The Golden State-Lonestar Revue
The GOLDEN STATE - LONESTAR Revue is a concept of a cross-country meeting of the minds between California and Texas musicians. All have known each other for years.
Singer and Harmonica master MARK HUMMEL (born in New Haven, Connecticut and raised in Los Angeles) has been on the road steadily since 1984 and has released 17 albums and CDs since starting out. His latest is a Little Walter Tribute called Blue and Lonesome. Hummel has recorded for Flying Fish, Tone Cool and ElectroFi Records (his current) labels since the early ‘90s. Mark’s playing has been noted by his peers, as he has been nominated three years in a row for Best Harmonica by the Blues Music Awards.
LITTLE CHARLIE BATY (Sacramento, CA) is the former leader and masterful guitarist from Alligator Records recording act “Little Charlie & the Nightcats.” Charlie and the Nightcats have recorded 12 albums on Alligator and have been one of the West Coast’s most successful blues acts, touring the globe for over 25 years.
ANSON FUNDERBURGH (Dallas, TX) has spent the majority of his adult life playing the blues with his band The Rockets featuring Sam Myers. Anson has earned the respect of artists like Delbert McClinton, Boz Scaggs, Jimmie & Stevie Ray Vaughan and Ronnie Earl. Over the years, these musicians have called on Anson to lend his tremendous guitar talents to their projects. Since the passing of long-time musical partner Sam Myers, Anson has concentrated on raising a family, working very local gigs and performing at a smattering of festivals around the world. Now Anson has caught a renewed dose of the performing bug and is performing more regularly throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Billy Branch & The Sons of the Blues
BILLY BRANCH has followed a very non-traditional path to the blues. Unlike many blues artists, he isn’t from the South. Billy was born in Chicago in 1951 and was raised in Los Angeles. He first picked up a harmonica at the age of ten and immediately began to play simple tunes. Billy returned to Chicago in the summer of ‘69 and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in political science. He soon became immersed in the local blues scene, spending a great deal of time at legendary blues clubs such as Queen Bee’s and Theresa’s Lounge, learning from such stalwart harmonica players as Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, Junior Wells and Carey Bell.
He made his first recording for Barrelhouse Records and began to work as an apprentice harp player in Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All-Stars. He eventually replaced Carey Bell and worked with Willie Dixon for six years. Billy has recorded and/or performed with an incredible list of Blues legends including: Muddy Waters, Big Walter Horton, Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks, Koko Taylor, Johnny Winter, and Albert King. In 1990, he appeared with three harp legends--Carey Bell, Junior Wells, and James Cotton on W.C. Handy Award winner, Harp Attack! Billy is also passing on the blues tradition to a new generation through his Blues In The Schools program. He is a dedicated blues educator and has taught in the Chicago school system for over twenty years as part of the Urban Gateways Project.
Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King
JOE KUBEK was raised in Irving, Texas, and while still a teenager was playing guitar in the band of the original Texas Cannonball, Freddie King. Kubek went on to forge his aggressive guitar style fronting his own band, and backing many legendary blues artists throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, including Al “TNT” Braggs, Little Joe Blue, and others. Influenced by the hard-rocking blues of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Kubek’s guitar playing smolders with the same fire that burned in the styles of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter, earning him the well-deserved nickname “Smokin’ Joe.”
BNOIS KING is a native of Monroe, Louisiana. His musical influences come from a generation earlier than Kubek’s, with the smoother sounds of T-Bone Walker and B.B. King in evidence, along with some of the soulful and jazzier sounds of the 1950s and ‘60s. He was fronting his own band in the ‘80s when he first met Kubek backstage at someone else’s gig. Together this unlikely pair forged a musical bond that has not only lasted the test of time, but continues to flourish. Joe’s hard-edged guitar provides the perfect counter-balance for the jazzy guitar and deep blues vocals of Bnois. King serves to keep their music rooted in the tradition, while Kubek stretches out and provides an energy that has been thrilling audiences over the twenty-plus years of their partnership.
“King's jazzy guitar work is the perfect foil to Kubek’s more incendiary style. They are simply the best guitar tandem on the scene today.” - Blues Revue
Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88’s
MITCH WOODS and His Rocket 88’s have been the torchbearers of a great American blues musical heritage, not for three years but three decades. Taking their inspiration from the great jump n’ boogie outfits of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, they breathe fresh life into the music that gave birth to rock n’ roll. Woods styled his group after the jumpin’ n’ jivin’, shoutin’ n’ honkin’, pumpin’ n’ poundin’ bands of Louis Jordan, Wynonie Harris, Joe and Jimmy Liggins, Amos Milburn, and Roy Milton. Adding a healthy dose of New Orleans rhythm and blues, piledrivin’ piano, and some of his own contemporary playful lyrics, Woods and His Rocket 88’s forge their own brand of music they call “rock-a-boogie.”
