Chicago Blues Harp Bash #5, featuring Sugar Ray Norcia, Joe Filisko, David Waldm
The Chicago Blues Harp Bash #5 will once again be at SPACE in Evanston on Sunday, September 30th. The headliner is the east coast blues legend Sugar Ray Norcia. Other harp talent will include, Chicago's own David Waldman, Corporate Kirk Manley, Highway RickEy and Wisconsin's own Billy Flynn and Tim Spahn. Grammy award winning Billy Flynn will also front the backing band in addition to being one of the featured harp players. Please check out www.chicagobluesharpbash.com for more info.
Sugar Ray Norcia: Norcia’s career kicked into high gear in 1979 when he formed the original Sugar Ray and the Bluetones line-up with guitar giant Ronnie Earl, and it’s stayed there ever since. The elegant singer has appeared on over 50 albums including discs with the Bluetones, Ronnie Earl, Roomful of Blues, Otis Grand, Ann Peebles, Michelle Wilson, J. Giels, Duke Robillard, Pinetop Perkins, Jimmy “T-99” Nelson and his 1999 “Best Traditional Blues” Grammy nominated collaboration with fellow harmonica virtuosos James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and Billy Branch called Superharps.
In the 1990’s Norcia spent seven high-profile years with the legendary Roomful of Blues. He cut five albums with the group including 1996’s Turn It On, Turn It Up, which also received a “Best Traditional Blues” Grammy nod. Norcia followed that period of playing 250 dates a year fronting the revered jump blues institution with his solo recording Sweet and Swinging and the reformation of Sugar Ray and the Bluetones.
Today he continues to tour the world with his flexible group and make acclaimed albums like 2007’s My Life, My Friends, My Music --- which drew Blues Music Award nominations for “Album of the Year", “Instrumentalist---Harmonica, Instrumentalist----Bass", and “Song of the Year” (for “Last Words of a Fool”).
Billy Flynn: Grammy Award winning Flynn was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States. In addition to releasing nine albums under his own name, he has worked and recorded with Sunnyland Slim, Jim Liban, Kim Wilson, Luther Allison, Mighty Joe Young, Jimmy Dawkins, Little Smokey Smothers, Willie Kent, Snooky Pryor, Big Bill Morganfield, John Brim, Jody Williams, Little Arthur Duncan, Deitra Farr, The Legendary Blues Band and Billy Boy Arnold. Billy is widely regarded as one of the world's most accomplished blues guitarists in the post-war stylings and tours the world year around.
Corporate Kirk Manley: A yes man by day and a bluesman by night, “Corporate” Kirk Manley is a vocalist, harmonica player, and songwriter with a sound deeply rooted in classic Chicago blues, Memphis soul, and New Orleans R&B. Since 2005, Manley has performed in and around the Windy City with The Shakes and The Manley Diehl Blues Band. One of Manley's biggest thrills was performing with Muddy Waters' former drummer, the late Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, at the inaugural Chicago Blues Harp Bash featuring Billy Boy Arnold. Manley has a passion for music that swings hard and touches the soul…Junior Wells, Little Walter, Junior Parker, Magic Sam, Smiley Lewis, Louis Jordan. Honoring these greats and showcasing his originals keep his spirit in the groove. Piano is next on Manley’s bucket list. He’s currently learning from Chicago’s own blues, jazz, and boogie-woogie master, Erwin Helfer.
Tim Spahn: Tim splits his time between Milwaukee and Chicago and has learned from some of the blues greats from both cities. Although he has a demanding day job in Evanston, where he really wants to be is out playing the blues. Don’t tell all his hardcore blues buddies but he really likes singing on the R&B side. He just loves a melody and his singing and harp playing prove it.
Highway RickEy: A unique entertainer, Rick Trankle sings, plays harmonica and drums – sometimes all at the same time! He is “The World’s Greatest Tonecup Player”. Rick leads his own blues band performing classic traditional electric blues music – everything from Little Walter, Big Walter, Muddy Waters to Sonny Boy Williamson and anything in between. Also known as Harmonica Einstein, Rick is the inventor of the only one of its kind device called the Tuning Table to aid in tuning harmonicas. What will he think of next?
Dave Waldman: Dave grew up in Croton-on-Hudson, NY and started playing harp when he was an early teen. He moved to Chicago in 1976 and was hired for his first gig by Louis Myers. Since the 1980s he has shared the stage with Taildragger, Big Smokey Smothers, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Willie James Lyons, Hubert Sumlin, The Legendary Blues Band, Big Wheeler, Little Willie Anderson, Jimmy Lee Robinson, John and Grace Brim, Joe Carter, Yank Rachell, Floyd Jones and Sun recording artist, James Scott. Dave has also recorded with Big Smokey Smothers, Big Wheeler, John Brim, Taildragger, Billy Flynn and Elmore James Jr. and has been involved in the University of Chicago Folk Festival since the early 1980’s. Since 1979 he has done a regular Monday night blues radio show on WHPK-FM (88.5FM).