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Friday, August 17, 2007

Gone Fishing

Between my house falling apart, and a gig that I thought was public, but is actually private. I will not be blogging this weekend. Catch you late Sunday or early Monday.

btw, if you were coming to the Marshalltown gig tomorrow don't it is a wedding party. I didn't know until last night.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bob Margolin: Going To Chicago

Bob Margolin is one of the great Chicago Blues performers. He played with Muddy for years, and he carries on that classic Chicago blues style.

Telluride Blues and Brews Festival

The 14th annual Telluride Blues and Brews Fest takes place September 14, 15, and 16. This should be a pretty good fest. They have a main stage, and then there will also be bands playing in the bars. If you go to their web page (here) you can find all the good information about a great festival.

Here are some of the bands who are suppose to appear from the Telluride Blues And Brews Festival website

Mississippi Blues Film To Be Shown In Des Moines Iowa

The State Historical Society Of Iowa Will be showing Mississippi Blues, September 6th and 8th. Also their will be a Center Street retrospective with yours truly moderating the event. If you are in Des Moines stop on by and say hi.

West Virginia Blues Society Blues Challenge

Just got this from Illinois blues. It is a press release for the West Virginia Blues Society. If you live in the area and play the blues then sign up for a chance to go to Memphis and win the big prize.

Call for Blues Performers

The West Virginia Blues Society is calling for Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts to compete for cash prizes and WVBS sponsorship to the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge held every year in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Appalachian Blues Competition will be conducted October 6, 2007 at the Holiday Inn-Charleston House Hotel in Charleston, WV. The West Virginia Blues Society has 18 competition slots to be filled by regional blues acts from all over West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and other states. As the competition grows, so does the level of talent. If your band has the Mojo this could be your ticket to Memphis for the Big Show. This is the ONLY Blues Talent Competition in West Virginia recognized by the Blues Foundation. So, tune up and show up with your best Blues.

While the competition cannot be considered a purely "amateur" contest, the goal of The International Blues Challenge is to seek out the best "undiscovered" Blues band and the best "undiscovered" solo/duo Blues performer in the United State and beyond. The IBC is a real opportunity for discovery to musicians that are truly unknown and unsigned to a record company.

The International Blues Challenge in Memphis is restricted to acts representing an affiliated organization of the Blues Foundation, of which WVBS is one. The IBC is the largest gathering of blues bands in the world (around 150) and has evolved into the Nation's most respected showcase for Blues musicians ready to take their act to the national stage. Each affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band or a solo/duo act to represent the organization at the IBC Semi-Finals on world famous Beale Street in Memphis. The list of blues greats that have competed in the IBC over the years is impressive indeed: Slick Ballinger, Michael Burks, Tommy Castro, Albert Cummings, Delta Moon, Larry Gardner, Dianna Greenleaf, Zac Harmon, Richard Johnston, Matthew Skoller, Susan Tedeschi, John Weston and Michelle Wilson. Musicians from around the world have commented that just getting the chance to play on historic Beale Street is worth the trip.

The first-place winner of Blues Competition will receive $750 dollars in cash and WVBS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in early 2008, where they can gain valuable exposure to record label A&R representatives Blues industry professionals, and festival promoters capable of providing real career advancement for a serious blues musician. The second place winner will receive $200 in cash and third-place winner will receive $100 in cash. The big winners, however, are the Blues fans who enjoy a day of Blues entertainment.

Winners at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis, the city considered by many as the home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock 'n Roll, receive cash and prizes such as professional consultations and assistance, gigs at some of the country's best festivals, interviews in the world's leading Blues publications, free website design and hosting, and even a slot on the "2009 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise."

CONTACT PERSON FOR COMPETITION PARTICIPANTS: Complete information, application & rules are available online at

Deadline for application submission is September 1, 2007. For more information contact Competition Director, Jack Rice at 304-389-1439 or e-mail: or Assistant Competition Director, Steve Criner at 304-549-2486 or e-mail:

ABOUT WVBS: The West Virginia Blues Society is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the history and heritage of Blues music as an American art form through education, activities and events.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Guy Forsyth: Don't Stand Still (Snake Boy Lament)

Jan clued me in on this great video she shot of Guy Forsyth that she shot at the Shady Grove. I haven't heard of Forsyth before, but he is a damn good slide guitar player. BTW, Jill did a great job shooting this video.

