Ranked 3rd in the World at the 2016 International Blues Challenge Finals, “The Soul Machine” Norman Jackson and his groove inducing love producing band guarantees that when they play the Blues you will, “Get Your Happy On!” Norman is the genuine article, growing up on the south side of Chicago, he was taught the Blues from the true giants in Blues and Soul. Norman began to apprentice his saxophonist, Rick Shortt from the age of 12, who is now the turbine engine of the band playing lead on the saxophone. Along with the rock steady rhythm section of Danny Williams and “The Boogie Man”, the Baddest “Soul Band in the Land” will take you on a journey of the stories of their lives on the road filled with laughter and showmanship laced with virtuoso mastery that will make everyone “Get Down and Get Happy”!
The band enjoyed a banner year in 2016 playing Blues festivals around the United States and is already booked to play from New York to New Mexico along with Europe and Israel in November. Their new record, “It’s the Drummers Fault”, will release this May worldwide.
Norman Jackson was born in Canton Ohio and was raised in Detroit and the south side of Chicago. He was heavily influenced by his mother who sang with famous gospel singers such as the Reverend James Cleveland. It was not abnormal for Norman to hear his mother singing in the kitchen with the great Sam Cooke. At a young age Norman began to play the guitar upside down because he is left handed. He was heavily influenced by the greatest bluesmen that played in the neighborhood or that stayed in the motel behind his home when they traveled through town. From BB King to Albert King, they all had a hand in his unique style that will make you bellow, “Ain’t no groove like a Norman Jackson groove”! Norman has sang with the Chilites, George Clinton and many famous blues, gospel and soul acts.Norman has lived the Blues and as he says, “By the time I’m done singing about me, you’ll leave here feeling good”! Years of struggles with addiction and life’s challenges penned his long and winding journey. He is proudly sober for 10 years and loves to spread the word to young people that they can reach their dreams by being sober and living for true happiness. Norman Jackson, “The Soul Machine”is the genuine article that has become nearly extinct today. The magic of his voice, his thoughtful yet hilarious storytelling through song and his powerful grooving guitar are unlike any you’ve ever heard. There is only one Norman Jackson and you’ll never forget him or his amazing voice.
Rick Shortt began to play the saxophone at a young age and fell in love with the Blues. At the age of 12, he passed by the window of a local pub where he saw Norman performing through the glass and dreamt of one day playing alongside the iconic soul man. Rick would go on to play with different versions of Norman’s band throughout his youth. He always loved the saxophone greats of Jazz but he was more drawn to study and form his unique style of playing and performing from the likes of King Curtis, Junior Wells and Rod Piazza. In 2012 he returned permanently to form the current Norman Jackson Band. He complements the bands smooth soul with a sting of Rock and Blues. Rarely is a saxophone the lead instrument in a Blues acts, but Rick holds that position with confidence as he solos playing behind his back, on his knees or atop the highest obstacle in the room.Rick’s wild showmanship has earned him the moniker, “The Madman of the Blues”.Rick regards Norman as his “Soul Daddy” and the relationship between this father and sonas well as student and teacher is evident on stage.
Ron Brown is Norman Jackson’s nephew, “The Boogieman” was born and bred to play drums in his band. From an early age he took interest in playing the drums while tapping rhythms out with kitchen utensils while his mother’s gospel group practiced in their home. Ron has always been surrounded by deep grooving music and this is etched in his tasteful playing. Hailing from the “Cadillac Assembly Line” in Detroit Michigan, Ron’s approach to playing is different than most. He prides himself on honing in on the other members of the band and intuitively following them creating climaxes and dynamic changes as he drives the beat. As Norman reminds everyone, “No matter what happens, if anything goes wrong... it’s the drummers fault”. The playful relationship that the band has together is no more apt than with the drummer. He accepts his role as the band’s favorite target and does so with his signature smile. Perhaps he knows something that everyone else does not.
Danny Williams' beginnings were in the musical hot stove of St Louis, Missouri. Raised within a musical family,he cut his teeth in a band with his brother and father. For years he was a mainstay on the St. Louis scene. He moved south to start a new life as overcame years of alcohol addiction. He promised his mother that he would make her proud as he began a new life. He met Norman while attending a church that Norman served as a registered minister at. Soon they became close and Danny was welcomed into the band family.Danny’s quiet demeanor and calculated approach has earned him the nickname, “Slow Motion”, but never doubt his ability to hold down the groove and serve as the band’s bottom end. He and Ron create one of the tightest rhythm sections you will ever see.