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Line Up

11:00am – 11:40am
11:55am – 12:55pm
1:10pm – 2:10pm
2:25pm – 3:25pm
3:40pm – 4:40pm
4:55pm – 6:05pm
6:20pm – 7:35pm
and Between Acts
Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling and the Jewel Tones
EG Kight
Samantha Fish
Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues
Little Ed & The Blues Imperials
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
Marcia Ball
Dave Muskett

Marcia Ball

The Boston Globe calls Marcia Ball, “An irresistible, celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana Swamp rock and smoldering Texas blues from a compelling storyteller.” Singer/pianist Ball knows how to raise roofs and tear down walls with her infectious, intelligent and deeply emotional brand of southern boogie, rollicking, roadhouse blues and heartfelt ballads. Over the course of her three-decade career, Ball has earned a huge and intensely loyal following all over the world. Her exquisite piano playing and passionate, playful vocals fuse New Orleans and Gulf Coast R&B with Austin’s deep songwriting tradition into a sound No Depression described as, “a little rock, a lot of roll, a pinch of rhythm and a handful of blues.” Ball was nominated for the 2014 Blues Music Awards—her 16th nomination in this category for which she’s won five times in nine years. A two-time winner in the best Contemporary Blues: Female Artist category, Ball has also won Blues Music Awards for best Contemporary Blues Album of the Year for her CDs “So Many Rivers” and “Presumed Innocent.” She was awarded Most Outstanding Musician in the 2013 Living Blues Awards and inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Ball has regularly appeared on Austin City Limits, Late Show With David Letterman, Today Show, CNN, and Treme, and was featured in performance at the White House with B.B. King and Della Reese, broadcast on PBS. She was featured in the films Angels Sing (2013) starring Harry Connick Jr. and Willie Nelson, and Piano Blues (2003; directed by Clint Eastwood). Ball also performs on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, World Café ,Whad’Ya Know?, and Studio 360. website

Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers

Whether Jimmy Thackery headlines a festival in South Dakota or jams for hours in one of numerous blues bars that dot the musical landscape, he’ll always unleash an intense volley of rockin’ blues guitar guaranteed to leave crowds emotionally spent. His double-edged guitar dynamics allow him to fire off tracer missiles, bend a note so it will fit under a limbo bar, run off dive bomber riffs, and find space within the trembling of one stinging note. Thackery is one of the few blues guitarists who learned first-hand from the masters of the blues—and not off a record or DVD. Though most associate Thackery with his 15 years as the co-founder of the Nighthawks, he ended his time with them in 1987. Since then, Thackery has been on the road as a solo musician doing nearly 300 shows a year and proving each night that he is still a blues guitar powerhouse. website

Little Ed & The Blues Imperials

From working at Chicago’s Red Carpet Car Wash to appearing on national television, from gigging at the smallest ghetto blues bars to performing on the biggest international concert stages, master bluesman Lil’ Ed Williams has come a long way. Mixing smoking slide guitar boogies and raw-boned Chicago shuffles with the deepest slow-burners, Lil’ Ed and his blistering Blues Imperials (bassist James “Pookie” Young; guitarist Mike Garrett; and drummer Kelly Littleton) deliver the blues—from gloriously riotous and rollicking to intensely emotional and moving. Not since the heyday of Hound Dog Taylor & The House Rockers has a blues band made such a consistently joyful noise. Currently celebrating 24 rip-roaring years together, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials ply their musical talents with skills that have been honed to a razor’s edge. As much a family as a band, they continue to make blues history with each and every performance and new recording. website

Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues

Billy Branch was discovered by Willie Dixon, the “father of modern Chicago Blues,” while Branch was still in college. Dixon encouraged Branch to finish his college education, which he did, but instead of going to law school after receiving his political science degree, Branch began touring with the Willie Dixon Chicago All-Stars. This gave Branch the unique opportunity to travel and work as an understudy for the legendary Carey Bell who was planning to leave the All-Stars and form his own band. When Bell took his leave, the young Billy Branch took his place, touring with Willie Dixon for six years. Since those early days, Branch has played on more than 150 different recordings, including 12 under his own name. He’s recorded with Willie Dixon, Johnny Winter, Lou Rawls, Koko Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Honeyboy Edwards, Syl Johnson, Lurrie Bell, Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Primer, and TajMahal, just to name a few. In addition, he has received three Grammy nominations (losing one nomination to B.B. King and Eric Clapton). He served two consecutive terms on the Grammy Board of Governors, and founded the Grammy Blues Committee. In addition, he has won multiple W.C. Handy Awards from the Blues Foundation, an Emmy Award, an Addy Award, two Chicago Music Awards, and numerous humanitarian achievement awards. Branch’s internationally recognized “Blues in Schools Program” is dedicated to teaching both young and old about the blues as the roots of America’s music. He has brought this interdisciplinary program to Europe, South America, Asia and Mexico. website

Samantha Fish – Blues In the Schools

Kansas City-based Samantha Fish has been on a major roll ever since she teamed up with Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on Ruf’s 2011 release, “Girls with Guitars,” and created an international buzz in the blues world. Later that same year, Fish recorded “Runaway,” her solo debut on Ruf, which mixed gutsy riff-blues rockers like “Down In The Swamp” with the mellow small-hours jazz of “Feelin’ Alright,” while marinating her songwriting in the groove of the Rolling Stones and even tipping a hat to Heart. Hitting a receptive international blues and rock press, “Runaway” was hailed as a thrilling opening statement, earning a string of rave reviews and radio airplay, climaxed by Fish winning the Blues Music Award (BMA) for “Best New Artist Debut” in 2012. Fish’s most recent album, “Black Wind Howlin’,” is already critically acclaimed. The 25-year-old whirlwind continues to “defy every blues cliché by combining grungy but rhythmic guitar with bitter-sweet vocals that have none of the affected toughness of some of her male counterparts.” website

EG Kight

Early in her career, EG Kight was dubbed “The Georgia Songbird,” and today she is celebrated as a major blues vocalist. With her rich voice and a mastery of the guitar that has her holding her own next to any other player, Kight mesmerizes audiences of all ages, both as a solo and with her band. Kight’s musical style—a blend of Americana, southern rock, blues, pop, jazz, gospel and funk—transcends musical boundaries and has been called “country-flavored southern-fried blues.” A veteran of the road, Kight headlines at clubs, theaters and festivals across America and in Europe, has worked with B. B. King and appeared on NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” She was nominated for two 2012 Blues Blast awards, and has had six Blues Music Awards nominations, twice for Song of the Year. Her songs have landed on two of Koko Taylor’s Grammy-nominated albums, and on two blues compilations that maintained Billboard chart positions for over a year. Other artists who have recorded Kight’s songs include the legendary Dorothy Moore, Shakura S’Aida, and the late Ann Rabson. Kight’s songwriting savvy has led her to teach songwriting workshops in Italy and Germany. website

Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones
with Dennis Gruenling

Traditional blues, West Coast and Texas Swing, early rock, country and roots music; Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones run the gamut and bring it all together while consistently delivering originality. Deming’s swinging jump blues style has earned him great respect in the blues world where he has backed such notables as Chicago Pete, Black Tops Johnnie Dyer and the legendary Lazy Lester. Deming is joined by award-winning blues harmonica player Dennis Gruenling, hailed as “one of the baddest, swingingest, most innovative harmonica blowers on the planet.” doug deming website dennis gruenling website

Dave Muskett

Dave Muskett is a sophisticated finger-style blues guitarist, serving classic masters such as Doc Watson, Fury Lewis, and Robert Johnson, along with contemporary giants, including Taj Mahal, Roy Bookbinder, and Chris Smither.
Muskett’s original songs range from fun, up-tempo numbers to pieces with moody and soulful overtones that put the listener in mind of the deep and dark origins of the blues. Piedmont, rag time, traditional and country-blues all blend and fuse to form the refined composite that is the sound of Dave Muskett. website


Sponsors 2013 Bradenton Blues Festival.
For 2014 Sponsorship opportunities, please contact blues@realizebradenton.com.