“I am VERY happy to be playing your festival this coming May and even happier to hear you are partnering with the Children’s Home Society of Greensboro, NC on this very important cause.” -Janiva Magness
27th Annual Carolina Blues Festival presented by YES! Weekly
On May 18, 2013, we’ll be bringing Five-Time 2013 Blues Music Award Nominee, Janiva Magness and Louisiana Music Hall of Fame recipient, Kenny Neal to Festival Park in beautiful downtown Greensboro! Bring a lawnchair or blanket, your children (under 12 are FREE), friends and extended family for a wonderful day of music under the big tent at Festival Park in downtown Greensboro! (see festival info for more information, do’s, and don’ts.)
Los Angeles based Janiva Magness is one of todays most talented and recognized blues and roots vocalists. A two-decade darling of the blues genre, Janivas vocal prowess is now being recognized by music critics at large.
Billboard writes Magness carves out a niche by singing the blues with maturity and sophistication.” Singer Magazine writes Her voice is sultry, smoky and strong with jazz, blues, and soul textures enveloping it.
Although her vocals are at times beautiful, this 56 year-old grandmother is best known for her sauciness and the bold, brazen beauty of her recordings and performances. In the liner notes of the new record Janiva pays homage to controversial and rule breaking women before her like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith for fearlessly embracing their age, their sexuality, and truth.
Janiva was barely a teenager when she was consumed by the power and expression of rhythm and blues from the radio stations of her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Janivas influences include Etta James, Billie Holiday, Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Aretha Franklin, Jackie Wilson, Memphis Minnie & Koko Taylor – some of whom she has since shared stages with and drawn comparisons.
Janiva has recorded with various artists including the late R.L. Burnside, former Fabulous Thunderbird guitarists Kid Ramos and Kirk Eli Fletcher. Earlier in her career she even toured with Jimmy Buffet.
Janiva has been nominated for five (5) prestigious Blues Music Awards (tied for the most artist nominations) including the coveted, B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award. Her additional nominations include: Album Of The Year – Stronger For It; Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year – Stronger For It; Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year; and Song Of The Year – I Won’t Cry (by Janiva Magness & Dave Darling) from Stronger For It). The Blues Music Awards ceremony will be held just nine days before the Carolina Blues Festival.
The future of Baton Rouge swamp blues lies squarely in multi-instrumentalist Kenny Neal’s capable hands — the second-generation southern Louisiana bluesman is entirely cognizant of the region’s venerable blues tradition and imaginative enough to steer it in fresh directions, as his albums for Alligator confirm. His dad, harpist Raful Neal, was a Baton Rouge blues mainstay whose pals included Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo (the latter handed three-year-old Kenny an old harp one day as a toy, and that was it). At age 13, Neal was playing in his father’s band, and he picked up a bass at 17 for Buddy Guy. In 1987,
Neal cut his debut LP for Florida producer Bob Greenlee — a stunningly updated swamp feast initially marketed on King Snake Records as Bio on the Bayou. Alligator picked it up the following year, retitled it Big News from Baton Rouge! and young Neal was on his way. Neal’s sizzling guitar work, sturdy harp, and gravelly, aged-beyond-his-years vocals have served him well ever since. Among his numerous albums are Devil Child (1989), Bayou Blood (1992), Hoodoo Moon (1994), Blues Fallin’ Down Like Rain (1998), What You Got (2000), One Step Closer (2001), Easy Meeting (2003), Double Take (2004), and A Tribute to Slim Harpo and Raful Neal (2005). Let Life Flow appeared in 2008 from Blind Pig Records.
His release, Hooked On Your Love, follows the triumph of his multi-award-winning 2008 comeback album, Let Life Flow. An outstanding success, the CD raked in the accolades: three prestigious Album Of The Year awards, two Song of The Year awards for the title track, and Kenny himself garnered two Artist of the Year honors. His newest CD, Hooked On Your Love, covers the plethora of accomplished roots styles Kenny has become known for; a tasty musical gumbo of swamp-boogie, jazz, R&B, and straight-ahead blues all swirl together on this new CD.
