2020 Band Bio's by Brian Turk


Anders Osborne
Genre: Rock, Blues, Singer-Songwriter
Location: New Orleans, LA
Although born in Sweden, Anders Osborne is considered one of New Orleans's native sons. He can attack a guitar with Viking fury, leaving any rockin’ blues lover, or player, in his wake. Or sit introspectively on a stool, with his acoustic guitar on his knee, and pull at your heartstrings. A delicate balance of power and peacefulness, Osborne is led by the raw emotions he experiences. And his songs are often autobiographical - giving listeners a polished window into his soul. 

Samantha Fish
Genre: Rock, Blues
Location: New Orleans
Samantha Fish shows that the upper ranks of contemporary blues sure ain’t no boys club. Since 2009, she has won-over audiences near and far during her heavy touring schedule. Her albums have been diverse and explorative, showing her endless stream of creativity. And her youthful exuberance on stage draws you in and helps bring new generations to the blues. A young-gun always has to step up to keep the blues traditions going and earn their place amongst the standing greats, and Fish is doing it with a sultry style. 

Jon Cleary

Amanda Shaw

Big Sam's Funky Nation
Genre: Funk, Rock, Hip-Hop
Location: New Orleans, LA
New Orleans likes to party, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation has been providing the soundtrack since 2002. They stir a lot of sounds into their musical gumbo, but funk is at heart. Trombone wielding frontman Big Sam spent some time in The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and recorded and toured with Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello. Sam also had a recurring role on the HBO series Treme. If you are looking to stay still, this is not the band for you. Because the grooves, and the enthusiasm, are infectious. 

Southern Avenue
Genre: Blues, Soul, R&B
Location: Memphis, TN
Memphis is known for its legacy of southern soul music. But even though the heyday of Stax and Sun records is no more, certain bands carry the soul-shining torch into the 21st century. Southern Avenue is one of those bands. But they aren’t confined to the soul sound. This high-energy band has no boundaries, but blues, soul, and R&B are the roots of their sound. Southern Avenue’s second album, Keep On, was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 2019 Grammy’s.  

Genre: Rock, Funk, Brass Band
Location: New Orleans, LA
Bonerama is a half trombone, but all New Orleans. The horn-heavy six-piece conjures a rock sound on account of the rhythm section and electric guitar. And effects pedals and amplifiers sometimes turn their trombones into tornados of sound. An excellent example is Bonerama’s rendition of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs-which is as rock n roll as it gets. They can also smoothly slide-out New Orleans standards, or bring the crowd to their feet when they funk it up. This band is highly inventive, but at the same time, rooted in tradition. 

New Orleans Suspects
Genre: Funk, Rock, Blues
Location: New Orleans, LA
The New Orleans Suspects are a supergroup of epic proportions. The line-up, and their experiences before the Suspects, helps paint the picture. The New Orleans Suspects are C.R. Gruver - Keys - (Outformation and Leo Nocentelli of The Meters), Jake Eckert - Guitar - (The Dirty Dozen Brass Band), Jeff Watkins - Saxophone - (James Brown Band and Joss Stone Band) - Willie Green - Bass - (The Neville Brothers), Eric Vogel - Drums - (North Mississippi Allstars, Fred Wesley). That is a prestigious pedigree. When they bring it all together with The New Orleans Suspects, the sound is a homage to all things New Orleans. 

Honey Island Swamp Band
Genre: Americana, Rock
Location: New Orleans, LA
The members of Honey Island Swamp Band came together in 2009 while they were in San Francisco. Each member was displaced from their homes in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. They summoned the soulful sounds of home and brought a bit of Nola to the Bay Area. They all returned to New Orleans and continued writing songs and performing. Not just any songs, but finely crafted tunes that anchor the roots rock and Americana accompanying the intelligent lyrics. More than a decade later, they continue to produce a uniquely swampy sound. 

 Elektric Voodoo
Genre:World Beat, Rock n Roll
Location: San Diego, CA
Guitarist and vocalist Scott Tournet formed Elektric Voodoo after leaving Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - of which he was a founding member. Scott wanted to produce songs that had a “rhythmic pulse” underneath rock n roll. Instead of turning to computers, he turned to afrobeat, Latin, and other world rhythms. The vintage sound has a hint of psychedelia and a touch of blues. 

