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 artist with modern lyrics and themes that bring the blues into a new century. Right Man, Right Now is contemporary music that proves just how alive and relevant the blues is today.

Harmon is one of the blues’ strongest live performers, thrilling fans everywhere from Memphis to Mumbai. With Right Man, Right Now he finally brings that excitement to a brand new CD, his bluesiest ever.

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.”

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.

JP Soars’ Gypsy Blues Revue
JP Soars – Jason Ricci
& Anne Harris

www.jpsoars.com www.jasonricci.net www.anneharris.com

JP Soars is certainly not a typical Blues musician or a typical musician by any right. He encompasses a multitude of influences. As Soars say’s “for me there are two kinds of music. Good and bad. If it moves me I dig it.” While Soars has been an avid student of the Blues for many years in the late 90’s and early 2000’s he also immersed himself in the complex style of Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz. Soars has been incorporating this style into his own shows for a long time and this certainly helps separate him from the rest of the pack.

Last year at the Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas Soars invited harmonica virtuoso Jason Ricci and Violin extraordinaire Anne Harris up on stage to sit in. “It’s was a magical almost religious musical experience” Soars says.

“I’ve known Jason Ricci for a long time going back to Ricci’s early days of the 1990’s living in South Florida. “I’ve always loved Ricci’s musicianship, his mastery of the instrument, his versatility, his love of multiple styles of music and just simply Ricci as a person and friend. Everything he plays he does it with conviction and you feel it.” “I spent many a nights sitting in with Ricci’s band back in the day and staying up until the wee hours of the night simply jamming just for ourselves because we were having so much fun!”

I first met Anne Harris on the 2010 Legendary Rhythm and Blues cruise while she was touring with the great Otis Taylor. The first time I heard her play it was simply mesmerizing on so many levels. The passion she brings to the stage, the excitement in her playing and the sheer power she exudes forces one to stop in their tracks and pay attention. Since then every time Harris and I wind up on a festival together I always invite her up to play and it it’s always an amazing, inspiring experience.

“Getting to play with both Ricci and Harris together on the same stage was one of the highlights of my musical career and after the response from that one show at the Bender I knew we had to somehow make this magic happen again and again and to share this amazing experience with the rest of the world.” Soars contacted both Ricci and Harris and they both felt the same way. With that, the JP Soars’ Gypsy Blue Revue was born so they could bring this very special musical experience to the rest of the world.

“Do yourself a favor and get out and see this package. I guarantee you will leave with a smile on your face and a warmth in your heart that’ll last a long time,” says Soars. “It’s an absolute breath of fresh air”

Lately the word Super Group is tossed around like a hot potato but this goes beyond the clique of Super Group. This is like a religious musical experience. Come get ya some. It’ll do ya good.

Big Al & The Heavyweights

Website: www.bigal.net

The band started in 1995 as the Unknown Blues Band with founding members Warren Haynes and Al Lauro. Both met in country outlaw David Allan Coe’s band and formed the UBB as a side project because of their love of Roots Music. Big Al and the Heavyweights, got a big break when Dan Aykroyd featured one of the band’s songs, “House Party”, on the House Of Blues Radio Show. The band has appeared on the show four times. Big Al & The Heavyweights music can also be found on Mardi Gras Records, “Ultimate Mardi Gras” Cd along with such esteemed artists as the late great Professor Longhair, Rebirth Brass Band, Rockin Dopsie and The Olympia Brass Band. You may have heard the band on the nationally syndicated radio program, “Beale St. Caravan”. The new cd, “World Full of Trouble” was recorded in Slidell at Suite Mix Studios and produced by George Curreau, noted for his work with guitarist Brian Stoltz from the Funky Meters.


The band’s new EllerSoul Records release, World Full of Trouble features special musical guests Bob Margolin on guitar (who was a member of the legendary Muddy Waters band and is currently on The Last Waltz Tour) and harmonica superstar and former band mate, Jason Ricci. The recording offers an unconventional performance of American roots music, reflecting the band’s influences of funk, blues, jazz, zydeco, and country. The Cd has been in heavy rotation on XM’s Bluesville and was # 10 on the Living Blues Radio Charts and #6 on The Roots, Rhythm and Music Charts. Recently, XM’s Outlaw Country channel has been playing Real Mother Trucker from the CD.


