The Funky Biscuit & The South Florida Blues Society Present
The South Florida Blues Society's 13th Annual Guitar Showcase Part 1 - Hosted By The Drew Preston Trio
303 SE Mizner Blvd
Royal Palm Place
Boca Raton, FL, 33432
Doors 3:00 PM / Show 4:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
DREW PRESTON (lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals)
Originally a classic rock guitarist and composer from the Frampton/Santana/Hendrix schools.
Drew ventured into rock/jazz fusion in the 80s to become a sought after NYC session player who routinely jammed with fusion greats including the late Hiram Bullock, Delmar Brown, and Darryl Dobson among others. Preston's unique style was frequently compared to guitar icons such as Steve Lukather, Larry Carlton and Neal Schon.
Drew moved south to channel his energies into southern rock/jam/groove/blues/funk with touring acts including Rockin' Jake, Derrick Hadley & The Motowners, blind keyboard sensation Ricky Williams, and Johnny B. & The Road Dogs.
Drew Preston, presently the House guitarist for the The Funky Biscuit All-stars and fronting his own band “The Drew Preston Project” which is a quartet of some of the best players in the region. Drew states the band is a labor of love playing some original material and jazz fusion covers from the likes of Marcus Miller, Scott Henderson to Brecker bros. and one time close friend Hiram Bullock.
Over the past few years Drew has been regarded as one of the premier guitarists whose style continues to intrigue musicians and music lovers of all styles as his range of musicianship never disappoints. Also guesting in a number of local inspired projects, Kat Riggins Blues Revival, David Shelley & Bluestone, The Jeffrey James Gang, The Jon Zeeman Group, Tom Regis and The Rhythm Riders. Men from Marz.
A new project for Drew coming this winter as a sideman for the Jay Stollman Blues Band. Preston is also available for studio work and gives private guitar lessons at his Studio in Delray Beach.
Joey Gilmore's love affair with the guitar began in his teens. “In the town that I lived in, there was a barbershop,” Gilmore reminisces. “And the barber that owned the shop was a sanctified preacher. He was a minister, and he had this little flat-bodied guitar. It was electric, no amplifier to it. And he would bring it to the shop with him, and he was trying to learn how to play. So, I would get to the barbershop early whenever I would go to get my hair cut, or even after school, I would hang around at the barbershop, because I wanted to get my hands on that guitar. I would take the guitar and they had these old wooden benches. I would lay the guitar on top of the wooden bench and when you would strum the strings, the wood, the bench, would vibrate, and the floor would, the sound would resonate, and you could hear it without the amplifier. I learned just from watching him.” Young Gilmore tried to keep his obsession with the instrument from his church going aunt, who was raising him, but word of the talented boy who played at the barbershop eventually got back to her.”
Decades later and established as a Florida legend, Joey Gilmore provides a highlight at Blues Festivals and night clubs all over the world as one of the best soul-blues and R&B singers in the business. Joey Gilmore has shared the stage with Such Greats As James Brown, Etta James, Bobby Bland, Little Milton, Johnny Taylor and numerous others. In January 2006 Joey Gilmore won one of the most distinguished and internationally coveted awards in all of blues. The IBC. Joey Gilmore outscored all artist worldwide while showcasing his amazing talent at a blues industry event. Making him the best unsigned Artist on the planet. In 2008 Joey Gilmore was awarded the Blewzzy award for best song, BLUES ALL OVER YOU. In 2015 Joey Gilmore was honored with Latin World Talent Lifetime Achievement Award. He continues to soar in the music industry.
Jeffrey Lynn Fulks Jr. now known as JL Fulks was born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1990. At age 13, he began playing guitar, after being inspired by his father's love for the blues. JL’s immediate prowess with the instrument led to him joining The Praise Band at a local Christian School and in church. When his father noticed his son’s abilities, he gave him the Stevie Ray Vaughan album "Texas Flood" and told him, "If you're going to play guitar, play it like that.” Soon after, JL joined an original rock band in high school. The group ended up winning his high school’s “Battle of the Bands.”
In 2009, JL formed a rock band called "Until Next Time", with three musicians from the local music scene. The band was very popular in the Greenville, South Carolina region and eventually won a "Battle of the Bands" competition, sponsored by Gorilla Productions. The band parlayed their success by winning the finals at Greenville's premier music venue "The Handlebar". They were subsequently voted Greenville's best rock band and were awarded free recording time at Sit-n-Spin Studios, as well as a headline opportunity at The Handlebar. Things were looking up for the popular band as several independent labels were interested in signing them, but creative differences among the members led to the band breaking up before any success could be achieved.
Undeterred by the band's break up, JL decided to further his musical knowledge by studying jazz with Adam Knight, an instructor at the University of South Carolina. Under Knight, JL's musical evolution branched out to jazz, blues and other styles.
