Emily Duff

It’s time to give thanks – there’s new music from Emily Duff, and it’s bursting with passion and spirituality. The Rocking Title Track, HALLELUJAH HELLO, leaps out of the gate, slide guitar proclaiming its urgency: this, her third solo album, demands and deserves your attention (‘You, You, You!’). If the album title didn’t give it away, the other song titles also echo the gospel flavour of the 12 cuts, soaked in the southern spirit of Alabama’s legendary FAME studios in Muscle Shoals. FAME’s own, John Gifford III at the helm has achieved a gorgeous production, and the musicians play superbly; and shining above the whole glorious mix are Emily’s vocals, one moment growling an aching blues, the next soaring stridently and soulfully. You better believe! This is not fake news – it’s the real thing, genuine and heartfelt as they come.

“Emily Duff is a great artist! Every time I see her play live, I can’t help thinking how much Keith Richards would dig it if he were there. She’s the real thing!” – Willie Nile (Singer/Songwriter)

A prolific songwriter, Emily paints vivid aural pictures: God’s diner, where the faithful are welcomed with ‘fresh coffee and eggs all day’, while a celestial pedal steel serenades diners. The songs are packed with memorable, inventive lyrics – who’d have thought you could make rhymes for ‘modus operandi’ or ‘Lazarus’, and without sounding contrived? And how about this gem, which sums up the mission of the record, and could be its subtitle: ‘I want to take you higher through my amplifier!’.

The musical spectrum is colorful, from the Stonesy, rollicking swing of ‘The Day He Walked’, through the up-tempo twangy honky-tonk/rockabilly workout of ‘We All Need Savin’ Some Time’, to the subtle shimmering organ backing on ‘Trust The Lord’ and ‘The Fall’. Gospel choir backing vocals add glory on several tracks; equally strikingly, ‘Jesus Love This Tired Woman’ is arresting in its simplicity: a sincere plea with a minimal arrangement, highlighting Emily’s lyric.

Make no mistake, Emily isn’t setting herself up as some cherubic saint – she sets out her manifesto in ‘The Fall’ – she couldn’t be more down to earth, at the same time exhorting: ‘Get In The Water’. Although ‘guitar in hand, playing in God’s band’, she’s also ‘telling dirty jokes to St Paul’. At the end, she proclaims her humanity and fallibility: ‘bring on the fall’.

If this Alabama soul stew doesn’t get under your skin, you don’t have a pulse. Go tell your friends, and go sing it from the rooftops: Emily’s here to testify, she’s calling a revival meeting, and she wants you, you, you. It’s not just music for Sunday, it’s music for every day, and you need her in your musical life! Praise be!!

HALLELUJAH HELLO features an All-Star Band of legendary Shoals Musicians with Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt) & Kelvin Holly (Little Richard) on guitars, Bob Wray (Fame Gang, Ray Charles, The Highwaymen, Tanya Tucker, George Jones) on bass, Clayton Ivey (Fame Gang, Aretha Franklin) on keyboards, Justin Holder on drums, Wayne Bridge (Flying Burrito Brothers) on dobro and pedal steel, Brad Guin on saxophone, James LeBlanc on guest vocals and The Legendary Shoals Sisters (Marie Lewey & Cindy Walker) on Background Vocals and many more. The very same band that is on top of the Americana charts right now with “Muscle Shoals: SMALL TOWN, BIG SOUND.” 

“HALLELUJAH HELLO” is a 100% FAME recorded, Muscle Shoals, AL Made, Mixed and Mastered (Don Srygley) effort from start to finish! Emily Duff, however, is 100% NYC born and raised and lives in Manhattan’s West Village with her husband Skip, their two children and hound dog, Banjo. HALLELUJAH HELLO is available on CD, Vinyl and digital download at https://emilyduff.bandcamp.com/album/hallelujah-hello

Betty Fox

Betty Fox was captivated by singing from an early age and performed for the first time at a church play at the age of 4. Her family had a deep love for southern country gospel and tight harmonies which fueled her lifelong passion for music. “My uncle Fred would pound on the keys with his monster hands while my (rather large) family and I would all gather around the piano” says Fox. “My grandmother would stand behind me and my cousins would hold my hands as we all sang four and five part harmonies to songs like “It Is Well With My Soul”, “The Old Rugged Cross”, and “Till the Storm Passes By”. To this day, those songs and those moments mean more to me than anything.”

