Houston Blues Society Stage
Sponsored by Wonderful Windows & Siding
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. They will provide a stage showcasing this iconic music of overcoming struggle that has deep traditions joining Texas and Louisiana.
.:: Stage Schedule ::.
.:: Performances By ::.
When John Egan shouts the blues, he’s hard to miss. Hailing from Houston, TX., he has made three records that don’t lend themselves to easy categorization. He fits somewhere on the power blues arc that includes Jimi Hendrix and Chris Whitley, artists who put a powder keg under the venerable genre. Egan shares with Whitley a sometimes-studied, sometimes-stormy way with the resonator. On his latest project “Phantoms”, Egan bangs, stomps and howls a rocking blues that will leave his audience coming back for more.
Luther and The Healers:
Luther & The Healers is 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 it’s 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. A Texas-based blues band doing their very best every night to uphold the tradition of one of Americas true artistic treasures, THE BLUES.
Sonny Boy Terry – Founder of Houston Blues Society:
Houston, Texas bluesman Sonny Boy Terry is now being recognized as one of Texas’ – if not one of America’s top harmonica players and devoted blues recording artists. He picked up a harmonica as a teenager in the 1970s , mostly, he says, “because I wanted to jam with my friends, who played guitars. I didn’t know anything technically about music. I was just a huge music lover.” he claims, “I didn’t even know you needed more than one key of harmonica.” At the time, the economy in Ohio and the rust belt was falling in depression – like mode. Terry’s dream was to go to the big city and play with the old black guys. “I had nothin’ to lose”, he says. “I knew if I wanted to play harmonica, I had to go somewhere else to do it,” so Terry hit the road in a ’66 Chevy Impala SS, his album collection and blues harps never looking back. Terry became deeply entrenched in Houston’s blues scene. With the blessings of Joe Hughes, Johnny Copeland and Pete Mayes, Terry founded the non-profit Houston Blues Society, serving as president for three and a half years and winning the prestigious “Keepin’ the Blues Alive” award for best organization at the Blues Foundation’s WC Handy Awards in Memphis. Now, an established session musician, solo recording artist, and an artist who has deep tied to Houston’s rich blues history, Sonny Boy terry is pushing his career to another level.
DelGrosso Del Toro Richardson Band:
These two Houston-based, veteran blues musicians and their quartet have jump-started new work together this year with their widely acclaimed Mandolin Blues release Time Slips on By, a collection of 14 original songs from the fertile blues territory of Southeast Texas: rocking, solid mandolin with fiery guitar into a new spicy mix of Texas blues and roots. DelGrosso, a five time Blues Music Award nominee, has been performing for the blues, folk and mandolin communities for over thirty years. As the leading exponent of the mandolin in the blues, DelGrosso has toured the US, UK and Italy performing and conducting numerous workshops. As Tom Clarke added “his box o’ rocks voice, locomotive riffs, and sparks-a-flyin’ licks doing nothing but right.” Del Toro Richardson is an Albert King winner for his acclaimed guitar with Diunna Greenleaf’s Blue Mercy and his backing Pinetop Perkins in the Grammy and BMA: “Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year”-Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen.
Trudy Lynn with Steve Krase:
Blues singer Trudy Lynn remembers her parents’ collection of 78 rpm records being both fragile and durable. She recalls their brittle quality: “You got a whupping back in those days if you’d break one of them,” she says. “They were like glass.” Yet the songs that spilled forth from those recordings have remained with her for decades. In addition to her parents’ 78s, she had a lot of casual contact with blues and R&B performers because her mother ran a beauty shop by the Club Matinee. Lynn would walk there from school trying to catch a glimpse of acts like Joe Hinton or Bobby “Blue” Bland, who would play the venue. She wasn’t able to get closer to the music than the club’s door. She sang in a vocal ensemble at Wheatley High School. Her first break came as a teen when late blues great Albert Collins – playing with Big Tiny and the Thunderbirds – invited her onto the bandstand at Walter’s Lounge on Lockwood. She sang “Night Time Is the Right Time.” “I was in, baby,” she says. “I said, ‘Oh yes, this is what I want to do. This is what I want to do.’ ”
The Mighty Orq:
For twelve years The Mighty Orq has been performing solo and with his band across the US and Europe. He has won three Houston Press Music Awards (“Best Guitarist”- 2007, “Best Guitarist”- 2010, “Best Blues” – 2012), two regional International Blues Challenges (2011 & 2012), and released six albums. The new album, released in the summer of this year and entitled Soulful City, is a departure from the southern rock-leaning To The Bone and Lost In Germany. This collection of new songs is a celebration of Orq’s native Houston and of that city’s rich musical heritage. It showcases Orq’s acoustic and resonator guitar acumen, his fluency with different musical styles (blues, americana, pop, instrumental acoustic), and various instruments (resonator, acoustic, & electric guitar, pedal & lap steel, bass, & percussion) as well as highlights the continued development of his nuanced and arresting voice.
