Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley have come all the way to the Tinner Hill Bues Festival from Canada with a great blues tale to tell of freedom. After years of touring in England, (where they recorded at BBC London) Europe, other parts of the U.S. A. and Russia, the renowned duo are visiting Virginia for the first time. Chris who was born in Kansas and Diana whose ancestors, made the dangerous trek from Virginia to Canada in the early 1800s via the Underground Railway, present on June 9 at 10 am in the Falls Church the US premiere of their acclaimed musical odyssey Sugar and Gold: The Underground Railway. The spine-tingling story is served up in an authentic blues style.Visit www.braithwaiteandwhiteley.com.
Later at 4 pm Braithwaite and Whiteley entertain in Cherry Hill Park with their Red Hot Blues session – a combination of standards plus original songs in the vintage blues mode. “We draw on the old blues style to sing about life today. The music still touches the same spot in your heart” said Chris. "It is important to us to keep the tradition alive" he said. Visit www.tinnerhill.org
Multi-instrumentalist Chris Whiteley plays a selection of fine guitars, harp and trumpet. He has won numerous national awards during his long career and has played with Jeff Healy, Son House, toured and recorded with Leon Redbone and Blind John Davis; spent time with Muddy Waters and many other Blues gods as well as building a solid reputation as a session player, appearing on over 200 recordings.
A gifted and captivating performer, singer/songwriter Diana Braithwaite was chosen by Sarah McLachlan to open Lilith Fair before18,000 people. Her talent, and authentic blues style have led her into the company of such stalwarts as Mel Brown, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker and Jeff Healey. Her dedication to shedding light onto lost pioneering Black communities has becomes a passion.
“We can totally relate to Tinner Hill” said Diana. “The moment we read about the history of the area and the festival we said we have to be there. After all, America is the birthplace of the blues".
Awarded Canadian Songwriters of The Year in 2010, Braithwaite & Whiteley have been awarded in total 8 Maple Blues Awards and 6 prestigious Juno Nominations. With southern Florida roots, Diana Braithwaite was dubbed a “national treasure” by Bluz FM radio host Danny Marks.