2017 Monaghan Harvest Blues Headline Act

Crow Black Chicken (Ireland)

with guests Mick Pyro, Philip Donnelly, & Liam Ó Maonlaí

Crow Black Chicken have earned a reputation as one of Irelands top blues acts. This power trio of Christy O Hanlon (Vocals, Guitar, Stephen McGrath (Bass) and Gev Barrett (Drums, backing vocals) combine elements of folk and hard rock with the blues rock of bands like Gov’t mule, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin to create their greasy blues rock sound. CBC have proven a massive hit with Harvest Blues audiences over the years, and with guest appearances from Mick Pyro, Philip Donnelly & Liam Ó’Maonlaí, this is lining up to be one of the top Late Night Marquee opening acts.

“These guys do the nasty blues like the devil hisself was hurting and rock like they’ll skate come judgement day” Ray Wylie Hubbard.

“CBC could save rock and roll” Alvin Youngblood Hart

Check out Crow Black Chicken’s website and Facebook pages.

Lucky Peterson (Dallas, Texas)

Luck Peterson at Monaghan Harvest Blues 2017Lucky Peterson, born Judge Kenneth Peterson, was discovered by blues legend Willie Dixon when he was three years old, released his first record at five and soon after appeared on The Tonight Show.  His earliest musical memories are from when his father, James Peterson had the Governor’s Inn, a blues club, where the aspiring musician became so immersed in music, he quickly learned the essence of blues and all its secrets. Trained by keyboardists Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, Peterson went on to play behind Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Kenny Neal. On return from the “Young Blues Giants” tour of Europe, he signed first with Alligator, then Verve, Blue Thumb and Birdology/Dreyfus, where he recorded what Amazon called “his finest album,” Black Midnight Sun, in 2003. His album ‘You Can Always Turn Around’ is an uplifting collection of songs that speak of struggles and salvation, using the gritty clarity of acoustic roots-blues (with modern touches) as its main musical vehicle.

Check out Lucky’s website and his Facebook page.

Jeff Jensen Band (Memphis)

Sometimes all it takes is a tiny spark to ignite a raging inferno. For Jeff Jensen, the spark occurred in 2011. Feeling the need for a fresh start, he loaded up his car to head back to his boyhood home in California.  Just as that journey was to begin, a deep and unexpected calling started boiling inside, no job waiting for him; no plan, no family, no band, just a lone friend with a temporary place for him to stay, Jensen changed directions and headed to Memphis where he formed his band with long-time friend Ruffino, and Memphis native Bridgeforth. The inferno has been building ever since. In 2015, Jensen released the vibrant Morose Elephant album that captures the flavor of the band’s creative force. The album received even more critical acclaim as the band’s previous release, Road Worn and Ragged (2013), both produced by Jensen.  This led to two consecutive Blues Blast Music Award nominations in the Sean Costello Rising Star category (2014/2015), and the inferno shows no signs of burning out.

Check out Jeff Jensen’s website and Facebook page.

The Steepwater Band (Chicago)

The Steepwater Band’s signature sound is a nod to early British blues, combined with a modern, raw and gutsy musical approach. Formed in Chicago back in 1998, founding members Massey, Bowers and Winters have a synergy that comes from years of playing together. In 2012, the long-time trio was joined by Saylors, from Indianapolis, who brought an added depth to the The Steepwater Band live sound. Although the band got their start as devotees of delta blues, they have since been expanding on their influences, absorbing everything from Psychedelia to Americana, from Jazz to 50’s Rock n’ Roll Music.  The Steepwater Band maintain a grueling schedule averaging about 140 shows per year. They have toured and shared the stage with acts such as Gov’t Mule, Buddy Guy, Wilco, Taj Mahal, Marc Ford, ZZ Top, T-Model Ford, North Mississippi All Stars, Leon Russell, Drive-By Truckers, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Cheap Trick, Bad Company and Heart.

Check out the Steepwater Band’s website and Facebook page.

Sugaray Rayford (Texas)

Texas born Caron “Sugaray” Rayford began his musical career at the age of 7 singing & playing drums in church, and his gospel influence can be heard and felt in his music. Rayford’s phrasing is intimate and conversational and the soulful gravel in his voice hints at his firsthand experience with hardship. He grew up in Texas, his childhood marked by poverty and loss. When Sugaray belts out a song, you not only hear it, you feel it. The excitement in the room is palpable when he takes the stage; he is a superb vocalist and entertainer. His dynamic voice is large just like the man. With his old school vocal style, echoes of Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass can be heard. At 6’5” he is a big man, but he moves with grace and energy. His fluid dance steps will remind you of the Legendary James Brown. “Not many singers can take us from the delta to the modern chitlin’ circuit as easily as he does. A big man with a big voice and plenty of personality…..” Jazz & Blues Report 2013

Check out Sugaray’s website and Facebook page.

Grainne Duffy Band (Monaghan, Ireland)

Described by The Sunday Times as ‘a blues singer of real integrity’, Grainne Duffy is a pioneer of her own style while also paying sincere homage to her roots, soul, blues, country and rock traditions. She is a seasoned artist and has been spending the last number of years touring in Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and Canada. Some highlights thus far have included international leading festivals including 3 performances at Glastonbury.  In 2015 Grainne was awarded winner in BM Writers Poll in the categories ‘Best Vocalist’ and ‘Best Solo Artist’ in the UK. Earlier in 2017 Grainne embarked on her 1st ever tour in Australia which included performances on the blues stage at Woodford Folk Festival, Queensland. She was also invited to Mahindra Blues Festival, India and joined Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Shemika Copeland onstage for the festival encore. 2016 and 2017 saw her back in the US recording with producer Justin Stanley and this September sees the release of her eagerly awaited third album, ‘Where I Belong’.

Check out Grainne Duffy’s website and Facebook page.