Walter Trout: Running Blues

Here is the awesome guitar player Walter Trout doing Running Blues.

Chicago Rated 5th In Hired Musicians

The third largest city in the United States apparently only has the fifth largest group of working musicians according to a survey put out by the University of Chicago. This survey is interesting however, I have no way to access it. I found this out from blogger James Porter of Time Out Chicago Magazine. Porter disagrees with the findings and I have to agree with him that some of the results seem out of sync. For instance Country Western musicians make up 5.1% of the population while Blues musicians make up only 3.6%!

However, before I get to out on a limb here, I would like to see the data. I have a feeling, (just a feeling:-) That perhaps these numbers are union musicians. The music union is pretty strong in Chicago, so perhaps they are using union membership for their numbers.

So Hopefully I can find some time this weekend to dig around on the net for the numbers, or if someone runs across the study send it my way. I don't want to jump all over the University of Chicago unless I can study the data. Also the University of Chicago is an outstanding university, so I can't see them releasing something half-baked.

Cathy Ponton King Interview

The Falls Church News Press, has an interview with Cathy Ponton King. King started performing at a young age singing Irish songs. She continued performing Irish music until she met Muddy Waters, and then she became a blues performer.

Here is what she said about Muddy in the article:

“He was great: his singing, his guitar playing,” she said. “He used to play a slide guitar and it was just piercing, just unbelievable piercing, right into your cerebellum, right into your heart … That really riveted me to want to play music.”

You really need to read the complete interview. It is interesting how an artist grow and incorporate new styles. For the full interview CLICK HERE.

Another Robben Ford CD Review

This time Modern Guitar Magazine has a great review of the new Robben Ford CD Truth. You can read all about it HERE.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

KFMG LIVE! Newest Internet Radio Station

Just got this from Don "T-Bone" Erickson. KFMG a lengendary radio station that has just recently come back to life as a community radio station in Des Moines is now streaming live. Here is Don's message

We did it! KFMG is streaming to the entire planet! Check it out at
For those of you outside of the Greater Des Moines, Iowa area, yes, you can now listen to all of the great radio programming that we have on KFMG 99.1 FM.
Including of course my own show - "T-Bone's Blues & Groove Show" - which happens to be on tonight! I am on every other Tuesday night from 7-9 p.m. (Scott Allen is on the other weeks at the same time with his "Big Dawg's Blues & Boogie Show.")
Tonight also just happens to be the debut of "The Chill Zone with T-Bone" from 9-10 p.m., right after the Blues show.
So check us out if you can and check out our MySpace page at for the entire program schedule and more ...
Don "T-Bone" Erickson
KFMG plays all types of music, and has always been friendly to blues, and local musicians in Des Moines. Go ahead and check it out.

Cool Drum Battle

Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich are perhaps two of the best drummers around. I suppose in one sense it isn't a fair competition since Gene was probably past his prime when the two of them met in the mid 60s, but it is still a pretty cool exhibition of drumming ability. Also if you look close in the back ground you will see Sammy Davis JR. Ah-yes the good old days:-)

Gene Krupa: Boogie Blues

This is kinda of interesting. This is how a swing band plays the blues, and its not that bad!

Benny Goodman: Sing Sing Sing

Technically not blues, but a great song from the Swing era. What I like about it is it features some great performances by Benny Goodman (Clarinet) Harry James (Trumpet) and Gene Krupa (Drums) This is a short version, the live version from Carnegie Hall is well over 7 mins, and worth seeing or listening to if you can find it.

Jo Wymer Interview

An interview with a new artists who is starting to create a buzz on the east coast. Jo Wymer is a singer songwriter, and has had success with her songwriting and her band. The article is in the News Transcript from New Jersey. Read about her HERE.

The Birth Of Rock And Roll

Found an interesting article in the Cincinnati Post, about the class of 57, and how the four years they were in high school they experienced the birth of rock and roll. It is a nice article, and even though it is about the personal experiences of one person, it is pretty accurate. Read about it HERE.

