Debbie Ritter
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Debbie Ritter

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"Blues Review Magazine"

Blues Bites -Tom Hyslop
R e v i e w s i n B r i e f
Nashville's Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues describe their style as "passion blues," focused on emotion and upholding a traditional stance while keeping up with the times. Ritter is a sultry singer with a debt to classic stylists, and guitarist Tom Whisenhunt leaves his stamp with a clean, contemporary style. Bluesday Afternoon emphasizes ballads and steamy, hot-weather grooves such as the title track, the acoustic "Miss You Already," and "Half a Mind To Leave," but funky cuts "Late Again" (with a guitar riff and sonics borrowed from David Bowie's "Fame") and the shuffling "Walkin' Shoes" are nearly as effective. Favorite: the soulful, Malaco-style ballad "With You After Midnight." - Chip Eagle


CD Review ~ Bluesday Afternoon

Sassy and sexy Debbie Ritter and her band, 4-40 Blues, have released their debut CD, "Bluesday Afternoon," and it's a stunning collection of very eclectic, guitar-laden originals, all fueled by Debbie's soulful vocals.

Folks, there's a bit of something for everyone contained herein. No matter whether you are in or out of love, most everybody will be able to relate to the tales Debbie spins on this set. All the cuts were written by Debbie and guitarist extraordinaire, Tom "TomCat" Whisenhunt. Outstanding cuts abound, too, such as the leadoff tale about what a body can get if he or she simply asks for it, called "It's Alright By Me." Or the classic tale of loneliness, even though someone is there with you, "Bluesday Afternoon." Chip Woody deals some tasty harp on the slyly-sexy "Miss You Already." You can almost hear the "come hither" in Debbie's vocal delivery on this one!! Rock along with Debbie and the lengths she goes to in order to keep her man from lacin' up his "Walkin' Shoes." Her soulful side emerges on the tale of a woman in turmoil over her lover with "Half a mind to love you, half a mind to leave."

But, hands down, our favorite cut is a funky, rockin' , hilarious "Late Again," a tale of someone who always seems beset by bad luck that causes them to run late for everything!! Tom's guitar work is especially good on this one, reminiscent of a mid-70's Aerosmith song, "Last Child."

In the tradition of Bonnie Raitt, Celinda Pink, and MCBS member Billie Joyce, we rightfully add the name Debbie Ritter to the short list of women who are equally at home belting out a rocker or crooning a ballad. Grab up a copy of "Bluesday Afternoon" and---ENJOY!!! Until later...

Sheryl and Don Crow
Music City Blues Society

- Music City Blues Society, Nashville, TN

"Various Revues from Music Venues"

“…A band that proves once again some of the best blues music in the world comes out of Nashville, Tennessee…”
John Larson, Host of ‘Lightning Blues’
Lightning 100 (100.1FM) s

“Debbie Ritter has found a home at Bluesboro Rhythm & Blues Company! The soulful, sultry delivery of Debbie’s live performance from the Bluesboro stage was nothing short of amazing. This was truly a soul stirring evening for us & we look forward with great anticipation many repeat performances at the Bluesboro Rhythm & Blues Company.”
Jeff Myers
Owner, Bluesboro Rhythm & Blues Company

“Unbelievable! The “cool” factor of this live show was through the roof!”
Jason, Lightning 100 Special Promotions Coordinators

“KoKo Taylor is in Chicago tonight, but we’ve got Debbie Ritter in the house … Now that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!!!!”
Steve Ellis
Owner, State Street Pub & Ellis Place
Bowling Green, KYs

“Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues? ONE HOT BLUES BAND! The energy level of their live show keeps audiences riveted. Debbie sizzles on stage and her steamy vocals are absolutely intoxicating!”
Ron Brice
Owner, 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill Nashville, - from web site

"Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues Make News"

Debbie Ritter and 4-40 Blues Make News

The Music City Blues Society held its Annual Blues Celebration Sunday night at Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar. The full day of blues started at 3:00 pm and ended with the Annual Bluesey Awards at 8:00. The day was a virtual bluesfest! Each act performed a half-hour set which kept the music hot and gave the audience a banquette of different blues flavors. Debbie Ritter and 4-40 Blues kicked things off followed by Stacy Mitchhart who performed a solo acoustic set. Other powerhouse acts followed. Miranda Lousie with Stan Hedges took the stage then turned it over to The Sinners. Blue Mother Tupelo and ‘Two Tone’ Malone continued to rock the house followed by the ‘Queen’, Marion James and The Queens Men with Herchel Bailey. The Jefferson Street Bluesmen did a great job of following a hard-act-to-follow and then gave the stage to Nick Nixon and Les Kerr. The five-hour blues celebration ended with the slide playing, foot stompin’ Blues Preacher, Gypsy Carns.

