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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Illinois Blues Blast


All news BLUES in the US!

FREE Blues Internet Magazine

from IllinoisBlues.com

October 29, 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,

It was a busy week for Blues shows!

First, we made it to the The Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival last Saturday in Monmouth, IL to hear Lurrie Bell, Matthew Skoller Band, Charlie Hayes and Michelle Malone. (See festival review below)

To see pictures of all the fun, CLICK HERE.

(Be sure to catch Lurrie Bell at the Blues Blast Music Awards show this Sunday. Details Below or CLICK HERE)

On Sunday we made it to Pekin, IL for the River City Blues Society's Fall Festival Fundraiser. The show featured the Kilborn Alley Blues Band and Russell Miller and 6V6. Kilborn had a fill in player for harp man Joe Asselin. Deak Harp did a great job filling in and the band was spot on for this benefit show. (Be sure to catch Kilborn Alley at the Blues Blast Music Awards show this Sunday. Details Below or CLICK HERE)

Last but not least we made it to the Blue Monday show in Springfield, IL to hear Gina Sicilia. This was our first time to catch Gina live. Won't be our last time! We were really impressed!

Gina has a new CD called Hey Sugar. (See review HERE). Her guitar player Dave Gross is a real talent as evidenced by the Luther Allison song "Cherry Red Wine". He was smoking on that number. Luther would have been proud. (Be sure to catch Gina Sicilia and Dave Gross at the Blues Blast Music Awards show this Sunday. Details Below or CLICK HERE )

Blues Blast Music Awards this weekend in Chicago

It was amazing that every show we went to last week had at least one of the artists performing at the Blues Blast Music Awards show this Sunday at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago.

The winners you voted for will be announced there so don't miss all the fun and performances by Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Lurrie Bell, Nick Moss & Gerry Hundt, John Nemeth, The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Eden Brent, Sugar Ray Norcia, Teeny Tucker, Tim "Too Slim" Langford (from Too Slim and the Taildraggers), and Gina Sicilia with Dave Gross.

Why not join us? Tickets are still available. Most of the gang from the Blues Blast will be there including James Walker, Tom Schlesinger, John McCormick, Mike O'Cull, Bob Kieser and Lordy. So come on down and say Hello!

For tickets and complete discount hotel details CLICK HERE


Blues Reviews and MORE!

SIX REVIEWS THIS WEEK!!! James Walker reviews a new CD from Dorothy "Miss Blues" Ellis which he says made his top 20 for the year. Bob Kieser reviews the Saturday show at the Monmouth Blues Festival. Tom "THE ENERGIZER" Schlesinger reviews the new Jimmy Thackery CD. Gary Weeks reviews a new CD from Rory Block. John McCormick reviews the new CD by Jimmy Sweetwater and Mike O'Cull reviews a CD by Scottyboy Daniel Blues Band. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!


Blues Blast Music Awards Show

Sunday, November 2, 2008
Buddy Guy's Legends
Chicago, IL.

Tickets are only $25. For tickets and complete information CLICK HERE

Don't miss performances by Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Lurrie Bell, Nick Moss & Gerry Hundt, John Nemeth, The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Eden Brent, Sugar Ray Norcia, Teeny Tucker, Tim "Too Slim" Langford (from Too Slim and the Taildraggers), and Gina Sicilia and Dave Gross.

The show starts at 7:00pm and doors open at 6:00pm

CLICK HERE for Discount Hotel information

Visit the Blues Blast Music Awards Myspace page for more info at www.myspace.com/bluesblastmusicawards


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

Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater will play a fundraiser for the Mississippi Valley Blues Society on Friday, Nov. 7, at the Redstone Room in Davenport. The night will also include a silent auction of blues memorabilia including framed photos. Doors open at 6 p.m., with Ellis Kell and “Detroit” Larry Davison playing from 6:30-7:30. The first of Eddy Clearwater’s two sets begins at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $20.00, which includes hor d’oevres as long as they last. For Info contact Bob Covemaker 309-373-1181 or Karen McFarland 563-508-6596

Chicago Blues & Bluegrass Festival - Chicago, IL

The Chicago Vlues & Bluegrass Festival on November 22nd, 2008 is a one-day festival hosted by the Congress Theatre. It features 12 hours, 16 bands, for only $31 to help eradicate congenital heart defects in children. A portion of the event’s proceeds will contribute to the research efforts of the Chicago-based Saving Tiny Hearts Foundation. The lineup includes: Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials, David Grisman, The Avett Brothers and many more. Check out www.cbgbfesival.com for more info.

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

The Illinois Central Blues Club Solo/Duo Challenge will be held at The Alamo on Saturday, October 25, 2008, from 6pm - 10pm.

