Three of the Windy City’s top blues acts -- Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling, Corey Dennison Band and Mike Wheeler Band -- together in one spectacular show that includes a V.I.P. meet-and-greet package with many great perks, all at the fabulous Flagstar Strand Theatre in downtown Pontiac on Saturday, May 19, 7 p.m.
Your favorite local blues society can earn funds if you use one of these special codes -- DBS (Detroit Blues Society); CABS (Capital Area Blues Society); or AABS (Ann Arbor Blues Society) -- when you purchase tickets. If online, type the code in the Enter Promo Code box and click the padlock icon. The blues society you choose will get 10% of the ticket value!
Reserved seating is $19-$49. Tickets available HERE.
NICK MOSS BAND featuring DENNIS GRUENLING
Nick Moss is a bona fide bluesman to his soul with 12 solo releases to his credit, ranging from straight ahead Chicago blues to experimental blues-rock. Moss is a 30-year veteran guitarist who paid his dues gigging in Chicago's rough and tumble West and South side blues clubs under the tutelage of some of the city's greatest blues luminaries. He learned directly from, and toured with, blues giants Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Jimmy Rogers.
New Jersey’s Dennis Gruenling is considered among the very top blues harmonica players today. As a teen, Gruenling heard the Alligator recording Harp Attack! (featuring Junior Wells, Carey Bell, James Cotton and Billy Branch) and decided the harmonica was his calling. A self-taught player, his fat-toned harp work, soulful singing and raw-boned, untamed energy are a perfect foil for Moss' hair-raising guitar playing and commanding vocals. Blues Revue called Gruenling “a leading light among a new generation of harp players...a true innovator.”
The two just signed with Alligator Records and will release their label debut, The High Cost Of Low Living, in March 2018. The new album is a return to the classic Chicago blues ensemble sound Moss knows, lives and loves. But it's no re-creation of old songs. Moss wrote nine memorable new originals and Gruenling wrote two, all rooted in the blues tradition.
Mike Wheeler has a vast knowledge of music and a voice that's reminiscent of the late Sam Cooke. He can sing and play everything so well that you may forget what the original record even sounds like. From jazz to rock, from popular music to Top 40, he slides in and out of musical genres with sophistication, ease and indulgence.
Wheeler is a brilliant staple in the Chicago blues community, playing and writing songs for a variety of Chicago artists including, Nellie Tiger Travis, Peaches Staten, Sam Cockrell, Demetria Taylor, Big Ray & Cadillac Dave. Wheeler was a well-known member of Big James &The Chicago Playboys, a notable band in Chicago and recorded five albums with the group.
He has travelled the world as an ambassador for Chicago blues music. He's been to Monaco, France, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium, just to name a few. He's also shared the stage with the most elite musicians the world has known, including Willie Kent, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, George Benson, Jimmy Johnson and Shemekia Copeland. Mike was inducted in the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014.
COREY DENNISON BAND
Formed in 2013, The Corey Dennison Band has become a favorite attraction at Chicago blues venues, including twice-weekly appearances at Kingston Mines. Led by Corey Dennison’s soulful voice and muscular guitar, the band released its self-titled studio debut for the legendary Delmark Records in 2016 after honing 13 original songs night after night on the bandstand. Corey’s decade-long stint with Carl Weathersby and Gerry Hundt’s tenure with Nick Moss are evident on the disc but blend effortlessly into a dynamic new Chicago sound, anchored by Aaron Whittier and drummer Joel Baer.
Critics and radio polls responded favorably as the album garnered glowing reviews and constant worldwide airplay, netting chart positions on the Roots Music and Living Blues Radio Reports. Nominations followed suit, with a nod for Best Emerging Artist from the Blues Music Awards, a pair from Blues Blast Magazine, and Grammy balloting. The strength of the band’s repertoire is matched only by the charisma of the stage show; it’s not uncommon to see Corey belting out the blues, unamplified, in the heart of the audience while the band steps in time to the groove. It’s not novelty for these musicians and entertainers, however, it’s exactly where they want to be.