The Lucky Losers are a five piece band from San Francisco headed up by veteran blues singer Cathy Lemons and vocalist/ master harmonica player Phil Berkowitz. Their music is a throwback to the hybrid of soul, blues, rock, gospel, and country that emerged in the late 1960’s - with gorgeous harmonies reminiscent of Delaney and Bonnie. Together they bring a full range of talent to their performances as accomplished singers, songwriters, and show producers. They have performed for thousands at major venues and festivals across the country, and have played in some of the most prestigious clubs in The Bay Area/ San Francisco. Their latest album “Blind Spot,” garnered international attention from critics and made several “Best of 2018” album lists including Downbeat (4-star review) and Making a Scene (listed at #1). The Lucky Losers were nominated for three Independent Blues Awards in 2018: “Best Blues/Soul Artist,” “Best Blues/Soul CD,” and “Best Blues/Soul Song”.
Current Release “Blind Spot”
With Special Guests Kid Andersen, Laura Chavez, Annie Staninec, Nancy Wright
Recorded at award-winning Greaseland Studios (John Nemeth, 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 is solely comprised of original material created by Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz alongside their illustrious and multi-talented songwriting partner, Danny Caron (Charles Brown). “Blind Spot” is a road warrior’s tale. Traveling through a winding soundscape of modern blues, vintage R&B, and Americana, the album presents unvarnished testimony to the fragile and fleeting state of our world. 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” and “It’s Never Too Early,” 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 six-time Blues Music Award nominated guitarist, Kid Andersen, International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Award winning violinist Annie Staninec (Rod Stewart), 2018 BMA nominated saxophonist, Nancy Wright, and guitarist 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. Crossing genres from roots and blues to R&B and soul, The Lucky Losers sound is comprised of gorgeous vocal harmonies, some 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. The Lucky Losers recruited top West Coast players, such as Grammy award winning guitarist, Steve Freund (Sunnyland Slim), Andersen himself, and Ben Rice, who won the 2014 International Blues Challenge for “Guitar” in the Solo/Duo category, to make their dreams come alive. "A Winning Hand" went on to peak at #5 on The Roots Music Report’s “Top 50 Blues Albums” and reach #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" for his internationally syndicated "Bluesmobile/Everything Blues" radio show. The Lucky Losers landed the cover of the November 2015 issue of French magazine "Blues and Co." Living Blues, Elmore, Classicalite, Blues Matters, Blues Blast, Blues Bytes, and additional influencers in the blues community concluded that The Lucky Losers had 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 from their beautiful, twisted lives, 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". "In Any Town" was featured in several notable end of year lists, and Richard Ludmerer of "Making a Scene" listed it at #10 in his "Top 40 Independent Blues Albums of 2016". Critics from all around the world gave the album 5-star rave reviews. In 2017, The Lucky Losers toured extensively nationwide in support of "In Any Town" accompanied by incendiary guitarist, Laura Chavez, who was listed by Guitar Player Magazine as one of the world's "Top 50 Sensational Female Guitarists".
In 2018, The Lucky Losers continued their winning streak upon 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 nominated guitarist, Kid Andersen, IBMA Momentum Award winning violinist, Annie Staninec (Rod Stewart), 2018 BMA nominated saxophonist, Nancy Wright, and 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, and a second tour to the Eastern seaboard in the Fall of 2018. The album has been on the Roots Music Report’s “Top 50 Blues Album Chart” for 26 weeks/ with 4 weeks in the Top 10, peaking at #9; and also for 32 weeks on the RMR “Contemporary Blues Album Chart, peaking at #5.” The album peaked at #10 on the Living Blues Radio Chart. “Blind Spot” has also been on “Top 50 California Chart” for a total of 32 weeks/19 weeks Top 10. Nine original songs from the album made The Roots Music Report's "Top 50 Singles” in Blues & Contemporary Blues".
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"!
A BIT OF INDIVIDUALIZED HISTORY
Cathy Lemons, originally from Dallas, TX, has been described as “the finest light skinned blues singer in the U.S.” by Real Blues in 2010.
Cathy has mesmerized audiences for over 25 years and has performed with some of the great names in blues, including Anson Funderburg, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Lee Hooker (Cathy was John Lee Hooker's send-off singer and completed several national tours in 1987), Steve Freund, Anthony Paule, David Maxwell, Ron Thompson and Tommy Castro (Tommy Castro is on two of Cathy's Albums). She has released three albums under her own mae: “Dark Road”/The Saloon Recordings, 2000, “Lemonace” / Vizztone, 2010, and "Black Crow" / Vizztone/ 2014.
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 and has produced two critically acclaimed albums. He has toured extensively and performed at many festivals all over the United States.
Phil has collaborated with a range of premiere 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 cclaimed albums: “High Time”/ 2000, “Louis’ Blues”/ 2005, and “All Night Party” /2009.
“You Left It Behind,” the latest video from The Lucky Losers. It’s 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. It is also a song where we playfully tease each other about the odd predicaments we find ourselves in on the road. This song is really a playful battle of the sexes but done in a loving way.”