With an extensive background in gospel and soul, Betty — the 2015 representative of the Suncoast Blues Society, an International Blues Challenge Finalist, and 5 time winner of Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay — is truly proving herself a force to be reckoned with, captivating thousands with her raw swagger and unwavering talent.

After honing her craft for 20 years, her debut album, “Too Far Gone”, put her on the international map as a songwriter and vocalist and had critics from American Blues Scene Magazine to Blues Revue Magazine singing her praises. Her Sophomore album, “Slow Burn” was released in June 2015, and received rave reviews from Blues DJ’s, critics, and enthusiasts around the world.

Betty is backed up by musical heavyweights Barry Williams on bass, and Josh Nelms on guitar. In the past year this dynamic quartet has skyrocketed to the Florida spotlight, playing on multiple notable music festivals including the world renowned Tampa Bay Blues Festival, and the largest free music festival in the US: Springing the Blues. This band has competed in the International Blues Challenge making it to the final 8 out of 150 bands. They have opened for such artists such as Mavis Staples, Lucky Peterson, Jimmy Thackery, Marcia Ball, Southern Hospitality, and The Meter Men, for crowds amassing over 6,000 screaming fans. As many will tell you, you definitely don’t want to miss this one of a kind musical experience!

Foy Vance

A letter from Foy:

So much has happened since last we spoke that it’s hard to know where to start. Sounds like a line in a country song. I stopped touring on the 4th November, 2017. The final dates were at Union Chapel, London. When I walked off stage that night I made sure I had some time on my own to savour the moment. That was the first time in over 20 years that I didn’t have any tour dates in my diary. Everyone around me kept asking if I was frightened by the prospect, but I have to be honest, it felt amazing. Liberating somehow. I took my hat off, wiped the sweat from my wee baldy head and thought to myself “thank fuck we’re done with that guy for a while.”

That was about 16 months ago as I type. It took a while to get into the rhythm of being off the road. Living in constant transit does something very peculiar to you. I still have my most worn clothes in a suitcase in my bedroom. Funny, I didn’t think that weird in any way until it came to mind to tell you. Marie told me I treated the house like a hotel when I first came home. I said “Darlin, come on now, calm down… let’s order a bottle of something from room service and talk about this…”

It took some time to calibrate my equilibrium, but I got there by brute force if nothing else. I got a studio space and clocked in like a miner Monday to Friday whether songs came or not. You don’t get that kind of time on the road. And it takes time to create songs. The wondering about it and the singing of it in your head is as important as sitting at the instrument, playing it through. More so sometimes.

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One method I employed was to dig out all the songs that I’ve written over the years that have never seen a release or ever been played live in most cases. I’d then record them to see how they sounded when shown a bit of love and occasionally given a bit of a pruning. I’m still doing that now actually, there are a lot of songs to scour through. I then make collections of familiarity. It was in doing this that I uncovered a handful of songs that I had labeled ‘Soul’ and ‘Americana.’ Pretty rudimentary in this day and age I know, but it was a rudimentary process.
The songs labeled ‘Soul’ were written at various times over the years with as much variety in the impetus to write them. I wrote one for Tom Jones after the guys that were working with him at the time asked me to. I wrote and recorded it in the back seat of my car after a gig in Brighton and sent it to them. Tom liked it but said it was too personal and would prefer it in the 3rd person. I can respect that. I wonder, can you guess which one it is? I’ll leave it to your imagination. When I had demoed these songs years ago I had given them (or more to the point, tried to emulate) the old school southern soul sound of Muscle Shoals. Impossible of course, but these were sketches of what the songs could be.

The only way to truly do it justice is to go to the source of that sound. The room and the musicians at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Rick Hall (El Presidente) along with a group of musicians called the Swampers and a Stirling cast of soul legends like Aretha Franklin, Ottis Redding, Wilson Picket, Percy Sledge, Etta James and The Staples Singers to casually name a few. That room at FAME housed some of the hardest working musicians and artists known to man. There’s something in that struggle that is in the energy of the music they created. You can feel the yearning even in the upbeat happy songs they play and sing like a whipped racehorse on the final furlong. Something in the rawness of this music really affected me from a young age and I had always considered making a record in this vein, but quite simply, I didn’t have enough of them at the time to warrant making an album. Certainly not enough of them that were up to scratch.

So when I saw this collection of songs I knew immediately where I needed to go to document them. I suppose that is really what this project is. Documenting songs that would otherwise go unheard.

