Master of Ceremonies: Cleve Baker
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 1800’s from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and narrative ballads. Blues Music is responsible for and ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll. Blues Music is truly the Backbone of American Music.
My introduction to the Blues came at an early age in my Grandfather’s tobacco fields. Granddad’s help would sing work songs and field hollers as they primed tobacco walking bent over in the long, long rows of those tobacco fields. That’s where my fascination and my appreciation of Blues music began. Come Saturday night, the farm workers would meet with their guitars, harps, dobros and drum sticks at D.E. Baker’s Country Store. They’d buy some wine and gather round back to sit, drink and play the blues. Those drum sticks bouncing on a steel barrel and wooden Pepsi crate set the back beat to my introduction to renditions of my first Muddy Waters, Lightening Hopkins, Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williams and Howlin’ Wolf among others. I just couldn’t wait for Saturday night’s at Granddaddy’s store. I ease out the back door of the store with wine and an occasional jar of Granddad’s Moonshine so those men would continue to play. Those days and that music has never left me.
Picking up a bass guitar at age 14, Piper completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Music degree at 19 years of age. Finding it difficult to resume her performing career following the birth of her son, Piper recorded her debut album 'Jailbait' in 2004. The all original album was meant to be a good quality demo and wasn’t intended for commercial release.
In 2008 Piper signed with Blues Leaf Records USA (Janiva Magness, Albert Castiglia) and released 'Two's Company', a compilation of her earlier releases. The album reached # 21 on the Living Blues chart even though Piper had yet to tour the USA. She quickly made up for lost time and has performed in 35 American states and Canada. Piper has performed to packed houses at premier venues such as the House of Blues and BB King's. She has earned critical acclaim from publications including Blues Revue and Blues Matters (UK).
Skyla Burrell was born in Los Angeles and raised in Orange County, California. Skyla formed her first band at the age of 13 and has been a working musician ever since. Skyla played with several bands as a teenager and young adult, working her way up and down Southern California. She relocated to the East Coast in her early 20's where she continued learning and growing from her musical experiences and eventually co-forming the Skyla Burrell Band. In addition to her singing, writing and guitar duties, Skyla also plays the piano.
Sherman Lee Dillon
At age 12, Sherman Lee began playing the guitar, at 14 the harmonica, at 15 the banjo and steel guitar (not to mention playing trumpet and baritone in the school band and teaching his brother the tenor sax). Living in a dry county with only one black-topped road, his performing experience had mostly been for neighborhood gatherings with payment in homemade wine.
Sherman has performed in various configurations on shows with such notables as B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Koko Taylor, Little Milton and Bobby Rush. When Sandy Davis, Casting Director for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" came to Jackson, she used him as a voice model, personal musical coach to Tim Blake Nelson (Delmar) and consulted him almost daily throughout their Mississippi filming. He was one of the three Dobro players in the film and was asked to perform at the cast party.
Sherman Lee represented the state of Mississippi as a finalist in the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. In 2014, his CD, "State of the Blues," was named Traditional CD of the Year by the Rural Roots Music Commission.
Woolly and the Wingnutz Blues Review
Chicago/Texas electric blues outfit WOOLLY & THE WINGUTZ BLUES REVUE will also be appearing at BBIBB... The band consists of: Scott "Woolly" Williamson (guitar), Tim Collins (guitar), Don Prelesnik (harp/vocals), Jim Panek (piano/organ), Chuck Taylor (Bass/Vocals) and Dave Sword (drums/vocals).
Scott Williamson is the executive producer of the Big Bugg Island Blues Bash (www.bbibb.org) and acting President of NC’s Triangle Blues Society.
Good Rocking Sam
Good Rocking Sam plays what we call Modern Blues with Deep Roots. Most of the songs in our set list are originals, which draw inspiration from the great Chicago and Texas blues artists of the 1950's and 60's, Memphis Soul, and most everything we've heard and learned on our journeys across America. It is highly danceable, highly listenable, and we have been very successful at playing at a volume that is comfortable for the audience.
We are Dave Sword, drums & vocals; Mike Conway, guitar; Chuck Taylor, bass & vocals; David Mozier, Hammond organ and piano. Collectively, it's a groove that is hard to stop.
The Bush League
The Bush League was founded on a front porch in 2007, not too far outside Richmond, Virginia by dynamic vocalist JohnJason “JohnJay” Cecil and the heartbeat of the band, self-taught bassist Royce Folks. They are joined by Michael Burgess and Brad Moss on guitars with Wynton Davis keeping time on drums. The Bush League has sported many faces and have played many different styles of music but the unifying force is the collective love of the Blues, particularly the soulful groovin’ Hill Country Blues of North Mississippi. Taking that Hill Country base and drawing upon individual influences of rock, soul, funk and gospel, The Bush League meshes those genres to create their own sound that pays homage to traditional blues with a modern feel. Fat Possum Records’ “You Better Run: The Essential Junior Kimbrough” was the band’s first exposure to Hill Country Blues and heavily influenced The Bush League’s first original song, “Don’t Touch My Liquor”.
Over the years The Bush League has been playing the Blues and paying their dues on the 21st century version of the “Chitlin’ Circuit”; playing bars, restaurants, private parties, wineries, weddings, in front of the bathroom at the VA State Fair, and various festivals throughout the Mid-Atlantic. For 156 straight weekends The Bush League played anywhere that would book them, seeing these gigs as opportunities to further hone and evolve their signature sound as well as introduce the world to a version of blues that many had never heard. All that honing and evolving has begun to pay off as The Bush League has become a familiar face in Memphis, TN with a member of some iteration of the band having competed in every category of The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge since 2010.
Nathan Pope is a very skillful young guitarist from the heart of North Carolina with a great love for the blues. He received his first guitar at the age of 2 and was teaching himself to play by the age of 7. He gives credit to his Grandmother, gospel pianist Doris Powell, for his inspiration and love of music. His knowledge and capabilities began to expand when he discovered the local blues society and started joining in on their weekly jams. From there he went on to be a welcome guest player in the shows of many area bands and has also shared the stage with national touring artists such as Victor Wainwright, Nick Black and Albert Castiglia.
In 2015 Nathan gained unparalleled knowledge when he attended the Pinetop Perkins Masterclass Workshop in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The workshop gave him the op-portunity to work with the likes of Bob Margolin, Jonn Del Toro Richardson and an-other young guitarist, Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. It also led to the Triangle Blues Society choosing him as their 2016 Youth Showcase Representative at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.
Nathan now performs in his own band with two seasoned musicians, Chuck Sirko and Bruce Wassel, as well as on his own acoustically. His shows offer an array of classic blues and heart-thumping blues rock tunes with both recognized favorites and “wise-beyond-his-years” originals.
Interested in performing for BBIBB?
We are planning several different events this year! Please send any material you think would be a good representation of your work to the following address.. We find a CD in hand to be a much better reminder than an email link!
581 Henrico Rd
Buffalo Junction, Va 24529
Thanks again for your interest!