The Blues

Of course, it is all music, but Blues fans tend to set themselves apart. The Blues are iconic to American music. There are special blues awards and a blues association in nearly every large city. Blues clubs, blues festivals, all trying to keep the blues alive.

 

Marcus King

Lead singer and guitarist for The Marcus King Band, 25-year-old Marcus King has a lot of experience under his belt despite his young age. With over a decade of performing live, King has already made a name for himself among today’s top indie artists. Not many musicians can claim to be a professional by the age of eleven! With King’s dedication to his craft, he has sought to revamp the indie music industry through his unique spin on the genre. Read on to learn more about The Marcus King band from Roaming the Arts.

Marcus King And The Early Years Of His Life

Music was a huge factor in King’s upbringing. With a four-generation legacy of musicians in the family, King seemed to be destined to leave his mark on music as well. Learning from both his father and his grandfather, Marcus King learned how to play the guitar by the tender age of just four years old. His passion for the guitar has only grown with time, prompting the design of the Marcus King Gibson ES 345, a custom vintage design inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains King called home. Talent for string instruments can be traced back to King’s great-grandfather, who was an avid fiddler. With his grandfather transitioning from fiddle to guitar, and dear ol’ dad being a professional guitarist himself, King certainly had a lot of talent to learn from.

Further Inspiration For King’s Unique Brand Of Music

Through his upbringing in Greenville, South Carolina, much of the influence for The Marcus King Band can be attributed to his hometown. The indie music artist can be described as a powerhouse combination of classic rock-n-roll blended with soul and country influences. Some inspiration for this sound can be seen from King’s father, guitarist and singer Marvin King, who is known for his own band, Marvin King and The Blues Revival. King’s grandfather lent his guitar expertise to the country scene, contributing again to the type of music King would later showcase. 

Where The Marcus King Band Is Today

Alongside Marcus King (guitar and vocals), The Marcus King Band is made up of members Stephen Campbell (bass), Dean Mitchell (sax and guitar), Justin Johnson (trombone and trumpet), and Jack Ryan (drummer). The five musicians have been performing together since 2013 – That’s 8 years performing as the Marcus King Band! Their record, El Dorado, is out now and available to be enjoyed by music lovers everywhere! The group is currently located in Nashville, Tennessee, where they continue to write and perform music regularly. Concert information can be found on their website, along with all of the latest updates on The Marcus King Band.

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Allman Betts Band

Allman Betts Band

Devon Allman and Duane Betts unite in this exciting band.

Back in the Road.

The Allman Betts Band includes Devon Allman & Duane Betts on guitars and vocals, Berry Oakley Jr. on bass, Johnny Stachela on slide guitar, John Ginty on Hammond B3 (Robert Randolph/Dixie Chicks) and Devon Allman Project percussionists R. Scott Bryan (Sheryl Crow) and John Lum.  The show features original music from their two recent BMG albums, songs from their solo projects as well as classic songs by The Allman Brothers Band, the legendary group founded by Devon and Duane’s fathers, Gregg Allman & Dickey Betts.

Their sophomore album, Bless Your Heart, was released on August 28, 2020.  Like their debut album, Bless Your Heart was recorded at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, John Prine and Elvis Presley).

“This is The Allman Betts Band’s best offering yet, showcasing a band still tethered to their legacy but finding their own way with a sound that honors their roots without stepping all over them.” – No Depression

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Samantha Fish

Samantha Fish

A blues musician from Kansas City, Missouri, Samantha Fish impressed industry professionals as a teenager before scoring her first Billboard blues number one in her mid-twenties. Fish grew up in a musical family with a variety of genres, including a steady diet of classic rock radio. Her father played guitar and would sometimes jam with friends at home. Young Samantha started out as a drummer but switched to guitar at the age of 15. As a teen, she would sneak into local blues landmark the Knuckleheads Saloon to hear touring musicians, and she began sitting in with them from time to time after she became legal at 18.

Girls with Guitars In 2009, Fish recorded the live album Live Bait as the Samantha Fish Blues Band, and the rock-edged guitar work brought her to the attention of Ruf Records. The label featured her alongside Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on the 2011 release Girls with Guitars, which featured covers of the Rolling Stones and the Steve Miller Band as well as original material from the three guitarist/singer/songwriters. Later that same year, Fish released her solo debut, Runaway, also with Ruf Records. It was produced by mentor and frequent collaborator Mike Zito.

Black Wind Howlin' She saw her first chart success with her sophomore LP, Black Wind Howlin’, also produced by Zito. It hit the Billboard Heatseekers chart and reached the Top Ten of the blues albums chart upon release in 2013. She followed it with Wild at Heart in 2015, which became a blues number one. In 2017, she returned with her fourth studio album, Chills & Fever. Recorded in Detroit with members of the Detroit Cobras it featured covers of obscure pop and soul tunes.

