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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Illinois Blues Update

Illinois Blues - www.IllinoisBlues.com - Blues news across the USA.


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FREE Blues Internet Magazine

from IllinoisBlues.com

May 21, 2008

© 2007 - 2008 IllinoisBlues.com

News, photos, reviews, live Blues links & MUCH MORE in this issue! - Scroll or Page Down!


IllinoisBlues.com quick website links: Reviews Links Photos Videos Blues Radio Blues Shows near YOU! Advertise for FREE! The Blues Blast Archives


Hey Blues Fans,

Last weekend we made out to see another show at Peoria's own Excalibur Club. This night it was a treat to see Soul and Blues great Theodis Ealey.

It was a fantastic show as Theodis poured on the charm and played to a small but enthusiastic crowd. Song after song these guys knew what they were doing!

What a great show in a great club! If you haven't been to the Excalibur Club you are missing some of Peoria's Best Blues and Soul shows. Click either picture to see full size image.

To see ALL the pictures of the fun, CLICK HERE


Blues Reviews This Week

James Walker reviews a new CD by Albert Castiglia. Ben Cox reviews a new CD by Dave Specter Band and sends us a live show review of Too Slim & The Taildraggers in Normal, IL. Gary Week reviews a CD by Eric Gales. Chicago editor Lordy tells us about a show by The Blues Rocket Scientists at the Harlem Avenue Lounge. All this and much More! SCROLL DOWN!


Willie Big Eyes Smith

New CD

Born In Arkansas

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD


Streaming Blues Link of the Week


Kilborn Alley Blues Band

"Its A Pity" and "Christmas in County" Live Video

Don't know if you had the chance to see these guys yet but they get around. Nominated for Blues Music Awards for both of their first two CD's, Kilborn Alley is a young band with old souls who can really play the Chicago Blues. These twenty some things (with Ed on drums), play a couple tunes from their latest CD, Tear Chicago Down that will make a believer out of you!.

These clips recorded in a bar in Urbana, IL show what happens when a group of guys play hundreds of show a year together for the last 5 years. Christmas in County lets us see how Josh is so instrumental in the bands guitar sound.d.

Its A Pity - Christmas in County - TURN IT UP LOUD!!!!!!!

Notice these guys nail that authentic "Chicago" tone and feel. WOW! I you haven't made it out to see them, check out their website to see where to catch them soon. http://www.kilbornalley.com/

Check out other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE


11th Annual Briggs Farm Blues Festival
July 11 & 12, 2008
Nescopeck, Pennsylvania, USA
Camping On Site

Nora Jean Bruso, Big George Brock, Johnny Rawls, Lonnie Shields, Clarence Spady, Bobby Kyle, Colin John & Michael Hill, Kelly Richey Sarah Ayers Band, Donovan Roberts, Mickey Jr. Acoustic Blues Revue Mark Armstrong, Bret Alexander

www.briggsfarm.com 570-379-2003 richard@briggsfarm.com




Live Blues Review

Too Slim & the Taildraggers

Thursday, May 8, 2008, Normal, IL

Photos by Susan Walker

Set against the back drop of a college bar in a college town, Tim “Too Slim” Langford refuses to compromise to any setting. Tim himself has been touring incessantly for over 23 years, and with his band the Taildraggers for the last 15 years.

Bloomington-Normal’s Blues Blowtorch Society can be thanked for bringing this underappreciated veteran back to Central Illinois. Tim and Company have been branching out this year in support of their Top Ten Billboard Blues Charting album and Tim’s most personal record to date The Fortune Teller.

Serving up a heaping dose of swamp rock, barrelhouse blues, and American Roots; Tim never let up for the entire two hour set. Tim is a tasteful slide and rootsy guitar player, pulling great riffs that you haven’t heard out of thin air. The sound man had a few kinks to work out with Tim’s vocals in the early going but the guitar was straight forward and the crowd took notice. Later over 50 paying customers could verify, Tim’s sounds was on top. With no flash and no wannabe guitar hero pyrotechnics, Tim’s “Les Paul-ocaster” rocked through many of the tracks from his latest album.

