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Memphis blues diva Reba Russell performs at KASU's Bluesday Tuesday Sept. 14

August 24, 2010 -- The award-winning Reba Russell Band will bring their brand of blues, rhythm and blues, and Memphis-style rock’n’roll to KASU’s next Bluesday Tuesday concert, Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Newport CMemphis blues diva Reba Russell unleashes her powerful voice.ountry Club, 703 Walker Drive, Newport. The free concert is the band’s first appearance at the Newport Country Club, although regional audiences have long been familiar with Reba Russell.

Russell possesses one of the most  powerful, mature and emotion-laden voices in the blues. On the Memphis scene for m
ore than 25 years, Russell has won three Premiere Vocalist Awards from the Memphis Chapter of the National Recording Arts and Sciences and has released eight independent CDs in the past ten years. Russell also works regularly in Memphis studios as a vocalist and background vocalist. Among her proudest recordings are those for B.B. King, Lucero, Earl Thomas, Johnny Rawls, Jim Dickinson, Jimmy Thackery, and Tracy Nelson, along with U2’s” Rattle and Hum.”  The Reba Russell Band’s newest CD, “Bleeding Heart,” features original songs including “Red Mississippi Clay,” “Memphis Moon Tonight,” “Love is the Cure,” and “Levee Prayer.”

Reba Russell’s husband and songwriting partner, Wayne Russell, is bass player for the band. He has worked with such great blues artists as Tracy Nelson, Barbara Blue, Mojo Bufford, and Jack Rowell. The band’s drummer, Doug McMinn, has been a professional musician for more than 26 years, playing live shows with the Coasters, Reba Russell, in a soulful moment, presents another facet of the blues.the  Drifters, the Shirelles, the Platters, Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, and  Rufus Thomas. The Reba Russell Band’s youngest member is guitarist Josh Roberts, who thrills audiences with his slide guitar solos. Josh has recorded with Pine Top Perkins, Bob Margolin,  Koko Taylor, and a long list of contemporary Memphis musicians. The senior member of the Reba Russell Band is Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms—a 30-year veteran of Beale Street and the blues. A very short list of the many performers who have recorded with Robert includes B.B. King, Billy Lee Riley, Little Milton, Willie Foster, James Cotton, and the Memphis Sheiks. Tooms plays piano, organ, and blues harmonica.

The Reba Russell Band has played the blues at locations ranging from Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero in Clarksdale, Miss., to Eutin, Germany, to Oslo, Norway.  In October, they will play at one of their favorite festivals, the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival in Helena.

KASU blues events in Newport are held on the second Tuesday night of each month at the Newport Country Club, sponsored by C and C Distributors and ASU-Newport. KASU will pass the hat to pay the band. KASU, the public radio service of Arkansas State University, broadcasts at 91.9 FM and streams live. The NPR station offers in-depth news and discussion programs along with jazz and classical music on weekdays, and emphasizes blues, vintage rock’n’roll, rhythm and blues, folk,s and bluegrass music on the weekends. For more information about KASU’s Bluesday Tuesday concerts, contact KASU station manager Mike Doyle at (870) 972-3486.

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