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Rich DelGrosso and Jonn Del Toro Richardson are two Houston-based, veteran blues musicians who have jump-started new work together this year with their widely-acclaimed Mandolin Blues release Time Slips On By. The CD is a collection of 14 original songs from the fertile blues territory of Southeast Texas, presenting rocking, solid mandolin with fiery guitar in a new spicy mix of Texas blues and roots. For this set at the Festival, the rhythm section is made up of Quad Cities’ musicians, including Daniel Rangel on drums.
Jim Hynes of Elmore Magazine says of the album: “This is a refreshing, unique sound. It’s not only the clarity of DelGrosso’s electric mandolin, but the interplay with Richardson’s full-bodied guitar that meshes so well.” Downbeat gave Times Slips On By four stars, and it debuted at #4 on the Living Blues Radio Chart in February of this year.
Rich DelGrosso has played our Fest before, and he’s also conducted Blues in the Schools residencies for the MVBS. He’s a five-time Blues Music Award nominee, and he’s been performing for the blues, folk, and mandolin communities for over 30 years. As the leading exponent of the mandolin in the blues, DelGrosso has toured the U.S., the U.K., and Italy performing and conducting numerous workshops.
You may also remember Jonn Del Toro Richardson’s stellar guitar playing with Diunna Greenleaf’s band at the Blues Fest in 2009. He is a winner of the Blues Foundation’s Albert King award, given to the best guitarist at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He also backed Pinetop Perkins in the Grammy and Blues Music Award-nominated Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year for Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen.
The set by DelGrosso and Del Toro is sure to be, as Blues and Rhythm noted, “a breath of fresh air for the blues.” They’ll perform an eclectic collection of songs born and nurtured in one of the richest cultural centers of American blues and roots music.