The band has built a solid reputation for their no holds barred shows through years of extensive touring. This is one that you don’t want to miss!

Blues Caravan

Website: http://wordpress.bluescaravan.de/blues-caravan-2/

Ruf Records’ Blues Caravan is unstoppable. Fifteen years after Europe’s most respected label put on its first showcase tour, the founding concept is instantly familiar to blues fans: every night, on club stages across the US and Europe, three rising talents will burn down the house and kick the blues into the modern age. But there’s a twist. With the lineup chosen each year from the cream of the Ruf roster, every Caravan has a fresh vibe, a fizzing chemistry and plenty of flying sparks. And with three wildly different artists running the gamut of styles in 2020, all bets are off.


Jeremiah Johnson is the St. Louis bluesman from the school of hard knocks. After early days as the Southern circuit’s best-kept secret, 2018’s acclaimed Straitjacket album put the bandleader in the spotlight with its searing performances, smart hooks and blue-collar lyrics. “I am Southern blues-rock,” states Jeremiah. “It’s in my blood, my heart and my soul. I always sing my songs from my heart, with the same passion that I had when I wrote them. They come from the blood, sweat and tears of a bluecollar worker in the Midwestern United States. I couldn’t be more excited about the Blues Caravan lineup – it’ll be hotter than a two-dollar pistol!”


We first met Ryan Perry as a teenage phenomenon, when he hijacked 2007’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis with his Homemade Jamz Blues Band, and announced his talent for sharp storytelling, stinging guitar and soulful vocals. This charismatic bandleader’s talents have only grown over the last decade, and following 2019’s solo debut on Ruf Records, Ryan is the finished article, armed with a setlist to raise the roof. “Fans can expect high action and low ego on the Blues Caravan,” he says. “My live shows are packed with passion and soul, always fun and full of energy – as only a Mississippi bluesman can deliver.”


There’s no mistaking Whitney Shay. When this San Diego fireball hits the stage, the first thing you’ll notice is the flammable hair and sparkling dresses. But on this year’s Blues Caravan, the singer’s show will match her style, as Whitney shakes out the R&B floor-shakers from her acclaimed A Woman Rules The World album – and gives you a sneak preview of the studio material to come. “When I perform,” she says, “I want people to dance and be engaged. To me, blues has always been about catharsis, the purging of sad experiences. If I can make the audience leave smiling and feeling like they’ve forgotten about the troubles of their day, I’ve done my job.”

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!

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones

Website: www.dougdeming.com

“MOST PEOPLE, UPON HEARING MUSIC BY DOUG DEMING AND THE JEWEL TONES,

RECOGNIZE THEM AS A BAND THAT RETURNS TO THE ROOTS OF BLUES AS OPPOSED

TO A CONTINUATION OF MODERN ADAPTATIONS OF THE STYLE…

COMPLETELY RESTORED MY FAITH IN THE GENRE” -Muzik Reviews

“DOUG IS A FEROCIOUS GUITARIST, FIERY BUT CLEAN, WITH A CRISP, CLEAR TONE

REMINISCENT OF CHARLIE CHRISTIAN’S STYLE.”– Grant Britt, Blues Music Magazine

Eastside Detroit native Doug Deming, now hailing from Florida’s Gulf Coast, has garnered widespread attention for his deft guitar work and memorable songwriting. With a nod to the likes of T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian, as well as Luther Tucker and Robert Jr. Lockwood, Doug leaves his own mark whether swingin’ on the big jazz box, or playing straight up blues on the solid body Fender guitar. Since playing the local Detroit scene beginning in the early 90’s, Doug has spent much of the following years touring and recording with top blues artists, including Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson, legendary Louisiana swamp bluesman Lazy Lester, Texas’ Gary Primich, Chicago greats Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones and A.C. Reed, as well as Detroit’s own Queen of the Blues, Alberta Adams. Leading his band The Jewel Tones, Doug continues to bring noteworthy traditional and original roots music to his audiences.

Doug’s third recording, What’s it Gonna Take, exhibits the outstanding guitar work and remarkable singing and songwriting that have become Doug’s calling card. This critically acclaimed Vizztone debut spent several months on the Living Blues Charts Top Ten, and earned Doug the 2013 Blues Blast Music Awards Sean Costello Rising Star Award.

