The 2020 Utah Blues Festival schedule has been released.
Two days of some of the best Blues music on earth, all right here in Salt Lake City, Utah in June of 2020.
Utah Blues Festival Schedule
Few vocalists own the stage like Terrie Odabi. When the statuesque Oakland native begins to sing, a hush falls over the audience. They’re about to take a ride through the highs and lows of soul music, led by a beautiful singer who packs her shows with heart-pumping energy and poignant memories. Whether it’s opening for Average White Band or Lenny Williams, or performing at the Concord Pavilion or the Fillmore Jazz Festival, Terrie’s finely honed instrument is matched by her generous spirit and wit. Terrie performs original blues straight from the soul. Her compelling arrangements create a contemporary sound that support Terrie's witty lyrics and compelling voice. She takes pride in her urban roots, appealing to a wide, new audience and signifying the evolution of the blues. "Terrie Odabi is easily the most dynamic blues and soul woman to have emerged in the Bay Area since Etta James came out of San Francisco’s Fillmore District in the Fifties. Terrie has a powerful set of pipes, writes terrific tunes, leads a kicking band, and has onstage movements that perfectly match the rhythms of her material. Surely stardom awaits her." –Lee Hildebrand, contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Express, and Living Blues “Has anyone here lost their mojo? Raise your hand if you’re suffering from a mojo deficiency,” she asks the crowd at the Monterey Blues Festival. From that point on, she has them in the palm of her hand as she proceeds to testify. “Terrie’s got soul and charm. Her voice soars and draws you in and makes you feel good. She is full of surprises!” enthuses trombonist Steve Turre, member of the Saturday Night Live Band and professor at the Julliard School of Music. Turre, who has performed and co-written with Terrie, dubs her “a jewel from the Bay Area.
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. Nick Moss Band has a legion of fans that flock to his shows, knowing that each night will be a grand musical experiment. There will be sonic textures to discover and new sounds to stir the soul.
He was born Rodney Dion Baker in Chicago, Illinois, United States. At the age of nine, he first appeared on stage playing guitar alongside his father. In 1985, he graduated from Hales Franciscan High School. He learned to play bass guitar and joined his father’s band in 1986. He played guitar on his father’s live album, Live from Chicago: Bayou Lightning Strikes, released by Alligator Records in 1988. He was then part of Alligator Records’ 20th Anniversary Tour, performing alongside Koko Taylor, Elvin Bishop, and Lil’ Ed Williams. By 1998, Brooks was pursuing a solo career. His debut album, Golddigger, was released the same year by the Watchdog label. It was produced by Janet Jackson. He was nominated for a Blues Music Award in 2000 for Best New Artist. His second album, Take Me Witcha, was released in May 2001. Brooks next album was The Torch (2006). The Boston Herald described it as “ferocious and unrelenting, The Torch may be the year’s best blues album.” The album included contributions from Lonnie Brooks, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, Willie Kent, and Al Kapone and was produced by Jellybean Johnson. From 2007 to 2010, Brooks toured with band members Carlton Armstrong, C.J. Anthony Tucker, and Steve Nixon, to support The Torch. On occasions when his younger brother, Wayne Baker Brooks, joined him and his father on stage, they were billed as the Brooks Family Band. Brooks played at the Notodden Blues Festival in 2007 and at Memphis in May and the Musikfest in 2009. In August 2010, he co-wrote three tracks with Chris Beard for the latter’s Who I Am and What I Do, released by Electro Glide Records.In 2012, the blues journalist David Brais declared Brooks “blues royalty”, stating that “his particular style of Chicago blues has been performed on stages around the world. It honors the true torch bearers of this unique sound which includes Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Luther Allison and his father.” Times Have Changed is Brooks most recent album, and was released in January 2017. Brooks lives in Dolton, Illinois, and is a regular at Artis’s Lounge on Chicago’s South Side.
