Meet the Artists
Lacy Yvonne Reed (B.K.A Lacee) born July 1 in Memphis, TN is an American R&B, Soul and Blues singer and songwriter. She’s the daughter of JoAnn Reed (deceased since 1988) and Reverend Joe Reed (deceased 1987) and was raised Baptist. She was the only child born to the Reeds’, but has an older brother, Dennis Belcher. She finished school in Batesville, MS.
Her first album was released in 2006 by the internationally known funk group the Bar-Kays, Archie and Lillie Love with Loveland Records. That same year she won the International Female Vocalist of the Year Award at the Jackson Music Award in Jackson, Ms. She has been nominated for several other awards such as: Best New Female Vocalist in Atlanta, Georgia at the Just Blues Awards, and Best Female Vocalist in Memphis, TN.
Lacee has performed in several musical plays in the Memphis area and has the graced the stage with many greats such as: J. Blackfoot, Bobby Womack, Glen Jones, Howard Hewitt, Tyrese, Lenny Williams, Theodis Ealey, Lebrado, Shirley Caesar, Smokie Norful and R&B Prince of Soul Calvin Richardson, just to name a few.
Lacee cites Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, and Aretha Franklin as her overall biggest influences. She got her start in performing by singing in the church and with her mother.
LJ Echols grew up in a small town in Mississippi called Bassfield right outside of Hattiesburg. LJ Echols started out in a gospel group called the “The Echols Family”, which consisted of six group members: Herman Echols Sr. (father)-lead guitar player, Mary Echols (mother)-lead singer, LJ Echols-bass guitar player and background singer, Demetric Echols-singer, Sedrick Echols- drum player and background singer, and their cousin Carlson McLoud- Singer. In the interim of his new found success, they released their first album in 1995 and the second album in 1997.
After the success of the gospel album LJ decided moved to Dallas, TX in August of 1999 to endeavor into the R&B (Rhythm & Blues) style of music. This is when LJ decided to come up with a group called the 4- Sho Band which consisted of three brothers and a cousin. LJ Echols-bass player and background singer, Demetric Echols- Lead Singer, Sedrick Echols- drum player, Carlos McLoud- second lead singer and background singer. The 4-Sho Band all shared a part of playing, singing, and writing their own music.
In the summer of 2004 LJ Echols started a solo singing career as a Southern Soul Blues Artist. LJ is very talented and versatile when it comes to music. LJ Echols plays, writes, produce, and sings his own music. In his new found success he released his first CD entitled, “Well Runs Dry” in the beginning of 2005 that is now playing across Mississippi, Texas, and other cities and states. When the Well Runs Dry CD dropped, LJ Echols was up for nomination for the Best New Blues Artist of the Year at the 2006 Jus Blues Music Awards that was held in Atlanta. In 2008, LJ Echols released his second album entitled, “Another Level” with his hit single “From the Back” which put LJ on the map for every down south state, the Mid-west, and up North States such as Michigan and Illinois. The song From the Back also had LJ Echols up for nomination again at the 2009 Jus Blues Music Awards that was held in Memphis, TN on August 5th for the Best Southern Soul Song of the Year. LJ Echols has so many goals and has accomplished so much in the past couple of years such as starting his own record label called NECKBONE RECORDS.
LJ Echols has opened up for different artists such as Bobby Blue Bland, Marvin Sease, Sir Charles Jones, Denise LaSalle, Mel Waiters, Lenny Williams, Shirley Brown, Jeff Floyd, Cole Payne from the hit television show Martin, legendary jazz artist Roy Ayers and Les McCann, and this is just a few artist he has opened up for. With LJ Echols “Another Level” album, he had the help from Mel Waiters and Sir Charles Jones each to produce a tracked such as “Swangers Only” and “I’m Gone Party”. LJ Echols has become more independent, empowered, and has many more hit songs coming to Southern Soul. In the past couple of years, LJ has had band members to come and go ,but his band has been steady with him for 3 years now, -the Neckbone Band: Bass Guitar- Luther, Lead guitar Robert Young, Keyboard player Ray Ray, and last but not least drum player my brother Sedrick Echols better known as Spunky. LJ Echols is not only musically inclined, but is an unstoppable artist who wants to achieve more lucrative goals and success in the music industry.
Born: Port Lavaca, TX.
