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Friday, May 2, 2008

Fats Domino: Blue Berry Hill

The great Fats Domino doing his big hit from the 50s! It also was one of Jimmy Pryor's favorite songs. This one's for you Jimmy.

Junior Wells, And Buddy Guy: Hoodoo Man

This is a classic recording from the Montreux Jazz Festival of Junior Wells and Buddy Guy. Wells and Guy were the original blues brothers. They performed together in Chicago for years. What is also cool about this concert is that Muddy makes an appearance during the show and plays with Junior and Buddy! Very cool concert!

Rich Berry Interview

Kansas City Bluesman Rich Berry is interviewed in the St Joe News. It is a short article, but anything about a local Kansas City bluesman is worth reading:-) Click HERE to read all about it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Beatles: Get Back

I found it again! I wonder how long it will last! I love the concert on the rooftop from Let It Be. The Beatles getting out and performing live for the last time, with Billy Preston playing Keyboards. What is unfortunate is that this movie which was released on VHS, has never been released on DVD that I know of. I have looked for years, but I have never seen it. I know that those who control the myth of the Beatles probably don't want it released because it is a painful piece of history to watch, but it is also amazing how the music comes together at the end! (pun intended:-)

Koko Taylor: Wang Dang Doodle

Classic Koko Taylor sing a Willie Dixon tune. She is also backed up by Hound Dog Taylor and Little Walter! Also Brownie Mcgee and Sonny Terry are watching!! I also think that Skip James, and Son House were around for this shoot.

Taylor Hicks On Asian Idol

Just thought you might like some funky soul music from Taylor Hicks from Asian Idol. there seems to be a sync problem with the video but it is still worth watching.

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

By Bob Dorr

So, I am often asked "Bob, what's a rock star on your level do when you have a weekend off?". The answer (my friend, is blowin' in the wind) (can you tell I've been listening to early Bob Dylan?) comes after the Blue Biz that is...

Later today (Thur) we're hoping to kick off the "Last Summer" parking-lot-party season at Porky's, 44th & Douglas in Des Moines. The story I get is that HyVee has indeed purchased the land, but won't start building until after the summer, so Annebel has decided to open the patio for one last summer fling (!) We play 6-9pm. Sam "the Hammond organ man" Salomone will be the 5th piece at Porky's, making this one of those rare Blue Band shows without a sax player. Remember, this is contingent on NO RAIN, so you might want to check our website or call Porky's (515-270-6058) before coming out. The people watching, and all the Harley Davidsons, not to mention, Porky's Pink Ladies really make this fun. Rain date is Wednesday May 7...

Then Friday evening it's the final TGIF party for the season, at The Hub, 4th & Main, right here in Sparkle City, we play 5:45-9pm. It's really been fun at these monthly parties to reconnect with a lot of longtime (notice I didn't say-old) Cedarfallopians. (some of them actually remember the Circle Bar) (and some are like me, we know we were at The Circle Bar, but we just don't remember the details...) I really appreciate The Reverb and The Hub for hosting these TGIF parties the last 7 months. We're hoping to start them up again in October after the summer festival season. Heath and Al are bothing making the trip to Cedar Falls, giving us a no horn sound one night and a horn section sound the next. Same songs WAY different sounds!...

Please make plans to help us celebrate Jackie & Tim Trpkosh's Anniversary at The Dry Dock in Shueyville, (suburban Cedar Rapids) next Friday night, May 9, 8:00 p.m.- midnight. It's open to the public, NO cover charge. The Trpkosh's have picked up on a new kind of party idea that longtime Blue Band followers have recently established. Often folks are interested in having us help celebrate events, but find our fee a little out of their budget or they just don't have the garage or deck space to have a 6 piece band. Lately, people (the Shaws in Marshalltown and the Hollidays in Cedar Rapids this past year) have partnered with a nightclub, opening the celebration to the club's clientel, and splitting the cost of the band with the club. It's a cool way to throw a party that you don't have to clean up after! We don't get many chances to play in the Cedar Rapids area, so stop out and congratulate Jackie & Tim and don't hesitate to BRING CAKE!...

Saturday May 10 we return to The Sundown in Williamsburg, a place I've played for about 30 years, going back to the days of The Little Red Rooster Band (talk about not being able to remember the details...) The food is good and the vibe is always encouraging. We play 8:30-12:30...