Dave Nevling and the Blues Kats:
You might say Dave Nevling got an early start to his music career because, according to his sister, he learned to sing before he learned to talk. Many Nevling family members were musically inclined, so Dave was inspired by both exposure and natural talent. He was first introduced to the blues while attending a junior college in Connecticut, but it wasn’t until a couple years later at Georgetown University, in D.C., that he started studying the harmonica. Nevling moved to Houston, Texas and played with various bands before getting his first steady job as a musician with Gulf Coast guitar legend, Bert Wills. Mark May, another Houston guitar legend, asked Dave to join his band. After getting some good local band experience under his belt, Dave decided to go out on his own and formed “Dave Nevling and the Blues Kats” in 1997. His latest CD “Sweet Bijou” released in September 2012 All four albums showcase Nevling’s command of vocals, mastery of harmonica, and versatility as a songwriter.
A 40 year veteran of the music business, Tommy Dardar is a consummate vocalist, as well as a true blues harp master. Dardar plays a powerful brand of swamp rock steeped in the traditions of Louisiana Zydeco and blues masters such as Bobby Bland and the legendary Jimmy Reed.
In the past, Tommy has played for such blues greats as Jimmy Reed, Lightning’ Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Juke Boy Bonner, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Ben E. King, Lloyd Price and Percy Sledge. Tommy has opened for such artists as John Lee Hooker, Bo Didley, Willie Dixon, Bobby Bland, Joe South, John Mayall, Joe Simon, Johnny Winter, Chicago, and The Neville Brothers.
Annika Chambers and the House Rules Band:
The beautiful and talented Annika Chambers hails from Houston, Texas. And, like many of the great soulful singers of the past, she started singing in church at a young age. She always wanted to sing, but her dreams of enlisting in the Army and attaining a degree in radio and TV broadcasting took her in that direction. While serving in Kosovo, her first deployment, Annika entered a talent contest on base and sang lead in a song. Right after the competition, a guitar player approached her and introduced her to the blues. She’s been in love with the Blues ever since. Annika describes her style as a little bit of Aretha, Etta, Koko and Shemekia and includes as influences – Otis Redding, Shemekia Copeland, Joan Osborne, Robbin Ford, Adele, Etta James, Eryka Badu, Bobby Blue Bland & James Brown. Since completing her 7 1/2 year term with the US Army, Annika has been blazing the Houston blues music scene. In the fall of 2012, Annika along with The House Rules Band entered the International Blues Competition.
Brad Absher and Swamp Royale:
The fact that Brad Absher and Swamp Royale were chosen to represent Houston in the International Blues Challenge for two years running speaks well for these Gulf Coast musical masterminds. They made it into the finals as one of the top nine bands chosen from some 200 international competitors. Let the reviews speak for them – “Brad plays killer guitar with a voice that delivers dead on;” “Masters of tone and melody;” Authentic and original, Swamp Royale is led by Brad Absher, with five acclaimed albums and electrifying performances world-wide. The crowd-pleasing band is comprised of Houston’s finest, with Barry Seelen on Hammond B3, Anthony Terry on baritone sax, Andy Saad on tenor sax, and a righteous rhythm section of Make Patton and Ed Starkey. The Church of Blues is now in session!
John McVey and The Stumble:
John McVey, a masterful Blues songwriter, earned his signature guitar chops as a member of touring bands on the “Chitlin’ Circuit.” Mentored by Blues legends Larry Davis and Albert King, his musical resume includes world-wide performances with Hook Herrera & the Hitchhikers, Paul Orta & thee Kingpins, and Lavelle White. He has released three acclaimed CDs, the most recent being 2013’s “Meet Me In Houston.” John performs in the greater Houston/Galveston are with his band, The Stumble, which includes well-respected Houston musicians Alfred Kennedy on bass and Juan Abair on drums, and often the gifted Hammond B3 player, Barry Seelen.
Texas Johnny Boy:
Texas Johnny Boy is an old school rhythm n’ blues vocalist as well as a multi-instrumentalist who plays harmonica, saxophones and flute.
Big Cletus & The Littles:
Denny Dale Cletus Blakely, who’s played with Webb Wilder, the Hollisters, and Davin James, to name a few, started the Blues Jam with Chris Masterson at the Big Easy over 15 years ago. Little Ray Ybarra, Gulf Coast blues guitarist, has played with many great artists in the past such as Lazy Lester, and is currently planning a European tour with Paul Orta. Little Terry Rogers – who didn’t start playing out until his forties – has been very fortunate to play with some of his local blues heroes like Milton Hopkins, Ashton Savoy, Big Robert Smith, and Sparetime Murray. Joining the band for the 2014 Pearland Crawfish Festival will be Boson jump blues guitarist Dave Haley, who has played with east coast blues cats such as Jerry Portnoy, James Harmon, and Mitch Kashmir. Joining on drums is one of Houston’s finest and busiest drummers, Richards Cholakian.
Tony Vega Band:
Born in Chicago, raised in Houston, Vega began cutting his teeth on the Blues after an inspirational chance meeting with Albert Collins in an Austin guitar shop. Some years and woodshedding later Tony Vega Band was founded in 1997. This appealing Texas act have forged a unique brand of red hot bone shakin’ blues. Countless tours, several Houston Press Music Awards, glowing international press recognition, and five Cd’s later, TVB continue to burn up the Texas Gulf coast and Europe alike. Like a raven rising from a black southern swamp, the Gulf coast’s “best kept secret” takes the listener from the backwoods to the smoky juke joint, drenched in blues and soaked in a Houston meets New Orleans American roots ‘n roll gumbo.
If you are interested in performing or sponsoring this stage, contact Steve Myers at HBSBooking@att.net
Pearland Mayor Tom Reid with the Blues Brothers Tribute Band