Uphill plays blues straight out of the swampland. With a mix of original blues and revitalized versions of lost classics from Texas to Chicago, Uphill has brought their own Carolina tang to the table since 2005.
Deacon Blues captures the soul of guitar legends from Muddy Waters to Stevie Ray Vaughan, but the Uphill sound is also driven by Chris “Catdaddy” Palestrant on keys, and the Deacon’s down-home blues harp. British bassist Tim Orton and Richmond-native drummer Isaiah Hunter provide a powerful heartbeat.
Injected with humor, passion and mojo, Uphill has a unique sound: steeped in tradition yet utterly, ferociously alive.
Deacon Blues, AKA Adam Nixon, is a North Carolina native. The son of a preacher man, he spent much of his formative years in the church. Musically, he was brought up in the traditions of country and southern gospel. Ever since the blues found him at age 14, he has been searching for more. As a guitarist, vocalist, and more recently harp player, his playing and singing have only gotten deeper. His playing has often been considered a “religious experience” by those fortunate enough to witness it. Can I get an amen?
Tim first got into music as a teenager in the 60s, in England, when he played lead guitar in a rock and roll band at high school, playing songs by Chuck Berry, The Beatles, The Hollies, and many others. In the early Seventies, he spent several years studying the Classical guitar in England, Chicago, and New Jersey. Early in 2005 he discovered his love for the bass. Eager to express his new-found sound, he joined The Rhythm Flys with the late Jimmy Simmons. Then, in November, 2005, he met the Deacon and together they formed Uphill. The rest, as they say, is history.
Isaiah started his musical journey during Middle School, where he learned the basics of percussion and symphonic style music. During High School, he became addicted to music when he was introduced to marching band and drum set playing. While attending college, he became more interested in the smaller band gig scene and in due course found Uphill. His influences include Stewart Copeland, John Dolmayan, and Carter Beauford, but most important to him are the local drummers from whom he has learned the most.
Chris “Catdaddy” Palestrant has been playing at the keys since he could reach them. He was raised in New York City both listening to and passionate about “any type of music where I can hear the musicianship” from Bach to the Beatles to music from Bali. Chris earned a doctorate from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and teaches music theory and composition at Elizabeth City State University. He regularly sneaks out to coffee houses to play and sing “Boogie, Ballads and Broadway” as a solo act. So check out “Catdaddy” at our next gig to hear him sing and Assault the Ivories!