Phil Maass has really put alot of time and expertise into the New Year's recordings in the last week. His recording and editing skills are absolutely amazing and he and I have come up with a really nice 65 minute capsule of the night. This will be a Homemade Hot Fudge release, tentatively titled New Year's Eve Pimento, we should have some for sale within the next two weeks, some selected songs will be posted on our website and the My Space page (I have to admit, I NEVER go to that My Space thing, do you?)...

And longtime Blue Band illustrator Steve Campbell (the guy who invented Big Blue, the devilishly looking Blue Note that can be found on logos and album/cd covers the past 22 years) has consented to try to come up with yet another logo for this year. We're trying to think up some theme ideas. Got any? So far, all we can think of is the $4.999 A Gallon Tour...

So, you've made it this far just so you can find out the answer to the often asked question: "Bob, what's a rock star on your level do when you have a weekend off?" First off, "often" is pure hyperbole. I don't seem to do ANYTHING often any more (except nap) and next, the real key phrase there is "on your level". Last weekend was extremely rare for me. We had no Blue Band gigs and I had all my radio shows on tape, so the possiblities were endless. On the spur of the moment, I thought about visiting my last remaining blood relatives in Chicago, my mother's twin siblings Dolores and Donald. They recently celebrated their 80th birthday and I was unable to attend the celebration. However, my Uncle Wallace, Dolores' husband, was starting some radiation treatments at the end of the week, making it a bad time to visit. This actually turned out to be a (kind of) blessing in disguise. Last Thursday night (the night I had planned to leave for Chicago) we got almost 5" of rain overnight here in Sparkle Town. I never saw it rain so hard for so long in my life. Because I live a subterranean life style, I pretty much live on the basement floor of my house. Friday morning I rolled out of bed and: PLOTCH. Uh-oh...I looked out in the hallway: about 3" of water lapping against the wall (this was not at all what I had in mind for a home swimming pool) So Friday of my "rock star weekend" I bonded with my wet-vac and removed five 16-gallon barrells of water. Unfortunately, the record snow falls of this winter had already saturated the ground and I'm convinced that some of those barrells of water just found their way back into my living quarters. The sump pump empties into my front yard. That yard was already pooling from the rain, so the pump was spewing water into the yard, which had no where to go, so consequently recycled itself threw the pump many times. Couple that water with carpeting that should have been removed two dogs ago (and I haven't even had a dog for 4 years!) and you have got yerself one nauseating smell right there in the "rock star palace". I spent all day Saturday trying to get the carpets dry enough to remove. It finally dawned on me Sunday morning that I should get some drainage tubing to add to the sump pump pipe in order to carry that water to the street instead of my front yard (I might be old, but at least I'm slow) ALL of that tubing in the metro area was sold out. None at Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, or Ace Hardware. I took some comfort that obviously MANY other people were having the same trouble I was! (misery loves company) Finally, I cobbled together a few sections of drain pipe from my gutter to get the water to start to flow out of the yard. I celebrated by pausing for dinner. When I went back downstairs, the water was back to standing an inch! WHAT THE HELL'S GOING ON HERE?? would have been a much tamer thing to say than what I really yelled. 45 minutes later, I found a small piece of debris that had lodged itself in a way that made the sump pump not automatically turn on. The water was right back where it was when I woke up Friday morning. And if you thought the carpet was awful smelling on Saturday...I finally did get it dry enough to get most of the really bad carpeting out on Monday. When I finally got that hallway carpeting out, I realized that I think the previous owner had plastered the original drain and carpeted over it! Duh! No wonder that's the spot that always gets wet! (wet spot?!) So that was a long story to tell you what rock stars "on my level" do with their very seldom weekends off. I'm just thankful that I didn't go to Chicago Thursday and come home to all of that Sunday night!...

See ya on the Blue Highway, treat your wet-vac with respect (there's some joke about sucking there, but I don't know what it is) don't let yer zydeco tie get rusty, don't forget that CAKE is a good reward for removing stinky carpet, and remember we love you! Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

Andy Coats Update

Come on down to this historic watering hole, right across from the NC State Campus!