COMPLICATED MESS, the latest recording from Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones, is their most courageous effort to date, combining traditional blues, jazz, swing, soul and R&B, delivered in 10 original Deming tunes along with three re-tooled covers. Captured at Bigtone Records in Hayward, CA, this analog recording achieves the tone and warm, authentic atmosphere ideal for Deming’s style. The critics took notice, and COMPLICATED MESS showed up on several ‘best of’ 2018 lists, as well as a nomination for the 2019 Blues Blast Music Awards ‘Blues Band of the Year’.

MEET THE JEWEL TONES:

ANDREW GOHMAN (bass)  Born in Ohio and raised in Florida, Andrew Gohman started playing traditional blues guitar at the age of 15 and picked up the bass much later at age 25. Andrew played the Tampa/St. Pete blues scene regularly with his group the Bottom Feeders until joining the Jewel Tones full time in 2011. A bona fide audiophile, with interests ranging from traditional blues to jump to jazz, Andrew credits many influences, including Ransom Knowling, Ernest “Big” Crawford, Keith Ferguson, Jack Myers and Bill Willis, to name just a few. Andrew brings the grease to every performance, whether laying down the groove on his Fender, or pullin’ and slappin’ on his ’42 Kay upright.

ZACK POMERLEAU (drums)  Born and raised in Auburn, Maine, Zack had an early start at music receiving first drumset by the age of five. By the age of twelve he began performing locally in clubs as a solo act and by fourteen fronted his own group as a harmonica player, eventually representing the state in the International Blues Competition in 2010. As a drummer Zack has performed with prominent Maine local acts including DW Gill and the Blues Prophets, Tommy O’Connell and his Juke Joint Devils, Jimmy Junkinks (of the Soul Cats), among others. He has also had the opportunity to perform alongside nationwide harmonica player Jason Ricci and legendary Howlin’ Wolf/Paul Butterfield Blues Band drummer Sam Lay. His shuffles have been well regarded by his peers, with DW Gill dubbing him “Little Below” and Jimmy Junkins proclaiming he has the sound of a “big fat Cadillac.

DAVID COTTON (saxophone)  Raised in Macon and Memphis, David Cotton developed an interest in jazz and blues at an early age, and grew up playing as a teenager at his local Baptist church. As a young man, he toured internationally with Alligator Recording artist Tinsley Ellis, as well as Nappy Brown. David’s resume also includes stints with Randall Bramlett, Greg “Fingers” Taylor and Clarence Carter. Now residing in St. Petersburg, FL, David is a welcome addition to the Jewel Tones with his exceptional and traditional sound.

Lurrie Bell

Website: www.lurrie.com

“An incendiary fusion of Chicago Blues boilerplate and his own mercurial imagination, hyperkinetic energy, and dazzling technical dexterity.” David Whiteis – Chicago Reader

“If there is a Chicago blues child who perhaps epitomizes the blues life, it’s Lurrie Bell…the premier guitarist in the Windy City.” Boston Blues News

Born in 1958, the son of famed blues harmonica player Carey Bell, Lurrie Bell picked up his father’s guitar at age of five and taught himself to play. He was clearly gifted. In addition, he grew up with many of the Chicago blues legends around him. Eddie Taylor, Big Walter Horton, Eddie C. Campbell, Eddie Clearwater, Lovie Lee, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Dawkins and many more were frequent visitors to his house. They all helped to shape and school him in the blues, but none as much as his father’s long-time employer Muddy Waters.


At seven years old, Bell left Chicago to live in Mississippi and Alabama with his grandparents. During this time he played mostly in the church, immersing himself in the passionate expressiveness of the gospel tradition. At fourteen he moved back to Chicago and continued to play in church as well as forming his first blues band while attending high school.


By seventeen Lurrie Bell was playing on stage with Willie Dixon. In 1977 he was a founding member of The Sons of Blues with Freddie Dixon (son of Willie) and Billy Branch. The band recorded three standout tracks for Alligator Records’ Grammy nominated Living Chicago Blues series. In 1978 Bell joined Koko Taylor’s band and stayed for several years, honing his chops and learning the ropes of being a traveling musician. He continued to work with his dad as well, recording the 1984 Rooster Blues album Son Of a Gun and several other titles for UK’s JSP Records. Not only was Bell recognized as an exceptionally talented guitarist and musician, his knowledge of different blues styles, his soulfulness and his musical maturity delivered write-ups in publications such as Rolling Stone and The New York Times.


