11:00 AM Gates open
Chris Simmons Band
“…an extraordinarily talented Alabama guitar man that will make you feel his emotion and heart in every single note.” Twelve years after his birth in Boaz, Alabama, Chris begged his mom for his first guitar…It didn’t take long before Simmons realized he wanted to be a professional musician. He joined his first band at 15. At age 20, he decided one day to load up his musical gear and whatever else would fit in his van and hit the road. From there, Simmons roamed the southeast playing southern rock and blues in bars, house parties, etc. Later, he was introduced to the musical mecca of Austin, Tx. He made Austin his new home in 2001. There, Simmons started Ultrasonic, and spent five years playing legendary venues such as The Steamboat, Antone’s and the “Saxon Pub.” Leon Russell, Simmons’ former employer from 2007- 2012, has had a very strong influence. Russell is an American musician and songwriter who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. His interest in guitar was initially sparked by ANGUS YOUNG, guitarist of AC/DC. His longing for more knowledge of the blues led him on to, CHUCK BERRY, ERIC CLAPTON with Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominoes and DUANE ALLMAN and the Allman Brothers Band. Also on the list are DEREK TRUCKS, Aubrey Ghent, and PETER GREEN. It was these guitar legends that further led him to study the older blues pioneers like, ROBERT JOHNSON, MUDDY WATERS, FREDDIE, ALBERT AND BB KING. Johnson is at the top for acoustic blues, Waters for the real electrified blues, the 3 Kings when it comes to the blues solo guitar.
Albert White and the MusicMaker Revue
Guitarist Albert White began playing guitar in the late ‘50s with his legendary uncle, Piano Red, and his group “Dr. Feelgood & the Interns. Since then, Albert has performed with Joe Tex, The Tams, Ray Charles and many such artists during his 50 year tenure as a Blues and R&B musician. Albert still devotes himself to music, and recording Music Maker CDs, including his recent solo album, The Soul of the Blues. With the death of his uncle, Albert formed his own group and was booked by Hit Attractions out of Charlotte, North Carolina, once again, playing the college circuit. During that time he recorded with Clarence Carter on the Peacock Record label and performed back up with Ben E. King and Hank Ballard. Since then, Albert has performed with Joe Tex, The Tams, Ray Charles and many such artists during his 50 year tenure as a Blues and R&B musician. Albert still devotes himself to music, and recording Music Maker CDs, including his recent solo album, The Soul of the Blues. Trombonist Lil’ Joe Burton’s career began in 1964 with the late, great Junior Wells. Joe’s relationship with Junior continued for years but he also toured with other great acts such as, Bobby Womack, Joe Tex, Otis Clay and many others. He has appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, Midnight Special, Soul Train and a host of others. Joe even toured with B.B. King for 10 years performing 340 plus shows a year. Joe is well known throughout Europe and the United States for his heart-wrenching solos and tasteful high-energy performances. Drummer Ardie Dean’s infectious happy-spirited charisma drives the Music Maker Revue. He is a world-class drummer. Ardie Dean has been keeping blues time since 1969. He started out with Homesick James and then paid his dues on the Chitlin’ Circuit leading the band for R&B singer Chuck Strong. 20 years ago, Dean became a disciple of Winston-Salem-based bluesman, Guitar Gabriel who was instrumental to Music Maker’s founding and has been with Tim Duffy and Music Maker ever since. Tim Duffy elected Dean to produce Music Maker records. The first record Dean produced was with Alabama harp-blower Jerry “Boogie” McCain and his latest is Albert White’s “Soul of the Blues” featuring the genius of Steve Cropper and Elvin Bishop with Taj Mahal’s best rhythm section ever, Kester Smith and Bill Rich. Dean played at Carnegie Hall with Guitar Gabriel and Tim Duffy in the original “Brothers in the Kitchen,”. Dean has played with Ernie K-Doe, Bo Diddley, Jerry McCain, Greg Allman, Taj Mahal, and Henry Grey but, “more importantly,” in his words, “I have played around the world with the best, the “Music Maker Revue.”
Eight O’Five Jive
The band’s ability to deliver the goods has garnered them the Nashville Industry Music Award (NIMA) for "Best Live Blues Performers" two years in a row (2014, 2015), “Best Blues Band” (2016), a Blues Blast Magazine Award nomination, as well as the Nashville Blues Challenge top prize for both 2016 and 2017's International Blues Challenge. Their debut album, "Too Many Men," showcased the band’s first take on some lively jump blues by legends including Little Esther Phillips, Big Jay McNeely, Memphis Minnie, Jimmy Liggins, Big Maybelle and more, as well as two hot originals, "Young Enough To Be My Son" and "Misery Loves Company."Our material covers a time in American history when blues, jazz, doo-wop, swing, big band and various other styles got mixed up into one big pot before it became rock ‘n’ roll,” said Scheinman.Jump forward and you’ll see a resurgence of raucous swing, jump, blues, and jazz fusion in dance clubs, blues & whiskey bars, and massive flash-mobs on the city streets by talented national dance troupes. Eight O’Five Jive’s gourmet combination of these classic ingredients proves their mix of sophistication and irreverent fun to be a tasty, irresistible recipe.
When the duo Markey Blue was first formed to “write a few songs” and do “a few club dates” this musical pair had no idea what a fast riding journey it would become. Randy Chortkoff, CEO of Delta Groove Records, signed Markey Blue as its first project to their new artist promotion department. Hey Hey was released at #1 on the Debut Blues Chart, reached #1 on both the Tennessee Roots Music Chart and Blues 411, held Top 10 on National Roots Music Chart and Top 25 on the Living Blues Chart. The band was named one of the Top 10 Emerging Blues Artists to Watch in 2015; Markey was named One of the Top 10 Blues Women to Soar in 2014. The album was nominated for the Blues Blast Awards Best Blues Debut Artist, the NIMA Awards Best Blues Artist and Best Live Performance, and was featured in blues/roots magazines world-wide. The Duo was signed to both a national booking agency, and signed a TV/Multimedia Publishing deal for song placement in movies and television. With three songs picked up for TV placement from the new album, The Blues are Knockin’, Markey Blue takes a diving approach into the different worlds of Blues. The album explores Delta, Texas, Memphis, Kansas City, Rock and a touch of Soul Blues. The creativity and craftsmanship of this duo shines throughout this entire musical journey.
Norman Jackson Band
#3 in the World at the 2016 International Blues Challenge Finals , The Norman Jackson Band is led by, “The Soul Machine” Norman Jackson, his protege and musical son on saxophone, Rick Shortt and backed by the groove inducing rhythm section of Danny Williams on Bass and "The Boogie Man" on drums. "The Baddest Soul Band in the Land" promises to make you "Get Your Happy On" with their virtuoso musicianship and smile inducing showmanship.
Joe Louis Walker
Joe Louis Walker is a true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer and prolific songwriter. Walker, a 2013 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 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. 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.”