Features June 1, 2017

Blues Jam 2017 Spotlight: Southern Avenue, Samantha Fish, and more

by Jed Murphy

Southern Avenue

Ori Naftaly and his group Southern Avenue has found the perfect home for themselves at Stax records. Last year we caught up with Ori about the blues and being on such a legendary label. “Well, we are honored that’s for sure. We don’t consider ourselves as blues artists because we write music that I personally won’t label as blues. I can wear many hats, and in Southern Avenue I’m definitely the blues guy. The reason I founded the band with Tierinii, Tikyra, and Daniel is because I wanted to create music regardless of style and genre. We call it Memphis music. Don’t give me wrong our show is very bluesy. It’s all soulful, and we make sure your dance. Blues artists are a whole different thing that we cannot claim…”

When it came to forming Southern Avenue, Naftaly describes his bandmates as basically soul mates. “It’s like it was meant to be,” says Naftaly. “I hired Tierinii and TK to join my solo band, and after a few months of touring, we all realized we should start fresh and write new songs and regroup. Southern Avenue is a safe place for all four of us to be who we really are as musicians and people.”


Samantha Fish

Samantha Fish is an example of the new generation finding blues the old-fashioned way. Growing up in a musical family, she was exposed to rock and blues classics early on, and as a teenager, she would sneak into some of the blues clubs in her native Kansas City. Eventually, she found herself sitting in with some of the bands when she came of age. Not too long after, she recorded her first live album titled Live Bait, which gained her the attention of Ruf Records who then featured her on the album Girls With Guitars alongside Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde. Since then, Fish has won numerous awards and released four albums, earning herself a place at the table with so many of the greats in the modern blues world.


Walter Trout

Walter Trout originally came into the music scene in the late 1960’s from the Jersey coast. Over the course of his career, Trout has been awarded many honors. He is a three-time winner of the Overseas Artist of the Year Award at the British Blues Awards and a three-time Blues Music Awards nominee. Throughout his life, Trout has faced and overcome many obstacles. Most recently, he suffered from cirrhosis of the liver, which unfortunately calls for a transplant. Luckily with the help of his fans, Trout’s wife was able to raise the money in time for the much-needed operation. In June 2013, Trout underwent the procedure. Now fully recovered, he is back with a vengeance.


My Blue Sky

With origins from Colorado, it only makes sense that My Blue Sky will be bringing the bitter sweetness of The Allman Brothers to Northern Colorado. And while mirroring the epic guitar licks of Dicky Betts and Duane Allman may seem close to impossible, guitarists John Gallagher, Tim Kestle, and Bob Kalkman manage to bring Dicky and Duane’s improvisational skills back to life. My Blue Sky includes seven qualified Colorado-based musicians who balance the sounds of southern rock, blues, and jazz into a mellow sound that has influenced fans and musicians for years. They were able to take first place two years in a row (2014 and 2015) at the Denver Tribute Band Competition.


Check out the Greeley Blues Jam on Friday, June 9th in Downtown Greeley and Saturday, June 10th at Island Grove. Tickets and full lineup/set times can be found at www.greeleybluesjam.com!