“I ain’t never seen a woman finger-pick a guitar like that since Memphis Minnie. She’s the best gal guitar player I heard in more than 35 years”
— Willie ‘Pinetop’ Perkins, Grammy-winning Delta pianist
Fiona Boyes: electric, acoustic - solo or with her band!
Fiona Boyes plays deep Blues, influenced by a myriad of traditional regional styles. She has carved an international reputation as a blues guitarist, bandleader, vocalist and songwriter. International reviewers have described her as a ‘musical anomaly’ and ‘Bonnie Raitt’s evil twin’!
A distinctive finger-picking and slide guitarist, Fiona’s soulful, authoritative style has earned her unprecedented recognition overseas as an Australian artist. Winner of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, she has toured widely, performing at acoustic, guitar, jazz, and blues festivals, clubs and cultural centers in more than 20 countries.
Fiona’s latest release is a remastered 20th Anniversary Edition of her debut solo album ‘Blues in My Heart’, a 16 track celebration of acoustic ragtime finger-style blues. Recorded live to analogue tape, it captures a unique performance moment much like the early historical blues recordings she so admires. By contrast, Fiona’s most recent studio offering ‘Voodoo in the Shadows’ (2018) extends her exploration of the musical stylings of Mississippi and Louisiana, featuring swampy electric guitar along with a collection of unique cigar-box guitars and a rare National Reso-Lectric baritione. It follows other award-winning albums such as the audiophile acoustic album ‘Professin’ the Blues’ (2016) and ‘Box & Dice’ (2015) which was written around her growing collections of cigar-box guitars.
Fiona’s nomination for the Koko Taylor Award (Best Traditional Female Artist) at the 2019 USA Blues Music Awards in Memphis was her 8th BMA nomination over various categories since 2007. Fiona is the only Australian ever to be nominated for these awards, which are considered to be the Grammies of the Blues.
Equally at home on acoustic or electric guitars, her mostly original repertoire is like a Blues travelogue. Listen to her play and you’ll hear Delta slide guitar, single chord Mississippi Hills grooves, intricate country blues finger picking, along with material drawn from the classic blues sounds of New Orleans, Chicago and Memphis. As her friend and mentor, the late, great Hubert Sumlin (Howlin’ Wolf’s guitarist) said. 'She's got it! I've played with all of them - and she's got it!'
Awards page for more background info
Selected videos at the YouTube page
BEST OF THE BLOGS: from Fiona’s US record label Reference Recordings
Photo: Marilyn Stringer