Houston Blues Society Stage
The Houston Blues Society is dedicated to the study, research and preservation of the blues culture and music unique to Houston, Texas and the Texas Gulf Coast. The Houston Blues Society Stage showcases this iconic music of overcoming struggle that has deep traditions joining Texas and Louisiana.
Brad Absher & Swamp Royale
Brad Absher – singer, songwriter, and guitarist, was raised in Lake Charles, LA and his unique sound reflects the area’s Swamp Pop influence he first heard on South Louisiana AM radio. After moving to Tulsa in the late 70’s, teenaged Absher was soon studying with the city’s best, including Gerry Lewis & the Playboy’s guitarist, Tommy Tripplehorn. Absher credits this relationship as the key to his development. Soon thereafter, slide guitar made its way into his sound after seeing Ry Cooder and his East Texas supergroup “Chicken Skin Review.” In 2013 & 2014, he competed and was selected as Houston’s International Blues Challenge Regional Winner. He and his band were sent on behalf of the Houston Blues Society to represent Houston at the IBC’s in Memphis, and made to the Finals on the infamous Orpheum Theatre Stage in 2014. Brad can lead a group of musicians from greasy swamp pop to urban blues and keep his fans groovin’ on the dance floor. His freshly released CD, “Lucky Dog”, is climbing the charts amid rave reviews! Brad’s shares his guitar knowledge on staff at Houston’s well-known Rockin’ Robin music store. www.BradAbsher.com
Campfire Soul started as a small family band located in Houston, Texas. Original members included sisters Sarah Grace 13, Reagan 11, and their father. Humbly beginning at open mics and small local gigs the band played for the sheer love of music and as a means to spend quality family time together. Growing a loyal local following the band continued to grow musically and the accolades began to come in. In 2015 the band added their fourth member 15 year old Daniel Holder on bass and a new full sound began to emerge. In 2015 the band also found the “blues”. The band quickly emerged as a force in the local blues scene and were nominated for two prestigious Houston Press awards “Best New Band’ and “Best Blues Band”. In addition Sarah Grace, Reagan, and Daniel were chosen to represent Houston at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, as well as receiving the Jimmy “T-99″ scholarship from the Houston Blues Society.
Campfire Soul combines powerful vocals and an infectious groove to produce one of the most unique sounds in the modern music scene. The band currently can be found locally in some of Houston’s hottest music venues. Their youthful energy and respect of the classics produce a live show that will absolutely leave you talking. Be sure to mark your calendar to catch a Campfire Soul show, as 2016 will prove to be another groundbreaking year for this amazing band. www.CampfireSoul.com
At the age of 10, Eric found a saxophone under the Christmas tree. So began the journey of a natural-born musician, playing anywhere at any time with anyone. He grew up steeped in the blues and rock and roll of the 70’s and 80’s. He absorbed the sounds of The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, B.B. King, and fellow Texan, Stevie Ray Vaughn. One night, ERIC was invited to perform onstage with the legendary Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. From that night forward, Eric joined Gate’s band and traveled all over the world for the next 12 years, until Gate’s death in 2005. The journey with “Gate’s” band led them to tour extensively as the opening act for Eric Clapton during his “From The Cradle” tour. Eric has performed with many well-known and respected musicians: Carlos Santana, B.B. King, George Duke, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Todd Rundgren, Shamika Copeland, Johnnie “Clyde” Copeland, Johnnie “Be Good” Johnson (pianist with Chuck Berry), Duke Robillard, Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, The Allman Brothers, Dr. John, Kim Wilson, and many others. Eric describes his style of music as, “high energy, funky blues with a mix of jazz” and combines a variety of influences while reminding everyone that, “The real thing comes from the heart and soul”. www.EricDemmer.com/
Odell Gray & The House Rules Band
The House Rules Band started with a couple of guys that love to play music. Founding members Tommy Hampton and Jon Cornetta met at ablues jam and instantly felt a musical vibe that would turn into a close friendship. Shawn Allen joined the band a short time later,and the group’s chemistry continued to strengthen. For the next two years, they enjoyed great success around Houston performing with Annika Chambers. Annika later left the band to pursue her own career, so the House Rules Band decided to reinvent themselves.They began performing with local singer Odell Gray every Monday at the Red Cat Jazz Cafe in downtown Houston. A short time later, keyboardist Aaron “Scrap” Lakey and saxophonist Dan Carpenter jo ined the lineup,and the band’s sound developed even further. The name House Rules comes from a concept of being able to play whatever the venue wants. From this concept, the House Rules Band was born. This powerhouse of a band hangs its hat on giving a high-energy,”take-no-prisoners,, performance,giving the crowd everything they have to offer. They believe there is nothing better than making the crowd move and feel good from the music they put forth. The House Rules Band continues to strive towards excellence by playing music that they hope you will enjoy.
