The musical roots of Big Joe Shelton, a 2012 Blues Music Award Nominee, run deep in the rich, dark, rich, soil of the Black Prairies of Northeast Mississippi; the same region that spawned the likes of blues icons Howlin' Wolf, Big Joe Williams and Bukka White. As a young man Shelton was fortunate in befriending Williams and this friendship greatly influenced his musical sensibility. "I'd Never Let Her Down" is Shelton's third release on the independent ALT 45 RECORDS label. It was recorded in Starkville Mississippi in January of 2013 and features eleven original songs all penned by Shelton. He is backed by his touring band, The Black Prairie Blues Ambassadors: Ben Ferrell, guitar, Ed Swan, Bass and Bob Damm, Percussion. They are joined by Bobby Shannon and David Reese on keys, Doug Thomas on Saxophone and Susan Alcorn Lobato on pedal steel guitar. "The Older I Get the Better I Was" was released on ALT 45 RECORDS in 2011. The title track of the CD was nominated for "Song of The Year" in the 2012 Blues Music Awards. The album was listed in the top ten on numerous national and international blues radio charts including: Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, and the United States. It also received extensive play on Sirus XM satellite radio's B.B. King's Bluesville program. The CD garnered stellar reviews from national and international blues music magazines including: Living Blues (US), Elmore Magazine (US), Blues Matters (UK), Juke Blues (UK), and Blues Review (US). Big Joe has performed at numerous festivals and clubs throughout the southeastern United States including: 2012 Blues Music Awards, King Biscuit Blues Festival, Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival, Bukka White Blues Festival, Howlin' Wolf Memorial Blues Festival, Freedom Creek Blues Festival, Beal Street Mess Around, Bentonia (MS) Blues Festival, Rolling Fork (MS) Blues Festival, Rosedale (MS) Crossroads Festival. He has also toured England, France, Belgium, Bulgaria and the Netherlands. He has performed with blues legends Big Joe Williams, Furry Lewis, Son Thomas, Junior Kimbrough, Fenton Robinson, Willie King, Blind Mississippi Morris, R. L. Burnside, Johnny Rawls, Elvin Bishop as well as countless other unsung musicians practicing the art of traditional blues music. Shelton is a Mississippi Arts Commission Artist Fellowship recipient as well as a member of their "Artist Roster" and "Mississippi Folk Arts / Folk life Directory". He was honored in 2007 by being included on the "Columbus / Cat Fish Alley" Mississippi Blues Trail Marker. Among his contributions toward perpetuation of the blues is his involvement with the Jazz Foundation of America and the Mississippi Arts Commission sponsored educational programs. For more information and music samples visit and like the "Big Joe Shelton Band / Musician" Facebook page.
Joe "Big Joe' Shelton is the embodiment of the old saying, "You can't judge a book by its cover." One look at this bear of a man might make you unnerved by his imposing size. However, there's no need to fear - Shelton is just a big teddy bear. (Don't tell him that we said that!)
Although he is incredibly talented and is well-respected throughout the blues community - among musicians and fans alike - he is one of the most unassuming people who you will ever meet.
It's when he takes the stage that Shelton really begins to shine. He has a stage presence like few performers you have ever seen.
His weapon of choice is the harmonica, but his booming voice is equally effective in wowing his audience.
All Music Guide