StaffBoard of DirectorsTeaching ArtistsAdvisory Board

Contact: (205) 752 - 6263

Paula Demonbreun, Executive Director

email: paula@alabamablues.org

Shweta Gamble, Public Relations Director

email: shweta@alabamablues.org

Anna Jenks, Program Manager

email: annaejenks@gmail.com

 

StaffBoard of DirectorsTeaching ArtistsAdvisory Board

Paul Whitehurst, President
Rosa Johnson, Vice President
Steve Ballard, Treasurer
Dr. Charles Nash, Secretary
Liz Dykes
Michael Faerber Dr. Allison Cunningham Geddie
Rick Geddie Jack Lawrence
Amy Pierce

Paul Whitehurst, President

Paul WhitehurstJ. Paul Whitehurst practices law with his wife Kitty in Northport, AL.  He graduated from the University of Alabama Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1979.  He has a general law practice.  He serves on the Board of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  His main outside activity is Kentuck which is an arts and crafts organization in Northport.  He’s a regular vegetable gardener.  He writes songs under the name Elmonte Slim.  All their children have 4 legs (except one that has 3).

 

Rosa Johnson, Vice President

Rosa Johnson Ms. Johnson is a lifelong resident of Tuscaloosa and an active member of the community. Rosa worked as a Field Director with the Girl Scouts - Tombigbee Council for seven years. She also currently volunteers for the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce as a Chamber Ambassador. Ms. Johnson has been an active supporter of the Alabama Blues Project for several years, and in her spare time enjoys listening to music, cooking, or spending time with family and friends.

Steve Ballard, Treasurer

Steve Ballard has over twenty-five years of experience in corporate finance, financial management and operations. Owner of Ballard Accounting Services, Steve provides all levels of financial services to corporations, community organizations and individuals in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama region.

Steve serves as the board treasurer for a number of organizations, including the Berry Volunteer Fire Department. Steve received his BS in Business and Accounting from the University of Alabama in 1983. Steve is married with two daughters and enjoys working on his farm in his spare time.

Dr. Charles Nash, Secretary

Dr. Charles NashCharles R. Nash has served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for The University of Alabama System since 1992. As a senior academic officer in the System, he is the chief liaison to academic, institutional research and planning officials at The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He advises the Chancellor on all academic policy matters and provides primary leadership in program planning, development, and review. He also represents The University of Alabama System with the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, the Alabama Department of Education, and the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education.

Art Dunning

Art DunningDr. Art Dunning advises the Chancellor on opportunities to further build our international programs, strengthen our base of academic and research partnerships, and expand economic development initiatives. An Alabama native who earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from The University of Alabama, Dr. Dunning is well known for his work in international programs, economic development initiatives, and innovative research partnerships.  He served seven years in administrative and faculty positions on the Tuscaloosa campus before embarking on a 27-year career in higher education in the state of Georgia. 

Dr. Dunning was most recently Vice President for Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia.  His responsibilities included institutional leadership for public service and outreach activities across the campus, around the state and internationally.  Prior to assuming his position at UGA in 2000, he was Senior Vice Chancellor for Human and External Resources for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.  Additionally, he was a tenured full professor in the Institute of Higher Education on the Athens campus.

 

Dr. Allison Cunningham Geddie

Allison Cunningham Geddie grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the Skyland Park community. She graduated from West End Christian, ultimately attending nursing school at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She completed her nursing residency in pediatrics at Birmingham's Children's Hospital. She then went on to practice for 2 years in Coppell, Texas before returning to Tuscaloosa in 1999. In 2001, she and Rick Geddie were married and now are the parents of 2 boys, Wheeler and Harrison. Allison has practiced nursing for almost 12 years since returning to Tuscaloosa, where she is a partner at Tuscaloosa Pediatrics. Both Allison and her husband, Rick, love the outdoors, music, reading and spending time with their family and friends.

Rick Geddie

Rick Geddie grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he attended Holt High School, Shelton State Technical College and the University of Alabama. Married to Allison Cunningham Geddie, he currently home-schools their two sons and works with Celebrate Recovery at University Church, where their family worships. Both Rick and Allison love the outdoors, music, reading and spending time with their family and friends.

