From veteran artists to rising young stars, we're throwing a blues party ... East Texas style! Join us in Grapeland, TX for a 3 day celebration of Texas Blues, at the Lone Star Blues and Heritage Festival at beautiful Salmon Lake Park.
The piney woods of East Texas is rich with blues history of enduring legacy. Considered the westernmost region of the Deep South, it is the birthplace of artists including Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mance Lipscomb, T-Bone Walker and Lightnin' Hopkins. Leadbelly, although born just over the state line in Louisiana, moved to East Texas at the age of 5.
A younger generation of legendary Texas bluesmen including Albert Collins and Freddie King also hail from East Texas. Today, Benny Turner carries that legacy, a living link to the blues he and big brother Freddie first heard from their mother and uncles on the back porch of their Gilmer, TX home.
Join us as we celebrate the history, legacy and the future of Texas blues at the inaugural Lone Star Blues & Heritage Festival!
Our Texas talent lineup includes:
You can’t help but feel the Spirit moving through the entire room when Annika throws herself into the heart of a song. But it was during her two tours of duty in the US Army that Chambers realized the gift she had. “One of my colonels heard me singing, and he said, "Why don’t you sing the Anthem for one of our ceremonies?" She was an immediate hit.
April’s recording career began with a gospel recording project, which was very well received. She was soon performing at special events throughout Texas. After taking time to raise her three daughters, April has returned, delivering what’s described as “that terrific Cline-like voice with swagger” to appreciative audiences everywhere!
A veteran musician of more than 60 years, Benny has played everywhere from the Chitlin’ Circuit, to Europe, Japan, Australia, and all points in between. Content to be a sideman in support of the many giants he worked with, the time came for Benny to take his rightful place in the spotlight on center stage, to the delight of blues fans worldwide.
No stranger to the East Texas music scene, Buddy is a vocalist, guitarist
& Grammy Award-nominated songwriter and was a founding member of
A-Train, the very successful Blues/R&B band during the 70s and 80s. His
compositions have been recorded by a Who's Who of performers such as Percy Sledge, Otis Clay, John Mayall, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Dylan Bishop is a blues singer and guitar player who thrills audiences with his authentic, well groomed style of playing. He draws his inspiration from blues greats such as Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Mercy Baby, Frankie Lee Sims, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and many others.
His granddaddy loved listening to country and blues and Mathews says his musical style is somewhere in the middle, a little bit of the blues, with a touch of some country mixed in. "I don’t want to sound like everybody else; I just want to be me. Grandaddy never played any cover tunes. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not me."
Kathy & The Kilowatts
Murray’s boisterous vocals often evoke Austin legend Lou Ann Barton and rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson along with some echoes of Marcia Ball and Angela Strehli. Like the aforementioned Lone Star roots music divas, Murray is a commanding, self-assured, and versatile vocalist.
In 2018 Pratt led her band to a higher elevation when they represented Houston in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis winning by a landslide and “took the blues music world by storm” as stated in the Houston Press. Pratt’s win was the first in Houston’s history earning her the well-deserved honor to be newly crowned “the queen of the blues!”
Mathias, a young musician performing blues, jazz, and R&B, is also an aspiring music director and composer. He is the 2018 Big Pines junior showcase winner, and Mathias and his band represented the Houston Blues Society as the youth showcase band at the 2018 International Blues Challenge.
Born in Houston in 1934, Milton is cousin to Sam "Lightnin" Hopkins. Former Peacock Records session artist and recipient of the Houston Blues Society Lifetime Achievement Award, he has performed with countless musical icons, including Little Richard, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. An 8 year stint as rhythm guitarist for B.B. King in the 70's took him around the world with the premier blues band of his era.
The Peterson Brothers combine youthful energy and modern influences with soul, funk, blues & jazz to a create a sound uniquely their own. Led by Glenn Jr. and Alex, they have toured throughout the US and have played with and opened for Gary Clark Jr., Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Buddy Guy, the late B.B. King and other musical greats.
Salvation From Sundown
A powerhouse blues-rock band led by 14 year old Kelsi Kee and 15 year old Reece Malone, these self-taught prodigy musicians are beyond their years in talent! Kelsi was named 2017 East Texas Youth Artist of the Year and Reece has been selected to be part of a group of young musicians in the very first Gibson Generation Group (G3), class of 2021.
Sam “Shake” Anderson, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer, started recording and touring at age nine. He has played in some of the greatest concert halls and venues in the world — Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theatre, Radio City Music Hall. He now makes his home base Ft. Worth, Texas.
Sparky's potent combo of blistering lead guitar work and soulful voice is a force to be reckoned with. For over a decade, he has honed his craft and made a name for himself. His hard-rockin', blues-based sound harkens back to the glory days of The Allman Brothers, Hendrix, and SRV.
Although very interested in many other music styles (bebop, rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues, and others), the heart of his playing and singing is very much rooted in the rural acoustic blues and traditional jazz genres born in the American South.
Harmonica master Steve Krase is recognized as a blues dynamo on the Houston music scene, thanks to his legendary live performances and work on the Connor Ray Music record label, where he’s released four of his own albums and backed many of the label’s other artists, including Trudy Lynn.
Formed in the 80's by Bugs Henderson and home to many different players over the years, mainstays Jimmy Wallace and Junior Clark have maintained the exciting three-guitar format with contagious, reciprocal energy from the stage to the audience.
Sue Foley is a multi-award-winning musician and one of the finest blues and roots artists working today. She’s a triple-threat as a lead guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. Foley has a long history of defying convention, and being a positive role model for aspiring, young female musicians.
Sometimes called Houston’s “First Lady of the Blues” or “First Lady of Soul,” the dynamic Trudy Lynn was still in her teens when she sang onstage with “Iceman” Albert Collins’s band and opened for Ike & Tina Turner. Even so, her recent success has arguably put the sixtysomething singer in the prime of her career.
Photo Credits: (1) Lone Star Blues and Heritage Festival, (2) Annika Chambers, (3) Benny Turner, (4) Keeshea Pratt, (5) Kathy & The Kilowatts, (6) Steve Howell , (7) Sue Foley (unknown/website).