When: February 2nd, Alfred’s on Beale Street, downtown Memphis Tenn.
The National Women in Blues and Yippee Ki-ay Radio bring you the 5th edition of the Women in Blues Showcase, as part of the Blues Foundation’s 2017 International Blues Challenge (blues.org).
This will be our 2nd year at Alfred’s on Beale and we are so excited. Our showcase and livestream interviews will all be at this location, giving you the chance to enjoy food and drink along with incredible female blues artists. Watching them perform in the showcase or sitting in while we interview artists from around the world.
This years line up is packed full of talent. Not to mention, we are bringing back our favorite blues storyteller, Redd Velvet (featured in Sept Smithsonian Magazine) to close and we are trying something new to open the show. Also featured in the same magazine issue, is our MC Erica Brown, who will do an opening set to warm up the crowd with our first ever, all female house band, lined up by Janelle Frost. Featuring Pam Taylor, Eef, Tk of Southern Ave, Leigh Ann Stanton and Pat Pepin. The house band will also back up some of our artists who came to town, without their own bands in tow. Also on hand will be Niecie Blues to intro MC Erica Brown and our all female house band.
Our performers are Women in blues, both in the IBC challenge and out. From mature to youth, from the states and as far as Japan. This is an event that is sure to get you excited.
Our showcase line up opens with MC, Erica Brown and the 1st WiB All Female House Band. Then we feature a dozen amazing women in blues. (Line up in no particular order) Sharon Hazel Township. Lee Shropshire / Eight O’Five Jive, Rebekah Easley Ellis / Rae and the Royal Peacocks, Kimberly Dill / Sister Lucille Band, Kim Reteguiz, Bridget Kelly Band, Libby Rae Watson, Brigitte Rios Purdy, Nacomi Tanaka & The Blues Temple – Japan, Little Laura Lamun / Allen-Lamun Band, Youth act Campfire Soul with Sarah Grace & Reagan Kimberly and closing set from Blues Storyteller, Redd Velvet.
You think that is an amazing list? Here is a sneak peek at some of the women in blues we will be interviewing in livestreams, during IBC week. On Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 2:00-4:00pm Central Time (1p-3p EST, MT 3p-5p, PC, 4p-6p). Our guest include, Mandy Lemons, Elizabeth Hangan, Veronica Lewis, Erin Coburn, Kaz Hawkins, Grace Kuch, Tullie Brae, Shari Puorto, Connie Lush, Lola Gulley, Hurricane Ruth Lamaster, Mary Jo Curry, Sharla Cook, Radka Kasparcova, Larea Edwards & Deep Pocket Thieves, Amanda Rey and more TBA!
We strive to level the playing field for female blues artists via promotion, support, edification, and mentoring. Through this event, all of our female artists get to feature their own talents and support of their sisters in blues. We have some fine brothers in blues along for the ride, who know we share our spotlight, as long as you don’t take it away!
The National Women in Blues is now a 501-c and welcomes any support we get. This year’s main sponsor at Yippee Ki-ay Radio has been a huge help in so many ways. Not to mention sponsors and support from Crystal Vision Stained Glass, Patricia Shamroy Shaw, Bluzpik Media Group, Sweet Water Farms, Mary4Music, Kyle Deibler, Music on the Couch, Preserving the Blues, Sound Reflections and a huge thank you to Sandy Robertson and Scott at Alfred’s, for lending out such a perfect location to showcase Women in Blues!
We look forward to seeing you all there! Thursday, February 2nd, at Alfred’s on Beale, 11:30-4:00, during IBC week!
Our performers are Women in blues, both in the IBC challenge and out. From mature to youth, from the states and as far as Japan. This is an event that is sure to get you excited. Our showcase line up, in no particular order….
Showcase opener & MC, Erica Brown, has been singin’ the blues all her life, and has truly seen and lived the Blues. As she shares her gift with the world, the world has taken notice, from publications like Living Blues and Chicago Blues Guide in the US, to Blues Matters in the UK, and Rootstime in Belgium. 2016 has been a banner year for Erica, from co-hosting the Women In Blues Showcase in Memphis, Tennessee during International Blues Challenge Week (Erica herself is a 3rd Place Winner of the Challenge in 2013), to having her photo featured in Smithsonian Magazine’s historic National Museum of African American History issue, to a nationwide Blues tour honoring Willie Dixon with Platinum-selling artists Big Head Todd and the Monsters, which also included Chicago Blues Royalty Ronnie Baker Brooks, Billy Branch, and Mud Morganfield, (collectively, the “Big Head Blues Club”), this Blues Woman is forging a path for others to follow and enjoy. She has also received the honor of co-hosting the 2017 Women in Blues Showcase in Memphis!! Long Live the Blues!!
