Brian's blues influences from an early age include Elmore James, T-Bone Walker, Big and Little Walter, Johnny Watson, Guitar Slim, Peter Green, and later additions such as Jr. Watson, Jimmy Vaughan, Rick Estrin, Gary Smith, etc... Brian has lead the Orbiters to a prominent position in the Northwest blues scene based on their engaging and energetic delivery, top-flight musicianship, and great repertoire of original tunes and gems from the blues tradition. The Brian Lee Trio scales this same sound to provide a perfect fit for smaller venues. Brian and the band are serious in their musicianship, but have serious fun when they perform! Without gimmicks, the focus is on delivering a great performance of great tunes that are perfect for both dancing and listening.
Orbiters band members are all among the finest players in the Northwest. Core band members include:
Drums: Russ Kammerer performs with both the Orbiters and the Trio. He's a superb drummer who really drives the groove with energy and finesse. Russ's playing demonstrates incredible versatility, polish, and expertise that comes from many years of professional worldwide touring performance. He's a fantastic player!
Bass: Mark Dalton is a superb player who has been on the scene for many years, playing with Chris Stevens many others. His experience really shows. He is a stellar musician, who really understand the blues.
Guitar: Mahiko Fujita spent many years playing the blues in Chicago, as well as touring nationally, and now is based in Seattle with the Obiters. He's a brilliant, emotive player in the traditional style.
The Orbiters and Trio also draw upon the talents of additional great players including Brian Butler, Jack Cook, and Billy Stapleton on guitar; Brady Kish, Guy Quintino, and Hank Yanda on bass; and Dave Coleman, Marty Lockwood, and Bob Merrihew on drums . The tunes always swing with this additional depth of talent playing with the band!
Brian Lee & the Orbiters have been honored by the Washington Blues Society with the 2018 "Best of the Blues" award for Best Traditional Blues Act. They previously won the BB award for Best Traditional Blues Act for 2017, 2015, 2014, and 2013, and Brian was awarded for Best Slide Guitar in 2017. They have also been awarded with "Best of the Blues" awards for 2014 Best Blues Act, 2012 Best Recording (Identity Theft) and Brian received the 2012 award for Best Songwriter.
Previous BB nominations include Best Blues Act (2017, 2014, 2010, 2008, 2003), Traditional Blues Act (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2010) and Best Recording (2014 In Orbit, 2012 Identity Theft , 2006 Falling Leaves). Individually Brian was nominated for Slide Guitar (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2011), Male Vocalist (2015, 2010), Performer (2017, 2015), Songwriter (2017, 2016, 2015, 2012), Russ for Drummer (2017, 2016, 2015) and Lifetime Achievement (2017, 2015), and Hank Yanda for Bass (2012). Thank you WBS members for the wonderful recognition of these awards and nominations!
The Orbiters In Orbit album has received strong world-wide airplay, as well as being chosen by the South Sound Blues Association for entry in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Competition in Memphis. The bands' prior Identity Theft album also has been widely acclaimed and charted at #15 in 2012 on the Living Blues world wide blues radio chart.
For straight ahead traditional blues with exceptional musicianship and energy, Brian Lee & the Orbiters are among the finest!
CD has been a finalist (recording) and twice a semi-finalist (band) in three appearances at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. His band was also named “Kings of Beale Street” in 2014 at Jerry Lee Lewis' Cafe and Honky Tonk.
Roots Report Independent Radio Charts: CD Woodbury Band and the album “Monday Night!” was the WA State #1 Artist for 30 straight weeks and peaked at #8 on the International Blues Radio chart.
CD Woodbury has won eleven Washington Blues Society BB Awards, including Blues Performer (2015), Songwriter (2014), NW Recording (2014), and has won the Electric Blues Guitar Award five times in the last ten years (2010, 2011, 2014, 2018, and 2019)
“CD Woodbury has attained an enviable goal for guitarists: A personal, muscular, expressive style with no direct influence. ...the result is booty-shaking contemporary blues with wit and extraordinary substance” – Guitar columnist Dave Rubin
“...Powerful” – Experience Hendrix Magazine
Harmonicist-vocalist Jeff Hertzog is a long-time favorite of Seattle’s blues scene whose work as the leader of the Jet City Flyers has garnered awards from the Washington Blues Society for Best Recording, Best Band and two awards for Best Harmonica
Eric and Jeff will perform a wide spectrum of acoustic blues at the 2019 Blues Walk.
