Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues Tickets
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Billy Branch (born William Earl Branch, October 3, 1951, Great Lakes, Illinois, United States) is an American blues harmonica player and singer of Chicago blues and harmonica blues. Billy Branch is a three time Grammy nominee, a retired two term governor for the Chicago Grammy Chapter, an Emmy Award winner, and a winner of the coveted Addy Award (the Oscar of commercial advertisements). In addition He has received numerous humanitarian and music awards. Branch was born in Chicago, Illinois though his family moved to Los Angeles when he was five years old. In the summer of 1969 he moved to Chicago where he attended and graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Billy attended the first Chicago Blues Fest, produced by Willie Dixon, in the summer of 1969. Six years later, after graduating from the University of Illinois, he was touring with the legendary band led by Willie Dixon called the Chicago Blues All-Stars. He soon took the place of the harmonica player Carey Bell when Carey left the All Stars to form his own band. In the 1970s Branch founded his own group, The Sons of Blues, along with Lurrie Bell on guitar and Freddie Dixon on bass guitar. They are the sons of Carey Bell and Willie Dixon respectively, and they recorded for Alligator Records and with a change in personnel for Red Beans Records. The new band consisted of Carlos Johnson on guitar and J.W. Williams on vocals and bass guitar. He has also recorded for Verve Records and Evidence Records. Since those early days, Billy has played on over 150 different recordings, including 12 under his own name. He's recorded with Willie Dixon, Johnny Winter, Lou Rawls, Koko Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Honeyboy Edwards, Syl Johnson, Lurrie Bell, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Taj Mahal, just to name a few. In addition, he has received three Grammy nominations (losing one nomination to BB King and Eric Clapton). He served two consecutive terms on the Grammy Board of Governors, and currently is chairman of the Grammy Blues Committee. In addition, he has won multiple W.C. Handy Awards from the Blues Foundation, an Emmy Award, an Addy Award (this is like an Oscar for TV ads), two Chicago Music Awards, and numerous humanitarian and achievement awards. Billy Branch has become the ambassador of the Chicago Blues. He and his band, the Sons of Blues have brought the authentic Chicago Blues around the world, having made over 70 international tours. The 2007 Chicago Blues Festival honored the thirtieth anniversary of Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues with a 3 hour performance. In fact, they headlined the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival as well. Other than co-headlining Alligator's 1990 summit meeting Harp Attack! with fellow harp masters Junior Wells, Carey Bell, and James Cotton, Branch largely busied himself with extensive sideman work and teaching an innovative "Blues in the Schools" program until 1995. Branch annually appears at major festivals around the world including the Montreaux Blues Fstival, North Sea Blues Festival, Cognac Blues Festivals and Long Beach Blues Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, San Francisco Blues Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival. Billy is a Blues education pioneer. In addition to his recording and performing, he's taught literally thousands of children around the world. His internationally recognized “Blues in Schools Program,” is committed to teaching both young and old about the Blues as the roots of America's music. He has brought his interdisciplinary program to Europe, South America, Asia, and most recently to Mexico where he taught his two week program in Spanish. Branch often bring his program in underprivileged areas, and teach the blues and how to play harmonica. The Sons of Blues' current lineup consists of Branch on harmonica and vocals, Moses Rutues Jr. on drums and vocals, Nick Charles on bass and vocals, Sumito Ariyoshi (a/k/a "Ariyo") on keyboards and vocals, and Dan Carelli on guitar and vocals. Nick Charles was given his first bass guitar and bass amp by Howlin Wolf! In addition, the young Nick was brought to Chicago by Howlin’ Wolf and Eddie Shaw. Early on Nick made his mark as the undeniable bass player extraordinaire. He’s played with Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Tina Turner, Eddie Shaw, Valerie Wellington and the Rolling Stones, just to name a few. Mose Rutues Jr, has been the drummer for the Sons of Blues for over 25 years. He previously played with such legendary greats as Major Lance, Mckinely Mitchell and Joe Tex. His intense energy and unique rhythmic style are the engine that powers the stylistic diversity of the Sons of Blues Sumito Ariyoshi, aka Ariyo is internationally recognized for his vigorous innovative piano style. He's shared the stage and toured the world with such legends as Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Eddie Shaw, Valerie Wellington, B.B.King, Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Dan Carelli, the newest and youngest S.O.B. plays a mean slide guitar; His soulful guitar and vocals are warmly received by audiences around the world. He previously played with A.C. Reed, Byther Smith, Aaron Burton, Sammy Fender, and Nigel Mack. He’s emerging as a player with the depth and maturity of a seasoned Chicago Blues man. References 1 ^ a b c d Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 95. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 2 ^ a b Dahl, Bill. "Billy Branch Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 3 ^ Herzhaft, Gérard (1997). Encyclopedia of the Blues. University of Arkansas Press. p. 38. ISBN 1-55728-452-0. 4 ^ csulb.edu 5 ^ chicagoreader.com 6 ^ sfblues.com 7 ^ North Sea Jazz Festival Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.