BIG B AND THE ACTUAL PROOF
Big B and the Actual Proof (2022 International Blues Challenge Semifinalists, 2021 Capital Area Blues Society Band Challenge Winners, 2018 International Blues Challenge Semifinalists, 2017 Detroit Blues Society Band Challenge Winners) are an inspired fusion of modern blues, film noir soundtracks, and psychedelic rock. Their original music features dynamic arrangements fueled by powerful, emotional guitar, clear, convincing vocals, wailing saxophone, first-rate keys, and a rhythm section that booms, rattles and shakes. Imagine Stevie Ray Vaughan covering Nick Cave, the Stray Cats doing Tom Waits, or Pink Floyd’s possible take on the 90’s “low rock” band, Morphine.
This emerging quintet is led by three-time Detroit Music Award (DMA) nominee Brian “Big B” Burleson, ex-bandleader, singer, and guitarist of former Detroit blues standouts Big B and the Magic Bullets. Big B has been playing guitar for more than three decades, bringing a level of skill and intensity that accompanies his experience. Joined by rock-solid Mitch Sharpe on bass, veteran sticksman Erin Pitman (The Suicide Machines, Hemigod) on drums, young phenom Cam Dixon on keys, and sax savant Joshua James (Theatre Bizarre Orchestra, Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club, Killer Diller), this five-piece powerhouse stands ready to make their ascent to festival and club headliner status.
The band began as a trio, releasing their ambitious debut, The Noir Album, in October 2022. Inspired by the plot themes present in film noir, and rendered by award-winning producer and GRAMMY© lifetime member Peter Jay, the ten-song collection features glimpses of hard-boiled criminals, psychopathic anti-heroes, and manipulative femme fatales, all twisting through a realm of steam-filled shadows fraught with bad intentions. It spent a year on the Roots Music Report’s Weekly Top 50 Blues Rock Album Chart, finished in that category's Top 100 Albums., received consistent critical praise and inclusion in many “Best of 2023” lists, and was nominated for “Outstanding Blues Recording” at the 2023 Detroit Music Awards.
In the summer of 2023, the trio expanded by adding Cam Dixon on keys and Joshua James on saxophone. This exciting development has supercharged the band’s live shows and paved the way for an even more ambitious follow-up release, presently formulating in the group’s inspired rehearsals.
Big B sums the project’s present status up with a hard-boiled quote of his own, reflecting on their recent success and the expanded lineup’s future:
“The Noir Album represents our own noir story of putting together a skilled team to pull off a ‘huge score,’ to unite all we’ve learned individually and execute this badass plan. We have the blueprints, the firepower, and the personnel. Now’s our time.”