Biography Dani Wilde

Young British Blues & Soul Songstress 'Dani Wilde' first broke in to the public eye at the tender age of 17 opening for Steeleye Span's Maddie prior. Having been brought up listening to her fathers record collection ranging from Bob Dylan to Motown, Stax and Chess records, Dani's childhood dreams were always of singing, songwriting and performing.

Dani grew up in Hullavington, a small Wiltshire village, just a few doors down from popular jazz artist Jamie Cullam. Dani says "Jamie is quite a few years older than me so I really don't remember him that well from School. I really admire how he took an un-commercial genre of music and managed to cross over to a mainstream pop audience. I would love to do that with the blues!"

At the age of 18, Dani moved to Brighton where she spent three years achieving her 1st Class Ba Hons Degree in Music whilst also promoting herself as an artist. In 2006, she was noticed by Jools Holland's younger brother 'Christopher Holland'... One thing led to another and by Christmas that year, she was opening for Jools Holland at The Royal Albert Hall.

News of Dani's incredibly soulful voice, unique finger picking guitar style and growing success soon spread and in September 2007 she was picked up by prestigious international blues record label 'Ruf Records'. Dani recalls "Signing to Ruf was a dream come true for me. More than anything I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the contemporary blues women I admire such as Susan Tedeschi and Shemekia Copeland. Thomas Ruf gave me that opportunity!"

In January 2008, with the release of her debut album 'Heal My Blues' , Dani Wilde embarked on the 'Blues Caravan' tour of the UK, Europe and America. Each night she had the opportunity to open up for her hero's Sue Foley, Candye Kane and Deborah Coleman. Following this tour, Dani continued to tour the USA opening for Candye Kane and Robben Ford as well as headlining European tours with her young British band. "Touring 'Heal my blues' was such a learning experience for me. I found myself on the same bill as my hero's, such as Koko Taylor for example, at some of the biggest blues festivals in the world... I had a lot to live up to!"

With regular BBC Radio 2 airplay and magazines from Blues Matters to The Times and Classic Rock giving glowing reviews, Dani Wilde continued to develop as an artist. In March 2010, she went back into the studio to record her second album for Ruf entitled SHINE. The record, produced by legendary British blues producer Mike Vernon really has captured Dani at her very best. "Working with Mike Vernon was such an incredible experience. He is so tremendously talented and creative. I really wanted the new record to capture my vocals at their very best; and from a songwriting and production standpoint I wanted to have a real mix of my blues and soul roots combined with more contemporary influences such as Alanis Morrisette and Joss Stone. I really feel we have achieved just that."

Shine, which features Van Morrison's horn section and pianist, is due to be released in August this year followed by tours of the UK and Europe; and 2011 will see Dani back on the world-wide Blues Caravan tour. In the meantime, Dani is continuing to fundraise for her on-going charity work in the slums of Embu, Kenya... "Every year I visit County Primary school and Toto Love Orphanage in Kenya. The level of poverty there is so horrific. HIV and aids are also a huge problem. Seeing the hardships these kids have to endure is so heartbreaking. With help and donations from my fans, we have been able to improve these children's education and are able to give them opportunities that they will always remember and be proud of. So many more children in Embu desperately need our help. Please do read more about my work in Kenya on my website WWW.DANIWILDE.COM".

Biography Luther Allison

At the time of his sudden death from cancer on August 12, 1997, Allison was finally reaching the mainstream popularity he had always desired. Allison began his major American comeback when he signed with Alligator in 1994, following 12 years of living and performing in Europe, where he had grown from a club artist to a major headliner. 1994's Soul Fixin' Man and 1995's Blue Streak provided a launching pad to American stardom for Allison and his searing brand of hard blues. With the Grammy-nominated Reckless in 1997, Allison soared. He won three W.C. Handy Awards in 1998, five W.C Handy Awards in 1997 (including the coveted Entertainer Of The Year award), scored a total of 15 Living Blues Awards in the same period, and was featured on the covers of the three major national blues publications: Living Blues, Blues Access, and Blues Revue. He appeared on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and The House Of Blues Radio Hour. Even People magazine ran a rave review of his new CD. He was performing in theaters and concert halls rather than small clubs. And no matter where he played, he left audiences open-mouthed in amazement. In just three short years Allison had gone from the latest rediscovery to, as Blues Revue magazine declared, "The New King Of The Blues."

