Kenny Neal was born on October 14, 1957 in New Orleans. His dad, harpist Raful Neal, was a Baton Rouge blues mainstay whose pals included Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo (the latter gave three-year-old Kenny his first harmonica). At age 13, Neal was playing in his father’s band, and at 17, landed a job playing bass for Buddy Guy.
The guitarist recruited some of his talented siblings to form the Neal Brothers Blues Band up in Toronto (brother Noel later played bass behind James Cotton; five other Neal brothers also play in various bands) before returning stateside. In 1987, Kenny Neal cut his debut LP for Florida producer Bob Greenlee, an updated swamp feast initially released by Kingsnake Records as Bio on the Bayou. The following year, Alligator Records signed Neal and reissued the debut under the title Big News from Baton Rouge!! Young Neal was on his way.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Canadian-born guitarist, singer, and songwriter Anthony Gomes is a critically acclaimed chart-topping artist who plays a style of modern electric blues that incorporates elements of rock, soul, R&B, and country. Born in 1970 in Toronto, Canada, to a Portuguese father and a Canadian mother, he began playing guitar in his early teens and moved to Chicago, IL, in the late ’90s with hopes of establishing himself as a musician. After honing his craft on the Windy City club circuit, he moved to Nashville, TN, where he found a home for himself amid the city’s renowned music scene.
Gomes made his recording debut in 1998 on the Urban Electric label with Blues in Technicolor, followed by Sweet Stringin’ Soul in 2000. In 2002 he switched to 33rd Street Records for Unity and proceeded to win the 2003 BluesWax Artist of the Year award. This accolade elevated Gomes to the top of the blues field, and consequently he was able to draw increasingly larger crowds to his live performances, which increased in frequency and scope. Though he didn’t release another album until 2006, Gomes’ endless touring kept him atop the blues field, as he continued to be nominated for BluesWax Artist of the Year awards several years in a row.
Anthony founded Music is the Medicine in 2010, a non-profit organization dedicated to postively impact the lives of others throught the healing power of music.
Since its inception, MITM has directly helped children with cancer, young adults with Autism and war veterans with PTSD. It has funded songwriting scholarships, offered musical education programs and donated musical instruments.
Saturday, July 22, 2017!
Legendary Blues Guitarist with roots in southern soul music.
Tinsley Ellis wears his Southern roots proudly. Born in Atlanta in 1957, he grew up in southern Florida and first played guitar at age eight. He found the blues through the back door of British Invasion bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream, and The Rolling Stones. He especially loved the Kings — Freddie, B.B. and Albert. His love for the blues solidified when he was 14. At a B.B. King performance, Tinsley sat mesmerized in the front row. When B.B. broke a string on Lucille, he changed it without missing a beat, and handed the broken string to Ellis. Tinsley’s fate was sealed; he had to become a blues guitarist. And yes, he still has that string. Averaging over 150 live shows a year, Ellis has played in all 50 states, as well as Canada, Europe, Australia and South America.
Whether he’s out with his own band or sharing stages with major artists like Buddy Guy, The Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule or Widespread Panic, he always digs deep and plays, as Guitar Player says, “…as if his life depended on it.” Ellis’ most recent tour with Blues At The Crossroads II: Muddy & The Wolf with the Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson, James Cotton, Jody Williams and Bob Margolin
Sunday July 23, 2017
Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors
Released early 2016, Donovan’s debut album entitled ‘Sun King Warriors’ gained critical national acclaim and wide non-commercial and AAA radio play. The Washington Times calls it “One of the most eclectic and exciting discs to come out in some time” while Relix magazine says: “Donovan channels unabashed enthusiasm into a series of songs that are both rowdy and rejuvenating”. Sun King Warriors can be best described as a mix of Americana rock, with a strong dose of tribal style drumming. Think Led Zeppelin III & IV mixed with Rusted Root’s “When I Woke” era rhythmic intensity, and the authentic vocal emotion of Mumford & Sons.
Saturday July 22, 2017!
Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns
“Bill Toms is a poet, a soul-shouter and guitar slinger with one foot in the gutter and an eye on the heavens above. And man, does he front a great rock n’ soul band!” – Will Kimbrough
The creative compulsion to write songs that stir emotion, challenge the mind, and move the tail feathers of the audience is undeniably unique in music today. His performances have become legendary in sheer power and passion. Rock and roll, soul, blues, and gospel so deep the earth moves, and the walls begin shakin’ as Bill Toms and his band start the train rollin. American music never sounded so good.