When the duo Markey Blue was first formed to “write a few songs” and do “a few club dates” this musical pair had no idea what a fast riding journey it would become.
The Nashville based duo of Markey and Ric Latina have a combined performing/touring history that reads like a “who’s who” in the entertainment industry. In late 2012 while both performing with other artists as “side men”, they found themselves booked on the same show at a small theater in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. After the show Latina reached out to Markey and suggested they join forces and possibly write a few songs for an EP to sell at venues. The Ric Latina Trio consisted of several different “top of the list” touring musicians and Markey jumped at the chance to work with such accomplished performers.
Soon it was apparent this was fast becoming more than a weekend project and the Markey Blue band was formed. The duo soon landed a small booking agent and started to gather a local following. It was when Latina and Markey started to write their first song, they knew they were on to something. Markey says, “It’s a rare thing to find, but the writing process comes so easily for us. The ideas just flow.” And they kept flowing until Markey and Latina completed the raw material for their first album Hey Hey. Randy Chortkoff, CEO of Delta Groove Records, signed Markey Blue as its first project to their new artist promotion department.
Hey Hey was released at #1 on the Debut Blues Chart, reached #1 on both the Tennessee Roots Music Chart and Blues 411, held Top 10 on National Roots Music Chart and Top 25 on the Living Blues Chart. The band was named one of the Top 10 Emerging Blues Artists to Watch in 2015; Markey was named One of the Top 10 Blues Women to Soar in 2014. The album was nominated for the Blues Blast Awards Best Blues Debut Artist, the NIMA Awards Best Blues Artist and Best Live Performance, and was featured in blues/roots magazines world-wide. The Duo was signed to both a national booking agency, Blues Pros Talent, and signed a TV/Multimedia Publishing deal for song placement in movies and television.
With three songs picked up for TV placement from the new album, The Blues are Knockin’, Markey Blue takes a diving approach into the different worlds of Blues. The album explores Delta, Texas, Memphis, Kansas City, Rock and a touch of Soul Blues. The creativity and craftsmanship of this duo shines throughout this entire musical journey. The Blues are Knockin’ has something to offer even the most discriminating blues pallet. From the swampy Delta slide work of Ric Latina on “I’ll Wait for You”, to the traditional Kansas City slow blues of “Worries” and featuring the only track that was recorded live at Ocean Way Recording Studio Nashville, the rockin’ blues song “That Ain’t Good Enough”, this compilation keeps you waiting for what’s around the next blues corner. The album includes two tribute songs written for two Blues masters that have passed on. “Lay Down Lucille” was written for Mr. B.B. King and his beloved guitar, Lucille, and “Be My Train” in honor of Little Milton. Markey Blue takes a more serious approach with a song titled “Nobody’s Fool” that reflects the growing unrest we have all been watching unfold on TV during the morning news.
Even apart, Markey and Latina have impressive resumes. Markey had accumulated a wealth of experience performing before she became a songwriter. Her career ignited as a showgirl in Las Vegas, which led to appearances around the world. Next, she turned to acting in film and television before embracing stand-up comedy. By the time Markey turned to music as her full-time artistic outlet, she had become one of the country’s top female impressionists and received the honor of accepting for Gracie Allen when The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. The down-to-earth songstress was on a small Country label when she relocated to Nashville. Once on the Blues path, Markey quickly became a rising talent in the roots music world — performing with Taj Mahal, Candye Kane, Walter Trout, Delbert McClinton, Anson Funderburgh and Bobby “Blue” Bland — before joining with Latina to form Markey Blue.
Latina has a longstanding reputation as an inspired studio and stage guitarist, as well as a songwriter and studio craftsman. Besides his session credits, his extensive history of performing with and touring includes Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams III, Clint Black, Collin Raye, Suzy Bogguss, Billy Dean, John Berry, Vern Gosdin, Kirk Whalum, Sherrié Austin, Gary Puckett and Rhonda Vincent to name a few.