Ernie Southern-Blues Time Traveler!
Singing Guitarist, Acoustic & Electric, Singer-Songwriter, Slide Guitarist. International Blues Challenge Finalist. American Song Festival Award winner.
"Ernie's music is not an "Act". It's all about the truth. Artistic integrity is refreshing and not often heard these days. Listen, learn, enjoy."
Ernie Southern finished as one of the top 3 contenders in the world at the well-known international competition for the best unsigned blues artists. The event featured more than 90 different acts coming from as far away as Australia and Israel and was hosted by The Blues Foundation, a national non-profit group, the largest of its kind in the country.
Every now and then, an artist emerges and bursts fully mature on the scene. Ernie Southern is one of those few.
A pleasant surprise, his style is unmistakably authentic, evoking both the "soul" and "spirit" of the true Blues Masters.
No stranger to music, he began his career in his early teens as a New York “street corner” singer, recording and performing with the well-known do-wop acapella group "Nick and the Knacks". Opening for such acts as the "Four Seasons", "Anthony and the Imperials" and "The Earls", he quickly developed his strong, charismatic stage presence while appearing at clubs like the BLACK CAT and the GOLDEN SLIPPER. The group soon became a favorite on Lou Dean's Bayshore Rock and Roll Shows. In the 60's a spot on New York's “Zacharly” TV show earned them an audition with Chess Records, which offered the band a recording contract.
Then came the Vietnam War. During his four years in Naval Intelligence aboard the carrier USS Enterprise, he voraciously studied music, focusing on such old masters as Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lightnin' Hopkins.
By the early 70's, with the advent of the psychedelic era's new directions, Ernie began playing bass in Jazz-Rock-Fusion bands in Berkely, California. Studying with the much revered Elvo S. D'Amante (Author), and student of the famous classical composer Darius Milhaud, he then collaborated with the multi-instrumentalist Bill Hennessey to write and produce "Sailing Thru", a regional hit with wide air play in the Northeast.
Moving to Fort Lauderdale in 1979 and working with a variety of bands in various styles, he co-wrote “Like a Kid at Christmas” with Five Boroughs band leader, Frank Iovino. This song still receives international attention as a perennial Christmas favorite. By 1992, as a well-known bass player for the ever touring retro rock group RISK, he once again opted to pick up his guitar and moved forward to yet another style, the Delta Blues.
The past decade has seen a return to playing, writing and performing, opening for such acts as Joe Bonamassa, Leon Russell, Alvin Youngblood Hart, John Hammond, John Mooney, Albert Castiglia, Joey Gilmore, Ben Prestage, James Cotton & many many more.
After winning the 2003 South Florida Blues Challenge, Ernie went on to Memphis, courtesy of the South Florida Blues Society, and finished as a top finalist in the acoustic division in the International Blues Foundation's world-wide competition.
Ernie has now returned home to Indian River County, Florida. With his wife, Franni (aka Frannipalooza) and is performing in a wide variety of venues, mixing his years of experience in ALL STYLES of music to be the consummate entertainer that he is today.
He has played with nearly everyone, from Melbourne's own Groove Monsters and Steve Thorpe, swamp boogie genious Raiford Starke, bluesy folk singer Magda Hiller, jump boogie's Piano Bob Wilder, Clarksdale's newest artist in residence, multi-instrumentalist Stan Street and Dixie LaRue to New Orleans keyboard queen Sally Townes, flautist Laure Sue (Silver Nightingale) Wilansky and Cuban latin jazz trombonist, Juan Pablo Torres.
Keeping his licks alive and up to speed, he skillfully masters his many guitars played through the latest state of the art Bose PAS system into an eclectic, powerful, emotional, and passionate performance which delights audiences of all types and ages.
Back from a successful 6 week tour of France, Ernie is ready to perform a mixture of Blues, Rock & Roll, R&B and award winning Originals for you.
-Blues Revue Magazine
Grab a beer & crank it up!" "Highly recommended!"
– Blues Bunny UK
"Southern rips it up! He digs this genre like a dog with a bone !"
– Minor 7th Magazine
Ernie Southern is the real deal, Ernie's so intense that you can't help but feel his sincerity. Hard core Music fans need to check this out
– The Blewzzman
"Get him nominated for a BMA! The CD is great & he deserves it!"
– Bluesboys Talent
"Southern has a great feel for the blues, boasting an aggressive syncopated attack & an emotional voice, truly evoking the spirit of the old masters"
– Bob Weinberg, City Link
Ernie Southern (Vocals, Guitar, Porchboard Bass)