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Wendy Rich / Press

“Wendy and the Soulshakers: Soul chanteuse Wendy Rich com mands the stage with dynamic pres ence and a howling, achingly pretty set of pipes that leaves you with chills before warming your insides. She joined the Soulshakers in 1991 after moving to the area from Texas She might remind you of Janis Joplin — she has even filled in as a lead singer for Joplin’s band Big Brother & the Holding Company at big festivals throughout the country. Nowadays, she performs with Soulshakers Steve “Red” Lasner on guitar, drummer Duane Plikunas and Dwayne Slayton on bass. They have toured extensively and shared bills with Jefferson Starship, Edgar Winter, Ambrosia and Molly Hatchett.”

“Where have I been? How did I miss Wendy Rich? With a voice that shines somewhere in between Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt, Wendy can belt out the blues in superb style. If you like raw sensual vocals straight from the gut, turn an ear to this lady!”

“How did you come to discover Wendy Rich who performed with you at The Hard Rock Vault in Orlando, Florida? Sam: Wendy wrote me an e mail and then sent me a tape. She is a great singer in a lot of different styles. I went down to see her in Saint Petersburg, Florida, and was amazed at her talent. We wrote the most beautiful ballad together. Her singing is just so evocative and musical. She can belt out that distorted nightclub voice and then she can be so lyrical it will just break your heart. So good. Big Brother are famous for picking good vocalists.”

“Texas native Wendy Rich, a Tampa resident since 1990, released the first Wendy and the Soulshakers CD, Feels Like I’m Drowning, in 1998. This marks their first appearance at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival and I hope not her last. With guitarist Steve “Red” Lasner, bassist Stevie “Backbone”, and drummer Duane Plikunas, Wendy put the band through it’s paces with a 90 minute set of original tunes just made for getting up and dancing. Wendy’s vocals reminded me of Janis Joplin on some songs and Susan Tedeschi on others and on some like the two combined with Koko Taylor, which was pretty damn good. An outstanding way to start off Saturday festivities.”

“Soul chanteuse Wendy Rich com mands the stage with dynamic pres ence and a howling, achingly pretty set of pipes that leaves you with chills before warming your insides.”

“Wendy Rich on vocals, played to a monster crowd Saturday night. Die-hard fans were not disappointed: Rich would have done Janis proud. Her voice captured Janis’ sound: gritty but tender, powerful and bluesy…as one fan put it, “I could close my eyes and hear Janis.” This was Big Bro’s second time to play Schwagstock, and as bassist Peter Albin put it, “it’s always been a religious experience for us.””