Contemporary Woman of Blues

Suzy Starlite

Suzy Starlite aka Keeper of the Groove and member of the Starlite Campbell Band

Suzy Starlite is a professional bass guitar player, songwriter, recording artist, and member of The Starlite Campbell Band with Simon Campbell (singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist), Together they formed Supertone Records and by February of 2017 had released their first album ‘Blueberry Pie’. ‘Blueberry Pie’, was nominated as Best Blues Album of 2017 by the European Blues Awards. Other musicians featured on ‘Blueberry Pie’ include Steve Gibson (drums and percussion), Jonny Hendersen (Hammond organ and Wurlitzer electric keyboard), and Danny Boy Sanchez (harmonica). The album features eleven original songs written by Suzy Starlite and Simon Campbell. ‘Blueberry Pie’ is a blend of rock and blues inspired by the blues of the early ’60s such as John Mayal and the Blues Breakers, Faces, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, early Fleetwood Mac, and Led Zeppelin. It received over fifty rave reviews and has been played all over the world earning a top ten spot on UK’s, Australia’s, The Netherlands, and America’s blues charts. To the success of ‘Blueberry Pie’, credit is due to the collection of highly-skilled, creative, and experienced musicians. ‘Blueberry Pie’ was the first album Suzy recorded playing bass guitar, but was not her first album.

The details of Suzy’s career paint a picture of an individual devoted and focused on her skills as a musician. By the age of sixteen, Suzy was playing guitar and writing her own material. She went on to attend Salford University where she studied Performance and Media. She met three young musicians at the university with whom she formed a serendipitous bond. Together Suzy and Tim Allen (of the band ‘K’), John Smith (John Lennon Songwriting Award winner), and Alan Lowles (session musician of ‘I Am Kloot’ and Airtight Studios) formed the band Megiddo, an all-acoustic band which featured acoustic guitars, mandolin, and fretless bass. In 1996 they released an album of original songs called ‘On the Outside’. The album gave credence to their careers and a spot in the UK folk circuit. Despite the band’s success, they disbanded in 1997. Having touring and recording experience prepared Suzy to further her career and she continued working with Tim Allen.

Suzy and Tim Allen worked together performing acoustic folk-rock with electronica. Their debut was at a club known as Manchester’s Night and Day and the Eastern Haze Festival where they performed under the name Starlite. In 2009 she met Simon Campbell. The two hit it off and began performing live together. Their biggest live gig was at Manifest, the Isle of Man’s largest 3-day festival. The chemistry between the two grew as they continued to write and record together. In 2013 they moved to Valencia Spain where Suzy wrote the melody and lyrics with Simon for ‘Happiness in Halos’. Simon’s guitar in this song is reminiscent of David Gilmore in early Pink Floyd. Suzy’s vocals are slow and sultry conjuring up images of smokey bars and pool halls. It is a smooth surrealistic blend of voice and guitar. The first song that Suzy and Simon co-wrote was ‘Do You Want Me’, which was for Simon’s second solo album ‘The Knife’. Suzy sang back-up vocals on some of the other songs but had yet to pick up the bass guitar.

In 2014 While living in France, Suzy pursued yet another project with Simon on an EP called ‘Electrolite’ with their friend Mark Cleator. Suzy writes in a recent email, “He flew out when we were living in France and we wrote together for a week in the French countryside. When Simon was recording his second solo album ‘The Knife’ in the UK, Mark rocked up with an estate car loaded to the roof with a vast array of vintage analog synths and we recorded the ‘Electrolite’ EP over the weekend at The Chairworks recording studio.” Even if you don’t care for electronic music and disco was never your “thing”. Suzy’s vocals are up-front, bold, and make you wish to hear more. Knowing that all synths were vintage adds to the pleasure and appreciation of the recordings. All songs were written by Suzy Starlite herself, Simon Campbell, and Mark Cleator and were published by Supertone Records which is owned and operated by Suzy and Simon.

In the interim between 2014 and 2017 when ‘Blueberry Pie’ was released, Suzy not only fell in love with the bass guitar but also fell in love and married Simon Campbell. To show his love and appreciation, Simon presented Suzy with a Mike Lull V4 Custom Jazz bass guitar as a wedding gift (she is currently a Mike Lull endorsed bass player). She had been playing bass guitar for about four years when she realized it was her passion. ‘Blueberry Pie’ was the first album they recorded with Suzy on bass. By 2018 her bass playing skills had improved to the point that she was featured in Bass Guitar Magazine, which is one of the number one printed magazines in the UK. There was an in-depth interview about Suzy’s career and detailed equipment run down as well as a front cover mention. In the article Suzy states, “My job is to be the custodian of the groove.” and goes on to say ” You either have a natural feel for the groove or you don’t – and I don’t think that’s something you can teach anyone.”

