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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Internet Radio: Bandit Blues Radio

Tonight's Saturday Night Fish Fry selection is Bandit Blues Radio. The Bandit is located in Tennessee, but features Texas Blues, and Blues Rock on his Internet station. At one time he was the number one rated station on 365 Live! That was until a lot of other people started programing blues, and his numbers went down, but he still ranks in the top five. Right now he comes up in my searches as second to Big Tom, from last week. Anyway enjoy Bandit Blues Radio while you can. The countdown is on leading to the possible end to small guys like these who put on great programing, but will never be able to pay the huge fees that are coming July 15th! That means a little over a month that we will have great blues programing available on the net.

Go ahead and click here! enjoy the blues!

Buddy Guy: Sweet Home Chicago

Buddy Guy doing Robert Johnson's Sweet Home Chicago, with props to Kokomo Arnold's Sweet Home Kokomo that Robert, ah, hmmm, inspired him to write Sweet Home Chicago! :-)

The Christian Right and Robert Johnson

Over at my old blog, (the blog that never dies no matter how many times I delete it:-) I have put up a post about the Christian right and Robert Johnson. Those of you who have been here for awhile know how much I dislike the mixing of Robert Johnson, and Tommy Johnson, so it is no wonder that when I ran into a video made by some fundamentalist ripping into Robert, that I couldn't let it go. However, instead of posting it twice, just follow the link over to my historical rants blog.

BTW, I don't plan on doing much posting over there. I had abandoned it back in 2004, but the dumb thing has 9 lives:-) I thought I deleted it at least twice, but it seems to have a life of its own! Anyway, instead of killing it off again, I decided just to post some stuff from now and then to give my American History students something fun to read. So if you want to wade through some crazy history, then enter at your own risk.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Greeley Blues Fest

Tomorrow, Saturday June 9th is the Greeley Blues Fest in Greeley Colorado. There timing couldn't be worst since it is the same day as the last day of the Chicago Blues fest. However, Greeley is way out west in Colorado, and it is a big country:-) I count a couple of friends in the lineup. Hawkeye Herman originally from Iowa, and Spencer Bohren who I met in a very small town in Iowa. Bohren was playing two shows in Kellogg Iowa for a friend of mine. I think we had a total of six people show up for both shows! We spent most of the time talking about the blues, and I had a blast, plus Spencer is one heck of a guitar player. Also of interest for me, I opened for Pinetop Perkins years ago, when he was a spry 80 year old:-), and I played piano for Chris Cain when he was down at Blues On Grand a few years ago. I don't know if the piano player quit or was fired, but I got the gig, and it was interesting to say the least. I am also glad it was only one night. I don't know if I could take more than one night with Chris Cain. I think he is from another planet:-) Anyway if you are out in the area, it looks like a fun time.

Is This Really Frank Sugarchile Robinson

I found this show in England called the Rhythm Riot, and here is their poster for their upcoming show in November. Up in the top corner is Sugar chile Robinson. I am sending an email off to the promoter to see what the scoop is. Perhaps this will solve the mystery:-)

Just received this from the promoter of the show. It is Sugar chile!! Here is the important part of the email.

Yes, I am delighted to report that we have Sugar Chile Robinson appearing at the Rhythm Riot festival in November.
There is an extensive feature about him in the current issue of Blues & Rhythm magazine, which will give you a whole load of information about him and his career.
Worth checking out.
I don't know if Blues & Rhythm is available here in the states, but I will keep my eye out for it. Great news that Sugar Chile is still performing. I will keep my eye out for more news.

Blues In Schools And The Legendary Frank Sugerchile Robinson

I have returned from my long road trip to Chicago to do a blues in schools class. I worked with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students who lived up in the far northern suburbs. I think they enjoyed the class, and it was fun to play and talk about the blues, and Chicago blues with the kids. However, the hit of the day was a video that I have on the website of Sugar Chile Robinson. (click here) The kids loved watching this little guy play piano. So today I was digging through the net to find more info on him, and had no luck. Just the same repeated stories, and there seems to be at least two, which are probably more fantasy then reality. One is that he was 17 when he made the films, not seven, but that is highly unlikely. for instance the link above he was much younger, than the video I have embedded in this post. Check out his hands. In the first video he has to use his fist, and uses creative hand movement to play the notes. in the second video taken he is taller, and his hands and fingers have no trouble reaching the keys. He is also a few years older, and has gain some weight. So it is doubtful that his career was over because he was discovered to be older than advertised. What probably happened is that he got older, and wasn't as cute and cuddly anymore, and there went his fame. The other story that seems to repeat itself is that he had some hand in a Detroit record company in the 1960s, and was going to play some sort of an old timers gig. However, no one has found any evidence that the show ever happened, or what the name of the show was. It has almost an urban legend to it. One poster on Youtube insisted that they were going to see him play that weekend, and yet they have never replied to inquires about where and when the show was!! Also another poster insisted that he died of a drug overdose, yet I have found no information about that either. I assume that they may have mixed up Robinson with Frankie Lyman. If you have any ideas feel free to post them or email me

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Off Line

The Blues Historian will be offline for at least till tomorrow afternoon. I don't have a wi fi connection at the hotel. Which is probably a good thing since I would be spending way too much time online and not enjoying the Windy city.