The swampy guitar, almost Creedence Clearwater Revival sounding “Givers and Takers” and “Motherlode” were crowd pleasers. The hard-driving southern rock driven story of “Cowboy Boot” barreled through the room like a low throated Harley Davidson.

The “sappy love ballad to my wife” as Tim called it, “She Gives Me Money” brought dancers and hoots and hollers to the small corner lit stage in the hipster college location. Tim also dug back into his past pulling out an Elmore James cover and a Hawaiian lap steel sounding instrumental. Slim’s double-entendre lyrics on “Oven Burnin’ Woman” gave the crowd a chance to call and respond to Tim, showing his ability to entertain even more.

In the meantime with all these American Roots guitar playing and entertainment, herein lies Tim Langford’s greatest gift; his songwriting. Underwriting the entire night with stories and tall tales, the guy from the forests of Spokane WA plays straight ahead, gutbucket in your face rockin’ blues.

As one of Tim’s songs states, we just can’t get enough of this brown bottle rock!

Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.



Chicago Blues Update

Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy

Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)

The Blues Rocket Scientists at the Harlem Avenue Lounge

I always thought there was something cool about seeing a voice, you are used to only hearing. The relaxed, no sleepy, voice of Buzz Kilman has found its way over several Chicago FM frequencies to become a comfortable, familiar radio friend. He has made me laugh at bad news and bad weather, straight man and host roles for years. I first saw him in The All Bubba Blues Band several years back, thinking it was just going to be a novelty. I was wrong, this was a real band.

Tonight at The Harlem Avenue Lounge, Buzz would be one of The Blues Rocket Scientists. First on the left was Jon “The Butcher” Spiegel. A rather large, imposing figure, Jon sings and plays guitar, and he is especially proficient using the slide. John Abbey took his position in the back where bass players hide as part of the rhythm section. Although John frequently plays standup bass, tonight’s ax was a Fender bass guitar. Dave Sims is his rhythm partner at the drums. On the far right is Louie Rodriguez or The Puerto Rican Piacci, as Buzz calls him. Louie is on guitar. Front and center was my newsman turned bluesman. This was fun. They mixed up the set list so it didn’t become cliché (Goodnight Irene?).

Louie took the front in “I Saw Her Standing There” so that makes three voices in the band, and another non-traditional tune. Buzz is a respectable harp player and blues singer. As would be expected, he is also good at the stories that set up the songs. He told an interesting story about the Nick Gravenites song “Born in Chicago.” Too bad you weren’t there (get out and hear live bands!). Somebody in the building mentioned leprosy porn, but again you weren’t there were you? Mr. James Wheeler stepped up to entertain for a bit, and that’s always enjoyable.

Buzz’s former radio sidekick, Wendy Snyder contributed a song as well. I’m pretty auditory, so voices affect me, like pictures affect a lot of people. I got to see one of my guilty pleasure radio voices at the Harlem Avenue Lounge (Wendy), and I’ll be damned if she’s not as pretty as I thought she would be. Buzz and the BRS were philosophical and funny. When Dave Sims played the signature drum part for “Rainey Day Woman” I felt obliged to join in, as that song to me is nothing less than an anthem. Add Buzz Kilman and company to my own buzz, and I was entertained.

CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at ChicagoBluesBeat.com

To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE

If you know of a Chicago Blues event or news, please send it to


Bluesfest International
July 10 - 13, 2008
Windsor, Canada
www.thebluesfest.com


Looking for Blues CD's by independent artists?

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At BluesDetour.com you can find independent Blues artists and their music.

Blues Fans can browse and purchase music from the independent Blues artists.

Blues artists now have a place to sell their Blues music to fans worldwide!

