The Reigning Queen of Beale Street
For more information, contact:
Click here to go to Earwig Music Company
Click here to go to Blessings and Blues Volume 1
Click here to go to Blessings and Blues Volume 2
The Reigning Queen of Beale Street,
to release new album FROM THE SHOALS
"BB's Somewhere between an earthquake & a hurricane!" - Ronnie Earl "When Barbara Blue isn’t knocking one over with her powerhouse delivery, she’s just setting that listener up for the next punch...a hefty set of soul and blues; her solid backup unit [is] driven by drumming deity Bernard “Pretty” Purdie." (Duane Verh/Roots Music Report)
Pittsburgh, PA / Memphis, TN -
Big Blue Records proudly announces the upcoming release BARBARA BLUE's FROM THE SHOALS Barbara’s 13th independent release (2022/2023).
On FROM THE SHOALS
, Barbara Blue intertwines Blues, Soul, R&B, & Americana. Recorded at the legendary NuttHouse Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, AL and produced by Jim Gaines, the album features musical icons Bernard “Pretty” Purdie (drums), David Hood (bass), Clayton Ivey (keyboards), Will McFarlane (guitar) and Barbara Blue's Croatian songwriting partner Davor “Hutch” Hačić (who she met at 2019's IBC in Memphis).
On From The Shoals
, Barbara Blue is truly at the top of her game. Pittsburgh, PA native Barbara Blue doesn't remember life without music. Her answer to the question “When did you start singing?” will always be “since the day I was born and my plan is to exit this life the same way”. She spent her early childhood years singing in church choir, school choir, school band (flute), piano lessons, school plays and with radios throughout the house. “We always had music. I taught myself to play guitar... I would put on concerts in our back yard from 13 years on up…I left home June 1977 for Phoenix, AZ.” That’s when Barbara’s professional musical career began.
Playing a solo show (vocals & guitar) Barbara Blue played every club, biker bar, party and corner possible. From 1980 -1987 Barbara lived in Detroit, MI working as a bartender/college student by day and a vocalist by night playing gigs all over the city with the “City Limits Blues Band”.
In 1987 Barbara Blue returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA where she put together a band and played 6 nights a week at various clubs for 10+ years -- Wednesdays at the Baggy Knee in Greensburg, Thursdays at Gene’s Blues Bar on Rt 51S, Sunday nights at the Apple Inn in Dormont (5 yrs), then Sundays on the South Side (E. Carson & 21st Street) where Barbara held down the fort while 3 owners came and went. “We would travel up to 3 hours each way out of the city to do one night stands... I had so many gigs in those years I can’t begin to remember them all”.
She opened shows for locals and road acts -- Delbert McClinton, Jeff Healey, Marcia Ball, Billy Price, on and on and on … In 1994 Barbara recorded her debut CD Out of the Blue at The Control Room in Pittsburgh, PA. Ms. Blue also traveled with her band playing gigs in Memphis, Clarksdale & NOLA (Hogs Breath) to compete in the very early conception of the International Blues Challenge.
During this time, Barbara began taking the Ultimate Rhythm and Blues Cruises (13 in total) meeting and jamming with elite blues artists. Meeting Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band was an amazing journey which led to Barbara recording 3 albums (2001, 2004, 2006) with the Phantom Blues Band (Mike Finnigan, Johnny Lee Schell, Tony Braunagel, Larry Fulcher, Joe & Darrel - Texicali Horns & John Porter.)
In May 1997, Barbara took a trip to Memphis and landed a gig at Silky O’Sullivan’s at 183 Beale Street, where she performed 5 nights a week for nearly 25 years and is known as “The Reigning Queen of Beale Street”. "Barbara Blue can make a glass eye cry." (Silky Sullivan)
Performing on Beale Street led to many performance opportunities - including performing with James Cotton, Bobby Rush, Sam Myers, Anson Funderburgh, Sean Costello, Ronnie Baker, Wayne Baker & Lonnie Brooks, Preston Shannon, Tas Cru, Henry Butler, Roy Carrier, Carla Thomas, The Cate Brothers, Candye Kane, Leo “Bud” Welch, Ronnie Earl, and Bernard “Pretty” Purdie...In 2015 Barbara Blue was honored with a Brass note on The Beale Street Walk of Fame. She received the 2011 Emissary of Memphis Music Award. Both the Hard Rock Cafe in Memphis, TN (2014) and Pittsburgh, PA (2010) honored her with a Memorabilia Case.
She received a 2007 Blues Music Award Nomination from The Blues Foundation for Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist. She was nominated for 2019 Independent Blues Music Award "Traditional Female Artist of the Year" and best Traditional CD (2018's Fish In Dirty H2O), and was a 2019 BMA Nominee for "Female Soul Blues Artist Of The Year".
Barbara Blue continues to travel around the world to select festivals, gigs and events. She's had 5 successful tours of Australia along with a long list of International Festivals.
From her gritty urban blues to her saucy Memphis soul, Ms. Blue is so much more than just a “singer” -- she is a “True Blue Entertainer”. Barbara Blue reminds us on FROM THE SHOALS just why she has been the longstanding "Reigning Queen of Beale Street". "She's bold; she's brassy; she's downright sassy; but one thing is for sure, Barbara Blue can really sing." (Dave "Doc" Piltz /Blues On Stage)