Born in Widener, Arkansas in 1939, Luther Allison (the 14th of 15 musically gifted children) first connected to the blues at age ten, when he began playing the diddley bow (a wire attached by nails to a wall with rocks for bridges and a bottle to fret the wire). His family migrated to Chicago in 1951, and Luther began soaking in the sounds of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Robert Nighthawk. He was classmates with Muddy Waters' son and occasionally stopped in the Waters' house to watch the master rehearse. It wasn't until he was 18 already in Chicago for seven years that Luther began playing blues on a real guitar and jamming with his brother Ollie's band:

By 1957, Allison had dropped out of school and formed a band called The Rolling Stones. Unhappy with the name, they became The Four Jivers, gigging all over the West Side of Chicago. Before long, Luther was jamming with the West Side's best, including Magic Sam, Otis Rush, and Freddie King, who encouraged Allison to sing. "That," said Allison, "was my school." When King began to tour nationally in the early 1960s, Allison took over King's band as well as his weekly gigs at Walton's Corner and became one of the hottest acts on the West Side. For five years, Allison honed his craft. He moved to California for a year and cut sides with fellow Chicagoans Shakey Jake Harris and Sunnyland Slim. He cut his first two songs as a leader on the now-classic Delmark anthology, Sweet Home Chicago, before releasing his first solo album (also on Delmark), Love Me Mama , a record of hard-hitting blues that spoke to the growing rock audience. But even before his debut album came out, Luther landed a headlining spot at the influential Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1969, and went from relative unknown to major blues-rock attraction. "His guitar riffs seemed to defy the possible," raved John Fishel, the program director of the festival, who brought Allison back to perform at the following two festivals.

Allison signed with Motown Records in 1972 as the label's only blues act. His three records for the Gordy subsidiary led to numerous concert dates and both national and international festival appearances, but domestically, interest in the blues was fading. After finding instant acceptance in Europe, he was convinced that Paris was the place to be. While he gained superstar status in Europe and released a dozen European records, his presence in the American music scene diminished..

With the release of Soul Fixin' Man in 1994, Allison's first domestic album in 20 years, he announced his return. "Fever and chills performances," said Guitar Player, "ferocious solos combine the wisdom of a master storyteller with the elegance of B.B. King, the elasticity of Buddy Guy, and the big sting of Albert King." After three mammoth U.S. tours, America once again was paying attention to Luther Allison. Allison followed up with Blue Streak, and the praise and accolades poured in. "A sonic roar as soulful as his gospel-shout vocals," raved the Washington Post. "Luther Allison's latest is nothing short of a masterpiece by a master," reported Blues Revue. Continued touring brought Allison before raving fans around the world, as he brought his band from the San Francisco Blues Festival to New York's Central Park Summerstage, with all stops in between. With Reckless, Allison reached even greater heights. Guitar World said, "Reckless in the best sense of the word, dancing on a razor's edge, remaining just this side of out-of-control. Hard-driving, piercing West Side Chicago single-note leads with a soul base and a rock edge."Throughout it all, Allison delivered one show-stopping performance after another. His boundless energy and fierce guitar attack combined to make him a blues superstar who reached rock fans like no bluesmen since Freddie King and Albert Collins. When the news broke that Allison had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in July of 1997, the blues world was shocked. When he died just four weeks later, they were devastated. Without a doubt, Luther Allison's death robbed music fans of one of the most exciting and popular blues performers ever. With Live In Chicago, Allison lives on, as he tears through the songs with the single-minded desire to give everything he has to his audience. While listening to the album, fans can immerse themselves in the explosive power of Luther Allison's music and experience the redemptive force of his legendary performances.

Biography Robin Trower

Robin Trower's career has spanned more than four decades. He is one of the finest guitarists in Rock n' Roll history.

Robin Trower spent the early 60's playing guitar in various London based outfits, the most successful one being The Paramount's. They specialized in mostly covers, but managed to issue several singles between 1963 and 1965 and were a favourite band of the Rolling Stones. It wasn't until 1967 that Trower received his big break when he joined Procol Harum. Trower was a member of Procol Harum until 1972.

After leaving Procol Harum, Trower embarked on his solo career and found the success that has made him a legend today. Armed with his fluid and powerful guitar style, redefined during his stint with Procol Harum. All of his early albums share a tough, explosive style mixed with his trademark "soft psychedelia" that made Robin Trower a power trio that will forever remain in Rock n' Roll history.

Throughout his long and winding solo career, guitarist Robin Trower has been called the "White" Hendrix due to his uncanny ability to channel Hendrix' bluesy/psychedelic, Fender Strat-fueled playing style.

Trower released his solo debut, Twice Removed From Yesterday, in 1973. The album barely left a dent in the US charts, but that would change soon enough with his next release 1974's "Bridge of Sighs". The album skyrocketed into the US top ten, peaking at number seven selling a million and a half copies and it still sells 15,000 copies a year to date worldwide.

