NELLIE "TIGER" TRAVIS

Headliner Female Vocalist

Nellie "Tiger" Travis couldn't be more destined to sing the blues. She was born deep in the delta of Mississippi in the early 60's. As in most small towns, the church was a main focal point and Nellie grew up singing gospel music. Since then, Nellie has come a long way and in November 2009 was crowned the New Queen Of The Blues for Chicago by Bluesman Purvis Spann who also bestowed that honor on Ms. KoKo Taylor the original Queen. KoKo was a mentor and friend to Nellie, and when she passed in early 2009, Nellie used her talented songwriting skills to write and record a tribute song to her friend Ms. KoKo Taylor titled KoKo Queen Of The Blues.

Nellie Travis has headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and performed at numerous Festivals and clubs around the world places such as Japan, Greece, Italy, Germany, Brazil, as well as her hometown of Mississippi. She has shared the stage with such greats as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Glady's Knight, Ronnie Baker Brooks to name a few. She has been influenced by many powerful performers such as Big Mama Thornton, KoKo Taylor (of course) and Etta James. The nickname "Tiger" was born after Nellie came to Chicago. She and a cousin were hanging out at B.L.U.E.S on Halsted brainstorming about what to call her. Nellie wanted the nickname "Angel", but her cousin quickly rejected that and came up with "Tiger" which aptly describes her feline-like, intense vocal style as well as her feisty, independent personality. In addition to being an outstanding singer and songwriter, Nellie is an accomplished actress. She has performed in plays "The Lust Of A Man" and "I was There When The Blues Was Red Hot". Nellie has won several awards and many Nominations.

Peaches Staten

PEACHES STATEN

Headliner Female Vocalist

A real Chicago Blues Diva Peaches Staten has been touring Europe since 1997 playing many festivals and clubs and recorded a CD in Europe with Nick Becattini : "Nick & Peaches – Live at Blue Sun" in 2001. Peaches Staten Band offers a thrilling mixture of gritty vocals and explosive guitar playing, harmoniously delivered in her music deeply rooted in blues and soul with a splash of funk. Real R&B well supported by a very tight band.

She is a product of the Mississippi Delta, though she was born in Doddsville, she grew up in the mix of the thriving Chicago Blues scene and was raised on gospel, blues and soul. Her stepfather was a disc jockey for several of Chicago's swank Westside clubs and her mother was member of a social club that threw parties where all the well known blues musicians hung out. This petite dynamo started her musical career unexpectedly while working in a blues bar as a waitress : "I was working part-time as a waitress at Rosa's in Chicago and a girl, who has since become a friend, asked me; Do you ever sing? I said; Yeah in the shower! She said; No really, it seems like you have a good voice! We kept talking and we had a few shots of tequila and suddenly I found myself up on stage"

Peaches is a natural born showgirl with a fatback soul grit voice that makes you want more and more every time you listen to her. She's a little bit of Tina, Etta and Koko all in one. Her gutsy, growling and energetic show has made her one of the foremost headliners on the highly competitive Chicago blues scene. Peaches Staten has shared the stage and recorded with some of the best in the business such as Katie Webster, C.J. Chernier, Johnny B. Moore, the late Buddy Scott, Billy Branch, Carl Weathersby and lots of others. Early in her career she was featured on many all Ladies Blues Revues with Chicago veterans Bonnie Lee and Karen Carroll. Now she regularly lights up the Chicago blues stages with her versatile singing style and her powerful wash board technique. Influences: Bessie Smith, Lavern Baker, Cassandra Wilson, Turner Vat, Billie Holiday, Howling Wolf, KoKo Taylor, Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, etc. Peaches has a new CD out "Time Will Tell" (Slangmusic)

Melva LeBlanc

MELVA LeBLANC

Headliner Female Vocalist

Melva LeBlanc, born in Passcagoula, Mississippi, started singing in church at a very young age and developed a gutsy, soulful, gospel blues style. She gives all to her audience by drawing them in with high energy and deep emotion. She has performed with such names as; Koko Taylor, Mike Gibb, Lonnie Baker Brooks, Eddie Shaw, O.C.Reed, Shirley King, and the Chicago Blues Review.

Melva has performed in nightclubs throughout the Chicago and Illinois area, including; House Of Blues, Planet Hollywood, Dick's Last Resort, Koko Taylor's club, Beal Street Blues, Rosa's, Kingston Mines, Ripples, Porter's Oyster Bar, Crawfish Daddy's Bayou, Hotornot Cajun Cuisine, Shaw's Crab House, Key Wester, Red Bones. She also delivered performances in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Kingston Jamaica.

Charlie Love

CHARLIE LOVE

CBR Core Main Male Vocalist/Guitarist

Charlie Love is an incredible soulful singer, guitarist, and the ultimate showman. As the Charlie Love, born on the South side of Chicago in 1956, was introduced to the blues his mother and father at an early age and quickly fell under it's spell. His father often played the harmonica while Charlie and his mother would dance and sing along to the sounds of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and B.B. King. For his parents the blues was a celebration of the human spirit and helped them to endure the stresses of everyday living. It's value and potential as a positive spiritual force was instilled in Charlie from a powerful place, a place from which he has never turned away. One could say the blues called on Charlie Love.

