Whitney Shay is known as a blues vocalist; her album debuted at number one on the Billboard Blues Charts. She’s also a five-time San Diego Music Awards winner, including best blues artist, and 2019 artist of the year, and Blues Blast Magazine female artist of the year. But her style goes beyond any one genre. She’s influenced by legendary Black female vocalists like Bessie Smith and Etta James whose music paved the way for soul, jazz, blues and so much more, and also country singers like Bonnie Raitt. We speak to Shay about how she brings a style all her own, and a raw sincerity, and positivity that’s sorely needed right now.
Then, the late great bluesman Tomcat Courtney traveled from the cotton fields of Texas by way of a three-ring circus, and on that road he found the blues. Courtney, who died of complications of COVID-19 in 2021, was an award-winning, nationally known bluesman and a legend in the San Diego music scene. In 2013 He performed in the KPBS studio and spoke to Midday Edition’s Maureen Cavanaugh
Credits: Produced and hosted by Kurt Kohnen, Jade Hindmon, and Maureen Cavanaugh. Megan Burke is senior producer.