Lead Belly Fest - The Artists


At age 79, Buddy Guy is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to the city’s halcyon days of electric blues. Buddy Guy has received 7 GRAMMY Awards, a 2015 Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award, 34 Blues Music Awards (the most any artist has received), the Billboard Magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, a Kennedy Center Honor, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #23 in its "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."



Eric Burdon has one of the 100 Greatest Voices of All Time according to Rolling Stone Magazine, among the most distinctive and soulful in rock and roll.  Driving force of the Animals, Burdon helped lead the British Invasion with "House of the Rising Sun,"  "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," the Vietnam-era anthem, "We Gotta Get Out of This Place;"  and Psychedelic-era classics "San Franciscan Nights," "Monterey" and the anti-war, "Sky Pilot."  As founder of  multi-ethnic funk outfit War, Burdon broke new ground with “Spill the Wine." For over half a century, Burdon has continued touring and creating new music, including his latest, acclaimed release "Til Your River Runs Dry."



By the time Edgar Winter left his hometown of Beaumont Texas in the 1960's, he was already proficient in every aspect of music, A child prodigy, Edgar has found success in music, film and television. Edgar's immediate impact on the record business with his first record, "Entrance", was followed up with two hit albums with his band White Trash, and he topped that success with The Edgar Winter Group, creating the number one hit "Frankenstein" as well as the ever-popular "Free Ride". The album "They Only Come Out At Night" peaked at number 3 on the Billboard charts and stayed on the chart for 80 weeks; on it's way to double platinum.  His live appearances have occurred around the world, and Edgar is known for his own scintillating shows, as well as his riveting collaborations with the likes of Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band. Edgar's music can be heard in no fewer than fifteen film and television projects, including "The Simpsons”, "Wayne's World”, “Air America",” Wag The Dog", "Encino Man" and "My Cousin Vinny", as well as advertising campaigns such as Miller Highlife, and most recently the "Tupac Resurrection" film, which includes his powerful song "Runnin' (Dying To Live Produced by Eminem)", which charted #5 on the R&B/Hip Hop Charts. 



Marky Ramone is a New York original, best known for the 15 years he spent drumming for Rock & Roll Hall of Famers and MTV’s Lifetime Achievement Award winners The Ramones. He has also been a member of Richard Hell & the Voidoids, ayne County and The Backstreet Boys, and presently fronts Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg.


New Jersey-born blues-rocker Walter Trout spent decades as an ace sideman, playing guitar behind the likes of John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, and Joe Tex. In 1981, he was also tapped to replace the late Bob Hite in Canned Heat, remaining with the venerable group through the middle of the decade. 



Kenny Wayne Shepherd is widely considered to be one of the best blues/rock guitarists today.  The Louisiana born axeman and songsmith has sold millions of albums worldwide while throwing multiple singles into the Top 10, shining a light on the rich blues of the past and forging ahead with his own modern twist on a classic sound.  In a 20-year recording career that began when he was 16, Shepherd’s musical resume is impressive, with five Grammy nominations and seven #1 albums on the Billboard Blues charts, including his most recent album, Goin’ Home.  Additionally, he and his friends, Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills & Nash) and Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag), formed a side project with a band called The Rides and they released their critically acclaimed CD Can’t Get Enough in 2016.


Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 18.14.38
Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 17.40.55

New York Blues Hall of Fame singer and songwriter Sari Schorr is a tornado with blues in her blood. Several years of touring the USA and Europe with blues legend Joe Louis Walker and Popa Chubby brought her greater prominence in the blues world. Ms. Schorr has appeared on the Conan O’Brian show, and has toured through- out the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia.

She has received critical acclaim for her blustery vocals and emotionally charged performances, and has been described as a modern-day hybrid of Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. Ms. Schorr and her band deliver hard- driving blues-rock, influenced by the late ’60s British blues bands, and mixes blues, rock, and soul with concrete melodies and poetic lyrics to striking effect. Her debut album, produced by legendary producer Mike Vernon (Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall, and Blue Horizon), will be released on Manhatton Records in September 2016 and she will undertake a U.S. and European wide tour.

