Described by the Austin American Statesman as an “astonishing mix of raw soul, superb musicianship and laid back grace,” rising blues star Jackie Venson’s electrifying live shows bring the house down and leave audiences wanting more. The 28-year-old thoughtfully blends blues, R&B, indie, soul and rock ‘n’ roll with scorching guitar riffs, precise fretwork and smooth, smoky vocals. Venson first became captivated by music at the age of eight and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in composition and studio production from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied classical piano. During her senior year at the college, she discovered her passion for the guitar and fell in love with the raw and gritty sound of the blues. Compared by fans and critics to the likes of Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and Gary Clark Jr., Venson’s impassioned musicianship, emotionally reticent lyrics and love of performance come together in dynamic live-shows that leave audiences spellbound.
In 2015, May 22nd was named the official “Jackie Venson Day”—celebrating the talent of female musicians—by the City Hall of Austin, Texas. She’s opened for fellow renowned blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. and received praise from outlets including The Chicago Sun-Times, Guitar World, Vibe, Australian Musician, and Afropunk. In 2014, Venson entered the Modern Southern Music Competition and won a headlining spot on the Belk Summer Tour and she’s since toured across the U.S. – dazzling concertgoers at her 2017 performance in the Levitt AMP Middlesboro Music Series – and Europe, including performances in the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. Her latest album, Live at the Stage Brew, was released in 2016 to glowing praise.
The Dave Keller Band
Heralded as one of the finest soul and blues men of his generation by fans and critics, Vermont-transplant Dave Keller’s heartfelt lyricism, raw and gritty tunes and knack for showmanship have earned him an ever-growing devoted following. In 2009, Keller was discovered by legendary guitarist Ronnie Earl, and featured as singer and co-writer on Earl's award-winning 2009 album, Living In The Light. Keller went on to win the 2012 International Blues Challenge (IBC) “Best Self-Produced CD” Award for Where I'm Coming From (2011) and earned a 2014 Blues Music Award (BMA) nomination for “Best Soul/Blues Album” for Soul Changes (2014), which he recorded with Al Green's original Hi Rhythm Section in Memphis, Tenn. Keller’s latest album, Right Back Atcha (2016)—met with glowing praise—showcases his powerful voice, dynamic guitar playing and ability to write meaningful, memorable songs.