Battling and defeating a series of personal demons kept him out of the studio and off the road for a long spell in the late 1980’s, but Bell persevered and re-surfaced in the mid-1990’s with a succession of four highly acclaimed records for Chicago’s Delmark label.


Since the onset of the new millennium, Bell’s profile has been steadily rising. 2002 saw the release of the CD Cutting Heads and in 2004 Alligator Records released Second Nature an acoustic duet record with his father Carey Bell that was nominated for a WC Handy Award Acoustic Record of the Year by the Blues Foundation in Memphis.


In 2007 Bell started his own label Aria B.G. Records and released Let’s Talk About Love, which has been called his most accomplished, deeply heartfelt album yet. On the strength of this record, he was voted Most Outstanding Guitar Player in the 2007 Living Blues Magazine’s Critic’s Poll, and in 2008 and 2012 he was named the magazine’s Male Blues Artist of the Year. Since 2007 he has received multiple Blues Music Award nominations as Best Guitarist and Best Traditional Male Blues Artist by the Blues Foundation.


2009 found him pairing up with Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch on the recording Chicago Blues: A Living History which garnered him his first official Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Recording. In 2011 a follow-up was released; Chicago Blues: A Living History (The Revolution Continues) featuring Buddy Guy, Magic Slim, and Ronnie Baker Brooks.


In 2012 came the arrival of his second CD on Aria BG Records “The Devil Ain’t Got No Music,” a collection of acoustic blues and gospel songs that recollect the music he often played with his dad and at church in Mississippi and Alabama as a child. In January 2013 The Devil Ain’t Got No Music was honored with the Prix du Blues award from the prestigious French L’Academie du Jazz for the Best Blues Recording of 2012 and the title song (written by producer Matthew Skoller) received a nomination from the Blues Foundation for song of the year.


In 2013, Bell wanted to get back to the solid foundation of Chicago-styled traditional guitar blues for which he then recorded Blues in my Soul which features three new Lurrie Bell originals plus songs by Little Walter, T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Rogers, and Big Bill Broonzy and others. In 2016, and staying within that, Bell returned to the studio to record “Can’t Shake This Feeling”.


At last count Lurrie Bell has now appeared on over 50+ recordings either as leader or featured sideman. Lurrie Bell’s elegant and intense guitar playing and passionate vocals have made him a favorite at clubs and festivals around the world and have earned him a reputation as one of the “leading lights” in the future of the blues.

Altered Five Blues Band

Website: www.alteredfive.com

Altered Five Blues Band makes music with a swaggering stomp of bruising, barrelhouse grit. According to Downbeat Magazine, frontman Jeff Taylor “sings powerfully” and “Jeff Schroedl’s live-wire guitar reaches the high bar of mixed invention and fluidity” . Blues Bytes Magazine declares the group features “the funkiest rhythm section outside of Memphis”.

A 2018 Blues Music Award nominee, the Milwaukee-based quintet will release its new album, Ten Thousand Watts, August 16 on Blind Pig Records. Recorded over four days in Nashville, TN and produced by three-time Grammy winner Tom Hambridge, the 12 tracks stir up a thunderstorm of original, roots-rockin’ music. The set kicks off with the burning boogie of “Right On, Right On” and is followed by “Too Mad to Make Up,” a roadhouse rocker about a relationship in peril. The title track then finds Taylor strutting his stuff, testifying his powerful passion. The audacious theme continues with “Mischief Man,” before the band cuts loose on “Great Minds Drink Alike,” a sure-fire hit with the bar crowd. “Don’t Rock My Blues” eases the tempo and captures a traditional vibe. The collection of succinct, tight-but-loose songs reflect the continuing evolution of the band’s deft songwriting, blended with the intuitive musical interplay of the longtime bandmates.

