R.J. Mischo Singer and harmonica player R.J. Mischo plays hot, sweaty, blistering blues that borrows heavily from the Chicago style of the 50’s. He has gained a reputation as one of the best interpreters of classic Chicago blues harmonica. Whether R. J. Mischo is playing down-and-dirty, back-alley blues or supercharged West Coast jump, he always delivers some of the best blues harmonica playing found anywhere today. His high voltage energy, hot-blooded passion, and playful humor are sure to get you dancing. R.J. Mischo began his music career over 20 years ago in Minneapolis, where he worked with blues legends like Muddy Waters alumni Mojo Buford and Sonny Rogers. He gained a wider audience with the release of his first CD Ready to Go in 1992. Soon after, R.J. was recognized as one of the top blues acts in the Midwest, winning the Minnesota Music Awards for best harmonica player in 1995 and best band in 1997. After successful tours of the US and Europe, he produced four highly acclaimed CDs for the German label Crosscut Records. In 1998, R.J. relocated to San Francisco and has recorded four CDs for Mountain Top Productions. The 1999 CD West Wind Blowin’ featured guest performances by Steve Freund and Rusty Zinn, while his latest CD Meet Me On The Coast was recorded “live” in the studio. Besides performing regularly in California, R.J. tours extensively throughout the United States and Europe. He has played on many of the word’s greatest blues stages, including blues festivals in San Francisco, Monterey, and the Delta Blues Festival in Mississippi. The band includes Justin MacCarthy on guitar, Marcus Cairno on bass, and Robi Bean on drums. Visit their website at www.rjblues.com. RAIL Rail is a blues and rock band composed of veteran Central Coast musicians. The band features Randy Allen on guitar, Steve Denes on bass, Richard Jordon on drums, Bill Pope on keyboards, and George Taylor on lead vocals. For the last 20 years, these musicians have played in a variety of rock and blues bands in the Central Valley. They recently opened for Rob Rio at our favorite Atascadero blues venue, and the enthusiastic audience asked us to bring them back for a blues show.
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.