Hailing from the the south-west of England, Little Geneva formed on the eve before 2019, brought together by a shared love and appreciation of the British blues boom of the mid-1960s.
The first incarnation of the band was born out of a conversation between the Doherty brothers, Dave and Chris. Having been stalwarts of the U.K. contemporary blues scene for over a decade, they decided to get back on stage together, as part of a genuinely exciting live band.
Little Geneva consists of five extremely experienced and seasoned musicians/performers.
The band are extremely excited to have recently recruited Mariam Maz, 31, (vocals). Mariam fronts the youthfully energetic band with her highly soulful gospel vocal style. Mariam brings an authenticity which she has developed through years of singing gospel music and celebrating her Nigerian roots and the strong storytelling culture she proudly cites as coming from her heritage.
The rhythm section brings together Zak Ranyard, 27, (bass guitar) and Simon Small, 33, (drums). Zak and Simon deliver a high level of energy and power that drives shows to spell-binding heights. Chris, 32, and Dave Doherty, 36, are both very gifted guitarists, who know how to listen, as well as, play their instruments.
As individuals, Little Geneva members have opened shows for some very prestigious artists, including John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Mud Morganfield and Lynyrd Skynyrd. They have also shared stages and festival bills with/as part of The Red Devils, Jimmie Vaughan, DVL, Hugh Coltman, The Hoax, B.B King, Jon Amor Blues Group, Tom Jones, Sam Smith as well as, many others.
After the self-release of their debut E.P., recorded at their very first rehearsal, they received excellent reviews and praise. Among their earliest fans was Rolling Stones producer, Chris Kimsey. Kimsey asked the band to send C.D.s to Olympic Studios in London, so he could share what he had heard with his peers. Keen interest from such a respected producer resulted in Little Geneva being asked to perform at various events in 2019.
Buoyed by the reactions to their E.P., Little Geneva wanted to record an album. Little Geneva's respect for the genre, their love of musical improvisation and ability to communicate with each other musically, meant they went back to the same modest space and recorded their debut album, Eel Pie, in just one day.
Their debut show sold out weeks in advance. Brought to the show by the excitement around the band's E.P. and the fresh energy they bring to the scene, promoters offered gigs to Little Geneva as the band signed their C.D.s. Their short follow-up Spring tour impressed even more music lovers and led to club owners and festival bookers offering shows to the group in the U.K. and abroad for the summer and beyond. In addition to event promoters being mightily impressed with Little Geneva, artists have been keen to celebrate the band. Multi award-winning Texan blues master, Guy Forsyth, is a huge fan. Having heard the band's debut album, Forsyth was keen to perform with Little Geneva, and a short European tour took place in September 2019.
The summer of 2019saw Little Geneva take some time to write and record original material, for their follow up album, in Peter Gabriels' Real World Studios. The self-financed album will be released later this year.
Stay tuned for details!
As booking requests continue to flood in from the major British blues festivals, and the band continue to pick up fans. Ian Siegal, who travelled through flooded backroads to see the band perform in November 2019, is their latest high profile plaudit.
It is the band's deep respect for what made those early British blues recordings so energised and exhilarating, coupled with the soulful spirit with which all members express themselves, that make Little Geneva one of the must-see new bands of 2020.
"That was an excellent gig last, and i'm a terrible snob! I hope you're headlining a bunch of festivals soon. you deserve it!"