The Lucky Losers are a five-piece band from San Francisco lead by veteran blues singer, Cathy Lemons, and harmonica master and vocalist, Phil Berkowitz. Their music is a throwback to the hybrid of soul, blues, rock, gospel, and country that emerged in the late 1960’s — combining gorgeous harmonies reminiscent of the great male/ female vocal duos of that era. Together they bring a full range of talent to their performances as accomplished singers, songwriters, and show producers. They have performed at major venues and festivals across the country and have played in some of the most prestigious clubs in The Bay Area/ San Francisco. In a span of four years they have released three chart topping albums. Their first album, "A Winning Hand," was nominated for "Best Traditional Blues Album" by Blues 411 and made The Roots Music Report’s "Top Albums of 2015". Their second album, "In Any Town," was nominated for a total SEVEN awards. Clearly on a winning streak, The Lucky Losers released an all original album, “Blind Spot,” in 2018 which made several notable year-end lists including Downbeat, Making a Scene (listed at #1), and The Roots Music Report’s “Top Blues Albums for the Year of 2018” (#28). The Lucky Losers were nominated for three Independent Blues Awards in 2018: “Best Independent Blues/Soul Artist,” “Best Independent Blues/Soul CD,” and “Best Independent Blues/Soul Song”.
Current Release “Blind Spot”
With Special Guests Kid Andersen, Laura Chavez, Annie Staninec, Nancy Wright.
Recorded at Kid Andersen’s Greaseland Studios (Wee Willie Walker, Elvin Bishop) in San Jose, California, The Lucky Losers take a fearless ride into the unknown, witnessing the good, bad, and ugly of contemporary America through a fractured rear-view mirror. The album showcases all original music that marries vintage sounds of soul, swing, and blues together with just a splash of modern Americana perspective. From the redemptive embrace of love in “The River,” to the erosion of human dignity in “Alligator Baptism,” to the “do or die” determination of “Take the Long Road,” The Lucky Losers express the challenges they face as they try to maintain a firm grasp on the wheel. “Blind Spot” features scintillating musical contributions from Blues Music Award winner/ guitarist, Kid Andersen, International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Award winning violinist Annie Staninec (Rod Stewart), 2018 BMA nominated saxophonist, Nancy Wright, and guitarist 2019 Blues Music Award nominee, Laura Chavez (Nikki Hill), who was listed as one of the “Top 50 Sensational Female Guitarists” by Guitar Play Magazine.
Danger meets sophistication in the soulful music of The Lucky Losers, San Francisco’s premiere male/female duet fronted band. Accompanied by a dynamic quartet of A-list musicians, veteran artists Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz deliver an inventive, hypnotic, spin on 60’s roots music. Though Cathy and Phil have worked individually in blues for decades, they joined forces in 2014 to create something new. The Lucky Losers sound is comprised of gorgeous vocal harmonies, masterful harmonica playing, expert musicianship, confessional songwriting, and their specialty, male/female, vocal duets.
In July of 2014, The Lucky Losers emerged onto the scene and have been entertaining audiences across America ever since. Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz delivered an outstanding debut album, “A Winning Hand", which marked the beginning of their fruitful collaboration with Kid Andersen at his famous Greaseland in San Jose, California. To up the ante, The Lucky Losers recruited top West Coast players such as Grammy award-winning guitarist, Steve Freund, (Sunnyland Slim), Kid Andersen, and winner of the 2014 International Blues Challenge for “Guitar” in the Solo/Duo category, Ben Rice. "A Winning Hand" peaked at #5 on The Roots Music Report’s “Top 50 Blues Albums” and reached #1 on Blues 411's "A Baker's Dozen of Blues", garnering a nomination for a Jimi Award in the "Best Traditional Album" category. The album was listed as one of the "Top Blues Albums of 2015" by The Roots Music Report. Dan Akroyd (Elwood Blues) chose their original song, "Change in the Weather," as "Bluesbreaker of the Week" on his internationally syndicated "Bluesmobile/ Everything Blues" radio program. The Lucky Losers were featured on the cover of the French magazine "Blues and Co." in its November 2015 issue. Living Blues, Elmore, Classicalite, Blues Matters, Blues Blast, and Rolling Stone writer, Bill Kopp all conclude that The Lucky Losers have indeed dealt a winning hand.
In the summer of 2016, The Lucky Losers released "In Any Town," their sophomore album on Dirty Cat Records featuring stellar musical contributions from Kid Andersen, Paris Slim, Terry Hanck, and Jeff Jensen. Inspired by music of the 60's and true events, Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz served up medicine for wayward souls, offering glimpses of paradise through a veil of tears. Within two weeks of its release, "In Any Town" charted at #2 on The Roots Music Report's "Top Albums/All Genres/ California" and #3 for "Top Blues Rock Albums." A month later, Living Blues Radio Charts placed it at #6. Eight songs from the album charted into the top 20 on The Roots Music Report's "Top Singles." The album was nominated for two Blues 411 Jimi Awards: “Best Harmonica Player” and “Best Contemporary Blues Album.” "In Any Town" was featured in several notable end-of-year lists. Richard Ludmerer of Making a Scene listed it at #10 in his "Top 50 Independent Blues Albums of 2016". Scores of critics from around the world have given the album high praise. In 2017, The Lucky Losers toured extensively nationwide in support of "In Any Town." They were accompanied by incendiary guitarist, Laura Chavez, who was listed in Guitar Player Magazine as one of the world's "Top 50 Sensational Female Guitarists."
