Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout
The 30th Annual Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout is dedicated to the Granddaddy of Chicago blues harp John Lee ‘Sonny Boy” Williamson and shall feature his tunes.
A California native, KIM WILSON grew up in a musical family, and in 1970 decided to drop out of college to play the blues full time. In the mid-1970s he moved to Austin, where he met Jimmie Vaughan, with whom he co-founded The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1974. As front man for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kim Wilson has proven to be a consummate performer and devoted blues lover. A musician’s musician, many consider Wilson to be one of the premier blues harmonica players in America. His style is grounded in the past — as evidenced by the many classic blues and R&B tunes he covers — but is also uniquely his own. Raw but refined, his contemporary blues will make you be glad that you’ve got the blues!
NPR’s Weekend Edition wrote, “Kim Wilson has been the voice and soul of the Texas band The Fabulous Thunderbirds. He’s also an accomplished solo recording artist, and in the minds of many people, the greatest harmonica player performing today.”
CURTIS SALGADO has been perfecting his craft since he first began playing professionally in the late 1960’s. He fronted his own group, The Nighthawks, inspiring John Belushi to create the Blues Brothers. He was co-star of the Robert Cray Band and toured with Roomful of Blues from 1980-86. Salgado and his band toured with the Steve Miller Band and Curtis spent a summer singing with Santana before being sidelined with serious health issues in 2006. He’s battled all the way back, and, after a full and complete recovery, has been tearing up concert stages ever since. Curtis won the Blues Music Award for Entertainer of the Year in 2020.
SUGAR RAY NORCIA– Singer,harp man and three time Grammy Nominee Sugar Ray Norcia’s career kicked into high gear in 1979 when he formed the original Sugar Ray and the Bluetones with guitar giant Ronnie Earl and it has been that way ever since Norcia has received a total of twenty seven Blues Music Award Nominations including winning two Blues Music Awards in 2014. Sugar Ray was nominated for an unprecedented seven 2017 Blues Music Awards including Traditional Blues Male Artist and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year! In 2021 Sugar Ray and his band won the prestigious Blues Blast Music Award for Best Blues Band.
DUKE ROBILLARD founded the band Roomful of Blues in 1967 and was a member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Although Robillard is best known as a rock and blues guitarist, he also plays jazz and swing. He spent over a decade with Roomful of Blues before departing and becoming a member of the Legendary Blues Band. He started the Duke Robillard Band in 1981, eventually adopting the name Duke Robillard and the Pleasure Kings, with whom he toured throughout the 1980s and recorded for Rounder Records. He became a member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1990, then formed a duo with jazz guitarist Herb Ellis, and then a swing trio – New Guitar Summit – with Gerry Beaudoin and Jay Geils. In 2013, he was the guitarist for Bob Dylan’s tour as well as on the album Time Out Of Mind.
ANSON FUNDERBURGH hails from Plano,TX and was bit by the blues bug thru Jimmy Reed, B.B. King & Freddie King. He backed Lightnin’ Hopkins in the ’70s. By 1978 , he formed Anson & The Rockets w/vocalist & harp player Darrell Nulish, who were signed by Black Top Records a couple years later. The Rockets went on to win 10 Handy Awards (Blues Music Awards). After a brief hiatus, Funderburgh resumed performing four years ago with both the Rockets & Eric Lindell Band. Funderburgh has performed w/Boz Scaggs, Delbert McClinton, Snooks Eaglin, Grady Gaines, Earl King & Jimmy Buffett. Fun fact: Funderburgh is also the inspiration for Beavis (Beavis & Butthead — former bassist/cartoonist Mike Judge worked as a Rocket for three years)! “None of the younger crop of blues guitarist come close as Anson does to achieving the classic Stratocaster tone defined by Otis Rush in the ’50’s and Magic Sam in the ’60’s. The Rockets have landed and Anson is at the bridge.” (Guitar Player)
Harp Blowout Producer, Grammy nominee/Blues Award winner/author/harp man MARK HUMMEL started playing harmonica in 1970 and has gone on to become one of the premier blues harmonica players of his generation. Hummel’s been featured on over thirty recordings since 1985, including the Grammy nominated 2013 release Blind Pig recording “Remembering Little Walter”. “Mark Hummel came of age in the early ’70s, at the height of rock and roll, like many of his peers went and bought a harmonica and hasn’t stopped playing since. A specialist in West Coast Blues he’s a seasoned showman who knows more than a thing or two about how to please an audience.” (The New Yorker)
Hummel’s latest recording is Wayback Machine, ranked # 5 for 2020 in Roots Music Revue and #20 in Living Blues Mag for 2020.
Dynamic frontman & harp player AKI KUMAR is a rising star among the next generation of SF Bay Area blues artists. A master of the amplified Chicago blues sound, Kumar inherits his style from the harp legends of the 1950s and 60s. Aki has a unique voice in the blues, blending elements of blues harmonica pioneers of yesteryear with a signature sound of his own. Born and raised in Bombay, India, Kumar established his mark on the West Coast blues scene starting in 2009 as frontman of the SF Bay Area’s highly acclaimed blues outfit Tip of the Top. His latest venture, The Aki Kumar Bollywood Blues has become an international sensation. This involves several Bay Area blues luminaries Kid Anderson and Jim Pugh. It has been the culmination of his journey from Bollywood music to American roots music. Aki performs vintage blues with tremendous skill and energy and is guaranteed to entertain audiences across all venues, from intimate listening rooms to large festivals.
BOB STROGER – Born in 1930 in MO before moving to Chicago in 50s, he is a Grammy winning American electric blues bass guitarist, singer and songwriter. He has worked with many blues musicians, including Eddie King, Otis Rush, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Sunnyland Slim, Louisiana Red, Buster Benton, Homesick James, Mississippi Heat, Snooky Pryor, Odie Payne, Fred Below, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and Billy Davenport. Bob has won two Blues Music Awards in 2011 & 2013. Stroger has appeared in four Blues Documentaries including “Sideman”, a theatrical release as well as being a Grammy nominated film.