SWB (Sabin Williams Band)
Kalamazoo’s SWB (Sabin Williams Band) plays a mix of classic and contemporary blues and blues rock. Dave and Tim, formerly of BluesTime, have been performing together for 7 years. Dave Sabin (guitar and vocals) is a veteran player with 10 years touring with the band Radioactive. After retiring from the road, Dave attended local jams, playing with many area bands and musicians. Originally from Jackson, Dave now resides in the Kalamazoo area. Tim Williams (drums & vocals) was raised in Marshall and has been playing drums since age 10. He studied Music Education at Central Michigan University, and played in CMU’s Percussion Ensemble. He has performed in various groups and DJ’d since college. Jason Barber (bass & vocals) is a student in Kalamazoo, and has been playing bass since age 13. He’s played with various groups including Toddzilla and Hot Pot of Coffee. Together they make a very unique band, appealing to all ages.
Marci Linn Band
Hailing from Kalamazoo, the Marci Linn Band is a soulful and funky powerhouse that covers a large variety of music in its own trademark style. The key ingredients are that of spontaneous communication and collaboration paired with passion. No two Marci Linn band shows have ever been the same, but all possess what so many bands search for, a sturdy balance of unity and variety. The band is made up of Marci Linn, a powerful singer with an exceptional command over both her voice and the listener: Jim Beebe, an earthy, passionate yet informed blues/soul guitarist; Geoff Stockton, a multi-genre guitarist influenced by the studio guitar greats of the 1970s; Greg Orr, a flawless bassist with an exceptional balance of foundational and ornamental elements (who played previously with Jim Beebe backing up Robert Ward on tour); and Mike Curtis, a drummer both intricate in vocabulary and rock-solid in meter and feel.
Paul DesLauriers Band
Second Place winner of 2016 International Blues Challenge! Sometimes you just have to do what you love, and The Paul DesLauriers Band has been very busy doing just that. The Montreal trio is made up of virtuoso guitarist and singer Paul DesLauriers and a masterful rhythm section including Greg Morency on bass and Sam Harrisson on drums. The current self-titled electric album from these three pillars of the Quebec blues scene has captured the subtlety and intensity, the unique interplay and excitement they are so well known for. Undeniably part of Canada’s musical elite, all three members are regular nominees and winners at the Maple Blues Awards and Quebec Lys Blues Awards. Paul DesLauriers is the Winner of 2 Maple Blues Awards in 2014, including Guitarist of the Year and winner of 5 Lys Blues Awards in Quebec. Greg Morency won the Maple Blues Award for Bassist of the Year in January 2015. Sam Harrisson is a three-time Maple Blues Award Drummer of the Year nominee and winner of record-holding 9 Lys Blues Awards in Quebec for Musical Performance.
Karen Lovely shot onto the blues scene out of the Pacific Northwest like Stack O’ Lee’s .44, placing 2nd at the 2010 International Blues Challenge, followed by three 2011 Blues Music Award nominations for Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist, Best Contemporary Blues Album, and Best Song for her sophomore release “Still The Rain”. With the release of her newest album “Ten Miles Of Bad Road” (released 10/13/15), Lovely has established herself as a singer/songwriter with a style uniquely her own. She’s been nominated for a prestigious 2016 Blues Music Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist” and in December won a 2015 Blues411 “Jimi” Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist.” Lovely is a two-time “#1 Pick to Click” artist on XM Radio Bluesville, and was selected as a 2014 Featured Blues Artist of the Year by KJZZ FM in Los Angeles. Known for her passionate, driven performances, this powerhouse vocalist delivers a blistering mix of contemporary & old- school blues. Lovely’s standout performances have garnered awards and critical acclaim at festivals and venues throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
Sugar Ray & The Bluetones
Sugar Ray and the Bluetones is a five-piece Chicago-style blues band performing internationally at clubs and festivals. In 2012 the band received five Blues Music Awards from the Blues Foundation in Memphis. This band of 35-year veterans of the road has been playing its unique style of blues the world over for almost forty years. They aren’t limited to one style, but able to play Chicago blues in the style of Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Billy Boy Arnold; Kansas City swing in the style of “Big” Joe Turner; Texas blues like “T” Bone Walker and Freddie King; and the swampy Louisiana sounds of “Lazy” Lester, all played with the distinctive originality of band leader Sugar Ray Norcia, vocals and harmonica; guitarist “Monster” Mike Welch; Anthony Geraci at the piano and Hammond organ; Michael “Mudcat” Ward playing acoustic and electric bass; and drummer Neil Gouvin. All of the members of Sugar Ray and the Bluetones have been featured on other artists’ recordings, including Hubert Sumlin, John Hammond, Johnny Winter, Otis Grand, Pinetop Perkins, The Mannish Boys, Sugaray Rayford, Debbie Davies, Duke Robillard, Ronnie Earl and many more.
The Hoopties perform a blend of American roots music ranging from soulful blues to heart-wrenching honkytonk to raging rock and roll. Often led by Lansing’s Twyla Birdsong, The Hoopties features Aaron Holland on guitar, Eric Payne on drums, Andy Callis on keyboard, Farfiza on accordion, and Jason Strotheide on bass and vocals, with frequent appearances on saxophone by a number of outstanding players including James “Mocha” Waller, Will “Supersize” Bement and more. The band blends an array of timeless covers with a solid collection of self-penned numbers, including the tracks included on its first recording effort “It Ain’t Never Been Easy”. You can find more information about the group and listen to samples of their music by visitinghttp://www.thehooptiesband.com or find them on CDBaby, Reverb Nation and iTunes!