(MEMPHIS, TN) — The Galaxie Agency and the Nashville Blues Society will present the fourth annual “Nashville Showcases the Blues” concert on Thursday, January 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at B.B. King’s Blues Club, 143 Beale Street, during the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Competition (IBC) week. This year’s showcase is a special salute to the Memphis sound, spotlighting an appearance by soul-blues singer John Nemeth backed by Memphis’ own classic soul band the Bo-Keys.
The showcase has become one of the most popular daytime events during the IBC, drawing capacity crowds to B.B. King’s. Admission is free to IBC pass holders and open to the public.
“This showcase is my way of giving back to the fans, venue owners, and buyers who support us throughout the year,” says Gina Hughes, owner and president of the Galaxie Agency. “This year we also wanted to celebrate the great tradition of Memphis soul and blues music, so I enlisted John Nemeth and Scott Bomar’s Bo-Keys to hit some high notes for us.”
Details on the 2014 line-up:
• John Nemeth: Nine-time Blues Music Award nominee Nemeth is a bona fide blues star, steeped in the tradition and possessing a vocal style reminiscent of B.B. King, Ray Charles and Junior Parker. He’s also a harmonica player of riveting intensity and virtuosity. His decade long career includes seven albums and appearances at major music festivals throughout the U.S, Europe, Canada and Asia.
• The Bo-Keys: Producer-bassist Scott Bomar’s band the Bo-Keys is a direct link to the heyday of Stax Records, when Memphis and the world percolated to the label’s soulful, deep-grooving sound. The group includes veterans of the classic Memphis soul scene and their most recent album, Got To Get Back!, paired the Bo-Keys with the great Otis Clay.
• Rev. Jimmie Bratcher: They call singer-guitarist Bratcher “the electric rev” thanks to the sparking energy level of his live performances. The songs on his latest album Secretly Famous blend the vitality of the blues with true-to-life tales that have been winning this real-life preacher and bluesman fans across the country and widespread radio play.
• The Andy T — Nick Nixon Band: Currently working with producer Anson Funderburgh on a follow-up to last year’s debut Drink Drank Drunk on Delta Groove, veterans Andy T (Smoky Wilson, Guitar Shorty) on guitar and James “Nick” Nixon on vocals have been turning heads on festival and clubs stages — including 2013’s King Biscuit Blues Festival — with their strong traditional blues sound.
• Josh Vowell: Led by its potent guitarist, the Josh Vowell Band own a rare mastery of multiple blues styles, fusing Chicago, Texas, and deep Southern blues into their fiery performances, with elements of zydeco and other swampland music mixed in. They’ve been tearing up clubs in the Midwest and are ready for their national breakout.
• Jackie Wilson: Wilson is a well-established presence in the Nashville blues and soul scene, whose approach has drawn comparisons to Aretha Franklin and Joss Stone. She has performed on TV’s “American Idol” and headlines most Saturday nights at the famed Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar in Printers Alley. This year she is representing the Nashville Blues Society in the IBC’s band category.
• Markey Blue: Led by single-named female vocal powerhouse Markey, the band Markey Blue rekindle the embers of the Stax legacy with heart, verve and showmanship. Markey Blue have opened for a who’s who of blues talents including Taj Mahal and Bobby “Blue” Band, and is at work on a debut album
• Cumberland Blue: This teenaged five-piece are representing the Nashville Blues Society in this year’s Youth Showcase. In the 12 months since last year’s Youth Showcase, at which they also appeared, the band have played their first festivals and are stepping out of the shadow of the past by writing and recording original music.
• Jesse Black: This 15-year-old guitarist-singer is among the young generation of performers emerging through the ranks of the Nashville blues scene, displaying a six-string approach that ricochets between Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chuck Berry and other genre touchstones.