The Blues Were Passed To Me Through The Blood Born St. Louis, Mo, Marquise hails from a musical family deeply rooted in the Blues. He learned how to play guitar from his grandmother Lillie. He also played with his uncle Clifford, who was a major influence in Marquise’s life. For Marquise, Blues is his heritage and way of life. He spent his early teenage years in St. Louis mentoring under the late great Blues legend, N.E.A. (National Endowment of the Arts) Heritage Fellowship recipient and Grammy Award winner Henry James Townsend. Marquise’s talents have earned him performing rights with some of America’s most notable blues performers such as blues legends B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins and David “Honeyboy” Edwards (the latter two also N.E.A. Heritage Fellows). He has also performed at dozens of festivals, and has toured all throughout Europe. During a visit to Clarksdale, Mississippi, Marquise was introduced to Sam Lay. Like other statesmen of the Blues, Sam took an immediate liking to Marquise and took it upon himself to help give Marquise’s career a boost by insisting that Chad Kassem bring Marquise to the celebrated Blues series “Bluesmasters at the Crossroads,” which has showcased a virtual who’s-who of the Blues at Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas. Marquise was an immediate crowd favorite, and was adopted by all of the elders of the Blues in attendance that year. His obvious talent along with his deep knowledge of the Blues and vast respect for his elders made it clear Marquise had something special, and Kassem signed him to a three album deal. Knox’s debut album MANCHILD was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut. The album was recorded when he was 16 with world reknowned guitarist Michael Burks and his band. The release received worldwide acclaim, including Living Blues’ Best Debut Artist Award and a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Debut Artist. Marquise then recorded a direct-to-disc album while in town for the next year’s Crossroads. Marquise released his second album, Here I Am, once again recorded at the legendary Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas. It features Marquise and his band, with a little help from Wayne Sharp of Michael Burk’s band sitting in on B-3 and piano. Nine originals, and three reverent covers of Marquise’s favorite Muddy Waters tunes.
“There’s a young lady [Vanessa Collier] came onstage with me, I forget where I was, but she’s playing an alto saxophone, and man, she was amazing.” Those are the words of Buddy Guy in a recent issue of American Blues Scene, describing an impromptu performance with Vanessa Collier on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to meet Vanessa and witness one of her head-turning, fiery, and passionate performances, you should definitely make sure you do. As a master musician and multi-instrumentalist, Vanessa Collier, weaves funk, soul, rock, and blues into every powerful performance and she is downright impressive. With soulful vocals, searing saxophone, and witty songwriting, Vanessa is blazing a trail, racking up an impressive arsenal of honours, and has already singled herself out as an artist of distinction and one we would all do well to watch. It’s not simply the accolades she has accumulated so far, although they’ve been many -- three Blues Music Award Nominations (BMAs), a Blues Blast Award nomination, the Jammingest Pro Award bestowed by the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, First Place for lyrics in the International Songwriting Competition, Best of 2014 Blues Breaker on Dan Aykroyd’s BluesMobile -- it’s the fact that she has accumulated all these honours even while her career is still in its infancy. A 2013 graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, she’s toured nationally and internationally, released two critically acclaimed albums (2014’s Heart, Soul & Saxophone and 2017’s Meeting My Shadow), and released her highly anticipated third album, Honey Up, in July 2018. Honey Up spent 9 weeks atop the Billboard Blues Album Charts Top 15, 3 months on the Living Blues Charts at #10 and #23, and continues to be spun on Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville radio station! It’s not surprising that the press has been quick to commend her efforts as well. Blues Blast Magazine affirms, “Vanessa Collier is a fresh face on the American blues scene, and in addition to her soulful vocals, she brings a mighty sax to the table...” Blues Music Magazine proclaims, “Collier is a fresh face who comes to the blues stage carrying her reed instruments, a dual degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, a