Motor City Josh and the Big 3, a band known for its foot-stomping, hard-driving funky style of play, will perform at Auburn’s Midnight Blues Club Sunday, May 22, as part of the 2005 Sunday Night Blues Series.

Led by founder and front man Josh Ford, Motor City Josh and the Big 3 came together in 1989. Joining Ford in the group are Caleb Ford on guitar, Chris Douglas on bass, and Damien Lewis on drums. The combination produces a distinct, electrifying sound that enhances the blues.

Josh entertained crowds around the Detroit area for 10 years, then moved to Atlanta, Ga., in 1999. In 1997, he was nominated for Best Blues Instrumentalist by the Detroit Music Awards; and in 1999, was nominated for Best Blues Song Writer. His albums “Live in Atlanta” and “Acoustically Sound” were considered for Best Blues Album in 2002.

Once he got settled in Atlanta, Josh earned first place in the 2003 Atlanta Blues Challenge with an incredible solo acoustic performance. Southeastern blues fans were accepting him just as those in his native Michigan had done. Josh also earned a second-place finish in 2003 at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., in the solo acoustic category.

Caleb has been playing guitar since age 14. Brought up in the Salvation Army, he stems from five generations of ministers. Active in his church choir as a boy, he traded in his robe for a three-piece suit when he got a little older and began performing at some of the oldest blues clubs in Detroit. Caleb writes songs about issues that affect us in our everyday lives.

Douglas’ first musical experiences came from playing bluegrass with his father and brother. He played in a jazz ensemble in high school where he was exposed to a variety of musical styles. By age 15, he was a regular on the local Alpena, Mich., bar scene. Douglas attended Wayne State University, playing gigs while working on a music degree. He left Wayne State in 1996, and spent three years on the road touring with bluegrass bands. He moved back to northern Michigan in 1999, to join Motor City Josh and loves playing the blues.

Lewis started playing drums at age 5. Also a native of Detroit, he is the son of famed sound engineer David Lewis. The elder Lewis worked with rock legends Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat and Mitch Ryder. Thanks to his father, Lewis was exposed to the music scene when he was very young. He started to fall in love with the drums while watching his dad do afternoon sound checks. Lewis got to know the older accomplished musicians, something which proved invaluable later in life. He now owns his own recording studio, Bass Cat Music, and splits his time between playing with Josh and producing albums.

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