Although "Bridge of Sighs" was to be his most popular solo release, Trower's stock continued to rise throughout the mid 70's, as he became an arena headliner on the strength of such hit albums as 1975's For Earth Below, 1976's Robin Trower Live and Long Misty Days, plus 1977's In City Dreams. Further releases followed in the 80's, and a brief union with ex-Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce spawned a pair of releases, 1981's B.L.T. and 1982's Truce, before Trower returned back to his solo career.

The 80's saw Trower expand his audience with several releases that updated his blues-rock style (such as 1987's slick produced Passion). During the early 90's,Trower returned back to Procol Harum for a brief reunion (1991's Prodigal Stranger), before backing ex-Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry on a few releases (1993's Taxi and 1994's Mamouna, the latter of which Trower earned a co-producer credit for). The 90's saw Robin consistently touring the USA with his power trio.

In 2002, Trower returned to the production role, linking up with Bryan Ferry again, to work and play on Bryan's "Frantic" album. In the following years Trower concentrated on writing and producing film music for releases such as "Good Humour Man".

In 2005, Fender are scheduled to release a Robin Trower signature guitar to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stratocaster, along with this there will be a "Bridge of Sighs" custom shop Stratocaster, of which only 100 will be made and will mark the legendary album's 30th anniversary. To celebrate this event, Trower has decided to return to live work in Europe. 2005 will see Robin Trower touring the UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands. His band will feature Dave Bronze (Bass), Pete Thompson (Drums) and Davey Pattison (Vocals).

Biography Bernard Allison

Bernard Allison is unstoppable. He’s the face on the magazines and the voice on the radio. He’s the showman roaming the open road on the 2018 Blues Caravan tour, bringing it to the people each night with compadrés Mike Zito and Vanja Sky. He’s the visionary songwriter whose latest studio release – Let It Go – is already tipped as a top album of 2018. It’s a work ethic that would leave most musicians gasping but for this creative dynamo – now entering his fifth decade at the head of the blues pack – it’s all in a day’s work.

Starting the blues calendar with a bang in January 2018, Let It Go feels like a homecoming. After all, this latest studio album sees Bernard return to Ruf Records: the iconic German label that was created in 1994 to serve as a home for his father, the much-missed Chicago heavyweight, Luther Allison. Just as significant, Let It Go also found Bernard recording in the birthplace of the blues – Tennessee – and returns his sound to its raw fundamentals, on 12 songs that hold up without embellishment. “Let It Go was recorded at Bessie Blue Studio, Stantonville, Tennessee, with legendary music producer Jim Gaines,” recalls Bernard. “We made the decision to not flood the CD with keyboards or horns, to go back to the true basic rhythm section sound – and to show more mature songwriting.”

It’s an auspicious catalogue by an acclaimed genre heavyweight – but Let It Go is a potent reminder that for Bernard Allison, there’s always another gear. “We all just came together as a group to create this album,” he considers, “to show our chemistry as friends and bandmates. My favourite memory was watching the faces of everyone involved in the session. Everyone came to lay it on down and gave 110%...”

Biography Walter Trout

"People ask me if they should call my music blues or rock, I tell them they can call it 'Fred' if they must have a label."

That remark, along with the exclamation that "the blues shouldn't be a museum... the music ought to constantly expand and be alive," have been expressed again and again by Walter Trout during his 35+ year career. With the release of FULL CIRCLE, the statements hold true as Trout and his musical friends demonstrate their appreciation of all shades of the blues genre. The album reflects Walter Trout's remarkable story, from his humble beginnings as a sideman in many a blues legends' band through his rising solo star, arriving as one of blues music's beloved interpreters.

Born in 1951 and raised in a music-loving home in Ocean City, New Jersey, Walter Trout felt the calling to music at a young age. His first instrument was trumpet, playing in the school band. A chance meeting with the mighty Duke Ellington catapulted Trout's pursuit of a professional music career - what Walter terms "a turning point" in his life - when the Walter's mother orchestrated a meeting with jazz legends Ellington, Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges and Paul Gonsalves for the youngster's tenth birthday. The seed was planted about a career playing music.

In the mid-1960's Trout's instrument of choice switched to electric guitar after hearing an album which was to change his whole appreciation of music. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band featuring Mike Bloomfield cemented Walter's musical ambitions towards the blues genre and the electric guitar. In those vinyl grooves, Walter heard the guitar speaking to his soul, expressing what words could not. Walter Trout promised himself to learn this musical language and dedicate his life to the guitar. For hours, days, weeks, months he was locked in his bedroom practicing until his fingers bled - the obsession unfortunately turning the A-student into a high school dropout. As a shy teenager growing up in a turbulent household, his singular solace became his rapidly developing ability to express his feelings playing the guitar and his vision of becoming a professional musician.

