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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Illinois Blues Blast

Blues news from Illinois

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September 4, 2008

© 2007 - 2008

News, photos, reviews, live Blues links & MUCH MORE in this issue! - Scroll or Page Down! quick website links: Reviews Links Photos Videos Blues Radio Blues Shows near YOU! Advertise for FREE! The Blues Blast Archives

Hey Blues Fans,

Voting for the 2008 Blues Blast Music Awards ended on August 31st. More than 2000 Blues fans voted in this historic event. We have tabulated the results and you can be there when we announce the winners on November 2nd, at Buddy Guy's Legends. Please see info below. SCROLL DOWN!

The 25th International Blues Challenge

February 4-7, 2009 in Memphis, TN

Next week we will begin our continuing coverage of the Blues Foundations 2009 International Blues Challenge. Advance tickets, host hotel information, merchandise and preliminary event schedule will be available at beginning October 1.

We will be running a series of monthly articles on what things this great event has done for the lives of those artist who have competed in the past as well as stories from Blues fans who have attended and MUCH MORE!

Sun Prairie Blues Fest II this weekend!

Sun Prairie, WI has a great Blues fest this weekend featuring Cliff Fredricksen, Laura England & the Mud Angels, Bobby Bryan & the Uptown Allstars, Bobby Evans & the Alimony Blues Band, Rev Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys and Paul Cebar. For complete information check out

Blues Reviews and MORE!

Bluesman Gary Eckhart sends us a review and photos from the Santiago Shakedown Blues Fest. James Walker sends us a review of a new CD from The Mannish Boys. John McCormick reviews a new CD by Blues Blast Music Award nominee Magic Slim & The Teardrops. Mike O'Cull reviews a new CD by Jon Justice.

Also this week we have an amazing Streaming Blues Link of the Week that features a 14 year old Norwegian guitarist and singer that will blow your mind! Last but not least we some writings from our missing in action Chicago Editor, Lordy. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN

Santiago Shakedown - August 2nd, 2008 - Santiago MN

Review and Photos By Bluesman Gary Eckhart

The dynamic duo of Ray Bailey and Rico Anderson were at it again in August 2nd in Santiago MN. The Santiago Shakedown is one fine Blues Festival, it's on my don't miss list. Jim Belushi played there in 2004 and said it was the highlight of his summer.

Ray is dedicated to the Blues. With today’s economy looking bleak, gas at 4 dollars a gallon, Ray decided to put the ticket price at 10 bucks knowing full well he was going to lose money on it. Ray puts the people first (He always does). Rico Anderson long time manager of Lamont Cranston (Dan Akryod's favorite party band) helped Ray put together a solid lineup.

Lisa Wenger started the day out with a bang. I have not had a chance to see Lisa before. I heard she was great and I heard right. She set the bar high no doubt about it.

Scottie Miller & The Re-Uptake Inhibitors followed Lisa, Scottie is one cat you want to keep your eye on, this guy has stardom stamped all over him. Check out Scottie's newest release "Elixir For The Soul" and you find out what I am talking about.

Brandon Scott Sellner took over controls next and lit it up! You might remember me talking Brandon's performance at Prairie Dog Blues Fest recently. Well there is no let up by this young man, he just flat out rocks. Like Scottie, Brandon's another star in the making.

Big George Jackson is from Minneapolis and Big George loves to Boogie, knows how to boogie and knows how to get the crowd in the boogie mood. The deals done by the end of the first song. Singer and Harp man Big George has all the tools and knows how to deliver.

Johnny Rawls closed the night with his own brand of smooth as silk Blues. Johnny Rawls is a soul man of the first degree and there is no better. Accompanying Johnny on this show was daughter Destini, and yes she has the family gene! W.C. Handy Award winner and my friend Mr. Allen Kirk handled the drumming chores, Long time bass man Greg Allen held down the fort.

The Soul Mates directed traffic in the bar between sets and more than held their own!

Finally I have to mention the GREAT pork chops. You know that saying "Died and Gone to Heaven" which is usually reserved for Chocolate Bon Bon's? Well the same can be said for Ray's Pork Chops. I eat four of them, could of eat more but was to embarrassed to.

My hat's off to Ray and Rico for putting the people first. I had great time!

Saturday, September 6, 2008
Angell Park, Sun Prairie, WI

Cliff Fredricksen

Laura England & the Mud Angels

Bobby Bryan & the Uptown Allstars

Bobby Evans & the Alimony Blues Band

Rev Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys

Paul Cebar

The BEST Way To Promote YOUR Next Blues Project!

BANDS, BARS, AND LABELS: Is your promo material getting you the gigs and business you desire? If not, call music journalist and copy writer Mike O'Cull for all your promotional needs. Mike is a veteran music journalist and musician and writes for the Illinois Entertainer,, and and can deliver the highest quality promotional writing around quickly and at a reasonable price.