 The Soul Project NOLA
Genre: Jazz, Funk, Blues, Soul
Location: New Orleans
Inspired by old-school New Orleans sounds like Dr. John and The Meters, as well as funk masters Galactic, The Soul Project Nola acts as a link between old and new. Their long-standing residencies on Frenchmen Street knighted them into the scene at home. And, on the road, the garner new fans with their energetic and soulful approach to a cornucopia of New Orleans-based sounds. 

Erica Falls
Genre: R&B, Soul
Location: New Orleans, LA
Self-described “vintage” soul singer Erica Falls melds funk, R&B, and soul into a sound that reminds you of a steamy New Orleans night. Erica has also toured as the principal guest vocalist for New Orleans funk band Galactic since 2014. 

Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys
Genre: Zydeco
Location: Opelousas, LA
Jefferey Broussard grew up on a farm in the bayou country of Louisiana. Life involved a lot of work. But it also included a lot of music. Jeffery started playing drums in his father's band at 8-years-old. But his father's accordion hidden in the closet became a temptation to the young Broussard, and he snuck it down off the shelf whenever he could. Once he made the switch to the accordion, he started a path of becoming one of the most revered Zydeco musicians in Louisiana. 

Ally Venable
Genre: Blues, Rock, R&B
Location: Kilgore, TX
Ally Venable grew up singing in the church. When she picked up a guitar in her teenage years, the blues came pouring out of her fingertips. In her early 20’s, Venable already has a long list of awards and endorsements under her belt. Her playing is fierce, but her voice is friendly. Her third album, Texas Honey, was released on May 22, 2019. 

Amanda Fish
Genre: Rock, Soul
Amanda Fish spent two years performing as a solo singer-songwriter before forming her band in 2014. That reflective time allowed her to find her voice. And what a powerful voice it is. Fish’s 2019 release Free won her the Blues Music Award for Best Emerging Artist last year. 

 Terry & The Zydeco Bad Boys
Genre: Zydeco, Cajun
Location: Duson, Louisiana
The music and culture in the bayou of Louisiana is a whole other world compared to big-city New Orleans. But Terry & The Zydeco Bad Boys mix a little big city flavor in their backwater musical gumbo. If you are looking for traditional cajun music with a kick of funk, this is the band for you. 

Jonathon Long
Genre: Blues, Soul, Rock, Funk
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Johnathan Long has been a working musician for more than half of his 29-years. He is a regular in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivals Blues Tent, he has shared the stage with B.B. King and produced a series of instructional videos. Long released a self-titled debut on Samantha Fish’s Wild Heart Records on August 23, 2019.

Pine Leaf Boys
Genre: Cajun
Location: Lafayette, LA
The Pine Leaf Boys bring a fresh and wild perspective to the world of Cajun music. Yet, they play songs from the traditional canon. They just do it with a high energy, modern spin. Capturing fans that would normally shy away from cajun music, the Pine Leaf Boys are carrying the tradition forward by making old tunes more appealing to young ears. The Pine Leaf Boys were Grammy-nominated for Best Cajun/Zydeco Album in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Marcella Simien and Her Lovers
Genre: Soul
Location: Memphis, TN
Marcella Simien grew up surrounded by music, on account of her well-known Zydeco-playing father, Terrance Simien. Now she is combining her Memphis-soul swagger and New Orleans-funk edge with her Zydeco foundation. 

Big Mamou
Genre: Cajun, Zydeco, Cosmic Country
Location: Montclair, NJ
Big Mamou is a six-piece cajun band that brings a cosmic country twang to the zydeco sound. They are the only act hailing from New Jersey at this year's fest, and they are cooking up a hometown sound inspired by backwater bayou life. 

United By Music

United By Music - USA Genre: Rockin' Blues Gospel Celebration Show
Location: International USA, Canada, The Netherlands, Romania
This award-winning, high energy band rooted in Rock 'n' Roll, Blues & Soul brings its Gospel Blues Show to kick off Sunday's lineup. UBM-USA is both a nonprofit program and performance-based Unified band blending exceptionally talented neuro-diverse and neuro typical musicians. UBM-USA has performed from coast-to-coast and Europe: Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, OR to their annual week-long residency in Memphis during International Blues Competition and the annual Jubilee Week in The Netherlands.