Vocalist Angela Strehli is an incredibly gifted singer and songwriter, a Texas blues historian, impresario and fan. Born in Lubbock, Texas, Strehli comes out of the same windswept town that produced Buddy Holly, Joe Ely, Waylon Jennings and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Inspired by the blues and R&B music that she heard on late-night radio, Angela took up the harmonica and bass before becoming a full-time vocalist.
Her blues epiphany came, fittingly enough, in a church. An avid music follower, Strehli had already checked out incarnations of the modern blues scene everywhere from Chicago to San Francisco to Austin. She was involved in music but not totally committed until the soul-stirring passion of a down-home Texas black church service convinced her to follow her heart and lift her voice to testify through the blues.
Angela continued fronting several regional Texas groups during the late 60s, but it was in 1975 when fledging musician/blues aficionado Clifford Antone opened up the first incarnation of his nightclub “Antone’s” in downtown Austin that everything came together. Antone began importing legendary blues artists and often assembled the backing musicians for them. Helping him in this effort, Angela had the opportunity to perform with and get to know many of her blues heroes, in turn receiving many valuable lessons and much support.
Austin soon became the hotbed of the mid-80’s blues and roots-rock revival and Strehli was the reigning queen on the scene (she was voted the city’s best female vocalist six times). A generation of young stars including herself, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray Vaughan matured and gained international reputations. Stevie’s triumphant 1984 Carnegie Hall performance was one of the watershed marks for the 80’s blues explosion and Angela was there as his featured vocalist.