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The Iowa Blues Showcase is on the AIR

Download the latest podcast on ITUNES

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Iowa Blues Showcase Podcast

So a lot of changes here at the Blues Historian.  First the radio station has been long gone.  Live 365 either went out of business, or was sold to someone else, and bye bye Iowa blues on internet radio.  However, one of my long term goals is finally coming true, and that is the variety and blues show the Iowa Blues Showcase is finally going to be a real thing.  Technology has come a long way since the early 2000s when I was trying to get a local blues radio program on the air.   So many struggles, and trying to please program directors, sound men, engineers, etc, etc, etc,   There was just so many gate keepers that it was impossible to get everything lined up to get a show on the air.  However, now technology has made it easier and easier to produce and publish music online.  Especially the growth of Podcasting, much like everything else in the music business, the middle men have been taken out and the artists can pretty much do what they please.  Yet, the problem with freedom is that you have a ton of choices, and boy is the field crowded!  YIKES!!!!!  

The nice thing is that the Iowa Blues Showcase doesn't have to start from scratch since long time readers of the blog know about it, and even though I have been a lazy blues historian lately, this blog amazingly still pulls in visitors daily.  Most days about 100 of you are digging through the archives, and just two days ago 250 of you just showed up for no reason.  Thanks to you this decrepit blog still functions.  For the next few days I will be working on updating and fixing issues with the blog.  I will also try to delete posts that have no content.  (which will be hard considering there is several thousand posts)  Finally I will add new content including the return of the Iowa Blues Showcase!

That link above is your ticket to the podcast.  through this month it will be archived shows that you probably never have listened to, or if you did you were one of the few who caught it on the old Iowa Blues Showcase radio show on Live 365.   In July we start recording new shows so you definitely want to subscribe to the new podcast.  

BTW, the show will be recorded live once a month.  I will let you know the time and place so if you are interested in performing, or attending let me know by commenting, or emailing me.  

I look forward to finally getting this old blog back up and running.  I know, I have promised it before, but I finally have a lot to write about the blues again, and hey its time to get thing started.  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Return of the Bad Boys of the Blues

Latest ad for our new gig at the Gas Lamp in Des Moines Iowa.  Starts Sunday March 13 and every Sunday after.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bad Boys of the Blues! At The Basement

One more show with the Bad Boys of the blues!  Live at the Basement 901 Cherry St. Des moines iowa. 50313.   Be there or be square.  ONE NIGHT ONLY!!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Red Haired Woman

Jon East singing Red Haired Woman with the Bad Boys of the Blues.  This was the last night of the jam at the Ingersoll Tap.  Jan 24th we will be doing a one night jam at the Basement.  Located under the Kum and Go theater in Downtown Des Moines.  You don't want to miss it if you are in the area.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bad Boys of the Blues: Don't Do It

 One of the last shows we did at the Ingersoll Tap.  Hope you enjoy our rendition of the Five Royales, Don't Do It.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

1/2 a Million views!!!!!!!!!!!!

I missed this milestone, because, well, I have been lazy.  Yup, I used to post 6 to 8 times a day, 7 days a week, then it eventually went down to 7 times a week, mostly on Monday, then a couple times a month to a couple times a year to nothing.  yes, I know life is like that.  It got really, really complicated.  I had a full time job, an 8 hour work day, and I could devote my time to blogging, but now I have five part time jobs, and I am lucky to have time to do anything.  I am not going to promise to be more active.  although with a built in audience that I have that still pulls in 100 views a day, I am pretty dumb to not use this platform.   Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo, I will try to be a better blogger. Not going to say that things will be like the glory days, or that anything will change, but I will try to keep this going. 

Blues Historian

Sunday, May 3, 2015

BB King

As of now BB King still lives.  He is at home under hospice care.  While most people used hospice at the end of their life, it also can be used for elderly people without anyone to help them.  It is really hard to know just what is going on.  There seems to be a feud between BB Kings management which has power of attorney.  Vs. the family who called the police because of what they believed was elder abuse.  It is also hard to know just what happened in BB's brief stay in the hospital.  I have avoided all of the typical parasitic paparazzi tabloid new sites, because they really don't know either.  What I do know is that BB has been sick since last winter and has canceled months of shows.  This is not good.  However, don't give up hope. Keep positive thoughts going his way. 

Ben E King RIP

The great Ben E King passed away.  It is unfortunate that his passing and the critical illness of BB King have confused a lot of people.  Ben E King was a soul singer who had hits with the Drifters.  They had hits with such songs as Under the Boardwalk and Save the Last Dance for Me.  After leaving the Drifters he had a hit with Stand By Me, which later was a hit again for the soundtrack of the movie Stand By Me.  For more information check out CNN here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Best of Des Moines Blues, Blues Army of Des Moines, and Saving the Blues One Soul at a Time.

Sorry for not blogging, but life is busy, and the blue class was canceled. Apparently college kids are not interested in the blues.  Probably a fairly true statement not because they dislike the blues, but have never heard it, or realized that they have listened to it.  Every time you watch TV, or a commercial you hear the blues.  It is used a lot in popular entertainment, and yet the kids seem unaware of its existence.

 However, if you need a blues fix I am posting now at the Best of Des Moines Blues. It is part of the Blues Army of Des Moines an attempt to save the blues by promoting local blues musicians.  Trust me it could be a long up hill battle, but if your town is like Des Moines you have probably seen fewer places playing the blues, and even fewer local bands playing the blues.  Certainly national acts still come through Des Moines, but how can you have a local blues scene without a blues bar, or local blues bands?????? 

