Guitarist Bob Pace has entertained Midwest audiences for more than 40 years. He proudly led the Tuesday night house band at the legendary Blues On Grand for almost 20 years.
“Bob Pace is my favorite guitarist in the world, at least tonight while I’m sitting here at the bar in Blues On Grand, one of my favorite Blues clubs, watching Bob tear it up…” wrote Chip Eagle of Blues Revue.
Bob has opened for Blues icons Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Winter, John Mayall, Tab Benoit, Tower of Power, Delbert McClinton and countless others.
Additionally, he has jammed with Junior Wells, Eric Sardinas, Coco Montoya, Kenny Neal, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and Sonny Rhodes, to name but a few.
He picked up his first guitar at 10 and was serious by 14. Bob recalls the “defining experience” of watching The Beatles and the screaming girls on The Ed Sullivan Show. That (the girls) sealed the deal: “I had to play guitar.”
His mother influenced him with the Gospel and Blues of Mahalia Jackson and Billie Holiday, while his Dad opened the gate to the Country music landscape of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. It came together as he immersed himself in his early guitar heroes – all the Kings, Roy Buchanan, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton.
Bob has recorded Bob Pace Live at Blues on Grand; the solo CD Bare Bones; two tracks for two Blues Compilations on Bob Dorr’s Hot Fudge label; contributed two tunes to the Blues for Baghdad CD; played harmonica on the J.C. Anderson Band CD, and has done commercial and studio work.
Over the years Bob has played with many bands but especially enjoyed The Pace Band with sons Tony on drums and Nick on bass.
He has played at the CIBS Winter Blues Festival; Blues Under the Trees; Bowlful of Blues; Living History Blues Festival; the Benefit for Katrina victims; Blues for the Homeless, and benefits for Birdland Flood Damage, and Blues for Baghdad.
Bob has been featured on the cover of The Iowan and Datebook, was inducted into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Association’s Hall of Fame in 2009 and won the Solo/Duo Iowa Blues Challenge with IBHOF inductee Steve E. George in 2009.
“I am now at a place in my life where I can perform and promote The Blues full-time,” says Bob. “In 40 years, not a day has passed that I haven’t wanted to play The Blues. It’s in my DNA.”
PHOTO © SCOTT ALLEN – VIVIDPIX.COM