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Featured Blues Review (1 0f 3) SCROLL DOWN For More

Albert Castiglia - These Are The Days
Blues Leaf Records
www.albertcastiglia.com
www.myspace.com/albertcastiglia

11 songs; 56:58 minutes; Quality: Love at First Listen

Style: Electric Blues with no horns

How do you rate and judge an album? One valid method is: how many listens did it take until one liked it? This method is based on my belief that one will like almost any music after five listens. If not, then six exposures will not help, and one will never like it. So, top rated CDs are the ones you enjoy and relate to with just one listen. Loved-it-upon-my-first-listen makes Albert Castiglia’s third album (second on Blues Leaf) my pick for best album of Jan – May 2008, on its way to album of the year. (Pronounce the 38-year-old’s name “ka-STEEL-ya”)

Two other measures cemented These Are The Days’ top position: (1) my wife also immediately liked it upon first listen as we were on a road trip – and she is fussy! (2) there are no horns in this blues album. I must confess my bias here: in too many blues CDs the added horns have as much business being in there as a football bat does in an NFL game. If Muddy Waters didn’t need them, I don’t either. (Ok, I can be fussy, too.)

Right from the opening single string guitar notes of track one, “Bad Year Blues,” the mood is up in this original 12 bar shuffle, and the album is happening. Humorous lyrics, underpinned by delicious slide guitar, don’t hurt anything either, “...my new year’s resolution didn’t last too long / tried to quit smokin’ but too many thing went wrong / it’s been a real bad year / only twelve more months to go.” At two minutes, Susan Lusher takes a perky piano solo followed thirty seconds later by a Castiglia slippery slide guitar solo. The rollicking fun and story lyrics continue to an ending that left me smiling a big, “hot damn!”

The second number features blistering guitar solos in a funky version with of Robert C. Guidry’s “He’s Got All The Whiskey.” Castiglia’s wonderful blues vocals have been compared to Van Morrison, but that comparison is probably a disservice to Albert. Drummer Bob Amsel and bassist Steve Gaskell expertly hold down the beat while Lusher pours out a cascading piano solo to round out the four piece band.

Just as the smoke begins to clear from the CD player, the first notes of the third track slowly emanate, reassuringly giving the listener’s racing heart a break. “Loan Me A Dime” is simply the best version of the Fenton Robinson song since a young Duane Allman joined Boz Scaggs in the Muscle Shoals studio May 5, 1969. Now that is a testimonial in itself!

Bouncing right back with an up tempo number, Ken “Stringbean” Sorensen blows harp to open track four, “Godfather of the Blues.” The original song is a Castiglia tribute to his mentor, Junior Wells, for whom Albert played guitar and sang for two years, 1997-1998, up until Wells’ death.

Track five, the title track, is an acoustic change of pace. The mid-tempo ballad features more Sorensen harmonica and was written by Graham Wood Drout (of Iko Iko) who has contributed a song to each of Castiglia’s albums. Previously Drout contributed “Ghosts of Mississippi” and “Big Toe.”

A cover of “Night Time Is The Right Time” has all the right ingredients to please, especially the background vocals of Sweet Suzi Smith and Nicole Hart. Bob Dylan’s ode to baseball pitcher Catfish Hunter (“Catfish”) is another slow blues performed so well that it is nearly as good as “Loan Me A Dime.” The rather pedestrian “Another Bloody Day” keeps the album from perfection, but the jumping, original “Twister” puts thing right back on top.

The CD ends with the love-at-first-listen slide guitar found at the beginning on the band original “Blues For Evan.” Ending the CD up tempo with harmonica thrown into the 12 bar mix was a good move.

Wake up world! His name is Albert Castiglia, and he is burning the planet down! The fire has begun down in his current region of Florida, but this CD will propel Albert to festival stages galaxy-wide!

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.


http://topcatrecords.com


Blues Society News


Send your Blues Society's BIG news or Press Release to:

Max of 125 words, Text or Word file ONLY.