To accompany Ms. Schorr on the night: Ryder Stuart, guitar; Greg Schettino, bass; Jesse Kessler, keyboards; and Kevin Myers, drums.


Through 50 years, 24 albums/CDs, eight Grammy nominations, three Grammy awards and thousands of live performances, Tom Chapin has entertained, amused and enlightened audiences of all ages with life-affirming original songs told in a sophisticated array of musical styles.

The New York Times calls Chapin "one of the great personalities in contemporary folk music," while Billboard described him as "the best family artist around" and "totally captivating." Parents magazine stated, "Nobody today is writing and performing better kids' songs than Tom Chapin."  In his varied career, Chapin has appeared on Broadway as Jim in the hit-musical Pump Boys and Dinettes and off-Broadway as musical director of Cotton Patch Gospel and Harry Chapin: Lies & Legends. In film he created the music for the award-winning shark documentary Blue Water, White Death and had a cameo role in the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate.  On television Chapin hosted the ABC Emmy & Peabody award-winning children’s show Make A Wish and the documentary series National Geographic Explorer.  His newest recording is the acclaimed “70” (SingOut! says, “Pick up this album, it’s a great one.”) 



Guy Davis is an artist who has excelled in many disciplines; he is a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer. He has received accolades and praise for his performance off-Broadway as the legendary Robert Johnson in “Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil,” winning the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive Award”.  Likewise, he received rave reviews for his appearance on Broadway in “Finian's Rainbow”, playing the part originally played by the legendary Sonny Terry.  He has been nominated for nearly a dozen Blues Awards and has performed on such shows as Prairie Home Companion, Late Show With David Letterman and Late Night With Conan O'Brien. Most recently, he is nominated for two 2016 Blues Music Awards. A friend of Pete Seeger’s, the two used to perform “Midnight Special” in concert frequently. 



Via his performances, recordings, and writings, pianist John Davis continues to define, excavate, and disseminate a previously-unacknowledged American roots music. To date, Davis is most associated with three seminal CDs on the Newport Classic label: John Davis Plays Blind Tom [2000], a top-ten seller in Classical music at Tower Records and Amazon.com; Marshfield Tornado: John Davis Plays Blind Boone [2008], a repeat No. 1 seller on the Ragtime Chart at Amazon.com; and Halley’s Comet: Around the Piano with, Mark Twain & John Davis [2010], a tribute to the wide-ranging musical interests of an author whose career, like Davis’, lies at the intersection of black and white culture and high and low culture in American society. The materials and ideas behind these recordings and their related multi-media theatrical concerts, as well as Davis’s literary contributions to African American Lives, the African American National Biography, and Stress and Coping in Autism (all published by Oxford University Press), draw extensively upon the pianist’s instrumental mastery cultivated at Brown University and The Juilliard School; his personal collection of rare 19th-century printed African Americana; and his frequent road trips to remote corners of the United States. Davis’s cutting-edge career has been featured on CNN; CNN-International; ABC Radio National (Australia); the BBC World News; NPR’s All Things Considered, Here & Now, Performance Today, and On Point, with Tom Ashbrook; PBS’ Life 360; The Today Show on NBC; ABC’s Good Morning America; and in a program-long interview on ABC’s Nightline Up-Close. Among the many print publications in which Davis has been profiled are The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Oxford American, The Independent  (London), and Scientific American. 


Dom Flemons is the "American Songster," pulling from traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. Having performed music professionally since 2005, he has played live for over one million people just within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry and such radio shows at NPR Fresh Air. Flemons was both host and performer at the recent Lead Belly 125 tribute concert at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC.



Dana Fuchs is a singer-songwriter and actress based in Harlem, New York. She continues to celebrate a versatile career that embraces music, theatre, and film. Dana most famously starred as rock singer "Sadie" in Julie Taymor’s Beatles-based musical romantic-drama, “Across The Universe”, and played Janis Joplin in Randall Myler’s off-Broadway musical “Love, Janis”. She fronts the Dana Fuchs Band, a soulful rock group continuously touring throughout Europe and the United States. Her albums “Lonely for a Lifetime” (2003), “Live In NYC” (2008) and "Broken Down" (2015) are available from Antler King Records, “Love To Beg” (2011) and “Bliss Avenue” (2013) and "Songs From The Road" (2014) are available from Ruf Records.



