We’ll have to get an updated photo with the third BMA on Victor’s piano, as he won the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award at the 2017 Blues Music Awards in Memphis.
“Though his career began over a decade ago with genuine rock n’ roll honky-tonk, Wainwright has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the blues. His insatiable interest in music discovery, sheer love for entertaining and curiosity have led him all around the world, and the resulting perspective is a reflection of his passion for entertaining and creating progressive roots music in an effort to move the art form forward. Composer, producer, vocalist, entertainer and award winning piano player; Victor Wainwright is a raucous high-octane, dynamic performer and crowd pleasure with soul to spare.”
courtesy of www.victorwainwright.com
“Over the past 40 years, Tinsley Ellis has performed in all 50 states, across Canada, Europe, South America and Australia. He’s taken the stage in Russia, the Canary Islands and other destinations not on the traditional touring circuit. His vision for the future is to continue to release the type of albums that push the boundaries of Blues and to expand his touring radius. He reflects, “Playing concerts is what I’ve done the longest. From the time I was a young teenager watching BB King, Howlin’ Wolf and Billy Preston, to the great new music of today, I’ve taken what I’ve learned from these masters and incorporated it into my concerts. From BB King, I learned about performing with dynamics. From James Brown, I’ve learned about putting on a seamless, exciting concert. From The Allmans, I’ve learned about how to excite fans with extended instrumental jamming. I try to learn something new about putting on shows at every concert I attend.”
“Tinsley Ellis has achieved a lot of success and worked with some of the best in the business. He has toured the globe, released 19 albums, and hit the heights of commercial success with songs covered by other artists – notably, Jonny Lang recording “A Quitter Never Wins.” Ellis even gave Derek Trucks his recording debut on Ellis’ Storm Warning. He won Rock/Blues Album Of The Year with Tough Love in 2015 from Blues Blast Magazine and made many “Best Of” lists within Downbeat and others. Tinsley Ellis continues to release compelling music. And he continues to bring it night after night at one venue after another across the globe, sharing his blues-steeped legacy, fine songwriting, and deep pride in being a Georgia-based artist.”
courtesy of www.tinsleyellis.com
Toronzo Cannon was born in Chicago on February 14, 1968, and grew up in the shadows of the notoriously tough Robert Taylor Homes. Theresa’s Lounge, one of the city’s most famous South Side blues clubs, was nearby. As a child, Cannon would stand on the sidewalk outside the door, soaking up the live blues pouring out while trying to sneak a glance inside at larger-than-life bluesmen like Junior Wells and Buddy Guy. He also heard plenty of blues growing up in his grandfather’s home, and listened to soul, R&B and contemporary rock on the radio.
Cannon bought his first guitar at age 22, and his natural talent enabled him to quickly master the instrument. Although his initial focus was reggae, he found himself increasingly drawn to the blues. “It was dormant in me. But when I started playing the blues, I found my voice and the blues came pouring out.” He absorbed sounds, styles and licks from Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Hound Dog Taylor, B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Al Green, Jimi Hendrix, J.B. Hutto, Lil’ Ed and others. Although influenced by many, Cannon’s biting, singing guitar sound is all his own.
From 1996 through 2002, Cannon played as a sideman for Tommy McCracken, Wayne Baker Brooks, L.V. Banks and Joanna Connor. But he was determined to prove himself. In 2001, while continuing to work as a hired-gun guitarist, he formed his own band, The Cannonball Express. By 2003, he was working exclusively as a band leader. Cannon’s first three albums — 2007’s My Woman (self-released), 2011’s Leaving Mood (Delmark) and 2013’s Blues Music Award-nominated John The Conqueror Root (Delmark) — document his rise from promising up-and-comer to star-in-the-making.
Toronzo Cannon has become one of Chicago’s most recognized and most popular bluesmen through the sheer force of his music, his songs, his live charisma, and maybe most impressively, his passion for what he is doing. He’s played the Chicago Blues Festival on nine separate occasions, either as a sideman, a special guest, a band leader or, most recently, as a main stage headliner. When he’s home, Cannon drives a Chicago Transit Authority bus by day and performs by night. Using every vacation day and day off and working four ten-hour shifts a week, Cannon arranges his schedule to gig out of town as much as possible. He’s performed in a number of U.S. and European cities and continues to build his audience one roof-raising show at a time. It isn’t easy, but, like all of the Chicago greats who have come before him, blues is his calling. “I am proud to be part of a movement,” he says, anxious to hit the road and bring his music to new fans in new places. “I’m proud to be standing on the shoulders of every great Chicago blues musician who came before me.”
courtesy of toronzocannon.com
“The Paul DesLauriers Band is made up of virtuoso guitarist and singer Paul DesLauriers and the masterful rhythm section of Greg Morency on bass and Sam Harrisson on drums. Their latest release, the aptly titled Relentless (June 2016), is a genuine blues-rock escapade featuring 10 original new songs encompassing their most original and powerful work to date. Recently crowned Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, Bassist of the Year (Greg Morency) and Drummer of the Year (Sam Harrisson) at the 20th annual Maple Blues Awards held in Toronto on January 23rd 2017, in January 2016 the band also took 2nd place at the 32nd International Blues Challenge, the world’s largest gathering of blues acts, organized by The Blues Foundation. Held in Memphis Tennessee, they rose to the top to take the runner-up title in the band category in a world-wide competition that saw 119 bands competing for a spot on the podium.”
courtesy of www.pauldeslauriersband.com
“Al Hill is a Nashville-based singer, piano player and guitarist. In January 2017 Al won First Place awards for Best Solo/Duo Act and Best Solo Guitarist at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. He stylistically covers a wide swath of roots-rock, blues and soul music.
Since 2002 Al has been music director for three-time Grammy nominee and the Blues Foundation’s Best Soul Blues Female Artist of 2016, Bettye LaVette, performing throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Japan and Australia. Bettye and Al have appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Austin City Limits.”
courtesy of www.alhillblues.com