Walter Wolfman Washington & The Roadmasters
Walter “Wolfman” Washington has been an icon on the New Orleans music scene for decades. His searing guitar work and soulful vocals have defined the Crescent City’s unique musical hybrid of R&B, funk and the blues since he formed his first band in the 1970s.
Seeing Walter “Wolfman” Washington perform with his current outfit, the Roadmasters, is akin to taking a history lesson on black music in America with the exception that sitting down and taking notes is not an option. With his breadth of experience and seemingly endless repertoire, each of his highly danceable shows is one-of-a-kind. Washington channels his everyday life into his music. The band plays the blues, R&B, soul, funk, jazz and everything in between with pure heart.
The routes, and roots, of his blues are as diverse as the music form itself. It can be soulful, moaning out a people’s cry, or playful and bouncy as a hay-ride.
Guy can tell you stories of his great-grandparents and his grandparents, they’re days as track linemen, and of their interactions with the infamous KKK. He can also tell you that as a child raised in middle-class New York suburbs, the only cotton he’s picked is his underwear up off the floor.
He's a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer. But most importantly, Guy Davis is a bluesman. The blues permeates every corner of Davis' creativity.
Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to as many ears as possible through the material of the great blues masters, African American stories, and his own original songs, stories and performance pieces.
Guy has also done residency programs for the Lincoln Center Institute, the Kennedy Center, the State Theatre in New Jersey, and works with “Young Audiences of NJ”, doing classroom workshops and assembly programs all across the country and in Canada for Elementary, High School, and College students.
Most recently Guy had the honor of appearing in the PBS special on Jazz and Blues artist, the late Howard Armstrong. And he was an honored guest at the Kennedy Center Awards, in which his folks received their medals, alongside other recipients like Warren Beatty, Elton John and composer John Williams from the President of the United States.
Revered roots music troubadour Seth Walker recently took up residency in New Orleans. Upon relocating to the Big Easy, the North Carolina-native completed his rounds of the Holy Trinity of southern American music cities. His journey began in Austin where he fast became a staple of the Texas blues scene. He'd later shuffle off to Nashville where heÕd absorb the cosmopolitan twang of its storytelling tradition. Clearly, however, it is the influence of his current NOLA home with its funky melting-pot swagger that inspired the gospel-soaked fervor and gritty guitar burn at the core of his latest album, Sky Still Blue, due June 10 from The Royal Potato Family
Walker discovered the guitar in college and never looked back. "I was just eaten up with it, man" he says, his enthusiasm still evident. "I was just crazyfor it. Immediately gravitated to the blues, but as I played I started to lean towards the uptown side, the jazzier side, and I think that probably has something to do with the classical training".
The albums he’s made since then have consistently vaulted him into the Top 20 of the
Americana charts and gleaned praise from NPR, American Songwriter, No Depression and
Blues Revue, among others. He’s toured the world as a headliner as well as opening for
The Mavericks, The Wood Brothers, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster, among
others. It’s all of these experiences and more that leave their well-traveled traces
throughout these 11 songs at hand. Steeped in a rich musical heritage, Sky Still Blue is a
masterful work conveyed by means of Walker’s expressive, soul-burnished voice, agile
guitar artistry and impeccable southern songwriting, all of which have garnered him a
reputation as one of the most acclaimed modern roots artists in the country over the last
Josh Smith Band
Josh Smith was born October 7, 1979 in Middletown, Connecticut. Before he was 1, his family relocated to Florida, eventually settling in Pembroke Pines, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. At age 3, he received his first guitar and at 6, he started taking guitar lessons.
Josh had exposure to the blues at an early age.
By the age of 12, Josh started playing at established professional blues jams in South Florida, such as Musicians Exchange Café in Fort Lauderdale and Club M in Hollywood. Josh released 4 blues CD's and toured the country fulltime in the years to follow until deciding to move to Los Angeles with his family in 2002 to pursue a sideman career.
Within a year of moving to L.A., he was retained by Virgin recording artist Ricky Fante. He played nationally and internationally with Ricky for the next two years.