Ken McGuire

Ken McGuireKenneth McGuire is an Associate Professor of Music Education. He has been a music education faculty member at The University of Alabama since 1998. He earned degrees from Syracuse University, and the State Universities of New York at Fredonia and Binghamton. Dr. McGuire taught general and choral music in the public schools of New York State for ten years. He has presented original research and ideas at numerous workshops and conferences, and has had articles published in Journal of Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Therapy, International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Southeastern Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, and Teaching Music. Dr. McGuire has served Music Educators National Conference, Alabama Music Educators Association, Alabama State Education Department, and local arts advocacy groups in multiple leadership roles.

Carroline Shines

One of Alabamas best-kept secrets is the talented blues singer Carroline Shines who is carrying on the deep blues tradition she learned from her father, the late, great, world-renowned Johnny Shines. A regular on the Alabama festival and club circuit, she sings her own brand of the blues. Her powerful, soul stirring vocals and commanding stage presence leave crowds eager for more!

As the daughter of outstanding bluesman Johnny Shines (one of the few to travel with the legendary Robert Johnson), Carroline grew up in a rich musical environment with her father and his many blues-playing friends as her mentors. She dedicated her early years to raising a family and singing in her church and local bands. Since her children have grown and flown the coop, Carroline has dedicated more time working with the Alabama Blues Project helping to educate the next generation about the blues. She is also working hard to keep her father’s memory alive and in December, 2009, Carroline successfully had a local street named in honor of her father, and she holds an annual Johnny Shines Blues Festival.

 

Kip Tyner

Kip TynerKip Tyner is serving his third term as City Councilman for Tuscaloosa, Alabama's District Five. Elected in 1997, Kip is a native of Tuscaloosa and a graduate of Tuscaloosa High School. He received his BA in Journalism from the University of Alabama. Kip is the owner of Kip Tyner Productions and the host of Great Day Tuscaloosa, a local television talk-show. Kip is the executive director of Clean Community Volunteers and the producer of the annual Tuscaloosa Talent Search. For many years, Kip worked as a television news and weather broadcaster for the Tuscaloosa area.

StaffBoard of DirectorsTeaching ArtistsAdvisory Board

Bruce Andrews, Harmonica Herman Bell, Harmonica
Jonathan Blakney, Harmonica Stuart Bond, Guitar & Advanced Band
Dave Crenshaw, Drums Rachel Edwards, Vocals
Brad Guin, Advanced Band Director John Hawkins, Guitar
John Holaway, Guitar Ben Joseph, Harmonica & Guitar
Michael London, Guitar & Bass Little Lee, Featured Artist
Miz Thang, Folk Art B.J. Miller, Vocals, Advanced Band, Horns
B.J. Reed, Vocals SharBaby, Guitar
Carroline Shines, Vocals, Featured Artist Big Joe Shelton, Featured Artist
Jesse Suttle, Drums & Programming


Herman Bell - Harmonica

Herman Bell began his career in music at the age of nine. “Big H” picked up the harmonica in 1966 while in Vietnam and has become a master player and dedicated teacher. A valuable member of the project since 1993, Bell has been a major influence on our budding harmonica superstars. Big H has worked with famous musicians such as the late great Johnny Shines, Henderson Huggins, and the project’s own Debbie Bond in addition to being a member of The Gospel Chimes and the Second Baptist Church Choir. Bell’s commitment to ministry work is not only found through his musical talents, but also through his work as Associate Pastor for the Second Baptist Church in Holt, Alabama. Big H is very active in the community as a member of the Tuscaloosa County Parks and Recreation Authority and as an assistant baseball coach at Stillman College. Big H is no slouch in the field either and is a member of the West Alabama Softball Hall of Fame. He was also given an award of the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism. Bell has been married 41 years to his beautiful wife, Ida.


