Biography Erja Lyytinen

In the past few years, Erja Lyytinen has taken the international music scene by storm. She's a young, talented singer/songwriter and exceptional guitarist who plays everything from dobro to slide guitar. "But the guitar - or any instrument for that matter - is there just to support the story that I'm always trying to tell with a song", she says.

Erja was born to a musical family in Kuopio, a little town in the middle of Finland. At the age of 15 she was performing with her parents - singing and at first playing the violin and later the electric guitar. "People always wonder how a girl picked up the guitar. But being from a musical family - my mother is a bassist and my father a guitarist - I don't think that's a far stretch," Erja laughs.

Erja's second album Wildflower (Bluelight Records), which she also co-produced, was officially released in June 2003 at one of Finland's biggest festivals, Puistoblues. "It was great," Erja enthuses. "We got to open for Koko Taylor and Bonnie Raitt. They've both had a huge influence on me." Erja has often been compared to Raitt and the Finnish magazine Blues News once hailed her as the Bonnie Raitt of Finland.
"I think the main reason why some people compare me to Bonnie is that we both are women and play slide guitar. But naturally, it was fantastic when I finally got the chance to meet her. She turned out to be a really nice person."

In 2005, Erja signed with Ruf Records and promptly flew to the USA to collaborate on a project with British blues artists Ian Parker and Aynsley Lister. The resulting album, Pilgrimage, was a huge success and led to subsequent tours in the United States and Europe as well as the live DVD Blues Caravan 2006 - The New Generation. One of the songs Lyytinen wrote for the Pilgrimage session, "Dreamland Blues," also appeared on the CD Blues Guitar Women compiled by award-winning Canadian blues artist Sue Foley.

Erja returned to the U.S. in 2006 to record her first solo album for Ruf Records, Dreamland Blues. Teaming her up with David and Kinney Kimbrough (sons of the late Junior Kimbrough, a Mississippi hill country legend) and long-time musical partner Davide Floreno, Lyytinen's latest CD digs even deeper into the gritty blues sound she has now identified as her own. She still integrates a range of other influences such as jazz, pop, R&B and country into her songs. But as Ian Parker puts it: "Erja has now discovered her true musical home - the blues."

After hearing Lyytinen on her first tour of Germany, one critic wrote: "Not only does the lady have a fantastic voice ... she is also an excellent guitar player. Hot sounds from the great white north!" As she continues to pound the road in the years ahead - burning up the fretboard with her slide, flashing that million-dollar smile - Erja Lyytinen is sure to keep winning over the hearts of fans everywhere.

Biography Louisiana Red

RED'S VISION

The current blues scene in the U.S. and Europe is characterized by a wide variety of styles and musicians. However, as the years go passing by there are fewer and fewer artists left that were active during the formative years of blues music, those who participated in the development of the music.

Thus, it is all the more important and cause for celebration that there are still artists such as Louisiana Red.

Louisiana Red has lived the Blues. And Louisiana Red not only plays the Blues, he lives it through his guitar and his singing. Strongly influenced by Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins and Arthur Crudup, he has long ago found his own voice, his own style, his own form of expression.

When Red performs, the songs are often only launching pad for expressing his immediate feelings in the almost lost tradition of spontaneous composition that goes back to the original Delta Blues artists an even further to the West-African griot bards.

In a career spanning over half a century, Louisiana Red has played with just about every major bluesman you can name, some of the most memorable encounters being his jams with B.B.King and Muddy Waters.

But it doesn't matter who he plays with or where he appears - Louisiana Red brings the same intensitiy and enthusiasm to every stage he appears on, whether in front of 10,000 people at a festival or 100 people in an intimate club.

Louisiana Red's albums have been called masterpieces by critics, and in 1983 he won a W.C. Handy Award as best traditional blues artist. After living in Germany for 20 years, he has made a several triumphant comeback tours in the United States.

But if you ask Red about it, he won't tell you much about his success. He'll much rather talk about his latest CD project, about a new song or a new guitar lick. Because Louisiana Red is constantly creating, always searching für another expression of his blues. For once, the hyperbole ist justified: Louisiana Red is the Blues

Biography Aynsley Lister

"Superb" - THE TIMES

Aynsley has never been an artist to reheat the music of yesteryear. Influenced from an early age by the 60's RnB era, Lister takes these key elements and mixes them with a more current and melodic lyrical approach.

He is one of very few artists playing rocking blues with a modern edge -tangible, heartfelt, soul searching and full of fine songwriting; played with passion and vitality. His hard hitting rhythms and guitar work are reminiscent of a young Clapton.

Since signing to Ruf Records, Lister has recorded four solo studio albums, and two live albums - one solo acoustic and one along with a live DVD for Germanys ROCKPALAST TV show. He has sold over 75,000 records and now headlines many of the major festivals throughout Europe where he has played alongside blues legends such as Buddy Guy, John Mayall, and Robert Cray aswell as big name pop artists such as Bryan Adams and Fun Lovin' Criminals. His recorded work has seen him working with Producers Jim Gaines (Santana, SRV) and Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, Catatonia)

In more recent times 2006 saw Lister recording in Clarksdale, Mississippi and Memphis Tennessee where he worked again with Jim Gaines on the Ruf Records collaboration 'Pilgrimage'. With Gaines producing Lister debut for the label in 1999, it was almost 7 years to the month that they had previously worked together. In September of that year his album 'Everything I Need' was released stateside in preparation for this years debut tour.

