Apple River Blues Festival
June 23-25, 2000
Short bio text for the Brochure:
The Fabulous Thunderbirds helped kick-start a blues revival during the 1980’s that endures to this day. Founding member Kim Wilson, one of the most dynamic harmonica players on the blues scene, is joined by guitar sensation Kid Ramos as they explode with their high-energy attack of roadhouse blues that continues to rock every stage they play on.
Holly Springs, Mississippi native R.L. Burnside is carrying on the country blues traditions of his former neighbor and friend Fred McDowell. His music was born in the isolated wooded hill country of northern Mississippi and has remained almost unchanged over the past 48 years. Powerful, hypnotic, driving slide guitar, played with reckless abandon is Burnside’s trademark. This is foot tapping, electric country blues at its rawest best.
John Mooney is an versatile slide guitarist, grounded in the traditional Delta acoustic style but certainly not bound by it. Mooney's unique style of playing traditional blues incorporates an almost savage energy, enthusiasm and sensitivity for the music. The way Mooney adapts acoustic playing to a modern electric format is one of his most distinctive trademarks. His scathing slide work, played with a razor-sharp intensity, is a site to behold.
Eddie C. Campbell
Born in Mississippi in 1939 and raised on Chicago’s tough South Side, Eddie C. Campbell has played with nearly every seminal figure who defined Chicago's West Side sound. With irresistible guitar rhythms overlaid with his lithe guitar lines, Campbell has a precise, clean, popping guitar tone played with uncanny precision. He is perhaps one of the best and most under appreciated Chicago blues guitarists playing today.
Playing the harmonica since he was 10, Billy Branch’s big break came in 1975 during a harmonica battle when he topped Chicago legend, Little Mac Simmons. After spending more than 6 years playing with Willie Dixon, Billy formed his own band, the Sons Of Blues, and has built a reputation as one of Chicago’s harp masters, carrying the mantel being passed down by Junior Wells, James Cotton and Carey Bell.
Bill "The Sauce Boss" Wharton takes both his music and his gumbo seriously. Combining his love of cooking and his passion for the blues, Wharton cooks up a unique "multi-sensory" experience as he actually prepares a huge pot of Gumbo on stage during his show—ready to serve to his hungry fans at the end of the night. Amid the enticing aroma you are treated to high-energy, dance-party music underpinned with Wharton’s rousing slide guitar playing
Ronnie Baker Brooks
Ronnie Baker Brooks, the son of Chicago blues legend Lonnie Brooks, is carrying on the family business of great blues guitar playing. After spending more than a dozen years as lead guitarist and bandleader in his father’s band, Ronnie has set out on his own, rapidly making a name for himself. A naturally gifted guitarist and showman, Ronnie Baker Brooks lights up every stage he plays on.
The grand dame of Detroit blues, Alberta Adams has been singing and dancing her way into the hearts of blues and jazz fans since the late 1930’s. She has performed with Duke Ellington, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and T-Bone Walker as well as with the premier jazz, R&B and blues groups in Detroit during the past half century. Adams has a strong, rich voice with a tone and expressive quality that grabs the listener by the heart and won’t let go.
Sam Cockrell & The Groove
Bass player extraordinaire, gifted singer, professional song writer and band leader, Sam Cockrell is one talented musician. Sam has been performing and writing blues on the South side of Chicago since the 1970’s. With the release of his debut solo CD in 1999, Sam Cockrell & The Groove have been called Chicago's premiere R&B and Blues band—with good reason, as they deliver their brand of funky blues and R&B with a touch of soul, rock, pop and jazz.
From his start as a poor youngster growing up in Lafayette, Louisiana, Stanley Dural Jr. (Buckwheat) has become the most highly recognized Zydeco figure in the world. Dural joined Clifton Chenier’s band in 1976 as a keyboard player, taught himself to play the piano accordion, and in 1979 launched Buckwheat Zydeco and the Ils Sont Partis Band (that’s French for "they’re off"). Nobody does it better when it comes to full-tilt, get-out-of-the-way-we’re-coming-through, ecstatic, uptempo zydeco than Buckwheat.
Eric Burdon & The New Animals
Rock 'n' Roll icon Eric Burdon has led a life matched by few other performers in rock history. With Burdon's distinctive vocals and songs built around a heavy blues sound, the Animals recorded some of the most memorable rock anthems of the 1960's. Songs such as, "It's My Life," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," and "House of the Rising Sun," have left an indelible imprint on the consciousness of a whole generation of rock 'n' roll listeners. Eric Burdon's life can be summed up in the words of his autobiographical song, The Road. "I don't live--if I don't play this Rock 'n' Roll."