Veteran blues guitarist, Rich McDonough, has teamed up with singer/songwriter, Laura Green, a seasoned vocalist, new to the St. Louis blues scene. The Green McDonough Band performs a dynamic mix of originals and their own reworking of classic blues. Their music is inspired by the great artists of the past as well as contemporary blues artists, such as Big Mama Thornton, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Lou Ann Barton and others. The Green McDonough Band has been performing on the St. Louis music scene for over a year and has a soon-to-be-released CD, as well as a European tour scheduled in the spring of 2016. Rich is no stranger to international performance, having played in places such as Holland, Belgium, Norway, France, Hungary, Germany, and a recent tour of Brazil with Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne. He has also performed and/or recorded with Johnny Johnson, Rondo's Blues Deluxe, Levon Helm, Uvee Hayes, Soulard Blues Band, Keith Doder. Rich as opened for Albert King, Little Milton, Robert Cray and Tyrone Davis, and has recorded two CDs under his own name. in 2012, Rich was named the St. Louis Blues Society Artist of the Year. The Green McDonough Band's music is a fusion of their individual styles that they bring to the mix to create a dynamic, energetic, unique experience.
22 mei 2016 JEFF JENSEN BAND (USA)
Sometimes all it takes is a tiny spark to ignite a raging inferno. For Jeff Jensen, the spark occurred in 2011. Feeling the need for a fresh start, he loaded up his car to head back to his boyhood home in California. Just as that journey was to begin, a deep and unexpected calling starting boiling inside, Jensen changed directions and headed to Memphis. There was no job waiting for him; no plan, no family, no band, just a lone friend with a temporary place for him to stay. But our intrepid guitar player felt it was the right move, the only move. In less than thirty hours after arriving, he met Brandon Santini and was offered the opportunity to be his guitarist. Soon after, Jeff became music director for the Brandon Santini Band. The inferno has been building ever since. After two years, almost 500 shows and three recordings with Santini, Jensen re-formed his band with long-time friend and musical collaborator Bill Ruffino (bass). Then they recruited Memphis native Robinson Bridgeforth as drummer. They hit the road and never looked back. Most people are in for a shock the first time they experience a Jeff Jensen Band performance. It starts with the trio mixing an eccentric blend of soul, rock, and American roots music with a deep blues influence. Suddenly Jensen feels the spirit, transforming into a whirling dervish of sight & sound as he bounds across the stage, barely able to contain himself as he wrenches stark, biting six-string explosions from his guitar. His passion is there for all to see, a rare occurrence in these times of buttoned-down music-making. At first, the sheer emotional force he creates can be a bit overwhelming. Then you realize that all art is an expression of the soul, of the power of the life-giving force that created the universe. And Jeff feels it is his responsibility to make the effort to communicate his passion with each member of the audience every night. After all, music is art, and art is the physical form of emotion.
In 2015, Jensen released the vibrant Morose Elephant album that captures the flavor of the band’s creative force. Combining seven originals with covers of songs from Memphis Minnie and Amos Milburn plus a traditional gospel hymn, Jensen articulates the depth of his musical vision with help from a number of friends including Victor Wainwright, Reba Russell, and Annie Harris. The disc received even more critical acclaim as the band’s previous release, Road Worn and Ragged (2013), both produced by Jensen. This led to two consecutive Blues Blast Music Award nominations in the Sean Costello Rising Star category (2014/2015). The band continues to tour the US, Canada and many European countries relentlessly, as the inferno shows no signs of burning out. Whenever there is a break in the schedule, Jensen switches roles, acting as the producer with other artists including Mick Kolassa, John Parker and co-producing Santini’s This Time Another Year, nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Album category (2014).
