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Blues Harmonica Icon Curtis Salgado Brings 'Soul Shot' to Sellersville, PA


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Award-winning vocalist/songwriter/harmonica icon Curtis Salgado will celebrate the release of his blistering Alligator Records debut CD, Soul Shot, with a live performance at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Winner of the 2012 Blues Music Award for Soul Blues Artist Of The Year, Salgado effortlessly mixes R&B, funk and blues with a delivery that is raw and heartfelt. He moves with ease from the tenderest ballads to the most full-throated stompers. Concert information follows:

Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Sellersville Theater: 24 West Temple Ave. Sellersville, PA
Phone: 215-257-5808 | Showtime: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $19.50 regular / $29.50 cabaret

Soul Shot was produced by funk and R&B guitarist Marlon McClain, drummer Tony Braunagel and co-produced by Salgado. Soul Shot speaks loud and clear to contemporary audiences, carrying on the timeless spirit of 1960s and '70s R&B. The album features four Salgado originals and seven carefully chosen covers. Songs by Johnny "Guitar" Watson, George Clinton , Otis Redding and Bobby Womack flow into and out of Salgado's own compositions. Each track - the slow-burning ballads and the driving rockers - is delivered with the vocal power and passion of a musical master.

Born February 4, 1954 in Everett, Washington, Salgado grew up in Eugene, Oregon. His home was always filled with music. His parents' collection included everything from Count Basie to Fats Waller, and his older brother and sister turned him on to the soul and blues of Wilson Pickett and Muddy Waters. He attended a Count Basie performance when he was 13 and decided then and there that music was his calling. Curtis began devouring the blues of Little Walter and Paul Butterfield, fell in love with the harmonica and taught himself to play.

Salgado played his first professional gigs when he was 16, and by 18 he was already making a name for himself in Eugene's bar scene. Salgado quickly developed into a player and singer of remarkable depth, with vocal and musical influences including Otis Redding to O.V. Wright, Johnnie Taylor, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II I and II, Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Spann and Magic Sam. With his band The Nighthawks, he became a must-see act in Eugene and throughout the Northwest. Salgado earned a reputation for high-intensity performances and a repertoire that was informed by his encyclopedic knowledge of blues, soul and R&B music.

In 1977, comedian/actor John Belushi was in Eugene filming Animal House. During downtime from filming, Belushi caught a typically balls-out Salgado performance. Afterwards the two got to talking and a friendship grew. Before long Salgado began playing old records for Belushi, teaching him about blues and R&B. Belushi soaked up the music like a sponge and soon developed his idea for Blues Brothers, first as a skit on Saturday Night Live and then as a major motion picture and a best-selling record album and concert tour.

As Salgado was getting more serious about his career, he realized some of his band mates were not. It was then that Salgado joined forces with his friend Robert Cray and began playing together as Robert Cray. As the stature of the group grew, Salgado found himself sharing stages with blues icons like Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland and Bonnie Raitt. The band performed a transcendent set at the 1977 San Francisco Blues Festival to thunderous ovation before backing up the great Albert Collins.

After Salgado and Cray parted ways in 1982, Curtis went on to front Roomful of Blues, singing and touring with them from 1984 through 1986. Back home in Oregon, he formed a new band, Curtis Salgado, and was once again tearing it up on the club scene. He wrote many new songs, and honed his band to a razor's edge before releasing his first solo album in 1991. His friend and fan Steve Miller invited Curtis and his band to open for him on a summer shed tour in 1992. Two years later, Salgado spent the summer on the road singing with Santana. In 1997 he performed in front of an audience of millions on NBC television's Late Night With Conan O'Brien. Salgado then joined forces with Shanachie Records in 1999, putting out four critically acclaimed albums over the next nine years and finding his biggest audience yet.

In 2006 Salgado was sidelined when he underwent a successful liver transplant and then shortly afterwards was diagnosed with and then beat lung cancer. Like so many musicians, Curtis had no health insurance. His medical expenses were paid for in part by a huge outpouring of love and money from his fellow musicians and his huge Northwest fan base. He bounced back with a perfect bill of health in 2008, releasing Clean Getaway.

Now, with Soul Shot, Salgado is ready for more, tougher and more focused than ever. He will again hit the road hard, proving his reputation as a fire-breathing live performer night after night. And that's just how he likes it. “Always give it your best," he says. “Be honest and be real. Treat every show like it's the biggest night of your life."

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