Paul and Annie

Acclaimed blues duo Paul Rishell and Annie Raines will be hanging out at the 2007 Port Townsend Paul_rishell_and_annie_raines_2Country Blues Festival, teaching, jamming, and telling stories. On Saturday, August 4, at 1:30 pm they’ll be playing a full mainstage set at Fort Worden’s McCurdy Pavilion.

As Living Blues notes, "Singing guitarist Paul Rishell and his harmonica-blowing partner Annie Raines have fashioned a fine career for themselves through their refreshing rearrangements of vintage blues, mostly of the rural sort."

A teenager during most of the 1960s, Paul started out as a drummer in a surf-rock band. But a friend turned him on to the music of Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and others, and Paul was hooked for life. In the decades since, he has played with Son House, Johnny Shines, Sonny Terry, and Howlin’ Wolf.

The blues muse struck Annie during her teenage years as well, which were in the 1980s. While her friends were listening to Pink Floyd, Annie became enthralled by the Muddy Waters and Sony Boy Williamson. She traveled to Chicago to play with Pinetop Perkins, Louis Myers, and James Cotton. About her, Pinetop said: "She plays so good it hurts!"

Paul_rishell_and_annie_raines_cd Together, Paul and Annie have released I Want You to Know and Moving to the Country, as well as their newest release: Goin’ Home. In 2000, the duo won the W.C. Handy Award for Acoustic Blues Album of the Year.