major label debut, almost two years of touring with Joe Louis Walker, and a mature musical vision…Collier commands center stage with her vocals, soloing, and stage presence.” Midwest Record exclaims, “This bluesy singing sax player knows how to bring the slinking funk to her captivating, award winning sound that has echoes in young Bonnie Raitt/Maria Muldaur vocal sounds…Killer stuff on every level, this sounds like one of the reasons you first became a music fan. Killer stuff.” and AXS.Com declares that she “might as well go ahead and add another shelf to her trophy case because clearly, she’s going to need it. With a voice that often recalls that of blues-rock stalwart Bonnie Raitt, Collier turns up the heat...” Having first picked up the saxophone at the age of nine, Collier embarked on her road to recognition at Berklee, earning dual degrees in Performance and Music Production & Engineering. While still completing her degree, Collier landed a position touring with Joe Louis Walker for a year and a half before Joe encouraged her to strike out on her own. And strike out she did. These days, Collier spends much of her time on the road, performing at some of the most prestigious music festivals in the world. Her talents have taken her to the Blues Music Awards Show where, in the words of the Blues Foundation, Vanessa “blew the doors off the Blues Music Awards!”; Ottawa Blues Festival, where she earned two front page newspaper photos and rave reviews after her foot stomping debut there; twice on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, where she earned the Jammingest Pro Award and was a featured artist with Tommy Castro’s Blues Review; Briggs Farm Festival, where she was the “most popular Briggs Farm act in 2017” (Elmore Magazine), and the list continues. In 2017, Vanessa was also a featured artist in three major tours across Europe as part of Ruf’s 2017 Blues Caravan. In early 2018, Vanessa was nominated for TWO 2018 Blues Music Awards, the first one for Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year, which puts her in elite company with artists such as Beth Hart, Samantha Fish, and Shemekia Copeland, and a second nomination for Instrumental – Horn Player of the Year, in company with veteran artists like Trombone Shorty, Al Basile, and Jimmy Carpenter. As for Collier, she says she’s happy performing on stages across the world, hoping that she can make a difference with fans and followers along the way. “I am driven to do this because I find it a total form of expression and connection,” she explains. “I love connecting with an audience and feeling their energy and I hope to inspire people to follow their dreams and passions, to find what brings them joy, and then to pursue it doggedly.” Vanessa also takes that message to young people as she runs clinics across the country and is active with Blues in the Schools programs. At a recent Blues in the School program, Vanessa invited a stage full of elementary and middle school aged kids up to dance around her while she performed a blues shuffle. Watching the joy on the faces of Vanessa, the kids, and everyone in the auditorium, it is no wonder why Vanessa has become awe-inspiring to all who meet her. On top of talent and hard work, Vanessa shares an incredible heart and a strong purpose. To borrow from the words of an article in Blues Blast Magazine, “Vanessa is an important part of the future of the blues, and it would be cool to support her journey. “A young singer with a fierce, compelling voice, she also played a mean saxophone and had the charisma to get the crowd in the palm of her hand for a full hour. ” — Lynn Saxburg, Ottawa Sun (reviewing Vanessa's performance at the 2017 Ottawa Bluesfest) “This bluesy singing sax player knows how to bring the slinking funk to her captivating, award winning sound that has echoes in young Bonnie Raitt/Maria Muldaur vocal sounds. Impressing everyone right out of the gate, she takes it to the next level of the game this time around with a set that’ll make you feel like the guy in those old Memorex ads. Killer stuff on every level, this sounds like one of the reasons you first became a music fan. Killer stuff.” — Midwest Record “At 26 years old, Collier is a fresh face who comes to the blues stage carrying her reed instruments, a dual degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, a major label debut on Ruf Records, almost two years of touring with Joe Louis Walker, and a mature musical vision. With her tiny alto sax, Collier, like Walker, commands center stage with her vocals, soloing, and stage presence. At the 2016 International Blues Challenge…(her) performances were among some of the most invigorating shows on Beale.” — Art Tipaldi, Blues Music Magazine “Collier is a one-time member of Joe Louis Walker’s band and she’s racked up a tremendous amount of accolades…The singer and sax player might as well go ahead and add another shelf to her trophy case because clearly, she’s going to need it. With a voice that often recalls that of blues-rock stalwart Bonnie Raitt, Collier turns up the heat... ” — Kevin Wierzbicki, AXS.com “With such a dearth of credible female blues artists on today’s music scene, it is refreshing to hear the latest release from Vanessa Collier, the follow-up to her 2014 release, Heart Soul & Saxophone. The award-winning, soulful songstress offers the whole package on her sophomore album – top-notch songwriting and sultry, R&B-soaked vocals that are complemented by her sizzling saxophone. The rich, smoky nuances of her voice will win over any music lover, and her multi-instrumental background only adds to her appeal. ” — Michelle Wilson, Ink19.com “Vanessa Collier is a fresh face on the American blues scene, and in addition to her soulful vocals she brings a mighty sax to the table. I am not the only one that thinks so, as Vanessa was nominated for the best horn instrumentalist at the 2017 BMAs…Vanessa is an important part of the future of blues, and it would cool to support her journey. ” — Rex Bartholomew, Blues Blast Magazine
Award-winning vocalist, instrumentalist and songwriter Curtis Salgado, the man NPR calls “an icon” with “a huge voice,” is revered worldwide for his ability to wring every ounce of soul out of every song he performs. Salgado is famed not only for his powerhouse live shows and ten previous albums, but also for his passionate and insightful original songs. He has been nominated three times for the Blues Music Award for Song Of The Year, winning in 2018 for Walk A Mile In My Blues from The Beautiful Lowdown. In total, he has won nine Blues Music Awards, including the B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year. DownBeat calls his songwriting skills “an impressive gift.” Billboard says Salgado’s music is “inspired and powerful.” Now, after 40 years of recording, performing, touring and songwriting, Salgado is back with Damage Control, his first full band album in four years, and it’s packed with fresh, original material. With Damage Control, Salgado has created what he calls “a rock ’n’ roll record with lyrics that hit.” The 13 songs—12 originals and a raucous cover of Larry Williams’ Slow Down (famously covered by The Beatles)—will surprise and delight longtime Salgado fans. Salgado has crafted a soul-searching, street-smart collection of vividly detailed, instantly memorable songs. From the defiant opener The Longer That I Live to the bouncy New Orleans crime story You’re Going To Miss My Sorry Ass to the foot-tapping history lesson of Hail Mighty Caesar to the plaintive honesty of Always Say I Love You, Salgado’s vocals weave, bob and soar, at times jabbing with nuance, and then striking with unlimited power. Of the title track, he says, “Life is all about damage control...trouble and then some. It’s about dealing with what gets thrown at you and saying, ‘I ain’t finished yet.’” Damage Control was produced by Salgado and recorded in three studios with three different groups of musicians, featuring some of the very best players in the business. At Nashville, Tennessee’s Rock House Recording, top notch support included guitarist George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt), keyboardist Kevin McKendree (Brian Setzer, Delbert McClinton, Tinsley Ellis), singer Wendy Moton (Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton) and special guest Cajun accordionist and vocalist Wayne Toups. At Studio City, California’s Ultratone Studios, guitarist/ bassist Johnny Lee Schell (Otis Rush, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt), pianists Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon) and Jim Pugh (B.B. King, Etta James, Robert Cray), drummer Tony Braunagel (B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt) brought the goods. And at Greaseland in San Jose, California, guitarist/bassist Kid Andersen (Rick Estrin, Charlie Musselwhite), bassist Jerry Jemmott (B.B. King, Aretha Franklin) and drummer Kevin Hays (Robert Cray) added their fuel to the fire. Born in 1954, Salgado grew up in Eugene, Oregon with music all around him. His parents’ vast music collection included everything from Fats Waller to Ray Charles, and his older brother and sister turned him on to the soul and blues of Wilson Pickett and Muddy Waters at an early age. He attended a Count Basie performance when he was 13 and decided then and there