Stuart Bond - Guitar & Advanced Band

Stuart Bond first got into the blues at age fifteen after hearing Son House. He is an extremely talented musician, especially when it comes to playing the guitar. Currently Stuart Bond is teamed with Rachel Roberts to form Sparrow & the Ghost, to create a mixing of traditional music with a unique spin on the classic sounds of folk, country and the blues. Sparrow and the Ghost performs all across the state of Alabama and has had the amazing opportunity to play in SXSW in Austin. Stuart believes music is life and this certainly shows when he performs on stage!


Brad Guin - Advanced Band Director

Brad Guin is a phenomenal saxophone player who has been hitting the stage and studio with some of the biggest names in the music industry since the ripe age of 17 when he performed with The Four Tops and The Temptations for the opening of Euro Disney in France. Between then and now, he has been a saxophone player for: Duane Allman, Bobby Blue Band, B.B. King, The Ojays, Clarence Carter, Little Milton, Tony Joe White, Bonnie Bramlett, Bobby Whitlock of Derek & The Dominos, T. Graham Brown, Percy Sledge, Johnny Taylor, Dennis Locorriere of Dr. Hook, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Martha & The Vandellas, Jim Neighbors, The Muscle Shoals Horns, Travis Wammack, Cornell Dupree, Freddy Hart, Dennis Edwards, The Alabama Music Hall of Fame Induction Band. Guin has also been employed by Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and FAME Studios as a session player and arranger. Guin has graced dozens of the most famed stages across the world, such as the The Apollo Theater, all The Blue Note Jazz Clubs in Japan, House of Blues across the U.S. and even Aretha Franklin's house for her birthday party one year. As a side man for major acts, he has played nearly every major theater and festival in the country. Guin decided in 2011 to take his vast experience and start his own band, Bad Brad & The Sipsey Slims. His debut album is "Slim Pickins" and was released early 2012.


Little Lee - Featured Artist

Born in 1943 in Carthage, Mississippi, Little Lee fell in love with the blues at age five and got his first guitar when he was 17. Lee went to Chicago when he was 20 and found work outside of music to pay his bills. In 1997, Lee returned to the south to be closer to his family, and now he lives in Montgomery, Alabama. There he continues to write original material and perform electric style urban blues. He tours extensively, performing and presenting blues in the schools programs. He was featured recently at a blues showcase of Alabama blues at the Center for Southern Culture in Oxford, Mississippi.


B.J. Miller - Vocals & Advanced Band

Born in Kansas City, MO, BJ Miller was destined for greatness. She is the daughter of Bettye Miller, reigning musician in K.C., known as the “Queen of Jazz”. To enhance the premier music atmosphere that was her home, Miller took formal studies at the university of Missouri-KC Conservatory of Music. She thrived in this total immersion in music, from trombone to electric piano and on to singing. Blessed with talents from both parents, BJ has used her abilities to captivate audiences across United States, Canada, France, Spain and Tokyo. She has played and sung with a multitude of artist such as Ronnie Laws, Bloodstone, Bonnie Pointer, B. B. King, Fred Wesley, Marvin Cease, Roy Ayers, Sir Charles Jones. BJ's skills include writing, singing, playing, arranging, engineering and producing just to name a few of her talents. Among her production duties is the CD Better Man by the talented Mack Davis on the Mixed Company label. Clearly, Miller is a multi-gifted artist.


B.J. Reed - Vocals

B. J. Reed joined the ABP as a vocal instructor for the 2007 Spring After-School blues camp. A native of Vienna, Alabama, as a child she discovered that singing songs by vocalists she admired, like Aretha Franklin, was a great tool for entertaining her 10 siblings. She won the West Alabama Female Vocalist of the Year award in 1990, 1993, and 1998. In 1991 she was offered her first professional contract after having being seen at a competition at the prestigious Apollo Theater in Harlem. Critics have described her as a “dynamic vocal genius extraordinaire whose moving vocal performances embrace strong spiritual, social and philosophical values” and compared her to Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, Lena Horne and Bette Midler! Loving to work with children and knowing first hand how music helped build self-confidence, she developed her own music education program that she presented in underserved Alabama schools. As with all our instructors, she is a regular performer at regional clubs and festivals.