When his family moved to South Florida in 2011, JL continued his musical education by enrolling with Berklee College of Music's online extension program. This afforded him the opportunity to study with some of the world’s best music instructors. While studying with Berklee, JL began making a name for himself in South Florida by performing at open jams and sitting in with local bands.
It wasn't long before his abilities were recognized and JL was being asked to sit in with many national acts. He has shared the stage with such names as: Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Matt Schofield, Chris Duarte, Mac Arnold and the Plate Full of Blues Band, Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots, Selwyn Birchwood, and many more.
Persistence paid off when JL was approached by Brandon Santini in the fall of 2013. After seeing JL perform at the Funky Biscuit one night with David Shelley and Bluestone, Santini asked JL to play guitar for his band. JL relocated to Memphis, Tennessee in December of 2013, after three successful tours to play full-time in Brandon Santini's band.
JL worked as Brandon's right hand man for eight months where he opened the show for Brandon and drove the band as his lead guitarist. He toured the mid west and headlined with Brandon at many great blues clubs such as Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, and performed frequently on world famous Beale Street. Larger showcases became the norm as the band performed at some great blues festivals such as The Daytona Blues Festival, The Springing the Blues Festival, and the Southwest Florida Blues Festival where they opened for legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter.
After JL's performance at The Southwest Florida Blues Festival, he was told by Johnny Winter's manager that Johnny was impressed by his guitar playing and that he wanted to meet him. The Blues legend and the young guitar phenom had an encouraging conversation about music and life. That night lives on every night he plays his Gibson ES-335 that Johnny Winter signed. Although now, to honor Johnny and to preserve the valued instrument, JL mostly plays a new, Heritage H535.
After eight great months of touring and performing frequently on world famous Beale Street and gaining invaluable road experience, JL felt it was time to move on to projects of his own and begin work on his new EP. He returned to his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina to begin writing and planning a launch of his own band. Soon after we relocated back to South Florida and formed a trio with Ken Burgner & Ian Jones.
In 2016, JL & his band won South Florida's Regional Blues Challenge and made it to the Semi-Finals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Shortly after he released his self written and produced EP "On Down The Road" featuring award winning Blues artist Matt Schofield. The EP charted in three charts on the Roots Music Report and received many great reviews and plays worldwide. In October of 2016 JL was nominated for two IMEA Awards, Blues Song of The Year, and Blues Artist of The Year. JL won Blues Song of The Year and performed the winning song at the Tucker Theater in Nashville, TN for the 2016 IMEA Awards.
Now, at 27 years old, JL Fulks has already lived the dream that most musicians work their whole lives to achieve. JL's band has opened for Tab Benoit, Doyle Bramhall ll, Donavon Frankenreiter, Atlanta Rhythm Section, The Ragbirds, and Robert Randolph & Family Band. JL is currently endorsed by Heritage Guitar Inc., GHS Strings, Mojo Hand FX, and Cusack Music. He is also touring nationwide and is planning to start touring internationally in 2018.
The newest single by JL Fulks "The Way She Makes Me Feel" was released in partner with Heritage Guitar Inc. The song is about his Heritage H535 "Ruby" and the music video was filmed inside the Heritage Guitar Factory. The music video features footage of the last ever video of the Original Gibson Factory in Kalamazoo, MI.
Famous Frank Ward
Famous Frank Ward is one of the premier band leader/blues musicians in the talent rich South Florida area. His band The Nucklebusters has performed at every major blues club and festival since 1988. Frank is a respected bandleader, guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer.
Jack Levy, a self-proclaimed Florida native has been living in South Florida since 1988. Originally from Cuba, Jack's love of blues and the electric guitar started with Johhny Winter's 'And live' album, the original 1969 Woodstock album and the Marysol Festival album from 1972 with John Nitzinger who was the catalist to gravitating to guitar. Jack ran a studio in Hollywood in the mid to late 90s, he has a large collection of guitars and amps, his favorite ones being a 1950s Silvertone Espanada and a 1973 Gibson Les Paul which was his first real guitar that he still owns. Jack with the Funky Blues Band represented the South Florida Blues Society in Memphis TN this year at the International Blues Challenge in the band category. He mentions all guitars have a certain personality like people, sometimes you get along and sometimes you don't no matter how hard you try.
John Earl Walker
John Earl Walker (Born in Brooklyn, New York May 13th 1951) is an American electric blues guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer. John Earl began playing guitar in 1964 at age thirteen. Shortly thereafter he began forming his own bands to play at local gigs in the New York City area.
At one of his first gigs playing at his uncle’s wedding at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, he met Sam Cooke who was performing in the next room and it left a huge impression on him. Around this time he started writing his own music and lyrics, a practice he continues to this day. By age fifteen John was playing professional gigs in clubs with older band mates. John cites the three Kings (BB, Albert, and Freddie) along with Chuck Berry as his biggest influences as he developed his own unique style.