that music was his calling. After “Salgado inspires chills. Upbeat and original…poignant and wise with a great sense of humor” –Blues Music Magazine “Glorious and memorable… Salgado’s voice is center stage just as it should be. Highly recommended” –Blues & Rhythm UK “Salgado’s vocals are soulful beauty. Fresh, unexpected, authentic, percolating…perfectly executed… simply delicious” –Living Blues getting his hands on a harmonica, Curtis began devouring the blues of Little Walter and Paul Butterfield, and taught himself to play. By his early 20s he was already making a name for himself in Eugene’s bar scene, first as the vocalist/harmonica player of The Nighthawks, and later as co-leader of The Robert Cray Band. Salgado quickly developed into a player and singer of remarkable depth, with vocal and musical influences including Otis Redding, O.V. Wright, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson I and II, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Howlin’ Wolf. In 1977, comedian/actor John Belushi was in Eugene filming Animal House. During downtime from production, Belushi caught a typically ferocious Salgado performance and introduced himself during a break. Once Salgado started sharing some of his blues knowledge, a fast friendship grew. Salgado spent hours playing old records for Belushi, teaching him about blues and R&B. Belushi soaked up the music like a sponge and used his new awareness to portray “Joliet” Jake Blues in The Blues Brothers, first as a skit on Saturday Night Live, then a best-selling record album (which was dedicated to Curtis) and finally as a major motion picture (Cab Calloway’s character in the film was named Curtis as an homage). Once Salgado joined forces with his friend Robert Cray and began playing together as The Robert Cray Band, he found himself sharing stages with many of his heroes, including Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland, Albert Collins and Bonnie Raitt. After Salgado and Cray parted ways in 1982, Curtis went on to front Roomful Of Blues, singing and touring with them from 1984 through 1986. Back home in Oregon, he formed a new band, Curtis Salgado & The Stilettos, and was once again tearing it up on the club scene. He honed his band to a razor’s edge before releasing his debut in 1991 on the JRS label. After recordings for Rhythm Safari and Lucky Records, Salgado signed with Shanachie Records in 1999, releasing four critically acclaimed albums. Salgado’s Alligator Records debut, Soul Shot, came out in 2012 to widespread critical acclaim. Blues Revue said Salgado’s music is “triumphant, joyful, blues-soaked R&B” and declared him to be “one of the most soulful, honest singers ever.” He followed up with The Beautiful Lowdown in 2016 and Rough Cut, the potent, stripped-down acoustic album (with guitarist Alan Hager) in 2018. The albums collectively earned Salgado multiple Blues Music Awards—for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year, Soul Blues Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year. Salgado has performed at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival, The Chicago Blues Festival and The Tampa Bay Blues Festival. He has also played The San Francisco Blues Festival, Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival, Denver’s Mile High Blues Festival as well as on The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. Internationally he’s toured in Saipan, Guam, Canada, England, throughout Europe, Brazil, Chile, Panama, The Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong. According to Blues Revue, Salgado’s performances “start at excellent before segueing into goose bumps, ecstasy, and finally nirvana.” For all of his successes, Salgado is no stranger to adversity. During his career, he has overcome multiple health challenges, battling back from liver cancer in 2006 and lung cancer in 2008 and 2012. In March 2017 he underwent quadruple bypass surgery. He’s not only come back stronger, he’s become one of the genre’s most prolific songwriters, going from writing a few songs per album to writing full albums of original songs. In 2016, many critics declared The Beautiful Lowdown—featuring 11 original songs—as the best of his career. According to Salgado, Damage Control is even better. He’s excited to bring his new songs to the stage, where the crowd fires him up even more. “I want people to relate to the songs,” he says. “You can dance to it but the words have to carry the weight. I know if a song hits me, it’ll hit others just as hard.” On Damage Control, the hard-hitting songs just keep on coming. “Glorious and memorable… Salgado’s voice is center stage just as it should be. Highly recommended” –Blues & Rhythm UK “Salgado’s vocals are soulful beauty. Fresh, unexpected, authentic, percolating…perfectly executed… simply delicious” –Living Blues “Salgado inspires chills. Upbeat and original…poignant and wise with a great sense of humor” –Blues Music Magazine