It had to be Muscle Shoals and it had to be FAME. I’ll go into that in more detail on my podcast…and I’ll go into more detail on that in a minute. My Rick Hall was Ben Tanner and my Swampers were…well Swampers in a couple of cases. Of all the musicians that were on that session, two were Spooner Oldham and David Hood. Names revered by those that know. I had a few moments looking out of the booth at these two in particular and couldn’t help but think of the amount of time they had spent in that room making music that changed my life for the better!

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Regarding the collection of songs called Americana. They proved intriguing as some were very old and written somewhat wryly, but a good few were songs written in the last 6 months that felt like they belonged to these older ones in some way.

I have always been such a massive fan of American Folk Music in all its many forms. There is a certain candidness to it. My Dad loved this music and would learn it on the guitar and we’d all sing it. Sounds like the fuckin Waltons about now. I’m sure someone was being scowled at as another one was clipped as we sang ‘Grandma’s Feather Bed’ by John Denver, but in my memory it felt like a hoedown and I loved us all singing at the top of our lungs. Certainly I did anyway. It was hard to get me to shut up by all accounts.

Again the room and the musicians are paramount to capturing songs like this. A good sounding live room and a group of musicians that have been raised in the traditions of that music. So I of course went to Sam Phillips Recording Studios in Memphis with a group of folks I refer to as Matt Ross-Spang & The Memphis Secrets, and in two days we cut 11 songs to tape.

This is a long winded letter, but still I am brushing over so much regarding the making of these records. I’ll fill you in over the next couple of months. All this to say, I am releasing a lot of new music over the next year. Music that is very important to my past and to my present. Music that pays homage to the deeply rooted traditions that influenced my own approach to Song.

Last but not least, we’ll also be announcing some live shows…
I hope this finds you and yours in fine fettle.

Love,
Foy

Peter Levin

Equally at home on the Hammond Organ as he is on a Fender Rhodes or various synths, you’ll find Peter Levin currently on tour with the Gregg Allman Band and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Peter’s most recent studio work includes Piano, Hammond B3, Clavinet, and Wurlitzer Electric Piano performances on Aaron Neville’s 2016 album release “Apache,” and Piano, Wurlitzer and Clavinet credits on Gregg Allman’s new album, to be released in 2017. Allman’s forth coming record was recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and produced by legendary producer Don Was.

Peter has performed with a genre-busting who’s who of music: The Allman Brother’s Band, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Aaron Neville, The Doobie Brothers, Allen Toussaint and Lou Reed. Peter has also toured in support of such mega-artists as Tom Petty, Robert Plant, and George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars. When not on tour with the Gregg Allman Band or the Blind Boys of Alabama,

Peter performs nationally with his own band, the Peter Levin Band. P.L.B. plays a unique blend of blues inspired funk and soul music. Peter writes, records, and produces the music for his band at his recording studio in Brooklyn, NY, called Moon Palace NYC.

Roadside Glorious

Buckle in and enjoy the ride with Roadside Glorious, the soulful, New Orleans-based, Southern rock n’ roll group. The band features dueling guitars, electrifying harmonies, and an infectious, upbeat energy at live shows. Roadside keeps a busy touring schedule throughout the Southeastern United States, but they can be found playing regular gigs around the Big Easy.

Roadside Glorious features Evan Hall (New Orleans, LA) on lead guitar with Basch Jernigan (Gulf Shores, AL) on vocals, guitar, and harmonica. Tyler Self (New Orleans, LA) handles the bass guitar, and Aydan Closson (Gulf Shores, AL) plays the drums. The band described their catchy single “Lay Your Weapons Down” as “inspired by early rock ‘n’ roll from the ‘50s and ‘60s, in the same city that one of rock ‘n’ roll’s pioneers Fats Domino was born and raised”.

Roadside Glorious recently recorded their debut full length album, Brawn and Bone, at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL in November 2017. The album was recorded by 2018 Grammy nominated sound engineer John Gifford III and mixed/mastered by 2018 Grammy nominated engineer Don Syrgley.

Karen Lee Batten

Karen Lee Batten just returned home from Muscle Shoals Alabama completing her 4th independent record. This new album titled “Under The Covers” is poised to be her most critically acclaimed thus far. “Under The Covers” is an album recorded entirely in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, inside the same landmark studio “Fame Studios” that produced hit records and shaped the history of popular music. On “Under The Covers” Batten worked with some of ‘the Shoals’ original studio musicians and only recorded songs that originated in Muscle Shoals – a city known for its musical history. And, it’s that history which serves as the underlining pulse that makes Batten’s project so unique and innovative. How many people have actually stood in the historic ‘Fame Studio’ – in the same spot as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more – singing and recording songs from these same musicians while founder, Rick Hall, listened and watched approvingly from behind the console.

