It has been over 15 years since the Kinsey Report first entered the national blues scene with their unique brand of streetsmart, funky blues-rock. During those years, the Kinsey brothers (guitarist and vocalist Donald, drummer Ralph, and bassist Kenneth) have toured nationally and released four critically acclaimed CDs. Downbeat Magazine describes them as, “on the edge, these bluesbreakers are paving the way between the blues and rock, reggae, and soul. Their sensibility is thoroughly modern while remaining authentically grounded.” The Kinsey Report developed its singular blues sound from a lifetime of working and playing together. Their father and musical mentor, Mississippi born Lester “Big Daddy” Kinsey, was a bluesman noted for his Delta slide guitar and harmonica playing. He introduced his sons to gospel and blues at an early age. Ralph received his first snare drum at age five; at the same age younger bother Donald got his first guitar. By the late 1960s, Big Daddy began taking his family act on the road. Big Daddy Kinsey & His Fabulous Sons disbanded in 1972, and the sons went their separate ways. Donald stayed with his guitar playing, performing with Albert King and reggae performers like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. The Kinsey Report came together in 1984 when the sons reunited the family band with Big Daddy. Big Daddy Kinsey & the Kinsey Report combined the sons’ funky, rock-influenced sound with their father’s Delta blues roots. Big Daddy’s debut album “Bad Situation” (Rooster Records, 1985) included the Kinsey Report as the backup band. The Kinsey Report’s debut album “Edge of the City” (Alligator Records) was released in 1988 and received 3 W.C. Handy award nominations. With great reviews and radio airtime, the Kinsey Report has grown from one of Chicago’s most popular acts into a national phenomenon. “Donald soars above his gritty vocals with immaculate, soulful solos…with its marriage of contemporary lyrics and heavy blues, rock, funk and reggae influences, the Kinsey’s music is being touted as ‘future blues’” – Guitar Player Magazine. The texicali divas The Texicali Divas will make a rare San Luis Obispo appearance at the SLO Blues Society concert. Although locally based, the Divas are in great demand nationwide, particularly at blues festivals. The Divas toured the U.S. last year making appearances in the northwestern U.S., Texas, and Arkansas. Now they’re back with their wonderful backup band. The band features Valerie Johnson on vocals, Karen Tyler on guitar and vocals, Al. B. Blue on guitar, Andrew Kulikowski on bass, Fred Murray on bass and lap steel, and Greg Barnes on drums.
the craig horton band
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Craig Horton has made a career of the blues for the last four decades. Growing up in Conway, Arkansas, he learned to play guitar from his grandmother who played gospel music. By the late 1950’s, Craig was playing guitar with the legendary Little Walter’s Band and touring with the Dells. He was part of the Chicago music scene in the 60’s, playing with performers like Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and Freddie King. During the 80’s, he was lead vocalist and guitar player with Sam Myers and the Mississippi Delta Blues Band. Although his music retains the Chicago sound, Craig has been living in California since the late 60’s.
Craig’s singing voice is reminiscent of T-Bone Walker. There is also a hint of Walker in his guitar playing, along with traces of B.B.King. What most distinguishes his blues guitar playing is its unpredictability – he is a true improviser who plays whatever pops into his head. Craig prides himself on playing on the edge and taking chances. “I always play without a net. It is hard for me to follow set patterns. I’m into trying to execute what I feel. I’m into feelings.” For our blues show, he is bringing with him a full band with horn section.
Horton released his first solo CD this year, entitled “In My Spirit” (Bad Daddy Records). The music reflects the heavy swinging, hard shuffling classic blues sounds of Chicago and the South. The CD also shows the diversity of his music, ranging from classic blues to jazz, R&B, and rock.
ball & Chain
Ball and Chain features a variety of familiar local blues performers. Jon Smith, lead guitar and vocals, has the fastest fingers in the West. Mark White, keyboards, is a master of the boogie woogie (and he can dance while playing). Wil Anderson, bass, can play anything from a delicate whisper to a thumping funk line. Greg Barnes, drums, keeps the band in the groove. Karen Tyler, guitar and vocals, will show you how she can rip on the electric guitar. Lisa Plevel, vocals, gives the band that smoky blues sound. They will play a mixture of originals, classic standards, and some new songs – everything from Muddy Waters to Jeff Beck, Marva Wright, Lou Ann Barton, and Bernard Allison. Their aim is to get your feet moving and your behind in motion. Let’s party!