SharBaby - Guitar

SharBaby discovered the blues at the tender age of 6 and started taking guitar lessons at the age of 11. She was inspired by Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s legendary guitarist. She has performed in many blues festivals such as the Pensacola Blues Festival and Willie King’s Freedom Creek festival, and in 2006, she competed at the Blues Challenge for North Michigan in a Solo/Duo competition. She has shared the stage with blues legends, Willie King and Sam Lay, and shared the bill with greats such as Honey Boy Edwards, Kenny Neal, Sweet Claudette, Otiel Burris, and Kent Burnside. Her new album is soon to be released by Instant Karma Entertainment and will feature all original songs.


Big Joe Shelton - Featured Artist

Big Joe Shelton was born in the Black Prairie region of northeast Mississippi. As a child growing up in a small Mississippi town he was exposed to an African-American culture, which still strongly reflected that of the early part of the twentieth century. He attended tent minstrel shows, bar-b-que picnics and heard street musicians performing authentic traditional blues. As a young man he was fortunate in befriending Big Joe Williams and this association greatly influenced his musical sensibilities. As a child Shelton sang in church and grammar school choirs. In his teens he began playing the harmonica and guitar. Songwriting soon followed and he found he had a wealth of experiences from which to draw. In the mid seventies he moved to Chicago and experienced the urban blues scene first hand. From Maxwell Street to the south side he sopped up the blues gravy served by the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy and many others. He is a member of the Mississippi Arts Commission “Artist Roster” and “Folk Arts / Folk Life Directory” and was honored by being included on the “Columbus / Catfish Alley” Mississippi Blues Trail Marker. Big Joe has performed at numerous festivals and clubs throughout the southeastern United States including: King Biscuit Blues Festival, Howlin’ Wolf Memorial Blues Festival, Freedom Creek Blues Festival and the Beal Street Mess Around. He has also toured England, France, Belgium, Bulgaria and the Netherlands. He has played with blues legends Big Joe Williams, Furry Lewis, Son Thomas, Junior Kimbrough, Fenton Robinson, Living Blues 2003 “Artist Of The Year” Willie King, BMA Award nominees Blind Mississippi Morris, R. L. Burnside and Johnny Rawls as well as Daniel “Slick” Ballinger, the 2007 BMA” Best New Artist” honoree. Among his many contributions toward perpetuation of the blues is his involvement with the Jazz Foundation of America and the Howlin’ Wolf Blues Societies “blues in the school” educational programs.


Carroline Shines - Vocals & Featured Artist

One of Alabama’s best kept secrets is the talented blues diva Carroline Shines. Carroline is carrying on the blues tradition she learned from her father, the late, great, world renowned Johnny Shines. As a legendary guitar player, singer and song writer, Johnny Shines lived the blues, performing and writing songs his entire life, even traveling with Robert Johnson in his youth. He was always a great educator and supporter of the blues, and passed on his passion to his daughter, Carroline Shines. Carroline grew up in this rich musical environment with her father as her mentor. She dedicated her early years to raising her own family and singing in the church and local bands while putting her own career on the back burner. In 2004 Carroline began working with the Alabama Blues Project after-school program, teaching young singers and helping to educate the next generation about the blues. Those who have long been aware of Carroline’s extraordinary talent are so excited that she is launching her performing career.


Jesse Suttle - Drums & Programming

Jesse Diego Walker Suttle is the Project’s lead drum instructor. Music has always been a part of his life and in addition to drums he plays piano, guitar, bass and trombone. Jesse brings a wealth of experience having played in numerous bands and worked with some of the great names in blues music. His bands include Owsley, Topper Price and the Upsetters, Roosevelt Franklin, Teenage Daddy, South Southern Delta, the Crème Brulees, Shane Idols, and Lolas. He is currently playing drums for Shar Baby’s Blues Party. Jesse has also worked with Jerry “Boogie” McCain, Sam Lay, Shariff Simmons, Lil' Jimmy Reed, and Willie King. In addition to playing with Shar Baby, he is currently working with former Leon Russell guitarist Jason Speegle. When Jesse isn’t practicing, composing or producing music, he is raising his kids, Kathryn, Rachel and Ian with his wife Rebecca Brewer.


