Friday, December 12, 2008
About as far away from the blues that you can get, and yet I need to say something about Bettie Page. She is the girl that everyone saw and no one knew her name. She was a G-rated pinup girl who did adult themed photos. She was on everything in the 50s from postcards, books, magazines, and films. She appeared in Playboy, and was the model for the little bunny models that appear on the Playboy joke page. She disappeared into obscurity, until the 1980s, when a guy trying to relive childhood fantasies tried to find Ms. Page, and started a magazine called the Betty Pages. I remember reading those magazines and enjoying the story of this guy going from place to place just missing her. Finally found alive years later she kept hidden and only appeared in public on her 80th birthday with Hugh Hefner, and the artist Olivia
Even when Bettie was bad, she was still good, the proverbial girl next door. I am glad that she will never grow old. God bless you Bettie, may you rest in peace.
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December 12, 2008
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Hey Blues Fans,
We made it out to catch the Joe Moss Band in Peoria, IL last weekend. This is the first time we have seen Joe and it won't be the last.
Then we made it to Blue Monday in Springfield, IL to see an interesting group comprised of Chicago harp great Bill Lupkin along with Watermelon Slim's band, the Workers. It was an interesting combination and a GREAT show.
Also we made it to a show put on by the River City Blues Society this week featuring Nick Moss & The Flip Tops. This Blues society has been around for a long time (24 years). This society is responsible for the long running Illinois Blues Fest, the River City Harmonica Blow Out, the Winter Blues Fest and the Luther Allison Memorial Blues Fest (LutherFest). This show was the kickoff of their new Wednesday Night Blues series.
Nick and the band (Bob Carter- drums, Gerry Hundt - guitar, bass, mandolin and harmonica, and Willie Oshawny - keyboards, bass) gave everyone a taste of what real Chicago Blues is all about. Working their way through selections from their last CD "Play it Till Tomorrow" they showed their versatility and showmanship. You could never guess what the next song would bring as Nick, Gerry and Willie rotated around the bandstand switching off between guitar, bass, mandolin harmonica and keyboard. Nick and the band have a new live album coming out in the next few months that was recorded at Chan's in Rhode Island with guitar great Lurrie Bell sitting in. Look for that release soon on Nick's Blue Bella record label.
If this first show is any gauge, the River City crew looks to have started another great series of events with these new Wednesday Blues concerts. See the Society News section below for their upcoming shows.
Blues Reviews and MORE!
Blues Review this week - James Walker reviews a new CD from Rob Rio. Tom "The ENERGIZER" Schlesinger sends us a review of the new CD by Paul Metsa and Sonny Earl. Ben Cox sends us a review of a new CD by Alberta Adams. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
Featured Blues Review 1 of 3
Rob Rio - Thank You, Joe Turner
10 songs; 34:14; Splendid
Style: Jump Blues / West Coast Swing / Rock and Roll / Boogie-Woogie
Who was “The Boss of the Blues?” It was Big Joe Turner (1911 – 1985), and even if you are not familiar with his name, you probably know some of his hits, included here, like the classic song (and film) “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” “Flip, Flop, Fly” popularized in the 1980s by the Blues Brothers, and “Lipstick, Powder & Paint” covered by many artists including Delbert McClinton.
NYC born, but now residing in California, Rob Rio, “The Boss of the Boogie-Woogie & Blues Piano,” has issued this “Tribute To Big Joe Turner” in fine style. Tribute albums can be controversial. One school says, instead of listening to the tribute, why not just listen to the original artist. Conversely, if one likes a certain artist, he/she will enjoy the covers done by that artist. My opinion: why not enjoy both?
Sincere musicians will tell you the emphasis should be on “the song” anyway, not the artist. The house-party fun on this album is way too good to be dismissed as a “mere tribute.”
To get a great full band sound, Rio gathered an all-star lineup in the studio to accompany his own deft piano and versatile vocals. Job Striles – guitar, Larry Taylor – bass, Richard Innes – drums, Bill Flores – tenor, alto sax, Jeff Turmes – baritone, tenor sax, and Corey Gemme – trumpet. Rick Holmstrom guests on guitar on three songs while Job Striles and Valerie Sooky add background vocals on one track.
The opening number, “Thank You, Joe Turner,” is the only non-Joe song in the set. The lyrics run down some of Turner’s styles (e.g. blues shouting) and history, like singing blues while, at the same time, tending bar in Kansas City circa 1930.
