The 34th Annual Carolina Blues Festival is HERE! This year is very special indeed as our group recently was honored to have a private audience with the family of Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten at the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame Induction Awards. This American musical legend from North Carolina and her legacy inspired our theme this year: Women of the Blues!!! There will NOT be a male headliner on ths concert lineup.
Vanessa Collier (Dallas) - Blues Music Award Nominations (BMAs), a Blues Blast Award nomination, the Jammingest Pro Award bestowed by the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, First Place for lyrics in the International Songwriting Competition, Best of 2014 Blues Breaker on Dan Aykroyd’s BluesMobile -- it’s the fact that Vanessa Collier has accumulated all these honours even while her career is still in its infancy. A 2013 graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, she’s toured nationally and internationally, released two critically acclaimed albums (2014’s Heart, Soul & Saxophone and 2017’s Meeting My Shadow), and released her highly anticipated third album, Honey Up, in July 2018. Honey Up spent 9 weeks atop the Billboard Blues Album Charts Top 15, 3 months on the Living Blues Charts at #10 and #23, and continues to be spun on Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville radio station!
The King Bees (Ashe County, NC) - The King Bees have performed on festival stages in European capitals including Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and London and have taken their internationally-acclaimed show across numerous countries.Their love of American Roots music has carried them to shows in Mississippi jukes joints as well as to several performances at Lincoln Center. The King Bees have toured and recorded with Carey Bell, Jerry McCain, Nappy Brown and many other lions and legends. They collaborated with Rock n' Roll Hall-of-Fame member Bo Diddley and were featured on The B.B. King Birthday Tour. The King Bees have shared the bill with Dr. John, Buddy Guy, James Brown, Leon Russell and a host of other legends.
Sandra Hall "Empress of the Blues" (Atlanta) -Not many people have had careers as long and as varied as Sandra Hall “The Empress of the Blues”Her career in the music industry began when she was just 12 years old, and it has never stopped: much like her father, the preeminent pianist Eddie Tigner. At one of her grandmother’s house parties, Otis Redding, a family friend, came by to enjoy her family’s great cooking. Sitting at Sandra’s kitchen table, Otis wrote the opening lines to his soulful classic “Dock of the Bay.” Sandra continued singing throughout college and nursing school, performing with her band the Exotics to pay for tuition, books, and housing. Sandra is a singer, but her ferocious stage presence belies the six years she spent dancing burlesque in Atlanta. Sandra was a student and a single mother, so burlesque offered the opportunity support herself and her daughter and to hone her signature charismatic stage persona.
Amanda Fish (Kansas City) - Amanda Fish began as a singer songwriter in late 2012, refining her original material as a solo act for 2 years before she formed her band in early 2014n 2018, Amanda released her second all original studio album, "Free", on VizzTone Label Group, debuting at #6 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart and nabbing a 2019 Blues Music Award for Best Emerging Artist Album.
Ashley Heath and Her Heathens (Asheville, NC) - A five piece psychedelic Americana group hailing from Asheville, NC, Ashley Heath and Her Heathens also won the Band Competition at Merlefest 2018 and had the chance to grace the stages again in 2019.
The Ladies Auxiliary (Greensboro, NC) - The Ladies Auxiliary is one of the hottest Blues Bands in the Southeast. Performing the perfect mix of Blues, R&B,Funk and Classic Rock, they always leave the crowd wanting more. They are also the ONLY 100% female group at this years event. Come early and hear some of the best blues you'll hear for the whole event!