Southern Ohio Blues Festival

The Southern Ohio Blues Festival is this weekend. It is Saturday August 18th in Chillicothe Ohio. It looks like it is mostly local and regional blues bands, but as I always say those small festivals are always the best! You get good food, great music, and good times. I think you get a true taste of an area through its local music and food. Too many times the big fests have that corporate feel to them. They kind of loose their ambiance. These small fests are almost a throwback to the 60s and 70s. They have that can do attitude of lets put on a show!

They don't have a website but they do have a myspace page check it out HERE.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Junior Wells : Messin With The Kid

One of the original Blues Brothers Junior Wells doing Messin With The Kid.

Big Mama Thornton: Hound Dog

The original Hound Dog sung by Big Mama Thornton with Buddy Guy on guitar. The biggest difference between Elvis and Big Mama, is Big Mama sings it in a minor key, while Elvis sings it in a major key.

Martin Scorsese Interview

The Guardian from London, England, has an interview with Martin Scorsese about his upcoming film about the Rolling Stones. Scorsese was responsible for the Blues movie made for PBS a few years ago. Read about it HERE.

Bulgarian Blues News

Well it is interesting to say the least. A how to play the blues article from PR-GB. com in Bulgaria. This link popped up in the Google news wire. I assume that it must be some kind of news service in Bulgaria, but the actual article comes from Griff Hamilton and his website playing through the blues.

Jus Blues Music Awards Show

Thursday night is the Jus Blues Music Awards show in Memphis Tennessee. For more information check out this article from the Memphis Flyer. You can also get more information from the Jus Blues website HERE.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Thank You!!

This week we passed a new milestone. We hit the 2,000 hits a month average, and just under 4,000 page visits. This is amazing considering when I started I was only planning on a few hits a day. Yesterday was a record day, thanks to the Taylor Hicks fan club. I guess they posted a link to the video with Keb Mo on a couple of their message boards, and boy did we get swamped. We received 229 hits, and 306 page views! I do know that a major league blog probably gets five times that an hour, then I do in a day, but to me this is very cool!

Also I want to thank all of the blues websites, and blogs that have posted links to the blog. You are what really makes this site run. The majority of the people who come here, are coming from your sites. I appreciate your help, and if anyone wants to link to my blog, I will add your link to my site.

As always, if you have a show, festival, video, or a new CD that you want promoted, or reviewed, then send it here to the Blues Historian, and I will get it up on the site ASAP.


Tom Gary
Blues Historian.

Artist Of The Week: Wilson Pickett

I figured that everyone might like one of the original masters of soul music so this weeks artist is Wicked Wilson Pickett. Pickett was a hit machine in the 60s. Mustang Sally, Midnight Hour, Land Of A Thousand Dances, 634-5789, and many more. Also anyone who loved the movie The Commitments can't forget the memorable scene of Wilson Pickett's limo showing up after the gig. (if you have seen the movie you know what I mean, if you haven't seen the movie WATCH IT!!!!!!!!) Pickett who died last year also made an appearance in Blues Brothers 2000. That movie was pretty bad, but Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd, and Johnny Lang did a great job with 634-5789 in the flick. As always the videos are found on the left side of the blog in the Google video box.

Photo Of The Week: Jimmy "Midnite Cowboy" Pryor

Almost one year ago my hero Jimmy Pryor died. He was 90 years old, and lived a great life, but it still saddens me to have lost such a good friend. Jimmy was like a grandfather to me. He taught me about life, how to be a better person, and how to put on a show. Also, he led by example. He was good to his fans, and always had kind words for them. It also didn't matter if he didn't know them, he still treated them like his number one fan. The photo above was taken at what probably was his last live performance.

Jimmy was being honored for an article that I wrote about him in Living Blues. (To buy the magazine click HERE) The band performing that night was the Blues Instigators from Iowa City. They were very cool, and let Jimmy sing his famous Jimmy Shuffle. It was a good end to a great career. My only wish is that I had put a band together with Jimmy a few years earlier when I first met him, instead of six years later. However, from 1999-2006 we had a heck of a great time.