Curtis Blues
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Curtis Blues

Band Blues Acoustic


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"One-man band embodies the blues"

By Ed Turner

Curtis Blues knows how to reach deep into blues country. He knows how to heat up his vocals to belt out the raw, edgy, passionate sounds of the Mississippi Delta blues of the '20s and '30s. He also knows how to make the tunes of blues legends Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson, Charlie Patton and others sound fresh and true.

At Bangkok Blues in Falls Church, Blues, a Springfield resident and one-man band surrounded by a dozen musical instruments that he plays in his show, launches into Son House’s “Preaching the Blues.”

And Blues has the audience’s rapt attention. He may be a white, suburban guy playing the blues, but his sounds transcend that stereotype and he simply becomes a bluesman, laying out gritty, powerful, emotional songs from the heart.

“Curtis is entirely unique in that he’s a white guy playing the blues the way it’s supposed to be played,” says Wave Milor, who performs and writes for ACME Blues Company and the Idle Americans. “He goes back to the very roots of the blues and what he does musically, it takes three people in my band to do.”

Blues, in fact, plays the harmonica, six different guitars -- including a dobro, a cigar box guitar, a one-string "diddley bow" guitar -- and the bass drum and cymbals during his show. And his vocals, slide-playing and harmonica shine.

“I have no idea how he plays all those instruments together,” says Milor. “I sing and play the harmonica in my band, and I don’t do them at the same time and that’s still a lot for me.”

“Curtis lives the blues,” adds Chai Sirobongkot, the former owner of Bangkok Blues, who now plays in several bands. “I just never saw anybody so dedicated, so into the blues. He sings very powerfully and is very, very emotional. He lives music and doesn’t care about anything else.”

Twelve years ago, Blues decided to play solo.

“It’s wonderful to perform and do my thing,” says Blues, who formerly played rock. “The physical experience of having every part of your body performing music, from your toes to your mouth, is a complete immersion experience.”

- Times Fairfax Virginia


Forget With Me
Well Worn Blues
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Winner Washington DC Blues Society Solo Blues award. Going to compete in Memphis TN in January at the International Blues Challenge.

My shows express my own lifetime of research in the history of blues. From the African Gourd Banjo carried over on slave ships, to the one string "diddley bow" and home made cigar box guitar, and then on to the metal resonators guitars popular in the 1930's. All the instruments played by the early bluesmen before the electric guitar drowned out the acoustic guitar.

I include the history of African American music, in all my shows, clubs, private parties and schools.

Every day I play I learn more about expressing deeper emotion through my music. It grows with my life.

Curtis Blues