Andy Coats & the Bank Walkers

Sat., May 3, 7 – 10 pm

Sadlacks Heroes

2116 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607




Press Release From Just Roots PR

Just in hot of the ol email truck;-)

The Next Great Drummer Hosts A Competition and Fundraiser To Benefit Katrina Survivors and Children

Eric Seats, drummer to major recording artists, a single father and mentor to local youths using drums, along with his business partner Chrystal Allen, and Spaun Drum Company in Chino, California present a one day “Drum-Off”. The “Drum-Off” is a competition among local area drummers for the title of Top Drummer.

Eric Seats and Chrystal Allen are co-creators of an upcoming reality show entitled, The Next Great Drummer.

The “Drum-Off” is scheduled for June 2008 and will be held in the City of Chino in California, more details will be given at a later date. All financial donations will be collected and given to a trusted organization for deployment to the Katrina survivors only, preferably Oprah’s Angel Network, or a representative.

Major and local companies are asked to donate items for invited children of the Chino Boys and Girls Clubs, children from area schools, and kids from local area skate parks, who are our special guests for that day.

The Items needed are bottles of water, bottled juices, school supplies, drum supplies/equipment, music/CD's, packaged food items (ex. chips or cookies for the visiting area children).

Additionally, free vendor space will be made available to those vendors who make donations of their product, water and various other drinks and snacks for the competitors, visiting children and general public.

About Eric Seats:
Eric is part of the Key Beats, Inc. team, which was established in 1997 by both Rapture Stewart and Eric Seats.

Eric and Rapture got into the music game touring and working with Montel
Jordan, and from there, Rapture went on to be the music director for Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Aaliyah, Ginuwine and Playa. Timbaland soon noticed their production talents and signed them to a publishing deal with Warner/ Chappell. Missy also got on board and began to work with them in the studio. They developed a very unique chemistry with Missy right away. Their first song produced with her was the chart topping 702 hit "Where My Girls At". This song paved the way for what was to come. Soon after, they signed a management deal with Blackground Entertainment and began on their musical journey.

The dynamic duo went on to produce songs for the movie and soundtrack "Romeo Must Die". They caught the ears of hit song writer and Destiny’s Child member Beyonce Knowles while producing a song for them on this project. They went on to produce the song "Independent Women (Pt. 2)" for their "Survivor" record. This was the original version of the song that was recorded for the movie "Charlie’s Angels". After the success of the soundtrack, Aaliyah wanted to work with them on her next project as well. They went to work right away with hit makers Static and Black of the group Playa. They also developed a very unique chemistry with Static. They went on to produce half of her record "Aaliyah" which included the 1 hit "Rock Da Boat" written by Static. This solidified their place in the music game and they went on to work on numerous projects.

Key Beats, Inc. has worked collectively and individually with many different artists, whether producing and writing in the studio or performing live.

To date, some of the artists they have worked with include the late Aaliyah, Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Ginuwine, Playa, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, Tony Yayo, DJ Whoo Kid, Travis Barker, T.I., DJ Drama, Young Dro, Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Tweet, Nelly, Murphy Lee, DMX, Ashanti, Ja Rule, DJ Reflex, DJ Dense, Yung Joc, Diddy, Pharell, Busta Rhymes, Chingy, Fabolous, Tank, Keyshia Cole, Kanye West, Bubba Sparxxx, Nelly Furtado, Rich Boy, Soulja Boy, Lil’ Mo, D4L, En Vogue, Karen Clark-Sheard, The Soul Seekers, Mary Mary, 702, Montell Jordan, Chante Moore, Kenny Latimore, Dave Hollister, Lalah Hathaway, Kelly Price, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder…and the list goes on and on.

Eric is currently writing and producing a Broadway musical entitled TIMELESS.

For more information, contact:
E. Seats & URE LLC
15942 Los Serranos Country Club
Suite D, #313
Chino Hills, CA 91709
Attention: Chrystal Allen
Personal Business: Urban Royalty
School Email:

Bob Corritore Blues News

May 1, 2008

Willie Buck performing "Walkin' Thru The Park" on 4/20/08: click here

Willie Buck performing "She's 19 Years Old" and "Trouble No More": click here

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jimi Hendrix: Red House

Classic! Enough said!!

Los Lobos: La Bamba

Found another great video deleted by Youtube! Los Lobos doing a classic hit of Richie Valens.

Los Lonely Boys: Heaven

A great soul tune from the Los Lonely Boys.

Mississippi Tourism Contest!!!

It is time for the Mississippi Tourism contest for blues lovers!!!!


