From smoking slide guitar boogies to raw-boned Chicago shuffles to the deepest slow blues, guitarist/vocalist/
Lil’ Ed boasts a direct bloodline to blues history—his uncle and musical mentor was the great Chicago slide guitarist, songwriter and recording artist J.B. Hutto. According to The Chicago Tribune, “Williams represents one of the few remaining authentic links to the raucous, pure Chicago blues.” The Associated Press agrees, stating, “Williams fills Chicago’s biggest shoes with more life and heat than anyone on stage today.” Adding to the legend is Ed’s storybook rise, taking him from working in a car wash to entertaining thousands of fans all over the world. In 2006 he made multiple appearances on Late Night With Conan O’Brien (including a hilarious film with Lil’ Ed teaching Conan how to play the blues), culminating with Lil’ Ed on stage jamming with O’Brien in front of a television audience in the millions. Over the years, Lil' Ed and his band have been honored with 14 Blues Music Award nominations, and in 2007 and 2009 Lil' Ed And The Blues Imperials were honored with the Blues Music Awards for Band of the Year.
Grammy Award winner Joe Louis Walker has an amazing 47 nominations and four Blues Music Awards, including Band of the Year, Contemporary Blues Male Artist (twice), and Album of the Year. His guitar playing also garnered him a Living Blues Award for Most Outstanding Guitarist. In many ways, Walker’s story is unusual. Born in San Francisco (on Christmas Day 1949 and now based in Westchester, New York, he was part of the Bay area blues scene in his early teens, and by the time he was 16 he had soaked up the sounds of the likes of T-Bone Walker, Amos Milburn, and boogie woogie pioneers Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson. As he grew up, he found himself on stage with such disparate tutors as John Lee Hooker, Thelonius Monk, the Soul Stirrers, Steve Miller and Jimi Hendrix. And by the time he was 19 he had built a close friendship — they were roommates for many years — with Mike Bloomfield.
Bloomfield’s tragic early death persuaded the young Walker to change his life. He enrolled at San Francisco State University, earning music and English degrees — and performing regularly with a gospel group, The Spiritual Corinthians. In 1985, he came back to the blues; fronting a new band he called The Bosstalkers, ands making the first of five albums for the Hightone label, before signing to PolyGram’s Verve/Gitanes label, for who he recorded another six albums. These records served as an entrée into the European market. Sterling appearances at major festivals throughout Europe (North Sea Jazz, Glastonbury, Nottoden and Montreux among them) led to further tours and festivals in Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Ireland, Turkey and Brazil. Along the way he played President George Bush’s inauguration, helped President Bill Clinton induct B.B. King into the Kennedy Centre Awards, and performed on America’s most-watched late-night television shows.
Larry Garner got his start as a bluesman early in life, learning guitar from his uncle George. He continued playing during his years in the army, and came home to Baton Rouge. Larry and his band won the 5th Annual International Blues Challenge back in 1988, and Larry is a five-time Blues Music Award nominee, once for Most Promising Artist, and four times for Contemporary Male Blues Artist. Larry was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame in 2002. The BBC honored Larry as its Bluesman of the Year, and Larry was honored as Blues Songwriter of the Year three times. Larry was twice named Bluesman of the Year Award by Real Blues Magazine, who wrote "Larry Garner is perhaps the most talented blues songwriter alive today, one of the top five bluesmen on the planet."
Shaun Murphy is probably best known as "The First Lady of Little Feat" after her years as their lead vocalist, but got her start in 1969 at the first Ann Arbor Blues Festival, playing on the same bill as Son House, Muddy Waters, BB King, Freddy King, and Lightin’ Hopkins. Through all the years of rock stardom, Shaun kept wanting to return to her roots in the blues. She finally took the plunge in and recorded Livin' The Blues, and has toured extensively since, playing blues festivals and clubs around the world.
JP Soars and The Red Hots gained national exposure by winning the International Blues Challenge in 2009, besting over 100 acts from around the world. JP decided to follow his musical love, and focused on blues and gypsy jazz. JP eventually formed his own band, JP Soars and The Red Hots, and competed in the South Florida Blues Society's Blues Challenge. They then won the contest in Memphis, where JP was also awarded the Albert King Most Promising Guitar Player award. Since then, JP and The Red Hots have performed around the world and recorded a new album More Bees With Honey.
The Grand Marquis have that classic, timeless 'straight-from-
Mary Bridget Davies has performed everywhere from dive bars to Broadway theaters. After performing as a member of "Blues Explosion", Mary's vocal prowess led to her national tour as Janis Joplin in "Love, Janis" and the Tony nominated musical "It Ain't Nothing' But The Blues", as well as performances with Big Brother and The Holding Company.
Since 2006 the Terry Quiett Band has logged over 200,000 miles and played close to three hundred shows across America's Heartland. From 6th Street in Austin to Beale Street in Memphis, they've mesmerized audiences with their original and contemporary blues-soaked sound. The Terry Quiett Band represented the Blues Society of the Ozarks at the 2011 International Blues Challenge after winning the BSO's Memphis Bound competition. Terry's music ranges from haunting Delta blues to sophisticated jazzy swing. His latest release Just My Luck, produced by the legendary Jim Gaines, has been described as a modern masterpiece of highly charged, blues-based music.
For more information, please visit http://www.greaterozarksbluesfest.com.