Philadelphia is home to one of the finest blues harp players in the world, much to the surprise of people not “inside” the blues scene. Over the past forty-plus years, 2009 Handy Award nominee, Steve Guyger has been dishing out some of the finest blues to be heard anywhere. Whether in a duo, trio, or with his band, The Excellos, Steve always rocks the house.
Steve has toured with the late Jimmy Rogers, among others, and has played with many of the great Chicago bluesmen and contemporary players, yet he remains one of the best kept secrets in blues. The late William Clarke called Steve “the best harp player I’ve ever seen.” Mark Hummel called him “a monster player.” If you have heard Steve play, you know what they’re talking about. If you’ve never heard him, you’re missing a major page in your blues portfolio.
Steve began playing harp back in the late 60’s on a harmonica given to him by his future sister-in-law. Sometime later, his brother turned him on to Paul Butterfield. Steve’s passion for the blues harp took him to Chicago to learn at the feet of the masters of the art. Each trip taught him skills that he brought back to the local bands in which he paid his dues.
Steve has shared the stage with the greats in Chicago and the contemporary harp players touring the world today, names like Little Sammy Davis, Carey Bell, Rick Estrin, Rod Piazza, Kim Wilson, Mark Hummel, Charlie Musselwhite and many others. His playing, vocals, songwriting and stage presence have earned him a place among the best of the players on stage today.
Steve still makes his home in Philly and can be seen on a regular basis at clubs in the tri-state area in addition to touring with the New Legends of the Blues All-Stars. If you’re located within a 100 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA check out Steve’s gig schedule for dates and times when he’s appearing live and in person.
Todd Parrott has been playing harmonica for 30 years, and has been blessed to perform and record with several artists. Growing up on the church pew in NC, he was exposed to lively music at a young age, and it wasn't long until he picked up his first instrument... the harmonica.
Todd recalls, "I remember as a kid when an guest speaker visited our church. The pastor had been announcing that he played a French Horn, but I think he meant French "Harp" instead (which is a common name for harmonica). So, I was expecting this guy to come to the pulpit playing some type of brass horn. When he walked to the pulpit, whipped out a harmonica and started to play, I was amazed!
I was determined that night to learn to play the harmonica, so on the last night of the series of services, I bought a harmonica from him (against my mother's wishes I might add). The other kids laughed and teased me a little bit, but the harmonica kinda "stuck" with me. After several years, I'm still playing harmonica, but have come to realize that this was just the start of something greater. Music has opened so many positive doors in my life. I'm not sure where I'd be today or what I'd be doing had I not picked up that first harmonica. God has blessed me with a gift, and sharing my music with others is my way of partly giving back."
Today, Todd's soulful, gospel harmonica can be heard in churches and other events across the nation, as well as on many studio recordings. He's a regular teacher and performer at the annual Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH) convention, and at many other harmonica workshops in the USA.
Jerry Fierro has enjoyed a rewarding musical career that began in Paterson New Jersey at the age of sixteen. He was playing professionally before his seventeenth birthday, "cutting his teeth" in the NY/NJ metro area, and along the eastern US. "We had to sneak him in the back door because he was under age," said lifelong friend and bluesman, Son Lewis. Playing a wide range of styles over the years, such as, Rock, Funk, Jazz, Country, Gospel and Reggae music, Jerry has never strayed to far from his first love... "The Blues".
At age eighteen, Jerry studied with legendary bluesmanm Sonny Terry and has since gone on to perform live with such greats as, Junior Wells, Hubert Sumlin, Jonny "Clyde" Copeland, Jason Ricci, Steve Vai, Jorma Kaukonen, Southside Johnny, Jimmy Vivino, Mark Pender and Felix Cavaliere. His playing is also featured on many studio recordings with Son Lewis, Impact, Robert Allen, Kim Page and Mudbone, to name a few.
Currently residing in Fort Myers, FL, Jerry won back to back titles at the "Florida Harmonica Championships" (2014/15) and can be seen performing weekly in Naples, FL, co-hosting the "Mudbone Blues and Beyond Jam" (seven years and counting), as well as among other area clubs and festivals with some of the best musicians in southwest Florida.
In 2018, Jerry created the "Paradise Coast Harmonica Workshop" held annually in or around Naples, Florida USA.
He was recently nominated for the SPAH (Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica) 2019 Pete Pedersen Lifetime Achievement Award.
For the past few years, Jerry has been furthering his studies with, Todd Parrott, Howard Levy David Barrett and regularly attends SPAH's annual harmonica convention.
Jerry plays Hohner Harmonicas customized by Joe Spiers
Live entertainment provided by:
THE PITBULL OF BLUES BAND
Led by dynamic front man and 2019 IBC Solo/Duo Finalist.
Josh "The Pitbull of Blues" Rowand,
this high energy Florida band has been on the prowl for many years. The Pitbull of Blues Band is a regular on the festival circuit, known for their fun-loving mix of traditional and original blues. Josh is proud to be the only US endorsed artist with Ali Kat Guitars & with his stunning guitar work he leads the crowds through a repertoire of all that is blues and more. Putting the bite in blues, this band delivers a show that reminds you why you fell in love with the blues.