MORRISVILLE/MONTPELIER— Award-winning Mississippi soul and blues man Johnny Rawls will perform at Oxbow Park in Morrisville on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. He will also play a special early show at Sweet Melissa’s in Montpelier Sunday, Aug. 27 at 5 p.m. Backing Rawls will be The Dave Keller Band, that will also perform songs from their recent album, “Right Back Atcha.”
A superb soul singer and guitarist, Rawls is widely considered one of the finest old school soul musicians touring today. His album “Ace of Spades” won best soul recording at the 2011 Blues Music Awards, and his previous album “Red Cadillac” reached #1 on the Living Blues radio charts. He is a veteran of some of the finest soul bands of all time, including those of Joe Tex, Little Johnny Taylor, The Sweet Inspirations and the legendary O.V. Wright.
Originally from Purvis, Mississippi, Johnny began performing professionally while still in high school, backing up touring soul and blues artists on the ‘chitlin circuit’ throughout the deep South. In the late 1970s he led the band of soul singer O.V. Wright, who many critics consider one of the genre’s absolute finest. (Robert Cray is always quick to cite Wright as a major influence.) Johnny has led his own band since 1985, and has released over a dozen CDs for labels including JSP, Rooster, Catfood, and his own imprint, Deep Soul. In addition to being a charismatic live performer, Rawls has earned numerous accolades and awards for his work as a producer and songwriter for other artists.
Dave Keller, based in Montpelier, has steadily built a national reputation as a top notch deep soul singer, guitarist and songwriter. His album “Soul Changes” earned a coveted Blues Music Award nomination for Best Soul/Blues CD of Year in 2014. His current album, “Right Back Atcha,” is nominated for Best Soul/Blues CD of the Year by the Blues Blast Music Magazine Awards, and is a nominee for Best Blues Album of the Year by Downbeat Magazine Readers Awards.
The Oxbow Park concert is free and open to all ages. The Sweet Melissa’s show is $10 at the door, and is open to ages 21 and older. Sweet Melissa’s is located at 4 Langdon St. For more info visit www.johnnyrawlsblues.com and www.davekeller.com.