Mike's specialties include bios, press releases, liner notes, and web content. Full press kit design, including graphics, is also available. Clients include The Joe Moss Band, Carl Davis, TruSoul Entertainment, B.A. S. Entertainment, and many others. Samples available on request. Email , call Mike O'Cull Music at 847-608-0357, or visit us online at for more information.

Mention the Blues Blast for a $10 new customer discount.

Tickets for this Hammond, Indiana show
go on sale Friday, 08/22/08 To Purchase Tickets CLICK HERE

Streaming Blues Link of the Week

14 year old Fredrik Strand Halland

Recently we ran a mini series called "The Future Of The Blues" that featured the early careers of Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. We included amazing videos of them playing when they were in their formative years from 11 to 18 years old.

We stumbled on another video of a amazing 14 year old from Norway. We can't say that his career will impact the future of the Blues (YET), but we can say he is an amazing player and singer already. From what we read on his fan website, he took an innate interest in guitar at the age of 2! At the age of 3 years old, he gave the neighborhood kids a concert at his house role playing a pirate and singing popular Norwegian pirate-songs.

In Kindergarten he regularly gave concerts to his school class and began a performing in the streets. At eight years old, he gave his first public guitar concert in his hometown of Olsvik, Norway. At 10 he got his first Startocaster. He was soon playing Blues fests. Sounds amazing and unbelievable but the website actually has pictures of these events to document and prove it is not just hype. CLICK HERE to see them!

So how good is he? Of course we have a video to show you this GREAT guitar played and singer. Look out world!

Click the link below to see the video on our website

- Fredrik at 12 years old

We have many more videos of Blues masters on our website. CLICK HERE to view them

"What Goes Around” – a new CD from Michael Osborn!

"Michael Osborn is one of the best blues guitarists around, he can really lay it down". - John Lee Hooker

"Michael Osborn is one of the authentic blues guitarists today. His style goes straight to the heart of the blues and he’ll steal your show if you don’t watch out!” – Robben Ford

CLICK HERE to purchase

David Honeyboy Edwards

Roamin' and Ramblin'

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee
"Best Best Traditional Blues CD

CLICK HERE to purchases Now!

To read the Blues Blast CD review - CLICK HERE

Blues Want Ads

Blues Musicians Place Your Want Ad here for FREE

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

Band seeks Agent

Back The Jimi Vincent Band from Savannah, Ohio is currently looking for representation/agent. Call Jimi @
419-685-0466, email

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

Eden Brent

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee

"Sean Costello Rising Star Award"

To read a review of this CD, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD now!

Blues Society News

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

Please submit a maximum of 125 words in a Text or Word format ONLY. Press releases not formatted

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society brings Bill Lupkin's Chicago Blues Harmonica to the Redstone Room in Davenport on Friday September 5. The show, sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, begins at 8:30; admission is $10. For further information check out

Second Wind Cancer Retreat - Atlanta, GA

Legendary singers Bonnie Bramlett and William Bell are among the many artists scheduled to perform at BluesFest ‘08, benefiting the Second Wind Cancer Retreat, on Sunday, October 5, at Blind Willie’s blues club in Atlanta. Other artists scheduled to perform at the benefit include Liberty Jones, Men in Blues and Ike Stubblefield and Friends. Doors opening at 3:00 PM and music scheduled to run from 4:00 – 8:00 PM. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door, with no one admitted under 21 years of age. This non-smoking event is also dedicated to the memory of blues guitarist Jeff Healey, who passed away from cancer in March.

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 - Sept 1 - Scott Ellison, Sept 8 - Bill Lupkin & the Chicago Blues Coalition, Sept 15 - Harmonica Wizards Dennis Gruenling & Steve Guyger, Sept 22 - Lil Dave Thompson, Sept 29 - The Blues Deacons, Oct 13 - The Rich Fabec Blues Band, Oct 20 - Too Slim & the Tail Draggers

The Blues Blowtorch Society - Bloomington, IL

Blues Blowtorch Society presents The Blues Blowtorch Society's Educational Fund Raiser, September 21, 2008 -1:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Tri Lakes Banquet Facilities, 2100 Bunn St., Bloomington, IL

Featuring Black Magic Johnson 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM and Lil' Dave Thompson 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM. Food and Drink for sale by Tri-Lakes Membership. Events for Everyone - How to Start a Band Workshop, Auctions, more! For more Information - Deborah Mehlberg - Entertainment Director 309-662-0996 or E-mail

The West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, W.V.

