Leah Tysse Makes Her Yoshi's Debut
If there's anything the blues genre needs, it's a fresh face. As you may or may not know, the genre has struggled in recent years, and though blues once dominated the Bay Area's nightlife scene, there are few dedicated local venues committed to preserving the root of R&B, jazz, and soul (besides SF's Biscuits and Blues and Hayward's The Bistro). The cancellation of the SF Blues Festival earlier this year might have seemed to sound a death knell for the venerable genre; one of the reasons listed was the dearth of hot new acts.
Yet the blues stubbornly refuses to keel over and give up the ghost. Its resiliency can be seen in Leah Tysse, a member of the Glide Memorial Church Choir who has been steadily collecting accolades for her music. In 2007, Tysse won the Billboard World Song Contest's Award for "Best Blues/R&B Song"; Last December, she and her band took first place in the Monterey Blues Festival's Battle of the Bands, and this June, she performed at the festival's main stage.
Tysse, whose strong voice has been compared to Susan Tedeschi and Joss Stone, makes her Yoshi's debut June 21, backed by a crack group of musicians whose credits include Taj Mahal, Lauryn Hill, Ledisi, Narada Michael Walden, Lalah Hathaway, Goapele, the Gospel Hummingbirds, and Mariah Carey. Tysse's second album is slated for a fall release; to listen to clips from her first release, click here. Ticket info for her Yoshi's show (from which Tysse is donating 20% of the proceeds to Glide) is here .