Madison Blues Society - Madison WI

Madison Blues Society’s 6th Annual Blues Picnic is Saturday, June 21, 2008 from Noon to 9:30 PM at Warner Park in Madison, WI. Fantastic line-up of local and regional blues bands including Shari Davis & the Hootchy-Kootchy Band, Joe Nosek's Blues Kids, Cash Box Kings, Danny Miller Band, Mud Angels, Paul Filipowicz and Otis & the Alligators. The show is FREE and open to the public.

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 - May 26 Stone Cold Blues Band from Springfield (formerly KMC), June 2 Texas Groove from Springfield, IL, June 9 Shawn Kellerman from Ontario, Canada, June 16 Deak Harp & Rev Robert from Illinois, June 23 HARPER from Australia, June 30 Levee Town from Kansas City

The Blues Blowtorch Society - Bloomington, IL

Blues Blowtorch Society presents the 2008 Central Illinois Blues Challenge on September 21, 2008 at the Tri-Lakes in Bloomington, IL. The winner will be sent to Memphis in early 2009 to compete as our representative in the International Blues Challenge. This year we are limiting the number of bands to five. To be considered bands must apply by July 18, 2008. The solo/duo acts competition is to be determined based on interest. For further information and submission guidelines, please contact Deborah Mehlberg, Entertainment Director at: Deborah464@aol.com



Click image above to visit our website for tickets and more info!


Blues Want Ads

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Keyboard Player Wanted

Looking for solid keyboard player: Blues, jams, zydeco, creole blues, swamp blues, beach tunage also. Kit Jones - The Mud Bugs www.myspace.com/themudbugs 217-652-2617

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Central Illinois (Springfield) blues band is looking for a lead singer. Veteran four piece band (drums, keys, bass, guitar) covers blues from A to Z. Contact Sherman Elliott at 217-381-5234 or selliott88s@yahoo.com

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"workin Blues performers" can place Want Ads here for FREE. NO Commercial Ads!
Buy or sell equipment , musicians wanted, gigs wanted etc. Limit 100 words.

All ads submitted will be used if space allows. If space is limited, ads will be randomly selected to appear in the Blues Blast. Ads may be edited. Send your ad submission to


Barstool Blues

Chicago Bluesman Bob Levis with a host of Chicago area Blues greats including Lonnie Brooks, Brother Dave Kaye, Steve Ditzell, Westside Andy Linderman, Dennis "Link" Leary, Larry Pendelton, Jimmy Voegeli, Ted Lawrence, Marty Binder and Dave Wood.

"Authentic sound, infused with gritty energy of Chicago Blues." - Blues Blast Magazine

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD




Featured Blues Review (2 0f 3) SCROLL DOWN For More

Dave Specter & Friends - Live In Chicago CD
Delmark Records
Run Time: 66:58 Live Recording

Dave Specter has been one of Chicago’s prime “young” guitarists since 1991. Really, he’s a veteran and one of the best. Specter has a long back catalog of great work and he’s played with a virtual who’s who of anyone and everyone who’s been in Chicago. Specter’s band is pretty much the same. Recorded over two nights in August of 2007 at Buddy Guy’s Legends and Rosa’s Blues Lounge, Specter and company paint a wonderful portrait of Chicago’s blues heritage.

Specter’s band is an all-star cast out of bands of Chicago legends. Brother John Kattke on keys runs the blues jams at Buddy Guy’s Legends Club. Harlan Terson on bass and Marty Binder on drums spent time with both Buddy Guy and Otis Rush’s road bands. In all, you have a formula for everything that is Chicago and it’s musical confections.

With swinging, tasteful Freddy King-like instrumental interspersed between fabulous singing by Tad Robinson, the legendary Jimmy Johnson, and Specter’s long time friend Sharon Lewis this album is a beautiful snapshot of Specter’s live shows.

