The Bush League was founded on a front porch in 2007 not too far outside Richmond, Virginia, by dynamic vocalist JohnJason “JohnJay” Cecil and the heartbeat of the band, self-taught bassist Royce Folks. They are joined by Michael Burgess and Brad Moss on guitar with Wynton Davis keeping time on drums. The Bush League has sported many faces and played many different styles of music but the unifying force is the collective love of the Blues, particularly the soulful groovin’ Hill Country Blues of North Mississippi. Taking that Hill Country base and drawing upon individual influences of rock, soul, funk, and gospel The Bush League meshes those genres to create their own sound that pays homage to traditional blues but with a modern feel. Fat Possum Records’ “You Better Run: The Essential Junior Kimbrough” was the band’s first exposure to Hill Country Blues and heavily influenced The Bush League’s first original song, “Don’t Touch My Liquor”
Over the years, The Bush League has been playing the Blues and paying its dues on the 21st century version of the “Chitlin’ Circuit”, playing bars, restaurants, private parties, wineries, weddings, in front of the bathroom at the VA State Fair, and various festivals throughout the Mid-Atlantic. For 156 straight weekends, The Bush League played anywhere that would book them, seeing these gigs as opportunities to further hone and evolve their signature sound as well as introduce the world to a version of blues that many had never heard. All that honing and evolving has begun to pay off as The Bush League has become a familiar face in Memphis, with either a member of some iteration of the band having competed in every category of The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge since 2010.