Michaela Rae by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

Posted on 12/28/2009 by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

Michaela Rae

(Memphis, Tennessee) This week we take a listen to The album, "Blues with a Backbone," by 14 year old guitar prodigy Michaela Rae Knox who hails from Colorado. I heard her play with Jasco at the Snowy Range Music Festival in Laramie, Wyoming, over this past Labor Day weekend. I was there playing keyboard and harmonica with the Reba Russell Band and after our show we headed over to hear Michaela play.

Michaela and Jasco jamming in Wyoming

I was very favorably impressed as she plays with great precision and has a very good tone. I have honestly heard many adults who who could take some lessons on execution and style from this young lady. Her guitar playing was excellent. At 14 Michaela Rae has already performed at Denver's Mile High Blues Festival and the International Blues Challenge. That festival is one not to miss, by the way.

Here's a link to the Snowy Range Music Festival site:

Here's a link to the Mile High Blues Festival:

Michaela's CD starts out with the Booker T. & the M.G.'s classic, "Green Onions." She and the band do an admirable job on this great old instrumental. She is accompanied on the recording by:

Dave Beegle - Guitar, Hammond B3
Michael Olson - Bass
Matt Henderson - Drums

The CD is produced by Dave Beegle at Backbone Studios and the recording is tastefully performed with clean, clear sound and crisp tracks throughout. Among the eight tracks are Buddy Guy's "Mary had a Little Lamb" (which features some real cool Leslie guitar) and Jimmie Vaughn's "SRV Shuffle," which is the classic lumpty-lump bass line and some great harmonizing guitars and loads of hot solos.

Dave Beegle at this year's Snowy Range Music Festival

Here's a link to Dave Beagle's site:

Michaela Rae and Andy Irvine on bass

When I was talking with my friend John Catt he informed me that Michaela Rae was going to be this year's IBC Youth Showcase entrant from the Grand County Blues Society in Colorado. I look forward to seeing Michaela and her family here in Memphis for the big competition. I had an opportunity to speak with her father for a while in Wyoming and he is a genuinely affable and kind man. He told me that he had started her out on guitar when she was only 4 years old.

Here's a link to the Grand County Blues Society site featuring this year's IBC entrants:

Michaela jams with our old buddy Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin

Billy Branch and Michaela Rae

I thoroughly enjoyed Michaela's first CD and I understand that she is currently working up material for her next one. The guitar work and production were excellent and even the developing vocal styling of Michaela was always adorable, if not always perfect. As this blues player continues to develop the world will have some great performances to enjoy for many years.

When she's not playing the blues apparently Michaela Rae likes to drive fast in a straight line. This is a shot from her Facebook page of her, huh?

To get a copy of this Michaela Rae CD of your very own, click here:

To read my article about this year's Snowy Range Music Festival, click here:

To read my article about this year's Mile High Blues Festival, click here:

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©2009, Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

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American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

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Jim Stick in Colorado
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