Also in 2017, Fish issued Belle of the West, recorded in Missouri with Luther Dickinson and featuring musical contributions by guitarist/harmonica player Lightnin’ Malcolm, former-Squirrel Nut Zipper Jimbo Mathus, violinist Lillie Mae Rische, and others. The album helped the guitarist pick up a 2018 Blues Music Association award for Contemporary Female Artist of the Year. Fish‘s seventh studio album, Kill or Be Kind, arrived in 2019 and found her working with producer Scott Billington in Memphis.

Artist Biography by Marcy Donelson

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Marcus King

Marcus King (Band)

Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. At only 23 years of age, Marcus King has been writing songs and performing onstage for half his lifetime, delivering a blistering brand of Americana inspired by rock n’ roll.

King is a Blue Ridge Mountain boy, born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. A fourth-generation musician, he traces his lineage back to his fiddle-playing great grandfather, while his grandfather was a fiddler and guitarist. His dad is Marvin King, is a singer/guitarist who has toured nationally since the ‘70’s with various artists as well as his own group, Marvin King and Blue Revival.

Marcus King doesn’t strive for authenticity, he never had to—it’s busting out of his DNA in every note he plays and every word he sings. This focused, firmly rooted artist isn’t just perpetuating the proud legacy of American rock and soul music, he is adding his own eloquent chapter to that rich narrative in his new hometown, Nashville. Playing for Change

 

Marcia Ball

Marcia Ball

“Fifty years have passed in a flash,” says Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist, songwriter and vocalist Marcia Ball of her long and storied career. Ball, the 2018 Texas State Musician Of The Year, has won worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world. With each new release, her reputation as a profoundly soulful singer, a boundlessly talented pianist and a courageous, inventive songwriter continues to grow. Her love of the road has led to years of soul-satisfying performances at festivals, concert halls and clubs. 

The New York Times says, “Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time.” 

The Houston Chronicle says simply, “She’s as perfect as an artist can be.”

Mike Zito

Mike Zito

He may be one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today, and rightfully so, but for Mike Zito, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.

​“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders (Osborne) told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff; I try to make every word count.”

​That point became convincingly clear with his last record 2018’s First Class Life, a collection of songs that detailed his journey from addiction to sobriety and the subsequent success he achieved through his award-winning body of work. A multiple award winner and nominee, Zito has built his career on an ability to tap into tradition while maintaining contemporary credence all at the same time.

Deanna Bogart

Deanna Bogart

When it comes to Deanna Bogart, everyone wants to claim her as their own — her hometown, her fans, her fellow musicians and even her instruments. She’s that good–and that good-natured.

Born in Detroit, Deanna spent her early years in Phoenix and New York City, climbing on any available piano bench to plunk and play with preternatural panache.  Around the age of six,  she was “gently removed” from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for playing piano by ear instead of learning to read music. While in middle school, Deanna yearned to play the saxophone. Typical of those times though, she was told, “Girls play the clarinet, not the sax.” Thankfully for us all, that tide has changed.

Today, Deanna Bogart is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and multifaceted musician whose fans value the diversity of her genre-free zone.  As a bandleader/singer/songwriter/producer/pianist/sax player, Deanna combines the best of boogie-woogie, contemporary blues, country and jazz into a splendid blend she calls “blusion.”

Deanna’s fusion of blusion — spontaneous, sophisticated, fearless and fun — has garnered her three consecutive Blues Music Awards’ Horn Instrumentalist of the Year for 2008, 2009 and 2010 and an endorsement contract with Rico Reeds. She has won, at last count, more than 20 Wammies, the music awards for the hotly contested Washington, D.C. region.

Recognized for her dazzling keyboards, soulful saxophone, smoky vocals and cut-above songwriting, Deanna easily wins the hearts of fans on land and at sea on chartered cruises.  She is a featured player in the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue, jamming with Tommy Castro, Magic Dick (founding member of the J. Geils Band), as well as prominent guitar slingers. Deanna remembers well her early years as a budding musician and is an avid educator and mentor, sharing her insight and wisdom with students of all ages.

 

Hot Tuna/Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady

Jorma & Jack (aka Hot Tuna)

Hot Tuna is an American blues band formed in 1969 by former Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Although it has always been a fluid aggregation, with musicians coming and going over the years, the band’s name has essentially become a metonym for Kaukonen and Casady’s ongoing collaboration. Wikipedia

Don’t miss Hesitation Blues -circa 1970

Tab Benoit

Tab Benoit

One of the most impressive guitarists to emerge from the rich Bayous of Southern Louisiana in recent years, Tab Benoit’s guitar tone can be recognized before his Otis-Redding-ish voice resonates from the speakers. He doesn’t rely on any effects and his set up is simple. It consists of a guitar, cord, and Category 5 Amplifier. The effects that you hear come from his fingers.

Chris Smither

Chris Smither

William Christopher Smither is an American folk/blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter. His music draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, and modern poets and philosophers. Wikipedia

 

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