Performing at The Blues Festival Main Event,Saturday February 15
Roots, blues, and originals in the tradition of Bo Diddley, Hound Dog Taylor and Lazy Lester.
“Dead-on songwriting and savvy selection of covers provide a platform for his unaffected, honest vocals and tough guitar.”
Tom Hyslop Blues Revie
if you haven’t been paying attention to his career, this is the short version of what you need to know: Chris Ruest is the real thing. The New Englander has been a resident of Texas for well over a decade. Already a serious student and lover of traditional blues and blues-oriented jazz artists, the singer-guitarist came up through Brian “Hash Brown” Calway’s band (justly regarded as the finishing school of choice for aspiring Dallas blues musicians), and has worked with many of the Lone Star State’s most important talents, including the great Ray Sharpe (“Linda Lu”).
Ruest’s band has opened for Bobby “Blue” Bland, Johnny Winter, Little Charlie and the Nightcatsand many more. 2004 brought Ruest’s recording debut as a solo artist, Too Many Problems, a spirited collection that captured crisp performances in glorious, true-to-vintage sound.
In 1999, Chris Ruest moved from the northeastern United States to Texas, where he soon began working with the top talent in Dallas and Austin, and cultivated solid connections to Texas blues and rock and roll history through friendships with Sam Myers and Ray Sharpe. Since 2005, the Texas-based artist has released three solo CDs, featuring performers including Hash Brown, Nick Curran, Preston Hubbard, Ronnie James, and Kaz Kazanoff. Those albums, and his contributions to the all-star group Texas Cannonballs, reveal one of the strongest, most original voices in contemporary blues and roots rock. In 2017, Ruest recorded the impressively real and raw blues project It’s Too Late Now, with a trio rounded out by the storied Gene Taylor on piano and Brian Fahey (The Paladins) on drums.
Eve Monsees was born in Houston on 12 October 1983, but moved to the ‘Blues Mecca’ of Austin, Texas, aged eight.
Monsees got her first guitar at 12 and soon began hooking up with her schoolmate, Gary Clark Jr., to regularly practise playing the blues. At 15 they began sitting in on jams at Austin clubs, and within a year they were getting their own gigs, including an opening slot for Jimmie Vaughan at Antone’s.
Monsees established The Exiles with Mike Buck and in March 2004 they released their debut record. In 2007 Kathy Valentine approached her to join the Bluebonnets, an all girl rock band, and in 2010 they released their first album Boom Boom Boom Boom. In 2008 Monsees took co-ownership of Antone’s Record Shop, and she continues to play in a number of bands.
Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Buck began playing drums at the age of 12. By his mid-teens, he was playing in various Fort Worth-area clubs with artists such Robert Ealey, Ray Sharpe, Johnny Carroll, and Bubbles Cash.
Buck moved to Austin in the mid-1970s and joined the blues rock group, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, along with Keith Ferguson, Jimmie Vaughan, and Kim Wilson. He appeared on the Thunderbirds’ first two albums, Girls Go Wild (1979) and What’s The Word (1980). In 1981, he left to form The LeRoi Brothers with guitarists, Steve Doerr and Don Leady. In addition to continuing to play with The LeRoi Brothers, Buck has performed and recorded with numerous notable artists over the years including Roky Erickson, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Roy Head, Lazy Lester, Toni Price, Ted Roddy, and Doug Sahm.