House band leader Pam Taylor is an American roots musician born and bred in the South, well versed in the blues. Her debut album Hot Mess hit #1 on the Roots Music Report, #3 on Sirius XM BB Kings Bluesville and #25 on The Living Blues charts, making a name for herself in the blues world. When her band broke up in 2014 she was mentored on guitar by the legendary blues woman, Debbie Davies. She then teamed up with fiance, Robert Johnson to form Stolen Hearts and released an album called Dirty Southern Soul in 2015. Now now she is back in the studio recording her next solo album. Although she has many awards and nominations under her belt she finds the most rewarding aspect of her career to be the impact her music has on people. After earning the right the sing the blues, by overcoming addiction, depression and physical ailments, she serves up a positive message along with her music; Knowing how it healed her, she plans to carry this message to others in hopes it will heal them too. Look for her new album to be released in March 2017.
Eef, the tall-Dutch-girl-with-the-red-guitar, moved to the US in 1999 and currently lives in Denver CO. With her band ‘Eef and the Blues Express’ she represented the Colorado Blues Society (CBS) at the IBC in 2015, and this year she and the band are back to represent the Pikes Peak Blues Community. Eef won the CBS Members Choice Award for ‘Best Songwriter’ in 2013. She has self-produced four-and-a-half albums, and her music can be heard on blues stations across the United States and far beyond. When performing she likes to get down and funk it up. She has shared the stage with many great musicians, and with The Blues Express she has opened for Coco Montoya, Tinsley Ellis, Nick Moss, Deanna Bogart, Bernard Allison, and more. The blues is alright!
Leigh-Anne Stanton is a multi-award winning bass player who is a member of the Murray Kinsley and Wicked Grin band (www.wickedgrin.ca ), known for performing full-tilt original roots rock and blues at festivals and venues throughout Canada. Wicked Grin represented the Ottawa Blues Society at the IBCs in 2014 and the same year won the Maple Blues Award for New Artist of the Year. In 2015 Leigh-Anne won as Bassist of the Year. The Maple Blues Award is Canada’s national blues awards program. Wicked Grin recently started touring in the U.S. and Leigh-Anne is excited to be playing throughout the U.S. (including here in Memphis this week during the IBCs) as a member of Tas Cru’s touring band, The Tortured Souls.
Tikyra “Tk” Jackson is a 21 year old Memphis native who has made a name for herself in a short time. She is the drummer for the band Southern Avenue who was just recently signed to Stax Records with a debut album set to be released in February. Tk grew up in the church and started out playing piano and singing at a very young age. She picked up drums around the age of 9 and hasn’t missed a beat since. With gospel and blues sharing such a familiar tone and sound, Tk quickly found a new love for the blues and its community. No matter if she is singing, playing drums, or just enjoying live music, her high spirit is contagious and it comes through her drumming. She hopes to continue to create music for years to come, spreading peace & love.
Pat Pepin, who has performed Blues & roots music around the country, winning 2010 IBC Best Self Produced CD & having competed in IBC in 2002, 2004, and 2008. Pat also appeared in The National Women in Blues Fest, Giving Hunger the Blues Fest, South Florida International Blues Fest, North Atlantic Blues Fest and more. Many know her from her viral video Living at Walmart. During her three-decade musical career she has shared the stage with many of today’s leading blues artists. She is a featured performer at blues festivals, on recordings, & received the coveted “Mojo Boogie” award during the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.
Sharon Hazel is a native Californian who got her start playing live shows in Chicago where she attended DePaul University. She was later accepted in the music program at Mesa College in San Diego CA for guitar. In San Diego she recorded two indie albums. Sharon played every instrument on both albums. Now in St Louis, Sharon and her band, Sharon Hazel Township, has played all over the midwest including Busch Stadium. Sharon Hazel Township was a 2016 Riverfront Times Music Award Nominee for Best Singer/Songwriter.
