Annika Chambers & Paul DesLauriers
Call them Sass and Soul.
Texas native Annika Chambers met Canadian Paul DesLauriers for only a moment in the crowded lobby of the historic Orpheum Theatre in Memphis. Both were attending the 2018 International Blues Challenge. While the meeting left a lasting impression on both, it was not until a year later, at a recording session during the 2019 International Blues Challenge, that their professional acquaintanceship blossomed into a love affair. The two were married in August 2019 and since that time, have united their incredible chemistry in both marriage and music.
Like many accomplished Southern singers, Annika Chambers began singing as a child in the Southern Baptist church. Though gospel music is her “mother tongue,” it is in the blues that she found her true voice and recognition for it. She won her first Blues Music Award in 2019 for Soul-Blues Artist of the Year. Her album, Kiss My Sass, debuted at Number Four on the Billboard Blues Chart and won the 2020 Living Blues Award for Best Southern Soul album. She is also the 2022 Blues Music Award winner for Soul-Blues Female Artist of the Year. Annika Chambers regularly performs at top blues festivals in North and South America and Europe.
Deeply rooted in the blues-rock idiom, guitarist Paul DesLauriers is the winner of the Maple Blues Award, Canada’s national blues award program, Entertainer of the Year (2016, 2017) Electric Act of the Year (2016), Guitarist of the Year (2013, 2019) and Acoustic Act of the Year (2013). In 2016, he took Second Place at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. His most recent recording, Bounce, debuted at Number One on Canada’s Roots Music report and held the top spot for several weeks.
In 2019, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of John Lord of Deep Purple’s Concerto for Group & Orchestra, the Paul DesLauriers Band was invited to perform the work at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City, along with Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and L’Orchestre Symphoniqe de Quebec, under the direction of Paul Mann. DesLauriers tours internationally at festivals including the Montreal International Blues Festival, Ottawa Blues Fest, Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas, White Mountain Boogie ‘n Blues in New Hampshire, Heritage Music Blues Fest in West Virginia, as well as at festivals in France, Germany, and Switzerland.
Their album, which they worked on together during the pandemic, is called Good Trouble. That’s what happens when you take soul and add a dollop of sass. It’s real good trouble.