If our line up for the 21st Annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival on Sat., May 10, 2014, doesn’t impress or excite you, perhaps a visit to the artists’ Web sites will. Many of their sites feature interviews and sound clips.
Jaimoe of course, is a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. He and Butch Trucks have been driving the beat for ABB since the late 60’s. This combo features Jaimoe on the drums, Junior Mack, guitar and vocals, Dave Stoltz, bass, Bruce Katz, keyboards, and some of the finest horn players of our time, including Paul Lieberman – sax, flute, and piccalo, Kris Jensen – sax and Reggie Pittman, trumpet. Their horn/guitar driven sound is infectious and will be just what the McTell Fest fan base loves…great players who are at the top of their craft, interpreting American blues standards, peppered with new originals.
Junior Mack website: http://www.jrmack.com/
We always save a spot for up and coming artists, new sounds that catch our ear, musicians that we want our audience to get a listen to. This slot is filled in 2014 by St. Paul and the Broken Bones, a great new combo from Alabama. They have been working the South the last few years, getting rave reviews for their live shows of covers and originals, putting their brand of soulful roots music on display for any and all. They’ll be here touring behind their new release, Half The City.
They are led by the powerful vocals and showmanship of front man Paul Janeway, who was raised up in the Church and has deep roots in gospel music. The tight, elemental rhythm section includes bassist Jesse Phillips, guitarist Browan Lollar, who spent time in Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit, and on the kit, Andrew Lee. Brass players Allen Bransetter and Ben Griner round out the mix and are both graduates of the music program at Birmingham’s Samford University. We are proud to be one of the first venues in east central Georgia to present the Broken Bones to folks who are sure to be new fans.
The Campbell Brothers represent the first McTell Fest presentation of the sounds of sacred steel.…gospel music featuring electric lap steel and pedal steel guitars. This tradition is now emerging from the Church, where for decades it has been an integral part of a subset of the African American worship experience. Secular audiences are now able to appreciate a performance that is both worshipful and rocking all at once. The brothers are pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell and his lap steel-playing brother Darick, two of the finest in this tradition. Rounding out the band, which has been playing together for nearly two decades, is a high-energy rhythm section featuring brother Phil Campbell on electric guitar and his son Carlton on drums. Katie Jackson’s classic, gutsy gospel vocals bring the ensemble to a level of energy and expression that defies description.
Atlanta’s Col. Bruce Hampton has been making music since he formed his first band, the Hampton Grease Band, in the 60’s. Hampton has always been in constant motion leaving a trail of memorable live performances with his many bands, including The Late Bronze Age, The Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Fiji Mariners, The Codetalkers, and The Quark Alliance.
His current combo is the Madrid Express and features guitarist Jimmy Dormire, Darren Stanley on drums, and Kevin Scott on bass. His latest release is called “Pharoah’s Kitchen”, just out on Ropeadope Records.
The McTell Festival is honored to have this icon of Southern roots music at our show and know his set will be as solid as ever.
Multi-instrumentalist, Tony Furtado, is the latest in a long line of great acoustic players we’ve featured at our festival and certainly one of the best out there touring today. Initially a banjo player as a beginning musician, he’s come to be known as a master of both the banjo and the guitar…particularly acoustic slide guitar. He’ll be joined onstage by a bassist at this year’s event.
He’s played behind some great vocalists…singers such as Allison Krauss, Tim O’Brien and Kelly Joe Phelps and tours incessantly each year, doing upwards of 250 gigs annually. His slide style is informed and influenced by the older guys such as Fred McDowell and Blind Willie Johnson and newer masters such as Ry Cooder and David Lindley. Furtado curently lives in the Northwest US and we’re glad to get a chance to show him how it goes down here in the sunny South!
Ray Norcia is a harmonica player without peer. While he is best known for his work with the Bluetones, his resume is extensive, doing stints most notably with the great Ronnie Earl and with Roomful of Blues. Joining Ray and the Blue Tones for their trip south this May will be Monster Mike Welch on guitar..we are in for a treat.
In the late 90’s Norcia was part of the Grammy nominated collaboration with James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and Billy Branch called Superharps. Most recently the band was nominated for five Blues Music Awards in 2012…Album of the Year, Traditional Blues Album, Band of the Year, Sugar Ray for Instrumentalist of the Year and Michael Ward, instrumentalist, bass.
Taking part in more than 50 recordings as a leader or a sideman, Ray Norcia can bring the blues and we are blessed to present this outfit at Blind Willie. They’ll be playing early, so plan to be there to catch some great Chicago blues.
Mike Welch, guitarist. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monster-Mike-Welch/47617084351