UPSIDE DOWN is Lister's fourth studio album and his first to contain all originals. Every aspect and quality that his fans have now come to expect is there, from the raunchy guitar, the melodic voice to the infectious songs but to simply pronounce this release another worthwhile effort would be an injustice indeed: The result is his strongest, boldest and most compelling album to date that could quite easily crossover into the mainstream

"His best album ever" - GET READY TO ROCK

"Deft lyrical touch and musical feel" - ZEITGEIST

"Upside Down' is a great album" - GUITARIST MAGAZINE

"Bursting with killer riffs and songs" - CLASSIC ROCK

In reality his career is just getting started - he has the ability to reach such a wide-ranging audience from teenagers to folks who grew up in a time when real artists mattered. Right now Aynsley Lister has everything he needs to turn the world upside down...

The personal stuff...
Aynsley picked up the guitar at 8 and played his first gig at 13. One year later on a family trip to San Francisco, he was jamming at 'Lou's Bar' on Pier 49. Brought up on his father's record collection, he had learned to play by ear and would sit for hours in his bedroom playing along to old 45s of Freddie King, John Mayall and Eric Clapton. He spent the next few years honing his craft and would play with anyone, anywhere.

By the time he was 18, he had worked his way through various bands and decided to form his own. The band recorded two albums, but it was the second of these two that started things happening. Aynsley had begun writing and it was the three original numbers of this album that attracted the attention of Ruf Records' head honcho Thomas Ruf. In the summer of 1998, they signed a deal. Armed with an album worth of original songs and a handful of cover's, Aynsley went into the studio with Producer Jim Gaines and set to work of his first major album. It would prove to be the start of a long and fruitful career taking him over the next few years all over Europe ,and working with some of the top names on the circuit.

Biography Lightin' Malcolm

Music has always been part of Lightnin' Malcolm's heart and soul. From the moment he discovered an old raggedy guitar with a couple of strings and cassette of Muddy Waters his life and the music world would change forever. Malcolm's journey began near the railroad tracks in rural Southeast Missouri. For the next several years Malcolm would travel the world spreading his love for the blues. It wasn't until Malcolm settled in North Mississippi that he had a musical epiphany. He was drawn to the hill country blues first made famous by Fred McDowell and later R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Jessie Mae Hemphill.
"I first came to Mississippi in about 1993 and fell in love with the music and the people here. It was a spiritual thing. When I heard the fife and drums and hill country music it really touched me because that was the closest thing to the music I was hearing in my head."
Malcolm eventually joined forces with blues royalty Cedric Burnside. Over the next few years, the duo released two critically acclaimed albums "Juke Joint Duo" and "Two Man Wrecking Crew." The duo toured constantly around the globe and won the 2009 Blues Music Award for Best Debut Artist. They've also appeared with mainstream artists such as Jimmy Buffet and Big Head Todd & The Monsters.
Malcolm's journey around the world has come full circle as he returns to the hill country to team up with Cameron Kimbrough, grandson of blues legend Junior Kimbrough. Cameron's creative energy, versatile playing, combined with his natural family talent creates a perfect fit for Malcolm's hypnotic grooves. The new material is high energy hill country blues fused with modern elements of funk, reggae, soul, and rock. The music unites musicians and audience as they interact in a hypnotic dance with everybody rejoicing to the power and joy of the music we call the Blues!

Biography JW Jones

"One of this country's top blues guitar stars" writes the Globe and Mail about 29-year old, JW-Jones.

JW-Jones has one of the most energetic and exciting live shows on the scene. It is no surprise that he has played throughout the world (CANADA, USA, EUROPE, AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL) and some of the biggest names in blues today, including The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Rod Piazza, Anson Funderburgh with Sam Myers, The Mannish Boys and the legendary Hubert Sumlin have invited him to join them on stage.

During a special appearance with the band, Hollywood celebrity and fan, Dan Aykroyd said, "this is an amazing blues band, and I've played with the best!" Mr. Aykroyd wrote the liner notes for the 2008 release 'Bluelisted'.

The new record "Midnight Memphis Sun" features special guest stars Hubert Sumlin and Charlie Musselwhite, while past CDs have had world-class musicians David 'Fathead' Newman (Ray Charles sax player), Little Charlie Baty, Junior Watson, Colin James, and multi-Grammy nominee Kim Wilson who appears on two discs and produced 'My Kind of Evil' in 2004.

Their music has garnered radio-play worldwide, including heavy rotation on commercial radio stations, and features on shows such as the internationally syndicated House of Blues Radio Hour.

In 2009, Guitar World Magazine featured a CD called 'Guitar Masters Vol. 2' that put Jones alongside guitar stars B.B. King, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana and more.

The buzz this band has created over the last decade has earned them a national award - the Maple Blues Award for Electric Act of the Year, and rave reviews throughout the globe. Jones has been featured by Blues Revue Magazine and can be found in the books All Music Guide to Blues and Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings.

When working with Jeff Asselin (drums), and Martin Régimbald (bass), or adding the heavy grooves of Jesse Whiteley (organ), the musicians with Jones always add a powerful energy to the stage.

Canada's Top Touring Blues Act, Jones and his band are born entertainers, and with their unique sound, they continue to set the world on fire one country at a time!

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