Teeny Tucker Named 2010 Monterey Bay Blues Artist of the Year
Teeny Tucker was named "Monterey Bay Blues Artist of the Year" during ceremonies on Sunday, June 27, following her performance at the 25th Annual Monterey Bay Blues Festival.
The diminutive blues songstress was cited for her "leadership, achievement and general support of, and contributions to the blues and its preservation," said Lee Durley, a member of the festival's Board of Directors Executive Committee, as he presented Tucker with the award. "It is with great pride that the fabulous Teeny Tucker be awarded the 2010 Monterey Bay Blues Artist of the Year Award," he added. During the presentation on the main stage, a huge color portrait of Teeny Tucker was unveiled as a backdrop to the festivities. Previous honorees of the "Monterey Bay Blues Artist of the Year" award include Etta James, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Koko Taylor.
The presentation at the Monterey Fairgrounds followed Tucker's blistering set featuring many of the songs from her just-released CD, Keep the Blues Alive, which is already generating international rave reviews. Prior to her own performance, Tucker joined the Blues in the Schools Honor Band for two songs during their performance on another stage at the festival.
Begun in 1986, The Monterey Bay Blues Festival is considered one of the premier blues festivals in the country, continuing to attract and feature world-renowned blues artists as well as young budding artists. The festival has and continues to feature the likes of Billy Preston, B. B. King, The Neville Brothers, James Brown, Ruth Brown, Shemekia Copeland, Charlie Musselwhite, Al Green and Buddy Guy, while simultaneously offering teens involved with the Blues in the Schools Program an opportunity to thrill their audiences at the same festival.
Keep the Blues Alive melds both Teeny Tucker's blues and soul music influences, and ably showcases her gospel roots, too, as evidenced in songs such as "I Wish We Could Go Back" and "Hush/Keep the Blues Alive." Many of the songs are autobiographical, as one listen to "Make Room for Teeny" and "Daughter to the Blues" will attest; and on "John Cephas," she plays special tribute to the late gospel and blues man of the song's title, whose Piedmont style continues to influence countless musicians. On that tune, as well as the album's closer, "Respect Me and the Blues," Teeny shows that she can get "down-home" with the best of the country blues artists.
Teeny Tucker was born into blues royalty: her late father was rhythm and blues singer Tommy Tucker, whose song, "Hi-Heel Sneakers," not only became a huge hit for him, but was covered by scores of other artists and continues to be a live show standard for blues and rock bands to this day. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Teeny began singing originally in her church choir and by 1994 had appeared on the stage of the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York City, where she won over the crowd with her powerful voice, earning standing ovation from the notoriously "tough" audience. During that time, she also began writing poetry and grew up performing major roles in local theatre.
Teeny Tucker is based in Columbus, Ohio, and is currently on tour in support of her new CD. For more information, visit www.teenytucker.com.