Charlie caught the attention of Casey Jones, ex-drummer for the late great Albert Collins, who was fronting his own band at the Kingston Mines, one of Chicago's high profile blues clubs. It was while playing for the "Casey Jones Revue" that the proprietor heard Charlie sing. The Mines hired him under his own name and Charlie began being recognized as one of the city's outstanding blues singers. The distinct blend of silky smooth vocal savvy and distilled raw power that Charlie brings to his performance creates a soul-drenched marriage between beauty and abandon that adds up to 100% rockin' Chicago blues.

Charlie's ability to cover equally well a wide range of repertoire within the style is in evidence here and an important ingredient in Charlie Love's approach to music. When he steps to a microphone he serves up a Chicago blues stew that has been bubbling since his days hearing the music for the first time in his parent's living room. Whether he's singing the Muddy Waters classis, "Long Distance Call,' Sam Cooke's southern-flavored "Somebody Have Mercy," or a more contemporary title like the self-penned, "Blues Keeps Following Me," Charlie is still all the way at home. This Chicago showman was the winner of the "Best Unsigned Band" contest and is a consistent feature at the Chicago Blues Festival

JEFF "HYPER HARP" GROSSBERG

CBR Music Director & Extreme Harmonica

Jeff grew up in Chicago, the home of the blues, and was brought up on artists like Little Walter, Corky Siegle, and Sonny Boy Williamson as well as bands like Yes, King Crimson and Cream. His passion for music inspired him to start the piano at an early age, an instrument he still plays and produces on. It was when he was 15 that he decided to take up the harmonica, and by 17 he had already gotten his first pro gig.

Through Corky Siegle, Jeff was introduced to Howard Levy, the man who would eventually teach Jeff how to play the traditional diatonic harmonica as a chromatic instrument. This opened up Jeff to the world of jazz, listening to such greats as Charlie Parker, Miles and Coltrane. His jazz and blues improvisation lead to touring the country with his friend and fellow musician, Tino Gonzalas. The tour landed Jeff in L.A. where he studied keyboard at the Dick Grove School of Music and jazz improvisation at the Music Institute (G.I.T.) In L.A. Hyper Harp performed with such legends as Bunny Brunnel (Chick Corea's bass player), Scott Henderson (Chick, Joe Zowelnal and Tribal Tech guitarist), Jeff Andrews (Step Ahead bassist) and Jimmy Bruno (Jazz guitarist), along with many other renown players.

After L.A., Hyper returned to Chicago, performing blues, jazz, and expanding to electronic and jam-band genres. It was around 2001, when Jeff formed the Chicago Blue Revue, bringing together those great artists that have made Chicago the home of the blues. All of the main original members of the Chicago Blues Revue are together to this day, bringing their amazing assembly of talent to different venues and places, such as Germany.

NORA JEAN WALLACE

Headliner Female Vocalist

You could say that Nora Jean Wallace was born to sing the blues. The seventh child of a Mississippi sharecropper, she grew up in the Delta with her 15 brothers and sisters on the 11,000-acre Equen Plantation, located halfway between Clarksdale and Greenwood, the town where she was born.

Every year between 2005 and 2009 Nora Jean was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year category, and in 2011 she released her third CD, Good Blues, on Untouchable Productions. A true meeting of North and South, Good Blues is a collaborative effort blending Nora's Mississippi Delta stylings and the Northern Minnesota Native American sound of her dear friend Little Bobby, who supports Nora with his band The Storm in her performances these days.

Praised by the likes of Koko Taylor, Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin and Debbie Davies and heralded as the next "Queen of the Blues" by Pocono Blues Director Michael Cloeren and Blues in Britain magazine, Nora Jean Wallace has earned her place in the blues world. Speaking of her first love, she says: "The blues is alive and well, and I am proud to be a part of it. I feel privileged to sing the music that is my heritage. The artistic achievements of my ancestors are not only one of their greatest contributions to America, but also one of America's greatest contributions to the world. The blues is great American music and, God willing, I will be singing it for you for many, many years to come."

Delores Scott

Deloris Scott

Headliner Female Vocalist

DELORES SCOTT began singing at the age of nine in her church choir. Her recording career began at the age of thirteen at Chess Recording Studio with Rev. Clay Evans and the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Choir. As a result of these recordings she had an opportunity to record and travel with the Revs. Milton Brunson (Thompson Community Singers), Jesse Dixon, Marvin Yancy, James Cleveland, and sing prior to keynote addresses by the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Most recent recording with Gospel Music Workshop of America Choir (Denver chapter).

