Bringing crowds to their feet at the hardest to please and sophisticated night clubs in the Midwest, Indie Blues Artist Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys play traditional blues, straight up with a big dose of passion. With smoking grooves, served up with hot harmonica and smooth stinging guitar they play original songs peppered with nods to Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and the three Kings.
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, the Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddie King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After a 15-year hitch in the Navy, Chief Raven moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers.
Over the last three decades, Reverend Raven has opened for B.B. King, Gatemouth Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor Band, Junior Wells, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop, Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, William Clarke, Lefty Dizz, Rod Piazza, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Duke Robillard, Jeff Healy, Trampled Underfoot, Mike Zito, Nick Moss, Tommy Castro and numerous others at festivals and at Buddy Guy’s Legends, where he has been on rotation as a headliner for the past 16 years.
Westside Andy is one of the premier harp players to come out of Wisconsin along with Jim Liban, Steve Cohen, Madison Slim, Matthew Skoller and Cadillac Pete Rahn. A long-time member of Paul Black’s Flip Kings and his own band, The Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band, he’s played just about everywhere and with anyone of note in the blues world. Andy has been with Reverend Raven for the past three years. More modern facts include that Hohner lists him as an endorser alongside Rod Piazza, Toots Thielemans, & Corky Siegel, among many other great players. Andy has shared the stage with James Cotton, Luther Allison, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Charlie Musselwhite, Doobie Brothers, Richie Havens, Muddy Waters, Gary Primich, Jimmy Johnson, Tab Benoit, & Hubert Sumlin, to name just a few.
- Wisconsin Music Industry (WAMI) award for best blues band in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015. People’s Choice Award in 2006, 2008, 2010.
- Voted the Best Blues Band In Milwaukee by The Shepherd Express Reader’s Poll in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
- 2011 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for “Band of The Year” and “Song Of The Year.”
- 2015 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for “Live Blues Recording.”
- 2016 Independent Blues Award for “Best Live CD.”
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