The new album arrives on the heels of back-to-back award-winning records. Cryin’ Mercy won “Best Self-Released Album” at the International Blues Challenge in 2015, and “Charmed & Dangerous” scored Song of the Year at both the Independent Music Awards and Wisconsin Music Awards in 2018. Both albums reached the Top 5 in the iTunes blues store and hit #1 on the Roots Music Report Blues Album Chart. Guitar World magazine called the song “Charmed & Dangerous” a “menacing, swampy blues,” and the track has been in regular rotation on SiriusXM’s Bluesville along with many other programs and playlists. The album’s third track, “Three Forks,” was inspired by legendary Delta bluesman Robert Johnson and features music, adapted with permission, from the seminal classic “Crossroads”.

Altered Five Blues Band now have five studio albums to their name, including Gotta Earn It (2012) and Bluesified (2008), both on Cold Wind Records. The group has performed at many renowned festivals and venues such as: Grolsch Blues Fest (Germany), W.C. Handy Blues Fest (Kentucky), Ann Arbor Blues Fest, King Biscuit Blues Fest, Baltic Blues Fest (Germany), Milwaukee Summerfest, Magic City Blues Fest (Montana), Fargo Blues Fest, B.B. King’s Blues Club (Memphis), Buddy Guy’s Legends (Chicago), and several appearances on local television. They will also return to Europe in the Fall of 2019 for shows in Switzerland.

Bassist Mark Solveson anchors the rock-solid rhythm section with drummer Alan Arber, who joined the band in 2017, and Raymond Tevich melds his crafty keyboard work to top off the group’s signature sound. It’s been said that “the blues is a feeling,” so when the Minneapolis Star Tribune states that the band is a “righteous blast,” you know they play it right.

Gumbo, Grits & Gravy

Gumbo, Grits & Gravy
Guy Davis, Anne Harris, and Marcella Simien

GUMBO, GRITS & GRAVY is a ‘gathering’, featuring three brilliant musicians with culturally and musically diverse backgrounds. As the name implies, Gumbo, Grits & Gravy is grounded in the roots of a hearty, home-cooked meal, the foundation of family and tradition, which is more often guided by maternal inspirations. Through this understanding, it is a celebration of a musical and cultural diversity that this trio hopes to document and spread to the world in 2019 and beyond.

The genesis of this project comes from a tour under the same banner headline that briefly toured many years ago. It featured Guy Davis, Laurie Lewis, and Christina Balfa, assembled by former agent/manager Cash Edwards. The inspiration for it today comes from ensemble groups like the Carolina Chocolate Drops, only with a little more contemporary flair. So fill your soul with flavors of this musical stew!

ARTIST BIOS:
Guy Davis: The Routes of Americana
Guy Davis has spent his musical life carrying his message and music around the world, from the Equator to the Arctic Circle, from the Plains of Kansas to the tundra of Siberia. His work as a singer, musician, actor, writer, and music teacher have earmarked him as a renaissance man of the Arts.

What music and acting have in common, he explains, “is that I don’t like people to see the hard work and the sweat that goes into what I do. I want them to hear me and be uplifted.”

Davis’ much-praised 1995 debut, Stomp Down the Rider, on the legendary singer-songwriter label, Red House Records, marked the arrival of a major talent, earning acclaim for his deft acoustic playing, his well-traveled voice and his literate yet highly accessible songwriting. He’s barely rested since then, taking his music to television (The Conan O’Brien and David Letterman shows) and radio (Mountain Stage, World Cafe, E-Town, Woodsongs), as well as performing at theaters and festivals around the globe. He played the Ukraine in summer of 2014, just a week or so before the statues of Lenin were torn down. He even played for the visiting Queen of Denmark when he performed at a children’s home in Greenland. “I feel like I’ve only hit three corners of the world, with a lot more to go,” Davis says.

Truth be told, there just aren’t many who can deliver Americana in as interesting and entertaining a manner – or give acoustic traditional blues such a contemporary sound – as Davis, and it sure is a lot of fun hearing him explore the different sides of the genre. ~ The Blues PowR Blog

Davis somehow makes the term multi-talented seem woefully inadequate. ~ Jim Musser He has got a voice like Howlin’ Wolf dipped in honey. He is also an enchanting storyteller, able to deliver a shaggy-dog story while barking and simultaneously making train noises on a harmonica – a reminder of a time when the phrase “novelty song” didn’t necessarily have music-lovers running for the exits. He utilised ye olde food/sex metaphor in “Home Cooked Meal” and made it sound dirtier than you would have thought possible. He is fabulous. ~ The Scotsman

Anne Harris: Musical Diamond
Roots Music is an expressive art form, and nowhere can you find a more expressive musician than the mystic violinist Anne Harris. Rolling, blending and folding in a variety of musical influences from Celtic to Americana to Funk, she embodies a musical genre-morphing sound that is all her own. Anne is an internationally recognized instrumental talent that has captivated audiences around the globe. Her command of the stage is punctuated with a free reeling and coiling whirlwind of sound and visual excitement. Her gypsy-like stage presence is truly unforgettable and revolutionary in the ever expanding musical world that surrounds her.

