BRADENTON – Australia's First Lady of Blues is headed to Manatee. Anni Piper will launch her 2013 U.S./Canadian tour in Florida, including a June 20 show (8 p.m. start/no cover) at Ace's Live in West Bradenton. Piper has been a crossover star down under since her 2004 debut Jailbait (see video below), which earned her "Best New Talent" at the 2005 Australian Blues Music Awards.
Piper is touring to support her hit album Split Second, a collaboration with fellow blues songstress Nicole Hart, who happens to be a Florida native. In his review, Dr. Blues writes, "When two hot mama blues divas get it together, you can assure that fireworks are in store. Piper and Hart lead and follow, harmonize and highlight each other like sisters from another mother while the band provides all the heat needed to keep things at a boil."
Piper explained that the collaboration was mostly owed to the two sharing the same record label, but said that even though they had never met, let alone worked together, making music came as naturally as walking down the street when the two blues bombshells got into the studio.
Something of a musical prodigy, Piper started young, completing a BA in Contemporary Music at Southern Cross University at only 19 years of age. In addition to her smooth and sultry voice, she is a noted bass player, switching from the guitar at the age of 14. When asked when she first knew that blues would be her medium, Piper answered quickly.
“For me, it happened very early. I heard Paul Butterfield's Born in Chicago on the radio, and I just knew that was the kind of music I wanted to play. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before.”
Piper explained that the blues is something of a minor niche in Australia, where she still lives with her husband, who runs an instrument store, and their son. She says that playing in the U.S. has always been where she sees herself, which is why this tour has meant so much to her.
“America is the home of the blues, there's no doubt about it,” said Piper. “I was in a Walmart here the other day and Pride and Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughn started playing on the store's sound system and it was so exciting, because that's not something you'd ever experience back home.”
Piper has been playing the Sunshine State since kicking off the tour June 10 at the Rockstar Lounge in Ft. Worth, FL. The night before she plays West Bradenton's iconic roadhouse, which has hosted such blues icons as the Allman Brothers, Dickie Betts and most recently Johnny Rawls, Piper will gig just down the road in Sarasota at the Blue Rooster. Don't miss your chance to see this talented, up and coming artist in an intimate local venue while you have the chance.
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