Winner 2014 Blues Music Award for Best Bass Guitarist
DANIELLE NICOLE FIRST APPEARED AT THE BEAN IN 2008 AS THE "TRAMPLED UNDER FOOT" BAND
Founding member, lead singer, and bass player of Kansas City blues-rock band Trampled Under Foot, Danielle Nicole stepped out on her own in 2015 with her debut album “Wolf Den.” In 2018, Nicole returns with a follow-up release via Concord Records.
"I grew up playing the blues, and the blues is still a big part of what I do. But now I'm reaching out more and trying different things. It still sounds like me, but I'm stretching out a lot more than I have previously." Nicole's distinctive, inventive bass work—which resulted in her becoming the first woman to win the Blues Foundation's 2014 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist, Bass—is the product of years of intensive roadwork. Although she had no experience with the instrument when she became Trampled Under Foot's bassist, now she can't imagine life without it.
"When I started doing my solo thing," she continues, "someone asked me if I was gonna hire a bass player. No, of course not! I originally picked up the bass to keep Trampled Under Foot a family band, but I really fell in love with it. It was a huge challenge, and it still is. But I really love being part of the groove and getting to sing on top of that. I had learned some stuff on acoustic guitar before I started playing bass, but I never really felt connected to it the way I do with the bass. It's empowering, walking onto a stage full of grown men who can play their asses off, and it's 'OK, I'm gonna play this bass, we're gonna do this, and it's gonna rock.'"
Rounding out her band are longtime Danielle Nicole Band guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Brandon Miller, and drummer Kris Schnebelen.
"I think that it's a good time for the kind of thing I'm doing," she states. "From my years of playing blues festivals, I've seen that younger and younger audiences are getting into the blues. I think that people want to hear authentic music again."
YEARS PERFORMED AT THE BEAN: 2008; 2009; 2012; 2015 Danielle Nicole Band
Nominated for two 2018 Blues Music Awards 2015 Grammy Award Winner | Best Blues Album "Step Back" - Johnny Winter 2010 Blues Music Awards Winner | Best Harmonica Player
Jason Ricci first performed at the Blues Festival in 2005
Jason Ricci is one of the most popular harmonica players on the planet today. Listed in almost every top ten list of players on the internet today Jason Ricci is a polarizing force always in the spot light and on the tips of critics, artists and fans tongue’s everywhere. Through two plus decades of endless touring, TV appearances, recordings and the internet Jason Ricci’s style of playing is so revolutionary and influential that there exists an entire younger generation of players imitating his music, clothes, gear, and even stage presence. Nick named “Moon Cat” (a street name he once used in Nashville and New Orleans to avoid police detection) Jason has been an almost constant force for decades in the studio, festivals, club dates and press. Love him or hate him, through performing, singing, song writing, teaching, harmonica playing and activism in the fields of L.G.B.T., mental health and addiction, it is not an overstatement that this young, white, queer, skateboarding, punk rock loving, multiple convicted felony having Moon Cat from Maine is currently changing the world through music and education.
Jason was a featured performer on Johnny Winter’s Grammy award winning CD ‘Step Back’ (2014), He has received multiple Blues Music Award Nominations 2009 – 2016, and won a Blues Music Award in 2010. Featured performer at the Rock & Roll hall of fame with Zac Brown & Tom Morello for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band induction in 2015, Jason has worked and/or recorded with Junior Kimbrough, RL Burnside, Nick Curran, Walter Trout, Ana Popovic, Cedric Burnside, Joe Louis Walker, Peter Karp, Sue Foley, and many others.
Winner 4 Blues Music Awards 2010 Contemporary Blues Male Artist; Blues Album; Band and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year
FIRST TIME PERFORMER AT THE BEAN!
Tommy Castro is one of the brightest contemporary blues musicians, combining passionate, fiery guitar playing with power vocals.
Castro formed The Painkillers in 2012, creating a lean, mean four-piece lineup, capable of delivering soul-shaking, muscular music. The band released The Devil You Know in 2014 and Method To My Madness in 2015, with critics shouting praise and admirers cheering his every move. Castro had stripped his music down to its raw essence with the new, smaller band, sounding bigger than ever. On record and on stage, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers’ road-hardened, seemingly telepathic musicianship bring an unmatched passion to Castro’s blue-eyed California soul and hard-rocking, good-time songs. His hometown newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, describes Castro’s music as, “funky Southern soul, big city blues and classic rock…silvery guitar licks that simultaneously sound familiar and fresh.”