The West Virginia Blues Society will hold its Second Annual Blues Competition on October 4, 2008 at Christopher's Banquet Center in Fairmont, WV. Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts will compete for cash prizes and WVBS sponsorship to the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge held every year in Memphis, Tennessee. Complete information is available online at

Paramount Blues Festival

September 19 & 20, 2008
Grafton, WI

Sue DaBaco & Wise Fools - Zac Harmon - CTA - California Transit Authority - Fruteland Jackson - David "Honeyboy" Edwards - Sharrie Williams - Bryan Lee - Watermelon Slim & the Workers - Tab Benoit - Elvin Bishop

Festival Website:

Chicago Blues Update

Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy

Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)

Lordy will return soon with another Chicago Blues Show review. Here is a short note from him about recent Blues events in Chicago.

I missed the blues. Circumstances beyond my control forced me to take a leave of absence from my avocation of supporting live blues music in Chicago. It was ironic how being away from the blues, gives me the blues. Just as with my time spent away from my religion, it is something I don’t want to do again.

Making the most of a bad situation, I was able to collect material for my next book. In the month I was on the sidelines, I learned with great sadness of the loss of two of my local blues friends; Lil’ Arthur Duncan and Phil Guy. Several more of my friends, playing with Koko were injured in a crash. I wish them a speedy recovery.

Thinking of these people did help keep me from feeling sorry for myself. I am indeed fortunate in many ways, not least of which is knowing these people.

My first job back was to update the Chicago Blues Beat Calendar. I posted all the gigs for September that I am aware of. I am proud of the calendar project and hope you have a chance to check it out. Please feel free to correct or add information using the contact us page of the site. Oops, pride comes before the fall. So does September.

I want to thank all of you that noticed I was gone. It’s amazing what a short email or phone call will do for your spirits. I want to thank Dana Kavan my editor at Chicago Examiner and Bob Kieser from The Blues Blast for their patience. Please do yourself a favor and review the September blues schedule, and make some plans in advance to get out and enjoy. Peace.

CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at

To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE

The National Debonaires

New Sounds from Kansas City

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee
"Best Blues Song" for Ain't Gonna Happen Again

CLICK HERE to purchases Now!

To read the Blues Blast CD review - CLICK HERE

Featured Blues Review (1 of 3)

The Mannish Boys - Lowdown Feelin’

Delta Groove Music

17 songs; 72:52 minutes; Suggested

Styles: Chicago Blues ensemble

“Pro - GRAMS! Get your programs! You can’t tell the players without a program!” This well worn barkers phrase heard at ball games could also apply to the fourth release by California’s The Mannish Boys. With no less than 20 musicians on board, a reader’s guide is a must. The liner notes suffice nicely at pegging the “Who’s Who” for each of the 17 songs. By the way, the “20” number does not include famed producer and engineer David Z plus co-producer Jeff Scott Fleenor (with label owner Randy Chortkoff) and the assistance of analog studio owner Chuck Kavooras, at Slideaway Music Studio.

According to Chortkoff, the idea for this album, which is prime for a Blues Music Award nomination, was to search for great blues songs “that almost no one has ever heard before – that no one ever plays.” Their search went nationwide, from coast to coast, from Chicago to Texas, and Florida, too.

The result is wonderful, pure blues album with no Rock! 30 songs were recorded, four of which were originals (Chortkoff provided two and a pair by Little Sammy Davis), and an almost unheard of 17 made the final cut. At almost 73 minutes in length, there are no quibbles about economic value.

Bobby Jones sings seven tunes, including my favorite track, Chortkoff’s original “Searchin' Blues,” a Robert Johnson “Walkin’ Blues” based song, with Goldwasser on slide guitar. Original member Finis Tasby sings lead on the title track, Albert Collins' "If The Washing Don't Get You, The Rinsing Will" and "Something's Wrong." Johnny Dyer handles Willie Dixon’s classic "The Same Thing" and, on "Good Times" by his late friend Shakey Jake, adds harmonica.

Kid Ramos, Kirk "Eli" Fletcher, and Frank "Paris Slim" Goldwasser are the main guitarists, and Junior Watson and Fred Scribner do some six string guesting. Check Junior’s killer solo on “Dead Letter Blues.” Richard Innes is back on drums, James Weber & Tom Leavey handle bass, and Chortkoff adds harmonica. Among special guests are Lynwood Slim, Al Blake, Fred Kaplan, Scott Steen, David Woodford, Cynthia Manley, and Jessica Williams.

Analogous to Olympic USA basketball “dream teams,” The Mannish Boys line up features many all stars. But, not every dream team won the gold (remember Greece in 2004). This album is so good, it begs only esoteric wonderings. What would it sound like if the members were a real band, together since high school, sharing decrepit digs on an Elm Street somewhere, passionate about a project and a sometimes overwhelming collective identity, and integrated down to the cellular level?

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.

2008 Blues Blast Music Awards

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, IL.

Confirmed Blues artists performing are Tim "Too Slim" Langford from Too Slim and the Taildraggers, Lurrie Bell, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Steve Gerhard and Mo Bailey from the National Debonaires, The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Lurrie Bell, Teeny Tucker, Gina Sicilia and John Nemeth! Ticket info will be available soon.