Tad Robinson offers some “country-soul” on the Tom T. Hall (yeah the country singer) classic “How I Got to Memphis.” Jimmy Johnson still sounds as brilliant on guitar and vocals as he did 30 years ago on the staple “Feel So Bad” and the Jimmy Rogers B-Side “Out on the Road.” Sharon Lewis finishes the set with a beautiful gospel-like soon-to-be classic “Angel.” Intermixed with all of this wonderful crooning is the steady work of Specter’s tasteful guitar playing, weaving its way in and around and through these songs. Specter gives a fine lesson to anyone who wants to learn Chicago Blues and play it well.

Accompanying this great CD is a DVD of all these fine performances. I’m pretty assured that the instrumentals have more of an impact once they are seen and heard together. However, the CD would’ve been a fine stand alone piece in the enormous 60 year catalog of Delmark. In this case, pick and choose which one you want and you’ll end up with something that is bound to keep your attention for a long time.

Plus, on any given night, I’m sure you can find Dave Specter, one of the world’s finest blues guitarists playing in some small bar or pub in Chicago. Why? Because he’s quickly becoming one of those legends you hear about every time you’re in the Windy City.

Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.


Mud Angels

A Bolt From The Blue

www.mudangels.com

www.myspace.com/mudangelsmusic

"A wealth of vocal & guitar melodies, performed by front woman Laura "Torch" England and guitarist Kenny Cobb." - Blues Blast Magazine

To Purchase this CD CLICK HERE

To read the Blues Blast CD review CLICK HERE


Featured Blues Review (3 0f 3) SCROLL UP For More

Eric Gales - Story Of My Life
Blues Bureau International

By Gary Weeks

Blues Bureau International has played host to serious axe slingers. It is not a traditionalist label for authentic blues. Rather it serves a purpose of putting players in a spotlight who inject fresh blood and shift the music into over-drive.

One of those players is Eric Gales. The Blues Bureau family can't be dissapointed in Eric as he has released three cds in the last couple of years. And the cd's showcase Gales at what he does best: putting the rock into the blues with some layers of soul.

As an Afro-American left handed player, Gales has lived in the shadow of Jimi Hendrix. But what could be a curse is really a blessing. There is no doubt the imprint of the late guitarist is in Gales' DNA. So Gales takes these ingredients and puts his own spin on the music and the results are rewarding.

Serious guitar fans of Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Frank Marino and ZZ Top will want to add Gales' Story Of My Life to their collection. For the money invested, the listener will get 74 minutes of music that will scream to air guitar gremlins to come out and play.

Gales is not without humor. The shuffle like grooves in "I Ain't No Shrink" are the perfect marriage to lyrics of a girlfriend going off the deep end. Opening track "Save Yourself" races like a wild steed incapable of being stopped.

Backing vocalist Jesse Bradman puts a soulful voice on the tracks. But it doesn't make the song "Very Educated" any more funkier. Just an outright rocker full of Hendrix pedal stomp leads.

Pretty much throughout the album Eric's foot seems to stay rooted on the pedals. He can take ZZ Top's "La Grange" riff and make it his own in the John Lee Hooker boogie of "Cut And Run." If you give it a listen, it'll take you back to the classic Fandango album. Of course Eric has to come back to the psychotic girlfriends and "Borderline Personality" stomps with Hendrix vengeance and ends with an effects laden solo that students wishing to capture Jimi's spirit will take note of. Drummer Jeremy Colson and bassist Steve Evans shake the engine room on this tune almost causing the furnace to explode.

Then Gales will slip a little Stevie Ray into "You Ain't The Boss Of Me" that will take you back to the Texas Flood days. It's a slow blues with Gales coaxing the bluesiest of notes from his Strat.

A kaleidoscope of hard rock, heavy metal, soul and blues makes Story Of My Life Eric's best work. It's not for everybody. The purists won't like it. Remember Joe Bonamassa and Walter Trout make their living turning out their rocking style of blues. Eric will do the same. He just needs a booking agent to get him exposure. While he tours Europe quite a bit, the same can't be said for the states. With the right connections, maybe that can change.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.


New CD

Mighty Mighty

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD




Live Blues Calendar

Performance dates were submitted by Musicians, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.

IllinoisBlues.com is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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