In the tightknit musical community of Austin, Texas, it’s tough to get away with posturing. You either bring it, or you don’t. If you do, word gets around. And one day, you find yourself duetting with Bonnie Raitt, or standing onstage with the Allman Brothers at New York’s Beacon Theater and trading verses with Susan Tedeschi. You might even wind up getting nominated for a Best Blues Album Grammy — three times in a row. And those nominations would be in addition to your seven Blues Music Awards, three Austin Music Awards, the Grand Prix du Disque award from the Académie Charles-Cros in France, a Living Blues Critics’ Award for Female Blues Artist of the Year, and the title of an “inspiring American Artist” as a United States Artists 2018 Fellow. There’s only one Austinite with that résumé: Ruthie Foster. And with the release of her latest album, Joy Comes Back, the Recording Academy might want to put its engraver on notice. Because every note on it confirms this truth: It’s Ruthie’s time. The small rural town of Gause, TX had no chance of keeping the vocal powerhouse known as Ruthie Foster to itself. Described by Rolling Stone as “pure magic to watch and hear,” her vocal talent was elevated in worship services at her community church. Drawing influence from legendary acts like Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin, Foster developed a unique sound unable to be contained within a single genre. That uniqueness echoes a common theme in Ruthie’s life and career - marching to the beat of her own drum. Joining the Navy was one way for Ruthie to stake out her own path. It was during her time singing for the Navy band Pride that her love for performing became apparent. After leaving the service, Ruthie signed a development deal with Atlantic Records and moved to New York City to pursue a career as a professional musician. A deal with a major label would seem to be a dream come true for a budding artist. But the label wanted Ruthie to hand over her authenticity in exchange for being molded into a pop star. In another bold move, she walked away from the deal and returned to her roots, moving back to the Lone Star State. Returning to Texas, Ruthie solidified her place as an up-and-coming singer/songwriter and began a musical partnership with Blue Corn Music. Her studio albums for the label began with Runaway Soul in 2002, followed by The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster in 2007, The Truth According to Ruthie Foster in 2009, Let It Burn in 2012 and Promise of a Brand New Day in 2014. Her live shows, which she has referred to as a “hallelujah time,” have been documented on the album Stages in 2004 and the CD/DVD release Live at Antone’s in 2011. Now comes Ruthie’s latest - Joy Comes Back - again on Blue Corn Music. When she recorded this album, Foster wasn’t merely singing about love and loss; she was splitting a household and custody of her 5-year-old daughter. Music was her therapy. In the warm confines of Austin producer and former neighbor Daniel Barrett’s studio, she found a comfort level she’d never before experienced while recording. It gave her the strength to pour the heartache of her family’s fracture and the cautious hope of a new love into 10 incredible tracks, nine of which are by a diverse array of writers ranging from Mississippi John Hurt, Sean Staples and Grace Pettis (daughter of renowned folk singer Pierce Pettis), to Chris Stapleton and Black Sabbath. Yes, Black Sabbath: Foster reimagines “War Pigs” as a jam session with Son House. She also covers the Four Tops’ “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever,” written by Ivy Jo Hunter and Stevie Wonder. And she makes each one hers, aided by some special guests. Derek Trucks drops slide guitar into the title tune; bassist Willie Weeks (Bowie, Clapton, George Harrison) plays on the Foster-penned “Open Sky”; and drumming legend Joe Vitale (Crosby, Stills & Nash; Eagles) appears on several tracks. Local hero Warren Hood (“Champ Hood’s boy,” as Foster calls him) lays fiddle and mandolin on Hurt’s bluegrass-tinted “Richland Woman Blues.” Barrett plays guitars, drums and percussion; other contributors include the core members of Ruthie’s touring band, Samantha Banks and Larry Fulcher. At one point, Barrett described the album to Hood as “some blues, some folk, some soul, some rock, some gospel.” Hood replied, “Sounds like Ruthie Foster music.”