam that is orgasmic.  Mixing classic boogie gliders with originals, he builds a West Side guitar sound that’s almost as sweet and simultaneously rough as classic Magic Sam into a showcase presentation that takes a lot of pages from Buddy Guy as far as dynamics. His hour on stage went by in an instant.”

In another live review, Jazz Now said, “His show affirmed all the hoopla that surrounds those dubbed as the hottest new act… Soulful vocals, breathtaking showmanship… His flashy guitar style belies the solid sound that he radiated on every tune, admirably backed by a fantastic band.”

With Right Man Right Now Harmon finally brings that excitement to a brand new CD, his bluesiest ever.  Addressing issues straight from today’s headlines, Zac presents them in a fresh original style built on the best blues tradition. And he has some incredibly talented musicians helping him – guests include Bobby Rush, Lucky Peterson, Anson Funderburgh and Mike Finnegan.

The album provides definitive proof that Zac Harmon is indeed the right man to firmly establish all that blues can and should be right now in the second decade of the new millennium.