The Lowcountry Blues Bash: Week 1 

From blues to beach, from Memphis to Australia...

This year's massive Blues Bash lineup features an unexpectedly expansive variety of acoustic and electric soul, blues, R&B, roots music, and folk acts who've lived, loved, performed, and survived. It's a healthy roster of local and international artists of all ages and backgrounds. Every Blues Bash show is listed in MusicBoard. Listed below are some of the highlights and City Paper's "picks of the week."

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Drink Small
"Carolina's blues champ"

He's back! Blues fans refer to this veteran Carolina singer and guitarist as "The Blues Doctor" and "The Real Deal." Small has been singing the blues in his raspy voice and layin' down his boogie on a hollow-bodied six-string named Geraldine since the 1950s. His latest release is titled Blues Doctor: Live & Outrageous. Small headlines an All-Star Blues Jam on Sunday. —T. Ballard Lesemann (Downtown Sticky Fingers, Fri. Feb. 8, 7-10 p.m.; The Blind Tiger, Sat. Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.; Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ, Sun. Feb. 10, 7 p.m.)

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Sharrie Williams & The Wise Guys
"Rockin' gospel blues"

Recently signed to Electro-Fi Records, Detroit-based gospel/blues siren Sharrie Williams and her band play two shows this weekend behind a new one called I'm Here to Stay. Williams grew up in a musical family singing gospel and Chicago-style blues. She teamed up with The Wise Guys in 1997, and played regularly at Chicago clubs. —TBL (A Dough Re Mi Pizzeria, Sat. Feb. 9, 8 p.m.; Circular Congregational Church, Sun. Feb. 10, 6-7 p.m.)

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Tinsley Ellis
"Hot Georgia peach"

Atlanta-based electric blues-rock veteran Tinsley Ellis pours his heart and soul into his howling 'n' singing and fiery guitar-playing. The singer/guitarist made his debut in the South as a solo artist in 1988 with Georgia Blue. He and his band recently issued a terrific guitar-driven collection titled Moment of Truth. —TBL (The Pour House, Sat. Feb. 9, 9 p.m.)

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Clifford Curry & Friends
"A true man of soul and shag"

In town for a four-night run at Pivots, vocalist Clifford Curry might dazzle soul and beach music fans with songs pulled from his entire repertoire — including '60s-era hits by his first group, The Five Pennies. The Tennessee native shares bills with Nashville's Rickey Godfrey Blues Band, N.C.'s The King Bees, and N.Y. vocalist Angel Rissoff. —TBL (JB Pivots, Fri. Feb. 8, 9 p.m.; Sat. Feb. 9, 9 p.m.; Sun. Feb. 10, 9 p.m., Mon. Feb. 11, 9 p.m.)

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Big Bill Morganfield
"A chip off the Muddy Waters block"

Based in Atlanta, traditional singer/guitarist "Big Bill" Morganfield may be forever tagged as the son of McKinley Morganfield (better known as the legendary Muddy Waters), but he's made a name for himself around the Southeast over the last 20 years as well. His recent album is Blues in the Blood.TBL (Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ, Sat. Feb. 10 at 9 p.m.)

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Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang
"Windy City Wolf-men"

You don't have to make a pilgrimage to Chicago's famous blues venues Kingston Mines or Buddy Guy's Legends to hear that Windy City sound: Eddie "House Rockin'" Shaw will bring it right to you. His impeccable blues credentials (as backing band for Howlin' Wolf, in particular) are no lie. Smoky, lo-fi, honest blues that bring a smile to your face. —Jon Santiago (The Pour House, Mon. Feb. 11, 8 p.m.; Chas. Co. Library, Tues. Feb. 12, noon-1 p.m.)

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Daddy Mack Blues Band
"Servin' up the original, tasty Memphis sound"

The British Invasion rockers of the '60s drew a lot of inspiration from Memphis blues men. On his critically acclaimed album Slow Ride, genuine Memphis blues man Daddy Mack returns the favor. Once you hear the guitarist's swinging take on Bad Company's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love," you'll be ready to put down your beer and dance. Daddy's cover of "Get Back" brings that Beatles song back to the band's juke-joint soul birthplace. —JS (IOP Rec. Center, Sun. Feb. 10, 2-5:30 p.m.; The Pour House, Sun. Feb. 10, 8 p.m.; Chas. Co. Library, Mon. Feb. 11, noon-1 p.m.)

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Harper
"Got them down-under didgeri-blues"

Can't have a blues band without a ... didgeridoo? Peter Harper (a.k.a. "Harper"), recently signed to Blind Pig and released a studio album titled Down to the Rhythm. The Aussie harp wiz's signature deep southern (hemisphere) world-fusion/blues sound breaks it up with old-school funk and loads of heart. Think Delbert McClinton with a spicy spin. —JS (The Pour House, Tues. Feb. 12, 8 p.m.; Chas. Co. Library, Wed. Feb. 13, noon-1 p.m.)


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