The Bands - 2017
Russell Smith & The Amazing Rhythm Aces
Thirty years ago in a Memphis recording studio The Amazing Rhythm Aces™ made their first album, "Stacked Deck". It was simply American music - a mixed bag of influences that had drawn them together. Fans didn't seem to care about labels, either. For more than two decades, songs like "Third Rate Romance", "Amazing Grace (Used To Be Her Favorite Song)" and the Grammy-winning "The End Is Not In Sight" would remain etched in the hearts and minds of a generation as benchmarks of popular music's better days. After recording six more albums and touring with everyone from Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles the group disbanded in 1981, but its songs lived on as radio staples and its albums were coveted by collectors.
Reverend Shawn Amos
The Reverend Shawn Amos is a Los Angeles-based, chart-topping bluesman ready to turn any venue into a 1960's Chicago blues club. His foot stomping, harp-wailing performances. like tent revivals of yore, energize the faithful, and convert the wayward to the Rev's message of booty-shakin', deeply joyful blues.
The Rev came up in 1970s Los Angeles, at the feet of musical legends like Marvin Gaye and Quincy Jones, as well as all manner of Hollywood street folk. The son of music agent-turned entrepreneur, Wally "Famous" AMos, and R&B nightclub singer, Shirlee May, Shawn found music early, and has worked within it his entire adult life. His rich career as a producer includes overseeing new music and retrospectives from R&B blues legends Solomon Burke, John Lee Hooker, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and scores of other legacy acts.
The Mark May Band
Release My Soul, the 5th cd from Mark May (former guitarist and vocalist for Dickey Betts and Great Southern), is jam-packed with traditional blues, blues-rock and soulful ballads. Perfecting his craft playing rough and tumble biker bars and blues clubs in Houston, Texas for over 20 years, Mark recently returned to his hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where he performed in nightclubs before his 15th birthday. His astonishing live shows featuring dynamic twin leads and dual harmony guitar work are the perfect complement to Mark’s smooth vocals.
The Mark May Band has performed at Telluride Blues and Brews, Mississippi Valley Blues Fest, King Biscuit, Tremblant International Blues Festival, Dallas International Guitar Show, Chenango Blues Festival, Lone Star Rally, Dogs on Hawgs, Houston International Festival, and in addition, was opening act for Allman Brothers Amphitheater Tour.
Mark currently gets heavy rotation on Sirius/XM and Sonic Tap radio. He has been featured in Blues Review, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Vintage Guitar, Tone Quest and other major publications.
The GhostTown Blues Band
Beale Street’s latest success story, 4-time 2016 Independent Blues Award Nominee, BBMA 2015 Nominee for “Best Blues Band” and 2014 International Blues Challenge Runner-up is Ghost Town Blues Band. Not your grandpa’s blues band, their live show has been captivating audiences in the U.S. and Canada with a second-line horn entrance, cigar box guitars and electric push brooms to Allman Brothers style jams and even a hip-hop trombone player.
Horns, harmonies and homegrown instruments combined with an energetic and roots rich festival set makes Ghost Town Blues Band one of the “must see live bands on the festival circuit today.” Both Preston McEwen behind the drums and Matt Karner on the bass guitar are a punishing rhythm section behind multi-instrumentalist/frontman Matt Isbell with raunchy cigar box guitar licks and raspy "Dr. John-like, whiskey and gravel-soaked vocals." With the addition of Trombonist Suavo Jones and Taylor Orr on lead guitar, the grooves go from funky to "funk-nasty" as the band gains more notoriety in the blues festival and jam circuit. Ghost Town Blues Band performed all across North America at over 24 festivals in 2016 and already have 20 festivals and 4 international tours booked for 2017.