Official biography published on social media (December 12, 2016).
Its a long climb from the schoolyards of Norwich, UK, to the top table of the British Blues scene, but Oli Brown has scaled it in just four years.
The pivotal moment came at 15, when he was invited to the US as the guest of Blinddog Smokin, this morphed into a mentoring scheme, with Oli sharing bills with Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal. Before that, I didnt care what the music was, I just wanted to solo, he admits. they taught me many things about Blues music, about stagecraft, about walking tall, speaking to the audience PLUS they made me start singing! Oli also cites the wisdom imparted by legends including John Mayall, Walter Trout and Robben Ford.
Fast-forward to 2008 and Ruf Records witnessed an explosive UK gig and signed Oli on the spot. Open Road was released that same year.
Blues Matters! voted Open Road the #2 album of 2008, and Classic Rock declaring the singer had the Blues under his fingernails like few of his peers.
The Oli Brown Band were the only British act selected for 2008s International Blues Convention in Memphis, and Oli was invited by John Fry of Ardent Studios to record a live session which scored 1.3 million hits in under a month.
In 2010 Oli caught the ear of legendary British producer Mike Vernon, veteran of such benchmarks as 1966s Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton. He was lured out of semi-retirement to helm second album, Heads I Win Tails You Lose. On its release in April 2010 Mojo dubbed Oli the hottest young pistol in British blues, Uncut praising a British bluesman to rival Trucks and Bonamassa, Classic Rock and Mojo voted Heads I Win Tails You Lose their #3 and #4 blues album of the year.
The 2010 British Blues Awards, Oli won the Best Male Vocalist and the Best Young Artist categories.
In 2011 Oli toured Worldwide scoring another haul of trophies at the British Blues Awards (Best Band and Best Album). The year concluded playing 25 gigs with John Mayall and Mayall asking him to be his lead guitarist for the Indonesian Blues Festival!
January 2012 Cleopatra Records, Los Angeles, contacted Oli to record a track on a Black Keys tribute album, which included many other artists like, Iggy Pop, Ginger Baker and Walter Trout. The album was released in July 2012.
May 2012 saw the release of Olis third album, Here I Am, and a traunch of fantastic reviews followed. Here I Am had Brian Lucey, fresh from The Black Keys El Camino album, doing the final mastering. Blues Matters voted Here I Am the # 2 album of the 2012
September 2012 and in the British Blues Awards Oli wins the Best Young Artist category and was runner up as Best Guitarist.
Oli is now back on the road to support the release of Here I Am and is preparing to release a live CD and DVD during 2013.
For this 23-year-old, music isnt just a job, an easy pay-cheque or a shot at cheap celebrity: it is his passion and raison-dêtre.
I picked the wrong genre of music to be a celebrity, Oli laughs. I just want to be a credible musician.
Simon Dring was born in London and moved to Norfolk when he was 8 years old, but his interest in drums began at the age of 6 when he was chosen to play maracas in a school concert. Since then, he and drums have been inseparable.
By the age of 15 Simon Dring was doing over 50 gigs a year, and Simon turned pro when he was 18. He began teaching drums in his old high school and continued gigging regularly with various bands.
Since then Simon Dring has taught hundreds of pupils from ages 5 to 55, and has notched up over 1000 public performances all over the UK, Europe and America. He has also recorded numerous albums, demos and EP's for a variety of groups.
Simon Dring met Fred Hollis in 2006 when they were playing together in a professional function band. Also in 2006, Simon met Oli at a Blues jam in Norwich. The rest, as they say, is history.
As a drummer, Simon Dring's influences include Gilson Lavis, Ronnie Tutt, Terry Bozzio, Lindsay Jamieson, Billy Ward and Gavin Harrison. His other musical heroes include Stevie Wonder, Ben Folds, Faith No More, The Beach Boys and They Might Be Giants.