The beauty of Anne’s ability to play the violin while dancing as gracefully as a swan and as powerfully as a shaman, moved me to joyful tears. Bearing witness to her performance left me completely awestruck and mesmerized. At times, she moves with a gentle ease, and then with sudden and wild abandon. Surely, it follows suit that she has had extensive training, but it appears to just spring naturally from her solar plexus. To watch her perform is hypnotizing. It was pretty much all I could talk about for several days. ~ By Julie Jenkins

Anne Harris plays violin like Buddy Guy wields his guitar. ~ By Robert Kinsler

Marcella René Simien: Swamp Soul Songstress
Wielding the torch of a veritable Creole dynasty, being born into one of the first Creole families to settle in St. Landry Parish, Marcella has now planted the seeds of her South Louisiana heritage deep into the bluffs of Memphis, TN — no small victory for a young woman just now rounding out her mid-20s.

Simien is a natural in the truest sense. Daughter of two-time GRAMMY award winning Zydeco luminary Terrance Simien, she was practically born onstage, and grew up thoroughly immersed in sound and performance. Yet, despite her almost fairytale-like upbringing, Marcella makes it her mission to forge her own pathways in the music business. A graduate of the prestigious Memphis College of Art, Simien boldly follows her heart. Her music is a dueling hybrid of classic Memphis soul and the freewheeling swagger of New Orleans funk, woven together with the sighing laughter of her ancestors: that Creole accordion. As outspoken and courageous as she is sensual and feminine, Simien holds a wisdom far beyond her years. With each honeyed undertone, every saintly holler, with each tinkle of the keys, and every pump of the squeezebox, she reinvents the mold and soldiers against boundaries, yet she never fairs to respect tradition.

Simien is one of the most soulful artists I’ve heard since the ‘glory days’ of Memphis soul music. Her sound and stage presence are constant reminders that soul music is still alive and well. ~ Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell

Marcella Simien heard it all as a youngster, no doubt, and once she doubled-down with the Memphis sound, she found a totally striking new attack on Southern Soul. ~ Bill Bentley

Monster Mike Welch

With over 25 years of touring and recording under his belt, Boston-based blues guitarist Monster Mike Welch is considered a seasoned veteran of the international blues scene despite his relatively young age.

Given the nickname “Monster Mike” by actor/Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd at the tender age of 13, Welch has since carved out a niche as a highly accomplished and in-demand guitarist. To date, Welch has released six albums under his own name, and in 2001, he joined the ranks of one of New England’s most beloved blues institutions, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, where he stayed until 2017, recording five albums and racking up multiple Blues Music Award nominations for the band in that time.

In addition, Welch has recorded with Shemekia Copeland, Ronnie Earl, Danielle Nicole, Duke Robillard, Johnny Winter, Victor Wainwright, Nick Moss, the Mannish Boys and Sugaray Rayford, among others. Welch left the Bluetones in 2017 to focus on his partnership with Mike Ledbetter, which led to seven Blues Music Award nominations and the formation of the Welch Ledbetter Connection within the first year.

Welch has received three consecutive Blues Music Award nominations by the Blues Foundation for Instrumentalist-Guitar beginning in 2016, a Boston Music Award for Best Blues Act, and is an inductee of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame.

Mike’s project with Mike Ledbetter appropriately called The Welch Ledbetter Connection won the 2018 Blues Music Award for Best Traditional Blues Album, “Right Place Right Time,” as well as the project winning 2019 Blues Music Award for Band of the Year. Additionally in 2019, Welch individually won Guitar Player of the Year.

Trudy Lynn

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. Additionally, Trudy is again nominated by the Blues Foundation for the “Koko Taylor Award” for “Best Traditional Female Vocalist” of 2018.