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Here’s what they are saying about…
Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues

Georgian Republic to Fort Smith - the song remains the same at IBC
by: Brown Burnett

Memphis Mojo Magazine - Blues Speaks

The International Blues Challenge was in full swing Thursday night down on Beale, with more than 120 acts competing for $25,000 in cash and prizes. It's now a huge annual event that pumps $$$ into Beale St. during what would normally be a dead time of year, pumps even more music into this city's soul, and also brings people from all over the world together with a common language - music.

I had the opportunity to watch the Thursday night band competition at Alfred's Thursday and saw firsthand just how special this event is. Key word here is 'international' and of the seven bands I saw that night, one was from Israel, one from Australia and one from the Republic of Georgia.

An 18-year-old guitarist from Augusta, Ga., Tony Tyler, took the stage first and the young man showed a lot of heart and talent, but a bit too much rock and roll for a blues competition. Tyler stood out like a sore thumb since most of the musicians seemed to be on the cusp of middle age - or beyond.

Then came Finn, a band from Australia representing the Sydney Blues Society. These veterans offered a stark contrast to Tyler The grizzled quintet looked the part and did an OK job of playing their own brand of blues. The Ladies Choice band from the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola, MS, deep in the heart of the Delta, played well, as you would expect, but these guys seemed a bit TOO laid back and smooth.

Then things got interesting.
Debbie Ritter and 4-40 Blues Band of the Yesterday's and Today's Rhythm and Blues Society around Nashville kicked it up a notch with a rousing, skilled, and fun set of blues. They even played a little Jimmy Reed music and Ritter had an engaging stage presence and a great voice. The 2 guitar-instrumentation was effective with Mark Shields on slide and Tom Whisenhunt, one of the best guitarists I've heard in a long time, on lead. Tasteful, smooth and technically sound and they were probably the best overall band of the night - experienced, seasoned and knew exactly how to work a blues crowd.


Blues Bites -Tom Hyslop
R e v i e w s i n B r i e f
Nashville's Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues describe their style as "passion blues," focused on emotion and upholding a traditional stance while keeping up with the times. Ritter is a sultry singer with a debt to classic stylists, and guitarist Tom Whisenhunt leaves his stamp with a clean, contemporary style. Bluesday Afternoon emphasizes ballads and steamy, hot-weather grooves such as the title track, the acoustic "Miss You Already," and "Half a Mind To Leave," but funky cuts "Late Again" (with a guitar riff and sonics borrowed from David Bowie's "Fame") and the shuffling "Walkin' Shoes" are nearly as effective. Favorite: the soulful, Malaco-style ballad "With You After Midnight."

CD Review from "Get Rhythm2 Magazine", UK

“…A band that proves once again some of the best blues music in the world comes out of Nashville, Tennessee…”
John Larson, Host of ‘Lightning Blues’
Lightning 100 (100.1FM) s

“Debbie Ritter has found a home at Bluesboro Rhythm & Blues Company! The soulful, sultry delivery of Debbie’s live performance from the Bluesboro stage was nothing short of amazing. This was truly a soul stirring evening for us & we look forward with great anticipation many repeat performances at the Bluesboro Rhythm & Blues Company.”
Jeff Myers
Owner, Bluesboro Rhythm & Blues Company

“Unbelievable! The “cool” factor of this live show was through the roof!”
Jason, Lightning 100 Special Promotions Coordinators

“KoKo Taylor is in Chicago tonight, but we’ve got Debbie Ritter in the house … Now that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!!!!”
Steve Ellis
Owner, State Street Pub & Ellis Place
Bowling Green, KYs

“Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues? ONE HOT BLUES BAND! The energy level of their live show keeps audiences riveted. Debbie sizzles on stage and her steamy vocals are absolutely intoxicating!”
Ron Brice
Owner, 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill Nashville,

2003 Bluesey Award Winner

Congress declared 2003 as the “Offical” Year of the Blues and Music City Blues celebrates with their Annual Blues Celebration & 4th Annual Bluesey Awards …

Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues Make News

The Music City Blues Society held its Annual Blues Celebration Sunday night at Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar. The full day of blues started at 3:00 pm and ended with the 4th Annual Bluesey Awards at 8:00. The day was a virtual bluesfest! Each act performed a half-hour set which kept the music hot and gave the audience a banquette of different blues flavors. Debbie Ritter and 4-40 Blues kicked things off followed by Stacy Mitchhart who performed a solo acoustic set. Other powerhouse acts followed. Miranda Lousie with Stan Hedges took the stage then turned it over to The Sinners. Blue Mother Tupelo and ‘Two Tone’ Malone continued to rock the house followed by the ‘Queen’, Marion James and The Queens Men with Herchel Bailey. The Jefferson Street Bluesmen did a great job of following a hard-act-to-follow and then gave the stage to Nick Nixon and Les Kerr. The five-hour blues celebration ended with the slide playing, foot stompin’ Blues Preacher, Gypsy Carns.