Will be back tomorrow night with more blues.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Count Basie and Big Joe Williams: Well Alright, Okay, You Win

Big Joe Williams, not the delta bluesman, but the KC jump blues shouter. I wish there were more video of him around. I know that he played on the Johnny Carson show almost monthly in the late 70s, but I haven't found many videos of him. He had a great mellow voice, and could really swing. He is more associated with jazz, but anyone who played with the Count as much as he did could be considered a bluesman.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Ysabella Brave: Hoochie Coochie Man

The newest Youtube star is Ysabella Brave, a singer who uses a karaoke machine, and a cheap digital camera to record her songs for youtube. She has created a bit of a stir, and even has a record deal, and article written about her in the LA Times. Hmmmmmmmmm, I guess I better hook up the camera:-)

Chicago Blues Fest June 7-10

Just a quick reminder that the grand daddy of all the blues fest is coming up this weekend in Chicago. The Chicago Blues Festival runs from June 7-10. I am actually going to be up there for a blues in school program on the 6th. I hope I can stick around for the show. BTW, posting might be limited depending on my access to the Internet.

Here is the schedule of events for the Chicago Blues Fest courtesy of the city of Chicago. Also you can get more information by clicking here.

Boogie Woogie Stomp”
Thursday June 7, 2007
U.S. Cellular Front Porch
11:30-1:00 Blues in the Schools: Erwin Helfer, Katherine Davis and Eric
Noden with the Stone Academy All Stars
1:30-2:30 Aaron Moore
3:00-4:30 Bobby Slim James with Joanne Graham
5:00-6:30 Phil Guy and the Chicago Machine
7-Eleven Route 66 Road House
12:00-1:30 Boogie Woogie Stomp: The Music Explosion which gave birth to
the modern era-Honoring the Ammons Family (Lila Ammons,
Edsel Ammons, Sonny Leyland, Renaud Patigny, and Bob Hall)
2:00-3:30 Soul/Blues: the lifeblood of the blues today featuring Bob Jones,
Rip Daniels, Julius Lewis, and Willie Clayton moderated by Larry
4:00-5:30 Centennials Memorial: Jim O’Neal, Larry Hoffman, Michael
Frank, and Bob Porter remembering annual honorees and the
passing of the legends in 2006 such as Homesick, Henry and Robert
Jr., Ruth Brown, Snooky Pryor, Chico Chism
State of Mississippi Juke Joint
12:30-2:00 *TBD*
2:30-3:30 John Primer
4:00-5:30 Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
6:00-7:30 Chicago Jam Station with Dave Specter, Aron Burton and Kenny
State of Louisiana Bayou Station and Social Club
12:30-1:30 Willis Prudhomme and Zydeco Express
2:00-3:00 Bob Hall
3:30-4:30 Boogie Woogie Stomp: Renauld Patigny
5:00-6:00 Boogie Woogie Stomp Part 2: Carl Sonny Leyland and
Gibson Guitars Crossroads
12:00-1:30 Charles E. Shaw and the Chicago Blues Rebellion Band featuring
Lady Sax and Lady Cat
2:00-3:30 Osee Anderson and Da Blooze Folks
4:00-5:30 Hoochie Coochie Boys: Muddy’s side men featuring George Mojo
Buford, John Primer, Rick Kreher, Ray Killer Allison, Calvin Fuzz
Jones, Barrelhouse Chuck, and introducing Larry Williams, a son
of Muddy Waters.
Petrillo Music Shell
6:00-7:10 Willie Clayton
7:20-8:20 Jimmy Dawkins
8:30-9:30 Koko Taylor and the Blues Machine
“30th Anniversary-Sons of the Blues-The New Generation is the Now Generation”
Friday, June 8, 2007
U.S. Cellular Front Porch
11:00- 12:00 Blues in the Schools with Billy Branch and the children of
Delta Blues Museum
12:30-2:00 J.W. Williams and the Chi Town Hustlers
2:30-3:30 Vernon and Joe Harrington with special guest James Kinds
4:00-5:30 Lurrie Bell Blues Band
5:45-7:00 The No Static Blues Band featuring Mary, Lynn and Renee Lane
7-Eleven Route 66 Road House
12:30-1:30 The Significance of the Berlin Jazz Festival as told by Jim O’Neal
with some of the outstanding performers of the era
2:00-3:30 Blues: a family affair with Johnnie Mae and son Jimi Prime Time
4:00-5:30 Chicago Blues Today: An intimate inside discussion with authors
David Whiteis and Karen Hanson