Neal has won numerous awards and honors for his work over the years, the latest being Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
Mac Arnold must have known at an early age that his music career would read like a “Who’s who” of Blues/R&B Legends. His high school band, “J Floyd & The Shamrocks,” were often joined by none other than Macon, Georgia native, James Brown on piano. After deciding to pursue a professional music career, he joined the Charles Miller group until 1965 when he made the move to Chicago to work with recording artist/saxophonist A. C. Reed.
In late 1966, at age 24, came the opportunity of a lifetime to join the Muddy Waters Band and help shape the electric blues sound that inspired the rock and roll movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Regular guests of the band included Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and Elvin Bishop. The Muddy Waters Band (as a unit) shared the stage with the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Junior Wells, Big Joe Williams, and Big Mama Thornton just to name a few. During this time, Mac played on John Lee Hooker’s “live “album, Live at the Café Au Go-Go, as well as Otis Spann’s classic recording “The Blues is Where It’s At”.
After more than a year with Muddy Waters, Mac formed the Soul Invaders, which backed up many artists, including The Temptations and B. B. King. In the early 70’s, he moved Los Angeles to work at ABC Television and LAFF RECORDS (Redd Foxx). This led to working on the set of Soul Train from 1971 to 1975 and then working with Bill Withers (“Lean On Me”) before moving back to South Carolina in the 80′s.
Mac now resides in Pelzer, SC, where at the age of ten he got his first taste of the blues when he learned to play his brother Leroy’s home-made guitar. Going back to his roots. Mac is serving up a mess of Blues with his own band, “Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues”. The band consists of Joe Jones on bass and vocals, Austin Brashier on guitar and vocals, Max Hightower on keyboards, harmonica, guitar, and vocals, Tez Sherard on drums and vocals, and Mac Arnold on vocals, bass and Gas Can Guitars.
Armand & Bluesology with Will McFarlane
From 1990 thru 1997, Armand toured with Skeeter Brandon and HWY61 playing the blues clubs like BB King’s in Memphis, Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, Manny’s Car Wash in New York City, Margaritaville in Key West and Muddy’s in Portland, Maine in addition to appearing in festivals all over the world. It is even rumored that he’s played at the famous Moondogs Pub in Blawnox, Pa. (Near Pittsburgh).
“Lenchek is patient unlike a lot of young fretmen he’s willing to let the melody come to him rather than chase it down the street. Even at his most aggressive, he plays ideas, not just notes.” Living Blues
Armand plays with friends Will McFarlane, Danny Gotham, and the Bluesologettes.
Will McFarlane spent six years playing guitar with Bonnie Raitt, from 1974 to 1980. Born on a Navy base in California, McFarlane started voice lessons at age 6, adding piano a year later. Seeing the Beatles play the Ed Sullivan Show when he was 12 inspired McFarlane to take up guitar. He developed a taste for R&B in high school, focusing on Motown material while developing as a rhythm guitarist.
He parted company amicably from Raitt in 1980, because he and his wife, Janet, wanted a change of lifestyle and didn’t want to raise two kids in L.A. Will moved to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, playing on records for Bobby Blue Bland, Little Milton, Etta James and Johnnie Taylor as part of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.
Will was just recently inducted into the Musician’s Hall of Fame in Nashville as a friend of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (The Swampers).
Toot and the Longshots!
Toot and the Longshots have lived up to their name – folks from varying walks of life and musical backgrounds who wanted to bring something “a little bit different” to the 2012 Piedmont Blues Preservation Society’s Blues Challenge.
Little did they know that it would land them a spot in the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN!
Playing a mix of 40s through 60s tunes with smooth rhythms, classy licks, and catchy lyrics that are influenced by artists like George “Harmonica” Smith and Ruth Brown, they enjoy bringing a more intimate, musically-dynamic, and sometimes humorous performance to the stage. Formed in summer 2012 by the husband/wife team of John Olsen (harp) and Leigh Olsen (vocals), the group includes talented friends Rob Slater (guitar), Calvin Johnson (bass), and Kelly Linville (drums).