Nick Moss featuring Dennis Gruenling

9:00pm-10:30pm

Nick Moss has been recognized as one the great guitarists of his generation, garnering accolades from Buddy Guy and praise from Jambase, Relix, and Gratefulweb.com among many others. His recording career spans decades and his albums are staples at blues radio outlets worldwide, and are now in rotation at stations with jam and rock formats.

 


 


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John Nemeth

7:00pm-8:30pm

As a Boise, Idaho teenager in the early ‘90s, John Németh was drawn to the hard-edged hip hop sounds and rock bands of the day – but when a friend exposed him to Buddy Guy and Junior Wells’s classic “Hoodoo Man Blues,” he was hooked. John played harp and sang in local bands, often opening the show for nationally touring blues acts. John soon caught the ear of established blues musicians, and before long he was releasing his own CDs – THE JACK OF HARPS (2002) and COME AND GET IT (2004), featuring Junior Watson – and performing in Junior Watson’s band. John relocated to San Francisco in 2004, where he wound up doing a two-year stint with Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, filling in for the ailing Sam Myers.

Németh immersed himself in the deep musical waters of the Bay area, absorbing more of the soul and funk grooves of what he calls “the early East Bay Grease sound” of San Francisco and Oakland bands. John’s reputation continued to grow, and he soon signed a recording contract with Blind Pig Records. His national debut for that label – MAGIC TOUCH (2007), produced by Anson Funderburgh and featuring Junior Watson on guitar – received an ecstatic response from fans and the media, and he was hailed as the new voice of the Blues. Living Blues Magazine enthused, “Magic Touch gives hope that the blues will survive.” In 2008 Németh was recruited by Elvin Bishop to do some performances and contribute four vocal tracks to his Grammy-nominated album THE BLUES ROLLS ON.

Németh released two more albums on the Blind Pig label – LOVE ME TONIGHT (2009), NAME THE DAY! (2010) – earning critical raves and strong sales, both hitting #6 on the Billboard Top Blues Album Charts, and beginning his long string of Blues Music Award nominations, numbering fourteen at last count. John also won two Blues Blast Music Awards – Best New Artist Debut Recording and Sean Costello Rising Star Award – voted on by nearly 11,000 blues fans. John followed up with two independently released live albums, BLUES LIVE and SOUL LIVE in 2012.

In 2013 John relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, where he quickly became a key player in the city’s rich musical scene. He teamed up with producer Scott Bomar and his classic Memphis Soul band, the Bo-Keys to create an album of revisited Soul classics, MEMPHIS GREASE (2014), on the Blue Corn label, which debuted at #4 on the Billboard Blues Chart. John won the 2104 Blues Music Award in the Soul Blues Male Artist category, and MEMPHIS GREASE took the prize for Soul Blues Album in 2015.

John Németh continues to be one of the hottest stars in the musical firmament, touring nationally and internationally with his Memphis band, taking the world by storm. He is currently nominated for a 2017 Blues Music Award in the category of B.B. King Entertainer of the Year . FEELIN’ FREAKY will be released in May 2017, on John’s own Memphis Grease label, and it’s already generating a firestorm among his devoted fans and the media. Stay tuned….

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Nikki Hill

5:00pm-6:30-pm

“If Tina Turner and Little Richard had a daughter and raised her with the help of uncles James Brown and Chuck Berry, she’d be like Nikki Hill.” -Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Independence has always come easy for vocalist/lyricist/bandleader Nikki Hill, raised by a single mother and two older sisters throughout Durham, North Carolina. This inspired not only her confidence at a young age, but a self-reliance and strong curiosity, which informed Hill's interest in art, reading and writing. Raised in the church and choir as a child, that curiosity led Nikki to trade the pews for barstools, sneaking into venues when necessary, and was soon immersed in North Carolina's roots scene as a young teen. She felt oddly comfortable, finding a direct connection between the energy she saw at local shows, and the intense praise dancing, gospel shouting church services she was raised in. Seeing everything from Dexter Romweber to Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bo Diddley to Motorhead, her new sermons came from rockers and bartenders, cowpunks and starving artists. Everyone had a story, and very soon, Nikki was in the mix herself, and making stories of her own. 

Hill was always happy to lend her vocal harmonies to bands around town. This led to meeting musician Matt Hill in 2005; they both found a young, fellow crate-digging friend in each other who could talk just as much about Lightnin' Hopkins as they could Bon Scott era AC/DC. They eventually got married in 2011 in a quick move, having a small wedding and unable to afford a reception hall, took the option from a local venue to have a party there if they could remain open to the public. They took the tips from the wedding show and moved to St. Louis to help Matt gain touring traction in support of his solo albums. Bouncing between Nikki's day job as a personal trainer and waiting tables at night, she paired with Matt and performed as a duo to get back, and eventually began booking her own local shows while Matt was on tour. Nikki's live shows became quickly known in St. Louis and Chicago for their energy, unique sound, the loving vibe of her and Matt's interactions, and for her charisma, highly informed from her pentecostal roots.

