Tank and the Beez is an old-time roots string band from Chicago, specializing in traditional blues, folk, and jazz tunes. With strong vocal harmonies and driving acoustic rhythms, Tank and the Beez is a cross between bluegrass, dixieland, and New Orleans street jazz.
Centered around husband and wife, Brian “Tank” (bass/harmonica/vocals) and Beth “Beez” (guitar/vocals) Blankenship, the band often features local Chicagoland musicians like Amy Malouf (washboard/piano/vocals), Tommy Malouf (mandolin/vocals), and Jeff Teppema (fiddle/vocals).
Tank began taking piano lessons in grade school but quickly lost interest. His love of music was rekindled upon discovering The Beatles around age eleven. While in college, Tank discovered a knack for writing songs quickly and on-command. He was once hired to play guitar music for a wedding and, rather than admit he did not play guitar and pass up on the gig, he taught himself to play in two weeks.
Tank is a former non-profit professional and a current educator, teaching secondary English Language Arts as well as beginning and intermediate music. He also partners frequently with Chicago theatre companies as a musician, music director, and composer.
Beez grew up in a musical family, with several artistically inclined siblings and her father directing choirs, teaching music, and playing in his own sixties rock-and-roll cover band. She sang and performed in choirs, musicals, and operas throughout her formative years. Beez also spent a stretch of time working as a server at Red Lobster, which she describes as, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Beez is a Board Certified Music Therapist, specializing in children and adults with disabilities and hospice care. She is also a teacher for the internationally-recognized music program for parents and young children, Music Together.