Duchess Wilder Band
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Duchess Wilder Band

Sacramento, California, United States | SELF

Sacramento, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Blues

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"Fire In My Belly - by Duchess Wilder"

Fire In My Belly by Duchess Wilder

I think the dictionary has given an incomplete definition of a “musician.” Yes we must have entertainment value, good chops, and a bit of savvy in our presentation, but what drives us? I really think a bit of mental illness and the need to rise to some almost unperceivable pinnacle should be included in the definition.

February 12th at the Attucks in Norfolk Va was a pinnacle moment for me. The Duchess Wilder Band was the opening act for Marquise Knox, a 19 year old Blues prodigy guitarist, singer, songwriter, and harmonica player from St. Louis. I think it is important to note that “pinnacle” moments don’t always include booze and crazed fans… ok sometimes it does.

So here it is minutes before the big EVENT. I’m putting on make-up listening to my band talk in the background, seemingly at ease, my manager giving last minute instructions, and me wondering what in the hell am I doing. Reminding myself how much I want this and worrying about a potential wardrobe malfunction, my throat dry as hell. See what I mean about mental illness?

Here we go ! Paul Hughes on Guitar, Richard Shelor on Drums and Kevin Yoder on Bass. And me, Duchess, Lead Vocals and resident Worry Wart. When I started this 3 years ago I knew it was gonna be hard to get a name and become known. So now I am known “a little” in the area. Being one person it is very hard to wear all the hats, from managing the band, to booking, promoting, marketing, writing, and the list goes on. Somewhere in there you are supposed to have a real life and work a job and maybe have a mate. For the past 3 years it has been all about the band. “Courting” the club owners can be taxing as well, they too are very busy and although they need us, we are down on the list. Very unfortunate for us, but a good reminder of the patience we need to have.

Then one bright morning the phone rings and somewhere out of left field comes an opportunity to SHINE. You don’t know where it came from or who saw you (good reason to always be on top of your game) or all the other silly questions rolling in your head. Who cares its Showtime and your band just got the honor of participating. So you call your band as your stomach flutters and you share the happy news.

Now the work begins. You gotta create the BUZZ. Put your CD together (many hours) so you have merchandise for sale. Schedule a radio interview with Jerry Carter at WFOS to promote your new CD, Get on The Hampton Roads Show, market the hell out of the Attucks Show and the new CD, “To Whom It May Concern”. Arrange for a video to be shot by John McClung and Eric Hales from OfftheWireStudio.com Oh Please did you think this happens by itself? If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated agent, publicist, and management company they would have it done for you. We don’t earn enough money locally to afford that. So you do it yourself, get friends and fans to help… pray a lot, push a lot, dream a lot. Once you drop from exhaustion, you put on another pot of tea and do it all again.

I have learned to enjoy the journey on the way to the destination. The preparation can be as joyous as the event itself. We did SHINE that night, Everyone was in top form. Thank you to my band, without you this would only be a Dream.

The Duchess Wilder Band is music for the working man. Blues based, Groove Driven. We are original in our presentation yet play by the rules. The rules being lots of cover tunes as well as originals. We just do it a bit different. Ok so I am a bit rebellious! Check us out, watch our video, buy a CD: DuchessWilder.com, or Facebook.com/Duchess Wilder Band . Why not do something Wilder tonite?
- Splash Magazine - March 2011


"There’s a New Band in Town"

Tired of the always predictable cover bands performing around town? Finally, there is hope. The Duchess Wilder Band brings home the goods. Not a single Gen X or Y in the group. Duchess Wilder (front-man and bandleader) uses every ounce of her Amazon stature to belt it out and growl on two of my favorites “Miss You” and “Rock Me Baby”.

Duchess says “Music is my life blood, I’m free when I sing. We’re seriously Blues based but, I won’t call us a Blues band because we sing it all. Johnny Taylor, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Rolling Stones, Band of Oz, Doobie Brothers, and Jimi Hendrix are some of the artists we interpret. We put a fresh spin on the music, we evolve a song.”

Creating a band was a recurring theme in Wilder’s life. Sixteen months ago, as her mother was dying from cancer, grief became the catalyst she needed. Duch (as she likes to be called) applied spiritual alchemy; turning poison into medicine. She believes she invoked the spirits of Janis Joplin, Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith which gave her the courage and confidence to take it all the way.