Enter the Mississippi Delta Road Trip Giveaway

Experience the Mississippi Delta in a way you'll never forget. Enter for your chance to receive a customized 3-night stay in the legendary Mississippi Delta - Where the Music Meets the Soul. This customized itinerary features the mid-Delta cities of Indianola, Cleveland and Greenville.

Escape to the Mississippi Delta!
You'll be treated to wonderful accommodations, incredible food and exciting nightlife as you explore the Mississippi Delta.

A sample of what you can expect:

Gaming action
  • Admission to the Delta's finest attractions such as the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center
  • Blues heritage & live entertainment
  • Festival fun and the best food and shopping the Delta has to offer

Register Today
Get more details.

Official Rules
View the official contest rules, and enter for your chance to experience the Delta as its own personal guest!

To read what others had to say about their trips in the Mississippi Delta, visit the Mississippi Delta MySpace page at

Blues Shoe Project Cool Show Alert!!

Here is some cool news from the Blues Shoes Project!

Grammy Winning Blue Shoe Project Hosts Free Blues Fest Featuring Grammy Winners

Grammy Winning Blue Shoe Project Hosts Free Blues Fest Featuring Grammy Winners Bring the kids, Blue Shoe also hosting education event at festival

Colleyville, Texas - On Saturday, May 10, 2008 from 2 PM to 9 PM, Grammy-winning non- profit organization The Blue Shoe Project will host Colleyville's first-ever blues festival in The Village at Colleyville development, 62 Main Street, Colleyville, Texas (at the intersection of Highway 26 and Main Street in Colleyville). Headlining the event will be national recording artist Elvis T. Busboy and The Blues Butchers, featuring five-time Grammy Award winner Tim Alexander of the Iconic Country band Asleep at The Wheel. Also performing will be international blues artist Tutu Jones, child prodigy bluesman Marquise “Big Daddy" Knox, who recently opened for BB King, and slide guitar master Gerry Moss of the legendary Lloyd Price Band. Big Daddy Knox will also be leading the Blues Workshop for kids with Blue Shoe Mike for participating youth that starts around 3:00 PM.

This is a free event

The event is being presented by Realty Capital Partners, Tivoli Wines, Denton, Smith and Cunningham, L.P. , Clifton Capital Partners and is sponsored by The Village at Colleyville business community. A Special VIP package is also available that includes back stage access, hospitality condominium and an all inclusive food and beverage Artist Meet and Greet. For information about the event or to purchase a VIP package, please contact The Blue Shoe Project at 1-800-714-6019 or online at or .

A non-profit organization founded in 2004, The Blue Shoe Project is dedicated to the education and preservation of traditional Blues music. To date, over 25,000 students have experienced live blues educational performances in informative and personal settings, as various artists share their music and its historical impact with children of all ages. All proceeds from the concert benefit The Blue Shoe Project's education and outreach efforts.

For more information, visit:
contact: Michael Dyson
Telephone 689-2416
: mike(at)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Illinois Blues Newsletter

All news BLUES in the US!

FREE Blues Internet Magazine


April 29, 2008

© 2007 - 2008

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

Hey Blues Fans,

There is so much Blues music within an hour or two drive that we made another triple play this week. We have come up with a way to make all the driving time useful too. We use it listen to some of the new Blues CD's we receive each week before we hand them off to our CD reviewers. Our Blue Monday drives are a two Blues CD trip and heading up Chicago way is a six Blues CD trip!

On Friday, we made it to Rutledge Youth Foundation’s Night of Blues in Springfield, Illinois. They had a great turnout for their Harley Raffle kickoff with music by a variety of folks including Shun Kikuta (guitarist for Koko Taylor in the photo to the left), Elizabeth Eckert (an American Idol contestant) and an Italian Blues guitarist Luca Giordano. Tombstone Bullet and Brother Ray and the Blades also played and it was a real treat when we got to see old friends Birdman on guitar and Hurricane Ruth sitting in on vocals.

Saturday we caught Memphis Blues sensation Eric Hughes in an acoustic duo show for a small but appreciative crowd in Normal, IL. He is an intense performer and it was great to see him play guitar, dobro, harmonica, washboards and even a a little jug band music! This was a much different show than what we saw in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge with Eric's band last winter. Quite an enjoyable show to say the least!

Finally we wouldn't even think of missing our good friends the Kilborn Alley Blues Band at Blue Monday in Springfield, IL. We asked, and and we were thrilled when they played a couple new tunes not yet recorded. They have got some good stuff coming on their next CD folks!

