Ben Rice has been leaving huge impressions on audiences around the Northwest and winning awards for his vocals and guitar playing for the last seven years. In 2014 at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tennessee he left the audience speechless with a raw emotional delivery of his version of “Key To The Highway.” His second consecutive trip to the International Blues Challenge he made the finals in the solo/duo category. Where he was awarded the St. Blues Guitarist award for best guitarist.
His debut on the international stage in 2014, was a landmark step forward in his career from being a regional act playing primarily around the NW to a national and international touring artist. Captivating audiences and presenting himself as someone who has a lot of depth in the various soundscapes of American music. Ben is gaining fans all over the world who love his playing, singing, songs, and stage performance.
His original music blends Soul, Delta-Blues, Rockabilly, Jazz, and Funk into a Roots Stew. Influenced heavily by his parents record collection from Al Green to Alice Cooper, Teddy Pendergrass to Marshall Tucker. Ben at a young age began investigating into Blues and it’s history. Starting with B.B. King and going through the various regions and time periods he is inspired and influenced by historical figures like Muddy Waters, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Skip James to name a few. Ben spent his college years studying Jazz Guitar at the University of Oregon as well as classical music. Playing in the Celtic Folk ensemble and Mariachi group on campus. He has been well versed in a lot of musical styles that all contribute to the unique sound of his originals.
As a performer Ben looks to the greats for inspiration. Always striving to connect with the audience through his music and stories. He also has an interesting arsenal of guitars playing resophonic guitars and homemade cigar box guitars. More important than the visual appeal Ben has an amazing way of making these guitars sound, often bringing audiences to tears with his slide playing.
Ben Rice has been a growing talent in the NW, winning awards for his singing, guitar work, writing, and performing. He is stepping into the national and international scene. Using his vast influences of American music to fuel his music and performance.
Lisa has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Blues Music Award for her mighty skills on the bass guitar, an award which she also took home in 2015. Her first award win fell hot on the heels of her win for Blues Blast’s Sean Costello Rising Star Award, as well as three Muddy Waters Awards from the Cascade Blues Association for Contemporary Blues Act of the Year, Bass Player of the Year, and Northwest Recording of the Year. Her latest release, Hard Times, Bad Decisions debuted on the Living Blues radio chart at #7, and on the International Blues Broadcasters Association chart at #10, and can be heard burning up the airwaves worldwide.
Originally from West Virginia, Mann’s vocals effortlessly straddle the line between the honey sweet warmth of the south, and the force-of-nature sound Mann has cultivated by mastering everything from hard rock to rhythm and blues. Her clever blues balladry is complimented by her considerable prowess on bass guitar. Her bass grooves touch on the hallowed soil of soul greats James Jamerson and Bob Babbitt.
Her influences run the gamut, from low down blues sisters Etta James and Koko Taylor, to singer-songwriters like Bonnie Raitt and R&B belters like Little Milton. She writes the majority of her recorded material, and her songs paint pictures of a gritty (and sometimes humorous) personal experience in life, love and the not-always-pretty music business.
Lisa has shared the stage with many Northwest greats, such as the late Paul Delay, Lloyd Jones, Kevin Selfe, Duffy Bishop, Karen Lovely, Ellen Whyte, the Insomniacs, and Sonny “Smokin’” Hess. She has often lent her bass grooves and musical direction to Sonny Hess’ NW Women’s Rhythm and Blues Revue, a very popular showcase at festivals such as the Waterfront Blues Fest, and at Musicians for the Cure’s annual cancer charity Christmas show.
Lisa’s vocals appear on Canadian blues master Bill Johnson’s Juno Award nominated CD, Still Blue. (www.billjohnsonblues.com). She is also the voice of internationally acclaimed symphonic rock project Cry for Eden. (www.cryforeden.com)
- 2016 Blues Music Award – Instrumentalist, Bass
- 2015 Blues Music Award – Instrumentalist, Bass
- 2015 Blues Blast Award – Sean Costello Rising Star
- Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame
- Move On – Jimi Award for Best Rock/Blues Release by Blues411