Who was the youngest band at The Bradenton Blues Festival. Why Homemade Jamz of course.
This family band is made up of brothers Ryan (20) on guitar, Kyle (18) on bass, and sister Taya (14 drums). You might wonder how they could be playing real blues at their age, but the fact is they hold their own with any blues band.
They’ve been doing it for a while too. Ryan got things rolling when he was 11 and demanded his Army father let him play his Stratocaster copy. Soon he was starting to get serious.
“I heard B.B. King, Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan,” he recalls, “and I would listen to them all the time and try to emulate them.” Having found his muse, Ryan’s playing progressed “like, tenfold. As soon as I knew which direction to go, it really took off.”
Soon brother Kyle wanted in and then after a couple of years sister Taya wanted to play. She was 7 at the time. Pretty soon the whole family was getting involved.
Their father Renaud actually builds their instruments himself. He seems to start with a muffler and uses his welding skills to turn it into a real instrument. And they sound good too as you can hear on the videos.
They are from the Mississippi hill country where many great blues artists were formed including one B.B. King. He had this to say about the clan…
“In my 82 years, I’ve never seen something musically… so remarkable.”
Anyway they continue to progress and play many of the blues festivals around the country including The Bradenton Blues Festival.
But watching them I couldn’t help but wonder if they really want to be doing this.
More about that in a second. First the show they put on.
They went on second on this first beautiful day in December. Here’s some videos.
Grits Ain’t Groceries
Unknown Original and Award to Paul Benjamin
Ain’t No Sunshine
Mississippi Hill Country
As I watched them play they reminded me of teenagers that were at work. They looked bored (except for Ryan). I couldn’t help but wonder if they still loved what they did or if it had turned into a job. Taya the hard-hitting drummer looked like she would rather be playing something a bit more funky or “hip-hoppy.”
Then again it could just be a teenager trying to fit into a grown up world of the blues.
Maybe its just this dad talking her. I’ve got two teenage daughters who kind of like the blues but I doubt they would “love” to play the blues deep down.
Anyway, we’ll keep watching and see.