Blue Mondays- Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - November 3 - Frank Herrin and Blues Power, November 10 - Delta Highway, November 17 - Chris Bell and 100% Blues Power, November 24 - Russell Miller and 6V6, December 1 - Nick Moss and the Flip Tops, December 8 - The Workers (Watermelon Slim's Band) with special Guest Bill Lupkin, December 15 - Studebaker John, December 22 - Scottie Miller and the Uptake Inhibitors, December 29 - Sally Weisenburg and the Famous Sidemen


The 25th International Blues Challenge

February 4-7, 2009 in Memphis, TN

Advance tickets, host hotel information, merchandise and preliminary event schedule are available at www.blues.org


Featured Blues Review (1 of 5)

Miss Blues - Bad Prospects

Skinner Audio

www.missblues.com

www.myspace.com/themissblues

9 songs; 39:05 minutes; Library Quality

Styles: Straight Blues, Female vocal

Imagine discovering Muddy Waters. Actually, at some point, we all did. That is how I feel about being introduced to Dorothy Ellis, known as “Miss Blues.” She is currently well known regionally in Oklahoma as a singer, songwriter, and author, but right from the first listen to her third CD, it is clear that here is an artist with depth and special talent. The first time you heard Muddy Waters, didn’t you just feel it and know it? Same here!

The album liner notes provide no bio information, but her websites reveal that Miss Blues had been performing for around 60 years before she released her first recording. Liner notes are also usually full of hyperbole to be taken with a grain of salt. Not this time, take this as the gospel truth: “Miss Blues is a traditional blues artist you must get to know.” For purists, here is a gold mine of a find! By the way, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2004.The liner notes continue, “She is rapidly becoming known by blues [fans] the world over, and for good reason. She is the real deal all the way to the bottom of her soul. Her vocals are spellbinding, and with her heart-wrenching delivery of each song, she paints a tapestry that takes the listener on a journey through the pain and suffering that has been the first-hand story of her life.” From a Carl Gustafson interview, Ellis is quoted, “I developed a primal scream crying out for, and to, all my sisters, who sometimes suffer in silence with no-good men folk….”The album, with nine songs of which seven are written by Miss Blues, is further made a winning standout release by her crack band, The Blue Notes. Robb Hibbard deftly plays most lead guitar, Chris Henson plays some rhythm guitar and lead on the great, jazzy instrumental track he wrote, “Midnight Cry.” Don Skinner co-produced, wrote and sings “It’s Gonna Rain,” and plays bass on all tracks. Joe Skinner is the other co-producer who also drums on several cuts, trading off with Mike Hardwick. Mark Lyon – rhythm guitar, Ron Harmon along with T.Z. Wright - keyboards, Robert Riggs - harmonica, Frank Zona – Saxophone, and Jim Johnson – rhythm guitar on one track – round out the studio crew.

“Blood Running Cold” opens the set with an instantly likeable full band sound. Then, the voice seals the deal! “...she gives you something you actually need, an honest voice in a distorted world.... expressing the pain and feeling of those who suffered,” writes Gustafson. In this song about a relationship going wrong, you realize, visualize and actualize that this woman has lived the blues.

“Billie’s Blues” comes next, a slow, moody blues with Robb Hibbard showcasing his fret board talents. Similarly, track three, the title track, is a slow number about poverty and struggle.

“Rub Board Boogie” with Miss Blues as a rub board expert has Joe Skinner on the accompanying organ instrumental. Too bad it is only one minute and forty nine seconds long.

Love turns to hate in another Ellis original “Trapped (in a bad situation).” This may be the best cut, but it is really hard to like one more than the others – that is how good this CD is!

“Bad Prospects” is a title that reflects the mood of the lyrics, but “Abnormally Great Prospects” would be the apropos phrase for chances of finding a real, deep-blues CD! Simply, do not miss this one!

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.


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


Live Blues Review

The Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival , Monmouth, IL

Saturday, October 25, 2008

By Bob Kieser

To see ALL the pics of the Saturday performers CLICK HERE

So maybe you thought the festival season was over. No way! We made it to the The Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival last Saturday in Monmouth, IL to hear Lurrie Bell, Matthew Skoller Band, Charlie Hayes and Michelle Malone. They all put on a great show.

Galesburg, IL guitarist Charlie Hayes was joined by harp player Joel Fleming to open the show. It was the first time we heard Joel and this guy played some really sweet sounding harp. Check him out if you get the chance.

Next up was Chicago harmonica sensation Matthew Skoller. We haven't seen Matthew for more than 10 years and it was great to experience his fine harp playing again. He had a very tight band of Chicago music pros that left the crowd yelling for more.

Following Matthew the show featured "Moanin" Michelle Malone from Atlanta, GA. Never heard of her before but we are definitely in the big fan column now. Michelle does it all, she plays great acoustic and electric Blues guitar, she handles the business end of a slide like Bonnie Raitt, sings as well as Cheryl Crow, writes great songs and even broke out the harmonica for a song or two. WOW!

