News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Features

September 13, 2012

Blues at the Crossroads — The Performers

TERRE HAUTE — What started as a recording project in a garage quickly turned into a monster, a collective of sorts. Yearbook Committee has no lead singer, no sole songwriter. They’re just a group of musicians with one common goal — to write, record and perform music. Everybody sings. Many instruments are represented. With a universal love of good music, Yearbook Committee consists of Christina Blust, Jon DaCosta, Travis Dillon, David Goodier, Brad Lone and Rachel Rasley. Visit yearbookcommittee.org.

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According to fan and singer/songwriter Krista Detor: “Jennie DeVoe’s voice is smoked honey on a sultry summer evening … smooth, sweet and warm, steeped in the kettle of blues/R&B — but with a rare and wonderful flavor all her own. Only a handful of girls will ever get to sound this good.” DeVoe’s critically-acclaimed fifth CD, “Strange Sunshine,” has just been released by Rubin the Cat Records (indie), with distribution by Sony Red. Visit jenniedevoe.com.

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Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel has opened for or played with: Al Green, Tower of Power, Walter Trout, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Bradley’s Black Water Surprise, Chris Duarte, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks, W.C. Clark, Carl Weathersby, Eddie King and more. The band consists of Mike Milligan on guitars and vocals; Shaun Milligan on bass guitar; and Robert Tiny Cook on drums and percussion. Visit www.myspace.

com/mikemilliganandsteamshovel.com
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Minneapolis-area vocalist Sena Ehrhardt was born and raised in a house of blues. Through years of playing music in clubs and juke joints, her guitarist father, Ed Ehrhardt, laid the groundwork for a love of blues that eventually lead to the formation of the Sena Ehrhardt Band. Ehrhardt has taken those influences and several years of experience to forge her own personal and intelligent take on the blues. Visit SenaEhrhardt.com.

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Jill Shutt was raised and schooled creatively, lovingly and musically in Terre Haute before heading out into the world. Favorite stops on her adventure include New York City, San Francisco and Nashville, where she sang, composed, recorded and performed. Her experiences and training in those cities helped shape her into the dynamic artist she is today.

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It is obvious that 27-year-old W.T. Feaster has a voice and a musical thirst for the blues far beyond his years. Given a style that feeds from those that came before him, but continues to be on its own branch, he can pull audiences into the blues and can lead a new generation of blues fans down the crossroads. Visit www.wtfeasterband.com.

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Max Allen is a singer/songwriter/guitarist who has been performing professionally since the age of 16. He has nearly 600 performances to his credit at various venues, colleges and festivals in 14 different states. Known for his intricate guitar work, catchy lyrics, contagious melodies and energetic live performances, Allen has four CDs and is currently under the big Walnut Record label. Also part of his group is Shawn Bryant on bass guitar and Shaan France on drums. Visit www.maxallenmusic.com.

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Led by the energetic front woman Erin Zindle, The Ragbirds unite multi-cultural rhythms with a roots rock flavor that is captivating, flirty and smart. Zindle can aptly pluck the eight-stringed mandolin, wield a wild accordion and rock the banjo while maintaining lead vocals. Surrounding Zindle’s earthy-sweet voice is the whirlwind of a guitarist T.J. Zindle, dynamic bassist Brian Crist, drummer Loren Kranz and standout percussionist Randall Moore. Visit www.theragbirds.com.

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Roaring out of the southern Indiana foothills comes The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, playing a brand of Americana and blues that stands alone. Delta blues and hillbilly fervor combine with musical acuity sharp as razor wire. The Rev. J. Peyton, his wife Breezy and distant cousin Aaron “Cuz” Persinger are a living, breathing embodiment of the traditions native to their Brown County. Visit bigdamnband.com.

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With the core of the group forming in 2005, The Leonard Washingtons have spent the better part of six years refining a sound that they still can’t quite put a finger on. Each member is an independent musician in their own right, a trait that is apparent in the constant and indiscriminate meshing of styles and influences in live shows and original compositions.

Visit www.theleonardwashingtons.com.

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American bluesman, educator, songwriter and scholar Fernando Jones was born to Mississippi parents on the South Side of Chicago. Inspired by his older brothers, Jones taught himself how to play guitar when he was 4 years old. He’s a bandleader with a power trio second to none; blues ensemble director at Columbia College Chicago; and a highly sought after lecturer focusing on music pedagogy and literacy improvement whose clientele includes the Smithsonian Institute and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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