Lee Shropshire of Nashville based Eight O’Five Jive’s ability to rouse and inspire audiences with their style of jump and swing blues has garnered them the Nashville Industry Music Award (NIMA) for “Best Live Blues Performers” two years in a row (2014, 2015), and “Best Blues Band” (2016). They also earned a Blues Blast Magazine award nomination, as well as the Nashville Blues Challenge top prize for both 2016 and 2017’s International Blues Challenge. Their debut album, “Too Many Men,” showcased the band’s first take on some lively jump blues by legends including Little Esther Phillips, Big Jay McNeely, Big Maybelle and more, as well as two hot originals, “Young Enough To Be My Son” and “Misery Loves Company, both written by vocalist Lee Shropshire.” The material spans a style in American history from the 1940’ to the 1950’s when blues was influenced by jazz, doo-wop, swing, and big band music. Their brand new release, “Swing Set,” combines all these elements to provide for a raucous, saucy, and side-splitting blend of all these elements with lots of energy to spare. This round offers all but one original song line-up, and retains the impact of the era they so deftly recreate. Eight O’Five Jive’s gourmet combination of these classic ingredients proves their mix of sophistication and irreverent fun to be a tasty, irresistible recipe.
Rebekah Easley Ellis / Rae and the Royal Peacocks, Rebekah “Rae” Easley walked into BB King’s Chicago club eight years ago and instantly fell in love with the authenticity and rawness of the Blues. Back home in Atlanta, Rae became a devotee of a local Blues jam and, along with noted Atlanta guitarist Danny Vinson, formed Rae & The Royal Peacocks in the summer of 2016, paying homage to the legendary Auburn Avenue music venue and highlighting the high-energy juke joint Blues style. With the addition of other talented musicians, including Valerie Waters on keys, Rae & The Royal Peacocks endeavor to bring danceable, old-style blues to new audiences everywhere.
Valerie Waters is a classically trained pianist who grew up with music in the family. She started playing piano at age 3. Fast forward a few years, Valerie accompanied choirs in high school and started playing by ear. In college she started playing in bands. Her first projects were blues and reggae, then she performed in Birmingham’s 1996 City Stages music festival with “Latin Sounds,” a 13-piece salsa/merengue group, also with “Los Calientes,” a New Orleans-based salsa band for the 1997 Birmingham Heritage Festival. From there, lots of weddings, private parties, clubs, venues and solo work in Alabama and Georgia. Joined Rae & the Royal Peacocks for a shot at winning the International Blues Challenge in Feb 2017! Recordings: CD “Perfect Monday Night” with RubberJean, smooth jazz CD “It is What it is” with Between 9&7. Recently contributed to Colin Alvarez’s blues/rock album to be released in 2017, and an EP with Rae & the Royal Peacocks.
Kimberly Dill / Sister Lucille Band, Kimberly Dill lead vocalist of Sister Lucille Band has been performing for audiences since she was six years old. Early on in her career, Kimberly performed on the stage of the Grand ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium Opening for country Legends like Kitty Wells and Jack Greene. She also recorded 3 singles at Hilltop studio with the infamous Nashville guitar legend Brent Mason. When country music lost its soul Kimberly found hers on Beale st and in the family of musicians she found in Memphis! Sister Lucille band made it to the semi- finals in 2015 and recently won “The most promising blues act for 2016” from the Music Pioneer Awards. They have been touring the country playing blues Festivals sharing the stage with many amazing Musicians. With Kimberly’s soulful Powerhouse vocals, and Jamie Holdren’s heartfelt, ear blistering guitar solo’s , they are sure to turn some heads!! Along with the Thunderous rhythm section that backs Kimberly , Eric Guin on bass and Kevin Lyons on the drums..Come out and hear this Female fronted band who loves singing the blues to and for the women.
Kim Retguiz is the lead singer/songwriter for Kim Reteguiz & The Black Cat Bones. Kim and the BCBs, known for their hybrid Blues sound, currently hailed as “uniquely Floridian,” mix Funk, Soul, and Latin Fusion with classic Blues. She is the 2015 Jax Idol winner, and her group is the two time winner of the George’s Featured Artist for the annual Springing the Blues Festival for 2012 and 2015. Along with Cat McWilliams of the Cat McWilliams Band, she is the creator of the annual scholarship give-away music event Women Who Rock the Blues, a sold out event for the 2nd year in a row. Kim Reteguiz attended the University of Mississippi on a full vocal scholarship and studied Opera, Classical Music and Music Theory during her first year of college. She is a graduate from the University of Florida where she studied Mass Communications and Education while on a vocal scholarship. Kim also works with local favorites such as Smoke Stack, and performs in duo projects with Jared Bell and Shawn Pfaffman. Her next big project is with Shawn Pfaffman as they head towards the Road to Memphis for the worldwide International Blues Challenge. Kim Reteguiz & The Black Cat Bones first LP titled Leavin’, produced by Christopher Flowers of A1A studios, drops Winter of 2017. An IBC duo EP with Shawn Pfaffman is also in the works, due to drop late Winter 2016. Kim Reteguiz currently lives in Jacksonville, FL.
