The three members connected at a Fernando Jones Blues camp in Chicago. As a band, MudCity Blu got its start in the Chicago neighborhood of Bronzeville playing for the community at Jazzin’ and Jammin’ in Bronzeville, a venue which aims to bring jazz and blues back to its historic center. On blues nights, the band opens for Chicago blues favorites such as the Original Chicago Blues All-Stars, Low-Reen & the Maxwell St. Band, Melody Angel, and Coffy Brooksclausell, just to name a few. From there, MudCity Blu has been playing in and around the Chicagoland area, giving their own feel to classic and contemporary blues, but also playing originals integrating many different influences.
Guitarist and Vocalist
Kendall Carter is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter from the South Suburbs of Chicago. His musical journey started with a family consisting of gospel singers and his father who also plays multiple instruments and is a singer and songwriter. This musical heritage continues to influence Kendall to this day.
Kendall started piano lessons as a young boy. Soon he moved on to drums, then to trombone in the school band. He discovered the guitar, at the age of 13. Since then, he has added the bass guitar and vocals to his repertoire and has played in pop, rock, soul, and blues bands while becoming an accomplished and highly respected musician in his community. In addition, Kendall knows his way around a recording studio and recording DAW software. He's already recorded demos of many of his songs in his home studio.
Kendall has played at major venues including the House of Blues, Chicago blues Fest, Hard Rock Cafe, and many more. His influences include John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Gales, and Isaiah Sharkey. He currently studies computer science and jazz guitar at Illinois State University, all while pursuing his music. His goal is to perform blues, blues rock, and soul music across the world while placing his own interpretation and signature on the music to speak to all generations. He also wants to write, record and produce his own material as well as for other artists.
STACY GROOVE GIRL NORRIS
Stacy "Groove Girl" Norris is a Chicago-based blues drummer. Stacy has been exposed and influenced by the unique heritage and continued evolution of the Chicago Blues sound. She has listened and learned through the mentorship of Chicago blues men such as Fernando Jones. She is a 2018 Chicago Music Award recipient in the most talented teen category (as the drummer for the Instinct). She has also played at major venues and festivals throughout the U.S. in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, and internationally in other projects. She has participated in previous International Blues Challenges in the youth category in 2018, 2019, and now 2020. She takes part in the yearly "Hit Like A Girl" global contest which aims to highlight female drummers who have traditionally been under represented in the music industry. Stacy Groove Girl Norris' influences include Clyde Stubblefield, Tony Royster Jr., Neil Peart, and Sheila E., but she has learned her blues grooves watching and listening to some of Chicago’s favorite blues drummers like Dr. Odie Payne and Dr. Tillman, and mixing it up with a funky touch at times. As a Blues drummer, she loves the stories the blues tells and tries to enhance the story with her play. Stacy explains why she plays the blues: “I want to have the younger generation keep the blues alive....I want young people to love blues. Blues is like music history.”
Peyton McDowell has literally been playing blues music more than half his life. At seven years of age, when the bass guitar was taller than he was, the first song he learned was “Baby What You Want Me to Do (Peepin’ and Hiden’), by Jimmy Reed. Peyton’s grandmother, Nancy Rice, not only paid for his bass guitar lessons but insisted he play the blues and learn the history of this genre of music. The same year, blues guitarist and Columbia College Chicago Professor, Fernando Jones, held auditions for the very first “Blues Music Camp, Peyton was the youngest camper selected in the inaugural year. Through Fernando Jones’s camp, Peyton has played at the Chicago House of Blues, Buddy Guys Legends, Columbia College, the Pritzker Center, and the Fender Center in California.
Before he was a teenager, Peyton had played the blues for 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist, Bob Beamon, the family of Jimmy Reed at the premiere of the Jimmy Reed’s documentary, and for the legendary Buddy Guy during the Chicago send off before he was honored with the distinguished 2012 Kennedy Center Award.
At the age of 13, Peyton, along with his brother, recorded his first album, a “Tribute to Inspiration.” The album boasts songs that include Rose Reed, daughter of Jimmy Reed, Fernando Jones, blues singer Jacob Shultz, and a song concept to his credit called, “She Left Me in the Cold.” Peyton is also a past recipient of the Blues Foundation’s, Generation Blues Scholarship.
A senior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Illinois, Peyton participated in his school’s jazz ensemble for three years and is currently a member of the guitar ensemble. When he’s not playing with MudCity Blu, Peyton works with after school children for the Homewood Park District.