Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots

Stephen Dees uses Elixir Strings Exclusively

Stephen Dees uses Elixir Strings Exclusively

Blues, Roots Rock and Soul, featuring the high-octane boogie piano and soulful vocals of Victor Wainwright and backed by one of the most gifted bands on the scene: the WildRoots. With the release of BOOM TOWN, their latest record, they’re poised to ignite blues/roots fans with a sound that’s infectious and impossible to ignore. 

As Victor and producer/writer Stephen Dees celebrate 10 outstanding years of musical partnership that began with Wainwright's 2005 solo debut PIANA' FROM SAVANNAH, they’re teaming up once again to deliver a blues and American roots tour de force. After the 2011 release of the critically acclaimed record LIT UP!; The WildRoots are back and they're toting another musical triumph in BOOM TOWN. 

Born in Savannah, Georgia, Victor's childhood was filled with music. Surrounded by a musical family, Victor found himself emulating his Dad's vocals and Grandfather Jessie's boogie-woogie piano playing. Over the last decade he has broadened his artistic scope to encompass nearly every corner of the Blues. Victor’s star is definitely on the rise, having won the coveted Blues Music Award as “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year” in both 2013 and 2014, as well as anchoring the acclaimed group, Southern Hospitality, whose “Easy Livin’” release made the Top 10 on the Billboard blues chart. 

Florida-born Stephen Dees, the nephew of Grand Ole Opry stalwart "Fiddlin" Chubby Wise (Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys), picked up his grandfather's guitar, handed down to him by his father Lamar, at an early age. Stephen's father wanted him to continue their family's country music tradition, but when Dees fell in love with Rock 'n' Roll the die was cast. Dees has toured and/or recorded as bassist/vocalist with Hall and Oates, Todd Rundgren, Pat Travers, Novo Combo {w/ Michael Shrieve} and Foghat, to name a few.   
Wainwright and Dees first met in 2004 in Ormond Beach, FL where they were both on the bill of a benefit concert. Stephen was performing with his wife Patricia as a duo called "The Bandees" and Victor with his band "The Deal". Both were very impressed with the other's performance. The two discovered they shared a mutual cultural identity, having been raised in musical families in the American South, and a deep affection for Blues, R&B and roots rock ‘n’ roll out of the '50s and 60's such as B.B. King, Ray Charles, James Brown, Muddy Waters, Otis Redding, Louis Jordan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin’ Wolf and Little Richard. They discussed the possibility of collaborating on an all-original recording project for Victor paying homage to the music that influenced them both. Dees agreed to produce and co-write what would become Wainwright's 2005 release PIANA' FROM SAVANNAH.  

"It's hard to follow the speed limit while this one's playing... Pinetop Perkins would be proud." [Backstage Pass Magazine] 
After the release of PIANA' FROM SAVANNAH, and after some outstanding live performances, they knew they had something special and decided to forge a more focused working relationship. Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots were born.  

The WildRoots debut CD BEALE STREET TO THE BAYOU was released in September of 2009 launching a successful radio promotion that landed them stellar reviews as well as charting #7 on the Root Music Report “Top 50 Blues”, #2 on the Blues Internet Charts, and #8 on the Tennessee Roots Charts. In addition, they hit #4 on Europe’s Collectif des Radio Blues Charts.  

“Extremely diverse with great songwriting, exceptional arrangements, flawless playing and vocals soulful enough to make Otis Redding sit up and take notice” [Bill Wilson - Billtown Blue Notes] 

 “Victor's piano playing is exciting and soulful, along with his strong vocals. Victor is a blues star on the rise. ” [Honey Piazza, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers] 

Their follow up CD LIT UP! was released on June 7th, 2011. It became #1 on Sirius/XM's BB Kings Bluesville channel's “Pick To Click”, #2 on the Collectif des Radio Blues Charts, #13 on the Living Blues Radio Chart, and Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots became Featured Memphis Artist on House of Blues Radio & Blues Breaker of the Week.  

“…a riotous, intoxicating run through all kinds of exciting blues territory. The gifted Memphis-based boogie-woogie piano player is backed by the expert WildRoots Band-ablaze with jumping beats, lively saxophones, and some spine-tingling guitar work. Every track is brilliant. Producer Stephen Dees gets it right.” [Living Blues Magazine]. 

"Wainwright wrote or co-wrote nine of these gems; producer/writer Stephen Dees gets creative credit on 12. These fellows make a great team when it comes to being innovative in a genre that too often sounds repetitive. Lit Up is a knockout album that runs the gamut of blues styles with no weaknesses."  
[Ken Rosenbaum] 

"...wherever you put down the needle, it's just pure, dead, brilliant." [Zeitgeist - United Kingdom] 

On the new record BOOM TOWN, in addition to Victor Wainwright on Lead Vocals, Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, and Hammond Organ; and Stephen Dees on Bass, Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Vocals, they’ve assembled an outstanding ensemble of musicians: Patricia Ann Dees on Tenor Saxophone and vocals, Nick Black on Guitar and Vocals, Billy Dean on Drums, Stephen Kampa on Harmonica, Ray Guiser on Tenor Saxophone; and Charlie DeChant on Baritone and Tenor Saxophone.   

“After putting a tremendous amount of time, effort and passion into this project, we’re extremely proud of the final recording. I’m excited that we are teaming up with the renowned Roots and Blues label Blind Pig Records to deliver what we feel is our best album yet! [Victor Wainwright]