Ann Rabson
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Ann Rabson

Band Blues Acoustic


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"Sing Out"

Ann Rabson is a rollicking barrelhouse pianist, a respected
Piedmont-style finger picking guitarist and the kind of songwriter that makes her rivals jealous. She's also blessed with an immediately identifiable, husky contralto. . .
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Rabson plays bluesy, honky-tonk piano with staggering authority.

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... she has what it takes to hang with the finest blues players in the world...
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"Blues Revue"

.. best known for her stellar keyboard work ... is equally at home punching out serious licks on her acoustic guitar. Her broody, smoky voice can belt out a lyric with the best of them.

Rabson's skills on the 88s are remarkably versatile. It's a fact: The woman was born with the music in her heart and in her soul.

-Blues Revue - -

"The Washington Post"

Whether she's playing piano or
guitar--or singing in a gruff, convincing voice... Rabson sounds extremely comfortable. She's never sounded better.

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"Acoustic Guitar"

... her precise and highly original fingerpicking ... shares equal time with her romping barrelhouse piano stylings ...

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Characterized by a richly dynamic right hand and sprightly bass figures ...

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"Living Blues"

Her piano ... fuses bluesy romanticism with street-tough grittiness ... lithe, Piedmont-laced fingerpicking style... a solo artist of power, grace, and versatility.

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"All Music Guide"

..Rabson reveals herself as more than another revivalist jumping on the acoustic blues wagon.

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"Duluth (MN) News Tribune"

REVIEW: Rabson works her bluesy magic

Rabson, a moxie-filled piano pounder and guitarist... headlined
Bayfront Blues Festival on Thursday night as a solo act.

Rabson's got 10 little jackhammers instead of fingers. Not happy with just power and speed, she guides those jackhammers on the keys
with a sculptor's finesse.

More so than most, Rabson chooses songs that reveal her heart. In the tradition of early female blues, Rabson is fond of assertive, sassy tunes that venture into dirty blues territory, such as "Barnyard Boogie" and "I Wanna Hop On Your Harley."

... easily one of the night's best moments, was her cover of Willie Dixon's "Three Hundred Pounds of Joy" which she deftly adjusted for the female perspective. Rabson's sly, confident performance of this song was sexier than any overt panting Britney Spears could ever do.

Rabson also used her low, Bessie-Smith-esque voice to her advantage on "I Can't Get My Mind Off You." The devastating final vocal note of this tune was so low, it was not in the basement. It was in the

Overall, Rabson did what she's loved for best: Upbeat boogie woogie and covers of fun, beloved tunes such as Chuck Berry's "School
Days." She also worked some real audience participation voodoo.
With songs such as Huey "Piano" Smith's "Don't You Just Know It"
she got thousands of employed, sane adults to sing "Gooba, gooba,
gooba, gooba."

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"Music Makin' Mama" - Alligator (1997)
"Struttin' My Stuff" - MC Records (2001)
"In a Family Way" - Emit Doog Music (2005)



Roots Artist

Despite worldwide recognition as a distinguished and award-winning musician, Ann Rabson sees herself as simply the vehicle for her art. Seamlessly blending voice, guitar and piano, Ann delivers her music-in a pure form that delights audiences everywhere.

She was first touched by the blues at age four when she heard Big Bill Broonzy on the radio. Ann says, "His music spoke to me; my world went from black-and-white to color." Little did Ann know that that three-minute experience would lay the foundation for her adult life. Now in her fourth decade as an internationally acclaimed songwriter, recording artist and performer, Ann creates music that speaks to and entertains people all over the world.

Ann Rabson sings in a distinctive contralto voice. Her smoky, gritty delivery draws from a wide vocabulary of bluesy bends, squeals, and sensual whispers to match the story she is telling.

Ann still plays the first instrument she touched as a child--a guitar found in her father's attic. Attracted to the Piedmont style of guitar picking, Ann created a unique and ear-catching sound all her own.

At age thirty-five, Ann decided to learn the piano. Now honored as a member of the Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame and praised as having "the best left hand in the blues," Ann brings the historic blues, boogie-woogie, and barrelhouse styles front and center. Her ability to play challenging left- and right-hand melodies while singing is nothing short of magical! Downbeat magazine says, "Ann plays with staggering authority."

Ann has been honored by the music industry with multiple Blues Music (formerly W.C. Handy) Award nominations for Traditional Female Blues Artist of the Year, and nominations for Song of the Year, Instrument - Piano and Album of the Year for "Music Makin' Mama." Her solo recordings also include "Struttin' My Stuff" and "In A Family Way." Ann has recorded eight projects with the widely popular group Saffire--The Uppity Blues Women, which she co-founded in 1984, and with numerous other artists.

An Ann Rabson concert is like an intimate family gathering, regardless of the size of the audience. Her relaxed and unassuming demeanor sets the stage perfectly for her earthy and unvarnished performance. Presenting her own music and that of blues pioneers such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Leroy Carr, Tampa Red, and Big Bill Broonzy, Ann takes the audience on an unrestrained musical journey. The New York Blues and Jazz Society says: "Ann has it all, the artful use of double entendres, a salty sense of humor, truly imaginative piano and guitar work."

Blues Educator

Ann Rabson has been participating in arts-in-education programs since the late 1990s. She has presented her programs on blues to students in grades K through 12 in schools in New York City, Ottawa, New York state, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Virginia and Illinois. She wrote a feature article on blues in the schools for Blues Revue magazine.

Ann has taught workshops for blues societies, as well as at Augusta Heritage Center's Blues Week in West Virginia, the Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp in Ohio, the Summer Acoustic Music Workshops in New Hampshire, and the Port Townsend Centrum workshops in Washington state.