Ted Hawley Band
The Ted Hawley Band is a creation whose original sound is a blend of blues with a little bit-o-funk to it! Blues, ‘60’s, rock, jazz influenced, it’s a cross section of high energy story telling overlaid with old school blues guitar and vocals. Ted started right here in Houston and has traveled extensively. Now back home he’s doing his original creations with Houston talent. “Some of the best musicians in the country are right here in Houston” Ted Hawley. www.Facebook/Ted.Hawley.9
Little Terry & The Blues Birds
Classic mostly harmonica drivin (Muddy Waters said harmonica was the heart of a blues band)blues with a smile and a grunt. www.Facebook/Little-Terry-The-BluesBirds-197089147032854
Luther & The Healers Chicago born & bred, Luther Rada leads the longest running Blues party band in the South. He and The Healers play more gigs around town because they put smiles on faces and fannies on dance floors. Luther & The Healers are of one of Houston’s longest running and hardest working blues bands. Established in 1991 and continuously performing upwards of 300 shows per year since, the band has been steadfastly dedicated to preserving the beautiful sounds of the blues in all of its colors in every imaginable venue with the single-minded goal of bringing joy to the people while remaining true to the integrity of the music. Luther & The Healers are a Texas-based blues band doing their very best every night to uphold the tradition of one of America’s true artistic treasures, THE BLUES. Come watch this left-handed guitar slinger bring his Chicago infused Blues, Rock, and Rhythm to the HBS Stage. He’ll even have the crawfish dancing! www.LutherAndTheHealers.com/
Trudy Lynn & Steve Kase
Trudy Lynn is currently riding the wave of her new hit CD “Royal Oaks Blues Cafe” and BMA nomination for the Koko Taylor Best Female Vocalist Award, Trudy Lynn’s professional singing career began in the mid 1960’s, when she sang with the guitarist Albert Collins and then later Clarence Green. Lynn’s recording career did not start until 1989, when Ichibahn Records released the first of five albums she recorded for them. Her debut, “Trudy Sings the Blues,” reached No. 76 in the US Billboard R & B chart,as did “Come to Mama” the next year. A mixture of southern and soul blues, her early albums were produced by Buzz Amato. Her 2006 release, “I’m Still Here,” was recorded with the Calvin Owens Blues Orchestra and was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the “Best Soul Blues Album” category, while Lynn herself was nominated for “Best Soul Blues Artist.” On “Royal Oak Blues Café,” Trudy teams up with long-time friend and harmonica wizard, Steve Krase. Dubbed by “The Blueshound” as Houston’s Fire-Breathing Dragon,” Steve was born in Brooklyn, NY, but has called Houston home for 25 years. Steve spent ten years as the harp man for the legendary Houston band Jerry Lightfoot and The Essentials before forming Steve Krase & The In Crowd” They were winners of the 2004 and 2005 International Blues Challenge Regionals where they represented Houston in Memphis. Steve’s latest CD, “Someday,”was on the Americana charts for 24 weeks and was a critics pick for one of the top 11 CDs of 2013 by Houston Press .www.TrudyLynnBlues.com/ www.SteveKrase.com/
The Mighty Orq
Since 2002, The Mighty Orq has been performing solo and with his band across the US and Europe. He has won multiple awards, released six albums, and an instructional DVD for solo resonator slide guitar. He is a uniquely talented singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with a focus in the American Roots Music genres. Always known as a standout guitarist and vocalist, over the last 13 years Orq has matured as both a writer and arranger. Where early on, the musical emphasis was on raucous drum and guitar lines, now Orq takes a more song-centered approach letting songs dictate the instrumentation rather than the other way around. New compositions such as “Love In A Hurricane”, “Say It With Silence”, and the Weissenborn instrumental “Cannon Ball” from the forthcoming album entitled “Love In A Hurricane” feature an experienced composer, instrumentalist, and singer beginning to reach his stride! www.MightyOrq.com
No Refund Band
This Houston Texas band is a very unique collaboration of longtime musician friends. With a focus on original material they have jelled into a tight Blues/Rock act who’s popularity continues to rapidly grow both locally and beyond. Powerful, soulful vocals, dynamic guitar, serious bass and drum groove, brilliant sax and trumpet work and two awesome Cds packed with original tunes. No Refund Band’s creative diversity and exciting live performance is a definite crowd pleaser. With 1st and 2nd CD making an impressive showing on the Roots Music Blues Chart and 3rd CD scheduled for 2016 release, there is a whole lot of NRB music to be enjoyed!! www.NoRefundBand.com