FRS is a professional hard driving band for over 13 years!
The band features west coast blues guitarist and B.B. Award winner Tim "Stoop Down" Sherman as well as the fabulous Conrad "Machete" Ormsby on drums.
Since an early age, Joey was always infatuated with music. Throughout his youth he tried out many instruments including piano, saxophone and trumpet, but nothing quite spoke to him the way the guitar did when he picked it up at the age of 10. You could say he hasn't really been the same since. Growing up in a family of musicians and music lovers, he was lucky to be able to play with people around him including his father who is a bassist. In his more formative years, he was obsessed with Hendrix, Santana, early Clapton and many, many more guitarists from that same era. Being that there isn't much for musical opportunity on the small island of Kodiak he is from in Alaska, he now resides in the Seattle area and has been making an impression on many in the scene.
Nick had his way out of this planned human obsolescence before he even knew it. In his early teens, Nick fell into possession of a battered guitar, feebly equipped with one string. As fate would have it, he learned to play the guitar in the exact same way as a hundred seminal blues musicians had two generations before him, on a homemade one-string diddley bo. Without the pious influences of Peter Green or Eric Clapton, Nick flailed at his one-string and peered deep within himself for the foundations of intensely personal music to come. With a poet’s fierce commitment to birthing his own music, he continued to play on ever-improving instruments the angry and mournful melodies in his head.
The mean town survivor eventually formed Meantown Blues, carrying his music into the bars and roadhouses of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Payin’ dues in the thousand-night march from stage to stage, burying his highly original and volatile blues in boozy sets mostly comprised of the radio dictated honky-tonk of the time.
Impressed with the Northwest’s clear air and mountain vistas unspoiled by the strip mine wounds inflicted by Peabody Coal, Nick drifted to Seattle, where he quickly won respect for his slashing bottleneck guitar and refreshingly original songs. Encouraged by the interest in his incendiary approach to the blues, Nick added a rhythm section and became the NICK VIGARINO TRIO and later revitalized NICK VIGARINO’S MEANTOWN BLUES. These days, Nick finds himself working in many countries as well as rushing back and forth across the Northwest serving up solo and ensemble music on the stages of bar rooms, concert halls, festivals and regional television.
Vigarino radiates an unpredictable fervor with slashing slide guitar, powerful vocals, funky licks, modern lyrics and his slop jar delta funk blues. His style elevates the blues to a place where the roots are respected, yet nudged towards the future. He consistently captures, then rivets listeners with precise, passionate performances.
—Ray Varner; Blues Historian, Ethno-musicologist, and critic, contributes his writings to many music publications, including Living Blues Magazine, Jefferson (Sweden) and Caledonia.
Jeff Nicely has over 35 years of lively performance experience. Jeff enjoyed the early influences of a musical household with varied tastes – from the requisite childhood piano lessons to watching his older brothers’ rock ’n roll bands rehearse in the front room while opera played on the stereo for the parents in the kitchen. While the blues has long been his base, Jeff also plays jazz, rock, gospel, folk, hip-hop, country, reggae, bluegrass and more. He’s performed with some of the best during his harmonica travels, from loose pickin’ parties to tight funk ‘n soul shows. His band Blues Playground was a 2011 Washington Blues Society Best of the Blues Nominee for Best New Band.
2012 & 2013 International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo Semi-Finalist, Memphis, TN
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Washington Blues Society Best of the Blues Nominee for Solo/Duo Act - WINNER 2017 BB AWARD!!