The surprise came next during the award ceremony hosted by numerous blues luminaries; Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues took top awards in their first year to be nominated. Their debut CD of originals written by Debbie and guitarist ‘TomCat’ Whisenhunt won Blues CD of the Year. Debbie was noticeably shaken when she won Female Blues Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year. 4-40 Blues guitarist and co-writer ‘TomCat’ got top honors for Blues Guitarist and bandmate John Wallum won for Blues Keyboard Player. The awards given were:

Blues CD of the Year – Bluesday Afternoon by Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues, Entertainer of the Year - Debbie Ritter, Electric Blues Act of the Year – Stacy Mitchhart and Blues-U-Can-Use, Acoustic Blues Act of the Year – Nick Nixon, Male Vocalist of the Year – Herchel Bailey, Female Vocalist of the Year – Debbie Ritter, Blues Guitarist of the Year – Tom ‘TomCat’ Whisenhunt, Blues Bassist of the Year – Michael Dearing, Blues Keyboard Player of the Year – John Wallum, Blues Drummer of the Year – Darin James, Blues Horn Player of the Year – Waldo Weathers, Blues Harmonica Player of the Year – Tim Gonzalez, and Other Blues Instrumentalist – Taps Taylor for congas.
- The Tennessean

"Get Rhythm 2 Blues Publication, UK"

Get Rhythm 2, United Kingdom
CD Reviews
Bluesday Afternoon

This is the debut release from one of the contestants in the 2004 Memphis International Blues Challenge, and in my mind the best idea to come out of the Blues Foundation in the states. This is mostly a low key album with more slow burners than quick biting tempos, having said that Debbie Ritter’s sweet to raunchy voice never lets things slacken. Debbie’s world-weary delivery is admirably suited to her feminine outlook on the blues, but there is also R&B, jazz and a faint trace of country to the proceedings too. The whole band is in the pocket, but I must single out Tom ‘TomCat’ Whisenhunt, whose guitar work is very tasty indeed. What you will find refreshing is that the whole affair is an original work, no overly flogged workhorses here, but catchy and at times thoughtful tales. These mid-career musicians who are incidentally based out of Music City-Nashville, have come up with a debut well above the norm.

Sue DiNim

- Get Rhythm 2 Magazine

"Music City Blues Review"

“LIVE” Show Review
3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill
Nashville, TN.
September 26th, 2003

Fresh off the release of their red-hot debut CD, "Bluesday Afternoon," Debbie Ritter and 4-40 Blues rocked the house on this Friday evening. Offering up a fine mix of covers and originals from this CD, Debbie, in fine voice and in full recovery mode from a recent bout with pneumonia, gave everyone a good shot of rhythm and blues!

Debbie kicked things off with a smokin' "Born Under A Bad Sign," and didn't let up for nearly 90 minutes. She has a vast and very impressive repertoire', and turned 'em all loose in a set highlighted by "Hoochie Coochie Gal," "I'm Tore Down," and a sultry "Half A Mind To Leave," which segued' nicely into a roof-raisin' "Jesus Just Left Chicago." Tom Whisenhunt gave Debbie a break at mid-show, giving a fine reading of "Blue Jean Blues," and Coco Montoya's "Good Days, Bad Days." Debbie returned to finish the evening with the likes of "Miss You Already," and the hilarious "Late Again" from her CD. But, hands down, our favorite was a sexy, sultry ode to love and lust, Tony Joe White's "Steamy Windows," which took us back toour "back-seat" days. Debbie and Tom ended the night with an acoustic "Stormy Monday," which had us wishing they didn't have to leave.

We can't say enough good things about Debbie Ritter and 4-40 Blues. Catch 'em live if you can, or do the next best thing and get "Bluesday Afternoon" on CD for a good dose of soul-drenched blues!! Until later...

