2019 International Blues Challenge Winner
Jon took first place in the solo/duo category of the 2019 International Blues Challengein Memphis, besting over 260 competitors for the win. Watch video of Jon’s winning performance and read the News & Observer’s feature.
Last August at Durham’s Blue Note Grill, Jon won the 2018 Triangle Blues Society‘s Blues Challenge in the solo/duo category, sending him on to the International Challenge. The band Chicken Shack won in their category.
Jon Shain is a veteran singer-songwriter who’s been turning heads for years with his words, his fiery acoustic guitar work, and his evolved musical style – combining improvised piedmont blues with bluegrass, swing, and ragtime. Shain’s latest solo disc, Gettin’ Handy with the Blues – a Tribute to the Legacy of WC Handy, was released in January, 2018. Shain’s newest release is Tomorrow Will Be Yesterday Soon, with long-time collaborator FJ Ventre.
Based in Chapel Hill, NC, FJ Ventre plays upright and electric bass and sings with several acts from The Triangle area, including Jon Shain, Wyatt Easterling, Wes Collins, the Bennys, Nantahala and others.
He has also played with the Chris Stamey Group, the Swang Brothers, Rebecca and The Hi-Tones, Mel Melton and the Wicked Mojos, The Stars Explode, and Tom Maxwell. FJ is the owner-operator of Good Luck Studio and has recorded and mixed projects for Jon Shain, The Swang Brothers, Jeff Hart, Hailey Clark, The Infidels, Tad Walters, and Tom Maxwell, to name a few.
Rissi Palmer, who describes her musical style as “Southern Soul,” has received widespread media attention in national publications including Ebony, Parade, People, Newsweek, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal and more. She has performed on the CBS Early Show, CNN, The Tavis Smiley Show, Oprah & Friends, at the White House, Lincoln Center, and the Grand Ole Opry. Rissi has also shared the stage with such notable artists as Charley Crockett, Chris Young, Taylor Swift and The Eagles, to name a few. And, on top of all that, she made music history in 2007 with the release of her Top 40 debut single, “Country Girl,” becoming the first African-American female to chart a country song since 1987.
Since the release of her nationally distributed debut album, Rissi has released two albums on her own indie label Baldilocks LLC, including the children’s album Best Day Ever and her latest critically acclaimed EP, The Back Porch Sessions. She is currently working on a new album scheduled for release in 2019.