With a voice that is alternately sultry, assertive, and roaring, Shemekia’s wide-open vision of contemporary blues, roots, and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with a modern musical and lyrical approach.
Salgado started out in Eugene’s bar scene with his band The Nighthawks. He quickly developed into a player and singer of remarkable depth, with vocal and musical influences including Otis Redding, O.V. Wright, Johnnie Taylor, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson I and II, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Spann, and Magic Sam.
The polished, big-band sound of Shanda and The Howlers commands listeners to get up and dance. A rhythm & blues revivalist band out of Las Vegas, NV, the band consists of vocalist Shanda Cisneros, Trevor Johnson on guitar, Micah Lapping-Carr on saxophone, Luke Metz on bass, and Keith Alcantara on drums.
Nikki Hill is a spitfire with the soul-drenched voice of Etta James and the tattooed, beehived-hair aura of Cramps’ guitarist Poison Ivy. Buoyed by her band’s roaring boogie that’s equal parts Staple Singers and AC/DC, Nikki exudes a self-assured swagger as her fiery rasp preaches the rock & roll gospel: late nights, hot licks, and intoxicating love.
A song poet and fierce slide guitar player, this Oregon native is known for his virtuosity and spirit of emotional abandon. His music speaks of open roads, longing hearts, and flashbacks of Oregon– emotions big and small, and lyrics that turn quickly from literal to figurative. His live shows transition from humorous, subversive blues to delicate balladry, swinging back to swampy rock and roll.
The Cedric Burnside Project keeps Mississippi Hill Country Blues alive by honoring the past while blazing a path towards the future. The grandson of legendary R.L. Burnside and son of drummer Calvin Jackson, Cedric Burnside has developed a relentless, highly rhythmic charged style that takes the blues to another level.
Castro Coleman AKA Mr. Sipp, “The Mississippi Blues Child”, spent 22 years in the Gospel Music Business as a recording artist and producer. Recognized for his amazing vocals, songwriting ability, musicianship, ability to produce records, and entertain fans with an upbeat, outlandish show all make Mr. Sipp “The Total Package.”
Hillstomp hails from Portland, Oregon, 150 miles north of Sisters. This junkbox blues duo is illustrious for rummaging through the dumps and forgotten backwoods of American music, recycling traditional elements into a fresh and distinctive brand of do-it-yourself hill country blues stomp. The clanging and tumbling from assorted buckets, cans, and BBQ lids, paired with a rambunctious slide guitar creates a bit of North Mississippi trance blues, a bit of Appalachia, and a dash of punkabilly.
Lead vocalist and dancer Anthony “Renegade” Briscoe proudly steals the spotlight with his ballet-trained dancing and emotional vocal-impact reminiscent of Prince. Bassist Brandon Storms blends slap/pop bass lines with deep synth and pitch bent solos that parallel guitar leads. Psychedelic-jazz guitarist Nick Quiller dominates the fretboard with unbound imagination, shredding into another dimension, exploring the soundscape from high to low. Finally, drummer Conrad Real’s finesse and intensity, evocative of Chris Coleman or John Blackwell, serves as Down North’s foundation, through impeccable groove and powerful chops.
Together, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, bassist Randy McDonald, keyboardist Michael Emerson, and drummer Bowen Brown, are a lean, mean lineup who deliver soul-shaking, muscular music. On record and on stage, their road-hardened, seemingly telepathic musicianship brings an unmatched passion to Castro’s blue-eyed California soul and hard-rocking, good-time songs.
The dynamic songwriting, deeply poetic lyrics, thoughtful romantic and spiritual themes and eclectic blend of styles on the 11 track collection has resulted in an American saga in the rich literary tradition of legendary authors John Steinbeck and William Faulkner. Yet true to form, these typically humble musical wolves started in on the project without any grand vision or musical roadmap.
Walter Trout is the beating heart of the modern blues rock scene – respected by the old guard, revered by the young guns, and adored by the fans who shake his hand after the show each night. “I’m 66 years old,” considers Trout, “but I feel like I’m in the best years of my life right now. I feel better than I have in years physically. I have more energy. I have a whole different appreciation of being alive, of the world, of my family, of my career. I want life to be exciting and celebratory. I want to dig in. I want to grab life by the balls and not let go, y’know…?”