“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.
HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES
Vocals & Harmonica
Mike "Pops" Phillips
TAKING AMERICA BY STORM, ONE CITY AT A TIME
On May 18 2018, Cathy and Phil continued their winning streak with award-winning producer/ engineer, Kid Andersen, and released their third album, “Blind Spot.” The album is solely comprised of original material created by Cathy and Phil alongside their multi-talented songwriting partner, Danny Caron (Charles Brown). “Blind Spot” features scintillating musical contributions from six-time Blues Music Award nominated guitarist, Kid Andersen, IBMA Momentum Award winning violinist Annie Staninec (Rod Stewart), 2018 BMA nominated saxophonist, Nancy Wright, and Laura Chavez (Nikki Hill), who is listed as one of Guitar Player Magazine’s "Top 50 Sensational Female Guitarists”.
“Blind Spot” is a road warrior’s tale. 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. From “The River’s” redemptive embrace of love, to the erosion of human dignity in “Alligator Baptism,” to the “do or die” determination of “Take the Long Road” and “It's Never too Early,” The Lucky Losers express the challenges they face as they try to maintain a firm grasp on the wheel as they negotiate with chaos.
Phil Berkowitz says, “When people hear this album, they will be reminded of Willie Mitchell's Hi Records, as well as Stax. We went to great lengths to make our album sound like it came from that late '60’s and early '70’s era. We were going for that warm, live, Memphis sound with all that great, spontaneous ensemble playing. We also drew heavily from early '70’s psychedelic soul. When you hear 'Alligator Baptism,' for example, artists like Curtis Mayfield might come to mind. You will hear all the percussion, the horns, the harmonies, the street-wise stories, etc. But that is just one facet of our diverse style. We also love electric Americana pioneers like J.J. Cale. And you will hear plenty of blues in the mix.”
“Phil and I have traveled some of the loneliest highways in America to bring our music to the people,” says Cathy Lemons. “And in all those travels what we see is a kind of distraction everywhere--almost to the point of madness. I feel so overwhelmed by all this frantic information pouring in from my phone, from the news, from tragic headlines. Now that can be a funny or it can be deadly. For example, in a song we wrote called 'You Left it Behind' we talk about losing our wallets, our keys, our passports, our clothes--on the road. But on the other side of the slapstick comedy there is the dark side. 'Last Ride' is about the mass shootings, the natural disasters, and all the divisiveness we are seeing right now in America. This album, as a whole, takes on both the light and dark side of the American dream. You know, being free to do what you want. And ultimately these songs are about a time in our history when we as human beings are feeling this separation from real experience. It's as if we are seeing life through a screen.”
IN ANY TOWN
#6 on The Living Blues Chart July 2016
#2 on The Roots Music Report's "Top 50 California Albums"
#3 on The Roots Music Report's "Top 50 Blues Rock Albums"
#10 on The Roots Music Report's "Top 50 Blues Albums"
Give Me A Sign reached #11 on "Top 50 Blues Rock Song Chart"
It Ain't Enough reached #15 on "Top 50 Blues Rock Song Chart"
In Any Town reached #17 on "Top 50 Blues Rock Song Chart"
Devil's Dream reached #23 on "Top 50 Blues Rock Song Chart"
Give Me A Sign reached #24 on "Top 50 Blues Song Chart"
Small Town Talk reached #25 on "Top 50 Blues Rock Song Chart"
So High reached #29 on "Top 50 Blues Song Chart"
Jackson reached #30 on "Top 50 Blues Rock Song Chart"
#1 CD on Blues 411 Radio - September 26th
A WINNING HAND
Charted to #5 on The Roots Music Report's "Top 50 Blues Albums" for Summer 2015 and #1 on Blues 411's "A Baker's Dozen of Blues".
Nominated by Chef Jimi Patricola for the "Best Traditional Album" Jimi Award.
Landed the cover and a five page spread in the November 2015 issue of French magazine, Blues and Co.
Featured in On The Radar from the globally popular, "The Alternate Root".
Our original song, Change In The Weather was chosen by Dan Akroyd (Elwood Blues) as "BluesBreaker of the Week" for the internationally syndicated "Bluesmobile/Everything Blues" radio show.
Highlighted by Richard L’Hommedieu (king of the “Indie Blues” movement) on “Making a Scene", the #1 independent blues radio show on the internet.
Received rave reviews and articles from Living Blues, Elmore, Classicalite, Blues Matters, Blues Blast, Blues Bytes, and more.
Secured interviews and/or performances on KALW's Fog City Blues in San Francisco, KKFI Wendy Radio in Kansas City, 90.1 FM "Howlin' The Blues" in Houston, Al Ross' "Spectrum West" 88.7 WRFW FM in Madison, KZUM 89.3 "Highway Blues" with Al Lundy in Lincoln, and more.
Anne Bello Productions, LLC
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Print Press (“Blind Spot”)
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