About Val Starr & the Blues Rocket

Val Starr is a dynamic blues vocalist, guitarist and proficient songwriter. Along with her bass player husband, they have co-produced and released 7 original blues CD releases between 2010 and the present, garnering international radio airplay, chart success and press recognition.  

The band’s latest release, “Been To The Blues and Back Again” debuts April 26th, 2024. Val describes the CD as her deepest and most personal album to date.  The song lyrics cover the full spectrum of life challenges from disappointment and failed relationships, to epiphany and gratitude. One cannot pin Val’s style down to any particular blues box, as she glides through blues shuffles, ballads, jump, swing, rock blues, and Americana crossover. Supported by Sacramento’s top blues musicians, her clever storytelling and catchy rhythms come to life. The result is an engaging musical and philosophical experience of living the blues.

“Healing Kind of Blues” , their 6th CD Release, hit the streets on January 21st, 2022.  The album continued with Val's unique type of uplifting, inspiring, California Blues.  The album features special guest appearances by Canadian blues pianist, Debra Power and blues fiddler, Ilana Katz Katz.  The album was largely written during the pandemic, and Val Starr shares, "Above all else, there is no denying the healing power of music."  Healing Kind of Blues remained on the RMR Blues Album chart for 53 weeks and peaked at #3, as well as yielding a #1 charting single with “Slow Blues Grinder”.  The album charted for 83 consecutive weeks on their Contemporary Blues Chart.

Val Starr & the Blues Rocket, like all bands, were caught in the Pandemic of 2020. Ironically, isolation produced many new on-line media skills in musicians and in order to stay in touch with friends and fans, Val made at-home live clips and videos, and appeared twice on Can’t Stop The Blues, each with three highly produced 20 min segments of music content. She also recorded two pandemic related songs with her band mates and guest artists virtually. The two tracks are “Winter of 2020” and “So Easy Isolating With You f. Victor Wainwright” . Both songs are on the band website www.valstarr.com as well as Spotify, Apple Music, and in on-line stores.  

Val Starr & the Blues Rocket’s 5th CD release, "Lighter Side of the Blues" came out in January of 2020 and remained on the RMR Blues Charts for 22 consecutive weeks, peaking at #10.  This album was met with worldwide radio support, incredible reviews and is still being played by many blues stations. Their radio success can be attributed to their talent, hard work, unique songs, and their extensive music business background.  

 “I Always Turn The Blues On” was Val Starr & The Blues Rocket's fourth all original blues CD, which hit the streets on August 1st, 2017 and in 2018 made it to #12 on the RMR Blues Charts.  The songs are written from the heart, and tell tales about love and loss, breaking free of bad relationships, and learning to live with the good ones. "Whether Blues" is a blues cry for people to come together and just get along. "What Happens After Midnight (Nothin Good)" is an blues anthem that every parent should relay to their teenagers.  

Val Starr & The Blues Rocket released their first CD, “Cool Ride” in 2012 to favorable reviews. “Blues Away” their second CD which came out in 2014, was well received at blues radio and went to #4 on the Airplay Direct Global Blues chart. In addition, Val had a #1 Airplay Direct holiday hit single with "Spending Christmas With The Blues" in December of 2015.   In February of 2016, Val released her third all original blues CD,  “Woman on a Mission” which received solid radio support, holding the #1 spot on the Airplay Direct Global Radio Blues Charts for 5 straight weeks through March, 2016.   

For several years, John and Val brought blues acts to Sacramento by way of their own summer concert series, Blues On The Patio.  BOTP, and other blues festivals such as the Blues & Bones Festival in Sacramento and in Idaho, Vacaville Blues Festival, El Dorado Hills Art & Wine Festival, Folsom Rhythm & Brews and Orangevale Pow-Wow-Days, have provided the Blues Rocket with the opportunity to share the stage with top blues artists such as Albert Cummings, Rick Estrin, Coco Montoya, Tommy Castro, EG Kight, EC Scott, Laurie Morvan, Chris Cain, Ms Arbess Williams, Daniel Castro, Dennis Jones, Kaye Bohler, Lisa Mann, Mick Martin, Leah Tysse, Mike Hammar and more. The band was also a finalist in the 2012 Sacramento International Blues Competition and in 2018 and 2020 she performed in Memphis during IBC week for the National Women In Blues the Blind Racoon showcases.  

Val Starr has experienced a lifetime of music both as a performer and music industry executive. Raised in southern California, Val started singing and playing guitar at age 12. Her earliest musical influences were female singer/songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell, and bands of the 60's and 70's. Her mother also instilled in her a love of musical comedy, which is apparent in the theatrical way she delivers her songs live, her catchy lyrics, and amusing storytelling. 

Val's music business career began in the late 70's working for record labels, ABC, Chrysalis and Polygram as an executive assistant. In the early 80's her focus shifted to radio promotion and from then on into the late 90's, Val had a successful career as an independent radio promoter. Val worked in the music industry by day, and at night, played the L.A. club scene, in original rock bands "Local Authority" and "Threshold." 

In 1983, Val married bassist, John Ellis, who remains the cornerstone of her band to this day. At the end of the eighties, the family, which now included son James (and later son Sean), relocated to the Bay area. For the next twenty years John and Val continued to write, record and perform with local bands in San Francisco. 

At the start of the new millennium, streaming audio caught her eye. She had witnessed firsthand as an indie radio promoter, how hard it was to get records added to the limited airplay slots available at terrestrial radio. As a result, she started one of the first streaming audio networks, Allradio.com, and went on to launch Choiceradio.com and then,  Gotradio.com.   GotRadio continues to be a popular global radio network and along with its 38 custom channels, features a 24/7 blues station called Bit O Blues, which Val personally programs. 

In 2003, Val and her family moved to Sacramento and continued playing in local cover bands. Around and about 2010, tired of the cover band/ club scene, Val and John started showing up at local blues jams in the area, out of which she found the talent to form her first blues band. "I found the blues and with it I discovered my voice. I had been singing covers for so long, imitating other singers, I forgot what my own voice sounded like. I may not have the 'typical female blues whiskey voice’, but I know that I was always meant to sing and play the blues." – Val Starr 

From programming an online international 24/7 blues radio station, to promoting her own blues concerts in Sacramento, to writing, recording and performing with her top-notch band, Val Starr is on a Cool Ride that will take your Blues Away. She is a Woman on A Mission who can confidently say that she Always Turn the Blues On. Val will introduce you to the Lighter Side Of The Blues and The Healing Kind of Blues because this powerhouse gal has truly Been To The Blues and Back Again.


Booking and more information:  Sandwich Factory Records/John Ellis  916-225-0209     

jellis@sandwichfactoryrecords.com  or   jellis2003@yahoo.com 


Media links: 

Website - www.valstarrandthebluesrocket.com      www.valstarr.com 

Facebook - Val Starr and the Blues Rocket 

Reverbnation - www.reverbnation.com/ValStarrandtheBluesRocket 

DPK - info@valstarrandthebluesrocket.com 

Twitter - TheBluesRocket 

Video - www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp7Xbx07UC0  or search Val Starr & the Blues Rocket 


Allmusic - www.allmusic.com/artist/val-starr-the-blues-rocket-mn0003485643

Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/search/val%20starr%20%26%20the%20blues%20rocket

Itunes - https://itunes.apple.com/artist/valstarrandthebluesrocket