“Shake, Rattle & Roll” was Turner’s biggest smash hit, and it will have you, too, believing that the devil wears “nylon hose.” Rio takes a nice mid song piano solo followed by the type of wailing saxophone that would have Big Joe broadly smiling and snapping his fingers.
To hear some more of Rob Rio’s award winning boogie-woogie piano, check the up tempo “Corinna, Corinna” and “Boogie Woogie Country Girl.
During the mid-tempo “Cherry Red” are we allowed to laugh (with out being politically incorrect) at the idea that this African American singer’s girlfriend will “jump in her big brass bed and rock him ‘til his face turns “Cherry Red’”? Aw, it’s all done in salacious fun, anyway.
More fun: Turner’s “Wee, Wee Baby” is anything but a wee lassie. Rio sings, “...You’re sure looking good to me.” But, the protagonist is so frustrated with his love interest he would like to “go upside her head, if he only could,” but you see, “She’s six-foot-two, weighs 295 – big mama”! Look out! Holmstrom delivers a very tasty mid-song guitar solo here.
Overall, this is a wonderful album. The songs only run about three minutes each, maintaining their crispness. Rio’s vocals are a more than an adequate honor to Big Joe, the musical team is superior, and these bouncy songs are so good that one can not help but enjoy them.
At 34 minutes, they probably should have added about three more numbers. Hey, but who is counting when you are having this much fun?
Reviewer James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show “Friends of the Blues” can be heard each Thursday from 4:30 – 6:00pm on WKCC 91.1 FM in Kankakee, IL
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Saturday, January 17th, 2009
Visit 9 of Chicago’s famous Blues clubs featuring 12 live blues bands!
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Newsletter Editor Wanted
The River City Blues Society (Peoria, IL) is in need of a newsletter editor for their society newsletter "News of Blues" . The newsletter is published 4 to 6 times a year and normally runs from 4 to 12 pages depending on upcoming events, reviews and article material submitted. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The River City Blues Society presents
Wednesday Blues Featuring
December 17, 2008 - 7:00pm
2801 Court Street
Pekin, IL 61554
Map to Club CLICK HERE
Admission $3 or free with new Society membership
Blues Society News
Please submit a maximum of 125 words in a Text or Word format ONLY.
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society - Marietta, Ohio
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society of Marietta, Ohio announce their 17th annual River City Ohio Blues Competition for sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge ( IBC) in 2010. January 9, 2009 is the deadline for participants to register. The competition is to be held February 20 & 21, 2009, at Hotel Lafayette, 101 Front Street, Marietta OH. The first place winner of The River City Ohio Blues Competition will receive $1000 dollars in cash, second place winner will receive $200 in cash and the third place winner will receive $100 in cash.
River City Blues Society- Peoria, IL
Wednesday Blues Series in Central, Illinois Wednesday, December 17th, 2008. These Early shows run each Wednesday from 7:00pm to 11:00pm and feature the best traveling regional and National Blues musicians. The shows will feature a budget priced cover charge of $3.
Friends of the Blues - Watseka, IL
Join us Saturday, Dec 27 for Big James & The Chicago Playboys, 9:00 PM, Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N. Kinzie Ave, Bradley IL 815-936-1649
Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA
Bob Dorr and the Blue Band at the Redstone Room, 129 Main Street, Davenport, Iowa on Sunday December 21! Doors open at 4:30 and the music begins at 5:00 for this Holiday Party sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society; admission is $10. The show is a fundraiser for the MVBS. For more information contact the Blues Society at email@example.com or call 563-508-6596
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
Blue Mondays- Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - December 8 - Studebaker John, December 22 - Scottie Miller and the Uptake Inhibitors, December 29 - Sally Weisenburg and the Famous Sidemen
Blues Blast Magazine is proud to be a media sponsor of the 25th International Blues Challenge. The silver anniversary of this great Blues competition promises to be one the best ever put on by the Blues Foundation.
In case you are not familiar with this event, it is an international search for the best undiscovered Blues band on the planet. Each year the Blues Foundation's 160 affiliate Blues societies from all over the globe hold "local" or "regional" Blues challenges.
They send the winners to compete in the semifinals in Memphis in February. There are categories for both bands and solo/duet acts.
In 2008, 100 bands and 60 solo/duo acts filled the clubs up and down Beale Street for the semi-finals on Thursday and Friday. This is a Blues show you do not want to miss. It is literally the worlds largest gathering of Blues Bands!
Beale Street is the legendary Blues Mecca in Memphis. Each club on Beale has 6 or 8 acts competing in the semi-finals. By the rules of the competition, each act plays exactly 30 minutes all using the same stage setup for a panel of judges and a packed crowd of Blues fans. They are judged on Blues content, vocal and/or instrumental talent, originality and stage presence by a different panels of judges each night (See scoring criteria HERE).
The scores are averaged and the top scoring act from each club advances to the finals that are held at the Orpheum Theater on Saturday. (To see some photos of last years fun CLICK HERE)
Tickets to this historical event are just $75 and include entrance to all the clubs on Beale Street both Thursday and Friday and the finals on Saturday. CLICK HERE to get yours now.
Be sure to get your hotel reservations NOW too as some of the host hotels are already sold out! CLICK HERE for hotel info
Featured Blues Review 2 of 3
Paul Metsa and Sonny Earl - White Boys Lost in the Blues
10 songs ; 4 - covers, 6 - originals
Sonny Earl on harmonica and vocals was doing a series of gigs on Friday night at Gabby's Saloon in Northeastern Minneapolis when he lost his blind guitar player from his band. He went looking for Paul Metsa to see if he would take over that position on guitar. Sonny had only heard of Metsa, and never met him. But, when they got together, I think history was in the making as they are two very accomplished musicians. Paul has had many awards and achievements including a 1999 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award winner, 1994 Best Acoustic guitar award, Best Folk Artist 1986, Best Blues Vocals 1986, and on and on.
Sonny started playing harp at 9 years and practiced his craft well (and, boy, is this guy good). His sister’s boy friend had played, and after pestering him for a while, got him to get Sonny a Hohner, and he was off and running. Sonny got to jam with the late Son Seals and then brought down the house when he played with Blackfoot on the song “Train Train.”
What a gem this CD is with its Jazzy, Folky, and Blues based sound! These guys were inspired somewhat by the great duo of Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, and it’s dedicated to their memory.
They lead off with a bluesy song co-written by Metsa /Earl Called “Train from Montana.” There is Great, no, make that “Out standing” attacking harmonica by Sonny Earl, and Metsa’s fine, fine guitar licks grab you on this first song! Then, song after song thereafter, they keep your attention.
The second song is called “Cold Outside,” another one written by these fine performer- writers. These guys are so good with guitar and biting harmonica again. Check their fantastic lyrics about a woman that is warm on the outside but as cold as ice inside. The man has ice cube tears from the hurt from her. Someday, they’ll melt, but it might take a few years. Wow!
Six of the ten songs are written by one or both of this great team. The covers are “Lollipop Momma” by R. Brown, and there’s even a great rendition of Bob Dylan's “She belongs to Me.” Another good showing is on “One Way Out” by Sonny Boy Williamson, M. Sehorn, and Elmore James. Including Sonny Terry’s “White Boys Lost in the Blues,” the title cut, all are very good covers.
This CD I rank as one of my top 5 of the year. This one, like I said earlier is a Gem, meaning a must-have-and-keep in your library.Buy this one today!
Reviewer Tom "The ENERGIZER" Schlesinger is a long time Blues fan and Blues lover, a veteran of many a Blues Festivals around the mid west and Florida, and a Legendary Blues Cruiser through the Caribbean.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD
Featured Blues Review 3 of 3
Alberta Adams - Detroit Is My Home
Run Time: 52:14
Alberta Adams has been kicking the jump blues around the Motor City for more than 60 years now. She cut her teeth down on Detroit's Hastings Street with the likes of John Lee Hooker and Bobby Bland in the 40s and 50s. She's toured with the jump blues kings of Louis Jordan, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and the swing of T-Bone Walker. This dancer turned singer declares loudly at 91 years old that she is Detroit's Queen of the Blues with a little help from some friends of course.
If you are looking for contemporary blues guitar screaming and crying deep into the night, then don't look here. Alberta Adams serves up heaps of the old style traditional urban blues that paved the way for rock n roll in the 50s. From barrelhouse swingers to deeply moving jazzy blues, Adams has a world weary voice that fades in and out. The arrangements and the band of friends that surround these recordings that have been compiled over 2 years time is some of the best old school blues players around the Detroit area. Enlisting keyboard players that checker this disc with some of the finest 88's work of the year, Ann Rabson Mark Lincoln "Mr. B." Braun, and Al Hill show the world how its done. James O'Donnell sounds like he's right out of a Harlem or Detroit club of the 40s with his muted trumpet work on "I'm Worried." Adams also turns in one of her best vocal performances on the same track.
The title track, which was written especially for Alberta is belted out as hard as she can. The band is sharp. Adams' voice is weary but the track still swings. "Doctor Blues" has got a rhumba swing complimented by a beautiful horn arrangement, jazzy guitar licks from Paul Carey, and colored underneath by the piano of Ann Rabson who also wrote the song. This seems to be the tail of the tape for most of the album until CeeCee Collins and Thornetta Davis step up to the mic to help one of their influences. These two ladies add some wonderful background and lead vocals along with this icon from their hometown. Trying not to steal the show (but she does) on the oft-covered Magic Sam tune "Just A Little Bit," Cee Collins belts out this old school tune with some great zest and the backing band is just ruckus! The song is the lone live cut and is a hidden track, tacked to the end of "Hopin' It Will Be Alright."
Adams is at her best and most evocative in her lower registers. See songs like "I'm Worried" and "Always Home" and you'll find two of the most vocally successful songs on the disc for a woman who's lived 91 years. Her voice falters on parts that normally would be belted out by the strongest singer. However, the sass is still there underneath it all. I hope I can still talk at 91, let alone sing. You know the album is completely hers and you stand at attention and recognize when she sings it. Alot of the success of this album really does hinge on the backing band and the co-lead vocal songs (check out the New Orleans flavored "Struttin' My Stuff"). With a host of players too numerous to mention, these guys and ladies are really the cream of the crop when it comes to producing these old school blues & early-sounding R&B tunes. Adams may definitely be the Queen of Detroit's Blues but she's definitely got her a great bunch of subjects to help her continue that reign.
Review By Ben "the Harpman" Cox. Visit his website Juke Joint Soul
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
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Thursday, December 11, 2008
I know I promised you a week off from these Blue Notes, but SURPRISE! (dontchya love Christmas surprises?) I couldn't stay away (how can you miss me if I won't go away?) It's the season to stay in touch with family and YOU are my family. Just consider me the weird cousin who never really grew out of his desire to play in a band and now is more like Ozzy Osbourne than Bruce Springsteen...
Be sure and make plans to join us Sunday, Dec. 21st at the River Music Experience, 2nd & Main in Davenport, for the Mississippi Valley Blues Society Christmas Party and fundraiser. Money raised will go toward producing the 25th Annual MVBS Festival over 4th of July weekend. We play 5-8pm. Our performance is made possible by the generosity of Zimmerman Motors in the Quad Cities. Marc Zimmerman and I were in rival bands at Sudlow Junior High School! We were both drummers. He was way better than me. His support of The Blue Band all these years has really been a special thing. Maybe we can get him to play drums on a song or two at the party!...
Other holiday shows include The Mill in Iowa City, Friday Dec. 26, showtime is 8pm (donchya love these "geezer gig" hours?) The Screaming Eagle in Waterloo, Sat. Dec. 27 (Eastern Iowa Pre-New Year's Party) and the Grand daddy of New Year's Eve events-Rockin The Blue Year- seven acts, three stages, food, and champagne, take the elevator home. More info and hotel link at www.theblueband.com/newyear.htm...
We seem to be such trend setters...we started doing the earlier start-time, "geezer gigs", about 15 months age. Now Jay Leno's expanded on the idea and is making many millions of $$$. We started the pay for play idea with Mustang Sally and the tip jar a few years ago and now the governor of Illinois (I'm STILL working on pronouncing that one) has REALLY expanded on THAT idea in an ATTEMPT to make many millions of $$$! So here's my attempt at starting a trend with the "bail outs", I hope we can expand on this idea: I believe the tax payers should only give money to these poorly managed, greedy, proven incompetent, corporate CEOs IF the CEOs agree to go to jail (they would be let out for 8 hours to go to work) for as long as it takes for those corporations to pay back the money with interest. As soon as the money is repaid, the CEO can go free (a true "bailout") If the money's not repaid, the CEO stays in jail. If nothing else, I bet there would be WAY fewer Corporate CEOs applying for tax payer bailouts!...
Monday and Tuesday's ice coating has made it difficult to just walk to the garage, so walking for exercise outside just can't happen. That puts me racing around College Square Mall, where inevitably I have to walk past the Victoria's (call her Vicki) Secret store. Even the mannequins in that store make this old square guy blush! But I found it odd that the latest sign promotion in front of the store proudly proclaims that all robes are on sale. This is from a store who has built it's success on DISROBING!!...
We're playing a private Christmas party in Okoboji on Friday night. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate (she certainly has been fickle lately, hasn't she?) and not add any weather obstacles to the 4+ hour road trip. I'm planning on being back to do the Backtracks rock'n'roll History show on Iowa Public Radio LIVE on Saturday night, 7-10p. Requests/suggestions/holiday salutations: 1-800-772-2440, ext. 5. And don't forget about our annual LIVE rockin' Christmas Eve together on the radio, this year 7-10p on Xmas Eve...
I'm hopin' the Blue Highway doesn't turn icy-blue, if you're going to give someone a tie for Christmas, make it a washboard tie, be careful, it's the time of year for FruitCAKE, and don't forget the question: Naughty or Nice? We love you, Bob Dorr & The Blue Band
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
December 10, 2008
- Off to Spain! Dave Riley and Bob Corritore head to Spain for shows this weekend in Barcelona. They will appear on Friday, December 12, 2008 at a venue called Aula de Cultura de Collblanc in Barcelona, and on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at Jazz Cava de Terrassa. Special thanks to promoter/harmonica player/blues radio show host Vicente "Harmonica" Zumel for organizing these shows. To see the ad for Friday's show, click here, and for Saturday's show, click here.
- Candye Kane at the Rhythm Room this Saturday: Candye Kane will play a show this Saturday, December 14, 2008 at the Rhythm Room. This is her first Phoenix appearance since her cancer surgery, and she victoriously returns. To read Candye's latest press release including an update on her recovery, click here. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $12. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at this event. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Podcast of Bob Corritore interview for French radio show Route 66 now online: David Baerst of the radio show Route 66 of Colmar, France, 103.5FM interviewed Bob Corritore in July after his set with Dave Riley at the Cognac Blues Festival. To hear a podcast of this program (complete with French translation), click here and scroll to the September 17, 2008 show link. Thanks, David!
- Podcast of Tomcat Courtney on A1 Artist Spotlight: After interviewing Chris James and Patrick Rynn, the interviewer (Mark Wade) heard numerous references to Chris's teacher, Tomcat Courtney. This created a curiosity that lead to an interview podcast of Tomcat featuring music from his Blue Witch CD, Downsville Blues. Check out this great podcast by clicking here.
- Dave Riley And Bob Corritore Recent Press and Acknowledgements: Thanks to "Hairy Larry" Heyl for the commentary and video posting on Daily Kos. Click here to see. Also, thanks to Wisconsin's WOJB for featuring the song "Overalls" in their Americana show. To see this playlist, click here.
- New Reviews! Broadcasting The Blues was reviewed by Jean Luc Varbes in Juke Joint Blues And Soul. To see this review, click here. Tomcat Courtney/Downsville Blues was reviewed in La Hora Del Blues by Vicente "Harmonica" Zumel, and in A1 Artist Spotlight by A1 Mark. To read these reviews, click here. Dave Riley and Bob Corritore/Travelin' The Dirt Road reviewed in Natchel’ Blues Network by Jackie Merritt. To see this review, click here. Chris James and Patrick Rynn/Stop And Think About It was reviewed in the Washington Blues Society Newsletter by Malcolm Kennedy. To see this review, click here.
- Grammy Nominations Announced: Here are the blues nominations: Best Traditional Blues Album: Elvin Bishop/The Blues Roll On (Delta Groove), Buddy Guy/Skin Deep (Silvertone), John Lee Hooker, Jr./All Odds Against Me (Steppin' Stone Records), B.B. King/One Kind Favor (Geffen), Pinetop Perkins/Pinetop Perkins And Friends (Telarc), Best Contemporary Blues Album: Marcia Ball/Peace, Love & BBQ (Alligator), Solomon Burke/Like A Fire (Shout! Factory), Dr. John/City That Care Forgot (429 Records), Taj Mahal/Maestro (Heads Up), Irma Thomas/Simply Grand (Rounder). Congratulations to the nominees!
- Rhythm Room All-Stars with Special Guest Set by Tomcat Courtney to Play New Year's Eve at the Rhythm Room: Bring in the New Year with a night of real deal blues. The Rhythm Room All-Stars feature the stellar line-up of Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. Look for alternating sets featuring frontmen Big Pete Pearson, Chris James, and special guest Tomcat Courtney. Powerful stuff! The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $15 (includes champagne toast and at midnight). Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at this event. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.