Sparky Parker Band
The gulf coast metropolis of Houston, Texas has a great history of acclaimed blues artists, and Sparky Parker proves that the big city still produces great talent to this day. Sparky’s potent combo of blistering lead guitar work and soulful voice is a force to be reckoned with. For over a decade, he has honed his craft and made a name for himself playing in bands like Bayou Monster, Mojofromopolis, and Funky Mustard. Now Sparky is focused on fronting his own band, The Sparky Parker Band and released his debut album Live in Houston in May 2015. His hard-rockin’, blues-based sound harkens back to the glory days of The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He is also currently a full-time member of Diunna Greenleaf’s Blue Mercy Band as well as Houston-based rock band Funky Mustard. Over the years, he has opened for some greats like Johnny Winter, Doyle Bramhall, George Porter Jr, and many more national touring acts. He’s also played onstage with veteran blues artists such as Bernard Allison, John Primer, Bob Margolin, Texas Johnny Brown, Roy Head, Earl Gilliam and many more. www.SprkyParker.com
Zach Person – Seen on “American Idol”
Zachary Person was born in New Jersey in November of 1996. His family relocated to Southern Pines, NC when he was two years old. Zachary started singing at a young age with his mother. He didn’t pick up an interest in guitar until several years later. At age 11, he began taking guitar lessons from a local high school student, James Villone, and later moved on to learn under the instruction of Baxter Clement (Sandhills School of Performing Arts). He was introduced to blues music after beginning his lessons with Baxter, and quickly became fascinated by the soulful sounds of the blues. At age 13 he and his family moved to Houston, TX. A year later he began singing and playing guitar in the band, Project X, where he was given the opportunity to develop and fine tune his live performance skills. At the age of 16, Zach ventured out to pursue a solo music career. In his first few months solo, he was featured on the Roula and Ryan Show (104.1 KRBE) in Houston twice and also featured on Great Day Houston w/ Debra Duncan (KHOU). Since then, he has been performing consistently at venues around Texas and even branching out to venues around the United States and Ireland. In August of 2015, Zach released an Ep entitled Listen featuring four original songs. He is currently working on a full length album that he plans to release in February of 2016. Zach also recently auditioned for FOX’s American Idol and will be participating in the upcoming rounds of Hollywood Week! His message to everyone is to “..keep rockin’ and don’t stop for anything..”
Paul Ramirez Band
Bringing a unique flavor all their very own, the Paul Ramirez Band exudes a rock–infused, blues idiom, with lots of funk and plenty of soul. www.Facebook.com/Paul-Ramirez-Band-188738821138795/
Jonn Del Toro Richardson Band
Jonn Del Toro Richardson grew up around Houston, Texas, and you can hear it in every note he sings and plays. You can hear the Latin music that is his birthright – his uncles, aunts and grandparents played in touring mariachi bands, and often got together to play on the back porch. You can also hear the influence of the country and R&B music that was played in his house, and particularly the blues that drifted strongly over his grandparents’ backyard fence from the next neighborhood and took hold with Jonn to be the centerpiece of his musical identity. And now, Jonn steps up with his long-awaited personal debut, TENGO BLUES. Jonn wrote and sings all the songs, and his powereful guitar playing is featured throughout. The natural choice to produce this record was Anson Funderburgh, who also contributed some rhythm guitar and co-wrote two songs. TENGO BLUES features Nick Connoly on keys, Nathan Rowe on bass, Wes Starr on drums, Jonn’s uncle Lawrence Del Toro on percussion, and the mighty TEXAS HORNS on seven tracks. DelToroBlues.wordpress.com