During the 60's he played with various bands and line-ups in New York including Capitol recording artists Plum Nelly who opened shows for top acts like Buddy Guy, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, and many other luminaries. Just two days after his twentieth birthday John Earl played at Carnegie Hall with Plum Nelly, opening for the James Gang, on May 15, 1971.
A great day for John Earl was in December 1975, when he was asked to film a pilot playing guitar with BB King for channel 9 KHJ in Los Angeles called "Backstage Pass." Soon afterwards John Earl formed his first blues band in Los Angeles and since then has led his own bands with many different line-ups. Many of John Earl's songs have become blues Internet classics. John Earl's main guitar used live and on all his CDs is named Dorothy a 1959 Fender Stratocaster which he purchased in NYC in 1973 in a trade for his 1961 Strat plus $100.00 dollars. As well as performing in New York, John Earl Walker has performed at festivals in Australia and Sweden and also at the Fortieth Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen in Germany in 2009.
John Wenzel (a.k.a. Good Rockin' Johnny) is arguably the area's pre-eminent blues-rock guitarist. He was a founding member of the Fat Chance Blues Band, Iko-Iko, and Little Nicky and the Slicks. When visiting national blues acts come to town and find themselves in need of a guitarist for a gig, Wenzel is the guy they'd call. To use the oldest cliche in the book, he is a guitar player's guitar player, an ax man who can peel off dazzling solos emulating everyone from Stevie and Jimi to Buddy and Muddy. He is also one of Miami's truest bluesmen, forming bands to play Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon, and Elmore James tunes during the darkest years of the great disco plague. Says Graham Drout, Iko-Iko cofounder and, along with promoter Mark Weiser and fellow bluesman Fleet Starbuck, something of an archivist of the local blues scene, "John Wenzel was playing blues back when everybody said you couldn't. There weren't any clubs with R&B as part of their format. We played parties, tiny little places where you were lucky if they had a dozen people. I think maybe more than anyone [Wenzel] was responsible for creating a blues scene in Miami. Fat Chance was like the mother of all Miami blues bands, and John was the guitar player." You can now catch Johnny playing with the Funky Blues Band.
From the age of 8, Jon Zeeman has been obsessed with guitars, amplifiers, wah-wah pedals, power tubes, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones.
Growing up outside NYC, he studied classical piano and decided on a career in music at the ripe age of 13. Early jobs at IHop and other occupations taught him that the business world, or anything that required waking up early was not for him, and so he spent his high school years practicing more and more and doing less and less homework. After studying music at Ithaca College for 2 years, Jon left school to play on the road. In the mid 80's Jon moved to New York City and became involved in producing, session work and song writing, working at his "Studio Z" in a downtown loft. The New York years were punctuated by many trips to Scandinavia, where he toured and recorded with several groups.
Jon began performing his own music in the mid 90's working regularly at the "55" Club and other downtown venues. Leaving NYC at the birth of his daughter, Zoe, Jon now resides in Martha's Vineyard and West Palm Beach Florida, where he performs regularly. He has toured, recorded and performed with such notables as Susan Tedeschi , Janis Ian, The Burns Sisters Band, Chris Spedding , and the Allman Brothers Band.
His first CD, "Still Life," was released in Europe in 2003 to much acclaim and was followed by "Zeeland" in 2008. Jon is excited to announce the 2013 release of "Down On My Luck."
Peter Roland is an amazing guitar firebrand who comes to us from The Big Apple, New York City, where he grew up on the East Side and was influenced by all of the Blues greats coming out of the New York Blues scene. Peter's voice features that classic low and edgy Blues sound. Peter's guitar style is raw, unfiltered Blues-Rock and he is an integral, driving member of our band.
Robert Ross is a two-time winner of the coveted New York Music Award for Best Blues Artist. Ross won his first New York Music Award for Best Blues Artist in 1989 and has been nominated a total of 7 times over the years alongside such stars as Johnny Copeland, Taj Mahal, John Hammond Jr., Roscoe Gordon, Cyndi Lauper and Mose Allison. Robert also won an East Coast Rocker Award for Best Blues Artist in 1991. Ross is a New York Blues Hall of Fame inductee. The Robert Ross Band plays hard driving boogie, hip grinding soul, burning rock ‘n’ roll, and low down and dirty blues. David Hinckley of the NY Daily News once wrote, “Robert Ross is one of the most impressive young bluesmen around.”
Robert’s 2004 CD “What Are We Fighting For?” was released on Fountainbleu Records. The 4 song CD was a mix of original gospel, blues, folk and rock tunes that examined democracy, nationalism, freedom, security, corporate greed, and war. The politically charged lyrics were a bit of a departure for Ross who is primarily known for blues.
