The Ray Charles Project

Before becoming a prominent figure in women's music in the 1990s, San Francisco native Linda Tillery began her singing career in the 1960s with the gender-integrated psychedelic/soul band the Loading Zone, which was modeled somewhat after Sly and the Family Stone. After two albums with that band,Tillery released her solo debut, Sweet Linda Divine, on CBS in 1970 to enthusiastic reviews and high praise. She spent most of the '70s singing and playing drums on over 40 albums, including efforts byMary Watkins and Teresa Trull. Having become a staff musician and producer at Olivia Records,Tillery released her second solo album, a self-titled effort, on the label in 1978, garnering a Bay Area Music Award for Best Independently Produced Album; Tillery has twice gone on to win Bay Area Jazz Awards for Outstanding Female Vocalist.

Chris Cain

Blues guitarist extraordinaire Chris Cain grew up in San Jose, studied music at San Jose City College, and over the next twenty years learned his way around clarinet, piano, bass guitar, and alto and tenor saxophone, not to mention developing fierce vocal chops. He’s played with such greats as Albert King and Albert Collins, Johnny Otis and Junior Wells, Boz Scaggs and Willie Nelson, and recorded ten solo albums, including his latest, So Many Miles, which the Chicago Blues Guide calls “a delicious blend of blues laced with jazz and rock.”

DeWayne Pate

Bassist DeWayne Pate graduated from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, moved north, and has since worked with an array of top Bay Area talents including Huey Lewis and the News, Boz Scaggs, Maria Muldaur, and Robben Ford. He’s also a columnist for Bassics Magazine, and his instructional video, The Art of Tapping, his been widely popular. Reviewer Andrew Gilbert called his album Melting Pot “an impressive array of grooves.”

Deszon Claiborne

Deszon Claiborne is the dynamic drummer for Clockwork and the Tammy Hall Trio.

Tony Lindsay

Tony Lindsay has 11 Grammy awards on his mantel after spending two decades as lead singer of Santana, and has recorded with such artists as Patti Austin, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, and Steve Winwood. He moved from Albany, New York to San Jose in 1980, worked at Guitar Center, and joined the Danny Hull Quintet, which later adopted the name Spang-a-Lang. His friend Chester Thompson invited him to audition for Santana, and overnight he went from playing small clubs to huge amphitheaters. He comes to the Freight fresh off a stint with Santana at the House of Blues in Las Vegas.

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