In May 2006, Josh recorded his fifth CD, Deep Roots. A more traditional blues CD, his music was once again well received by Blueswax and Blues Revue magazine. Josh also continued to play with a variety of artists, such as actress Taryn Manning, Universal hip-hop artist Benny Cassette and Tara Ellis, to name a few. In January 2007, Josh was hired by 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks to be his lead guitarist. They completed two national tours from February-September 2007 with monthly dates and charity events until June 2008 when Taylor started Grease! on Broadway. In July 2008, Josh was hired by Raphael Saadiq to help promote his forthcoming CD, The Way I See It, set to be released on September 16 with a national and international tour to follow. In 2010 Josh released his first all instrumental release " Inception " which is already garnering praise in magazines like Guitar Player and Vintage Guitar.
Albert Castiglia Band
Albert Castiglia arrived on the International radar after Buddy Guy's iconic harp-blower, Junior Wells, heard the young bluesman sing and invited him into his solo band for several world tours. The gig was a shop-window, and though Wells sadly died in 1998, Albert stayed busy, joining the great Atlanta vocalist, Sandra Hall, for national tours in the late-'90s, while he held his own in onstage jams with artists ranging from Pinetop Perkins to John Primer. He has been named "Best Blues Guitarist" by Miami New Times, the respected alternative music magazine and honored by Roots Music Report with a Top Blues Album of 2011 and 2012. Castiglia was born in New York and raised in Miami to an Italian father and Cuban mother and combines all influences to create his unique style of modern day blues with a traditional core. Albert earned his blues cred as a member of Junior Wells' band, but his resumé is irrelevant at this point in his career. His muscular vocal style, incendiary guitar work, and fine songwriting are all the signs of an artist who's in it for the love of music. Castiglia is an artist who sings from the gut, shoots guitar licks from the hip and writes songs that articulate ones hopes, fears and heartaches.
JP Soars & the Red Hots Gypsy Jazz
Gypsy Jazz, the music of legendary Belgium born guitarist Django Reinhardt, conjures up images of tuxedo-clad musicians, women in evening gowns and a swinging sound that transformed Paris in the 1930's and 1940's.
JP Soars and the Red Hots Gypsy Jazz Revue get to transform the festival grounds into a very romantic period in music history, just in time for the Valentine's Day celebration. The band from Fort Lauderdale says its mission is to transport listeners "to another place and time and to bring this great music to people who may not to be familiar with it."
But no one should expect pure nostalgia. Reinhardt's music was remarkably progressive for its time. He is considered one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century and an inspiration to musicians who picked up the guitar decades later, like Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix and BB King.
2009 IBC (International Blues Competition) Winner & 2013 Blues Music Award Nominee for Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist of the year!, JP Soars is not a typical blues guitarist. He has a diverse musical background that encompasses a multitude of influences.
David Shelley and Bluestone
"David Shelley and Bluestone" is an eclectic fusion of blues, rock and world rhythms. Hard driving grooves with soulful blues guitar and vocals are the heart of their sound. Lead vocalist / guitarist David Shelley has toured the world with top name stars and is now ready to rock the world with his own band "Bluestone". Fusing traditional forms with unique cultural experiences, "Bluestone" is a roots rocking band with a worldbeat edge.
David Shelley is the son of Jazz singer / actress Martha Stewart and grandson of the late George Gard "Buddy" Desylva who was a top songwriter ("Birth of the Blues", "Sunny Boy" and the "Best things in Life are free"), film producer and record executive.
David played percussion with jazz fusion artist Randy Bernsen and was guitarist, singer and songwriter with reggae band T'shan.For many years David has worked in the Native American community, performing on the bill with John Trudell, Floyd Redcrow Westerman and the late Jessie Ed Davis. He co-wrote and co-produced for Native American vocalists Paula Bowers and Grammy Award winner Star Nayea. He also performs in Native American singer/songwriter and former Seminole Tribal Chairman Chief Jim Billie's backup band.
David Shelley has been to a crossroads called Earth, where glitz and grime meet on the boulevard between swamp and desert, creating jamming blues rock music that is ancient and modern and truly original.