In March of 2002, Fountainbleu Records released “Sleight of Hand” which showcased the best material from two previous Ross recordings. The CD was re-mastered by Dennis Ferrante (Elvis, Aerosmith, John Lennon). Guitar World called “Sleight of Hand an excellent new CD.” Blues societies and radio stations in dozens of cities around the country loved it too.
In 1999, Brambus released a live CD entitled, “Lightness… to Dark”. It was also released in the USA on Blue Planet Records as, “It’s Alive”.
In l996, Brambus Records released “Darkness… to Light” in Europe. The band began touring Europe extensively to packed houses. Reviews have been numerous and impressive. The CD received lots of airplay too.
In 1994 Johnny Winter’s version of Ross’ “Sittin’ In The Jailhouse” was re-released on Legacy Records, a subsidiary of Sony, on a “best of” CD entitled “A Rock ‘n” Roll Collection”. Winter had originally recorded the song for Columbia Records in 1980, on an LP entitled “Raisin’ Cain”.
In 1991, Ross’ own Blue Planet Records released “Rockin’ the Rails”. Jim Coen of Guitar World wrote, “Ross sings convincingly, and is an exceptional slide player deserving a much larger audience, 3 1/2 stars!” Robert Makin of the Aquarian wrote, “If you closed your eyes you’d swear Ray Charles was playing Buddy Guy’s guitar… one of the East Coast’s best and most inventive blues men.” Rafael Alvarez wrote in the Baltimore Sun, “Ross could make ‘God Bless America’ stand on its head and rock… Ross fares well against Stevie Ray Vaughan.”
An LP called “It’s Rough ‘n’ Tough” was released in Europe on Victoria Records, a subsidiary of RCA in 1984. A Guitar World review by Rafael Alvarez read, “Robert Ross is an imaginative writer with files of Twilight Zone tales accumulated in his wanderings… soulful, vigorous guitar playing… agile cat quick licks.”
An EP released on Baron Records in 1981 entitled “Introducing Robert Ross” came out of nowhere to take seventh place for Record of the Year in the Baltimore Sun. The 4 song disc got a lot of airplay in Europe and Africa, as well as in the USA. It also received some rave reviews.
The Robert Ross Band has appeared on radio and TV numerous times in Europe as well as the USA including ABC’s “Alive at Five” and WB’s “Good Morning America”. They have also performed at the 2002 Chicago Blues Festival and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Altogether, Robert appears on 8 internationally distributed recordings including the 1976 Big Joe Turner classic on Spivey Records entitled, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter”. That was classic blues singer Victoria Spivey’s label.
Ross has worked with: Big Joe Turner, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Otis Rush, Dr. John, Memphis Slim, J.B. Hutto, Eddy Kirkland, Floyd Jones, Homesick James, Brownie McGhee, Sunnyland Slim, Bobby Lewis, Charles Ward (Ink Spots), Pinetop Perkins, Charles & Cyrille Neville, Bob Gaddy, and others. He was also co-leader of the Dicey Ross Band with harmonica virtuoso Bill Dicey in the 1970s. Ross has also warmed up audiences for: Albert King, Freddie King, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Dixon, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Jr. Wells, Johnny & Edgar Winter, John Lennon, Jethro Tull, Ron Wood, Aretha Franklin, The Band, The Allman Brothers, Guy Clark (The Byrds), Leon Russell, Ronnie Earl, Lonnie Mack, John Hammond, Rory Block, Johnny Copeland, Gatemouth Brown, Laverne Baker, Roomful of Blues, Son Seals, Spencer Davis, Dusty Rhodes, Duke Robillard, Lazy Lester, Bobby Rush, Eddy Clearwater, Roscoe Gordon, Mose Allsion, and James Cotton. Robert has also jammed onstage with the likes of Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jay McShann, Junior Wells, and Art Blakey.
Robert Ross is a very distinctive and soulful singer who knows how to sell a song. He is a killer guitarist whose spine-tingling solos tell a story mere words alone cannot express. Albert King added, “He’s so fast, lightning would have to get on roller skates to catch him.” He also plays a very wicked slide guitar and some harmonica. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page used one word to describe this group, “HOT!!!”
Robert Ross is the total package. Bill Carlton of the NY Daily News expressed it best when he wrote, “Robert Ross is a fine singer, a snappy lyricist, and an even better blues rock guitarist… cut from the same cloth as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Winter… Time after time Ross delivers the goods”.
$15 Advance / $10 Advance for current SFBS members or join/renew at the door/website for a discount
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Reserve Seats for this show are subject to a $15 food or beverage minimum
The Funky Biscuit
Sun, May 19
Sun, May 19
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Wed, May 22