In 2018, The Lucky Losers continued their winning streak with the release of their third record, "Blind Spot," produced and engineered by long-time collaborator, Kid Andersen. “Blind Spot” is a road warrior’s tale, solely comprised of original material created by Cathy and Phil alongside their multi-talented songwriting partner, Danny Caron (Charles Brown). The album is a primal call to awareness in the eye of an irresistible storm. Caught between hope and catastrophe, The Lucky Losers take a fearless ride into the unknown, witnessing the good, bad, and ugly of contemporary America through a fractured rear-view mirror. Traveling through a winding soundscape of modern blues, vintage R&B, and Americana, “Blind Spot” presents unvarnished testimony to the fragile and fleeting state of our world. The album features scintillating musical contributions from six-time Blues Music Award winner Kid Andersen, IBMA Momentum Award winning violinist, Annie Staninec (Rod Stewart), 2018 BMA nominated saxophonist, Nancy Wright, and 2019 Blues Music Award nominee, Laura Chavez. The Lucky Losers concluded a 26-venue/ 15 state tour of North America in honor of the album’s release in the Spring of 2018 as well as a second tour to the Eastern seaboard in the Fall of 2018. The album was on the Roots Music Report’s “Top 50 Blues Album Chart” for 26 weeks/ with 4 weeks in the Top 10, peaking at #9; for 32 weeks on the RMR “Contemporary Blues Album Chart, peaking at #5.” The album also peaked at #10 on the Living Blues Radio Chart. “Blind Spot” has been on the “Top 50 California Chart” for a total of 32 weeks/18 weeks Top 10. Nine of the 11 original songs from the album made The Roots Music Report's "Top 50 Singles” in Blues & Contemporary Blues." The album was included in several notable year-end lists such as Downbeat’s “Best of 2018,” Richard Ludmerer’s “Top 40 Indie Blues Recordings of 2018” (listed at #1), and The Roots Music Report’s “Top Blues Albums of 2018 (listed at #28).”
In 2018, The Lucky Losers were nominated for three Independent Blues Awards from Making a Scene: Best Independent Blues R&B/Soul Artist, Best Independent Blues R&B/Soul CD/ "In Any Town", and Best Independent Blues R&B/Soul Song/ "It Ain't Enough"!
Honors & Awards
2018 INDEPENDENT BLUES AWARDS NOMINEE | BEST BLUES/SOUL ARTIST
2018 INDEPENDENT BLUES AWARDS NOMINEE | BEST BLUES|SOUL CD, “IN ANY TOWN”
2018 INDEPENDENT BLUES AWARDS NOMINEE | BEST BLUES/SOUL|R&B SONG, “IT AIN’T ENOUGH”
2018 DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE “BEST ALBUMS"
2018 TOP 40 INDEPENDENT BLUES RECORDINGS | MAKING A SCENE (#1)
2018 ROOTS MUSIC REPORT | TOP BLUES ALBUMS FOR THE YEAR OF 2018 (#28) & TOP CONTEMPORARY BLUES ALBUMS (#17)
2018 BEST OF | AQUARIAN WEEKLY RANT’’N’ROLL | MIKE GREENBLATT (#10)
2018 ROOTS MUSIC REPORT | #2 CALIFORNIA | ALL GENRES ALBUM, "BLIND SPOT" (18 WEEKS TOP 10)
2018 ROOTS MUSIC REPORT | #5 CONTEMPORARY BLUES ALBUM, "BLIND SPOT" (19 WEEKS TOP 10)
2018 LIVING BLUES RADIO CHART (#10)
2018 ROOTS MUSIC REPORT | #9 BLUES ALBUM, "BLIND SPOT" (4 WEEKS TOP 10)
2017 INDEPENDENT BLUES AWARDS NOMINEE | BEST BLUES SOUL CD “IN ANY TOWN”
2017 INDEPENDENT BLUES AWARDS NOMINEE | BEST BLUES SOUL SONG “IT AIN’T ENOUGH”
2017 TOP 50 INDEPENDENT BLUES ALBUMS OF 2016 | RICHARD LUDMERER (MAKING A SCENE)
2016 BLUES 411 JIMI AWARD NOMINEE | BEST HARMONICA PLAYER, PHIL BERKOWITZ
2016 BLUES 411 JIMI AWARD NOMINEE | BEST CONTEMPORARY BLUES ALBUM, “IN ANY TOWN”
2015 ROOTS MUSIC REPORT | TOP BLUES ALBUMS OF 2015
2015 BLUES 411 JIMI AWARD NOMINEE | BEST TRADITIONAL ALBUM , “A WINNING HAND”
2015 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE/THE GOLDEN GATE BLUES SOCIETY FINALIST
Venues & Festivals
Fillmore Heritage Center (old Yoshi’s /San Francisco, CA| 2019
Biscuits & Blues, San Francisco, CA | 2018
The Poor House Studio Showroom | 2017 & 2018
Rancho Nicasio, Nicasio, CA | 2018
Club Fox, Redwood City | 2018
Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago, Ill | 2018
Blind Willie’s, Atlanta, GA |2018
Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza, Columbus, OH | 2018
The Slippery Noodle, Indianapolis, IN | 2018
The Rockin’ Blues ‘N Brews Festival, Vacaville, CA |2018
Camden SC Down Home Blues Festival | 2018
BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups, St. Louis, MO | 2017 & 2018
Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival | 2017
“Bourbon & Blues” Music Series at The Momo, Sacramento, CA | 2017 & 2018
The Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA | 2015 & 2017
Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues, Minneapolis | 2017
Tuesday Night Blues, Eau Claire, WI | 2016 & 2017
Lafayette’s Music Room, Memphis, TN | 2016, 2017, 2018
San Felipe Blues and Arts Fiesta, Baja, Mexico | 2017
Englewood’s in Dearborn, FLA | 2017
Riverfront Festival, Libby Montana | 2016
Ribberfest Blues Festival, Madison WI | 2016
Blues by the Sea, Kiawah Island, NC | 2016
Point Richmond Music Concert Series, CA | 2016
Omaha Summer Arts Festival, NE | 2016
Knuckleheads', Kansas City, MO | 2015
Rum Boogie Cafe, Memphis, TN | 2015
Bradfordville Blues Club, Tallahassee, FL | 2015
Burlingame Jazz and Arts Festival, CA| 2015
Capitol Oyster Bar, Montgomery, AL | 2015
City Winery, Napa, CA | 2015
Empress Theater, Vallejo, CA | 2015
Placerville Art & Wine Festival, CA | 2015
Roseville Downtown Concert Series, CA | 2015
A Bit of Individualized History
CATHY LEMONS is a legendary, blues singing firebird out of Dallas, Texas, who has mesmerized audiences with her “velvety and hypnotic voice, resonant of a female Howlin’ Wolf” (Fulltimeblues 2010) for over 25 years. A seasoned and expressive songwriter, Cathy brings profound authenticity to her craft and delivers emotional and electrifying performances. She has collaborated with many great names in blues, such as Tommy Castro, Kid Andersen, Anson Funderburgh, and the great John Lee Hooker.
To date, Cathy Lemons has released three studio albums: “Dark Road,” ”Lemonace" and "Black Crow". Her critically acclaimed “Black Crow” was nominated for a “Welcome Back” Jimi Award from Blues411. The album made the 2014 Downbeat “Winners Pick” and was featured in Blues Matters’ “Top 10 Albums” in the U.K.
New Jersey native, Phil Berkowitz, "has earned renown as one of the West Coast’s most distinctive harp players, as well as for his sharp, resonant tenor." (Living Blues/ 2018). For over 20 years Phil has brought his energetic and refined musical style to American audiences.
Phil has collaborated and/or toured with a wide range of esteemed musicians, such as 2011 International Blues Challenge (IBC) winner Sean Carney, 2014 IBC winner for “Best Guitar” Ben Rice, Duke Robillard, Billy Branch, and most notable, Charles Brown’s former bandleader and guitarist, Danny Caron with whom he currently co-writes his songs. Phil has released three critically acclaimed albums: “High Time”/ 2000, “Louis’ Blues”/ 2005, and “All Night Party” /2009.
Anne Bello Productions, LLC
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For Events Certifications Include: Crowd Manager, (National) Safe Assembly (Gainesville) , CPR/AED, Server License
MEDIA PRESS | “BLIND SPOT”
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“You Left It Behind,” the latest video from The Lucky Losers is a tongue-in-cheek look at forgetfulness and the trials of being on the road, with a swing feel. Cathy Lemons tells us:
“This is the first song Phil and I ever wrote together with our writing partner Danny Caron! It’s a funny song about forgetting things–and we do forget things–but you would too if you were traveling ten thousand miles across country in a big cargo van with all your belongings and a bunch of musicians in the back seat. Everything in this song is based on real-life events. ”
“You Left It Behind” appears on The Lucky Losers’ just-released third album “Blind Spot.” out on Dirty Cat Records. Produced by the omnipresent Kid Andersen, the album showcases music that marries vintage sounds of soul, swing, and blues together with just a splash of modern Americana perspective.