South Shore Folk Music Club welcomes the return of Paul Rishell and Annie Raines, who have become SSFMC favorites. When 22-year-old harmonica ace Annie Raines first sat in with 42-year-old country blues guitarist Paul Rishell in a Boston bar in 1992, few in the crowd suspected that they were witnessing the beginning of a musical partnership. As a working team, Paul and Annie have racked up hundreds of thousands of miles on the road in the U.S. and Europe, collaborated on original songs, and released I Want You To Know (Tone-Cool/Artemis 1996), Moving to the Country (2000), the W.C. Handy Award winner for Acoustic Blues Album of the Year, Goin’ Home (2004), which was nominated for two Handy Awards, A Night in Woodstock ( 2008), and Talking Guitar (2012).
Paul and Annie are equally passionate about their craft and devoted to the study and performance of a wide range of blues styles, from the syncopated acoustic guitar wizardry of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Son House to Chicagoan “Little” Walter Jacob’s swinging amplified harmonica. Paul has reached what Boston Phoenix writer Ted Drozdowski called “a place deep and resonant as Robert Johnson’s crossroads, where authenticity, soul, and a sense of purpose and commitment ring out in every note he sings and plays.” Annie has added vocals, mandolin, piano, and other instruments to her musical arsenal, while being recognized by top professionals and fans worldwide as the “queen of the blues harmonica.” Says blues legend Pinetop Perkins, “She plays so good it hurts!” Touring internationally at festivals, clubs, and concert halls, and teaching workshops and seminars, Paul Rishell & Annie Raines have earned loyal fans around the globe. They have performed and recorded with Susan Tedeschi, John Sebastian, Pinetop Perkins, and Rory Block, and appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brian and Prairie Home Companion.
“Rishell is a master of country/blues styles, particularly slide played on a National steel guitar. Raines, a rare female ace blues harmonica blower, shows that she is as strong an acoustic country harp accompanist as she is a harder-edged, electrified Chicago-style lead player à la the great Little Walter…” –Billboard