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Tommy Ridgley
New Orleans R&B legend Tommy Ridgley, born October 30, 1925 in tiny Shrewesbury, Louisiana, has been a permanent fixture on the Crescent City music scene for over half a century. Ridgley cut his first singles on Imperial Records under the direction of Dave Bartholomew way back in 1949 and over the ensuing years has earned a reputation for exceptionally high standards in the composition, selection, and performance of his recorded material. Over the past 5 decades Ridgley has remained a hometown favorite performing his timelessly rich blues, soul and R&B vocals in local clubs, festivals and international tours. It was in 1958 while leading the house band at the Pimlico club that he asked a 17-year-old waitress to join him on stage for a song and helped launch the career of New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas.

In 1995 Ridgley gained wider appeal with the release of one of the year's best albums, "Since The Blues Began," on Black Top Records. The album featured an all-star ensemble of veteran Crescent City musicians including Snooks Eaglin on guitar and Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff on saxophone. "It kind of reminds me of the sound we used to get in the old days," said Ridgley. "It's definitely Rhythm & Blues -- all the way." Tommy Ridgley's live performances find him sounding entirely contemporary but retaining his defining Crescent City R&B edge. Ridgley's performance showcases his impressive, soulful vocals on material covering a broad range of musical styles from New Orleans R&B to hard-driving blues, smoldering funk, and sweet, soulful ballads.

Robert Ward and Tommy Ridgley, playing on the same set, will be backed by the versatile, multi-talented Twin Cities' sensations The Butanes. These are two legendary performers who are definitely not to be missed.

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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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