12 juni 2016 MISSISSIPPI BIGFOOT (USA)
The Band: Mississippi Bigfoot was formed in the spring of 2015 after a series of events led them to play together at Ground Zero in Clarksdale, MS. They are a new band with an old soul. That first night led to many more Nationally. From nightclubs to festivals to private parties, their dancecard has been filling up. May 2016 will find them over the ocean on their first International tour. Their debut album, Population Unknown, was recorded in the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN. Radio airplay around the world has allowed them to gain fans globally and they are looking forward to meeting many of them on the upcoming tour. For booking information contact us. Christina Vierra: A powerhouse of a singer from Boston, Massachusetts, Christina has a voice that is in your face and full of soul. Growing up in a family of 11, all of them musical, choosing this as a career was a natural. Her voice has taken her from coast to coast and landed her a contract with Warner Bros where she arranged vocals for such artists as Aretha Franklin and Madonna. Her most recent west coast adventure was recording as the voice of Janis Joplin in the Biopic being released by Sony Pictures. Those recordings had her reaching back to her blues roots and headed to Memphis to soak up the history and ﬂavor of the Delta. She’s not just a singer, she’s a profound entertainer. Ashley Bishop: Growing up in Memphis, surrounded by her sounds, Ashley started playing the drums at the age of 7. It didn't take long for the guitar to peak his interest and he started playing that instrument at 12. He’s performed with some of the greats; Blind Mississippi Morris, Earl the Pearl, and his close friend Big Gerry to name a few. He describes his tone as Chunky Funky, Hill Country, Juke Joint, Delta Blues with a Memphis vibe. He played regularly on Beale Street for a decade before joining the others to form Mississippi Bigfoot and is excited about this new project and the music they are creating.
Doug McMinn: Born to two Blues artists, this music was in his blood. Doug spent many countless hours practicing on pots and pans before he got his first official set of drums. The practice paid off when he played his first gig with his Mother (Dee Fisk) at the age of 12. Now a staple to the Memphis music scene, he joined his Dad (Papa Don McMinn) on the stage at the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street when he was 17 and has played around the world with various artists like Reba Russell, Mojo Buford, John Primer, and his Family band. His tours with Mojo Buford sparked his interest in the harmonica and Mojo became his first teacher. Pay close attention to this drummer, he can play harmonica while still laying down the beat. Cade Moore: Also known as "Missippi Mudd", Cade hails from Clarksdale, Mississippi and began playing bass when he was 9 years old. His biggest influence as a child was his father, Charlie Moore, both as a player and as a man. Studying under Dr. Mike James, Big Jack Johnson, and Johnny Billingsly; his sound was heavily influenced by the Blues. He has had the honor of sharing the stage with many great artists such as Sam Carr, Grady Champion, Cedric Burnside, Pinetop Perkins, Bill "Howlin Madd" Perry, and Mudd & Big Bill Morganfield. He brings an original flavor on the bass, bred in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Laid back with a soul for somethin' good and a passion for holding a groove. Chris Pitts: Chris was "regifted" music. His older brother was given an old fender acoustic guitar but it was Chris that ended up playing it. Barely 5, his first lessons were from his Father who himself had learned from Chris' Great-Great Grandmother. His sound began generations before he was born. When Chris turned 12, he played his first gig on Beale Street at This Is It and moved from there to Wild Bills where he was in the house band for a decade. He has played with great artists like Lattimore, Bobby Rush, Blind Mississippi Morris, Ruby Wilson, Preston Shannon, and his mentor, Eric Gales. Guitar is only half of his talent, Chris steps forward and takes the lead vocals with a soulful voice and a showmanship that has been passed down the family line. A well rounded entertainer, his love for music is evident on and off the stage.