When Hall heard that an unknown female artist from Vancouver Canada was in town, making waves and recording an album in tribute to the songs he played an instrumental part in making famous around the world, he had to check it out for himself. The rest is history. “This album is unlike anything I have ever done, and I am more than excited to reveal this new project.” She says. Karen Lee can’t wait for you to hear what she has coming up in 2018!!

Karen Lee Batten is the recipient of 6 BC Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year including 2017-2018. In 2014 Karen was the winner of the The Provincial CCMA/BCCMA Spotlight competition and 2014 Entertainer of the Year at the East Texas International Country Music Awards.

Karen Lee was a Top 10 finalist on Canadian Idol in 2003, and went on to release her debut album Every Moment in 2006. She released 4 singles on this album and a CMT Music Video. Her last album, Cause a Scene, was released in June 2014, and hit #1 in Canadian album sales and #40 on Billboard Soundscan in the first month.This album currently has 4 radio singles and 2 videos both directed by Canada’s multi award winner Stephano Barberis.

Rachel Applehans “Fia Nyxx”

Fia NyXX adds a unique flair to pop-dance music paying tribute to the soulful sounds of the Motown era. Her emotionally-rich lyrics are heavily influenced by the indulgent and passionate culture of the South, complimented with a masterful vision for storytelling and larger-than-life performances. Fia NyXX’s music embodies a fresh, electrifying sound that molds her tracks with an unexpected depth and timelessness – transcending what it means to be a pop artist.

A veteran in the industry, Fia NyXX has toured the United States and Asia, as part of the girl group ‘SHE’ and has released her first solo record in March 2018. The EP entitled ‘Everything Girl’ was recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. under the musical direction of Will McFarlane (Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Bobby “Blue” Bland), Emmy-winning producer Lance Bendiksen, multi-platinum producer and mixer Brian Malouf (Michael Jackson, Queen, Madonna) and features players from the iconic Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, ‘The Swampers.’

Fia NyXX recent release of “Everything Girl” was celebrated with a sold out release party at The Mint in Los Angeles. Her Telly Award-Winning music video, “Maybe Just Love Me” was also released on June 1, 2018. It is currently in consideration for the Cannes Short Film Festival as well as the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.

Fia has been featured on the back cover of Billboard Magazine, Elicit Magazine, The Hype Magazine, 303 Magazine, Bolder Beat, FEMMUSIC, Hunnypot Unlimited, Westword Magazine and Wire Image. Spotify playlists include iTunes U.S. Top 100, Droplist, Dig! By CD Baby and Play It Till You Hate It.

Robben Ford

Robben Ford is one of the premier electric guitarists today, particularly known for his blues playing, as well as his ability to be comfortable in a variety of musical contexts. A five-time Grammy nominee, he has played with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Greg Allman, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi, Keb Mo, Larry Carlton, Mavis Staples, Brad Paisley, and many others. Born in 1951 in Woodlake, California, and raised in Ukiah, Robben was the third of four sons in a musical family. His father Charles was a country and western singer and guitarist before entering the army and marrying Kathryn, who played piano and had a lovely singing voice. Robben’s first chosen instrument was the saxophone, which he began to play at age ten and continued to play into his early twenties. He began to teach himself guitar at age thirteen upon hearing the two guitarists from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. In the late 1960’s, Ford frequented the Fillmore and Winterland auditoriums in San Francisco to see Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Albert King, B.B. King and all of the progenitors of blues.

After high school, Robben and his brothers Patrick (drums) and Mark (harmonica), formed The Charles Ford Band, named after their father and recorded for the Arhoolie label. Robben (on sax and guitar) and Patrick went on to tour the U.S. with Chicago harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite. Robben’s first attempt at forming his own jazz quartet was picked up by legendary blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon, which brought Robben to L.A. He toured the U.S. and Europe with Witherspoon and was seen by Tom Scott and members of The L.A. Express, who were about to begin a promotional tour with Joni Mitchell for her recording, Court and Spark. Robben was invited to play guitar on the tour and played on two recordings with Mitchell and The L.A. Express.

