In 2016, Erica was contacted by Grammy-nominated Bluesman Carl Gustafson, (Blinddog Smokin’ Blues Band) and was asked to contribute vocals to a project he was producing, along with 2017 Grammy Winner in Traditional Blues, Blues Man Bobby Rush. That project has blossomed into the epic music novel “Rush Through History”, the story of Rush’s family, the Ellis Family. Along with Rush on harmonica, other musicians on the project include Blues Woman Teeny Tucker (daughter of Tommy Tucker, writer of the 1963 Hit “Hi Heel Sneakers”), Ms. Tata Vega (the “musical voice” of the character “Shug” in the movie The Color Purple), gospel vocalist Linda McCrary, vocalist Natalie Cadet, famed gospel, rock, blues, jazz and funk B-3 organist Cory Henry, along with Mississippi Hill Country blues (and sons of R.L. Burnside) brothers Gary and Duwayne Burnside, Blues Guitar master Lightnin’ Malcolm, African Folklorist and master Djembe player Weedie Braimah, Cuban drummer Pedrito Martinez, and guitarist George Dez. The massive project is expected to complete in 2017. For more information on the project, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Rush-Through-History-610241262506160/
In January 2016, Erica attended and Co-Emceed the National Women in Blues Celebration in Memphis, TN as a part of the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge Week. While there, superstar photographer Danny Clinch (along with Journalist Toure’) was photographing the event for a Smithsonian Magazine article on the Blues, and asked Erica if he could take her photo. She agreed, and out of that short photo session, one of those photos has emerged as the two-page splash for the September 2016 article, “Black and Blues” as part of the Black In America series, written by Toure’. We send our thanks to Michele Seidman, CEO of National Women In Blues for the opportunity to be a part of the celebration, Danny Clinch for the stunning photo, Toure’ for the wonderful article, and of course, Smithsonian Magazine!
In early May 2016, Erica was approached by Todd Park Mohr, also known as Big Head Todd, of Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and was asked to “Lend Her Blues” to a track of Todd’s latest project for his Big Head Blues Club. The track was cut at E-Town Studio in Boulder, CO, and, along with Todd, also in attendance recording that day were Blues Giants Grammy Winner Billy Branch, Mud Morganfield (son of Muddy Waters) and Chicago’s favorite son Ronnie Baker Brooks. The resulting effort, called “Way Down Inside-a tribute to Willie Dixon” is available on Pledge Music and iTunes! The resulting tour in Fall 2016 was a huge success!!
For the last year or so, Erica and MJ have been adding their support vocals to the band to the band “Tracksuit Wedding” Called “A Band on the Move” by the Denver Post, Tracksuit has played Red Rocks with Dwight Yoakam and Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and shows with such stars as Beth Hart and William Topley, and festivals such as KAABOO and Bumbershoot. The brainchild of Libby Anschutz and Lead Vocalist Ali Pashel Frankfurt, this band is a soulful stew of Rock, Blues and Good Times!!
Dan Treanor’s Afrosippi Band members Merrian Johnson (MJ) and Michael Hossler recently competed in the Telluride Blues Challenge during Telluride Blues & Brews Weekend September 12-14, 2014. The Telluride Blues Challenge was held Saturday, September 13th, and was open this year for the first time to Duo acts as well as Solo acts, and Merrian and Michael performing as a Duo brought home Second Place! First place was solo act Nate Fletcher. Merrian, Michael and Nate are posing with the Martin guitar given to Nate as the first place prize. Merrian and Michael received a cash prize and performed at Blues for Breakfast Sunday September 14 as part of the Blues & Brews Festivities. Way to go MJ and Michael!!!
Erica & Dan talk about the IBC’s and more with Vinny Marini of Music on the Couch!
Erica’s Feature Article in Blues E-News Magazine spotlights Erica speaking on how Important the International Blues Challenge is, and her Personal Experience: