Resa Gibbs is a standout blues vocalist known best for her work with MSG the Acoustic Blues Trio. She has taught blues vocals at Augusta Heritage Blues Week, and Centrum Blues Week. She plays washboard, strum stick and a mean kazoo! Without Resa’s encouragement and vision, I doubt Together, We Rise would have happened—and if it had, it would sound very different. She immediately heard things in the songs that I didn’t hear at first. She served as producer and vocal arranger. I am so thankful she was willing to produce the project and walk with me through the process.
Meet the Bubble of Love Band
Phil Wiggins is a world renown blues harmonica player, singer and song-writer. He is a National Heritage Fellow for 2017, and is a two-time winner of the W.C. Handy Blues Foundation awards. He performed for many years with the late John Cephas. Over the last several years, he has performed with numerous world class musicians. He has directed both Augusta Heritage Blues Week and Centrum Blues Week. He is both incredibly talented and uncommonly generous with his talent and musical insight. As a song writer, there is nothing quite like having Phil Wiggins play your music, and I am so grateful for his friendship and his presence on Together, We Rise.
Eleanor Ellis has been a friend and musical mentor for years. In the world of acoustic blues, Eleanor is known for her mastery of piedmont guitar as well as her distinctive, powerful vocals. She has taught guitar workshops at Augusta Heritage Blues Week, and with the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation. She has performed at clubs, festivals and concerts in the United States, Canada and Europe. She has also traveled and played with the late gospel street singer Flora Molton and bluesman Archie Edwards, and sometimes accompanied Delta Blues great Eugene Powell. I am particularly grateful for her willingness to sit in my living room and play and sing these songs with me while they were just coming into being!
Gina DeSimone is a guitarist with both grit and style, and a songwriter. She teaches Piedmont blues at the The Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation, known as the Barbershop. She leads Gina DeSimone and the Moaners who performs all over Washington DC and the surrounding areas. She is also a great friend and was so supportive during this process. In the studio we were all wowed by the little “tasty bits” she would effortlessly turn out that brought the music to life. I am so grateful to Gina for being a part of this project!
Billy Mayfield is my miracle musician. Three days before rehearsal and one week before we were going into the studio, the friend who was set to play piano took a fall and seriously hurt his right hand. I had called around and found no one, until I got out of my car one afternoon and mentioned my predicament to my neighbor, Malcolm Wilson as he passed by our house walking his beagle. Five minutes later I was on the phone with Malcolm’s brother-in-law Billy, who was not only willing and able to jump in and help, but really brought great ideas, and became totally committed. Billy plays many instruments including keyboards, bass and guitar, and is a very talented singer. I am so thankful for his talents and friendship.
Eric Selby was totally new to me, until Eleanor Ellis suggested I talk to him about doing percussion for the EP. I was so impressed with his versatility, and his calm can-do approach to the project. He was more than willing to lay down many tracks to give us options to hear knowing we wouldn’t use them all. He is a true professional in the way he approaches the studio and a lovely, easy-going guy who is a joy to have around.
Pat Quinn is a fabulous musician and loads of fun! She is happy to pick up a bass (stand-up or electric), a guitar, or sit down at the keyboard. She has a great feel for music structure and theory, and is a great harmonizer. Her energy is contagious and I’m sure that guitar and piano students benefit from it! I know I did. Pat is a great friend and I am so happy she was able to be a part of the EP!