The Funky Biscuit Presents
Biscuit Jam With Mark Telesca, Richie Schmidt & The Funky Biscuit All Stars Featuring Johnny Sansone
303 SE Mizner Blvd
Royal Palm Place
Boca Raton, FL, 33432
Doors 5:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is minors under 21 with parent or legal guardian
Watch & Listen
Johnny Sansone started out early playing music. His father, a saxophonist who’d been in Dave Brubeck’s band during World War II, introduced him to the saxophone at age 8. Johnny picked up the guitar and harmonica by the time he was 10, and had a life changing experience at 12 when he saw a Howlin’ Wolf show in Florida. That was the moment the young Sansone knew he was destined to play the blues as his lifetime vocation. He sat in with Honeyboy Edwards at 13. During the 1970s Sansone studied with blues harmonica legends James Cotton and Jr. Wells. In the 1980s he toured with Ronnie Earl, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Rodgers and Robert Lockwood Jr.
Sansone led the life of an itinerant bluesman, traveling around the country from temporary bases in Colorado, Austin, Florida and Chicago before settling down in New Orleans in 1990. As leader of Jumpin’ Johnny & the Blues Party, Sansone played harmonica and guitar in the fierce Mississippi delta blues style heard on his 1987 debut Where Y’at? and his1991 release Mister Good Thing.
Living in New Orleans brought a swamp rock tinge to his gruff vocals and emotional playing style, and after attending a wake for Zydeco pioneer Clifton Chenier Sansone started playing accordion as well. By the time of 1996’s Crescent City Moon Sansone had developed into a full fledged Louisiana artist, combining blues, boogie and the frontporch Cajun and Zydeco sounds of the Louisiana bayou country.
Crescent City Moon won multiple Best of the Beat awards that year and Sansone was signed to Rounder Records’ Bullseye Blues subsidiary, which also released his 1999 followup Watermelon Patch. During the early ‘00s Sansone played in a variety of settings, including a trio with pianist Joe Krown and guitarist John Fohl which released a recording in 2004.
At the beginning of 2005 Sansone joined the Voice of the Wetlands Allstars, a group of Louisiana bandleaders who wanted to draw attention to the disappearing wetlands and the destruction of the Louisiana coastline. By the time the record was released later that year New Orleans was underwater – the city flooded when its levee system broke down under the onslaught of the flood surge accompanying hurricane Katrina. “The record was designed to be a warning about what might happen,” said Sansone.
“Then it became a matter of I-told-you-so.”
Sansone was forced from his home when New Orleans was depopulated in the months after the flood and went on tour with the Voice of the Wetlands Allstars. He developed a lasting friendship with fellow VOW member Anders Osborne and began writing great songs about the Louisiana experience tempered by the emotions of watching the city being destroyed and slowly returning to life. Osborne produced Sansone’s next album, the 2007 release Poor Man’s Paradise. Sansone reached a new level of songwriting skills on this record, and the title track became a staple of the Voice of the Wetlands live performances.
In 2009 Sansone formed an acoustic trio with Osborne and guitarist John Fohl. The idea was they would play a regular Tuesday night show at Chickie Wah Wah to work on new songs. It was an explosive period of creativity for Osborne, who developed the songs on his masterful American Patchwork album during these sessions. But it was also a time of creative breakthroughs for Sansone, who wrote the breathtaking blues “The Lord Is Waiting and the Devil is Too” during these sessions. That song became the title track of his next album, another Osborne-produced venture. To this day it’s hard for Sansone to get through a gig without a fan calling out for “that Devil song!” “The Lord Is Waiting and the Devil is too” was named Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards.
Sansone continued to pen his unique brand of Louisiana story songs on his next album, Once It gets Started, which featured a memorable account of the fire that destroyed the Hubig’s Pie factory, “The Night the Pie Factory Burned Down.” His latest release, Lady On the Levee, another Osborne production, this time featuring Fohl as well as Jefferey Bridges on bass, Rob Lee on drums, Joe Cabral on baritone saxophone and Ivan Neville on keyboards.
The album rocks with the powerful boogie of “OZ Radio,” a tribute to New Orleans roots music radio station WWOZ. Sansone’s howling, rip-through-the-plaster voice and deep grooved harmonica riffs are the main attractions, but hard core fans will appreciate the wit and wisdom of his character songs, Louisiana stories like the title track, “Gertrude’s Property Line” and “One Of Us,” (“he ain’t no tourist attraction/he’s one of us”). This is Sansone’s most personal album as well. You can hear him struggling with some deep emotions on songs like “I’m Still Here” “Lightning Bug Rhodes” and “Tomato Wine.”
