Pappy Johns Band making moves in Memphis

SIX NATIONS – For the second year in a row, Six Nations blues musicians will be representing the Grand River Blues Society at the prestigious International Blues Challenge held annually in Memphis, Tennessee.

Last year Six Nations Bluesman Joel Johnson and his band were walking in Memphis, “10 feet off of Beale” in the “heart of the delta blues” after winning that same honour in 2013.

This year the Pappy Johns Band, will be putting on their “blue suede shoes and boarding the plane,” on Sunday, January 19th for a week of blues, competing against more than 200 other acts.

The veteran, award winning blues band has had great success in indigenous music circles, and Miller sees the Memphis trip as an important step in making an even bigger noise in the mainstream blues market.

“I don’t want to be just known as an Aboriginal Blues Band,” says Miller. “I’d like to see us recognized more in the mainstream of the blues as well, and I see this opportunity as a big step towards that.”

The 2014 International Blues Challenge will be the 30th year of blues musicians from around the world competing for cash, prizes, and industry recognition.

The Pappy Johns band was live and givin’ ‘er on stage. The Pappy Johns Band are: Josh Miller on lead guitar and vocals, Oren Doxtator on Drums, Donny Powless on Bass and John Lee on keyboard and vocal.

The travel costs for participating in the event is the responsibility of the bands themselves and Pappy Johns Band has been doing fundraising gigs since winning the Grand River nomination in November.

“We figure we need about $5,000 to cover our rooms and food and travel,” says Miller. “We’re not quite there yet but we hope Thursday’s Spaghetti lunch or dinner fundraiser will get us over the top.”

This coming Thursday, January 16th, the band’s final fundraiser before they leave is a spaghetti dinner being hosted by Family Traditions Catering at 40 Cao Lane between 11 am and whenever they sell out. Dinners can be either take out or delivered for $10.

“I really want to thank and acknowledge Virg General at Family Traditions for hosting this,” said Miller. “She and cook Deb Sawyer are donating their time and talent for us and we really appreciate that.”

Miller also singles out Karen Bomberry for helping with a private a donation and Miller’s brother Matt by starting

The name Pappy Johns Band originated when fronted by Josh’s first cousin Chris “Pappy” Johns. At that time they gained traction playing gigs in and around the Fort Erie area with sideman Lorne Greene (Graham‘s brother) on guitar.

After recruiting vocalist Faron Johns, Pappy Johns Band recorded, “Blame It On Monday”. The line-up was short-lived when Murray Porter came looking for a band to lay tracks and a band that would compliment his song writing.

Concluding their time with the band were Chris “Pappy” Johns and Lorne Greene. Pappy Johns Band with Murray Porter released “Full Circle” retaining the name Pappy Johns Band.

After the recording sessions for Full Circle, Pappy Johns Band added the services of guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Joshua Arden Miller.   Porter eventually left to pursue his career as a solo artist in British Columbia. Shortly thereafter, Faron Johns also parted ways with the band, leaving the front work up to Miller. Adding the services of keyboardist John Lee, the Pappy Johns Band released their third album “Havin’ a Good Time Now”.

Miller says he has written enough material for a new album the band hopes to record sometime this year.

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