Miz Thang - Folk Art

Miz Thang is a self taught folk artist from Hawkinsville, GA. All of her blues art is original. Her wooden pieces are usually cut out of cabinet grade birch and then sanded. She paints with acrylic paint and sometimes she coats her pieces with shellac. She doesn't use brushes, but prefers to paint exclusively with her fingers. When her fingers are in the paint she feels connected to her art and she feels she is passing along some of her special brand of mojo. Some of her creations have been on display at shows, museums and galleries throughout the USA and abroad. Her art is on display at the Smith Calloway Banks Southern Folk Art collection and Research Center at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. Her blues art has been on display at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon, Georgia since 2004. In addition to being an accomplished folk artist, Miz Thang is a certified music educator.

StaffBoard of DirectorsTeaching ArtistsAdvisory Board

Dr. Lynne Adrian
Chair of American Studies
University of Alabama
Scott Barretta
Music Writer and Sociology Professor
University of Mississippi
Debbie Bond
Co-Founder of the ABP
ABP Executive Director 2001 - 2011
Rick Asherson
Musician
ABP Assistant Director 2003 - 2011
Michael Frank
Blues Manager
Founder, Earwig Music Company
Dr. Paul Gilroy
Anthony Giddens Professorship,
Social Theory
London School of Economics
Dr. Rose Gladney
Associate Professor Emeritus
American Studies, University of Alabama
Peter Guralnick
Author and Music Historian
Fruteland Jackson
Blues Musician, Educator & Historian
Sam Lay
Blues Musician


Dr. Lynn Adrian

Lynne M. Adrian is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Alabama. Raised in the Chicago suburbs, she received her B.A. from DePaul University in 1972. She went on to receive and M.A. in American Studies from University of Minnesota in 1976, and a PhD. from the University of Iowa in 1984. She has been at The University of Alabama since 1984. Her academic specialties are late nineteenth century social history, women in America, and interdisciplinary teaching methods. She and her husband, Bruce Hagemann, are life long Blues fans.

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Rick Asherson

Rick AshersonAsherson first heard the blues in his native city of London, England, and began to play the harmonica, guitar and piano in the '60s in England. He has played harmonica and keyboards in a number of bands in Europe and the U.S. for the past twenty years. Since moving to Alabama in 2001, he has played keyboards and harmonica for several Alabama blues greats, including Little Jimmy Reed, B. J. Miller, Caroline Shines, Eddie Kirkland, Willie King and more.

Rick has had a varied career, including being a computer programmer, osteopath, and non-profit administrator. His extensive grant writing skills played an integral part in the growth of the ABP. Rick is a regular blues instructor with the Alabama Blues Project's award-winning after-school programs and artist residencies. He has worked closely in the creation and development of the Alabama Blues Project's educational programs, curriculum and traveling exhibitions. He was Assistant Director of the Alabama Blues Project from 2003 to 2011.

Rick has a close association with blues legend Willie King, playing keyboards and harmonica in his band, The Liberators, as well as performing on, creating the artwork for, and co-producing King's last two CDs.

Scott Barretta

Scott Barretta is based in Oxford, Mississippi. He is one of the main writers and researchers for the Mississippi Blues Trail, the host of the radio program Highway 61 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, and a sociology instructor at the University of Mississippi. The former editor of Living Blues and a regular music columnist for the Clarion Ledger (Jackson, MS), he has also written for publications including the Oxford American, MOJO, SingOut, and Delta.

Debbie Bond

Debbie Bond

Debbie Bond was co-founder and Executive Director of the Alabama Blues Project from 2001 - 2011. Since coming to Alabama in 1981, Bond has worked closely with many well known blues artists, including the late great Johnny Shines. He was her mentor with whom she shared her band in the '80s and who inspired the foundation of the Alabama Blues Project in 1995.

