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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Blues At The State Historical Society Of Iowa In Des Moines

Some great blues going on at the State Historical Society in Des Moines! ( I need to say Des Moines since there is also a building in Iowa City as well!) Blues Before Sunset makes it seventh appearance (And once again Frank has not booked me! Gee Frank Can't you get over it! After all I was the one who put that show together in the first place:-) Also a very, very, very, cool show staring BF Burt and the Blues Instigators who will be putting on African American Blues in Iowa. That show is scheduled for April 12. Check out the press release below for more details.

Blues Before Sunset Launches 7th Annual Summer Concert Series

A host of new faces will make their way to the 2008 Blues Before Sunset stage this summer, as the popular summer music series returns to the State Historical Building June 6.

The event will be held Friday nights from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on East Locust Street in front of the State Historical Building at 600 E. Locust in the heart of Des Moines’ East Village. The event is free and family-friendly with beer, wine and an assortment of beverages available for sale. Food vendors will be available on site. Guests are asked to bring their own seating.

The weekly outdoor event has become a favorite start-of-the-weekend activity for metro workers. Now in its 7th year, Blues Before Sunset supports the local Blues scene by hiring homegrown talent.

“This year we’re focusing on exposing the audience to new talent, so a lot of the names they see might not be familiar to them” said Sarah Oltrogge, event coordinator. “Regardless, every band on the roster is top notch local talent. Then we’ll end the season on a high note when we welcome Bo Ramsey whose distinctive guitar playing and talent are well known across the U.S.”

The 2008 Blues Before Sunset schedule is:

June 6: Hot Tamale & The Red Hots

Hot Tamale & The Red Hots features Cindy Grill who provides a dynamic range and the soul of a true blues vocalist. Founding member Kevin Bodtke wails on harmonica and is backed by the experienced talent of Bobby Cassady on drums, Rod Moulin on bass and Alan Smith on guitar and vocals.

June 13: The Andy Schneider One-Man Blues Band

To introduce him as a one-man band may not prepare you fully, nor do justice to the authenticity of the music. Andy Schneider preaches the blues: playing 8-string guitar (a combination of both bass and lead guitars), harmonica, drums and singing. Simultaneously. With a reverent nod to his blues and country roots, Schneider reinvents the traditional bluesman’s role, igniting the music with a fire and passion that leaves audiences breathless.

June 20: Blues Bureau

Jody Bodley and Dewey Cantrell lead this band that has been a staple on the Des Moines Blues scene for several years. With Bodley’s vocals reminiscent of Janis Joplin, and master guitar player Dewey Cantrell, the duo cover a range of songs to satisfy every taste.

June 27: Jonny and the Rectifiers

Based in Des Moines, Iowa, the band played for 9 years as The Delta Kings. With a new rhythm section in 2005 the Rectifiers were born. Playing the Iowa club circuit and private parties and blues festivals, the Rectifiers favor vintage instruments, tube amps and a live audience to fuel a party. Sets vary with the mood of the room from smokey Chicago and Texas blues to vintage rockabilly rants. Frontman Jon East, a second generation Iowa veteran musician handles vocals and guitar chores. The band also features keyboard/Hammond organ player Jeff Daniels, Scott Hartung on drums and Jeff “JB” Baker on fender and upright bass, a disciple of the late Keith Ferguson and Ronnie James Weber of the current Thunderbirds.

July 4: NO SHOW – 4th of JULY HOLIDAY

July 11: Lady Blue

Formed in the Summer heat of 2005, Lady Blue featuring TINA HAASE FINDLAY (band leader, vocals) does indeed feature a very special lady, who has been belting out her passion for more than 20 years. The band includes Findlay’s husband, Brandon Findlay on lead guitar and vocals; Ben Williams on guitar, vocals and percussion; Randy Ramaekers on drums; and Kevin McGinnis on bass and vocals. With her band by her side, Tina continues to celebrate not only the richly diverse history of the blues, but also its vibrant future.

July 18: The Bob Pace Band w/Steve George

This can range from rockabilly to delta blues to country, to what Pace calls "blues with a rock edge, in the style of Jimi Hendrix or Johnny Winter." Throughout this lifelong musical journey, Bob Pace has developed a guitar style all his own, although Pace admits to being heavily influenced by Carlos Santana, Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton. Pace has a particularly special bond with Clapton. The band is led by Iowa Blues Hall of Famer Steve George, a veteran of the Des Moines music scene who performed in clubs on the legendary Center Street of Des Moines.

