Kenny Neal, born in New Orleans and raised in Baton Rouge, began playing music at a young age. Learning the basics from his father, singer and Blues harmonica master, Raful Neal, Kenny is known as a modern swamp-blues and multi-instrumentalist, that draws from the sizzling sounds of his native Louisiana. Kenny’s 2016 release, Bloodline, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album and also won 2 BMAs (Blues Music Awards); one for Best Contemporary Blues Album and the other for Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist. He is a true living blues Legend, THE REAL DEAL and more poised than ever to deliver the blues like no one else can!
Since the 2016 release of his Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way, contemporary blues guitarist/vocalist/songwriter (and Chicago Transit Authority bus driver) Toronzo Cannon has burst onto the international stage as one of Chicago’s – and the world’s – most acclaimed next-generation bluesmen. He’s earned his fame through the overwhelming response to his album, the sheer force of his music, his original songs, and his live charisma. Since the CD’s release, he’s played major cities all over the U.S., Canada and Europe, delivering one hard-rocking performance after another. England’s MOJO magazine declared The Chicago Way the #1 Best Blues Album of 2016. The album and Cannon were also nominated for four Blues Music Awards in 2017. And the world champion Chicago Cubs invited Cannon to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the September 13, 2017 game.
Biscuit and his band, The Mix, have been touring extensively ever since he won his first BMA in 2012 followed by a second BMA for Best Bass Player in 2017. Biscuit is known for his high energy shows, his antics as a funky bassist turned front man, and his blazing million-dollar smile. He is a born entertainer and is at home on the stage where he connects with his audience through a fun and funky approach to the blues. But don’t let the fun and food songs fool you! This is a dedicated group of musicians with an amazing depth of talent. Biscuit Miller has graced the covers of several publications, including the Blues Festival Guide and Big City Rhythm & Blues.
Michael John “Duke” Robillard is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, bandleader, studio sideman, producer, label operator and educator. The Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C.Handy Awards) named Duke Robillard Best Blues Guitarist four years out of five (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004) making him the second most honored guitarist for that award! He was also nominated in that category in 2005, 2007 and 2008. In 2007 Duke received a Grammy nomination for his Guitar Groove-a-rama CD and was also honored with the prestigious Rhode Island Pell Award for excellence in the arts. Other awards over the last decade include three Canadian Maple Blues Awards in 2001, 2002, and 2003 for Best International Blues Artist, The Blues Foundation’s Producer of the Year award in 2004, The French Blues Association Album of the Year award in 2002 and Guitarist of the Year awards in 1999 and 2002.
Growing up on Mississippi sharecropper land in 1945, inspired by his family’s deep devotion to spirituals on Sundays, and blues on Saturdays! Moving to Chicago in 1963, he started on that path of becoming a great bluesman, getting his first steady gig at the Legendary Theresa’s Lounge. After he joined forces with Willie Dixon, his dream came true in 1981, John’s idol, Muddy Waters called for him to lead his band. After Muddy’s untimely death, he joined up with Magic Slim & The Teardrops for the next 13 years, traveling all over the world and innovating the “Chicago lump” sound. In 1995, he began leading his own Real Deal Blues Band. He recorded his own Blues House Productions record label. A Chicago Blues Hall of Famer with 2 Grammy Nominations, given 2 Lifetime Achievement Awards, winning a Blues Music Award, several Living Blues Awards and countless other awards, John Primer is a Chicago Blues Icon keeping all the traditions alive!
Zac Harmon is an award-winning guitarist, organist, singer, and songwriter whose distinctive style combines the best of old-school soul-blues artists with modern lyrics and themes that bring the blues into a new century. In 2004, Harmon and the Mid-South Blues Revue won the Blues Foundation’s prestigious International Blues Challenge title of Best Unsigned Band. XM listeners voted Harmon Best New Blues Artist in the inaugural XM Nation Awards in 2005. In 2006, Harmon won the coveted Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut for the Blues according to Zacariah. Later that year, he was featured in Blues Revue magazine as one of the 10 artists that “represent the future of the blues.” Also in 2009, Zac was honored for his career achievements in his beloved hometown at the Jackson Music Awards, and weeks later in Nashville, the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation bestowed the “Little Milton” Guitar Award for Outstanding Guitar Player upon him.
She has the voice of the bayou-sultry, spicy, and full of soul. This Nashville Indie Recording Artist and Mississippi Soul Singer will rattle the rafters with her powerhouse vocals and rockin’ soulful band. Angela Easley Band was 2016 Nashville Blues Challenge Finalist and performed in February at Hard Rock Cafe Memphis for Hart Fund Benefit during 2017 International Blues Challenge week. Angela also made her debut performance in 2016 at the legendary Nashville club 12th & Porter, and co-hosted a roots series show “Rock & Roots Boogaloo” at Douglas Corner Cafe. Angela Easley’s new album title “Hold On” is filled with infectious tunes and showcases Angela’s prolific lyric style rooted in the deep soul of the south. Angela’s latest single titled “Lay Down” is sure to get you singing along.
For Rusty Wright, it’s “all about the moment,” commanding the stage to deliver the musical heat, the infectious grooves and penetratingly sincere songs that have earned the Michigan native an international audience and recognition as a Master Blues Artist in the International Blues Hall of Fame®. Formed in 2004, the band’s second public performance was opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd, the crowd of 4000+ rewarded them with a standing ovation and became the nucleus of the band’s ultra-loyal Midwest following. Those who’ve seen Wright and his top-drawer band perform live, will attest to the outfit’s razor-tight, explosive delivery of inventive blues songs. The band’s innovative sound is a hot rod fusing of Texas and Chicago-style blues, swinging boogie and Southern rock, with a twist of Motor City grit.
Duffy Bishop is a force of nature. A powerful blues blaster, a sultry soul singer, a presence who connects with her audience in a deeply personal way be it in an intimate club or huge festival. Duffy was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2016. Based in Portland Oregon and St. Augustine, Florida, Duffy is in the Cascade Blues Association and Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame, and a recipient of both organizations’ Lifetime Achievement Award. She has won the CBA’s Female Vocalist Award so many years in a row that they renamed it the Duffy Bishop Female Vocalist Award. “Who Is Duffy Bishop and Why Is She Not World Famous?” a documentary on her life, was released in 2010.
After three tours to South Africa, George bought the night club where he performed —The Blues Room, and turned it into the most prestigious live music venue in that county. 1n 2007, after an award winning 10-year run, George sold the Blues Room and has returned to the US and to his first love, performing. His current show is a tour de force of solo acoustic guitar, from Ragtime to Blues, with the occasional Bach thrown in to keep things interesting! More than the usual singer/guitarist, a George Worthmore show is interlaced with humorous comments and amusing anecdotes about the songs, his life and his music.