Debbie made her performing debut in West Africa, where she lived as a child with her anthropologist mother. She formed her first band in Brighton, England, where she attended college and lived until moving to Alabama in 1979.

As well as being a regular on the Southeastern festival scene, Bond has performed extensively with many Alabama blues musicians including Little Jimmy Reed, James Peterson, Sweet Claudette, and more . She has worked particularly closely with the great Johnny Shines, Alabama blues men Little Whitt and Big Bo (with whom she went on a two-month tour of Europe), and legendary blues man Willie King. Thanks to a grant from Alabama State Council on the Arts, she has also studied with Alabama blues giant Eddie Kirkland.

In addition to being a musician, Bond is an award-winning videographer who worked for Tuscaloosa-based Alabama Public Television. During the 1980s she worked there on several independent projects which are now archived at the Smithsonian Institute.

Michael Frank

Michel Frank is the recipient of the 2008 Blues Foundation "Keeping the Blues Alive" Award for Manager. In 1972, Michael Frank met David “Honeyboy” Edwards and Blind Jim Brewer, and they soon became fast friends. In 1973, Michael started booking Honeyboy and playing harmonica with him, as well as booking Jim Brewer. In 1976, Michael formed the Honeyboy Edwards Blues Band to get gigs in Chicago's burgeoning North Side club scene and they also continued to perform as a duo. Since those early years Michael, as manager and booking agent (and later biographer and producer), gradually built up Honeyboy Edwards' career from a local to an international touring schedule and celebrity as an elder Blues oral historian. Michael founded Earwig Music Company in 1978 and recorded Honeyboy and his friends Sunnyland Slim, Kansas City Red, Floyd Jones, and Big Walter Horton for the second release of the label - Old Friends. Earwig has subsequently released 40 Blues CDs. Michael also managed Brewer's career until his 1989 passing and in the mid 1990s, the career of Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis. Over the past 34 years Michael's management and Honeyboy's talent and persistence have led Honeyboy to become the preeminent elder Blues statesman, a Delta Blues legend sought after for Blues documentary films and interviews about the early days of Delta Blues. Honeyboy and Michael have in the past two years performed over 100 shows per year worldwide.

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Dr. Paul Gilroy

Born in London, Gilroy was educated at University College School and obtained his bachelor's degree at Sussex University in 1978. He moved from there to Birmingham University where he completed his Ph.D. in 1986. Gilroy is a sociologically inclined scholar of Cultural Studies and Black Atlantic diasporic culture. He is the author of Ain't no Black in the Union Jack (1987), Small Acts (1993), The Black Atlantic (1993), Between Camps (2000) (also published as "Against Race" in the United States), and "After Empire" (2004) (published as Postcolonial Melancholia in the United States), among other works.

Gilroy taught at South Bank University, Essex University and then Goldsmiths College for many years before leaving London to take up a tenured post at Yale University where he was the chair of the Department of African American Studies and Charlotte Marian Saden Professor of Sociology and African American Studies.

He is now the first holder of the Anthony Giddens Professorship in Social Theory at the London School of Economics. Gilroy worked for the Greater London Council for several years during the 1980s before becoming an academic. During that period, he was associated with the weekly listings magazine City Limits and The Wire. Gilroy is known as a path-breaking scholar and historian of the music of the Black Atlantic diaspora, as a commentator on the politics of race, nation and racism in the UK, and as an archaeologist of the literary and cultural lives of blacks in the western hemisphere. Gilroy's theories of race, racism and culture were influential in shaping the cultural and political movement of black British people during the 1990s. Along with people like Lenny Henry, Trevor Nelson, Norman Jay, and Ian Wright he has enabled black British people to declare their commitment and belonging to the United Kingdom. Gilroy was awarded an honorary doctorate of the University of London by Goldsmiths College in September 2005.

