Noon: National Anthem  by Aretta Woodruff  

Emcee of the festival from noon-8pm: Aretta Woodruff  



Performing 5:20-6:35pm 

Chambers DesLauriers Band 

Both on stage and in private life, these two internationally acclaimed artists share incredible chemistry! Their first introduction (lasting only a few seconds) in the crowded lobby of the historic Orpheum Theatre during the 2018 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee left a lasting impression on both of them. It was not until a year later, at a recording session during 2019 IBC that their professional acquaintance blossomed into a love affair, culminating in marriage in August of 2019! Since that time, renowned Canadian Blues-Rocker Paul DesLauriers and acclaimed American Soul-Blues singer Annika Chambers have unified their artistic destiny, much to the joy of everyone who’s had the pleasure of hearing and seeing them together! 

 Houston, Texas native ANNIKA CHAMBERS, like most great American singers, began singing as a child in the Southern Baptist church. Though Gospel music is her mother tongue, it is in the Blues that she found her true voice, and what a voice it is!! She is the 2022 Blues Music Award Winner for Soul-Blues Female Artist of the Year. After winning her first Blues Music Award for Soul-Blues Female Artist of the Year in 2019, she gave us her third release entitled “Kiss My Sass” on the VizzTone Label Group. It debuted at #4 on the Billboard Blues Chart and won the 2020 Living Blues Award for Best Southern Soul album. Annika performs regularly at top Blues festivals across North and South America as well as Europe.

 Deeply rooted in the blues-rock idiom, guitarist-singer Paul DesLauriers is the winner of the Maple Blues Awards (Canada’s national Blues Award program) for Entertainer of the Year (2016, 2017), Electric Act of the Year (2016), Guitarist of the Year (2013, 2019) and Acoustic Act of the Year (2013). In 2016 he took 2nd Place at the 32nd International Blues Challenge held by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennesee. His most recent recording « Bounce » (Bros/Vizztone) debuted at #1 on Canada’s Roots Music Report and held the top Spot for several weeks. In November 2019, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Joh Lord of Deep Purple fame’s Concerto for Group & Orchestra, the Paul DesLauriers Band were invited perform the piece at Palais Montcalm in Quebec City, Canada along with Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec under the direction of Paul Mann.Paul DesLauriers’ international touring schedule includes regular performances at top Blues Festivals in North America and Europe including the Montreal International Blues Festival, Ottawa Blues Fest, Edmonton Blues Fest, Calgary Blues Fest, Big Blues Bender Las Vegas NV USA, White Mountain Boogie n’Blues NH USA, Heritage Music Blues Fest Wheeling WV USA, Passion Blues Cognac and Cahors Blues Festivals in France, the Sierre Blues Festival, Switzerland, and Grölsch Blues Festival Shöppingen Germany to name a few. 



Earl Williams  


Known in and around his hometown of Bessemer, Al Earl “Guitar” Williams is no stranger to blues lovers. He is recognized for the electrifying sound of his guitar and harmonica. Earl discovered his interest in music at the tender age of seven and crafted his own guitar by using a cigar box, broomstick, and fishing cord. This marked the beginning of Earls musical career.
At the age of nine Earl became a regular fixture on the porch of Mr. Gip, now a backyard juke joint in Bessemer, Al. Earl currently plays in numerous venues and with various blues artists. Whenever chitlin circuit legend Benny Latimore plays in the Birmingham area Earl joins him on stage. Earl is the REAL DEAL!!





Gina is a graduate of Williams College.  She began singing in 1990 on a dare by her co-workers and hasn’t turned back since.  She began performing in a duet, The Siblings.  Gina shortly started her own duet, Cole-Connection, which blossomed to a five-piece band that allowed her to showcase some of her original music.  Gina has performed in the Williamstown Theater Festival as the lead gospel singer in “A Raisin in the Sun.” She also made several appearances at NYC’s famed Bitter End.  Gina has been nominated for two Independent Blues Awards for writing songs in the Best Contemporary Blues category. Gina and the band have had the pleasure of recording with Charles Neville from the legendary Neville Brothers and Joe Louis Walker. They have also opened for blues staples … Tab Benoit, John Primer, Albert Cummings and Michael Powers.  Musical influences include Koko Taylor, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Tuck & Patti. 

Recently Misty Blues achieved 21 consecutive weeks at the top of the Roots Music Report Traditional Folk Album Chart for “Tell Me Who Are: A Live Tribute To Odetta” !  



Performing 3:55-5:10pm

Nikki Hill 

Nikki Hill is sweet seduction & smoldering energy. An original force in American music, she is tender & tough, flamboyant, & dangerous. Overlapping soulful, sensual, & bold vocal tones with powerful chrome-plated riffs & swagger, her voice finds a home in it – a soul singing, bar rocking, roots revivalist, of self-reflection at a dancing tempo. 

Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Nikki Hill enjoyed R&B, soul, pop & hip hop at home. In addition, she sang gospel in the church choir from childhood through her early teenage years. Gradually, she developed her ears for garage rock, rock n’ roll, blues & roots, while also picking up influence from living along the legendary Mississippi River – in St. Louis, Missouri, New Orleans, Louisiana, & currently Memphis, Tennessee. In Nikki’s mind, a fertile mix of all the different types of music she had heard arose, & gradually these merged into something quite special, as she found her own voice, which the world was gradually introduced to on her many constant tours, where she took more & more audiences by storm with her distinctive vocals & energetic stage performance. 

After self-releasing & producing her debut album, Here’s Nikki Hill, her musical contributions continued, with her song “Struttin’” released on Deke Dickerson & The Bo-Keys Soul Meets Country EP, produced by Scott Bomar in Memphis, TN. The momentum continued through the release of her second album, Heavy Hearts Hard Fists, recorded at Fort Horton Studios in Wyldwood, TX. 

The acclaimed album was accompanied by a worldwide tour in the US, Europe, Australia, India & Morocco, & over 30 festivals, including Montreux Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, & Byron Bay Blues Festival, receiving praise for uplifting the new songs with an erupting live performance. 

“Think Tina Turner fronting AC/DC & you’ll have half of the picture. She’s a machine…Nikki Hill is a revelation, her b& masters of rocket-fueled bluesy swing, her voice the beacon which calls you home: a vocal powerhouse who don’t mess around.”  



Skyler Saufley

As a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Skyler Saufley is not your typical blues artist, and his journey to become one is uniquely his own. Specializing in jump, swing, and west coast style blues, coupled with his impeccable stage presence and knack for showmanship, Saufley’s talent becomes impossible to ignore, evoking the spirit of blues legends T-Bone Walker and Pee Wee Crayton. His live shows are infused with a mix of electrifying blues and boogie-woogie standards that will bring the audience to their feet and leave them begging for more. Skyler performs extensively across the southeast and is a recent inductee into the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame.