About Johnie B. & Queen Iretta
Johnie B. & Queen Iretta Sanders are a power Blues duo – on and off stage – who have been wowing audiences for more than 25 years. Longtime headliner festival favorites across the United States, their European fanbase is blooming after their renowned 2019 European debut at the Blues Rules Crissier Festival in Switzerland followed by a tour around Italy that included enthusiastic welcomes at the DiaDia Club, the Rabbit Club and more.
From the moment they hit the stage, their energies ignite and you’ll be up on your feet feeling the intoxicating soulful intensity of Johnie’s exquisite, tasteful guitar playing beautifully intertwining with Iretta’s passionate, dynamic voice. They dish up a delicious gumbo of favorite Blues traditional standards alongside their original Blues that will leave you feeling both satisfied and wanting more.
Their high-energy performances have reviewers calling them “a modern-day Ike and Tina” as they are a true treasure-trove for the senses. In addition to their musical prowess, their shows are a delight to the eyes as Johnie B.and Queen Iretta glide around the stage in their one-of-a-kind duet wardrobe that enhances the entire experience.
They are each seasoned professional musicians in their own right. Johnie B. was musically schooled in his native Chicago where he played all over. He honed his skills as the choice guitarist for many bands, including Mary Lane. He was band leader for another Chicago great, West Side Willie D. but he’s been a guest guitarist on many stages including John Primer, Jimmy Dawkins and Magic Slim - to name a few.
Iretta, born in Tunica, MS, got her singing start in church. With influences of everyone from Koko Taylor to The Supremes, Iretta’s Blues performance evolved after meeting Johnie B. in 1986. They married, started a family and she began to tag along to his gigs. After singing a song or two, it was clear that she had a special voice to share and she soon became an integral part of the show. She’s been a celebrated artist as part of the Florida Women in Blues Showcase, and enjoys many invitations as a guest vocalist with greats such as Chicago’s Brenda Taylor Ricci and Memphis, Tennessee’s Barbara Blue.
In 2016, with their children grown and independent, they moved to Jackson, MS to focus fully on music. They were immediately in-demand at venues and festivals near and far. Recently - March 2022- the mayor of Ozark, Alabama awarded them the key to the city. It's no surprise that their authentic Chicago and Mississippi Blues are getting well-deserved recognition. When not on the road, they’re mainstay favorites at Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Club in Clarksdale, MS but they will surely be bringing their music to international audiences around the globe, more and more.
Here's what they’re saying about Johnie B and Queen Iretta Sanders
“Johnie B. and Queen Iretta are under the radar.” – Blues and Rhythm Magazine (United Kingdom)
“Johnie B. and Queen Iretta bring Chicago’s best music performances – and are also the best dressed couple!” – Ground Zero Blues Club, Clarksdale, MS (owned by Morgan Freeman)
“Johnie B. and Queen Iretta are a world class act!” – Rentiesville Blues Festival
Some of the festivals they’ve played:
- Blues Rules Crissier Festival (Switzerland)
- King Biscuit Blues Festival (Helena, Arkansas)
- Juke Joint Festival (Clarksdale, MS)
- Deep Blues Festival (Clarksdale, MS)
- Mississippi Delta Blues & Heritage Festival – Mississippi’s oldest Blues Festival (Greenville, MS)
- Rentiesville Blues Festival (Rentiesville, OK)
- Mississippi Blues Marathon (Jackson, MS)