The Strata-tones is the vision of the band's founder, composer and guitarist, Bruce Krupnik. Bruce has opened for major blues artists like Tommy Castro and Candye Kane and has also played The Monterey Blues Festival and performed at the IBC's in Memphis.
Bruce had been in a band with drummer, Rick Pittman and had talked to Rick about putting together a show band featuring original tunes. Their goal was to create a professional, tight, well dressed, original Blues and R&B act.
"Having Rick driving the fat back beat was a great way to start this project," Krupnik noted. "Since he has been on stage with some of the biggest stars in the blues and R&B scene, including Milton Hopkins (Lightnin's Hopkins nephew), Ike Turner, and Roger Collins.
Next, Bruce called in local blues harmonica legend, Kevin McCracken. Kevin has opened for major touring acts like Charlie Musselwhite and Emmy Lou Harris. Kevin also writes most of the lyrics for Bruce's music.
Bruce knew he needed that big, full organ sound to pull off the classic R&B shows he envisioned, so he gave Ken Burton a call. Burton came swirling into the scene with his classic Hammond B-3 organ sound – a sound that has landed him gigs opening for major touring acts including Joe Cocker, Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins,
The next draft pick was bass player Wil Anderson. An accomplished Blues, Funk and R&B player known for his "In the pocket" style, he was the perfect choice to finish out the Rhythm section for the band. Wil has opened shows for major recording artists such as; Johnny Winter, Tommy Castro and Janiva Magness.
While conducting auditions for a vocalist, someone suggested Valerie Johnson, a vocalist whose extensive resume included filling the shoes of the legendary Janis Joplin, while touring with Big Brother & the Holding Company. Valerie has also toured the world with a renowned gospel group. Val is also contributing original material for the band.
Having just released their CD worldwide, The Strata-Tones new release is being played on Blues radio around the world as well as being meet with critical acclaim from Blues fans and Industry professionals alike. Here are a few quotes from the most recent reviews…
"The Strata-Tones have taken traditional blues and given it a contemporary twist. With a powerhouse vocalist and an irresistible backbeat that can't be denied, enjoy "Dressed Up To Fess Up" tonight, and be sure to bring your dancin' shoes"! Until next time….
Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society
"The Strata-Tones is a band with thoroughbred musicians, well adapted to each other. And singer Valerie Johnson is with her raw soulful voice the genuine secret weapon. I hope to see and hear more from them in the future, because the Strata-Tones are…smoking hot"!
Eric Campfens, Barn Owl Blues, The Netherlands
"I predict big things for The Strata-tones.... just the kick of energy that the blues needs right about now!
I know this sounds corny but I mean it when I say it, thank you for making the music that you make.
Downtown Deb - 21st Century Blue, UK
Rick Pittman (Drums),
Bruce Krupnik (Guitar, Vocals),
Wil Anderson (Bass),
Ken Burton (Hammond/Keyboards),
Kevin McCracken (Harmonica, Vocals),
Valerie Johnson (Lead Vocalist)