History: Bass player coming up in the church, part time drummer in the church and fill in organist. Learned how to play the Bass guitar at the age of 4 playing with my dad in the living room with neighbors looking in the window. Now 50 years later guitar comes into play, and what fun it has been. Moved to Detroit, Michigan at an early age and had chances to be around and onstage with the Motown gang of musicians, Kicker Womack, Ben Baber, Ronnie Sandelin, Jimmy Sterling, Norma Jean Bell seen her band play many times, Shields of Faith (Gospel Quartet) Roosevelt Griffin and a host of others that their talents exceeded anything I had. So, to the drawing board I went and here I am now. Influences include Mark May, Paul Ramirez, Kirk McKim, Matt Johnson, Josh Smith, Eric Steckel and a lot more. With so much music in my head I had to learn how to play multiple instruments Keys, Drums, Bass, Guitar, Sax alongwith learning the recording programs to be able to record my hit songs.
Accomplishments: Formed The Band Joe Leonard and the Southern Soul Band of Houston TX. Formerly The
Blues Dudes for a couple years. JLSSB has released the 1stCD (On The Way Up) and (2nd cd Mystery Lady).
Recent concerts with Kenne Wayne, Andre Lee, Jimmy Sterling and Joe Leonard & The Southern Soul Band
and Billy “Soul” Bonds (Scat Kat Kitty Kitty) Joyce’s Hole in the Wall Club. January 2014 Kenne’ Wayne, Joe Leonard, The Superior Band and Lady Audrey at Rosenberg County Fairgrounds. Joe Leonard & The
Southern Soul Band along with Georgi “O” Green (The Ladies choice) also Nellie Tiger Travis & Big Pokey. I am proud to introduce my single titled "BOO THANG " get your copy now on cdbaby.com, ITUNES, and manyonline stores or any of my other CD’s “Mystery Lady” , “On The Way Up” New titles coming soon: Blues
Dude, Dangerous Man, They’re Here With Me, Your Good Thang n more
Smokin' Joe Leonard
Waylon Henley is an outlaw2thegrave with Jesus on one side and God on the other, the Devil behind and the future unwritten.
Born in the Mississippi Delta and raised in Southern Oklahoma, Waylon Henley's relationship with music began at an early age. The connection to and love for country music is rooted deeply within his DNA. Waylon’s late father, Billy Jack, played with and considered Waylon Jennings a close friend and chose to name his son after the legend. Henley began writing songs and performing at a young age, it was evident that even in his youth, music, words and melodies were his hearts calling. All the while his friends and family referred to his passion as quite simply...destiny.
CMA of Texas 2018 Rising Star
Stephen Joseph Rideau “Step” was born in 1966 in the little St. Landry Parish town of LeBeau, Louisiana. Surrounded by Creole culture and zydeco music from infancy, it wasn’t until relocating to Houston in the mid-1980’s that he began to play the accordion and eventually formed his own band. Today, Step Rideau is widely acknowledged worldwide as one of the living masters of the instrument. He’s also established himself over the past two decades, the course of multiple recordings and festival appearances nationwide, as one of the most prolific and passionate zydeco recording artists, songwriters, and live performers across the globe.
Part of Rideau’s appeal is that he brings a true singer’s sensibility to zydeco, not just shouting out the lyrics but soulfully engaging with them to articulate the song, both in English and in Creole French. In that respect, he’s served well by his band of Outlaws, who provide not only fine instrumental accompaniment but also unusually rich and melodious backing vocal harmonies, especially in the case of long-time drummer, Jean-Paul Jolivette.
Collectively, these players make music that respects the art of the human voice in as much as it respects the driving rhythms, funky beats, and accordion riffs that make zydeco perhaps the ultimate dance soundtrack for people everywhere.
“Equal part blues man and southern rocker, Mark has just released his fifth disc entitled “Release My Soul”, his most ambitious and stylistically diverse project to date. Eleven original tracks that showcase his talent to pen strong melodic songs, featuring warm confident vocals and stinging guitar work and instrumentation. If you dig your blues with an attitude, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.”
The Blues Hound, 90.1 FM KPFT Houston
“Mark May is far and away one of the most talented and passionate bluesmen I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to. His songs work their way into your very soul…in a way that makes you feel naughty for liking them so much. His licks are like narcotic…you simply can’t wait for that next hit.”