In 2007 Mitch was nominated for Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year Award at the Blues Awards in Memphis. Presented by the Blues Foundation, this is one of the highest achievements a blues musician can earn. Mitch continues to tour worldwide with both his Rocket 88’s and Big Easy Boogie. He has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious music festivals and venues.
Big Joe & The Dynaflows
JOE MAHER a/k/a “Big Joe” has been in the music biz over 40 years, starting out in his high school jazz band “The Starliners.” Musician greats like Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Mudell Lowe & James Moody often sat in as guest performers and were an inspiration. After high school Joe went immediately on the road with his own jazz trio.
Over time, he shared the stage and backed up blues legends such as Johnny Adams, Johnnie Johnson, Jimmy McCracklin, Floyd Dixon, Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Witherspoon, Bullmoose Jackson, James “Thunderbird” Davis, Nappy Brown, Otis Rush and Earl King.
In the late ‘80s after performing with and managing the 9-piece swing band “The Uptown Rhythm Kings,” and after a few years as drummer with the Tom Principato Band, Joe formed his own 5-piece jump blues group “Big Joe & The Dynaflows.” In 1997, Big Joe and his band had the honor to perform at an Inauguration Party for President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC.
The Dynaflows’ release I’m Still Swingin’ on Severn Records, received the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) “Best Blues Recording” in 1998. WAMA also voted Big Joe “Male Blues Vocalist of the Year” both in 2005 and 2009. Other Dynaflow releases include All Night Long and You Can’t Keep a Big Man Down on the Severn label, Layin’ in the Alley on New Orleans-based Black Top Records, which received the (WAMA) “Best Blues Recording” in 1994, Good Rockin’ Daddy on the Powerhouse label and Cool Dynaflow, which was a European release.
STACY BROOKS started singing at the age of 5 in Zweibruken Germany at an Army show, and after her first standing ovation there was no looking back. Fast forward to the present, with her diverse background she continues to give you toe tapping, head bobbing feel good music that crosses all barriers. Since she began her quest of the blues, she has been working nonstop, bridging the age gap on the blues circuit and importing fans from other genres. In her short time on the blues circuit she has shared the stage with blues greats Kenny Neal, Grammy Award winner Sugar Blue, guitar legend Bobby Parker, Memphis Gold, Lil Dave Thompson (R.I.P.) Ronnie Baker Brooks, Grammy nominated Billy Branch, Eddie Shaw, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (R.I.P.), and Bob Stroger, just to name a few. Her arrangements keep the integrity of traditional Chicago and Delta Blues while adding a spruce of rejuvenation.
In July of 2011, The Stacy Brooks Band competed and won The Battle of The Bands at The Sedalia Blues Festival in Big Island, Virginia, and represented in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge in January 2012.
The highly anticipated Love Peace and The Blues CD was released in September 2011 to wonderful reviews and airplay. Bluesmen Kenny Neal and Memphis Gold are co-producers of the CD along with Stacy. The CD includes a duet with Kenny Neal, and she wrote and arranged 12 of the 14 songs. The CD also includes German lyrics to pay tribute to her German background.
Jukes Boogie Band
Typically an acoustic group, THE JUKES BOOGIE BAND is performing as an electric blues band that serves up original and classic swing, jump, boogie and blues in a very unique and powerful setting. The core band, the Jukes Boogie Trio, is made up of Tom Dikon on harmonica and vocals, Eldon Sully on guitar and vocals, and Rich Ridolfino on bass guitar and vocals. The addition of Mike Williams on drums rounds out the four-piece ensemble. Tom’s harmonica work has been featured on several recording labels across the East Coast. He’s performed across the U.S. and Europe, is a 2011 Hampton Roads International Blues Challenge Winner, and has an artist’s endorsement with Hohner Harmonicas. Recently, Tom and bassist Rich Ridolfino recorded with legendary Chicago sax player Eddie Shaw on the CD Still Riding High as members of the “757 All-Stars.”
Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos
Longtime friends ANTHONY ROSANO (guitar and vocals) and PAUL WARREN (bass) started the CONQUEROOS as an outlet for the “blues muse” that is the undercurrent to all that is musical. The two have played together numerous times at jams and as fill-in musicians for other projects. After meeting JACK CAMPBELL (harp) and DION DAVIS (drums) “the Conqueroos” were born. The Conqueroos draw on varied musical influences and a common love for the Blues. Blues all funked up, that’s the recipe. Influenced by The Meters, Mofro, and Col. Bruce Hampton, mix in a heavy dose of Rory Gallagher and the Allman Brothers, and simmer in a gumbo of Muddy, Wolf, and the three Kings ‘tll sweaty and groovin’. Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos won NBN’s local International Blues Challenge (IBC) in July of 2012, and went on to represent Hampton Roads at the IBC competition in Memphis, TN in January 2013.
Bios compiled by Mark Johnson