Uncle Bo's presents Grady Champion
Mississippi-based blues musician Grady Champion has been captivating audiences for the better part of two decades. The singer/harp player/guitarist/songwriter has often been compared to other revolutionary artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf and Junior Wells. In 2013 Champion signed to Malaco Records (headquartered in nearby Jackson, MS) and his first full-length release with the legendary blues label was released the following year. Bootleg Whiskey, named for the George Jackson song that is one of the album's highlights, establishes Champion as a torch carrier for authentic Mississippi blues.
Grady Champion was born Oct. 10, 1969 and grew up on a farm in Canton, MS within a religious household. The youngest of his father's 28 children, he joined his church choir at the age of eight and realized his passion for music. When he was 15, he and his family moved to Miami, FL, but he only attended high school there for a year before moving back to Mississippi to graduate.
Grady returned to Florida and attempted small jobs such as boxing and working as a radio DJ. By the early 90's he embarked on a brief career as a rapper, performing under the moniker MC Gold. However, he soon discovered that he had a natural talent for the blues, and he incorporated hip-hop into blues music. In 1998, after learning to play the harmonica, Grady released his first album, the self-released Goin' Back Home.
Champion enjoyed performing at blues clubs all over Florida, and was quickly scooped up by Shanachie Records, with whom he released Payin' for My Sins (1999) and 2 Days Short of a Week (2001). Back in Mississippi: Live at the 930 Blues Cafe followed in 2008, released on Grady's own GSM Music Group imprint. In 2010 he won the International Blues Challenge, enabling him to expand his regular tour itinerary to include most of the U.S. and Canada. He has since played the Chicago Blues Festival three different times, the Legendary Blues Cruise and the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival.
In 2011, Champion's song "Make That Monkey Jump" won a Blues Critic Award in the Best Down Home Blues Song category. He then released Dreamin' (2012) and Tough Times Don't Last (2013) on his own Grady Shady Music imprint, the former of which was nominated for two 2012 Blues Music Awards: Best Soul Blues Album and Song of the Year for "Thank You for Giving Me the Blues."
"I play what I feel," says Grady Champion, whose socially conscious lyrics and inspiring live performances have earned him a 2014 cover story in Living Blues magazine. His appeal has crossed over between predominantly white fans of traditional blues and predominantly black soul-blues fans. "I think blues has a bright future . . . you just gotta be able to hang in the game." With an album on Malaco and a touring schedule of approximately 180 performances per year, that is just what Grady Champion is doing.
Uncle Bo's Live Bar
420 SE Sixth Avenue
Topeka, KS 66607
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|