Inspired by classic & electric blues, the Bridget Kelly Band has placed their unique stamp on the blues genre, with high-energy live performances and a hybrid sound that mixes Texas and Memphis Blues with various Southern Blues traditions. The sultry vocals of singer Bridget Kelly and the incendiary lead guitar work of Tim Fik forge a signature hybrid sound that combines female urban blues with riff-driven rockin’ blues guitar, all held together by a dynamic rhythm section comprised of Alex Klausner on drums and Mark Armbrecht on bass. The Bridget Kelly Band were IBC Semi-Finalist in 2015 and 2016, and rankled #3 in a Women-in-Music poll conducted by Blues-E News in July of 2015. With the release of their 2nd CD: “Forever in Blues” (June, 2014) the group gained serious media attention, with positive reviews from music critics in the U.S. and Europe, and Sirius XM radio airplay on B.B. King’s Bluesville. The group’s latest release: “Outta the Blues” (May, 2016) rose to #11 on the Contemporary Blues chart, and hit #1 on the RMR Electric Blues Chart for six weeks in July and August of 2016. Favorable reviews and airplay on Pandora, Spotify, Jango, and Internet radio have helped to expand the band’s international fan base. The Bridget Kelly Band is scheduled to release their 4th all-original music album — “Bone Rattler” — in the summer of 2017.
Libby Rae Watson is an authentic Blues woman who has been playing blues for over 40 years! In the 70’s, she was a 22 year old girl venturing into places many would dare to enter. Recording, documenting, and learning blues from the greats…Big Joe Williams, Son Thomas, Johnny Woods, Furry Lewis and many others. But it was her friendship with Sam Chatmon that influenced her the most and shaped her style of finger picking. She has performed at numerous festivals and venues through the years! Don’t miss this unique solo blues woman in her element! She performs for YOU! 2014- runner up Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola Blues Challenge, 2015 and 2016- winner of Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola Blues Challenge , 2015 and 2016- semifinalist at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, 2016- Artist of the year award from the Mississippi Delta Society of Indianola.
Brigitte Rios Purdy has felt that need to sing about her own inner feelings and emotions since she was a child. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Brigitte Rios Purdy has soon expressed since a very young age the great desire to become a singer, with a particular inclination to soul, blues and R&B. After a short stint with Tim Bogart’s Blues Band, it didn’t take too long for the young American singer and songwriter, thanks to her pure and silky singing voice, to be noted and asked to do studio’s background vocals for legendary bands like The Who. As well as singing background vocals for the Legendary Paul Rodgers for the Muddy Waters Jimmy Hendrix tour. Brigitte Rios Purdy has also graced the stage with giants of the blues like Walter Trout, Tommy Castro and Sugaray Rayford. Her profound, love and admiration for the late great B.B. King pushed the American artist to compose her very first song called Lucille, Don’t You Weep, a blues ballad with clear references to King’s most beloved guitar. Encouraged by the positive comments of the music press worldwide, since her debut single, the American artist has then never stopped recording new material. Another of the original songs coming from Purdy’s repertoire, currently on constant heavy rotation on some of the biggest blues/rock radio in America, is her brand new single called Blues Angel. The tune is a superb blues ballad with tinges of jazz, with a flawless vocal performance from Purdy. The Californian artist is, though, not just a great blues interpreter but she has also recorded few catchy songs with a more blues/rock approach, like Rise Like The Water and Shot Heard Around The World, part of the original material belonging to the repertoire of this rising star in the music business.
Nacomi Tanaka is the busiest blues singer and guitarist in Japan. Played many times at Japan Blues Festival, Taiwan Blues Bash and played at Little Walter Music Festival in Alexandria, LA from 2014 to 2016. In 2015,Honored by BLUES E-NEWS MAGAZINE ,announcing the result of voting for top 25 Women In Music around the world, Nacomi is ranked #SEVEN! She has released three albums and her fans love her soft ,deep and natural beautiful voice and they also love her laid-back style blues guitar and her warm,friendly personality. Nacomi Tanaka & The Blues Temple – Japan.
