|Demetria Taylor has been performing at BLUE CHICAGO since 2010. She is the seventh child of eight from the family of the late blues legend Eddie Taylor Sr. and is helping keep the legacy of her father alive.|
Eddie is best known as the rhythm guitarist in the band of Jimmy Reed but he also had his own solo career and recorded some wonderful sides for the VJ label including the classic “Bad Boy”. Her mother Vera Taylor was also a blues singer. Demetria has fond memories of blues greats and friends of the family coming by the house– including Floyd Jones, Carey Bell, Sunnyland Slim, Johnny Littlejohn, Sam Lay, Willie Kent, Tail Dragger, Eddie Shaw, Johnny B. Moore and Magic Slim.
Born in Chicago, Demetria grew up surrounded by Blues music listening on records to her biggest influences including Etta James, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton and most importantly, “The Queen of The Blues” Koko Taylor (no relation to the Eddie Taylor family).
Demetria started playing drums at age 14, coached by her older brothers Larry and Tim, both professional blues drummers. She played in family shows across Chicago which also featured brother Eddie Taylor Jr. on guitar. She also sang in the gospel choir at Trinity All Nations Church on Chicago’s south side.
“I put God first and everything else will work out”, says Demetria, who is married with eight children. “I feel that singing is something I was born to do. Sometimes on the stage my eyes tear up as I feel the music I’m singing. I love to listen to all types of music, but the blues caught my ear. I’ll never give up my dream.”
Demetria has toured nationally and internationally and performs in many clubs and festivals including the Chicago Blues Festival. Her first album, Bad Girl, is on Delmark Records. Demetria was nominated in 2012 Blues Music Awards for “Best New Debut Artist”.
|Mike Wheeler has a vast knowledge of music and a voice that’s reminiscent of the late Sam Cooke. He can sing and play everything so well that you may forget what the original record even sounds like. From Jazz to Rock, from popular music to Top 40, he slides in and out of musical genres with sophistication, ease and indulgence. Mike Wheeler is a brilliant staple in the Chicago blues community, playing and writing songs for a variety of Chicago artists including, Nellie Tiger Travis, Peaches Staten, Sam Cockrell, Demetria Taylor, Big Ray & Cadillac Dave. Mike was a well known member of Big James &The Chicago Playboys, a notable band in Chicago and recorded five albums with the group. He has travelled the world as an ambassador for Chicago blues music. He’s been to Monaco, France, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium, just to name a few. He’s also shared the stage with the most elite musicians the world has known, including Willie Kent, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, George Benson, Jimmy Johnson and Shemekia Copeland. Mike was inducted in the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014.|