Johnny’s newest recording, HOPELAND, was produced by Anders Osborne, and features the North Mississippi Allstars. Offbeat Magazine’s review of HOPELAND praises Johnny for his instrumental prowess, particularly on harmonica and accordion, as well as his songwriting and bandleader talent. “… The energy level peaks so hard it could easily fly off the rails, but the perfectly balanced production from Osborne, and the finishing touches from Trina Shoemaker’s superb mixing, keep the buzz and distortion from turning into a train wreck. That’s how you catch lightning in a bottle.”
HOPELAND was the top selling record at Louisiana Music Factory during 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Mark Telesca is an American Songwriter / Singer / Guitarist and Bassist. He studied music at Florida Atlantic University and currently lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.
His “HOOK” oriented songwriting style and storytelling lyrics along with his expressive style of bass playing and powerful lead vocal is capturing the attention of music lovers everywhere.
Mark has released his first solo studio CD titled “Heavy Breathing” in January of 2015. His CD spent many months on steady rotation on SIRIUSXM RADIO (Bluesville). The CD is receiving rave reviews and reached the #5 spot on "Blues Power Radio's Top 30" Blues Albums. He has had three singles off the Heavy Breathing CD that has charted on Blues 411 Baker's Dozen of Blues. "If You Got Enough Jack" has reached #5 " Cross the Dog" has reached #2 and "I Don't Need Your Lovin' Anymore" has reached #1 !!!
In January 2015, Mark took his band to Memphis, TN to compete in the International Blues Challenge (IBC) and were semi finalists.
Mark has also started a career playing solo acoustic guitar focusing on Pre-WWII blues, Americana and his own original music. He has since competed in his local IBC challenge as a solo artist. He has been fortunate enough to win himself another spot in to compete again in Memphis in January 2016 and will be competing again in 2017.
Mark is very proud to be endorsed by Delaney Guitars. Delaney Guitars has built the Mark Telesca Bass Model. They are calling the bass the "TRADITION" model based on its traditional looks, feel and sound. It is currently available for purchase www.delaneyguitars.com
Mark is out gigging almost every night promoting his music. In addition to his hectic gigging schedule, he is the host of one of the most popular Pro Blues Jams in the Southeast. The Jam takes place every Monday at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL. There are many touring artist who make it a point to spend some extra time in sunny Florida just to attend and hopefully participate in this high quality Jam.
As well as being a songwriter, singer, guitarist, and band leader, Mark is a touring bassist supporting many blues / rock artists. He is currently touring with “Blue Mercy” Featuring 2014 Blues Music Award winner and 2015 Blues Music Award Nominee Diunna Greenleaf.
Mark was the bassist along with 2010 Blues Music Award Winner and 2015 Grammy Winner Jason Ricci on Harmonica in The Keith Brown Trio. They later recorded Keith’s album “Down the Line” an acoustic album.
Influences are: The Delta Blues, Gospel Music and Motown.
Bass influences are James Jamerson, Donald Duck Dunn, Oteil Burbridge, Willie Weeks ... Just to name a few.
Richie Schmidt was born and raised in NYC, and was surrounded by musical influences from an early age. Singing in his church's “cherub” choir at age 5, he would follow on to the junior and adult choirs. From grade 2 to 6 he took violin lessons (at public school!). And when the church began to experiment with the new “folk” music style that was becoming popular, he began playing guitar. Some formal lessons followed at the local music store, and the guitar became a constant companion.
With his transistor radio (tuned to WABC), he began listening and learning the songs of the time. A friendly competition with his sister Debbie (also a singer/guitarist) provided a “look what I just learned” leap-frog game of sharing songs and styles, accelerating his knowledge of the instrument, as well as his familiarity with the variety of 60s and 70s pop music.
Other influences would add some spice to his skills. Under the direction of musicologist Peter Griggs he studied East Indian music and performed as a percussionist with the NYC Gamelan. A high school friend, Christopher Thall, was a prodigious talent who demonstrated learning techniques that opened up many avenues to musical approach and understanding. And Richie's fascination with musical instruments led him to acquire abilities on piano and flute, as well as banjo, mandolin and other stringed instruments.
He began performing in rock cover bands in 1976, playing classic rock favorites at parties and high schools and eventually in clubs all around NYC and Long Island. In 1983, he fully dedicated himself to a life of music, leaving his home to join a traveling act. Early in these travels he met keyboardist Tess Smith. The two traveled with the touring band for a number of years, eventually settling in South Florida. In 1990 they were married, and began performing as the duo “Twocan Blue”.
In 2002 Richie was invited to fill the guitar role for “The Fabulous Fleetwood's” the longest running “rockin' blues” band in the region.
In 2008, he was the musical director for the stage re-creation of the concert movie “The Last Waltz”, and also performed in the role of guitarist Robbie Robertson .
Continuing on a busy schedule of performances, he's frequently called on as a solo artist and side man, performing on stages large & small, with local musician friends, as well as many noteworthy artists.
Reserve Seats for this event are subject to a $15 food or beverage minimum (Happy Hour Menu not available during this event). Entire party must arrive no later than 7:30pm or reserved seats will be released