State of Mississippi Juke Joint
12:00-1:00 Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
1:30-2:30 Terry “T” Williams/Wesley Jefferson
3:00-4:00 Clarksdale Delta Blues Museum
4:30-5:30 Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
6:00-7:30 Chicago Jam Station with Kenny Smith, Guy King and Calvin
State of Louisiana Bayou Station and Social Club
12:00-1:00 Darryl Davis
1:30-2:30 Ken Saydak
3:00-4:00 Ariyo
4:30-5:30 Willis Prudhomme and Zydeco Express
Gibson Guitar’s Crossroads
12:00-1:30 Carl Weathersby
2:00- 3:30 Mighty Joe Young Jr. featuring Chontella Renee
4:00-5:30 Carlos Johnson and the Serious Blues Band
Petrillo Music Shell
6:00-7:05 Johnnie Mae Dunson and son Jimmie “Prime Time” Smith
7:15-9:30 Billy Branch’s Sons of the Blues 30th Anniversary Reunion
“Downtown Saturday Blues”
Saturday, June 9, 2007
U.S. Cellular Front Porch
11:30-1:00 Fruteland Jackson’s Birthday Party
1:30-3:00 Wanda Johnson and Shrimp City Slim
3:30-5:30 Chicago Harmonica Project Part II featuring Little Arthur
Duncan, Charlie Love, Big D, Jeffery Taylor, Mervyn
”Harmonica” Hinds, Reginald Cooper supported by Rick Kreher,
E. G. McDaniel, Mark Brumbach, Twist Turner, and Illinois Slim,
6:00-7:30 Khalif Wailin’ Walter
7-Eleven Route 66 Road House
11:00-1:00 The Great Lakes Blues Society Summit, hosted by Big City Blues
1:30-3:00 Blues on Film: John Sayles “The Honeydripper”
3:30-5:00 Cultural Tourism: a Virtual Blues Tour on the Blues Trail
(Chicago Office of Tourism, Representatives from the States of
Mississippi and Louisiana moderated by Jim O’Neal)
State of Mississippi Juke Joint
12:00-1:00 Terry “T” Williams
1:30-2:30 Homemade Jamz Blues Band
3:00-4:00 Alvin Youngblood Hart
4:30-5:30 Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
6:00-7:30 Chicago Jam Station w/ Kenny Smith, Guy King, and Calvin Jones
State of Louisiana Bayou Station and Social Club
12:00-1:00 Dave Drazin
1:30-3:00 Drink Small
3:30-4:30 Willis Prudhomme and Zydeco Express
5:00-6:00 Tony Llorens
Gibson Guitar Crossroads
12:00-1:15 Elmore James Jr. with Cadillac Zack
1:45-3:15 David Dee and the Hot Tracks
3:45-5:00 The Honeydripper All-Stars featuring Gary Clark Jr., Eddie Shaw,
Arthur Lee Williams, Henderson Huggins, and Mabel John
Petrillo Music Shell
5:00-6:00 Nellie Tiger Travis
6:10-7:05 Big Jay McNeely with Jesse Scinto
7:15-8:20 Irma Thomas and the Professionals
8:30-9:30 Magic Slim and the Tear Drops
“Wang Dang Doodle”
Sunday June 10, 2007
U.S. Cellular Front Porch
11:30-1:00 Melvia Chick Rogers and her Gospel Harmonizers
1:30-3:00 Cephas and Wiggins
3:30-5:00 James Cotton Blues Band
5:30-7:00 Zac Harmon
7-Eleven Route 66 Road House
11:30-1:00 The Art of the Blues: Geraldine Nash, Gustina Atlas, Patty Crosby,
George Berry, and Bessie Johnson discuss the essence of
Mississippi Folk Art with Larry Morrissey
1:30-2:30 Sunnyland Tales: Sam Burkhardt, Steve Freund, David Honeyboy
Edwards, and Barrelhouse Chuck
3:00-5:00 Howlin’ Wolf Birthday Party with family and friends.
State of Mississippi Juke Joint
12:00-1:00 Zac Harmon
1:30-2:30 Homemade JamZ Blues Band
3:00-4:00 Bobby Rush
4:30-5:30 Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
6:00-7:30 Chicago Jam Station w/ Dave Specter, Harlan Terson, and Mike
State of Louisiana Bayou Station and Social Club
12:30-1:30 Henry Gray and the Cats
2:00-3:30 Willis Prudhomme and Zydeco Express
4:00-5:00 David Honeyboy Edwards
Gibson Guitar’s Crossroads
12:00-1:15 Lil’ Howlin’ Wolf
1:45-3:00 Katherine Davis Blues Ensemble
3:30-5:00 Maurice John Vaughn Blues Band
Petrillo Music Shell
5:00-7:05 The Disciples Playing for Sunnyland: Sam Burkhardt leads Steve
Freund, Bob Stroger, Barrelhouse Chuck, Billy Flynn, Kenny
Smith, Calvin Jones, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Kenny Barker,
Harmonica Todd with Big Time Sarah and Deitra Farr
7:15-8:15 Tribute to Wolf featuring James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, Eddie
Shaw, Abb Locke, Henry Gray, Jody Williams, Smokey Smothers
with Lafayette “Shorty” Gilbert, and Willie Smith
8:25-9:30 Bobby Rush