Although young, Ali Isabella has already performed at many of NYC’s legendary venues, headlined at Grammy parties, and she became the youngest ever to appear at the world-renowned Wembley Arena in London. She has charted in the UK and topped Billboard’s Hot Singles Sales Country Chart. Ali appears regularly with her band in major venues, from NY to LA. She headlined at the Grand Central Station Centennial in NYC and appeared at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. Ali was honored to be a guest artist for the Duke Ellington 115th birthday celebration. She also headlined at the ASCAP Expo in LA and was featured at festivals around the US, including CMA Music Festival in Nashville. Her TV performances include network and local shows, even a special from the Hard Rock Café at Foxwoods Casino.



Laurence was handed the award for "Young Artist of the Year," at the 2014 British Blues Awards ceremony held at the Great British RnB Festival in Colne, Lancashire.Laurence Jones Is 23 years old and is already making a big name for himself.
"Laurence is like a young Robin Trower, exciting and full of energy" - BBC Radio 2

The young gunslinger of the blues Laurence Jones has sensationally signed a deal with "Ruf Records". His Debut album for the label and 2nd album for Laurence was recorded at the Legendary Dockside Studio in Louisiana where artists such as B.B King and Derek trucks have recorded. A catalogue of big names appear on the album including Walter Trout, Aynsley Lister, Yonrico Scott, Charlie Wooton and producer Mike Zito.



There's always been something rambunctious about Nick Moss. While other artists settle into a genre, Nick has always been about discovering new sonic territory, new textures and new musical frontiers. His recording career spans decades and his albums are staples at blues radio stations worldwide, and are now in rotation at stations with jam, rock, and soul formats. All this would leave most artists satisfied to stick with a niche. However, Nick's pursuit of sound comes from a restless, innovative and constant search for music that evokes a physical and emotional response. It's not just chords and progressions and songs that make up Nick's music mentality, but his desire to elevate an audience; to evoke a feeling of euphoric energy between performer and listener; to capture sound as well as sensation. Nick's formative years were lived to the tunes of Led Zeppelin, Gladys Knight, The OJ's, Sly and the Family Stone, The Ohio Players, James Brown, The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Free and Black Oak Arkansas. It's Nick's childlike enthusiasm for all kinds of music- backed by the guitar, vocal and songwriting chops to take on any style that is downright contagious and has contributed to his recognition as an artist not defined by blues boundaries. “A lot of my blues fans like what I'm doing with my non-straight blues,” he explains. In 2011, Moss released Here I Am, which debuted at an impressive #2 on the Relix/jambands.com radio chart. Moss' 2014 release Time Ain't Free “reaches deeper into soul, funk, and rock 'n' roll....” said Billboard Magazine. Victoria Amps Mark Baier, writing for chicagobluesguide.com,  said Moss is “a modern cross generational musician.” Whether its blistering blues or Allman influenced rock or an apt social commentary set to brilliant music, Nick Moss continues to meld influences and reach into the unknown and experiment with the sounds he finds. And for Nick, it's not all about his own musical journey. It's always his desire from his place onstage, to pass along the passion and love of his craft to those who come to see him play. “It's about the experience,” he says. “A shared love of music and being elevated and enlightened by sound.”
From the Rhythm & Blues, to Classic Soul, to Gospel, to Opera, Chicago native Michael Ledbetter has a rich musical background with many layers. Voices like Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway, and B.B. King set the foundation for his vocal style at an early age. Following a successful 8 year run in the Chicago opera circuit in 2008, a then 23 year old Ledbetter realized that his love for Blues music (as well as his roots. He is the great-great nephew of Leadbelly) ran far deeper than he had ever known. Early into his head first journey of finding his way into Chicago's blues scene, his talents were discovered by his now band leader and musical mentor, Nick Moss. Within a year of their meeting, Moss made Ledbetter a part of his lineup. In the 5 years of being in Moss' band, Mr. Ledbetter has gained the respect of elite artists and audiences alike all around the world.