Detroit-based Jump Blues Guitarist-Vocalist, Doug Deming, takes to the road, backing famed past Grammy-winning artist of Fabulous Thunderbirds renown, harpist-vocalist Kim Wilson, on a five-city Tour (see itinerary at bottom). Deming is nominated in the “Best Blues Group or Artist” category for the 5th Annual Los Angeles South Bay Music Awards, happening Saturday, February 21 at the L.A. Sports Arena (www.southbaymusicawards.com for more information).
Deming regularly back other harpists such as Greg “Fingers” Taylor of Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reef Band; and Dennis Gruenling (who release a Little Walter tribute CD last year), among others. Deming has been featured in many of the country’s daily newspapers -- the SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER, FLORIDA TODAY, and OMAHA READER, to name a few.
“We have no gimmicks,” says Deming about the band’s live show. “We play pure traditional music from the heart, with an image that conveys a deep respect for the (blues) genre.” As a result, Doug Deming And The Jewel Tones have been in demand as a backing band for a “Who’s-Who” of today’s top blues performers, including Chicago’s A.C. Reed, Louisiana Red, Chicago Pete, Cannonball vocalist Alberta Adams, Black Top’s Johnny Dyer, W.C. Handy Award winner Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones and the legendary Lazy Lester. Detroit guitarist and Handy multi-award nominee Johnnie Bassett describes Deming’s band as “great talent…that people outside the (Detroit) area will come to know.”
Just who are these unlikely guys from the Motor City? Doug Deming has been the driving force behind the Jewel Tones (formerly known as the Blue Suit Band) since its beginning in 1991. As a guitarist and vocalist, he acknowledges a musical debt to T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian and other Texas bluesmen as well as moderns like Jimmie Vaughan and Ronnie Earl. Says Detroit blues writer Earl Seedorff: “Deming is equally at home playing straight ahead on the solid body guitar or swinging on the big jazz box.” Bassist Bob Conner’s diverse experience includes backing such touring artists as Hubert Sumlin, Earl King, Johnny Adams, Eddie Bo, and Big Jay McNeely. Conner’s swinging lines on the upright and solid bottom on the Fender bass add depth and authenticity to the group’s sound. Drummer Charlie Koltak honed his skills in the jazz program at Detroit’s Wayne State University and derives his style from jazz drummers Jim Keltner, Shawn Pelton, and Tony Williams.
Doug Deming And The Jewel Tones’ recordings achieve originality while staying deep in the genre. DOUBLE DOWN, released on Chase Music Group’s Mighty Tiger label, was recorded at Pacifica Studios in Los Angeles and produced by Rick Holstrom and Steve Mugalian. The record displays playing and song writing maturity beyond the group’s years. Featured guests include Holstrom and Mugalian, as well as the harmonica playing of the aforementioned Fingers Taylor.
KIM WILSON - Among the greatest living blues harp players, Kim happens to be a great singer as well as a founder & current bandleader-frontman of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Their '80s hits such as "TUFF ENOUGH", "WRAP IT UP", & "POWERFUL STUFF" ruled the airwaves & MTV for several years but to those in the know, Kim's Little Walter styled harp blowing will always be in vogue. Along with Jimmy Vaughan, Wilson gave the original Tbirds flight long before they became a household name. In the mid '70s the band was the house band at Antone's in Austin, becoming faves of legends like Muddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Rogers & Eddie Taylor. Kim continues to tour the world with the updated TBirds.