Boston-based blues singer Toni Lynn Washington recorded and released Blues at Midnight for the Tone-Cool subsidiary of Rounder Records in 1995. Washington is considered Boston’s “queen of the blues,” where she has a long and storied history on the club scene.
Raised in a procession of gospel choirs in Southern Pines, North Carolina, Washington performed with classic R&B artists like Sam and Dave and Jackie Wilson throughout the South in her youth. Washington also made USO tours of the U.S. and Asia in the 1960s and recorded the Top 50 single “Dear Diary” for the New Orleans-based Conti label, then a subsidiary of Atlantic Records.
After two decades off the road and out of the recording studio, Washington returned to performing in 1992 with a ten-piece band. On her debut for Tone-Cool, Blues at Midnight, Washington comes across best as an interpreter: she tackles B.B. King’s “Ask Me No Questions,” Jimmy Reed’s “Ain’t That Loving You Baby,” and a tune popularized by Jimmy Rushing and the Basie Orchestra and T-Bone Walker, “Evening.” It’s My Turn Now followed in 1997, and in early 2000,Washington returned with Good Things.