Born in Mexico, raised in Neza City, this bi-lingual vocalist and sax player is ready to step out front with her command of the stage and solid credentials. At age nine she began her professional career in television and theater. Between school and performing she pursued dance and music and at age fifteen was supporting her family singing with live bands of many genres. Later Evelyn took up saxophone and songwriting, recording. In 1999 she released the rock, funky, blues album “Evelyn Automarginados”. Over a five year period she divided her time between a 10 piece black-tie orchestra in Mexico City and a rocking blues band, Chivo Azul, in Playa del Carmen. In the U.S. only a month, Evelyn signed a multi-year album deal with Calvin Owens on the Sawdust Alley label. Mr. Owens was B.B.Kings band leader for many years, lead trumpet, composer and arranger of the Grammy winning album Blues “N” Jazz on the MCA label. Mr. Owens produced an album on Evelyn (Evelyn Rubio, La Mujer que Canta Blues) but unfortunately passed after its release and was not promoted. In 2009 Evelyn along with Rick Lee, represented Houston in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. She has jammed with the most talented musicians in Houston and performs and records with the legendary Al Staehely Jr. who along with John Staehely and Mark Andes played with the group “Spirit”. Evelyn has headlined festivals in Texas and opened for B.B.King at the House of Blues and international artists at the Arena Theater and K.C. and The Sunshine Band at Nutty Jerry’s. She has performed at almost fifty different venues in the last two years including with the Nick Gravenitis Band, (Big Brother and the Holding Co., Electric Flag, Paul Butterfield and John Cippolina). It just keeps getting better and with dual citizenship she is looking forward to the promotion and touring that will accompany her diverse musical talents.
Great Scott & The Almighties
Great Scott is Scott Starry, and The Almighties are his smokin’ hot band! They throwdown a Texas styled Blues that have SRV fans reminiscing. In the fall they advanced to the Regional Finals of the HBS International Blues Challenge, and look forward to coming back for more! They will have the crowd rocking for sure! www.ReverbNation.com/GreatScottAndTheAlmighties
Sonny Boy Terry
Blues harp man “Sonny Boy” Terry Jerome earned his moniker gigging and recording the past 31 years with Houston icons Johnny Copeland, Joe Guitar Hughes, Jerry Lightfoot, Grady Gaines, Roy Head and Calvin Owens. For the past 17 years, Terry has fronted his own band touring throughout the US, Europe, and Central America while recording for the Austin imprint Doc Blues Records getting extensive radio airplay all over the world. In 1993, with the backing of his band leaders and employers Joe Guitar Hughes and Johnny Clyde Copeland, both whose dream was to see a blues society get started in Houston, Terry founded the Houston Blues Society, serving as president for three years, providing the seed money and organizing their first membership drive at Joe Hughes’ blues jam Terry ran for Joe at Club Matinee in Houston’s Third Ward/Southpark area. “HBS was inspired by Johnny Copeland and Joe Guitar Hughes. We took great pride; it came from musicians to promote blues and make our city’s heritage more widely known”. From those modest beginnings in the hear of Houston’s legacy of blues, the whole city stepped forward with lots of wonderful people – all doing their part to make something to be proud of. As a pro-active educator of blues music and teaching harmonica, guitar and the folk process, Sonny Boy Terry has worked with successful non profits The Houston Blues Society, Houston Outdoor Learning Academy, Society for the Performing Arts, Project Row Houses, Music Doing Good, College of he Mainland, Montgomery County College’s Friends of the Blues, the University of Houston as well as giving private harmonica lessons. Terry produces the Texas Harmonica Festival along with the very popular annual Blues For Food at the Shakespeare Pub. As an active session musician, Sonny Boy Terry has recorded on over 25 albums ranging from rock to folk, to blues and country.SonnyBoyTerry.com
Ally Venable Band
Ally Venable is a young guitarist and vocalist with an amazing voice and a big sound. She loves putting on a show for crowds of all sizes whether an intimate coffee shop setting or on the big stage for thousands. She genuinely loves playing and performing and has began to write original songs. Her favorite styles of music is blues and her major influences are Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gretchen Wilson, Buddy Guy, Orinthia and a local band The Darby Warren Project, who on occasion Ally performs with. She and her band are based out of East Texas and have played many venues in the region plus regional festivals like The T-Bone Walker Blues Fest in Longview, the Marshall Music Fest in Marshall Texas, Alley Fest in Longview Texas and more. Ally recently won second place runner up in the 10 under 20 at the Dallas International Guitar Festival. She has also received recognition as East Texas Music Awards 2014 Female guitar player of the year, and 2014 East Texas Music awards finalist for Blues Band of the Year. Ally also received the 2013 East Texas Music Awards female vocalist finalist.