Diva and the Deacons is a musical tribe of true blues lovers eager to blow your mind with energetic renditions of first class blues tunes from all the colors of the blues rainbow. Under the leadership of the dynamic and soulful lovebird duo, Tina and Brandon, every show by this great group is one heavenly blues celebration.
Already honored at the tender age of 50 with the terms “legend” and “icon”, the award winning vocals of Tina Haase Findlay have made their mark throughout the blues realm as well as in jazz, rock, soul, gospel, commercial jingles, and musical theatre. During her 30-plus year professional career, she has opened for and/or shared the stage with such luminaries as Bruce Katz, Robert Cray, Renee Austin, Damon Fowler, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Tea Leaf Green, Eddie Money, Trampled Underfoot, the recent Grammy Award winning Mike Farris, and many more. A two time Iowa Blues Challenge finalist with The Groove Merchants and Bella Soul, Tina humbly considers herself creatively wealthy and effervescently youthful due to the constant inspiration of all her talented friends way too numerous to name from the regional and local music scenes that have graciously indulged her hobby of being a “collaboration junkie”!
Standing right beside the diva for most of those thrilling guest moments, Brandon Findlay has dove into the deepest end in tribute to his greatest bass inspirations, the late great Allen Woody of Gov’t Mule fame, as well as one whom he is honored to call friend, mentor, and “homeboy”, the incomparable Scot Sutherland. A previous Blues Challenge finalist with Bella Soul, Brandon was the lead guitarist of Lady Blue and Bella Soul, and has written, co-written, and/or arranged many of the hits in those bands’ catalogs. In addition, he is an accomplished civic arts and culture advocate, and a freelance music journalist who has had the pleasure of interviewing some of his personal music heroes, including Marc Ford, Ray Manzarek of The Doors, Derek Trucks, and the one the Findlays call ‘Jesus on the guitar’, Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule.
Joining Tina and Brandon for this blues adventure are two true deacons, onstage and off, Kai Utterback on guitar and Wade Elder on drums, Kai has been a star student from the mentoring school of the highly renowned guitar maestro James Biehn, and brings an enormous amount of zip and zest to his playing that is turning more and more heads each time he hits the spotlight. Musically well beyond his young biological age, Kai is a talented singer and songwriter in his own right, and hopes to launch his own band project later this year. Wade is quite simply a one man band, and three Wade’s would make an awesome power trio since he can handle guitar, bass, and drums with more snap, crackle, and pop than the most jumbo rice krispie box. Showcasing his considerable drum magic in this setting, Wade’s most recent project was a band called the Exes and Ohs with many performance highlights including a super successful Vaudeville Mews concert and hanging out with upcoming international soul band Vintage Trouble. These two lovable bachelors are both rising stars in the blues realm, and Tina and Brandon are blessed to present them for you to add to your list of favorite players and favorite people.
DIVA is an acronym meaning Divine Inspiration Victorious Attitude, and Deacon is a word that means one who serves. So Tina, Brandon, Kai, and Wade consider their Deacon mission to be serving up a feast of true DIVA-style blues for your body, mind, and soul.