Ruth Higley
Music City Blues Society - Music City Blues Society

"Blues Speaks on IBC - By Brown Burnett"

Georgian Republic to Fort Smith - the song remains the same at IBC
by: Brown Burnett
The International Blues Challenge was in full swing Thursday night down on Beale, with more than 120 acts competing for $25,000 in cash and prizes. It's now a huge annual event that pumps $$$ into Beale St. during what would normally be a dead time of year, pumps even more music into this city's soul, and also brings people from all over the world together with a common language - music.
I had the opportunity to watch the Thursday night band competition at Alfred's Thursday and saw firsthand just how special this event is. Key word here is 'international' and of the seven bands I saw that night, one was from Israel, one from Australia and one from the Republic of Georgia.
An 18-year-old guitarist from Augusta, Ga., Tony Tyler, took the stage first and the young man showed a lot of heart and talent, but a bit too much rock and roll for a blues competition. Tyler stood out like a sore thumb since most of the musicians seemed to be on the cusp of middle age - or beyond.
Then came Finn, a band from Australia representing the Sydney Blues Society. These veterans offered a stark contrast to Tyler The grizzled quintet looked the part and did an OK job of playing their own brand of blues. The Ladies Choice band from the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola, MS, deep in the heart of the Delta, played well, as you would expect, but these guys seemed a bit TOO laid back and smooth.
Then things got interesting.
Debbie Ritter and 4-40 Blues Band of the Yesterday's and Today's Rhythm and Blues Society around Nashville kicked it up a notch with a rousing, skilled, and fun set of blues. They even played a little Jimmy Reed music and Ritter had an engaging stage presence and a great voice. The 2 guitar-instrumentation was effective with Mark Shields on slide and Tom Whisenhunt, one of the best guitarists I've heard in a long time, on lead. Tasteful, smooth and technically sound and they were probably the best overall band of the night - experienced, seasoned and knew exactly how to work a blues crowd.

- Memphis Mojo Magazine

"Top 10 Finalist - IBC Memphis"

IBC Introduction

The results of Saturday's finals can now be announced to the world. The 21st International Blues Challenge saw 126 bands/solo duo acts from 32 states and 8 countries performing in the semi-finals in 10 Beale Street clubs Thursday and Friday. Every band is a winner because they performed before blues industry and society folks from around the world. Good things happen when that occurs.

The 10 Band Finalists were:

Debbie Ritter and 4-40--Yesterday and Today's Rhythm & Blues Society
Teeny Tucker Band--Columbus Blues Alliance
Kory Montgomery Band--Yazoo Arts and Cultural Alliance
Whoodoo Band--Capital Area Blues Society
Cheryl Renee and T-Bone Blues--Cincy Blues Society
Johnny Reed & Houserockers--Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society
Lady Sunshine and the X Band--Detroit Blues Society
Breeze Kings--Atlanta Blues Society
Diunna Greenleaf & the Blue Mercy Band--The Blue Shoe Project
Joey Gilmore-Blues Society of Taiwan

The Solo/Duo Finalists were:

Scott Miller--Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society
Moreland--Wichita Blues Society
Howie Haber and Lou Carollo--Downstate New York Blues Society
Jimi Hocking--Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society
SmokeDaddys--Long Island Blues Society

Congratulations to all finalists and to each of the participants. The quality has never been higher.
- Blues Foundation


"In the Raw" Live at BB King's -
Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues
Bluesday Afternoon - Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues - Top 10 Request
Played on radio stations world wide.



Dubbed as "Nashville's Blues Vixen", by local media, Debbie was born in North Mississippi, grew up in Memphis and now calls Nashville home. Debbie has been performing since the age of nine and is no stranger to Gospel, R&B, Soul & Blues roots music. Debbie and her band have shared the stage with numerous R&B and Blues legends such as The Temptation Review, with Dennis Edwards, Percy Sledge, Archie Bell, KoKo Taylor, Pinetop Perkins, Little Milton, Denise LaSalle and many, many more.
Debbie Ritter and her band 4-40 Blues have received many Bluesey awards over the past several years from the Music City Blues Society. They are Music City's "Electric Blues Act" and Debbie is Music City's "Female Blues Vocalist" and "Blues Entertainer".

For Booking Info:
Crystal Crawford