About Barbara Blue
Born and raised in Pittsburgh Pa, Barbara has had the blues since the day she was born. She has been performing on Beale Street 20 years ( June 7, 1997) 5 nights a week. (Always check her schedule page before planning a trip to Memphis!) Barbara has also performed along side various top notch artists such as: Taj Mahal & The Phantom Blues Band (Tony Braunagel, Mike Finnigan, Johnny Lee Schell, Larry Fulcher & the Texicalli Horns, Darrell Leonard and Joe Sublett), Jeff Healey, Dutch Tilders, Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges, Anthony Gomes, Marcia Ball, Delbert McClinton, Maceo Parker, Al Jackson, Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, Tab Benoit, Fiona Boyes, Corey Harris, Sean Costello, The Nighthawks, Big Mike Griffin, Candye Kane, Zack Harmon, Trudy Lynn, Carol Fran & Gaye Adegbaloba. From Pittsburgh to Detroit to Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, LA, KC, Hawaii, Memphis, Australia, Canada, England, Norway, Aruba & The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise the journey continues.
Since forming her own band in 1989, Barbara has been progressing right up blues alley. With the release of her Debut CD "OUT OF THE BLUE", Barbara has reached a wider audience of blues lovers world wide. Now residing in Memphis Tennessee and performing nightly (See Schedule) on historical Beale Street for the past fifteen years, Barbara's understanding and cultivation of the Blues is deeper and richer than ever. Barbara’s discography now boasts 3 additional recordings with Taj Mahal’s world re noun Phantom Blues Band: SELL MY JEWELERY 2002, MEMPHIS 3rd & BEALE 2004 and LOVE MONEY CAN’T BUY 2006, all of which have made the first round of the Grammy Nomination process in 3 categories. A 2007 import has been released by SHOUT Records LTD, London UK titled: BY POPULAR DEMAND. It is a tasty compilation the first of it’s kind with Barbara’s recordings and a 12page color booklet. OUTSTANDING!!! 2008 has lead to the much anticipated release of Barbara Blue & Nat Kerr's first LIVE release.... Recorded at Silky O'Sullivans on Beale Street, Memphis Tennessee .... 3 nights with Memphis' world renowned female engineer Dawn Hopkins. There was such a good groove, vibe & funk goin' on .... 3 LIVE Vol's were released!!
Barbara is curently working on her 9th CD release. It is expected to be available sometime late May 2010. So keep your ear to the floor and BB Kings Bluesville Highway 74!! Don't forget to tell Bill, Tony and Pete that BB (Barbara Blue) sent firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara has also accomplished studio recordings for Sony Records Nickelodeon project "Peanut Butter and Jam" (Many thanks to our producer the late great Tom Pompesello) and the theme song for "Lucille's Car Care Clinic" a national cable TV show.
It is a GREAT honor to have been nominated for the first time by the Blues Foundation for a 2007 Blues Music Award in the category of: Contemporary Female Blues Artist of the Year….. A deep heart felt thanks to all who took the time to listen and nominate and to family, friends and fans that took the time to join the Blues Foundation and VOTE!!! Hopefully there will be more to come!!
The corner of Third and Beale is home for singer Barbara Blue. A Pittsburgh native who passed through Silky O’Sullivan’s on Beale Street seven years ago and was offered a full-time job, Blue has turned the popular watering hole and gathering spot into her personal pulpit five nights a week, presiding over an ever-changing congregation of tourists, conventioneers, and locals. On a typical Saturday afternoon last fall, Blue took the microphone before a sleepy crowd of about 20 souls who seemed more interested in the Florida-Arkansas college football game on television than what was happening on stage. With longtime accomplice Nat Kerr backing her on piano and providing her own percussion via tambourine and stomping feet, Blue proceeded to win over the crowd with a human jukebox act she calls “blues singer gone awry.” By the end of her set, the bar was full and patrons were lined up to buy CDs and talk to the artist. Estimating that she knows approximately 3,000 songs, Blue says, “Usually, if we’ve heard it we can play it, and we’ll try most anything once.” Onstage she mixes personal faves — Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Lucinda Williams — with audience requests, and engages in a game she calls “musical prostitution”: $5 in the tip jar will immediately bring an end to any song, and $10 more will start it back up again. Asked if there’s anything she won’t sing, Blue says, “For $300, I’ll do about anything — Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimmy Buffett, David Allen Coe, Britney Spears. Just so they don’t yell ‘Freebird,’ ” she adds, referring to the Lynyrd Skynyrd ditty that’s so overdone it’s become a standard joke. Blue is clearly a woman who loves to sing and is also adept at working a crowd. “I know what I’m doing up there,” Blue says. “I know how to pull the energy out of [people], and I love that. I can tell pretty quick who I want to talk to and who I don’t.” While audience interaction is important to Blue’s success, she has to know when to leave people alone — and how to curb those who become overly attentive. “I like to let everybody be who they are up to a point,” she says, “but if they start to cross the line, I’ll back off them.” As someone who spent plenty of time on the road before finding her way to Memphis, Blue appreciates what she’s got at Silky’s. “The food is good, the people are nice, and Beale is safe. It doesn’t take a lot of Memphis to support Beale,” she says, estimating that 80 percent of her audience consists of out-of-towners, while Sundays are the best night for locals. “The best thing about this corner is the diversity,” says Blue. “I can sleep in the same bed every night and it’s still like being on the road — I get to perform for a different audience every night.” Plus, she adds, “people still come [to Beale Street] for music, and they take it seriously.” Under Blue’s command, Silky’s becomes a musical oasis for travelers seeking a warm, friendly, festive evening — a situation she pays tribute to on her latest record, 3rd & Beale, recorded in Los Angeles last fall with members of Taj Mahal’s Phantom Blues Band. One song in particular, a Blue original, pretty much sums up the dynamic at work at Blue’s sets: “The Road Comes to Me.”