Their current CD Tear Chicago Down is up against some stiff competition at the BMA awards next week (Watermelon Slim , Bryan Lee, James Ulmer and Tommy Castro are the competition) but we are pulling for them.

One thing is for sure, if they don't get the winning nod this year, we have not heard the last of these young rising Blues stars. They are getting lots of festival shows this summer so be sure to check out their schedule and make it a point to see this great band!

Little Arthur Duncan Health Update

Chicago Blues harmonica great Little Arthur Duncan underwent emergency brain surgery on Friday, April 11, 2008. We have this update from Kevin Johnson at Delmark records - "Arthur's doing much better, but still a long way to go, still pretty out of it most of the time. But he is able to communicate, and is responsive, recognizing visitors, - having trouble breathing- was on respirator... We are encouraged- send positive thoughts."

Upcoming Show Reminders

We are at the start of the summer Blues Fest season with the first big event of the Central Mississippi Valley area being the Simply the Blues Fest in Ft Madison, Iowa on May 9th. They have a great lineup including Magic Slim, Eddie Turner, Leon Redbone, Jason Ricci, Diunna Greenleaf, Zach Harmon, Shawn Kellerman, 2008 IBC Winners, Trampled Under Foot and more. See their ad below for more details and get your tickets now.

There is also an excellent Blues event in a a couple of weeks in Chicago. The Blues and the Spirit Symposium put on by Dominican University May 22nd - 24th, is an educational symposium emphasizing the heritage of African-American Chicago and exploring the shared roots of Blues and Gospel. They only have ticket sales until May 6th so be sure to get your reservations this week! See their ad below for more details.

Blues Reviews This Week

James Walker reviews a great new CD by Mac Arnold. Ben Cox sends in a review of the new CD by Monster Mike Welch and also a review of the new CD by Charlie Wood. Gary Weeks reviews the new Kelly Richey CD and Chicago Editor Lordy sends us a 2-part venue review of just about every Blues Club in the Chicago area as he ties a Blues one on in what we call "Lordy's Excellent Chicago Blues Adventure". All this and much More! SCROLL DOWN!

Click image above to visit our website for more info!

(Note: Our prayers are with Little Arthur! The Backscratchers will perform with another harmonica player until Arthur recovers from surgery.)

Blues Link of the Week

This is a link just for fun! OK so who doesn't think that good Blues and good beer go together like America and apple pie? Having turned to home brewing our own beer to get some beer flavor, this site caught our attention right off. We understand where this band of Blues lovers is coming from being real Hop Heads ourselves! (It makes sense that if you like your Blues full of real emotion that you would like your beer full of hop flavor!)

These guys are a Blues band who all have day jobs in the beer industry with some big name west coast micro-brewers. The songs that play on their website are all FUN songs about making good beer! (Yup, we always have the stereo playing Blues and turned up LOUD when we homebrew!) So tap one and enjoy. Tell them the Blues Blast sent ya!

For more Blues links, CLICK HERE to visit the Links Page

Thursday, May 22 - Saturday, May 24, 2008


Phone: (708) 524-6050

A Symposium on the Legacy of Blues & Gospel Music

Dominican University (located just minutes from the Chicago Loop) hosts the Blues and the Spirit Symposium, emphasizing the heritage of African-American Chicago and exploring the shared roots of Blues and Gospel.

  • Panels and presentations with Timuel Black, Portia Maultsby, Horace Maxile, Paul Garon, Sterling Plumpp, Gayle Dean Wardlow, Barry Dolins, Jim O’Neal, Marie Dixon, Bob Davis, Bob Koester, Fernando Jones, Bob Marovich, David Whiteis, Scott Barretta, Salim Muwakkil, Sandra Pointer-Jones, Suzanne Flandreau, Bob Riesman, Stephanie Shonekan, Morris Phibbs, Bob Jones, Billy Boy Arnold, Stan Mosley and others.