Graham Wood Drout's Iko - Iko
There are many outstanding Blues Artists calling Florida home but only a few of them can be called legendary. IKO IKO has achieved their legendary status over and over again. The band is best known for their thirty year association with Miami’s seminal Blues venue TOBACCO ROAD awarding them the title “Miami”s House Band” sharing the stage with literally every working Blues artist in America from 1982 to the present.. From Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker,to Sun Ra and David Bromberg the list goes on and on. IKO IKO provided back up for Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley, Ron Wood, Bobby Keys and a host of others. IKO IKO even worked with fellow Floridian Jimmy Buffett on his musical ,”Don’t stop the carnival.” When the state of Florida put together a concert to pay homage to its homegrown musical talent including Lynrd Sknyrd, Sam and Dave,and Marva Wright just to name a few, IKO IKO was hired to provide musical support for all the acts.
Graham Wood Drout’s IKO-IKO “A must see!”- Rock and Roll Road Trip, Rolling Stone Magazine . The San Diego Tribune describes IKO IKO as “An eclectic mix of southern musical traditions.” The band calls it Urban Swamp Music: a swirling mix of Blues, Mardi Gras , Gulf Coast Americana, jazz, jam band sensibilities, Rock and Roll music with a Bo Diddley beat, steller musicianship and the award winning song craft of Graham Wood Drout. Graham’s songs have been a favorite of AAA radio and the satelite stations. His tunes have been covered by IBC Blues winner Joey Gilmore (who credits Graham’s “Ghosts of Mississippi” for putting him over the top. Ghosts of Mississippi went on to win the 2008 Blues Critics Award for song of the year.) and Ruff Records guitar slinger Albert Castiglia who scored a hit with the fabulous Mr. D’s “Big Toe.” Albert’s latest recording “Solid Ground,(which has reached number 10 on the Billoard Magazine Blues charts) features three of Drout’s songs. “Craig Rusky of Delta Snake Magazine says, “As a songwriter Drout is a powerful master.” Ed Ivy of Blues Revue Magazine says, “This songwriting is on the order of Gordon Lightfoot or Jim Croce….great and emotionally complete.” Patrick O’Donnell of Blues On Stage writes, “Graham is an artist in every sense of the word.”
Jeff Prine's 3 Generations of Blues featuring Juanita Dixon, Rita Wilburn and Kat Riggins
Joey Gilmore's "Brandon's Blues" CD Release Party
His love affair with the guitar began in his teens. “In the town that I lived in, there was a barbershop,” Gilmore reminisces. “And the barber that owned the shop was a sanctified preacher. He was a minister, and he had this little flat-bodied guitar. It was electric, no amplifier to it. And he would bring it to the shop with him, and he was trying to learn how to play. So, I would get to the barbershop early whenever I would go to get my hair cut, or even after school, I would hang around at the barbershop, because I wanted to get my hands on that guitar. I would take the guitar and they had these old wooden benches. I would lay the guitar on top of the wooden bench and when you would strum the strings, the wood, the bench, would vibrate, and the floor would, the sound would resonate, and you could hear it without the amplifier. I learned just from watching him.” Young Gilmore tried to keep his obsession with the instrument from his church going aunt, who was raising him, but word of the talented boy who played at the barbershop eventually got back to her.”
Josh Rowand and Pitbull of Blues Band
The Pitbull of Blues Band is more than just a generic blues band.
As a Florida based band of family and friends, "The Pitbull of Blues Band" enjoys sharing their own breed of Blues with others.
Josh "The Pitbull of Blues" Rowand is the Guitar Slinger and Lead Vocalist. He is an accomplished slide guitarist, harmonica player, singer and songwriter.
Deny Rowand is the bass player and backup vocalist. He has been playing since the great Beatles Scare of 1964 and adds a solid Old School approach to their music.
The guy that keeps the swing in the whole damn thing is Richie Corricelli. Richie brings a bit of attitude to the blues, whether it’s a shuffle, a swing or a very traditional "flat tire" groove.
With over 15 years of playing together in various forms, "The Pitbull of Blues Band" is locked up tight as a trio.
With both Richie and Deny holding down the bottom line in the rhythm department, this provides Josh a solid platform to lay down his own guitar style and bring their music to life.
With their strong rhythm section and barking guitar they hope to showcase the music that they love to play and share that love of the blues with many.