Little Laura Lamun, aka “Little Laura” loves to sing, and her joy is contagious. She has been performing since the age of 5, making money singing since age 11, and there was never any doubt in her mind what she would become. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, she received her BFA in Voice, Theatre and Dance from Wayne State University in Detroit, where she immersed herself in the local live music scene, and honed her skills touring the midwest. After graduating with a Master’s Degree from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, she played lead roles in major rock musicals from coast-to-coast, most notably “Audrey” in Little Shop of Horrors, and originating a role in the Off-Broadway show “Beehive – the 60’s Musical” in San Diego for both its initial run of 2 years and a subsequent 10-year reunion, in which she sang spot-on interpretations of The Shangri-Las, Brenda Lee, Dusty Springfield, Janis Ian and Joni Mitchell. Laura’s cover of “Woodstock” which was the closing number of the show, is recognized on Joni’s website. In 2007 she answered the Blues call, when she began a lifelong musical collaboration and love partnership with multi-instrumentalist & bluesman, Dave Allen. Finding old school blues, funk and classic rock they grew up with as their inspiration, they write all their own material. The two discovered they love to sing together, and their distinctive duet sound is unique in current blues, drawing comparisons to Delaney & Bonnie. The Allen-Lamun Band is known for upbeat, inspirational blues and energetic live shows. Their latest CD, “Maybe It’s A Good Thing” has all 12 songs in international radio airplay and was nominated for Album-Of-The-Year at the Nashville Industry Music Awards. Little Laura’s future aspirations are to play the European Blues Festival Circuit and share the stage with her musical idols.
Youth act, Campfire Soul has been captivating audiences since bursting onto the Houston Blues Scene in 2013. Fronted by the powerful and soulful vocals of Sarah Grace Kimberly (14), and backed by the seamless drumming of her sister Reagan Kimberly (12). These two young Women in Blues are performing timeless Blues classics and their own original music all with modern twists that defies their age. Campfire Soul is already headlining local Blues venues and are veterans of several Blues festivals. The Kimberly sisters are especially proud to be part of a blossoming youth Blues scene and are part of a groundbreaking Blues in the School program in their hometown of Houston, TX. Campfire Soul represents the future of the Blues and they are ready to light up the Women in Blues Showcase in 2017.
Closing out the showcase is Blues Storyteller, Redd Velvet. At four years old Redd put her first act together banging on an old upright piano and using a hairbrush for a microphone. As a child, she sang regularly at her grandfather’s church in rural Alabama and eventually became the featured soloist in a travelling gospel group. At age 17, Redd successfully landed the role of ‘Maggie’ in the Studs Terkel ‘s musical “Working” bringing the house down performing the musical’s show-stopping number “Cleaning Woman”. Redd received classical training, under the tutelage of Andrew Gainey of the New York City Opera, and internationally renowned mezzo soprano Mildred Allen of The Metropolitan Opera who encouraged her to pursue a career as a classical vocalist. Her role as Zerlina, the peasant girl in Mozart’s ” Don Giovanni” proved her vocal ability as a mezzo soprano. But her southern roots kept her anchored to the music that made her a powerhouse vocalist that blows life into the blues. Redd’s debut CD ” Womanhood 101″ was cited as “a new and exciting chapter in contemporary blues” by Living Blues Magazine.
Cashbox Magazine has described Niecie as a “raw and soulful…..rocking blues powerhouse” who has shared the stage with the likes of Koko Taylor, Larry McCray, Magic Slim and the Teardrops, former Allman Brothers Johnny Neel, Outlaws guitar slinger Chris Anderson, and the legendary Shaun Murphy. A workaholic who relentlessly pushes herself to improve her craft, Niecie has been topping playlists and radio charts around the world including France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Australia and Canada. Currently, Niecie sits at #36 for Top 50 Blues of All-Time on APD Radio charts along with Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Elvin Bishop, Joe Bonamassa, Janiva Magness, Billie Holiday and many icons of the industry. Niecie was recently voted one of the Top 25 Women In Music by Blues-E News Magazine.
Our performers are Women in blues, both in the IBC challenge and out. From mature to youth, from the states and as far as Japan.