The rewards of having a highly acclaimed successful album under their belts kept coming. Due to the success of ‘Blueberry Pie,’ The Starlite Campbell Band was invited to perform at the three day Wangaratta festival of jazz and blues in Australia where they headlined the Saturday night of the three-day fest. Their new project which is just on the horizon is called ‘The Language of Curiosity’ and is expected to be released by April 9, 2021. ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ is the first single release from ‘The Language of Curiosity”.

The second release from ‘The Language of Curiosity’ is ‘Lay It Out On Me’.

To further familiarize yourself with the music of the Starlite Campbell Band, please be sure to visit their website and listen to their live videos. I recommend ‘You’re So Good For Me’ where Suzy has a nice bass solo and keyboardist Jonny Henderson shines. ‘Walkin’ Out The Door’ will take you back to the first time you heard Zeppelin.  Suzy’s bass in ‘Walkin’ Out The Door’, is the driving force and foundation of the song. With Simon adding just the right amount of wah-wah this song will take you back in time wishing you could stay there. I also recommend ‘Cry Over You’, which features more amazing keyboard work from Henderson and some pleasing Suzy and Simon harmony. Enough can’t be said of Simon’s excellent guitar work.

Weekly on Spotify, there is a weekly selection of songs from Suzy and Simon’s vinyl collection under the title ‘Vinyl Vavoom’ as well as all songs recorded by the Starlite Campbell Band, Suzy, and Simon individually. The contribution to music this duo has made and is continuing to make is priceless as well as endless. There are even recordings of the Starlite Campbell Band Radio on Spotify, where Suzy and Simon discuss some of the music of the great musicians and bands from the beloved ’60s.

Suzy Starlite has definitely earned a place in the outstanding women of blues category. She is truly a dedicated and talented musician, who has realized her calling, a task many of us strive for but fail to accomplish in a lifetime.

Go to where you can pre-order your copy of ‘The Language of Curiosity’ either in compact CD disc or vinyl, order a t-shirt, and/or become a patron to support the band.


Sunday Wilde

Contemporary Woman of Blues

Sunday Wilde’s voice is strong and bluesy and has been compared to the voices of Amy Winehouse and Eartha Kitt. When I first heard Sunday sing, I knew I was hearing something unique and really special. There was something nostalgic and familiar in her vocals, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I played a video of her singing “Show Me a Man” for my sister and asked if she could discern it. Simultaneously, we both came up with Eartha Kitt. Later I added Amy Winehouse and Peggy Lee to the mix. Later I saw the same comparisons made and knew I had nailed it. Regardless of these similarities, Sunday’s voice is uniquely hers and brings back a sound from decades ago, yet so relevant to what is popular today. Sunday is also a songwriter, pianist, and recording artist.

Sunday Wilde has been recording since 2007 and has released at least six albums:

1-Black Pearls of Wisdom 2007

2-Broken String of Pearls 2009

3-What Man?! Oh, That Man 2011

4-He Gave Me a Blue Nightgown 2012

5-He Digs Me 2014

6-Blueberries and Grits 2016

7-Two 20178

8-Sunday Wilde and the 1 Eyed Jacks 2019

Having started her career later in life gives Sunday an advantage when it comes to writing as the depth and authenticity of her original songs seem to be drawn from real life’s experience. At the time her album “Blueberries” was released in 2016 she had only been playing piano for eight years. This came as a surprise because she plays the piano like it is an extension of herself. Some of her songs conjure up images of smokey piano bars from the ’40s while others are reminiscent of the sixties. She agrees that her music crosses and blends several genres, but the blues world has claimed her as their own. Her list of awards and nominations are a testament to this:

  • The newest album released 2019 Sunday Wilde and the 1 Eyed Jacks-Nominee for Blues Album for the Independent Music Awards
  • Semi-finalist for “Show Me Mercy” for the international songwriting competition
  • Thunder Bay Blues Society Best Self Produced Blues Album for the International Blues Competition
  • Winner of the Voter’s Choice Award for Best Blues Song 2011 and 2014
  • Best International Blues Release of the year at the Jimi Awards for 2011 and 2013

A more comprehensive list can be found on

The first song I heard by Sunday was “Show Me a Man”, one of her originals which was performed at an impromptu concert at Kensington Park. I was delightfully surprised to hear her unique voice framed by honky-tonk piano and whimsical lyrics. I knew I liked her music right away and played the video for anyone who would listen.