July 25: Erick Hovey Band

Erick Hovey is a fifth generation farmer from Fort Dodge. His central location allowed him to absorb music from all over the country and develop a style that blended the best of what he likes. The result is music built on a sturdy foundation, with easy-to-identify-with subject matter and sharp arrangements. Erick and the band play with genuine heart and engaging personality, producing an unstrained delivery and easy grace that makes the material seem utterly uncontrived. At times smooth and wistful, at times rockin’, but always cloaked in cool blues.

Aug. 1: Bo Ramsey

Despite the title of his new album, Bo Ramsey’s guitar playing and songwriting are anything but fragile. Perhaps most widely recognized for his amazing guitar prowess on Lucinda William’s Grammy award-winning CD “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road,” as well as his work playing on and producing records for the preeminent singer/songwriter Greg Brown and rising star Pieta Brown, Bo Ramsey will release “Fragile” on April 8, 2008. This is his first new album of all original music in 10 years and somewhat ironically, his strongest work to date. The album, the 11th in his 30-year career, features 11 new songs all written or co-written by Ramsey, and finds him firmly at the forefront of a resurging Iowan musical renaissance, tastefully supported by world-class, Midwest-based musicians. The demand for Ramsey’s unmistakable imprint on other artists’ work has tended to keep his own work on the back-burner, but Ramsey is a fine, evocative and passionate writer in his own right and a commanding singer and performer.

Blues Before Sunset is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Iowa and Central Iowa Blues Society with promotional support proudly driven by 100.3 The BUS and Capital 106.3, “quality music from then and now” and additional support by Baratta’s restaurant.


Blues Before Sunset Seeks Food Vendors

The State Historical Society of Iowa is seeking food vendors for the 2008 Blues Before Sunset Concert Series.

The 8-week Friday evening event is held on East Locust Street in front of the State Historical Building at 600 E. Locust from 5:30-7:30 p.m. beginning June 6 and running through Aug. 1 (no July 4 performance).

Vendors offering prepared food and/or ethnic foods and snacks are particularly encouraged to apply. Limited power sources available. Vendor fees are $30 per event (minimum of 3 events) or $250 for all 8 weeks for a 10’ x 10’ booth space.

For a vendor application or more information, call (515) 281-4011 or e-mail Applications are due Thursday, May 1.


Iowa Arts Council celebrates African American Blues April 12

The Iowa Arts Council will celebrate African American Blues in Iowa next month when it presents Kevin “B.F.” Burt and the Instigators, who will perform, talk and jam at the State Historical Building.

Thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces Initiative, this free, family-oriented performance will take place 1-3 p.m. April 12, 2008, at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. More information is available at 515-281-5111 or Audience members are encouraged to bring instruments and jam with the band.

Burt and the Instigators are featured performers in IAC’s Cultural Express program, funded in part by a National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Access to the Arts grant. This project was created in collaboration with traditional artists and communities. Tabletop exhibits, resource kits for activities, and live two-hour programs explore Danish, American Indian, Lao, Bosnian, Asian Indian, and Vietnamese folklife, as well as traditional Gospel, Blues, Latino, Old Time Anglo-Scots-Irish, and Czech and German Polka music.

Born and reared in Waterloo, Burt grew up listening to church choirs and became a social worker.

When a co-worker praised his powerful voice several years ago, Burt began attending local blues jams where he met a group of musicians who decided to form their own band, Kevin Burt & the Instigators. Led by Burt on lead vocals, the group includes John Lane on bass, Eric Madson on drums and Matt Panek on guitar.

This four-member band has toured the Midwest for 11 years playing songs on the funky side of the blues.

They perform a blues repertoire of old and new songs by such artists as Bill Withers, Muddy Waters and Creedence Clearwater Revival to create an indigenous Iowa sound. Kevin Burt & the Instigators perform at various blues venues and festivals from small towns to major cities such as Kansas City, Chicago and St. Louis.

Burt, along with Panek, was a featured performer at the Smithsonian Institution’s 1996 Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C. and at the Sesquicentennial Festival of Iowa Folklife, as well as at subsequent state and regional folklife festivals. He has shared billing with B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Ellis Hooks, DavidHoneyboy’ Edwards, Robert Lockwood Jr., Little Ed, Long John Hunter, Rod Piazza, Kenny Neal, Jonny Rawls and more.

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