Featured Blues Review (2 of 3)

Magic Slim & The Teardrops - Midnight Blues

Blind Pig Music

It’s no surprise that Midnight Blues is a great album. Do a google search for Morris “Magic Slim” Holt and you’ll see the phrase “living legend” used with some frequency. Where the six-time Blues Music Award-winning Slim does surprise us is in the fact that on an album full of classic tunes written by the likes of Muddy Waters and Hound Dog Taylor, Slim’s original compositions are STILL among the strongest on the disc. No small feat indeed.

The result is the seamless pedigree of a true bluesman. Holt rips and roars his way through standards and originals with such aplomb that it’s difficult to consider any of the borrowed songs to be covers – channelings would be more accurate. “Give Me Back My Wig” is an obvious standout, a grime-caked rendition that rumbles with almost seismic force. Imagine Willie Dixon sung by a bear, and you’re getting close. Slim’s voice belies every single one of his seventy hard-fought years and is still no less powerful for them.

The self-professed owner of “the meanest vibrato in blues,” is equally epic in his guitar work. Sparse when it needs to be, dominating at all other times, the riffing on this album is on par with the greats, and Holt’s tone raises the question as to why Gibsons aren’t the only guitars made. Although several of Midnight Blues’ tracks clock in over the 4:30 mark, none of them go on longer than they should – Slim’s playing is consistently engaging. Similarly, not enough good can be said about the Teardrops. Unlike many “and the” bands, The ‘Drops aren’t simply adequate and unassuming – they’re as much of the experience as Slim is. One even gets the feeling that The ‘Drops are a big part of the reason that Holt is still rocking at a spry seventy years. With a band this tight, who’s got time to slow down? Throw in guest appearances by modern Blues legends Lonnie Brooks and Elvin Bishop James Cotton, Lil' Ed, Otis Clay, and George Barge and the Teardrops have never sounded better.

If one has ever seen Slim in concert, then one can attest to the fact that his albums do an admirable job of capturing the intensity of his live performances. Midnight Blues is particularly adept in this department, as producer Nick Moss leaves every granule of grit in Slim’s voice and guitar. Whereas some argue that blues vocals have suffered recently as a result of the ultra-clean sound of digital recording, Moss uses the opportunity to give Slim’s gravelly baritone a booming clarity that lets one fully enjoy one of the best voices in blues today.

Simply put, Midnight Blues is a blast from start to finish. As the true bluesmen slowly fade away, Magic Slim remains a national treasure – not only for the caliber of his musicianship, but also for the sheer amount of fun that’s very obviously being had by anyone in his immediate vicinity.

by John McCormick

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Too Slim and the Taildraggers

Fortune Teller

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for

"Best Contemporary Blues Recording"

CLICK HERE to Vote for Us NOW

To purchase this CD now CLICK HERE

Featured Blues Review (3 of 3)

Jon Justice - The Rebound

Cincinnati-based guitarist and vocalist Jon Justice seems to somewhat of a force of nature in his adopted hometown (he is originally from the Chicago area.). He was named to the Best of Cincinnati list by City Beat Magazine, won the Cincinnati Blues Challenge, and has been nominated for three Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.

One listen to his second CD release The Rebound and it is a no-brainer to see why Justice commands so much respect. He writes and plays some of the greasiest, grooviest blues/soul/swamp music seen in these parts in many a moon and he is equally skilled in standard and slide guitar styles, which he showcases with great taste all over the disc. He also arranged and co-produced the record himself in an effort to maintain the purity of his sound and vision and tracked it all with his road-tested touring band. The result of all this hands-on attention is a much more personal album than his debut effort Forget About Time and one that truly reveals all that Justice is capable of.

When instrumental skills are equal, it is the songs that divide the haves from the have-nots and the writing on The Rebound puts Justice squarely in the former camp. It is almost a shame that this music didn’t come out 30 years ago when blues-based music got more radio time than it does now, because some of these songs would have been hits, especially the opening cut “Nobody’s Bizness”, which is all fatback groove and slide guitar.

Justice is very good at channeling his blues, soul, and gospel influences into an original sound, which is tougher than it looks, and that skill makes his music organic and immediately friendly without ever falling into imitation or cliché. Justice is one of the new breed of blues artists trying to move their music beyond the bar band script the world has already heard so many times and he seems to be doing quite well with it. Hopefully, this record will raise his profile around the country to what it is in Cincinnati and his songs will attract the larger audience they justly deserve. .

Review by Tom "THE ENERGIZER" Schlesinger, a long time blues lover and fan, and a veteran of many Legendary Blues Cruises and Festivals all over the mid west and Florida.

Willie Big Eyes Smith

New CD

Born In Arkansas

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD

Live Blues Calendar

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