We asked fest promoter Paul Schuytema where he found her and he said he heard Michelle on the House of Blues radio hour and decided to book her. GOOD call Paul!

After Michelle we were ready for the main act, Blues icon Lurrie Bell. Fresh off his win as "Blues Artist of the Year" in Living Blues readers poll, Lurrie came ready to put the Blues hammer down. He had a great band that included a great Chicago rhythm section.

Our hats off to Paul Schuytema and company for putting on a great event. We hope to see this event back next year so stay tuned and make sure you don't miss it next time!

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.


Eden Brent

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee

"Sean Costello Rising Star Award"

www.edenbrent.com

To read a review of this CD, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD now!


Featured Blues Review (2 of 5)

Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers - Inside Tracks

Telarc Blues

www.jimmythackery.com

www.myspace.com/jimmythackery

What is Blues? Is it just 12 bar slow, down and dirty Blues? Is it only Robert Johnson's 29 recordings done over and over? I got into a deep discussion back in 1997 on The 6th Ultimate Blues Cruise (Before The “Legendary Blues Cruise”) not once, but twice about the subject. Once was while listening to Jimmy Thackery perform.

Thackery went from his normal recorded songs to “Hey Joe” (Jimi Hendrix style) then went into “The Star Spangled Banner,” note for note like Hendrix. I was really digging it, when my friend said, "That ain’t Blues" and left this fantastic guitar slinger to go listen to another band on the ship. Jimmy then did my favorite, “Red House Blues,” and knocked me out! That, my friend totally missed. Later, I got into a heated discussion with a lady from Chicago, who had never heard Hendrix doing Blues, and she said he had never done blues and couldn't.

Doesn't an artist have the right to do anything they want - to write and sing what they feel? Well, Jimmy Thackery has been tagged a “Bluesman” or at least been thrown into the blues genre ever since he played with the Nighthawks back in the 70's and 80's.

Jimmy Thackery and the drivers, new release, called “Inside Tracks,” is a very well done CD. It is almost all new material and written by Jimmy, with the exception of “Promised Land,” by Chuck Berry. The first cut “All because of You,” sounds like it should be played in a country Honky Tonk bar. It has very good lyrics and guitar (of course) coming from one of the Masters of the Stratocaster, but it sure doesn't sound like Blues to me.

Next is “Blinking of an Eye.” It’s a fantastic, slow and sad ballad about life and love and how fast it goes by. It’s about how we all take it for granted and think we have more time to say or show someone something until it is too late. Very good lyrics again, and vocals, though I thought that Jimmy brought in Travis Tritt to sing this one. I had never heard this country voice that comes out of Thackery before.

My personal favorite, track 8, is “That Dog Won't Hunt.” Again great lyrics said very cleverly done about a cheating woman with another man.

I think this CD is put together very well. It shows how good of a writer Jimmy is. Excellent guitar skills are shown here, although I kept hearing Mark Knofler from Dire Straits and Chet Atkins in there. But, I mean that as a compliment because that is how good of a guitar God this guy is. If you haven't heard him live "shame on you," you should. He puts on one heck of a live show!

But, back to my original question of “what is Blues?” I have heard and seen a lot of blues from this talented guitar slinger many a time before, but in my opinion there is none on this CD. But don't let that stop you from buying a great CD by this great guitar player!

Tom "THE ENERGIZER" Schlesinger is a long time Blues lover and fan, and is a veteran to many Blues Fest in the Midwest and Florida. He is also a veteran to The Ultimate Blues Cruise and The Legendary Blues Cruise through the Caribbean and a founding member of The Friends of The Blues.

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


Live Blues Calendar

YOU can submit your Blues performances for FREE at: http://www.illinoisblues.com/submitnews.htm

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

IllinoisBlues.com is not responsible for errors or omissions.

CLICK HERE - for the Latest Complete Blues Calendar on our website at: IllinoisBlues.com.

or click a state to see Blues shows by State

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware D.C. Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Other

Performance dates submitted by Musicians, Clubs, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.

IllinoisBlues.com is not responsible for errors or omissions.


Featured Blues Review (3 of 5)

Rory Block - Blues Walkin Like A Man

Stony Plain Records

www.roryblock.com

As she did on her last release The Lady and Mr. Johnson, Rory Block continues to embrace country blues traditions. Her latest outing Blues Walkin Like A Man celebrates the music of Son House who was just as important as Robert Johnson.

Meeting Son House in 1965 when she was just fifteen had a profound effect. Even Son House himself was astounded that a teenage girl could play a Willie Brown song with great assurance. It just didnt seem possible.

Cutting an entire cd of Son House songs is an undaunting risk. Rory manages to pull it off without losing the authenticity of these blues classics. Songs that are cloaked in the mystery of jukejoints, empty whiskey bottles and the hobo jungles of locomotive trains.

