SaRon Crenshaw learned to play guitar at the age of ten. He is an extremely talented guitarist who travels the country playing Jazz and Rhythm and Blues. He has shared stages with artists such as Bobby Rush, Jessie James and Chuck Roberson. In 2010 and 2011 SaRon had the honor of opening up for Robert Cray and B.B. King on the big stages of Connecticut. and won love from the audience with his acoustic performances. SaRon is a powerful entertainer and is never afraid to take his performance straight into the audience.
“A warm voice and a marvelous guitar player. Great performer.” Rootstime
SaRon Crenshaw recorded a live album in The Netherlands: Goin’ to get Deep, label Blind Bee Records. In Europe SaRon will be guided by Blind B’ & the Visionairs. The band is available for festivals/venues on request.
At the age of 51, Wallace Coleman closed the door on one career and stepped into the next; that of professional musician. As a member of the Robert Jr. Lockwood Band he was now traveling the world playing on major Blues Festivals and in premier Clubs. After a few years, Lockwood recognized that fans wanted to hear more from Wallace Coleman and Lockwood encouraged him to form his own band. In 1997, Coleman graduated to the post of full-time band leader. Shortly before leaving Lockwood’s band, Coleman recorded with Lockwood on his Grammy-nominated CD “I Got to Find Me a Woman.”
Traditional Folk and Chicago Electric Blues The Wallace Coleman Band was formed with Coleman standing firmly on the professional music foundation formed and nurtured during his 10 years as a Lockwood Side Man. And now Coleman could tap into the rich reserves of his beloved Traditional Folk and Chicago Electric Blues. Like Lockwood, Coleman has taken his band to perform at major Festivals and venues around the United States and beyond, touring in England, Belgium, Switzerland, France – and beginning in 2015, he has been invited to perform and record in Brazil, Spain and Holland – backed by the fine Blues artists in those countries.
Postwar Chicago Blues On his own Ella Mae Music Label, Coleman has produced 5 CDs to critical acclaim: “Stretch My Money,” “Live at Joe’s,” “The Bad Weather Blues,” “Blues in the Wind” (Remembering Robert Jr. Lockwood), and “Live from Sao Paulo to Severance.” In 2019, Wallace Coleman continues to perform around the United States and overseas with a Spring tour in the Netherlands. He is widely regarded as a postwar Chicago Blues premier torchbearer, recognized for his soulful, rich-toned and innovative harmonica sound.
Wallace Coleman’s authentic, textured harmonica style and captivating vocals are reminiscent of the sounds that long ago haunted him across those WLAC airwaves as a young listener late at night, and are now also infused with his own creative compositions, covers, and interpretations.
“If the Chicago blues sound doesn’t go the way of the dinosaur, it’ll be because of artists like Rip Lee! “ Sometimes, to truly appreciate the present, one has to understand the past.
For Carbondale musician Richard “Rip Lee” Pryor, life’s story contains three main chapters: a childhood wrapped in rhythmic blues, an adult life focused on career success, and a second lease on life when everything really began to click. Born in Chicago in 1958 to renowned blues artist Snooky Pryor, he most certainly was a daddy’s boy, emulating his father every chance he got. I was just infatuated with what my dad did,” Pryor said. “I just tried mimicking his records.”
A Blues DNA Picking up his dad’s old harmonicas and playing along with records, Pryor could feel the rhythm flowing through his blood. The blues were built into his DNA, and a future in music seemed inevitable. When Pryor turned 10, his family moved away from the city, planting roots deep in the state in Pulaski County. Years passed. And, having settled in Southern Illinois, his father walked away from music. By 1994, however, Pryor, now in his mid-30s, persuaded his dad to step back into the saddle. Pryor had started building a reputation of his own, playing venues across the region, and his dad picked up his instruments one more time to play with his son.
In the following years, the father-son duo recorded an album, “Mind Your Own Business,” and toured Japan. Pryor felt on top of the world. “That was the highlight of me playing with him,” he said. The fun continued for a little while, and the two recorded a second album, “Pitch a Boogie Woogie.” But, as they say, nothing gold can last forever. As the new millennium rolled around, Pryor decided to take a break from the music business. Music, which had played such an instrumental role in his upbringing and early adult life, would be moved to the backburner.
In 1979, Pryor had begun work as a carpenter at Southern Illinois University and decided to focus more on his career and planning for retirement. There’d be plenty of time for music once that day came, he told himself. “I just wanted to finish up my day job,” he said. “I was going to pick it back up when I retired. That was the plan anyway.” In August 2008, the university honored Pryor and 133 other retirees with a special reception. The working world was in Pryor’s rearview mirror, and the road ahead was wide open. Pryor, though, didn’t stick to life’s original road map.
Reevaluating of life Rather than returning to the music scene like he’d promised himself he would, Pryor turned to gambling, which would consume his life for the next two years, keeping him away from the machination of music making. Then, one day, in one instant, everything changed. “I got a rude awakening in life,” he said, “and that was the big C.” Cancer struck in May 2010, when Pryor was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer. The diagnosis shocked Pryor and caused him to reevaluate his life. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” he said. “It was like, if I make it, I’m going to play music because that’s where my heart was at, and that’s what I wanted to do.”
Early the next year, Pryor entered remission. Cancer-free, he upheld his promise to himself this time and booked his first gig in several years at The Underground in Carbondale. Playing only a short 45-minute set, Pryor was back on the scene; but, with his health still in recovery, he knew he had to take it slow. He built up his stamina and soon returned to full headlining sets. And not just in Southern Illinois. Modern technologies allowed Pryor opportunities his father, who died in 2006, never had. Through Facebook, he connected with Adrian Flores, a South American musician who wanted to meet Pryor.