By the time Hill released "Here's Nikki Hill" in 2013, word had spread, for better or worse. The reputation of the live show preceded itself, and heavily. Still, all of this did not translate immediately. With the rarity of Black rock 'n roll singers/entertainers in the modern circuit and the large lack of knowledge of the impact of Black musicians on American roots music, Hill found herself in an odd spot. She became known just as much for confusing local audiences who had come to see the woman in the poster, assuming her an act of a relaxed vibe, as she did for leading an unbridled, soulful, electric guitar driven performance. Instead of drawing back and satisfying the assumptions people made, Nikki pushed back, showing people that rock n' roll didn't have one look or sound. The strong public curiosity allowed Hill the chance to open for a range of artists like Dr. John, Billy Boy Arnold, to Eileen Jewel and Nelly, before she even had music released. Labels came calling, but were looking for stylings of the more well-known Hill, or of a more boxed-in retro feel that could be fully embraced by the purists Nikki had come to abhor from her former years of teen rebellion. She continued to develop her sound despite not knowing what to call it, remaining inspired by the fire of roots pioneers before her that she studied in the record stores and book shops. 

Nikki, with Matt on guitar and a changing rhythm section, played over 20 festivals and close to 200 venue shows in 2013, building audiences across the US and Europe. She also recorded with Deke Dickerson and The Bo-Keys in Memphis, TN, lending her voice to the "Soul Meets Country" EP, expressing yet another side of her limitless enthusiasm for all things roots. Nikki and Matt also moved to New Orleans, LA, returning to the south, and picking up influence through the Gulf Coast. The momentum continued through the release of her second album "Heavy Hearts Hard Fists" in 2015. With fiery soul and heavy R&B with rock n' roll boogie and tons of attitude to match, the album was received with many accolades from press and fans and kept Hill touring in the US and Europe, adding Australia and India and Morocco to the tour schedule, and over 30 festivals a year, including Montreux Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Byron Bay Blues Festival and more.

Nikki's new record, "Feline Roots" will be independently released, again on house label Deep Fryed Records. Out November 16, Hill lets her soul rip on this new collection of songs, displaying her now well-known stance to champion for the pioneers of roots and rock n' roll, while remaining in perpetual forward motion, inviting anyone who wants to come along for the journey. Johnny Thunders straddling guitar, Bad Brains' rock meets reggae, Stonesy groove, Sister Rosetta Tharpe rave up gospel power, all receive nods of recognition. Hill is unafraid of her past or experiences, and puts it out there for the sake of the song. The songs imagine the southern soul rocker at times waving her flag in surrender, then in the next moment finding her way back into the climb, bending through supercharged blues, punk soul, revival tent gospel, rockabilly shouts, whatever it takes to get there. It's her version of rock n' roll that can only come from her stories. Nikki has never been afraid to take the road less traveled, and it's clear with "Feline Roots" that she's living every word.

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Doug Deming & the Jewel Tones

3:00pm-4:00pm

Eastside Detroit native Doug Deming, now hailing from Florida’s Gulf Coast, has garnered widespread attention for his deft guitar work and memorable songwriting. With a nod to the likes of T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian, as well as Luther Tucker and Robert Jr. Lockwood, Doug leaves his own mark whether swingin’ on the big jazz box, or playing straight up blues on the solid body Fender guitar. Since playing the local Detroit scene beginning in the early 90’s, Doug has spent much of the following years touring and recording with top blues artists, including Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson, legendary Louisiana swamp bluesman Lazy Lester, Texas' Gary Primich, Chicago greats Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones and A.C. Reed, as well as Detroit’s own Queen of the Blues, Alberta Adams. Leading his band The Jewel Tones, Doug continues to bring noteworthy traditional and original roots music to his audiences.

Doug’s third recording, What’s it Gonna Take, exhibits the outstanding guitar work and remarkable singing and songwriting that have become Doug’s calling card. This critically acclaimed Vizztone debut spent several months on the Living Blues Charts Top Ten, and earned Doug the 2013 Blues Blast Music Awards Sean Costello Rising Star Award.

COMPLICATED MESS, the new recording from Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones, is their most courageous effort to date, combining traditional blues, jazz, swing, soul and R&B, delivered in 10 original Deming tunes along with three familiar covers. Captured at Bigtone Records in Hayward, CA, this analog recording achieves the tone and warm, authentic atmosphere ideal for DEMING’s style. 

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Villa Mure

2:00pm-2:45pm

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da Mudcats

1:00pm-1:45pm

Louisville based Blues band, daMudcats have been performing throughout Kentucky and regionally for 32 years! They have been the opening act for musical icons like Bo Diddley, Koko Taylor, James Cotton, Albert King, Marcia Ball, Buddy Guy and many more. daMudcats have performed in nightclubs, at private concerts, and music festivals locally and regionally. They have performed all over the State at festivals and clubs and traveled as far as California to perform at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival. They played at the very first Garvin Gate Blues Festival and continue to play their favorite festival often. Through the years daMudcats have released 6 independently produced CD’s the latest, released in October of 2016, Easy Does It, is available now through CDbaby.com, iTunes, on Facebook @Downinthealleyrecords or at any of daMudcats’ performances. The band was presented the Sylvester Weaver Award from the Kentuckiana Blues Society in 2006. daMudcats are honored to be a finalist for the 2017 Louisville Music Awards in the Blues category!

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