After her mothers’ funeral, she devoted every day to the making of her band. There were many trials and errors, numerous auditions, rehearsals, more auditions, blood sweat and tears before she birthed the Duchess Wilder Band. The tight rhythm section consists of super smooth Blues guitarist Pudgee Hill, who began his career at the ripe young age of 13 playing with the legendary Candi Staton.

Pudgee went on to play with John Lee Hooker, Little Milton, Luther Allison and opening for Albert King and Phyllis Hyman. When Duchess and Pudgee fall into a duet the stage gets steamy and magic happens.

Duchess said “To me he is the blues, all you have to do is listen, his story comes through his fingers.” Drummer, Rick Shelor former road warrior toured with Black Sabbath on the Heaven and Hell Tour in Germany ‘80. Now he brings a power driven rock beat to the band. Shelor and bassist Kevin Yoder have four years of musical partnership that resonates when they take it up on “Purple Haze” and bring the crowd to their feet on “Barefoot’n” and “Miss You.”

When you want to experience something a little different, check out The Duchess Wilder Band at a venue in the 757. For the calendar of events go to www.DuchessWilder.com

Duchess Wilder, larger than life, sensuous, earthy, modern day storyteller Diva, proves when it’s authentic we always come back for more.
- by Yasmine Bowe-Woods


"Duchess Wilder Band Represents Virginia"

Duchess has arrived with the Duchess Wilder Band taking Hampton Roads by storm. In less than a year after launching the band they are heading for the 3rd Annual Appalachian Blues Competition i Fairmont WV.The event is presented by the West Virginia Blues Society on October 3rd, 2009

In a recent interview with Duchess she shared her vision for the Duchess Wilder Band.
Q: Why are you doing this?
DW: I'm on a mission to promote healing and happiness through my music and spiritual practice. Also I was to be exposed to other striving Blues musicians from around the country. I want to feel their music.
Q: What is the biggest challenge facing you?
DW: Conquering the music industry's insistence on youth verses experience and wisdom.
Q: Why Blues?
DW: I see Blues as the heart and soul of every man from every walk of life. It's the common denominator, rich or poor because pain and suffering is universal.
Q: How does it feel to be the only representative of Virginia?
DW:It's an a honor. We love what we do and we're anxious to share it.

Ms.Wilder is also a member of the Natchal' Blues Network an organization that won the Keeping the Blues Alive award in 1998. Many music fans in Hampton Roads may have followed Duchess when she was rhe most memorable Karaoke Jock in the 757. Fortunate for us that she stepped up to the mic without a scrolling video screen and giving her voice a real chance. Not only does she own a powerful voice but she is an accomplished lyricist that shines on her original "Gale Force Warning."

The upcoming competition in Fairmon WV is an opportunity for the band to win an entry in the International Blues Challenge on Beale Street (Memphis) the world renowned home of the Blues. The IBC is the most prestigious showcase in the US for blues, critiquing each act carefully on vocals, talent, originality and stage presence. Please go to http://www.blues.org/ibc for further info on the competition. Duchess and the band are gearing up for this milestone< wardrobe, hair, bus, the last two rehearsals and lots of prayer and chanting (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo). The homegrown band from Virginia, take it on the road expecting a victory. More about DWB at www.duchesswilder.com and myspace.com/duchesswilderband . - http://www.splashmag.com


Discography

Our LIVE CD - Will be releasing in March: Titled "To Whom It May Concern". Our single "Gale Force Warning is creating quite a Stir in the Hampton Roads area. And 2 new songs will be featured on Jerry Carters show in January . He will be the first to get a pre copy of our latest originals.OUR TEST MARKET LOVED THEM You can hear us DAILY on WFOS Radio Chesapeake Va. Between 4-7. 88.7 on your dial. Also Realtime streaming on your computer.

Photos

Bio

All About Life... all about - from the Soul. We are Blues...and Rock all of us. From our Drummer who likes to "Rock It" To the Bass man -"Stove Pipe" Keepin It In The Pocket" To our guitarist - Keepin it Blue, Hot, Wet and Real! while Rockin' Your Socks. Then you've got ME! Singin' Lead - The Duchess - I'm the woman Mom warned you about!! I'll Rock You then I'll Blues yah, then send you home Wet and Spent... But happy, and relaxed. So our Band has a bit different "take " on it. "We do it our way" So far so good. People seem to agree with us! ThEy dID SomEtHInG "WILDER" aNd IT chANGEd 'eM & THey lIKeD IT! .. Check us out at : DuchessWilder.com