Where it all began
Blues is about tradition and personal expression. At its core, the blues has remained the same since its inception. Most blues feature simple, usually three-chord, progressions and have simple structures that are open to endless improvisations, both lyrical and musical. The blues grew out of African spirituals and worksongs. In the late 1800s, southern African-Americans passed the songs down orally, and they collided with American folk and country from the Appalachians. New hybrids appeared by each region, but all of the recorded blues from the early 1900s are distinguished by simple, rural acoustic guitars and pianos. After World War II, the blues began to fragment, with some musicians holding on to acoustic traditions and others taking it to jazzier territory. However, most bluesmen followed Muddy Waters' lead and played the blues on electric instruments. From that point on, the blues continued to develop in new directions -- particularly on electric instruments -- or it has been preserved as an acoustic tradition.
AW, SNAP! THE BLUES IS BACK!
Part blues festival, part dance party, part family reunion; HCBX is proud to be celebrating it’s 9th year! And whether you’ve been joining us for years, or are new to dancing, we would love to invite YOU to our special Blues thang. We are Holy City Blues – and Blues is how we do.
COME EXPERIENCE THE BLUES!
Join us in beautiful Charleston, SC as we celebrate the joy of Blues! We are happy to bring together musicians, dancers, and friends from across the Southeast and beyond to commence a weekend of hot, fierce, soul shaken’ music!
Electro-Fi recording artist Fruteland Jackson is a HistoryMaker (www.thehistorymakers.com). He is an author, storyteller and oral historian, Fruteland grew up in Chicago. He is a three time Blues Music Award Nominee and a recipient of the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award. Fruteland performs Americana; acoustic blues, folk traditional and singer- songwriter styles around the world. Fruteland Jackson created the award winning *All About the Blues Series- Blues in the School Programs. His program motto is “Try, Trust and Triumph”. Fruteland works to bring more music education in our schools.
Fruteland plays acoustic guitar with a focus on pre-war and post-war blues ranging from Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy to Elizabeth Cotton, plus his personal interpretations. His study includes ragtime, Piedmont, Delta, and other styles. He studies mandolin, lap steel and the banjo, and has published an instructional book on Delta Blues for Beginners with Alfred Publishing.
Fruteland latest CD," Tell Me What You Say" is available on Electro-Fi Records.
Fruteland debuted his new Storyteller CD release”Singing The Blues with Stories Vol. I” in 2011. This CD Includes: Stewball (The Blind Racehorse and The Life and Legend of Robert Johnson. Available at CD Baby.com – IT Records
"Forthright and intelligent,. Singer-guitarist Jackson has the style and improvisational instinct to carry on as one of the premier acoustic blues artists today."-DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE
& The Odd Fellows
Joshua Fialkoff lends his smoky voice and unique piano stylings – a veritable gumbo of “roots piano” flavors – to dance exchanges and series around the world, and has been doing so for over ten years. Joshua first began playing for dancers as a bass player for Solomon Douglas. Later, as a pianist, he started his own group and began sharing his distinct brand of Blues and Swing. Joshua is known for his unique arrangements that are at once new and old, and an authenticity and rawness that shines through in his presence and performance.
Blues and Swing events throughout the US, Canada, and Europe regularly feature Joshua or one of his ensembles. Some recent performances include Spoonful (Edinburgh, UK), DCLX’tra (Washington DC), Dance Flurry (Saratoga Springs, NY), BluesSHOUT (Chicago, IL), Sweet Molasses Blues (Boston, MA), Eastside Stomp (Seattle, WA), Montreal Bagel and Blues (Montreal, QC), Capital Ballroom (Seattle, WA), Mean Old Blues (San Francisco, CA), and many others. He has shared the stage with a number of esteemed musicians including Gordon Webster, Barbara Morrison, and Meschiya Lake. Joshua is the rare performer who cares deeply about his audience, who is constantly seeking to connect and engage the people he plays for, and who yearns to instill in everyone within earshot an irresistible urge to move.
Eli Cook grew up on the blues: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, the Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Mississippi John Hurt. He first picked up the guitar when he was fourteen, and began his own performance career playing vintage blues, gospel shows, and revivals in Nelson County, Virginia when he was fifteen. (Braving the Blues, Lynchburg News and Advance, Jan. 9, 2003, by Theresa Boyd).
His first electric trio, The Red House Blues Band, was formed in 2002 while a junior at Monticello High school. Eli was called a 'blues phenomenon' by reviewers in near-by Charlottesville: "Featuring fast-fingered guitar and a powerful voice beyond his years, Cook doesn't need any Robert-Johnson-style pact with the devil to take him to the top." (Eli Cook's Red House Blues Band, by Matthew Hirst, C'ville Review, 12/10/2003)
King Solomon Hicks
“King” Solomon Hicks is a 22-year-old guitarist / vocalist from the Upper West Side of New York City, AKA Harlem, NY. At the age of 13 Solomon started playing with the Cotton Club 17-piece band as Lead Guitarist and still continues to perform there.
