Piedmont Blues Preservation Society

Carolina Blues Festival Adds Artist Lineup!


APRIL 27, 2021, GREENSBORO, NC – The Carolina Soul theme carries through in the artist lineup announced today by the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society (PBPS) for the 35th Annual Carolina Blues Festival on Saturday, May 15th, 2021 at in downtown Greensboro.


“Blues culture created the first Pop music the world ever knew. It evolved from the heart of the Black Americans into multiple other genres including Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, and Soul and Beach Music. Soul & Beach Music matured right alongside the social and political issues of its day and remains a reminder of what a great opportunity we have to consistently grow and improve our country and it’s perspectives on art and culture. Carolina Soul is a reminder of who we are as Carolinians and that the soul of a people united are at the center of everything we do.”, said Atiba Berkley, PBPS President.

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Johnny Rawls

Roy Roberts (Greensboro, NC) -Not many people have had careers as long and as varied as Roy Roberts. His career in the music industry began when he was just 14 years old, and it has never stopped. Solomon Burke took young Roy under his wing after letting him sit in as a bass player during a local gig. He was soon handling the guitar chores behind the future soul legend on tour. Roberts subsequently picked up touring gigs with such luminaries as Eddie Floyd, “Little” Stevie Wonder, Dee Clark, and Otis Redding, while fronting his own band, The Roy Roberts Experience, on the regional club scene and Southeastern beach town circuit. Roy proceeded with a string of 45’s that carried him well into the seventies.

During the disco years, Roy turned his talents to country music, touring with the great O.B. McClinton and releasing multiple country records. After a brief hiatus from the music scene, Roy built a recording studio where he produced records by regional gospel artists and even cut a gospel record of his own.

Johnny Rawls (Purvis, MS) – is a soul blues legend. In fact, the term “soul blues” was invented to describe his music. With a career spanning more than 50 years, he’s done it all. He’s an internationally recognized recording artist, music producer, and songwriter who tours extensively throughout North America and overseas.

The Blues Music Awards, Blues Blast Awards, Living Blues Awards, and the W.C. Handy Awards have all acknowledged Johnny Rawls with multiple awards and nominations, including Soul Blues Album of the Year and Soul Blues Artist of the Year. Living Blues Magazine described him as a “soul-blues renaissance man” when he was featured on the cover in 2002. Johnny is honored to be mentioned on two markers along the Mississippi Blues Trail – one in Hattiesburg, MS marking the Hi-Hat Club, and another in Rocklin ME marking the migration of blues from Mississippi to Maine.

Roy Roberts

Roy Roberts

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The Phoebes

The Phoebes Band (RTP, NC) was launched into the spotlight by Kingfish reposting their cover of his 2019 Grammy nominated version of the classic, “Hey Joe”, The Phoebes Band is one of the newest bands in the Southeast. Performing the perfect mix of Rock & Blues, they always represent. Come and hear this special collective born of a pandemic play the first festival in Greensboro since everything got weird!

Darryl Johnson (Marshville, NC) is a bass player, singer, songwriter, composer, and producer with credits including song placements in film and TV. He started with The Original Drifters but is well known for playing with The Neville Brothers and Bob Dylan, and for producing Daniel Lanois’ solo albums. Darryl Johnson has performed and recorded with such artists as Bill Pinkney and the Original Drifters, Detroit Memphis Experience, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Maria Howell, Bonnie Bramlett, Bekka Bramlett, Arthur Smith, Johnny Neel, Larry Henley, and many more. After the unfortunate passing of General Johnson he was asked to join Chairmen of the Board. He has now returned to the Drifters and is taking a day off their tour to celebrate his roots in Carolina Soul as he now resides in Detroit, MI. This year he celebrates 31 years with The Drifters as part of his legacy.

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Darryl Johnson

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