J.P. Soars is soaring high, nominated for “Blues Rock Artist of the Year” in the 40th annual Blues Music Awards in 2019. Soars was nominated alongside blues music heavyweights Billy Gibbons, Eric Gales, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Tinsley Ellis, rounding out the Blues Rock category. Soars has been touring the world and released a new studio album in August produced by Tab Benoit on Benoit’s Whiskey Bayou label.
In the decade since he burst upon the national scene by winning 1st place in the Blues Foundation’s 2009 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN with his band the Red Hots (and the prestigious Albert King Award as best guitarist), Arkansas native J.P. Soars has toured extensively through the United States, Canada, South America and Europe, and released an impressive catalog of powerful music. In addition to his work with his own Red Hots, Soars has been part of the regional all-star blues act Southern Hospitality, also featuring Tampa vocalist/guitarist Damon Fowler and 2019 Grammy nominee, Memphis vocalist/keyboardist Victor Wainwright, plus Red Hots drummer Chris Peet and Wainwright’s bassist Terrance Grayson. The Band’s 2013 Blind Pig release, “Easy Livin’” earned a Blues Blast Award for “Best New Artist Debut Release”, and they toured worldwide in-between the three bandleaders’ own schedules.
Soars was featured on an album by Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, and has released six albums on his own and with the Red Hots, including 2018’s critically acclaimed SOUTHBOUND I-95 which just won him a Blues Blast Award for best Blues Rock Album. Brian Owens of Blues Music Magazine writes: “Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy when you play Southbound I-95, cause J.P. Soars and his gang are on fire.” Steve Ovadia of American Blues Scene writes, “Soars’ voice and guitar are the glue that holds the album together. Both are the common thread through the various songs and both inject all of the tracks with a warmth and humanity. J.P. Soars is much more than just a gun-slinger.”
J.P. is psyched about his newest release, LET GO OF THE REINS, recorded during a whirlwind weeklong session at Tab Benoit’s Whiskey Bayou studios, with a band featuring Red Hot’s drummer Chris Peet on bass, and Benoit on drums, they recorded twelve songs in five days – eight originals which they wrote on the spot, plus four choice covers. The inspiration for the album came from the many nights they all spent jamming into the wee hours on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise and at the Big Blues Bender, and as expected, they captured many magical musical moments on this record. LET GO OF THE REINS debuted at number seven on Billboard’s Blues Chart of the top selling blues albums in the country.