In his late teens and early twenties, Trout played in numerous New Jersey bands, competing at the time for rank with "Steel Mill" featuring a young Bruce Springsteen. In 1973, he packed up his belongings in a VW Beetle and drove cross-country to the west coast, arriving in Los Angeles with only a few changes of clothes, a trumpet, a mandolin and his guitars.

He developed into an ace sideman, befriending and backing California blues artists, often being the only "white boy" in the black neighborhood clubs. His technique accelerated rapidly as he played with Finis Tasby, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulsom, and Percy Mayfield, among others. The extremely meager pay was compensated by the satisfaction musical expression brought the young musician. Unfortunatley he was also developing the detrimental habits of drug and alcohol abuse shared by many fellow artists. Walter often teamed with Hammond B3 wizard Deacon Jones and the apprenticeship continued in the bands of John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thorton and Joe Tex.

By 1981, Trout's reputation led to the invitation to join venerable blues rock band Canned Heat, where he remained through 1984. In Canned Heat he quickly learned the ways of a touring musician, traveling the US and abroad, further refining his already stunning abilities playing night after night, and confirming his reputation as a top flight lead guitarist. Trout's substance abuse was further enabled in a band with a history of hard-partying.

When the call came to join the legendary John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Trout jumped and found himself sharing the spotlight with fellow guitarist Coco Montoya. Trout and Montoya lifted the band to a new level, as Mayall's Bluesbreakers enjoyed unprecedented album sales and high profile tours in the US and abroad. Walter felt that playing with Mayall was as close to his childhood dream as he could get. At the same time Walter's unhealthy habits reached a fever pitch; the band's rider required a nightly bottle of Jack Daniel's for Trout's consumption. An epiphany came when the band was in East Berlin, doing shows along side of Carlos Santana. After seeing Walter playing in an intoxicated state, Carlos took him aside, and in a heartfelt conversation related that Trout was squandering the gift that God had given him. It was a turning point in Walter's life, as a master musician and idol confided an appreciation of the young man's talent and concerns of his self-destruction.... In fairly short order Walter Trout quit drugs and alcohol.

As Trout became clean, he felt he had more to give than a few blazing solos as a side man with the Bluesbreakers. A Danish record label and touring agency was already interested in his solo potential, after witnessing an inspired performance, when Walter led the Bluesbreakers band while Mayall was out with illness. Walter did much soul searching and decided it was time to go solo. He gathered musicians he knew from Los Angeles and called it The Walter Trout Band. The 1989 break with Mayall quickly segued into immediate extensive touring of Europe, playing large venues and music festivals, and his music was heard on mainstream radio. In the early 1990s Walter had several radio hits in Europe and charted with his unique style of blues rock. Throughout the decade, he continued a non-stop touring pace, releasing 8 recordings, steadily each lifting his profile higher.

His commercial and critical success in Europe kept him so busy outside of the US that his arrival back home found him only resting to go back to the frantic pace his popularity demanded overseas. Like many American blues and roots-music artists, Walter Trout had developed an incredible following in Europe, but came home to little fanfare. This was fine with Trout, as he now had started a family and his down time was a valuable escape from the world of touring and playing.

Amazingly, the self-titled WALTER TROUT, released by Ruf Records in 1998 was his first "official" domestic CD. Shortly after, the band renamed as Walter Trout and The Free Radicals and began an extensive touring pace state side, steadily building a fan base and bringing their high energy, impassioned live performances back home. It did not matter if he was on stage in front of 50,000 people, or performing in a small club for a couple hundred - what mattered to Walter was reaching people's hearts through his artistry and relaying the passion he had for all the musical styles which helped shape his sound.

Since then Ruf Records has released half a dozen CDs in the US and Walter effectively continued his frequent touring, splitting time more evenly between continents. His European fans have stuck with him as he has taken more time to build his fan base in America.

With the release of FULL CIRCLE, Walter Trout demonstrates his passion for music is just as great today as it was when he started his career as a teenager more than 35 years ago. He considers the new album a tribute to the people and the times that have helped shape his musical career, demonstrating how the many styles within the blues genre can co-exist and mutually enhance each other without fight for rank or authenticity. It's always been Trout's dream to break down the barriers between the labels which get attached to musical genres and show WHAT you call music is not important. Ultimately what the music makes one feel is the only thing that matters to Walter Trout.

May 2006

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