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Dr. Rose Gladney

Peter Guralnick

Peter Guralnick is an American music critic, writer on music, and historian of US American popular music, who is also active as an author and screenwriter. Guralnick's first two books, Almost Grown (1964) and Mister Downchild (1967), were short story collections published by Larry Stark, whose small press in Cambridge, Larry Stark Press, was devoted to stories and poems. After Guralnick graduated from Boston University in 1971 with a master's degree in creative writing, he began writing books chronicling the history of blues, country, rock and roll and soul. His two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis in 1994, followed by Careless Love in 1999, placed the story of Presley's career into a rise and fall arc. Encompassing more than 1,300 pages (including 1,150 pages of text), the work countered earlier biographies such as Albert Goldman's Elvis from 1981 with an in-depth, scholarly examination of Presley's life and music. Guralnick had previously written on Presley in the The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, starting with the first edition in 1976, said article having been reprinted for each subsequent edition. Larry Stark Press published Peter Guralnick's second book in 1967. A first edition is currently valued at $200. In contrast to contemporaries such as Lester Bangs, Ian Penman and Nick Tosches, whose music writings are marked by idiosyncratic, self-referential and highly personal styles, Guralnick's writing is characterized by a colloquial approach that is clean and understated by comparison. Guralnick wrote the script for A&E's documentary, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll, narrated by Billy Bob Thornton, and he also scripted Sam Cooke - Legend, narrated by Jeffrey Wright.

Fruteland Jackson

Fruteland specializes in performing acoustic blues, from contemporary to traditional, from the blues of early field-holler songs and work songs to Delta and Piedmont Blues, as well as his own original works. He is one of a select group of Americans dedicated to gathering, preserving and performing Acoustic Blues, in all their various forms. As an Acoustic Blues Artist, he has taken his art to hundreds of venues in America, and has performed in Spain, France Britain and Italy, all to great reviews. As an Oral Historian, he has taken his extensive knowledge of Blues history to schools, colleges and universities, all over America. Fruteland created the award winning "All About The Blues"™ series Blues in the Schools programs, to bring his love of the blues and its important contribution to music in the world to every venue and classroom he is invited. He has received awards and acclaim across the country for his research, innovation, curriculum and presentation of the history about the people and music that make up the blues. Fruteland Jackson was awarded the 1996 Illinois Arts Council Folk/Ethnic Heritage Award and is the recipient of the 1997 "Keeping The Blues Alive" for Blues in Education. He also has two 2008 Blues Music Award nominations: Best Acoustic Artist and Best Acoustic Album.

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Sam Lay

Sam Lay, Drummer, vocalist - is one of the most celebrated virtuoso drummers in blues history, and a mainstay since the late 1950's. He began his auspicious career in 1957 as drummer for the Original Thunderbirds and soon after became the drummer for the legendary harp genius, Little Walter. In the early 1960's Mr. Lay began recording and performing with the founding fathers of blues,Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. The recordings Lay made during this time, (including Muddy Waters' Fathers and Sons album recorded in the 70's), are considered to be among the definitive works from the careers of Waters and Wolf. In the mid 60's Mr. Lay was persuaded to join with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and recorded and toured extensively with this important blues group. Bob Dylan (with Sam Lay as his drummer) was the first performer to introduce electric-rock at the Newport Folk Festival. Lay also recorded with Dylan - most notably on the Highway 61 album. Mr. Lay's unique style of drumming can be heard on over 40 recordings for the famed Chess Records label with the most prominent names in the world of blues. He has recently toured the major Blues festivals around the US and Europe with the Chess Records All-Stars. In the late 1980's Sam Lay was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. He was recently inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in Los Angeles, and the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. He was nominated eight times for the coveted W. C. Handy Award for "Best Instrumentalist" including a recent 2005 nomination. Mr. Lay has two very recent recordings with his own band on Appaloosa Records, Evidence Records, and a recording on Alligator Records with the Siegel-Schwall Band and was nominated in 2000 for a Grammy Award for his performances on the "Howlin' Wolf Tribute" CD and was honored by the Recording Academy January 2002 for the " Legends and Hero's Award" for his significant musical contributions. Mr. Lay was prominently featured on a PBS-TV broadcast of 7 episodes on the "History of the Blues" produced by Academy Award winning director, Martin Scorsese.

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