South Side Denny - 3:00PM
Born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, Southside Denny is an American born Chicago style blues-rocker with eleven albums to his credit. He began growing his reputation in the early 1980s is often associated with and seen regularly on stage with many of his Chicago musical heroes and influences such as Luther Allison, Sugar Blue, and Pinetop Perkins. Denny performed as an opening act for these and many other stellar acts such as Ray Charles, Lonnie Mack, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, and what resembles a who's who list of Chicago blues acts. He also answered the call to share the stage with many legendary rockers such as John Fogerty, Edgar Winter, BTO, and Styxx.
In 1984 he and his band, Southside Denny and the Skintones scored a regional hit with a protest song called 'Ethanol Stinks'. Before disbanding in 1989 the trio recorded two albums, including one with Sugar Blue on the harp. They also played blues club circuits throughout several Midwestern states and into the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
In the 1990's he had earned a regular spot at the prestigious Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. During that time, Denny's music was referred to as sounding somewhere between Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter. His style is now one of his own, concocted of rapid-fire melodic, soulful playing and lots of open-tuning-slide guitars. His talents as both a guitarist and singer are recognized by fans and fellow musicians alike.
In 1999 Denny was chosen as the 2nd recipient of the Ole Harv Award for lifetime promotion of blues music in the Michiana area. A year later he represented his home state of Indiana in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and captured third place at the Montréal Grand Prix de la Guitare. He has performed at the International Festival du Jazz de Montréal, International Festival du blues de Mont Tremblant, Trois Rivières en Blues, l'October blues, Blues de Farnham, Lachute en Blues and many more.
Ivy Ford - 5:00PM
Ivy Ford, singer, musician, entertainer. Waukegan born and raised, at 26 she is quite the up and coming artist of the Chicago blues and live music scene. Ivy Ford started performing live with Kenosha based band The Real Deal, managed by Steve Rainey at 13 and since then continues to nurture her niche and calling to the music. She plays piano, alto saxophone, drums, bass guitar and guitar which are primarily self taught. In late 2012, Ford joined a local blues band which in time evolved into Ivy Ford and The Cadillacs and gained fair amounts of popularity.
Ivy Ford, is one of the leading "youngbloods" of blues and brings a refreshing yet classic face to the music. She formerly handled her cherry red, Epiphone-339 with as much confidence as any of the bluesmen today and can belt out notes to fill a room and serenade a phrase sweeter than sugar in ways that make anyone and everyone tune in to what she has to say. With her latest "Buddy Guy," polka dot stratocastor Ivy Ford, always respects the history and tradition of roots and blues music, while presenting it in a fresh, young and trendy way.
When not fronting her own blues party, Ivy is quite respected backing up Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, J.B. Ritchie. Legendary guitarist and frontman as his bass player. Ritchie has played alongside some of the greats himself and has been amongst famous artists such as Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter.
Howard and the White Boys - 7:00PM
Howard & the White Boys formed in 1988 and began jamming together just for fun, but their fast-growing popularity soon convinced them they could make a career of it. After only a few months, they got their first big break by opening for B.B. King. Their reputation grew in Chicago and they began performing with the biggest names in blues: Koko Taylor, Otis Rush, Albert King, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry.
Between 1994 and 1997, the group made two highly acclaimed recordings, Strung Out On The Blues and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?, for Los Angeles based Mighty Tiger Records. They began traveling extensively across the United States and their growing popularity captured the attention of Philadelphia based Evidence Records. The Big $core was the first of three successful discs released by Evidence, and the band wasted no time in promoting it via the first of many trips to European countries such as Belgium, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Luxembourg, Lithuania, and England. Riding the ever-growing wave of popularity both at home and abroad, the group then released a well-received live CD for Evidence entitled Live At Chord On Blues. In 2007, Evidence released the critically acclaimed Made in Chicago which showcased the group's versatility and encompassed the funk, R & B, and rock styles that have become Howard & the White Boys trademarks.
Bernard Allison - 9:00PM
Bernard Allison totes the same smokin’ six string shooter that his late father Luther Allison assaulted the blues with. And he is blessed with his father’s soulful voice, spiritual devotion and a musical freedom which experiments with the blues. Born in Chicago on November 26th, 1965, the youngest of nine children Bernard was first introduced to the roots of black music and the art of the electric guitar by his father, the late great Luther Allison.
Bernard made his first appearance on record at age 13, when he played on a live LP his father recorded in Peoria, IL. “When we moved to Peoria, Dad came home preparing to do his live album in Peoria, I hooked up the amplifier and guitar in the basement and started playing his first record, Love Me Mama, note for note. He freaked out and said tonight you’re gonna record with me. That was my first recording. I played “You Don’t Love Me Know More” and “Sweet Home Chicago.”
Bernard has played with several blues legends including Koko Taylor, Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan. As a true “son of the blues,” Bernard possesses the requisite guitar feel and vocal intonations necessary to push his blues into the next century. He knows the energy level necessary to hold audiences and combines a enough showmanship and spontaneity to push the performance in fresh, innovative directions each night.