Virginia and The Slims started in Summer of 2013 with Virginia DeMoss on
vocals, Perry Lavin on drums, James Kamp on tenor sax, Harry Schaefer
on bass, Ginger Drake on alto sax and myself, Sean Anderson, on guitar.
Virginia's husband came up with the name and we loved it. The idea was
to play blues but to play songs people would respond to, especially
swing or jump blues as no one else locally was focusing on that.
Virginia left to start a family, Ginger left for Nashville, and Perry
and Harry left to pursue their first love, Indian classical music.
James and I reorganized with Sid Heilbraun, a rock solid bassist, and
Brian Gant, a Nashville pro on drums. Rebecca O'Quinn came on board as
our singer. After about a year she left, and we met our current
vocalist, Joanna Best. Joanna can bring across old time blues like no
one's business and has a great disposition. Just recently we added a
long term friend of ours and killer harmonica player, Bill Mattocks.
We've just recorded our first EP and are super excited about it! It
has our interpretations of six truly classic songs and we really think
you're gonna love it! Come check us out sometime and thanks for
JOANNA BEST - Lead Vocals
Boyd Best began singing in public at age 6. Fronting bands in Chapel
Hill, Kansas City and Lawrence, KS she discovered the fun of old blues
tunes. She has covered the waterfront in genres, but particularly enjoys
the jump blues and swing tunes with Virginia and the Slims. She also
taught public school music for fifteen years.
SEAN ANDERSON - Guitar
started listening to blues when I first heard Robert Johnson at age
twelve. Then I got into the Chicago stuff and Stevie and at 16, I got
my first guitar. It was a black squire Stratocaster but it looked close
enough to Eric Clapton's "Blackie" to make me happy. I never had
lessons. I figured out tab and started learning the rock songs that had
shaped my youth. I went in the army at 17 and continued to learn
whatever I could of rock and blues. After I got out at 23, I went to
college at UNCW and discovered the local blues jam in Wilmington. I
just kept going, every Tuesday night for years, and played with amazing
people. Eventually I got into modern blues and West Coast jump blues
and swing, and I'm still working on that and probably will be for the
rest of my life. Moving to Asheville has exposed me to tons of amazing
local artists across the spectrum of music and I do everything I can to
support this incredible community.
JAMES KAMP -
James is a southeast Missouri native who grew up
listening to everything his am transistor radio played in the late 60's
and 70's. All kinds of great music before music
became segregated and bland. He took piano and guitar lessons as a kid,
and still had time to play football most days. James didn't join his
first band till he got out of college in 1984. He's played in bands
since, always doing only originals until the last few years. Everything
eventually leads back to the blues (James' first 45 was "Sugar Sugar" by
The Archies, but the flip side was called "Truck Driver" and believe it
or not it really was a slow blues. And his mother can tell you that
both sides of that record were played...and played...and played). The
blues are Rockin' again for James with Virginia & The Slims, only
now they are alive, jumpin' and swingin'!
SID HEILBRAUN - Bass, Vocals
up in a house full of music, my brain starting analyzing what I was
hearing at an early age. My father would listen to symphonies while
following along the written transcripts, excited to know the string
section was about to come in. Although classical music was playing in
the house and I took piano and organ lessons a child, I rebelled and
started playing drums at 13, followed by guitar, followed by Bluegrass
banjo! I've played lots of different genres with many great musicians
over the years...Latin, Bluegrass, Country, Blues. I am thoroughly
enjoying this jazzy, swingy, jumping blues music with Virginia and the
BILL MATTOCKS - Harmonica
Seattle Washington native with strong musical roots in the Blues, Bill
Mattocks is a veteran performer fronting Blues and Rock Bands for many
years. Bill is known for his ability to interpret songs in his own way
using powerful Vocals and a Unique Harmonica style. From 2006 to 2013.
The Bill Mattocks Band was one of the Northwest’s best Blues Rock Bands,
known for being a tight well rehearsed band producing a High Energy
Show of Classic and Contempory Rock and Blues. Moving all of his music
projects to Asheville, North Carolina in September 2013, Bill is now
performing with Virginia and The Slims and also has created the latest
version of the Bill Mattocks Band following the same traditions and
guidelines that served him so well in the Northwest.
BRIAN GANT - Drums
grew up in Nashville and found unmatchable energy and inspiration in
music from as far back as he can remember. He discovered his passion for
drums at the age of 11 and never looked back. From playing in metal
bands in high school, to playing Americana, rock, jazz, and pop in the
bars and clubs of Nashville, Brian has had the pleasure to play with a
wide variety of talented musicians over the years. Yearning for a slower
pace and smaller community, Brian is now enjoying the substantial music
scene in Asheville.