Jackie Payne Steve Edmonson Band
Jackie Payne Steve Edmonson Band
Jackie Payne and Steve Edmonson first met when they were members of the popular San Francisco-based show band, the Dynatones. They soon found that they shared a common love for the blues. While touring together they developed a friendship and camaraderie that was clearly evident whenever you saw them perform. You can hear their common love for the music in every note that Jackie and Steve sing and play.
In addition to being gifted musicians, Jackie and Steve understand the art of performance in a way that few of today’s artists do. Jackie doesn’t just sing…he entertains. Jackie’s show can easily match the fervor and intensity of a fire and brimstone gospel revival. As Steve says, “In Jackie’s voice you can hear echoes of O.V. Wright, James Brown and Wilson Pickett, as well as Muddy Waters, Junior Parker, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and Little Johnny Taylor, not so much because he has imitated them, but because he is one of them. Once you have seen him perform it’s easy to understand that Jackie Payne is the real deal!” There is no doubt that Jackie is truly one of the greatest living blues singers and deserves to be included in the pantheon of all-time greats mentioned above.
When asked to cite his musical mentors, Steve names all of the usual suspects. What makes Steve different from others who cite these same influences is that you can actually hear it in his playing. He’s not only listened, he’s really learned. Steve’s style is most often compared to either B.B. King, former T-Birds guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, or Ronnie Earl, but he is just as comfortable in the West Coast via Texas styles of T-Bone Walker, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Albert Collins, or the Chicago styles of Robert Lockwood, Jr., Eddie Taylor and Luther Tucker.
The band’s rhythm section consists of veteran bassist "Col." Bill Singletary, and drummer Nick Otis, son of R&B legend, Johnny Otis, with whom he performed as part of his father's Johnny Otis Orchestra for more than twenty years. As a member of that prestigious aggregation, Nick has performed with many musical legends including Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Hank Ballard, Etta James, Lowell Fulson, Pee Wee Crayton, Little Milton, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Big Joe Turner, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Ernestine Anderson, Linda Hopkins and Barbara Morrison.
The band’s super-soulful tenor saxophonist, Carl "The Maestro" Green, writes all of the horn arrangements for the band and has performed and recorded with such stars as Buddy Ace, Luther Ingram, Fontella Bass, Jimmy McCracklin, Jimmy Witherspoon, Rufus Thomas, Big Mama Thornton, Z.Z. Hill, Sonny Rhodes, Ike Turner, B.B. King, Etta James, Clarence Carter, Sugar Pie DeSanto, and more. The band's two-piece horn section is topped off by trumpet phenom, Lech Wierzynski, who at twenty-five years old already has an amazing technical mastery of his instrument, and yet he plays with the bluesy feel of someone with an "old soul."
For their 2006 Delta Groove debut, this tight-as-a-drum road tested band entered the studio at the height of their powers. Featuring the one-two punch of Payne’s sweet Southern soul-drenched vocals, along with Edmonson’s slashing West Side Chicago meets Texas-style guitar, “Master of the Game” showcases ten powerful originals, augmented by fresh arrangements of great songs previously recorded by Johnnie Taylor and Bobby “Blue” Bland. The album was heralded by critics and fans alike, topping many year-end lists by DJs and radio programmers across the country. “Master of the Game” also garnered a 2007 Blues Music Award nomination for Soul Blues Album of the Year, while vocalist Jackie Payne was recognized by the Blues Foundation four consecutive years in a row, earning multiple Blues Music Award nominations for Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year beginning in 2007.
On their 2008 sophomore effort for Delta Groove, Jackie Payne and Steve Edmonson firmly demonstrate once again their mastery of the fine art of timeless rhythm & blues. Delivered with a style and flair that recalls the classic sounds of Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and Bobby “Blue” Bland, “Overnight Sensation” is a living testimony of this dynamic and wickedly-tight band, as they take an explosive romp through another sweaty set of gospel, soul, blues and R&B. “Overnight Sensation” received a Blues Music Award nomination for Soul Blues Album of the Year in 2009.