18 september 2016 RAY FULLER (USA)
RAY FULLER from New Albany Ohio, was given his first guitar at the age of 8, a Gibson Melody Maker. At an early age, Fuller was inspired by the British Invasion; Rolling Stones, Yardbirds and the Animals bands. Fuller’s first Blues album he ever heard was John Mayall and the Blues Breakers featuring Eric Clapton. “I could tell good blues guitar when I heard it…it was different.” Fuller’s passion for the Blues was fueled with the discovery of the original Blues greats; John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, BB King, Elmore James. Young Ray Fuller was especially fond of John Lee Hooker. The Ray Fuller Band was formed in 1974, evolving into Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers in 1978; releasing a self titled album on vinyl and Fuller has not looked back since. Mastering his craft throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Fuller was quick to become the “go to act” throughout Ohio to open for iconic Blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Albert Collins to name a few. MUDDY WATERS after witnessing an opening act performance by Ray Fuller on slide guitar exclaimed for all to hear "That was some hot slide boy! I could smell the smoke backstage! JOHN LEE HOOKER was so impressed with the band and their performance that he took Ray and his entire band and the John Lee Hooker band out to dinner and picked up the tab. He then invited Ray Fuller to be his special guest at his next show 100 miles away the very next day! These opportunities to hang out and learn at the feet of the masters were not wasted on young Ray. He paid close attention to every pearl of wisdom and every nasty riff and blues lick generously shown to him as an eager student of the blues. In 1989 Fuller began touring as far west as Colorado, south to Florida and north to Michigan and New York. Fuller released “Damn Guitars” in 1989 which was quick to become a top seller for Rounder Records; followed by “Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers Live” in 1992. Touring paused with the end of Fuller’s marriage which ended in true blues fashion in 1995. This break up inspired many great songs, still receiving airplay today. Fuller went on to release “Pearlene” in 1997; Twist of Fate in 1999 and in 2003 “Live Rockin’ the Blues.”
With new determination and new marriage in 2009 Fuller pressed on. In 2010, Fuller played his first overseas show at the Vodacom Ampitheatre in Port Elizabeth South Africa, donating all proceeds to a local South African friend/fellow musician whose daughter was fighting a life threatening illness. Under new management in 2010, Fuller began focusing on his passion for slide guitar, playing in his own style which has been compared to and inspired by Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor and even Earl Hooker (cousin of John Lee Hooker). Fuller found himself in demand with renewed focus on his unique style of “Rockin’ Slide Guitar Blues”; playing major Blues Festivals in both USA and Canada. In January 2013, Ray Fuller signed with Blue Gate Media, Germany, to tour Europe! Coming full circle from being a young musician/painter straight out of Columbus College of Art & Design opening up for the great Buddy Guy, Ray Fuller is now a Saturday night Headliner at the world famous Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago IL! In-fact, Fuller had the honor and rare privilege of recording Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers “LIVE at Buddy Guy’s Legends” with Mr. Buddy Guy in attendance! “LIVE at Buddy Guy’s Legends” CD was released April 15, 2014 and spent 16 months on the RMR Blues and Rock Charts!
Ray Fuller first Europe tour October 2014 was a Huge Success! Ray Fuller crisscrossed Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and France, with audiences demanding as many as FIVE ENCORES-venues packed to the gills-leaving fans screaming-stomping-chanting-demanding more at every show! Blue Gate Media is NOW BOOKING the Ray Fuller Fall 2016 Europe tour September 15-October 2nd!
Ray Fuller’s immediate focus is on bringing his unique “Rockin’ Slide Guitar Blues” to Blues Festivals and major Blues venues throughout USA, Canada, Europe and beyond; putting on high energy, dynamic performances full of fire and energy audiences won’t soon forget!