If you like come join our fight.  You don't need to be from Des Moines to join the blue army, just like us on Facebook. I will still stop by from time to time to post here, but mostly I will be working on the Best of Des Moines blues Vlog. 


Blues Historian

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tyrone Davis - Can I Change My Mind

The late great Tyrone Davis! 

Bobby Rush - I Ain't Studdin You (Live)

Twerking before it was called twerking.   Bobby Rush and his dancers have been twerking long before young white girls started doing it.  You would be amazed at the number of people who tell me that young kids don't like the blues, but they sure do still steal from the blues:-)   I also caught my kids at the high school a few years ago listening to Clarence Carter!  

Friday, January 31, 2014

New Artist of Southern Soul

2009 video of FaLisa JaNaye nice Southern Soul and another blues artist you probably haven't heard about.  Keep checking in here for the next few months to get educated about the best blues you have never heard.

"Hoochie Momma" - Marvin Sease

The Great Marvin Sease!  For the next few months I am going to highlight blues that you probably didn't know exsisted.  Especially if you live north of Kansas City, St. Louis, and Memphis.  Do yourself a favor and do a search on Youtube of Southern Soul, and hear some great blues.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

State of the Blues

With the current State of the Union speech, I thought it was time to deliver a State of the Blues post. Realise that this only represents Central Iowa, but I assume it is probably true through out most of the upper Midwest. The reality is that the Blues is hurting. Perhaps the fact that Des Moines was named the richest city in the US, means we no longer have the blues. However, as one of the many poor people in Des Moines, I can tell you that, that is BS. We have had some rough years in the blues. The KBA Award winning blues bar, Blues on Grand closed, KBA Award winning DJ Andre Mosqueda retired from KGGO, and the number of bands playing the blues and only the blues you could count on one hand. Perhaps the near death of the Central Iowa Blues Society, and the stagnation of the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame also played a part, perhaps it was the economy, or the dearth of "National Acts" calling themselves blues, that really were playing mediorce classic rock,or Jazz crooners with a blues twinge pretending to be jump blues bands. Whatever the reason for the decline and there are many, we must look to what we can do, and not lament what we have lost.
I think everything starts locally. Local blues bands are what really creates a scene. It is impossible to build a scene on national acts (some of which are marginally blues) who might come through town once a month, and expect to have a local scene. The guys who are in the trenches are the guys who keep the music alive. We must realize that the blues is older than anyone alive today. It began after the Civil War, in a time we historian like to call reconstruction. It has risen and fallen with the times. Its first big break was with WC Handy when he started to write down the music on sheet music. Then in the early 20s it was the Female Blues singers, the in the late 20s, and 30s, it was the country bluesmen. In the 40s it was jump blues, 50s Chicago blues, 60s blues revival with both British and American bands covering old blues tunes, While the 70s were a downtime, Soul, Funk, and Disco, were homes for many a blues performer. The 80s brought the blues brothers, and Stevie Ray, and the 90s saw the blues societies all over the country at their height. So the question is how do you fix it. I think if you look at all the births, and deaths of the blues, it all starts local. Local bars, and local musicians playing the music in a honest fashion. Second, we need to look to the Southern blues performers for inspiration. I have said this before, but the best blues right now is being made and performed in the South. Younger musicians, who play in a style reminiscent of ZZ Hill, Little Milton, Denise Lasalle, and Clarence Carter, or what I would call the Malaco sound, are playing some great blues. There are some older cats, like Latimore, still out there, and a lot of musicians too numerous to mention, but that I plan on highlighting on the blog this year. All from the south.
So what positives in Des Moines can we count on? First, Tom, at the Hull Ave, wants to dedicate his bar to the blues. This will help, having a bar to call home of the blues. As musicians we also need to realize that we are rebuilding, and we might need to take a pay cut. I know how much money goes through the till in each place I play, and I know how much we can make. Right now we need to lower our sites until people start coming back in the door and drinking drinks. Second, we need to find a home for the Hall of Fame other than the website. I think we have an answer to that, but it is in the works, more later if it happens. Third, the Blues Society has new leadership, and they have reached out to players in away that makes me think that change could happen. This is good for everyone. Fourth, having a jam session dedicated to only the blues. The only one that I am aware of is the Sunday night Jam at the Hull Ave. The number of local players coming out has continued to grow, and it is good for the local scene to have a place to hear and play the blues. Fifth I personally think it is time to retire the Blues Challenge. It has not helped the local scene, in pits band against band, and player against player. Too many hard feelings have happened due to the challenge. There are better ways to send a band to Memphis than making artist compete against artists. Finally blues on the radio is still going on in Des Moines, while we lost Andre on KGGO, I heard today that he will be back on KFMG! Bob Dorr is still on IPR, and there are multiple DJs, on KFMG that play the blues.
Things may look bad, but we have a small group of people trying to keep the blues alive, and in the long run that is what is needed to build the blues back up to where it was 10 years ago. We need to remember that we have been here before. in the early 90s things were very much like they are now including pay. So with some hard work, and building local we can turn the ship around.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Eric "Guitar" Davis RIP

From Huffington Post

All I can say isn't it about time we get rid of SOME of the guns???????   We lost a good one, and he was not the only person shot in Chicago.  1/2 a block down a deacon of a church was also shot in his car.  The uneducated will blame Chicago, but they have pretty tough gun laws, but Gary Indiana doesn't and that is where all the guns are coming from. 

Sad thing is Eric Davis was a good one, and at 41 in blues years very young.  Tis a sad day indeed.