DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

Nashville Blues Guitarist Rickey Godfrey at Lowcountry Blues Bash in Charleston

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on February 4, 2008

The Rickey Godfrey Blues Band will be bringing its brand of hot rockin’ blues and hip-shakin’ soul to the 2008 Southern Comfort Lowcountry Blues Bash at J.B. Pivots on Friday, February 8, at Budiroe’s on Saturday, February 9 and again at J.B. Pivots on Sunday, February 10.

The band features Nashville-based Rickey Godfrey on lead vocals, guitar and keyboard. Godfrey, who has been blind since birth, is considered to be one of Nashville’s premier blues guitarists. He began studying at the age of seven, while attending the South Carolina School for the Blind. He studied classical piano and voice, and later added guitar to his long list of musical accomplishments. At 16, he joined his first band, the Fresh Licks, a rock band that won the 1972 South Carolina Battle of the Bands. In 1974, Godfrey and his brother Ronnie Godfrey, formed their own band, Garfeel Ruff, along with Frank Wilkie, Buddy Strong and the late Allen Pearson on drums, and were signed to Capitol Records in 1978. While with Capitol, Garfeel Ruff scored and performed most of the soundtrack for the movie, “The Hitter.” In 2006 Godfrey received the CBMA Award for Blues Album of the Year for his “Once In a Lifetime Love” CD.

Since moving to Nashville in 1993, Godfrey has worked with artists such as Toy Caldwell, Donna Fargo, Rufus Thomas, Junior Walker, Lloyd Price, Warren Haynes, Billy Preston, E. G. Kight, Don Wise and Clifford Curry. He has toured the U.S., Nova Scotia and Europe, including a stint in Paris, playing the Lionel Hampton Jazz Club with Sam Moore.

From New York, Angel Rissoff – known principally as a blues and soul singer/songwriter, but who is also a powerful bass guitarist – will be performing all three nights with Rickey Godfrey Blues Band during the Blues Bash. He was Little Leopold and sang the lead on “Harlem Hit Parade” for Little Isadore and the Inquisitors and later on “Jitterbop.” His “Where Have You Been?” CD was selected as one of Soul Patrol.com’s Best of 2006.

Clifford Curry will also join the group on Sunday night. He is known for his national hit, “She Shot a Hole in My Soul” and is one of the Southeast’s best-loved singers of R&B, blues, gospel and shag music.

The Rickey Godfrey Blues Band includes Ed Schneider on drums and Joe Harris on guitar. Nashville artist Schneider has played with Rufus Thomas; Marion James, Nashville’s own “Queen of the Blues;” Wig Walker; Tommy Womack and Johnny Jones, known as a big influence on Jim Hendrix’s guitar playing. Harris was a regular member of Nashville recording artist Hal Newman’s band and currently plays guitar with Nashville blues artists, Johnny Jones and Marion James.

Pivots is located at 1662 Savannah Hwy in West Ashley. Show times for both Friday, Feb. 8th and Sunday, Feb. 10th are 9 p.m. For more information, call 843-571-3668. Budiroe’s is in Isle of Palms. Show time is 9 p.m. For more information, call 843-886-8288. Contact Rickey Godfrey via email at rickeygodfrey@comcast.net .