He has been featured in The Washington Post, New York Daily News, The New York Times, Amsterdam News, November 2016 front cover of Blues Blast magazine, Montana’s Bigfork Eagle, New Jersey Jazz Society News, and the PBS TV series American Music.
Solomon has performed with Tony Bennett, The Destroyers (George Thorogood), Neal Evans (Soulive), Jimmy Vivino (Bandleader for Conan O’Brien), Sam Moore, Marcus King, Stax Songwriter William Bell, John Nemeth, Blind Boy Paxton, Roger Earl (Foghat), Kim Simmonds (Savoy Brown), Davey Knowles, Ne-Yo, Jon Hendricks, Mike Stern and Lee Ritenour.
He performs regularly in NYC at The Iridium, BB Kings, Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar, The Red Rooster, Terra Blues, Minton’s Playhouse and Ginny’s.
Solomon has taught music at the Children’s Aid Society , is a Harlem Arts Alliance member, supporter of the NYC Jazzmobile and a member of The Blues Foundation in Memphis.
His first major release on Mascot Label Group will hit the streets in late Spring 2018.
& The Big Time
Beginning in 2015, Cecilia Ferneborg sought to bring together some of her favorite musicians to create an experience for dancers meshing small group swing with big band sensibilities. So The Big Time was born and together the group has logged thousands of miles on the road bringing music to lindy and blues dancers across the United States. Members of The Big Time are some of the most sought after musicians in the dance scene and can be seen playing with bandleaders such as Michael Gamble, Josh Fialkoff and the Fried Bananas, Jonathan Stout, and Solomon Douglas. Their debut album, “Anna Cecilia & The Big Time LIVE” (2016), was recorded in front of a live audience and perfectly captures the energy of being on the dance floor in front of the band. The Big Time brings excitement and sensuality through jazz standards, reimagined popular songs, blues arrangements, and original music causing an infectious atmosphere for dancing!
The Big Time has played for numerous dance events and Lindy and Blues exchanges, including CHEX (Charleston, SC), DCLX (Washington DC), Red Hot Blues & BBQ (Washington DC), and SwingAus (Lancaster, PA). As a side-person, Cecilia has played for dance exchanges in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Orlando, Huntsville, Boston and more. When she's not on the road leading the Big Time, Cecilia also writes and performs pop, jazz, and folk music under her own name: Cecilia Ferneborg.
The K-Night Owls
The K-Night Owls are a Blues formation that draw inspiration from Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Ruth Brown, and many more. They love being able to work in different styles of blues into their sets to provide a truly dynamic experience for dancers. The K-night owls evolved from players in Harlequin Jazz band and continues to grow and play with different instrumentation to fit this amazing music.
Hailing from London, UK, Dan Nash is one of the finest purveyors of traditional blues music on the circuit. His authentic interpretations of the blues standard songbook have continued to astound audiences from the deep south of Mississippi, New York City, the Carolinas across the Atlantic to his Native UK and throughout mainland Europe and Asia. With a versatile guitar style which can cover the whole blues genre from ragtime and traditional fingerpick to delta slide and Chicago blues, Dan accompanies his music with a voice imbued with passion and soul.
Dan performs often with a duo and with his own band. However, his solo act is one which has endeared audiences in clubs bars and the global blues dance community in the UK and Europe since 2006. With the core of his performance driven by his vocals and echoed by his guitar, Dan’s performance is an intimate and intense experience between the artist and his audience.
Shrimp City Slim &
Juke Joint Johnny
Shrimp City Slim (keys/vocals) and Juke Joint Johnny (harmonica/vocals) have been blues team members in the South Carolina Lowcountry since the early 1990s. With their hot band, they are considered to be a cornerstone of this region's blues scene, performing from a juicy songbook of both standards and Slim's originals. Everything grooves and everything is danceable! Learn more at shrimpcityslim.com and reverbnation.com/jukejointjohnny4.
Head DJ - Adam Bean
"Alright, times up, let's do this."
Kevin got into DJing because he loves exploring, collecting, and sharing music. If the song makes him move, he thinks it’ll move you too. When DJing, he works to ensure his sets mesh and flow with the energy of the room.
He’s DJ’d at numerous dance events across the South East, pushing the play button on blues, swing, and soul sets. He resides in the lost underwater city of Atlanta where he’s on the DJ rotation for Terminus Blues, and Hot Jam.
From Greenville, SC, Markis Allen is an Old Soul, with a passion for Blues dancing and Fusion music. Markis misses real R&B, and is still working on his swivels.
James was born and raised on the tropical Island of Puerto Rico. He’s a Commercial Pilot with a passion for dance. He loves DJing for dance events and house parties. From fast and upbeat to slow and passionate James brings you the sounds that remind you why you love dancing.
Since 2013, Keith has been DJing and teaching in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida. He's best-known for his love of sultry ballroomin' blues, good whisky, and cuddles.
Photo courtesy of Conway Li