With a passion for the “Empress of the Blues”, Julia Titus started to perform as Ma Bessie in 2015, and formed the Pigfoot band to share the music of Bessie Smith and her contemporaries with a new generation.

Mixing Julia’s rich, warm vocal sound with a dynamic band that look and sound the part, Ma Bessie and Her Pigfoot band mix classic blues and jazz tunes from the inter-war years with a selection of original songs and hand-picked covers from the last 50 years of popular music. The Ma Bessie repertoire includes classics such as “Careless Love”, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” and “Gimme a Pig Foot (And a Bottle of Beer)”.

This band moves effortlessly between dirty and downlow to upbeat and toe tapping, keeping dancers of all styles shuffling their feet. That is, if indeed they can keep their footing – at her best, Ma Bessie’s voice will blow you clean away.

Catch Ma Bessie & Her Pigfoot Band in the late show on Friday night.