Traditionally, the Blues Caravan lineup has showcased the label’s breaking talent – from Aynsley Lister to Samantha Fish – and given fans a chance to catch the blues titans of tomorrow before they go ‘boom’. But in 2018, it’s time to mix things up. On this year’s Blues Caravan, you’ll not only find one young gun with a dazzling career ahead of her, but also two heavyweights with a sky-high reputation. Let’s welcome them to the stage…
Ruf’s tireless dedication to the blues means it hunts far beyond borders for its new signings – and the label has struck gold with Lone Star StatePowerhouse ALLY VENABLE. Ally Venable, started singing at an early age in church and then in recent years picked up the guitar and found her passion establishing herself as a Texas Blues Guitar Slinger.
Some surnames command instant respect on the blues scene. As the son of the mighty Luther Allison – the late Chicago blues titan who was Ruf’s first signing back in 1994 – Bernard Allison has added to the family legend and carved out his own mythology as a world-class songwriter and performer. For this year’s Blues Caravan, he’ll be drawing on an acclaimed back catalogue that includes 1997’s US debut Keepin’ The Blues Alive up to 2018´s Let It Go, and slipping between genres as only a master can.
If you’re remotely serious about modern blues, you’ll have followed the twists and turns of Mike Zito’s fascinating career. The Missouri-born bandleader overcame his crippling early addictions to become one of modern America’s sharpest songwriters, and few artists have written with such stark eloquence as he did on 2018’s First Class Life album. In 2012, Mike threw us a curveball, lining up alongside Devon Allman and Cyril Neville as a key member of Royal Southern Brotherhood – and went on to stay with the supergroup for two critically feted albums.