Sue Leighton, Program Director QFM96… Host of “Blue Monday”
Release My Soul, the 5th cd from Mark May (former guitarist and vocalist for Dickey Betts and Great Southern), is jam-packed with traditional blues, blues-rock and soulful ballads. Perfecting his craft playing rough and tumble biker bars and blues clubs in Houston, Texas for over 20 years, Mark recently returned to his hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where he performed in nightclubs before his 15th birthday. His astonishing live shows featuring dynamic twin leads and dual harmony guitar work are the perfect complement to Mark’s smooth vocals.
The Mark May Band has performed at Telluride Blues and Brews, Mississippi Valley Blues Fest, King Biscuit, Tremblant International Blues Festival, Dallas International Guitar Show, Chenango Blues Festival, Lone Star Rally, Dogs on Hawgs, Houston International Festival, and in addition, was opening act for Allman Brothers Amphitheater Tour. Mark currently gets heavy rotation on Sirius/XM and Sonic Tap radio. He has been featured in Blues Review, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Vintage Guitar, Tone Quest and other major publications.
"When I heard the first CD, Call on the Blues, I was blown away! Mark is one of the best blues-rock artists to come along in years. With great singing/song-writing and guitar playing, he reminds me of everyone from Albert Collins to Stevie Ray to Carlos Santana. Hell, I even heard a couple of my licks in there!" DICKEY BETTS
"Mark May's gutsy tone, feisty pull-off licks and ground-glass vocals invite comparison to any number of Texas bluesmen. But the twin guitar leads, wah rhythm spanks, and occasional burst of fusionesque melodic complexity that pepper his second release Telephone Road, Houston, TX, make May something much more than just another traditionalist." GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE
"Mark May's Telephone Road had me so captivated that it almost didn't get reviewed in Blues Revue-I was holding it hostage in my car! May is a lead guitarist with a Southern-Fried sound and jazzy technique that expands beyond the workday blues, this 12-song disc bursts with tons of musical talent." BLUES REVUE MAGAZINE
"Mark plunges into an Albert Collins song called 'Lights Are On But Nobody's Home'. Just when you think this sweet and powerful rendition of the blues song has been interpreted as well as is possible, Mark slides in with a lead that not only blew me away, he brought the feel to a level that quite frankly probably transcends what anyone could do with it." REAL BLUES MAGAZINE
Mark May Band
AMANDA SOLIS DANCES TO HER OWN CUMBIA
(Houston, TX) Amanda Solis has performed for 30,000 fans at White Sox Stadium in Chicago. She has entertained Dr. Phil in Hollywood. She appeared on national TV in a highly rated docudrama.
But she’d finally and truly like to introduce herself. The Texas city native has spent the last few years paying tribute to Tejano icon Selena. She expertly recreates the late late singer's looks, moves and voice onstage. It’s kept her booked and busy throughout Houston and around the country. Amanda was one of five finalists selected to attend the Madame Tussauds Selena wax figure launch party in Los Angeles and portrayed the singer in a documentary on the Reelz channel.
But Amanda is finally ready to put the bustier aside.
Her first original single, “Kiebra la Bota,” is a party anthem in the style of zapateado, a Mexican dance characterized by continuous foot stomping around a dance floor. The lyrics namecheck Houston and Piedras Negras, Mexico, where Amanda’s parents were born. “I was just excited alone to be working on my music as Amanda,” she says. “I’ve been paying tribute to Selena for so long. She’s inspired me and paved the way in many different ways.”
Zapateado is immensely popular at quinceañeras and weddings, a point that wasn’t lost on Solis as she performed at the events around the country. “The dance floor would just fill up whenever the zapateado songs came on,” Amanda says. But it also made me think, ‘There are only men singing these songs. I need to do a song like this from a woman’s perspective’.”
“Kiebra la Bota” was produced by El Dusty and Mariano Herrera for the Houston-based Street Science Entertainment label. Corpus Christi native Dusty is a pioneer of nu-cumbia and cumbia electronica, which filters the traditional sound through synths, electro and hip-hop. “They came to us to get our sound but definitely brought ideas on what they wanted,” Dusty says. “I think she has loads of talent and has been practicing for her shot all her life.”
The end result, a six-song EP cleverly titled “Quinceañera Queen,” is due in 2020. They worked for several months to develop Solis’ own sound, dubbed "cumbia-Americano," a blend of Tejano and regional Mexican rhythms with contemporary flourishes. It’s an exciting, bilingual mashup that moves forward genres that have desperately needed the push for a long time.
“Let me show you who Amanda is and do something different,” she says. “My traditional roots are still there, with a little twist.” People would often point out Amanda’s resemblance to Selena. But less than five years ago, music wasn’t even an option. Amanda attended the University of Houston, where she was a cheerleader, and College of the Mainland in Galveston, earning her associates degree and eventually a real estate license.
She says the Selena tribute started “by accident,” an oft-used phrase by performers that rings true in this case. Amanda ventured out one night to a neighborhood bar, where a friend prompted her to sing “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” in a karaoke contest.
She won first place that night, and when she returned for the next round, she dressed up in one of her mother’s retro outfits, which reflected the ‘90s glam of Madonna, Janet and, yes, Selena. The reaction to her look took Amanda by surprise. Several months later, she accepted an invitation to sing for free at a quinceañera.
Despite the uncanny Selena resemblance, Amanda found it as a way to connect with her mother. Her parents died in a car accident when she was just six years old. Their business, a paint and body shop, is still open in Texas City.
“Selena was always a big factor for me because the first time I saw her, she reminded me of my mom. She looked like her, but it was her wardrobe. My mom used to wear costume jewelry and bustiers, mopping the floor in her heels and high-waisted pants,” Solis says. “I never in my mind thought, ‘Hey, I’m gonna be a Selena impersonator.’ I saw the smiles on people’s faces, the stories that I would head, the memories. But again, the connection was a tribute to my mom as well. It was almost like a little piece of her was brought back to me.”
Several Selena tribute acts work throughout Texas, but Amanda’s act quickly blossomed because of the resemblance and her ability to sing live. She’s performed at countless public, private and charity events. She plans to continue the Selena gig and perform more with her own band, Amanda con la Banda.
“I love doing my tribute to her. I will be doing this until God says we move on from it,” Amanda says. “Selena showed me so many things that I never even thought I was worthy of. I would have never thought I’d have the tribute to Selena evolve into being my own artist now.”
Captain Jack Watson
Burnett “Captain Jack” Watson, a blues Vocalist, not just one who interprets his music as work, but has a love for music, which was hidden inside for a long time. He was born in Gonzales, Texas south of the coast. He and his twin brother were adopted by his uncle and aunt, George and Wessie Mae Watson at the age of 18 months old and moved to Dallas, Texas in 1968. Captain Jack often played in church and joined the school band at Wilmer Hutchins High School. Captain Jack sung in the youth’s choir and played drums at 10 years old and was introduced to the blues world by his Uncle Morris White who formally was Bobby Patterson first manager. His uncle was known in Dallas as a great guitar player. Morris taught him and his twin how to sing and play the blues. At age 14, Captain Jack formed his first blues band which was managed by his older brother Roy Cassell and his uncle Larry White. Captain Jack played the drums in the marching band under the leadership of Bobby Simpson, who also played with Bobby Patterson and The Mustangs. On Thursday nights, Captain Jack was asked to sing on stage at the Coaches Corner giving him his first big break. Captain Jack was introduced to another world of the blues when Big Charles Young would call him on stage at RL Blues Palace and past him the microphone and let him get down.
Captain Jack has opened for artists such as Little Milton, TJ Hooker, Floyd Taylor, Jeff Floyd, TK Soul, Carl Marshall, Rue Davis, Joe Tex Jr., Donnie Ray Aldridge, Vernon Garrett, L.J. Echols, The Rose Brothers, Bobby Patterson, Ernie Johnson, Greg Smith, Silver Tones, Miss Levell White, Lil Dave Thomas, Blue Lisa & The Big D Play Boys, Cheryl Arena, Joe Jonas, Tu. Tu Jones, Jonnie T. Harris, Christian Dozzler, Willie Clayton, Wilson Meadows, Sir Charles Jones, Texas Slim and many more. Captain Jack’s squalling has been compared to the late Z.Z. Hill, Bobby Blue Bland, and the late Little Milton. Many blues lovers will be blessed by his voice and energetic stage performance.
Captain Jack Watson was signed with CDS Records Entertainment, LLC in 2009 for one year. His CD is titled “Brand New Man” it was released March 2, 2010. Captain Jack dropped his first single as an independent artist. ”That Right Kind Of Loving”. With the help of DJ Jazzi Pete from Australia, his second single “Real Deal” was released in 2015. At this time, Captain Jack is not signed to a record label.
Captain Jack would like to thank God for allowing him to step out on faith to reach beyond limitations to enjoy the gift of singing that is bestowed upon him.