British blues on tap in Walla Walla

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerAugust 3, 2012 

Oli Brown can jam out the blues as readily as BB King.

And though music fans might not be familiar with this U.K. musician's name, the British blues scene knows all about Brown's savvy, whether he's singing the blues or playing guitar.

He'll bring that cool sound to Southeast Washington on Aug. 6 when he performs a concert at 8 p.m. at the Power House Theatre, 111 N. Sixth Ave., Walla Walla.

Tickets are from $20 to $35. Brown also plans to give a free guitar clinic while visiting Walla Walla. It'll be from 2 to 3 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Power House Theatre. To register for the clinic or buy tickets to the show, go to www.phtww.com or call 509-529-6500.

At age 22, Brown is a relative youngster in the music world, though he's played professionally since he was 15.

He's shared the stage with such notable blues musicians as Buddy Guy, John Mayall and Blinddog Smokin'.

Brown credits the great musicians he's played with for teaching him everything about blues, stagecraft, walking tall and speaking to the audience, said Alisa Gilbert, publicist for the Power House Theatre.

"The Power House promises not just a show, but an intimate experience in an acoustically perfect surrounding," Gilbert said. "Oli has achieved great success in his young career, and it is clear to see by CD sales from his latest release Here I Am that soon everyone will be familiar with this artist on the rise."

Brown's debut album at age 17, Open Road, came out in 2008 on the Ruf Records label.

He toured Europe, opening tours for Johnny Winter, Walter Trout and Robben Ford. In 2010, he was part of the New Generation Blues Tour of Europe with Joanne Shaw Taylor.

Critics have called Brown one of the hottest young blues artists to come out of Britain, voting him the best male vocalist and best young artist at the 2010 British Blues Awards.

The following year, he earned the top prize for best band and best album from the same organization.

Here I Am was released earlier this year and soared to the top of the British and German music charts and is still one of the hottest downloaded albums on Amazon, Ruf Records states on its website.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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