23 oktober 2016 LOW SOCIETY (USA)
Mandy Lemons and Low Society are blazing new trails on the stomping grounds of Blues and Americana music. Mandy sings the blues with an emotionally charged powerhouse voice that mixes original southern fried soul and northern attitude. Her partner in crime is guitarist and producer Sturgis Nikides, former sideman with John Cale (of the Velvet Underground). The pair has codified their shared love of Texas and Delta Blues and Memphis Rock 'N Soul, mixed with a healthy dose of New York attitude, into their own subconscious language. It defines the sound and spirit of their critically acclaimed sophomore album, "You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down", a diverse collection of original songs that inject new life into, while remaining firmly rooted in, the traditional music that they live and breathe. Writer C Michael Bailey says "This band is over the top, deserving every twisted metaphor given them. I won't hear another recording of new music better this year". The album features guest appearances from a few of Memphis' best known musicians, including Dr Herman Green (B.B. King and Lionel Hampton alumnus) on the saxophone, Lucero's Rick Steff on keys and accordion, and Brian Hawkins on harmonica and vocals. The album was recorded at the historic Memphis landmark, American Recording Studio, and mastered by Stax legend, Larry Nix.Mandy's incendiary 'take no prisoners' vocals woven together with Sturgis Nikides blistering slide guitar is unstoppable, as they blaze their way through a veritable map of the South. Holding down the rock solid rhythm section are Memphis native sons, Mike "InThePocket" Munn on drums and Nick Dodson on the bass guitar. Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine reviewed their debut CD 'High Time' and said "these hipsters have taken southern country blues and super-charged it to a white-hot intensity". The band has traveled extensively, playing hundreds of shows on festival, juke joint and club stages everywhere from Eastern Europe to NYC, from Texas to Mississippi, to Memphis and Miami and points beyond. They have appeared at Clarksdale Mississippi's Juke Joint Festival for the last 4 consecutive years, the 2012 Bluesalive Festival in the Czech Republic and Poland, as well as NYC's Howl Festival for 3 consecutive years. They have also participated in the prestigious International Blues Challenge in 2014 and 2015. Catch them in a city near you soon!
13 november 2016 ALBERT CASTIGLIA (USA)
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Albert Castiglia [pronounced ka-steel-ya] was born Aug. 12, 1969 in New York, the son of a Cuban mother and an Italian father. Castiglia's parents moved to Miami when he was five, and began taking guitar lessons as a 12-year-old. As a teenager, he realized the passions in his heart and thoughts in his mind were best expressed through his own music. He made his professional debut in 1990 when he joined the Miami Blues Authority. He was named ‘Best Blues Guitarist' in Miami in 1997 by New Times magazine, a local alternative paper. Unlike so many blues and rock ‘n' roll musicians, Castiglia completed his four-year college education and then worked for four years as a social services investigator for the state of Florida. He continued to fine-tune his guitar playing, songwriting and singing chops at nights and on weekends in the Miami area. His first big break came about when legendary harmonica player Junior Wells heard him sing and play and immediately hired him for his touring band. Castiglia accompanied Wells on several world tours. After Wells passed away in 1998, Castiglia, then living in Chicago, found work with Atlanta-based blues belter Sandra Hall, accompanying her on regional and national tours through the late 1990's. Aside from Hall and Wells, Castiglia has shared stages and jammed with Aron Burton, Pinetop Perkins, Melvin Taylor, Sugar Blue, Phil Guy, Ronnie Earl, Billy Boy Arnold, Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Primer, Lurrie Bell, Jerry Portnoy, Larry McCray, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater and Otis Clay, among others. He struck out on his own and released his debut, "Burn," in 2002, collaborating on the album with his friend Graham Wood Drout. He followed up with his 2006 release for New Jersey-based Blues Leaf Records, "A Stone's Throw." Castiglia's second release for Blues Leaf, "These Are The Days," was released in April, 2008. The album demonstrates Castiglia's mature guitar stylings and soul-filled vocals, which some say are reminiscent of Van Morrison. The album includes five originals, including his tribute to mentor Junior Wells, "Godfather of the Blues," but also select covers, including "Catfish" from Bob Dylan, "Night Time Is The Right Time," from Nappy Brown, Fenton Robinson's "Somebody Loan Me A Dime," and Little Willie John's "Need Your Love So Bad." Given that he's young by blues standards and has a depth and breadth of live, studio and life experience, it is possible Castiglia may yet become a major force behind another blues and blues-rock rebirth. ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi