About the Band
The Backtrack Blues Band hails from the Tampa Bay region of Florida and has been performing original blues music since 1980. As one of Florida’s longest running blues acts, Backtrack has performed with many blues legends – Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Koko Taylor, Johnny Winter, John Lee Hooker, and Robert Cray, just to mention a few.
This five-piece unit has an upbeat, electric blues sound reminiscent of the early Chicago blues scene. Sonny Charles supplies great amplified harmonica and vocals. Kid Royal adds blistering lead guitar and vocals. The solid rhythm section consists of Little Johnny Walter on rhythm guitar, Joe Bencomo on drums, and Stick Davis on bass. The band delivers its brand of original electric blues with the passion and integrity of a group that has spent decades refining its craft.
Backtrack has earned the respect of its musical peers, winning three prestigious Tampa Bay music awards for “Best Blues Band”. Backtrack has appeared at multiple , large blues festival around the world , including many appearances at the award winning Tampa Bay Blues Festival , Notodden International Blues Festival , Norway , Utah Blues Festival , Color Line Blues Cruise , Trois Rivieres en Blues, The Donnacona Blues Festival, and Mont- Tremblant International Blues Festival in Canada , Springing The Blues , Gasparilla Music Festival , Myakka River Blues Festival , St John Blues Festival in the U.S. Virgin Islands , Treasure Island Music Festival , Kool Jazz Festival , Ranch Jam 2015 , and more. They are very accustomed to performing at outdoor music festivals and large concert venues and theaters.
BACKTRACK WINS NATIONAL SONG CONTEST
Backtrack Blues Band was selected as the winner of the "Coolest Blues Song of 2019" Contest run by Detroit’s Big City Blues Magazine . A panel of blues music experts judged Backtrack’s song "Best Friend’s Grave" as the best blues song among the many nominated by some of America’s most prestigious blues songwriters .
Backtrack Blues Band’s 7th release stands as one of the group’s very best projects. Released on the VizzTone Label, it features powerful harp and sizzling, Texas-style guitar, with impressive vocals and a killer rhythm section.
Joining the band on the recording are Bruce Katz on piano and B3 organ, the Backtrack Angels on backing vocals, and the Muscle Shoals Horns.
The album was recorded to analog 2 inch tape at Big 3 Studios in St Petersburg , Florida and the horns were cut at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Produced by George A. Harris, this record features eight original songs and a fabulous Jimmy Reed cover.
Multiple Grammy Winning producer and songwriter, Tom Hambridge , provided these comments:
"With a sound all their own, Backtrack Blues Band has come up with a hot collection of authentic, original blues that includes plenty of hardcore Chicago influences and some deep, sweet Texas guitar tones that would make T-Bone smile. Sonny Charles grabs you with his powerful and authoritative vocals, but it's his full-throated harmonica attack that gives this album its center"
Bruce Iglauer, president of Alligator Records, shared his opinion on the "Your Baby Has Left" album as follows:
"Overall, a superior album with fine musicianship, solid songwriting, good traditional blues rhythms and a lot of spirit. Strong guitar with a wide vocabulary of blues. Big-toned harp played with lots of confidence. There's plenty to be proud of!"
If you like stellar harp and guitar, supported by classic, honest blues grooves, then this album is a must buy for you!
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING
“This is one hellaciously fine blues record! "Your Baby Has Left" feels like one of the most right on blues discs I’ve maybe ever heard. With just the right amount of dirt, grease, joy, and great playing, this is one for the ages. When people talk about great blues, they’re talking about records just like this. If I had to tally my ‘best of 2020’ list right now, this would be at the top; this is as good as it gets.”
— The Rock Doctor, gonzookanagan.com, April 2, 2020
“Tampa Bay’s Backtrack Blues Band has made the journey back to the heart of the source. Back to Paul Butterfield Blues Band and John Mayall - "Your Baby Has Left" is vintage 60’s blues rock. A dynamic rhythm section that keeps things simple and honest, but also high- energy. Charles has a blusey voice with character to spare. His harmonica work veers between rich bursts of sound and surgically precise saxaphone-like runs. Royal is an old school blues player who’s able to wring every last bit of soul out of each note.”
— Steven Ovadia, American Blues Scene, March 30, 2020
"BACKTRACK BLUES BAND / Your Baby Has Left : They come from Tampa, overdub in Muscle Shoals, capture the spirit of Chicago and Texas and know how to play real blues. They have rubbed elbows with some of the major august blues personages , letting the lessons rub off on them . Right in the pocket throughout as they spread the word!"
- MIDWEST RECORDS, 2/28/20
"BACKTRACK BLUES BAND - a leader with a cheerful style of vocals and harmonica , doubled on his right by a guitar- slinger worthy of the most ruthless assassinations . To sum it up : the leader Sonny Charles proves to be a first -rate blower ( between Sonny Boy, Kim Wilson, and William Clark , do you need to detail it further ? ) the Kid Royal who officiates as lead- guitar never makes the slightest quarter ( where Stevie Ray would be today ) and the rhythm section has the necessary shock absorbers to support such a crew in all circumstances . It would wake up a paralytic in outdated calalepsy ! "
- Patrick Dollongeville, PARIS-MOVE, 2/28/20
"Backtrack Blues Band is a veteran band that delivers a powerful and energetic sound. From the lead guitar and harmonica sound, to its incredible rhythm section, they are a force to be reckoned with!"
— Gene Fontana, Riverfront Blues Festival, Delaware
"Backtrack Blues Band just opened for John Nemeth on the main stage at the Tremblant Blues Festival in Canada. They really delivered the goods! Seasoned veterans in the blues, Backtrack went through songs from their new CD and the crowd responded enthusiastically.
You will feel the heat with Backtrack Blues Band. Guaranteed!"
— Brian Slack, Festival Director, Tremblant International Blues Festival and Trois-Rivieres Blues Festival, Canada
"Backtrack Blues Band was one of the very top bands at this year’s Utah Blues Festival. They really got our crowd up and dancing. I would strongly recommend booking Backtrack at your festival - you won’t be disappointed!"
— Tripp Hopkins, Producer - Utah Blues Festival
"Backtrack Blues Band became a favorite with our audience, playing Chicago-inspired, crowd pleasing, harmonica and guitar driven classic electric blues. The band had people dancing in the aisles, with encores at every show!"
— Jostein Forsberg, Notodden International Blues Festival