By Melissa Fossum
By Lauren Wise
By New Times
By Amanda Savage
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Troy Farah
By New Times
Big Pete Pearson and the Blues Sevilles
Note: Everything about Pete Pearson is big: his nickname, his physique, his voice, and his traditional, Texas blues sound. Live, this guy holds nothing back.
Quote: "Chicago blues has a boogie beat, but I'm more of an urban blues, like late '40s, early '50s. It's got more of an upbeat shuffle."--Big Pete Pearson
BTW: Pete also cooks a mean barbecue.
Patti Williams and Delerious
Note: A blues diva with a three-and-a-half-octave range, Patti has one foot in the church and the other in the nightclub--she's Saturday night and Sunday morning in one package. She also has exquisite taste in clothes and back-up bands.
Quote: "I like to relax and go with the vibes I pick up from the audience. That's what I thrive on."--Patti Williams
P.S. Williams learned to sing by listening to her grandmother's Mahalia Jackson records.
Note: The Hoodoo Kings are the bad boys of Phoenix blues. These guys play '50s blues like they do their hair: big and greasy.
Quote: Good luck--front man Dave Trippy's stage patter is auction-barker fast.
Releases: One Foot in the Groove (1995)
BTW: "Hoodoo" is Deep South speak for voodoo and other witchy stuff. As in, if a hoodoo woman gives you the evil eye, you best get your mojo workin'.
Note: This six-piece band is all women, and when they cook, it's onstage--with good-vibe, highly danceable modern blues. Sistah Blue is the fastest-rising star in the Valley blues scene.
Quote: "[Harp player] Rochelle Raya's body and soul goes into every 'blow,' which keeps her audience alive with her natural movin' & groovin' eccentric enthusiasm." [From Sistah Blue's promotions kit]
BTW: Last fall, Sistah Blue took second in the 13th annual International Blues Talent Competition in Memphis, Tennessee.
Note: KQ's twin guns are intricate, clever brag-rap word play layered over evolutionary beats. Producer P-Body Scott's unconventional use of strings, xylophone and original bass samples is exquisite.
Quotes: "See, you cannot like Mike Tyson, you might say his voice is funny, or laugh at his big ol', snaggly toothed ass, but I'll bet you don't say shit about his boxing, 'cause he's knocking fools out."--MC Cash
"That's what we're doing. You can say we think we're all pretty, or we're money-hungry, but you can't say shit about the way we rap, and everybody knows that."--MC Cappuccino
Releases: Conversation and Public Speaking (1996)
BTW: Exceptional freestylists able to spin wide, wild webs of spontaneous street poetry, Cash and Cappuccino have egos to match their talent.
Note: No-frills East Coast-style beats and rhymes. This is stripped-down, hard-core rap 101.
Quote: "We're tight, and we come at you hard. That's all we need to say, 'cause that's all you need to know.--Negro League motto
BTW: Negro League's declared patron saint is the Method Man.
Note: Shindiggs is one half of the recently defunct veteran Valley hip-hop act Brothers Grimm (DLB) paired with vocalist Killtone, doing a more singsongy, West Coast-flavored and--let's be honest--commercial sound.
Quote: "This camp is a self-contained unit, from song concept to recording, to the finished production."--DLB
BTW: DLB recently produced the single "Don't Stop Shakin'" for the Southsyde Boyz on LaFace Records.
Note: Hard-hitting tribal/industrial with acoustic percussion and a judicious yet powerful use of deep-toned guitars.
Quote: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is on television."--Lucius Warbaby, lead singer
BTW: New Times industrial critic Frank Smith recently nailed the Godless sound as "apocalyptic rock for a Mad Max world."
Note: Machine-gun sequencers and live drumming lay a mile-deep foundation for towering infernos of guitar, billowing, monstrous vocals and just enough science-fiction-film samples to situate this band firmly in the cyber-realm.
Quote: "N17 will jump out of the CD player and kill you in your seat."--Trevor Askew, lead singer
Signed: Yes. SlipDisc Records.
Releases: Trust No One (1995)
BTW: This band's live show is best measured in megatons.
Note: Nihil's strength is a raw, warm, live industrial guitar sound--sometimes sweeping and lonely, others chunky and vicious, always yoked to a relentless, deeply physical BEAT.
Quote: "Nihil creates harsh soundscapes that freeze in a dark moist corner with naked emotions."--Scott Crowley, singer-guitarist
Releases: Drown (1996)
P.S. Formerly a one-man studio display of guitar and programming wizardry, Nihil is starting to mount a formidable live assault.
Country & Western/Americana
Note: Down-home folk-rock five piece with acoustic/electric guitars and a female lead vocalist.
Quote: "We're not country enough to play in country bars, and we're not rock enough for most other clubs. We're just stuck in this weird limbo somewhere between, but that's where we like to play."--Brad Cloch, guitarist
BTW: What the hell is a Burnlacker? Not even Cloch knows. "It just sounded tough."
Earl C. Whitehead and the Grevious Angels
Note: The Angels play quasi-country--the sort of slightly twisted two-step sound that results when lifelong rock 'n' rollers fall head over spurs for roots country.
Quote: "Country music today is so far from its roots. Everything now is straightahead rock beats. It's because people line dance to that kind of music. It's what sells. We don't do that."--Russell Sepulveda, lead singer