("SWEET ALICE") HOSKINS, CINCINNATI'S OWN "QUEEN OF THE BLUES"
"I have one rule. I don 't sing songs I don 't relate to; real cryin ' songs where love takes over and you'll do anything to hold on - it's not my style! I like up-tempo, high-energy songs that make everyone else, as well as myself, happy. "
Alice was born in Tuskegee, Alabama and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She learned to sing in the church choir. She says gospel music has a great influence on the way she sings her songs. She grew up listening to WLAC radio and D.J.
Randy Horseman, who played Blues in her early youth. Blues, to Alice, is likea feeling or mood that can't be controlled; nor can the feeling be defined that is experienced when hearing the Blues. Alice has looked to the "greats" of the Blues, has taken a little of her technique from them, and has truly added her individual style to project an impressive, gutsy sound. She states, "What comes from the heart, reaches the heart.
." Alices' first cassette, "Different Shades of Blue," was released in 1991. Among the songs on that album, "What's Goin' On", and "Too Many Promises," were written by Alice. She formed her band "Unfinished Business" in 1987, and has been performing with the group ever since that time.
For Blues lovers and musicians alike, Sweet Alice released her first CD, a new Blues "textbook" named "Comin' Home To The Blues." It successfully captures the essence, bawdiness, and raw energy of Alice's live performances. This album taps the source of Blues and features six songs written by Alice as well as songs by ZZ Hill, Denise LaSalle, and Ray Charles. Two of its songs were featured in the movie, "The Glass Cage"; "I Got To Know" and "I'11 Never Forget." The music ranges from melodic, slow blues to risque blues, reminiscent of the old original Blues artists.
In 1996, Sweet Alice and her band toured overseas. They spent 6 weeks in Paris, France at the Quai Du Blues/Gerard Vacher. They also performed for 3 weeks in Torino, Italy/Centro Jazz. In
1997 and 1998, Alice won the "CAMMY". This award is given locally and is tabulated from the votes of local news writers, magazine publishers and others involved with the press and the media, for the "Best Blues Vocalist" in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Alice and the band have done many, many engagements, some of which were first-time venues for the Blues, such as the Ohio State Fair and the Tall Stacks celebration which was held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Other celebrations for which she has performed are: the Cincinnati Mayor's Concerts, the Lima Blues Festivals, the Cincinnati Blues Festival, the Carrolton, Kentucky Blues Festival, and the Louisville, Kentucky Blues Festival. She has performed at Rosa's Club in Chicago, Illinois, and The Blues Ship in Tampa, Florida.
Alice has opened for such great artists as: Millie Jackson, Denise LaSalle, Bobby Blue Bland, Luther Allison, Buddy Guy, Mississippi Heat, James Cotton, James Peterson, James Harmon, Clarence Carter, Lonnie Brooks, and others.
Alice's newest album, released in August, 1999,"Wrapped Up in the Blues," has 11 songs, 8 of which were written by Alice. Her talent and her deep knowledge and devotion to the Blues are showcased in her writing and her performance of these dynamic tunes.
by R. "Annie' Faircloth