Beatle George Harrison invited Robben to join him on his Dark Horse tour of the U.S. and Canada, raising his musical profile even further. Shortly after the two month stint with Harrison, Robben moved to Colorado to take a much-needed break from music and to study with Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa. In 1977, he was approached by Elektra Records, which produced his first solo recording, The Inside Story, with a group of musicians who went on to become the Yellowjackets. Elektra closed their doors in the early 1980’s, leading to a time of uncertainty. Robben moved to San Francisco to be close to family and his early musical history. Soon his career would take another upward swing, recording and touring with Michael McDonald, securing a recording contract with Warner Brothers Records, and meeting his soon-to-be wife, actress Anne Kerry. Subsequently, they would collaborate on 3 albums on their own label, Illyria, most notably, Weill, recorded live with the West German Radio Big Band at the Cologne Philharmonic Hall.

After moving to New York, Robben was invited to play with musical icon Miles Davis. Robben’s 1988 release for Warner Brothers, Talk to Your Daughter, brought his first Grammy nomination (Best Contemporary Blues Recording), and he started touring the world under his own name. Still based in New York, he backed David Sanborn on the television show “Night Music,” on which Sanborn hosted a variety of musical acts. Robben toured with him in 1990, then moved back to southern California shortly thereafter to be closer to his own band. After leaving Warner Brothers, Robben signed with Stretch/GRP Records, where he finally found a real home for his creativity, recording three CDs for them with his band,The Blue Line (Tom Brechtlein on drums and Roscoe Beck on bass). After a very fruitful eight years, Robben disbanded the group and recorded two more CDs for the label which had then become Stretch/Blue Thumb: Tiger Walk, an instrumental recording produced in New York with Keith Richard’s rhythm section, and Supernatural, his most accomplished work up to that point as a songwriter.

In 2000, Robben was invited to tour with Phil Lesh and Friends on a co-bill with Bob Dylan, reuniting him with Billy Paine and Paul Barrere of Little Feat, as well as drummer John Molo. When his contract expired at Stretch/Blue Thumb, Robben signed with Concord Records, the largest independently-owned record company at the time. In 2002, he released Blue Moon, and in 2003, Keep On Running, a recording full of the 60’s blues/R&B feeling he grew up on. His third release for Concord was titled Truth. During that same period, a super group-Jing Chi-came into being, founded by bassist Jimmy Haslip, with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and Robben. They released three records, the first, self-titled (2001), followed by Jing Live ( 2003), and Jing Chi 3-D (2004). In 2007, Robben toured with the legendary guitarist, Larry Carlton, resulting in Live in Tokyo, and an “unplugged” DVD, The Paris Concert 2008. Robben’s fourth release for Concord, Soul on Ten, is a live recording performed in San Francisco (2009). The record also includes two studio tracks which feature Larry Goldings on B3 organ and John Button on bass.

In 2010, Robben and a group of musical friends who have played in different combinations and contexts over the years decided to focus on a project which became the formation of Renegade Creation, with Jimmy Haslip, Gary Novak and Michael Landau. Two records, Renegade Creation and Bullet, came out of the effort and the group toured widely to much fan appreciation. 2012 found Robben playing internationally with the Miles Davis tribute band, Miles Smiles, featuring past Miles’ alums, Omar Hakim, Darryl Jones, Wallace Roney and Joey DeFrancesca, as well as touring with Bill Evans and Randy Brecker’s group, Soulbop.

Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group released Bringing It Back Home in February, 2013, to critical acclaim both in the U.S., Europe and Japan. This album revisits and reshapes Ford’s musical roots, with studio accompaniment from Harvey Mason, Larry Goldings, David Piltch and Stephen Baxter. In March, 2014, Provogue released A Day In Nashville, a tour de force of live studio recording, accomplished literally, in just one day in Nashville.

Robben’s last release, Into The Sun, came out in March 2015. Debuting at #2 on the Billboard Blues Chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Contemporary Blues Category. Featured guests are Warren Haynes, Keb’Mo, Robert Randolph, ZZ Ward, Sonny Landreth and Tyler Bryant. His latest recording, Purple House (2018) is a remarkable collection of songs featuring Ford’s enlightened approach to composition and production. Exploring the range of the studio with a fresh approach, he weaves in and out of surprising musical moments, ear-wormy hooks, and thoughtful lyrical themes. His sophisticated approach to the blues is evident throughout, yet the record is far more diverse regarding song structure and style.