Blazing soul-blues rocker Tommy Castro’s musical roots run deep. As he unleashes his high-energy music to fans all over the world, Castro is inspired by the sounds he absorbed while coming of age on the rough and tumble side of San Jose, California. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, this was Castro’s home turf—his stomping ground. It was a place where the street-tough Mexican Americans and the counter-culture hippies came together to drink, smoke, laugh, party and listen to tunes—the hippies with their blues and rock, the Mexicans with their soul music. Mixing the blues-rock he loved and the soul music he heard blasting out from the lowriders cruising the streets, along with the socially conscious message songs of the day, Tommy’s own sound was born. He honed his guitar playing to a razor’s edge on the city’s competitive bar scene, where he learned how to capture an audience with his intensely passionate vocals, stellar musicianship and dynamic performances. Almost every major rock and soul act, from Ike & Tina Turner to Janis Joplin to Elvin Bishop to Taj Mahal, toured through the area, and Castro was at almost every show. He saw John Lee Hooker, Albert King and Buddy Guy & Junior Wells at the same local blues bar, JJ’s, where he often jammed, dreaming of one day busting out.
Monster Mike Welch & Mike Ledbetter are nominated for SEVEN awards at this year's Blues Music Awards.
FIRST TIME PERFORMER AT THE BEAN!
With over 25 years under his belt, Boston-based blues guitarist Monster Mike Welch is handily considered a seasoned veteran of the international blues scene at just a mere 37 years old. Adorned with the nickname “Monster Mike” by actor/comedian Dan Aykroyd at the tender age of 13, Welch has since carved out a successful living as a highly accomplished and in-demand guitarist. To date, Welch has released six albums under his own name and in 2001, he joined the ranks of one of New England’s most beloved blues institutions, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones. In addition, Welch has performed and recorded with Duke Robillard, Nick Moss, Johnny Winter, Darrell Nulisch and more recently, the Knickerbocker All-Stars, which has featured among others, Jimmie Vaughan and the aforementioned Robillard. No stranger to the Delta Groove family, Welch also appears on recordings by the Mannish Boys and Sugaray Rayford, as well as playing a central role in the critically acclaimed album, Fifty Shades of Blue, by Anthony Geraci and the Boston Blues All Stars. Welch has received two consecutive Blues Music Award nominations by the Blues Foundation for Instrumentalist-Guitar beginning in 2016.
Chicago's own Mike Ledbetter has had nothing short of a rich and multi-dimensional musical journey thus far. Before making a home in West Side Chicago and Memphis style blues, Ledbetter set his feet in various genres ranging from soul, gospel, pop, jazz, and even spent the better part of a decade performing on Chicago opera stages. Spending eight years under the tutelage of his mentor, Nick Moss, Ledbetter recorded and toured the world with Moss as his lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. In this short time, he has made more than a lasting impression and developed a legion of fans. He's also worked with and earned the respect of many of his heroes and influences (Anson Funderburgh, Barrelhouse Chuck, Billy Flynn, Curtis Salgado, Jimmy Johnson, Lazy Lester, Ronnie Earl) as a member of the new school of blues/soul musician whose style is cemented in its Golden Era.
BIG AL & THE HEAVYWEIGHTS PERFORMED AT THE FIRST BEAN IN 1999!
From Cajun to Zydeco to Blues to Rock and everything in between, Big Al & the Heavyweights offer a musical gumbo sure to please all. Formed in 1996 as the Unknown Blues Band , with founding members Big Al Lauro, Warren Haynes ( Allman Bros, Gov't Mule), Rick Gergen ( Sweethearts of the Rodeo), the band has been featured at festivals and venues throughout the US. The new Cd "Sunshine On Me" was produced by noted roots music guitarist / songwriter, Anders Osborne who also plays on several tracks. Warren Haynes lays down some slide guitar work on the title track. This is the band's 6th cd release. Their live performances are family oriented, energetic and most of all fun. They have been staples at the WC Handy Festival in Muscle Shoals, AL as well as the Mardi Gras Celebration at Universal Studio's in Orlando. This is a show you don't want to miss !
YEARS PERFORMED AT THE BEAN: 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2004