Music City Blues president and founder of the Bluesey Awards David Flynn and Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar owner Malcom Hare along with numerous blues luminaries hosted the awards ceremony; Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues took top awards in their first year to be nominated. Their debut CD of originals written by Debbie and guitarist ‘TomCat’ Whisenhunt won Blues CD of the Year. Debbie was noticeably shaken when she won both Female Blues Vocalist and Blues Entertainer of the Year. 4-40 Blues guitarist and co-writer ‘TomCat’ got top honors for Blues Guitarist and band mate John Wallum won for Blues Keyboard Player. The awards given were:

Blues CD of the Year – Bluesday Afternoon by Debbie Ritter & 4-40 Blues, Blues Entertainer of the Year - Debbie Ritter, Electric Blues Act of the Year – Stacy Mitchhart and Blues-U-Can-Use, Acoustic Blues Act of the Year – Nick Nixon, Male Vocalist of the Year – Herchel Bailey, Female Vocalist of the Year – Debbie Ritter, Blues Guitarist of the Year – Tom ‘TomCat’ Whisenhunt, Blues Bassist of the Year – Michael Dearing, Blues Keyboard Player of the Year – John Wallum, Blues Drummer of the Year – Darin James, Blues Horn Player of the Year – Waldo Weathers, Blues Harmonica Player of the Year – Tim Gonzalez, and Other Blues Instrumentalist – Taps Taylor for congas.

Music City Blues would like to thank our sponsors; Gibson USA, Epiphone, Gibson Custom Art, and Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar for their contribution at this years 2003 Bluesy Awards and Annual Blues Celebration. To find out more about this and other Music City Blues events visit our website

CD Review ~ Bluesday Afternoon

Sassy and sexy Debbie Ritter and her band, 4-40 Blues, have released their debut CD, "Bluesday Afternoon," and it's a stunning collection of very eclectic, guitar-laden originals, all fueled by Debbie's soulful vocals.

Folks, there's a bit of something for everyone contained herein. No matter whether you are in or out of love, most everybody will be able to relate to the tales Debbie spins on this set. All the cuts were written by Debbie and guitarist extraordinaire, Tom "TomCat" Whisenhunt. Outstanding cuts abound, too, such as the leadoff tale about what a body can get if he or she simply asks for it, called "It's Alright By Me." Or the classic tale of loneliness, even though someone is there with you, "Bluesday Afternoon." Chip Woody deals some tasty harp on the slyly-sexy "Miss You Already." You can almost hear the "come hither" in Debbie's vocal delivery on this one!! Rock along with Debbie and the lengths she goes to in order to keep her man from lacin' up his "Walkin' Shoes." Her soulful side emerges on the tale of a woman in turmoil over her lover with "Half a mind to love you, half a mind to leave."

But, hands down, our favorite cut is a funky, rockin' , hilarious "Late Again," a tale of someone who always seems beset by bad luck that causes them to run late for everything!! Tom's guitar work is especially good on this one, reminiscent of a mid-70's Aerosmith song, "Last Child."

In the tradition of Bonnie Raitt, Celinda Pink, and MCBS member Billie Joyce, we rightfully add the name Debbie Ritter to the short list of women who are equally at home belting out a rocker or crooning a ballad. Grab up a copy of "Bluesday Afternoon" and---ENJOY!!! Until later...

Sheryl and Don Crow
Music City Blues Society

“LIVE” Show Review
3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill
Nashville, TN.
September 26th, 2003

Fresh off the release of their red-hot debut CD, "Bluesday Afternoon," Debbie Ritter and 4-40 Blues rocked the house on this Friday evening. Offering up a fine mix of covers and originals from this CD, Debbie, in fine voice and in full recovery mode from a recent bout with pneumonia, gave everyone a good shot of rhythm and blues!

Debbie kicked things off with a smokin' "Born Under A Bad Sign," and didn't let up for nearly 90 minutes. She has a vast and very impressive repertoire', and turned 'em all loose in a set highlighted by "Hoochie Coochie Gal," "I'm Tore Down," and a sultry "Half A Mind To Leave," which segued' nicely into a roof-raisin' "Jesus Just Left Chicago." Tom Whisenhunt gave Debbie a break at mid-show, giving a fine reading of "Blue Jean Blues," and Coco Montoya's "Good Days, Bad Days." Debbie returned to finish the evening with the likes of "Miss You Already," and the hilarious "Late Again" from her CD. But, hands down, our favorite was a sexy, sultry ode to love and lust, Tony Joe White's "Steamy Windows," which took us back to our "back-seat" days. Debbie and Tom ended the night with an acoustic "Stormy Monday," which had us wishing they didn't have to leave.

We can't say enough good things about Debbie Ritter and 4-40 Blues. Catch 'em live if you can, or do the next best thing and get "Bluesday Afternoon" on CD for a good dose of soul-drenched blues!! Until later...

Sheryl and Don Crow
Music City Blues Society
Nashville, TN

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