Collaborative CD releases:
Randy Norris & Jeff Nicely – “An Eclectic Acoustic Blues Duo” (2011)
Blues Therapy – “Doctor’s Orders!” (2002), “Second Opinion” (2005)
Rod Cook and Toast has been performing around the Pacific NW for around twenty years performing an eclectic mix of American roots music based in but not restricted to blues. The band consists of Rod Cook (guitar, vocals), Jon Bayless (bass, vocals) and Chris Leighton (drums). All three members have an extensive resume and are well respected throughout the Northwest music community. Jon Bayless is known for his work as bassist with Heart in addition to holding down the groove with countless bands in the Northwest. Chris Leighton also has played with too many Northwest bands to count in the last forty years as well as Randy Bachmann and Laura Love.
In 2014 Rod Cook and Toast was named "Best Blues Band" by the Tacoma Weekly readers.
Tanya Lee Hodel * Lead Vocals
Seattle Slim (Clinton Nonemaker) * Lead Guitar / Vocals
Joseph Rivers * Drums / Vocals
Barry Brovan * Bass Guitar / Vocals
Offering an eclectic song-list of quirky tunes, Sheri does anything she sings her way. She doesn't do the typical "Chick" songs. A recent foray into blues has opened a new avenue of passion in her music that shows what she is capable of singing and finding her own style.
Come hear Sheri live... live gives more energy and excitement than a recording can provide. Sheri loves to have fun and watch the audience having fun too!
Listen to her latest CD "Bleeding Heart", available at Cdbaby.com/sherirobertsgreimes3
The Band :
Sweet Billy Spaulding - 88's and vocals
Snookie Cochran - Guitar and vocals
Patrick Mosely - 4 and 5 string bass
Scott Rongey - Drums and percussion
All have extensive experience in music as performers and teachers.
Steve Bailey is veteran of the Northwest music scene. He fronted bands in Seattle beginning in the early 70’s and then joined forces with the great Isaac Scott for 7 years. In the early 80’s he formed Stevie and the Blue Flames and tore it up on the local Pioneer Square blues scene. He has recorded many LPs and CDs, written many songs, and continues to play gigs in the northwest and overseas. Recently he played numerous gigs in London, Madrid, and Colombia. He has received numerous awards from the Washington Blues Society, including “Best Harmonica”, “Best Band” and in 2015 the “Hall of Fame” award. His trademark is intensity on stage and he still has a ball playing!
Tom “T-Boy” Boyle has been performing, recording, writing and producing blues since the early 1980’s, being heavily entrenched in the thriving Northwest scene. He performed with the Slackmasters, Drivin’ Wheel, Nitelife, and the Led Jaxson Band, and later with the Big Rockin’ Daddies and the T-Town Aces. He has had the opportunity to play festivals all over the Northwest as well as the Mississippi Delta, Memphis, and Mexico. An in-demand session player and performer, he always brings a dynamic presence and sound to the stage.
David Hudson has been drumming on the Seattle blues scene since the early 1990’s. His influences reach back to the classic rhythms of Fred Below, Fran Cristina, Richard Innes, and Sonny Freeman, and you can hear it in his playing.
David was the co-leader of the long-running Hudson Blues Band. He has also backed up Jody Williams, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, and Steve Cropper. He has laid down the rhythm for the best of the Northwest scene. He is a man who has played both coasts, recorded extensively, and has earned the reputation as the drummer of choice for all blues.
Ray Hartman has held down a solid bass groove in the Dick Powell Band, Sweet Talkin’ Jones, the Soul Merchants, and numerous other Northwest bands. He has also played extensively overseas, especially in Japan and the Philippines. His direct, soulful style is a perfect compliment to a wide variety of blues styles, and he always adds the correct flavor to the song.
T-Town Aces boast a blues pedigree that is second to none. Each of these gentlemen have been on the blues scene for decades, backing the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Jody Williams, Steve Cropper, Jimmy McCracklin, Chris Cain, Mitch Woods, Larry Davis, Johnny Burgin, Cash McCall, Junior Watson, Candye Kane, Mark Dufresne, Duffy Bishop, Billy Flynn……..and that’s just to name a few.
As an additional bonus, the renowned keyboardist, Lorenzo Farrell of Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, joins this power quintet when he is not on tour.
Joel Astley— vocals/harmonica
Tom “T-Boy” Boyle— guitar
Dennis Ellis— sax/vocals
David Hudson— drums
Les “Wild Child” White— bass/vocals
Supporting Live Jazz Performance & Education