Solar Blues
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Solar Blues


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This band hasn't logged any past gigs

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The best kept secret in music


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Solar Blues was founded in May of 2001. An unreleased CD with 11 songs was initially recorded. In the autumn of 2002 the CD "Seven dollars and a Sandwich" sessions, 3 of them, were recorded. 26 songs in all, 13 of which are on the new CD. Band members all have or are featured on many different recordings ranging from blues, rock & roll, rockabilly, country and jazz music. Solar Blues is on the independent label Pachanga Records and merchandise can be found thru Solar Blues new CD can be purchased thru Pachanga and also, cdstreet and cdbaby. Cuts can be heard at as well as sonicbids. Check back for updates.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Solar Blues was formed in 2001 by guitarist John Michaels. Since then the band has experienced some very positive growth. Having released the CD “Seven dollars and a Sandwich” in June of 2003, the band won a Madison Area Music Award for best blues album-2004, performed at the Indianapolis Music Conference/Showcase in Nov., 2003, have been on WYOU’s “Worth Watching” TV show several times, UPN-14 “Urban Theater” in Sept., 2004, a radio interview in Aug., 2004 on WMAD as well as performing at 3 blues showcases this summer at Luther’s Blues. The band has been gigging 3-5 times a month on average and puts on a solid show of blues/roots rock & roll music. A new studio CD is planned for early 2005 release and a live CD is also in the works.

**John Michaels, guitarist/bandleader, is a Milwaukee native who came to Madison, WI to attend UW and then decided to stay. John started his music training in 1st grade, taking lessons and training thru adulthood taking courses in theory, engineering/recording and production. John has played throughout the country, including major music cities like Chicago, Memphis, and Nashville. He has worked with a variety of bands including The Inside, Street Flight Gypsy, The Road Band, and Lucky Lopez Evans Mississippi River Blues Band, whose final performance was at the prestigious King Biscuit Blues Festival in 2000 and included John Michaels, and the rhythm section of Billy Branch’s Sons of the Blues. John has also opened for such acts as Sue Foley, Savoy Brown and Jim Schwall. A versatile guitarist and prolific songwriter John is adept at numerous guitar and music styles but has always remained true to blues and blues influenced rock and roll. Although John is a solid studio musician he is most at home on stage where is playing is soulful and explosive.

**Andy Thorson, Solar Blues vocalist and guitarist is from the Central Wisconsin town of Plainfield. For over 10 years, Andy has performed with a variety of roots-music bands across the mid-west area including Jebediah Gumbo, The Gonedaddies, and The Blowtorches. Andy joined up with Solar Blues in the middle of 2001 and his songwriting skills were most influential in the CD. Andy and John have also become a solid song writing team as well as a solid stage team. Andy has the vocal and musical talents that are sure to keep making the band a success.

**Jimmy James, keyboards player, has played with a variety of area bands and musicians including work with the Blowtorches, The Inside, Out of the Studio, and has hosted local jams with John Michaels as well as pick-up work as a sideman playing his keys. Jimmy also has a lifelong history of music study starting in his childhood and has also taught private lessons from his home in the past. His solid rock & roll style works well with the band and is a solid musician to have on board.

**Dan Howe, bassist, is from the Madison area and plays the upright bass as well as the electric bass. He lived and studied in Los Angeles at the renowned MIT and is schooled and well versed in many styles ranging from jazz, blues, rock & roll and country music. Dan has worked with the Blowtorches, Joe Slam and numerous other local bands and his experience and stage presence make him a driving force in Solar Blues.

**Roz Craney, drums, joined Solar Blues in August of 2004. He has been performing with working band now for 14 years and has earned both a bachelor as well as a masters degree in music at the University of Wisconsin and taught Music-Ed in The Deforest Public School System. Roz moved to Madison 8 years ago and has played the Midwest circuit for years and has been as far as Los Angeles. He has recorded and been featured on numerous of CD's and has played with many Madison area bands including OD TAPO IMI, Zeusfuse, Schwa, Groove Merchant, Kenny Cobb Blues Band. Roz plays any style of music from Jazz, Blues, Rock & Roll, and Country to Heavy Metal. Roz is a solid addition to Solar Blues and his experience will help the band take its next step further.