COMPLETE BIOS OF PERFORMERS…
Ryley Smith is described by her label Cat Family Records as “The six-string siren that reaped Jeff Buckley’s soul.” Her EP from Cat Family is coming out soon. Ryley Smith collaborates with a variety of musicians around town and is currently working on forming an all female band.
Therapy (aka) Melvina Hunter is a spoken word artist, poet and musician and a frequent performer at Black on Black Rhyme events in the Tallahassee area and beyond.
John Ahern is Blues Rock guitarist, 21, based in Tallahassee, Florida. Heavily influenced by legendary players such as Jimmy Page, Jack White, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, John delivers his own uniquely modern take on blues music.
American duo and singer-songwriters BlackSeed, started making music together several years ago along with their family. Devin Joseph along with his sister Brianna, work tirelessly to perfect their craft of musicianship along with the amazing gift they share as songwriters.The budding musicians grew up in a household where music as well as artistic expression is very highly valued. They are a positive force with a sound that encompasses an eclectic fusion of various genres, which has given them the confidence as well as the ability to entertain people, while conveying a message of hope and redemption.
Virgil Suarez is the author of 8 collections of poetry, most recently 90 MILES: SELECTED and NEW and of 4 novels, 2 collections of stories, and two memoirs. When he is not working on his new book, INDIGO, he is out riding his Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic motorcycle up and down the Blue Highways of the South. Photo Credit: Self-Portrait
Known as Three More For The Money, Valerie Johns and her daughters, Lauren and Jessica, have been entertaining Tallahassee as a girls’ trio for over a decade. The name is a shout-out to Valerie’s trio from the 1980s, who performed around town for many years as “Three For The Money.” Their music ranges from folk songs and country rock to show tunes but they specialize in acapella ’40s music, a la the Andrews Sisters. Their obvious enjoyment of their craft makes it all the more fun to watch.
Corine Samwel has sung in choirs since she was eight years old, and has enjoyed singing masterpieces such as Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. She was a second alto in the Tallahassee Community Chorus under Andre Thomas. The performance with TCC at Carnegie Hall in 2004 was a definite highlight. Her most recent choir experience was with Voces Angelorum under Charles Witmer. Corine is currently in two bands: The Heineken Maneuver and Chanson Blue with Angel de Armendi. She enjoys singing in several languages, including Dutch, her native tongue, German, and French. Edith Piaf is one of her greatest inspirations
Rychlik and Sutton have been performing in the Florida Panhandle for the last forty years. Both attended Florida State University in the 70’s and were a part of the popular touring band, “Labamba.” Though time has lead them to perform in other bands over the decades, the two have reunited over the past couple of years to perform together, resurrecting the songs from past bands and writing new material together. Rychlik and Sutton have been developing a strong following as they tour together. Rychlik has co-written several hundred songs and has also played with Tallahassee bands, “Flipside,” “Muffin Men,” and “Harvest Gypsies.” Sutton was a founding member of the group “Riverbreeze,” which was the most popular jazz fusion group in North Florida for over 25 years.
Michael Rothenberg is a poet, songwriter, editor of BigBridge.org and co-founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. His most recent book of poems is Drawing The Shade (Dos Madres Press, 2016). A bi-lingual edition of Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story and the poetic journals Tally Ho and the Cowboy Dream/The Real and False Journals: Book 5 will be published by Varasek Ediciones (Madrid, Spain, 2017). His book of poems Wake Up and Dream will be published in 2017 by MadHat Press. His songs have appeared in several movies, including Black Day-Blue Night, Outside Ozona and Shadowhunter. He has performed his work around the USA and his poetry/music performances include collaborations with musicians Burnette Thompson (New Columbia Swing Orchestra), Johnny Lee Schell (Bonnie Raitt), Bob Malone (John Fogarty), and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Grant Peeples is known for his axe-sharp socio-political tunes, raucous humor and heart-gigging ballads. In 2014 he was the recipient of the Focus Foundation Award for Creative Excellence, which cited the “humor, compassion and wisdom of his songs,” as well as their “unflinching social insight and cultural acuity.” He was a 2016 Finalist in the prestigious New Folk Songwriters Showcase, sponsored by Kerrville Folk Festival. Third Coast Magazine’s John Conquest says “Peeples is unusually literate, unusually honest. And the only songwriter I have ever called ‘ruthless.’” Grant has made seven studio records. Including a trilogy produced by Gurf Morlix. His newest record, “A Congress of Treasons,” was released in February, 2016.
SOCAN award-winning songwriter Robert Priest is one of the few Canadians to have achieved bestseller status as both a songwriter and a poet. The fiery rock ballad, Song Instead Of A Kiss, which he co-authored with Alannah Myles and Nancy Simmonds spent two weeks at the top of the charts in Canada and still receives airplay all around the world. His 2008 book of poetry, Reading The Bible Backwards, rose to number two on the Canadian poetry charts, its sales exceeded only by those of Leonard Cohen. Feeling the Pinch, his latest CD continues and extends this tradition with eleven passionate love songs, hilarious rants and incisive political ‘protest songs’ that have drawn strong notices from reviewers. Robert is a graduate of the Toronto live music scene. His rock video Congo Toronto (1986) was played on MuchMusic for almost 6 months and established for him a unique place in the poetry/music canon. Robert is currently performing his songs regularly in coffee houses, bars, festivals, libraries, house concerts, schools and stadiums all over the world. Spring 2017 will see the release of The Wold is Back, the sequel to his award-winning and much praised volume of poems for children and young adults, Rosa Rose, (Wolsak and Wynn). Currently Robert is at work with noted producer, Bob Wiseman, on a new collection of songs.