Friday, June 8, 2018
Eleanor Ellis & Back Porch Blues is an all-star down-home acoustic trio consisting of the incredible guitar and vocal work of Eleanor Ellis, the blues harmonica virtuosity of Jay Summerour, and the percussion talents of Eric Selby. Together they deliver real-deal acoustic blues, from the Piedmont to the Hills to the Swamp, blues without compromise in a relaxed, fun musical atmosphere…just like sittin’ with friends having a jam session on the back porch. Back Porch Blues has performed at various venues throughout the country including the Greenwood Blues Cruise in South Carolina, the Music Center at Strathmore, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
ELEANOR ELLIS, a native of Louisiana, has performed at clubs, festivals and concerts in the United States, Canada and Europe and has and has developed a distinctive and personal approach to the music. According to one reviewer, “More than copying one artist or another, Ellis distills the elements of the originals and transmits them, intact, in her own expressive way.” She has a long involvement with the blues scene; has traveled and played with the late gospel street singer Flora Molton and bluesman Archie Edwards, and sometimes accompanied Delta Blues great Eugene Powell. She is a founding member of the DC Blues Society and the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation, has written about the blues for several publications, teaches guitar privately and at various blues camps, and is producer and editor of the video documentary Blues Houseparty, which features well-known Piedmont blues musicians such as John Jackson, John Cephas, and Archie Edwards. She also worked at the Archive of New Orleans Jazz at Tulane University in New Orleans, and at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. www.eleanorellis.com
ERIC SELBY is a much sought-after producer/drummer/percussionist for many genres of music with concentration on the blues. Eric has performed live and recorded with many talented artists, including: Billy Thompson (Little Milton, Albert King, Art Neville), Ron Holloway (Warren Haynes, Dizzy Gillespie, The Allman Brothers, Sonny Rollins, Tedeschi/Trucks), Daryl Johnson (The Neville Brothers, Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris, U2, Bob Dylan), James East (Elton John, Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton), Guy Davis, Warner Williams (Piedmont blues legend, 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Winner), Drink Small (Piedmont blues legend, 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Winner), Bill Payne (Little Feat, J.J. Cale, The Doobie Brothers), Lenny Castro (Adele, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, Maroon 5, Stevie Wonder) and Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker) to name a few. Eric has been named Blue411‘s Drum Thumper “Jimi” Award winner, been nominated for multiple WAMMIE awards, inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, #1 on Blues411‘s charts multiple times and was featured in Modern Drummer for his approach and perspective in their “Drummer Blogs.” For more information: www.ericselby.com
Hohner Harmonica endorser JAY SUMMEROUR has been involved with music for well over 40 years. Beginning his musical education on the trumpet at age 7, Summerour learned the harmonica from his grandfather Smack Martin, an accomplished blues harmonica player.
Largely self-taught, Summerour picked up bits and pieces from “folks he ran into”—like Sonny Terry, James Cotton, and Magic Dick. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Summerour took the traditional harmonica into the popular arena, joining the Starland Vocal Band and playing with Nils Lofgren and his band Grin. Four of the Starland Vocal Band’s records went gold during Summerour’s tenure. He also plays with blues artist Warner Williams to perform at folk festivals, blues festivals, and Smithsonian concerts under the name Little Bit of Blues.