Press Bio

One Paragraph Bio:

A native of Roanoke, VA, Kevin Selfe learned to play the blues by watching the masters that lived and traveled through the area. Having combined this influence with his own distinct style, Selfe developed a swampy, primal sound that is reminiscent of humid, summer evenings in the rural South. He relocated to Portland, OR in 2007 where he is now a leading light in the Pacific Northwest’s robust blues revival. Selfe is a two time inductee into the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame for Electric Guitar and Traditional Blues Act, and his band, Kevin Selfe and The Tornadoes, has received prestigious Muddy Awards for Blues Act of the Year eight times. His recordings on world renowned blues labels Delta Groove and Vizztone have landed on the Billboard Blues Chart and have been featured on SiriusXM radio.

One Page Bio:

Kevin Selfe has been electrifying audiences nationwide since breaking into the blues scene in 2006.    His growing stature as a captivating story teller and passionate performer are surpassed only by his deft mastery of blues guitar.   Having relocated to Portland, OR, the Virginia native is now a leading light in the Pacific Northwest’s robust blues revival.  Effortlessly combining the guitar traditions of the legends and the modern masters into his own unique approach, Selfe’s stylistic depth and electric performances resonate with audiences.  His live shows have grown in legend largely due to his unique gift for communicating, through guitar, the complex range of moods revealed only by blues.   Selfe’s songwriting style bridges the gap between joy and angst, using piercing irony, humorous metaphors, and daring autobiographical subject matter from his own occasional walks with the blues.

In February 2013, Kevin Selfe signed with world renown blues label Delta Groove, and released “Long Walk Home”to rave reviews.  The recording peaked at #15 on the Billboard Blues Chart, #6 on the Living Blues Radio Chart spending three months in the top 25, and was #2 on SiriusXM Radio Bluesville “Pick To Click” list.  “Long Walk Home”features 11 original compositions demonstrating Selfe’s musical depth and diversity with forays into West Coast, Texas, Chicago and Delta blues, along with top-notch support by veteran blues and roots musicians including Delta Groove labelmate Mitch Kashmar on vocals and harmonica, Gene Taylor (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Blasters) on piano, Doug James (Roomful of Blues, Jimmie Vaughan) on baritone sax, and Tornadoes Allen Markel (The Insomniacs) on bass and Jimi Bott (Fabulous Thunderbirds, Rod Piazza, The Mannish Boys) on drums.

In October 2015, Selfe released “Buy My Soul Back” on the VizzTone Label. Just as with “Long Walk Home”, Selfe calls upon his “Who’s Who” list of blues friends to create a gem of a recording that features Jimi Bott, Sugaray Rayford, Mitch Kashmar, Willie J Campbell, Gene Taylor, James Pace, Lisa Mann and many more. This latest collection of songs reveals an unwavering dedication to the traditional blues school, and yields yet another deft homage to empty wallets, ne-er-do-wells, and the enduring theme of love’s rapid melt. With “Buy My Soul Back”, Kevin Selfe has cemented his reputation as a masterful, dyed-through, true bluesman.

Kevin Selfe and The Tornadoes have become a fan favorite in the Northwest and beyond. In August 2013, Kevin was nominated for a Blues Blast Award, and the band was inducted into the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame in 2012 for Traditional Blues Act. In addition, Kevin was inducted into the CBA Hall of Fame for Electric Guitar in 2014 . They’ve won 20 prestigious Muddy Awards from the CBA for Traditional Blues Act of The Year (2010-2014), Contemporary Blues Act of The Year (2009, 2013, 2015), Performance of the Year (2012, 2013, 2016), Electric Guitar (2012-2014), Drums (2011-2014), NW Recording of The Year (2013), and National Recording of The Year (2013).


Selfe is not only a great vocalist but a phenomenal storyteller, weaving music and lyrics into a tapestry that paints pictures that stay with the listener long after the show is finished. ~ Chicken Wilson, Reflections in Blue

Uncanny guitar chops inside a storyteller’s soul, he has crafted a fine set of blues for the masses. ~ Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society

Kevin’s songwriting strikes it rich not only with his lyrics, but the guitar playing also is above expectation, which says a lot as he is already considered one of the best.  ~ Greg Johnson, President Cascade Blues Association

A powerful statement from a musician who’s clearly on the rise. ~ Marty Gunther, Blues Blast Magazine

A high octane shredder that sounds like he’s fronting a show band that could open for Otis Day & the Knights in the roughest clubs ~ Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Long Walk Home is a thrilling set of blues originals from one of the genre’s rising stars. ~ Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes

Great jumping up and down Blues Boy and smack me upside the head this album is phenomenal! ~ Greg Johnson, President Cascade Blues Association

Kevin Selfe has made a great, well-produced, beautifully written,
masterfully played disc full of fun songs. ~ Kennan Shaw, Gold Gate Blues Society CD Reviewer, and former bass player for Candye Kane

Long Walk Home is swingin’ and soothing, fun & funny, rockin’ yet rolls easy. It’s a great disc!~ Pat St. John – SiriusXM Radio

This is the blues at it’s best…pick up a copy of –what I’m thinking just might be a “Best New Artist Debut” nominated disc at the 2011 Blues Music Awards– “Playing The Game”.
~ Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro, Blues Editor @

Selfe plays with rare thoughtfulness and taste…his clean tone and deep well of approaches keep things fresh.”
~ Blues Revue

They have originality of lyrics, individuality of playing their chosen instruments and a collective output which ranks at the best of the modern era in blues”
~ Tom Walker, Blues Matters!

The kid is a classic. A guitar slinger that has the classic blues moves in his DNA, he’s pure west side Chicago no matter where he’s from. This is the kind of stuff that makes purists kvell but doesn’t alienate new comers by sounding dated. Simply a blues set with everything on the ball, this is the kind of cat that wins all the awards there are and runs out of places to put them. Hot stuff.”
~ Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Kevin Selfe is a guitar playing son-of-a-gun…[they] consistently prove originality and versatile competence in their craft.
~ James Walker, Blues Blast Magazine

Kevin draws the crowds to the band with fiery fretwork that gets “wanna-be” guitar heroes excited and professionals listening closely. As a band, the three together all fall in complete synchronization with one another on stage as a true ensemble that just may be one of the best outfits on the West Coast.”
~Greg Johnson, President, Cascade Blues Association

Real Blues comes from Real Life from the Real Deal – Kevin Selfe and The Tornadoes are the Real Deal! One of the hottest Trio’s blazin’ their own Pacific Northwest Trail!”
~ Jonathan “Oogie” Richards, The Blueshouse KSER 90.7FM – Everett, WA –

This is one of the most solid blues albums I have heard in awhile: every one of the ten original tracks on Playing the Game is a keeper. ”
~ Malcolm Kennedy, Washington Blues Society

Kevin Selfe and The Tornadoes are a first class outfit that matches up to the best Blues bands out there today. Just like their namesake these guys tore through the venue picking people up and putting them back down on the dance floor. The night was a party for sure!”
~ “Biggdaddy” Ray Hansen, Blues Therapy Radio-Walla Walla, WA

This is one of the tightest bands I’ve seen in a long time. The band offers Kevin’s soulful vocals, outstanding dynamics, solos by all three musicians, tight rhythm section, along with their well crafted originals got everyone at Sapolil up and dancing and wanting more! We can’t wait for them to come back!”
~ Patty Keyes, President, Walla Walla Blues Society

Playing fine harmonica as well, it is his superb deep voice that resonates throughout”
~ Blues Matters (UK)

Punishing guitar work…”
~ Ralph Berrier, Jr., The Roanoke Times



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