Another original by Sunday Wilde

“Sunday’s Midnight Blues” is a surreal mesmerizing song about that dark place we all can become victim to. It can be found on the “He Digs Me” album. This song reminds me of the 1940s song by Peggy Lee, “Why Don’t You Do Right”.

Although most of Sunday’s songs are original, she does a couple of covers that can’t go without mention. One is a blues standard by Elmore James “It Hurts Me Too” and a Willie Dixon song “Evil”. Both are must hear and two of my favorite. Sunday Wilde has truly mastered her gift. Her exuberance and joy of performing radiate a warm depth of understanding of oftentimes harsh realities that we are all subject to and can and do survive.

I have thoroughly enjoyed researching and learning about Sunday Wilde and her band The 1 Eyed Jacks. Some of her music can be heard on Spotify and on SIRIUS BB King’s Bluesville where she earned a #1 Hit.

A promo for the 2020 Superior Theatre Film Festival, features a new Sunday Wilde song, soon to be released in the fall.


Beth Hart

   At an early age Beth Hart exhibited the focus and commitment required to be a serious performer. She attended the LA School for Performing Arts, where your acceptance is determined by an audition. She completed 13 sessions of the TV show Star Search and won the final round. By 21 she had already recorded her first album, Beth Hart and the Ocean of Souls. Her first hit song was in 1999, LA Song from only her second album titled Screaming for My Supper.

A notable time in her life was when she performed at the Kennedy Center in 2012. As a tribute to Buddy Guy she and Jeff Beck performed the blues classic I’d Rather Go Blind, to a standing ovation by President Obama and first Lady Michelle Obama.

Again Beth Hart paired up with Jeff Beck at the 2013 Crossroads Festival performing the song by Howlin’ Wolf I Ain’t Superstitious. She also collaborated, as the featured artist on the album Slash, with Slash from Guns and Roses. The albums Seesaw 2013, Live in Amsterdam 2014, and Black Coffee were recorded with Joe Bonamassa. The album Seesaw was nominated for a Grammy. In 2018 Beth Hart was awarded the Blues Music Award for “Instrumentalist vocals.” Hart is best known for her deep, powerful, and occasionally vibrato vocals, but she is also skilled at guitar, keyboard, cello, and drums. Although she covers many songs, she is a prolific songwriter and writes most of the songs she currently performs.

Beth Hart has an extensive following in Europe where her tour begins this month in the UK. Hart’s tour dates start this month and extend until the end of July. She will be performing songs from her latest album titled War in My Mind, which was released 9/27/19.

Beth Hart’s and Joe Bonamassa’s live performance of I Love You More Than You Will Ever Know is a crowd pleaser.

Hart’s career has been a rollercoaster ride of extreme ups and downs, riddled with drug addiction, which she openly discusses. Her problems were compounded when diagnosed as bipolar,which under a doctor’s care, she has in check. She must be doing something right. If you get a chance watch her performance at the Baloise Session 2018 and you can see a healthier and happier looking performer. She is absolutely stunning. When she speaks she sounds optimistic about the future.

Beth Hart’s sweetness shines through as she lets us see a bit of her vulnerability, when she does the intro to her song Leave the Light On. The song echoes images of a troubled upbringing, strained relationships, and struggles with addiction.

. Beth Hart has firmly established herself as a lasting icon of contemporary blues. She has persevered and weathered some fierce storms and come out even stronger, performing at a level that most can only aspire to.


Jenn Grinels

Jenn Grinels is a northern California singer, song writer and musician. Her style encompasses several genres. Her blues influence renditions are, of course, my favorites. She belts these tunes out with emotion that seems to come from an inner strength that delightfully crescendoes through her powerful voice.

If you are not sitting down, perhaps you should, because everyone I have played this video for has been blown away.

Another song which she delivers with the same intensity is Misery:

Jenn Grinels performs at numerous arts centers, college campuses, and seems to really be in her element when she performs at smaller venues where she casually interacts with her audience.

Grinels has a couple of concert dates coming up. One in Portland OR, on 2/21 and one in Newark OH, on 5/09.

For those guitar enthusiasts out there, the chords to some of Jenn Grinels songs can be found on the Ultimate Guitar AP. This app provides you with a myriad of songs with guitar chords and also has a feature that helps you create your own video. So, those of you who can belt one out and play guitar might want to check it out and share what you come up with. I look forward to Future responses.

I found Jenn Grinels by accident and am so glad I did.