Eric Demmer found a saxophone under the Christmas tree at the age of 10. So began the journey of a natural-born musician, playing anywhere at any time with anyone. He grew up steeped in the blues and rock & roll of the 70's and 80's. He absorbed the sounds of The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, B. B. King, and fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughn. One night, Eric was invited to perform onstage with the legendary Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. From that night forward, Eric joined Gate's band and traveled all over the world for the next 12 years, until Gate's death in 2005. The journey with Gate's band led them to tour extensively as the opening act for Eric Clapton during his "From The Cradle" tour. Eric has performed with many well-known and respected musicians including Carlos Santana, B. B. King, George Duke, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Todd Rundgren, Shamikia Copeland, Johnnie "Clyde" Copeland, Johnnie "Be Good" Johnson (pianist with Chuck Berry), Duke Robillard, Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, The Allman Brothers, Dr John, Kim Wilson, and many others. Eric describes his style of music as "high energy, funky blues with a mix of jazz" and combines a variety of influences while reminding everyone that "The real thing comes from the heart and soul."
Barry Seelen is a Rocky Hill, CT native who calls Houston, TX his home. A review in the Houston Press had this to say about him: "The guy in town who really got me interested I Hammond-type organ. He drags a full-size Hammond and Leslie to every gig and it sounds amazing. I have built a lot of my ideas on organ from watching over his shoulder at his weekly Thursday gig with Luther and the Healers at the Big Easy. Barry is always in demand when people are recording." Barry has toured the world with mighty Sam McClain. He has played with Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Greg Piccolo, and more. He is also a highly sought after studio musician and was part of the 2014 finalists at the IBC Challenge in Memphis, TN. Barry can be heard on the recordings of such groups as The Midnight Sun, Chris Tofield, The Thang, On the Corner with Fuzz, The Kenny Trailer Band, and Lance G & Shannon.
Herman Jackson is a native of Baton Rouge, LA. This master percussionist received his education in the Baton Rouge public school system, and continued his education at Southern University, majoring in Jazz Studies under the direction of Mr. Alvin Batiste. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Jackson has performed and/or recorded with Clark Terry (formerly of the Tonight Show Band/the Count Bassie Big Band), Sonny Stitt, Cannonball Adderly, Red Norve, Al Green, Ronnie Foster, Henry Butler, Alvin Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, Joe Tex, Johnnie Adams, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, B. B. King, Joe Sample, Kent Jordan, Weldon Felder, David T Walker, Stanley Clark, Willie Nelson, Branford Marsalis, Professor Longhair, Rufus Les McCann, Irma Thomas, Huey Lewis of Huey Lewis and the News, Dave Holland, Nancy Wilson, Kenny Barron, Percy Sledge, The Moonglows, Boz Scaggs, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Michael McDonald, Steve Cropper and Narda Michael Walden, Wyton Marsalis, Angela Bofield, Joan Rivers and many others. World tours include performances in Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Mali, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, The Cameroons, Zaire, Ireland, Helsinki, London, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Zurich, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, Carnegie Hall, Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, The Royal Festival Hall in London, The Playboy Jazz Festival, The Newport Jazz Festival and the JVC Jazz Festival, among others. In South America, he performed in Sao Paulo and Rio in Brazil. During a trip to Japan, Herman played at Jazz spots in Tokyo and Osaka along with several Jazz festivals in that country. His work in Canada has included stops in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Herman makes an annual trek to Europe where he has made several appearances at renowned festivals like the Berlin, Pori (Finland), Montreux, Perugia, Nice and North Sea Jazz Festivals, in addition to annual performances with the Herman Jackson Ensemble at the new Orleans Jazz Festival. In 1972 and 1973, Herman was voted most outstanding collegiate drummer at the National Jazz Festival held in Mobile, AL. He was also a member of the jazz trio voted most outstanding at the National Jazz Festival held in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center. The National Endowment for the arts awarded him three travel study grants to further his professional career and perfect his craft, whereby he studied at Berkeley School of Music in Boston, MA with noted jazz great Alan Dawson; and in New York with Mel Lewis of the famous Thad Jones - Mel Lewis Big Band. Currently, he serves as head of the Percussion Department and Assistant Jazz Band Director at Southern University of Baton Rouge, LA. He also just finished an album with his brother, Randy Jackson of "American Idol", entitled "Randy Jackson's Music Club, and is currently touring with B. B. King..
Mark May was guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Dickey Betts. He perfected his craft playing blues clubs in Houston, Texas. His time there was filled with being able to share the stage with the very best Blues guitarists that Texas had to offer, Joe "Guitar" Hughes and Teas Johnny Brown to name just a few. Mark was able to hone his talent and learn from the best. His astonishing live shows are jam-packed with traditional blues and blues rock, featuring dynamic twin leads and dual harmony guitar work, are the perfect complement to Mark's smooth vocals. Mark has been featured in major blues publications and gets heavy rotation on Sirius/XM and Sonic Tap radio. We are quite proud to have him with us in Original Legends of the Blues.