  • Blues Workshop with Billy Branch and Gospel Workshop with James Abbington
  • Multimedia Presentations, Raeburn Flerlage Photography and Outsider Art Exhibits
  • Musical Appearances by Larry Taylor, James Wheeler and Bob Stroger
  • Bronzeville Tour with a stop at the Blues Heaven Foundation, located in the former Chess Records
  • Chicago Blues Club Crawl
  • Otis Clay and Sharon Lewis in Concert CLICK HERE to see schedule and registration information

Featured Blues Review (1 0f 4) SCROLL DOWN For More

Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues - Backbone & Gristle
Plantation # 1 Productions

15 songs; 78:40 minutes; Suggested

Genre: Down Home Blues, Chicago Blues

Remember the old “Big Mac Attack” burger ad? Well, Big Mac is back with a Blues attack! With artists like 66-year-old Mac Arnold back making good music, why do we suffer Blues pretenders? Arnold sings with confidence from years of experience, and that confidence is summed up in the title, Backbone & Gristle.

Mac Arnold has a long Blues pedigree including being in a band often joined by a young piano player named James Brown to a stint in Muddy Waters band to recording with Otis Spann and John Lee Hooker to working as a producer on Soul Train to fronting his own band, Plate Full O’ Blues. Mac now resides in Pelzer, SC, where at age ten he got his first taste of the Blues when he learned to play his brother William Leroy Arnold’s home-made gasoline can guitar. This album is dedicated to this older brother.

After getting back in the game and going back to his roots with 2006’s Nothin’ To Prove, Arnold serves up another tasty mess of Down-south-deep Blues and Chicago Blues in fifteen original songs written, arranged, and produced by the entire band. Arnold’s wearied but powerful baritone voice leads on all songs.

Mac Arnold is featured on all leads vocal, gas can on a couple, and some bass The more than competent band backing is Danny Keylon on main bass; Austin Brashier on guitar and harmony vocals; Max Hightower on keyboards, harmonica, and rhythm guitar; and Mike Whitt on drums. Special guests are Mark McMakin and Mike Murray on bass, Jim Peterman on Hammond B3 organ, and Steve Keeter on piano.

Studious notes from Brashier’s guitar in front of Hightower’s piano and Peterman’s organ open track one (“Love & Relations”), followed one minute later by Arnold singing some sage advice for lovers, “...just hold each other’s hand, open up your mind, just be truthful when you speak, don’t waste each other’s time.” And, off you go into seven minutes of wonderful, yes!, THIS-is-the-Blues

The second cut picks up the tempo slightly for Arnold’s heartfelt but humorous lyrics about meeting a young lady looking for genuine affection. Is the protagonist ready to provide? “U Dawg Gone Right,” sings Mac while plucking some notes on that gas can seen on the album’s back cover.

The title track (Cut three) opens with Brashier peeling off mean guitar licks to set the tone of Arnold’s story about his share cropping father’s advice born of hard work. “Son, if you listen to me, and do as I say, you’ll be a man we can depend on one day. But right now your backbone ain’t nothin’ but a gristle.” On the first guitar solo, Brashier flourishes on top of Danny Keylon’s steady pumping bass and pocket partner Mike Whitt on drums.

The instrumental “Blow Till You Blow” finds Max Hightower’s harmonica blasting and trilling in the finest of tradition.

By track 6, Mac relates a spoken word tale of the “Gas Can Story” and then proceeds to play rhythm on the barely-in-recognizable-tune instrument for “Gonna Move To The Other Side of Town.” Now, that’s as down home as coarse ground cornbread and greasy collard greens.

Mac can’t understand excess in “Things I Don’t Need” with Hightower leading on piano and Brashier slowly punctuating the mood with single guitar notes. A similar theme is found in the starkly arranged “The Garden Song” with only harmonica and guitar backup.

Most tracks run four to eight minutes with tracks 14 and 15 recorded festival live. Bob Margolin and Willie Smith show up nicely on 14. The set closing track 15 is a faster, uplifting eight minute live alternate version of the slower inspirational, studio track 10, “I Can Do Anything.” Both versions feature guest children on background harmony vocals.

Welcome back, Mac. First, you didn’t have Nothin’ To Prove, but, now, you done did prove Blues is alive and well in the Carolinas, and thanks to your CDs, all points beyond!

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.

Mud Angels

A Bolt From The Blue

"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 (2 0f 4) SCROLL DOWN For More

Charlie Wood & the New Memphis Underground

Daddy-O Records
Run Time: 54:03

I went to Memphis’ International Festival in 2003 and spent my evenings walking up and down Beale Street after the festival hours had shut down. I had always heard that the best music sometimes takes place after the big shows. Unfortunately, to my surprise and disappointment, not a bright light of Memphis soul or Blues could be found in this Mecca of Blues that was Beale Street. The Blues and soul that once was Memphis’ Beale Street has been replaced by the ruckus and noise of today’s hip hop and hard rock/post-punk along with typical classic rock bar bands.