Eric Essix

Eric Essix, the Birmingham, Alabama based contemporary jazz guitarist released “More”, his 25th full length recording since launching his recording career in 1988 with the album, First Impressions. That debut recording was the start of a creative journey that has made him a genre icon – not only for his keen ability to fashion a continuous flow of infectious melodies and funky grooves, but also because while delving into several sub-genres (pop, R&B and Gospel among them), he has artfully dismantled past ideas of what jazz is and reinvented them.

During his first decade as an artist, Eric recorded four well received albums on Nova Records his own label S6 and Ben Tankard’s Spirit Jazz, and earned a degree from Berklee College of Music. In 1998, he reached an exciting plateau when he was signed by legendary Warner Brothers Vice President Ricky Shultz to his new Warner distributed Zebra Records. Schultz took a liking to Essix’s latest self-produced album Small Talk and gave the guitarist his first taste of national promotion and radio exposure. Eric’s single “For Real” was on the airplay charts for 25 weeks, reaching the Top 5. Southbound, the guitarist’s second album on the label, included a re-imagining of the Brook Benton classic “Rainy Night in Georgia,” which likewise became a radio hit in 2001. Eric has scored numerous further radio hits, starting with “Sweet Tea” from 2004’s Somewhere in Alabama and continuing with “Shuttlesworth Drive,” which spent 7 consecutive weeks at #1 on Smoothjazz.com and over 20 weeks in the Top 10; “New Focus,” which reached #27 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart; and “Foot Soldiers,” which hit #1 on the Smoothjazz.com Indie Chart and #9 on the Top Fifty chart among numerous other industry airplay lists. Five years after its release, “Foot Soldiers” remains in regular rotation on SiriusXM Watercolors.

Among Eric’s most renowned and acclaimed works is his “Southern Roots” trilogy, starting with Southbound and including Somewhere in Alabama and Birmingham (2009). When his beloved mother Imogene’s passed away in 2004, Eric drew on the power of his faith and music to create a moving tribute of spirituals and hymns called Abide With Me (2005). The guitarist’s most recent album, This Train: The Gospel Sessions (2016), continues this theme dramatically.

Eric’s 2013 collection Evolution combines the spirit of his Southern and gospel recordings, with songs dedicated to the four young women who lost their lives in the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street. Baptist Church. The guitarist reached another milestone with the subsequent release of The Isley Sessions (2014), celebrating one of his favorite bands of all time, The Isley Brothers. To date, the album has sold more physical copies and digital downloads than any previous release.

The guitarist’s catalog also includes Blue: The Modern Man Recordings, Retrospective, Vol. 1 (2003), its follow-up Retrospective, Vol 2 Ballads (2012), a project with an 18-piece big band (Eric Essix featuring the Night Flight Band: Superblue) and the a holiday album My Gift To You (2010). In the late 2000s, Eric expanded his reach in the contemporary urban jazz realm, touring and performing with some of the top names in the genre, including Jeff Lorber, Gerald Albright, Ronnie Laws, Phil Perry, Boney James, Everette Harp, Peabo Bryson, Marcus Miller, Eric Darius, Alex Bugnon, Marcus Johnson, Peter White, Mindi Abair and others.

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is a 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter/producer, an accomplished actress, a New York Times best-selling author, an entrepreneur and a powerful force in the world of philanthropy and in the global fight against HIV and AIDS.

On November 4th, 2016, Keys released her powerful and critically-acclaimed new sixth studio album, HERE, on RCA Records. Offering an honest glimpse into what matters most to Keys, the artist shines a light on the sonic soulfulness and stories from New York, the city that raised her. As an accompanying visual story to HERE, Keys also released a short-film entitled “The Gospel” inspired by the genesis of songs written by Alicia Keys.

Keys became a Coach on NBC’s “The Voice” for its 11th season, alongside Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton. Keys returned as a Coach on the hit show’s 12th season with Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

As a devoted and influential activist, in September 2014, Keys launched We Are Here, a movement that empowers the global community around a host of issues and initiatives building a better world where all people are heard, respected, equal, and treated with dignity.

Alicia is also the co-founder of Keep a Child Alive (KCA), a non-profit organization that partners with grass-roots organizations to combat the physical, social, and economic impact of HIV on children, their families and their communities in Africa and India.

Keys made her directorial debut for Lifetime’s Five and most recently served as Executive Producer of the critically-acclaimed film The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete. In 2011, she made her producorial debut with Lydia R. Diamond’s play Stick Fly for the Cort Theater, which Keys also composed the original music for.

Keys currently resides in the New York City area with her husband, producer Swizz Beatz, and their children.