Delores has to her credit twenty six recordings as a soloist and more than seventy recordings as a background vocalist. She has appeared at the Regal Theater with Rev. James Cleveland, The Apollo with Roberta Flack, and Navy Pier with Natalie Cole. She was privileged with traveling with/opening for KoKo Taylor. She has also opened for Bobby Rush in addition to performing at the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport Iowa with Billy Branch and the Sons of the Blues. In 2006 she was part of a tribute to Ruth Brown at the House of Blues. Most recent performances have been Greeley Festival and Blues from The Top Festival in Winter Park Colorado. She is an on-going performer with the Female All-Star Revue in Colorado. Travel has taken Delores to more than 46 states and abroad to Austria, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Istanbul and Athens Greece.

Delores Scott

Linsey Alexander

Headliner Guitarist & Male Vocalist

Chicago is the blues capital of the world, and if recent popularity is any kind of benchmark, Linsey Alexander just might be the hottest sound in town right now.

Born in Mississippi and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Linsey Alexander discovered on Chicago's south side a down to earth city that truly understands and appreciates music. In much the same way as many great blues artists before him, he grew up in a poor but honest and hard working family, learning early on that music has the power to lift the spirit and comfort the soul. In Linsey's own words, "Blues music is not hard- it's just a documentary about life."

His first guitar - a gift from a family friend who played on the front stoop of Linsey's home in Memphis - was never retrieved from the pawn shop where he left it almost 50 years ago. Using the money to help pay his way to Chicago, he now plays a variety of Gibson and Fender guitars, and since 1959, Linsey Alexander has been perfecting the art of entertainment blues for the sheer and simple pleasure of it. His easy smile and unpretentious personality define a charismatic entertainer who loves to perform; and perform he does!

Although having played with B.B.King, Bobby Rush, Buddy Guy, Little Milton, Magic Slim Johnnie Taylor, A.C.Reed, Larry McCray, Bither Smith, John Primer, Otis Clay, Eddie Clearwater and other great blues performers., Linsey Alexander has remained resolutely true to his own style. His first cds release, Someone's Cookin' In My Kitchen, My Days Are So Long and his latest release If You Ain't Got It is a compilation of original Blues and R&B tunes.

He is thankful for the good things in his life, and now at last, seems willing to realize that the friends who encouraged him to keep playing over the years may have known a thing or two about talent. Maybe, just maybe, he's ready tov believe.

Delores Scott

J.W. Williams

Headliner Bassist & Male Vocalist

Amongst the top Chicago bluesman of all times, this big bellowing fellow (and incredible bassist, too) is one of the city's busiest performers. A mainstay of the Buddy Guy/Junior Wells bands of the '70s (he was scheduled to participate in a Wells tribute at the 1999 Chicago Blues Festival), you can currently catch him with his band, the Chi-Town Hustlers. Says the Chicago Reader, though he "has always sounded to me as if he'd rather be playing funk than blues, he's a solid craftsman whose tendency to overplay is tempered by a solid rhythmic sense and an energetic attack."

Toured with Bo Diddley, James Cotton, Jimmy Walker, Carey Bell, Lurrie Bell & Billy Branch, Margie Evans, etc. Recorded with Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Syl Johnson, Lurrie Bell & Billy Branch, etc. Founded the Chi-Town Hustlers in 1976. Also played with Jimmy Reed, Bobby Rush, Lonnie Brooks, John Lee Hooker, BB King, Big Mama Thorton.

With his amazing vocal range, from the deepest to the utter most amazing signature falsetto, J.W. will bring the real-deal driving Chicago Blues to any party!

Demetria Taylor

Headliner Female Vocalist

Demetria Taylor is the seventh child out of eight from the family of late Blues Legend Eddie Taylor Sr. Demetria, 38, is helping keep the legacy of her father (along with other Blues Greats) alive. Born in Chicago in 1973, Demetria was born into a Blues family. Not only was her father a Blues Artist, but her mother, Vera Taylor was also a Blues Artist. Demetria can recall distant memories when many Chicago Blues Legends would visit their house. Some of those artists were: Floyd Jones, Carey Bell, Sunnyland Slim, Johnny Littlejohn, Sam Lay, Willie Kent, Taildragger, Eddie Shaw, Johnny B Moore and Magic Slim. Growing up in a Blues Home, she could be found listening to some of her biggest influences such as: Etta James, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, and, most importantly, "The Queen of the Blues" Koko Taylor (No Relation to the Eddie Taylor Family). Demetria's vocals has a wide range that can tear the roof of the house and bring angels down to earth. She enjoys singing the trademarks of her personal heroes but yet making the songs belong to her.

Demetria has toured across the world, just recently returning from a tour in Japan. Demetria has also performed at the Chicago Blues Festival, Pocono Blues Festival, Waterfront Festival,House of Blues, The Sears Tower (Now known as Willis Tower), The John Hancock Building, Rosa's Lounge, Green Dolphin, Kingston Mines, B.L.U.E.S, Blue Chicago and Buddy Guys Legends.

Demetria is now a Delmark recording artist, she just recently released her debut CD titled "Bad Girl". She is also up for a Blues Music Award for "Best New Artist Debut".