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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 Country
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 more
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,
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
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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