Big Gathering In Des Moines Iowa

The Des Moines Music Coalition is having a big meeting of musical artists, and those who work with them in an effort to network with each other, and building a bigger and better music scene. Since a large number of Iowans read this blog, I thought it was appropriate to mention this music night. It will be held at the new People's on Court Ave, in Des Moines on June 10th at 7pm. It should be a great event, and hopefully I will be back in town by then to report about it next week.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Artist Of The Week: Stevie Ray Vaughn

The Artist of the Week is Stevie Ray Vaughn. Stevie was one of the greatest guitar players of pop music period. Not only was he outstanding in blues, but he also could play jazz, and rock. He unfortunately died young in a Helicopter crash after playing an outdoor festival. His death left a hole that has never been filled. One of the problems of someone of his stature dying young, is that everyone wants to fill his shoes. Over the last ten or so years many, many, many, young guitarist have been called the next Stevie Ray, or compared to him. This is unfortunate because I believe that Stevie would have told all of them to be themselves. Early in his career Stevie was burdened with the moniker of the next Jimi Hendrix. He was one of the few guitarist to actually live up to that billing and create his own space in the guitar pantheon. He did it by doing it his way. He didn't mimic Hendrix like so many before him did, Stevie took what Hendrix, T-bone, Albert King, and a few other heroes of his did, and took it another step forward. That is in a classic sense what you do with the blues. You respect the blues, and its elders, you learn what they did, and you make it your own.

Enjoy the Videos in the Google video bar located on the right side of the page.

Photo Of The Week

This weeks photo was taken at the Iowa Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I don't Know the back story as to why a signed Gatemouth Brown guitar is at the Iowa Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but it is there. The hall is located next to Arnold's Park, at Lake Okoboji in north west Iowa. They have a lot of memorabilia of Iowa rock bands, and a few Iowa blues hall of famers are also in the rock hall. Bob Dorr, and Sam Salamone are in both the blues and rock hall of fames. Coming up on Labor day Bob's band The Blue Band will also be inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll hall of Fame. Also The Mothers Blues Band featuring Patrick Hazell, and of course my personal favorites, the Hawks featuring Kurt Kaufman ( who has recorded most of my music) and Dave Steen who has written quite a few great blues songs.

Blues On The Internet

Since Internet radio is in danger, and the weekends are slow for blues news I have decided to start a few new things. First on Saturdays I am starting the Saturday Night Fish Fry, which will showcase a blues internet station. Then if you click on the link you will be treated to the best of the blues on the internet. I will keep this up every Saturday until the government shuts it down.

So a day late, but nonetheless this is our first Internet Radio Station. This is Bluebird Blues Radio. Bluebird is run by Big Tom in England. I don't know much about Big T, since he doesn't have a lot of info on his page. however, once you click on the Bluebird Blues Radio link, then find the yellow circle with the speaker on it and press it and listen! It is great stuff. I have been listening to his show for a few minutes now, and it is great. It has a few strange commercials, but hey its free!

Eric Clapton With The Band: Further On Up The Road

This is from the movie The Last Waltz. This was the last live show performed by The Band. If you haven't seen this movie then go out and rent, or buy it. It is one of those great concerts that featured a ton of great blues and folk artists. As for the blues, the movie had Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield, and an uncredited Bob Margolin.

Marvin Gaye: The Star Spangled Banner

You have to see this to believe this. I thought Whitney Houston did a great job in the early 90s with the national anthem, but Marvin smokes that in a 1983 version. I am not a big pro basketball fan, so it is no wonder I don't remember it, but thank goodness someone had the good sense to film it!