Vocal overdubbing is sparse. When it does appear on "I Want To Go Home On The Morning Train" and "Dry Spell Blues," the feeling is of being in a Baptist church then a recording studio. Block's slide playing is a toxic rhythm oil giving "Preachin Blues" its salvatory splendor. "My Black Mama" is a graveyard mojo of Block standing at the crossroads wearing a long black veil.

Rory can sing gospel with the best of them. "Grinnin In Your Face" is a haunting accapella. "Death Letter" is sinister in spirit with Block's aggressive acoustic attack.

If you are looking for a time portal to go back into the era of levee camps and field hollers, where true acoustic blues predated electricity, Rory Block can take you there. It can only enrich your life.

Review by Gary Weeks

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.


Featured Blues Review (4 of 5)

Jimmy Sweetwater - Jimmy Sweetwater

www.jimsweetwater.com

www.myspace.com/jimmysweetwater

It’s hard to object to an album like this six-song EP from San Francisco blues harp mainstay Jimmy Sweetwater. A study in essence, its bare-bones production and simplicity of composition is almost punk-like in its economy. The only things you’ll hear on this album are Jimmy’s voice, Jimmy’s harp, pal Craig Ventresco’s guitar, and the fuzz of a four-track recorder. In an age of Pro Tools, these six songs are a welcome change of pace.

On such a traditional blues record, it’s difficult to talk about the merits of specific musical aspects. The guitar work is more than competent, Sweetwater’s harp is on fire, and his voice has a surprisingly emotive range. But this really only describes half of the album’s allure. Over the course of six covers, Jimmy Sweetwater gives us a living artifact, a testament to where the blues came from, and concurrently, a commentary on where the blues have gone.

A contention that can justifiably be raised is that Sweetwater offers nothing that we haven’t heard before. His choices in songs are excellent, but it doesn’t change the fact that this album’s foremost concern is the cultivation of a previously existing sound. Still, it feels unnecessary to point this out, and even more unnecessary to fault Sweetwater for his archival nature. Unlike some artists who seek to bring the blues back to the Delta, Sweetwater’s attempts are heartfelt and honest. This may be a history lesson, but it’s a living history lesson.

The only true fault of the album lies in its production, which is uneven from track to track. Half of the tracks are gritty and unpolished, while the others sound inexplicably clean. Even on a single song, the production varies from track to track. For example, on “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town,” both the harmonica and guitar have a muted, “home recording” feeling to them, while the vocals are impeccably clean. It would have been preferable to retain the “home recording” sound on the entirety of the album, as the songs produced in this manner have a grit to them that makes the reminiscent nature of the album all the more potent.

Regardless of this small snafu, Jimmy Sweetwater’s self titled EP will please most any blues fan. He may be playing songs you’ve heard, but you haven’t heard them this way in a long time. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by John McCormick

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.


Featured Blues Review (5 of 5)

Scottyboy Daniel Blues Band - Flip The Switch

Soundgate Productions

http://www.myspace.com/scottyboybluesband

Scottyboy Daniel and his blues band play real, ensemble-style West Coast and Chicago blues with the kind of drive, feel, and authenticity that can only come from a labor of love. The band is based in the Kansas City, MO area and seems to be one of the big dogs in its region, making the finals in the 2008 KC Blues Challenge. One listen to Flip The Switch, their latest CD release, and it is easy to see why Scottyboy and friends are able to draw a crowd.

Daniel blows a harp that is not only mean, but is swinging and mellow as well, with one of the best recorded tones heard in recent years. He gets the tone that most harp guys seek and fall short of and then couples that with an economical, melodic soloing style that lights up the room. The rest of the group (guitarist Dave Hays, bassist Matt Browning, and drummer Ghan Bunyarattaphant) is equally good and function together as a rhythm section with a pocket that won’t quit. Guitarist Hays is a great foil for Daniel’s harp and displays a real knack for this type of blues, never going over into excess and always keeping it real.

The band doesn’t break any new ground as far as the tunes on the album, and, honestly, it doesn’t really matter. These guys are clearly devotees of the old ways and have studied them well. What makes an impact upon first listening is the sense of discipline within the band and how they keep the lid on the pressure cooker, so to speak; they never boil over and turn into blues/rock, but are always listening to and supporting each other.

“Flip The Switch”, “K Street Stomp”, and “Cried Last Night” are all winners, but there are no real dead spots here. Flip The Switch is a good effort from a group that should be a pleasure to watch develop. .

Review by Mike O'Cull

www.myspace.com/mikeocullmusic

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.


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, IllinoisBlues.com, and www.Chicagomusicguide.com 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 mocull@mac.com , call Mike O'Cull Music at 847-608-0357, or visit us online at www.myspace.com/mikeocullmusic for more information.

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