Saturday Night Lineup
Blues Bash to offer
a variety of sounds on Saturday
Big Poppa Stampley hails from nearby Louisville, Ky.
(August 2019) – The Madison Ribberfest Blues Bash will feature a wide variety of sounds on Saturday leading up to the headliner act, Tommy Castro and the Painkillers. Here’s a look at the other bands:
• Big Poppa Stampley and Voodoo Gumbo. Big Poppa Stampley is an award-winning blues recording artist born in Chicago but currently Louisville-based. His eclectic sound has been dubbed “Cariblujazz,” a mix of Chicago blues country, blues, rock & roll, R&B, with Jamaican and lots of Caribbean flavor.
As a guitarist his style is a blend of a number of these traditional musical genres. “I call it Carriblujazzean because I have this mixed bag of genres,” Big Poppa, 68, has said of his distinctive sound. “I just made it up. It’s a catch-all.”
Performing popular covers and originals, his music evokes good vibes and livens up any crowd. It draws from all eras and genres of music, from classical to contemporary.
His energy filled performance produces a sound that has been compared to “Jimi Hendrix meets Muddy Waters and John Mayer while hanging with Tommy Emanuel, and Bob Marley.”
• The Kilborn Alley Blues Band. The Kilborn Alley Blues Band was formed in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., in 2000 when at least one member, Andy Duncanson, was still in high school. He has remained the band’s frontman-vocalist-guitarist.
Duncanson was joined by Chris Breen (bass) and Josh Stimmel on guitar. They later hooked up with drummer Ed O’Hara (who has since left and been replaced with Train Wilson) and Joe Asselin (also a past member) on harp. The group’s musical style is very much in the tradition of Chicago blues artists like Muddy Waters with a dash of southern fried soul.
In addition to Waters, they count among their influences Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Little Milton, Tyrone Davis and Johnnie Taylor. Members of the band were also exposed to traditional blues and soul artists who performed on their local club scene in a college town filled with bars.
The band was discovered by Nick Moss while performing in a bar. In 2007 they released their debut CD.
• Shawn Pittman. Many fans know Shawn Pittman as a Texas-based singer, songwriter and guitarist. He was actually born in Talihina, Okla., and moved to Dallas at age 17. After seven years in Dallas he spent the next 14 in Austin, Texas, honing his skills before settling in Tulsa, Okla., to be closer to family.
His interest in music began when he took piano lessons at age 8. He later tried his hand at drums and saxophone but had decided by age 14 that guitar was his instrument of choice. It also didn’t hurt that his grandfather played country guitar and his grandmother was a boogie-woogie piano player.
He then encountered the sounds of legendary performers who would influence him for the rest of his life. After moving to Dallas, Pittman’s uncle would often take him over to the Schooner’s jam, where he first met and learned from musicians like Brian ‘Hashbrown’ Calway, Sam Myers, Mike Morgan, Jim Suhler, Tutu Jones and many others.
• Altered Five Blues Band. Altered Five Blues Band has been called “A thunderstorm of original blues music” by the American Blues Scene. Milwaukee Magazine said the five-member band performed “some of the most gritty, swaggering, blood pumping blues ever to make its way to Milwaukee.”
Since forming in 2002, this band has become a staple of the Midwest’s band scene, winning audiences with a swaggering stomp of bruising, barrelhouse grit. The band is made up of Jeff Taylor on lead vocals, Jeff Schroedl on guitar, Mark Solveson on bass, Raymond Tevich on keyboards, and Alan Arber on drums.
Mato Nanji performs with his group, Indigenous.
• Indigenous is an American blues rock band that was originally formed with two brothers, Mato Nanji on vocals and guitar and Pte on bass guitar, along with their sister, Wanbdi on drums and vocals, and cousin Horse on percussion.
While still in their formulative years, the young band caught the attention of blues icon B.B. King and was invited to play on his annual B.B. King’s Blues Tour in 1999. A year later they released “Circle,” which was produced and arranged by Stevie Ray Vaughan’s longtime friend and collaborator, the late Doyle Bramhall Sr.
The Nakota Nation members grew up on South Dakota’s Yankton Indian Reservation, where their father, Greg Zephier Sr., was a well-known and highly respected spiritual advisor and spokesperson for the International Indian Treaty Council. He was also a musician in the 1960s and 1970s, playing with The Vanishing Americans. Their father provided his children with records from blues musicians such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Freddie King, and taught them to play their respective instruments.
In 1998 Indigenous released their award winning debut album, “Things We Do.” The title track’s video was directed by Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals), won the American Indian Film Festival Award and was shown at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
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