Award Winning Blues/R&B
Fronted by award winning singer, songwriter and harmonica player, Michael Tracey, this is a quickly rising band on the Northwest blues landscape. The band recently released its first album entitled “Got To Get Away” which is already receiving great reviews and radio play. The band has performed at such venues as “The Eugene Celebration” and The United States Olympic Trials. They honed their playing chops over the course of a couple years by hosting numerous weekly community bar-based jams in Eugene, OR, including jams at Diablo’s Downtown Lounge, El Dorado, Overtime Tavern, and Countryside Bar and Grill.
Accolades that the band has received include:
2009 Rainy Day Blues Society Rooster Awards – Best Male Vocalist (Michael Tracey); Best Contemporary Blues Band (The Hi-Tones); Best Instrumentalist (Paul J Biondi).
2009 Best of Eugene Awards: Best Musician (Paul J Biondi)
2008 Willamette Valley Music Festival: Songwriting Contest Winner (Michael Tracey)
2008 Annual Portland Harmonica Summit: Featured Artist (Michael Tracey)
2007 Northwest Harmonica Championship: Winner (Michael Tracey)
2007 Annual Bill Rhoades Waterfront Blues Festival Harmonica Blowout: Featured Performer (Michael Tracey)
2006 Lane Community College Music Department “Golden Ears” Award For Outstanding Recording and Mixing: (Steve Arriola)
Interesting notes about the band members include:
French native Sylvain Duplant (bass) has been playing bass and singing his whole life, and has toured France and other parts of Europe with his former rock projects. He also plays upright bass, cello, guitar and other various instruments. He is a versatile musician capable of rock, blues, jazz, and even tango, to name just a few of his strengths.
Ex-Californian Steve Arriola (guitar) has hosted numerous blues jams and served in the role of lead guitar player for many bands including the popular Oregon band Silas, Stone Mosey, and others that have taken as far away as Shanghai, China. He’s shared the stage with artists such Bobby Blue Bland, Leon Russell, Eric Burdon, Corey Stephens, Robin Trower, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and many more.
Paul J Biondi, from Philly, (woodwind multi-instrumentalist) can play 2 saxophones at once, and frequently uses this skill to simulate the presence of a horn section. He’ll then pick up a clarinet or a flute and play a tasty melodic solo with wonderful phrasing and emotion. He’s backed up such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, and Lena Horne… He also recorded the woodwinds for the cartoon series “Animaniacs”.
Oregon native Theo Halpert has played drums for many of Eugene’s finest rock, country, and blues musicians, including Reeble Jar, The Shreve Family Band, Strap’d For Cash and others.
Iowan turned Minnesotan composer and multi-instrumentalist Almond Davis (keyboards) has played in successful bands all over the Midwest and Southwest United States. He has had music played at electro-acoustic music festivals including the SPARK Festival of Electronic Music and Art, SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) and has written songs music that has been performed by orchestras, string quartets, other chamber groups, jazz bands, and rock and blues bands.