Upon my return to my home in Illinois two artists came across my desk that still live and record amongst the invasion of the modern sounds. There names were a journeyman harmonica player named Billy Gibson and a virtuoso vocalist and keyboard player named Charlie Wood. I did my reading up on these two and came to find out that “red-headed Charlie” as he’s sometime affectionately called had toured the world with Albert King in 1990 up until King's passing. Wood impressed me and I’ve tried to keep up with him ever since.

Last year, putting together a crack band of talent from around the Memphis area, including musical partner/label mate Billy Gibson, Wood pounded out 4 covers and ten originals that are presented here. Wood’s musical career began in being tutored in jazz in high school and then eventually he found his way into Memphis soul music. This eponymous release gives the listener a blend of jazz, Memphis Soul, gospel, and Blues much in the likes of another great keyboard player Ray Charles. Wood’s appeal is that he gives us Memphis Soul Stew with a jazz sensibility and vocal nuance. Along with his fine musicianship (as well as the band), Wood remains ever conscious of the continued condition of the world around him (listen to “You Really Don’t Wanna Know”) without proselytizing the listener to his own view but still remain a staunch challenger with biting lyrics and by also being somewhat of a humorist with the ode to the American, over-caffeinated white collar worker called “Coffee Is For Me.”

Wood’s covers on the disc aren’t a simple reinvention of the wheel of his influences. He promptly adds in his jazz credentials while giving room to folks like Gibson and guitarist Joe Restivo to conjure their own unique styles as well without it all sounding like a jumbled coagulated jam session.

I think what I like about Wood most of all is his broad vision and spectrum. He just doesn’t want to appeal to one niche market; he wants to appeal to everyone with their ears to the ground for good quality music. He does, with both his smoky whiskey laced vocal and incredible dexterity on the keys have a seminal crossover appeal that most artists in Blues or neo-Memphis Soul would not have. To say that American music on Beale and in Memphis is gone would not be the truth, Charlie Wood and his cast are still around and kicking and they are kicking quite loudly.

Visit Charlie Wood on the web at or at his Myspace: Thios CD is available at CDBaby and ITunes.

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

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Streaming Blues Link of the Week

The Texas Blues Café is a virtual cyber Blues cafe. The mission of the Texas Blues Café is to promote Blues back into American culture. They have more than 90 one hour Blues shows featuring a slew of Texas Blues bands.

This is pure Texas rocking Blues so take a deep breath, hold on to your hat and CLICK HERE to go right to one of their shows. Enjoy, and tell them the Blues Blast sent ya!

Check out other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE

Other IMPORTANT News Help Save the music! CLICK HERE to Keep Blues Radio Alive!

Chicago Blues Update

Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy

Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)

Lordy's Excellent Chicago Blues Adventure (Part One - Friday Night)

Sometimes I get so excited about the live Blues music scene here in Chicago, that I want to just pick you all up in my little Jetta and drag you around with me all weekend. It shouldn’t be a problem because, as you know, wherever you live, it is a suburb of Chicago. Allow me to guide you through a typical Blues odyssey here in the capital of the Blues.

Friday we start out at Moe Joe’s southwest of the city center. We are going to enjoy Barrelhouse Chuck and Gerry Hundt with a side of great New Orleans cuisine. Barrelhouse tutored at the side of his close friend Little Brother Montgomery and several other masters who have since gone to Bues heaven. He sings and plays and tells stories about his heroes. Check out his website for pictures of his memorabilia from his museum/home. This year Gerry Hundt had the honor of several nominations for Blues Music Awards. One was for his spot as one of Nick Moss’ Fliptops and the other was for his Chicago Blues Mandolin cd. Tonight he would get to his guitar, harp, mandolin, vocals and even slide mandolin. Chuck and Gerry will sit and talk with us during the break, and I might recommend that you pick-up some of their recordings while you’re here so we can have them autographed. Let’s say hi to harpist Joe Filisko at another table then hit the road.

We jump on I-55 North for the short run between Plainfield and Darien, and stop at the 8700 Room. This is the bar area of The Carriage Greens Country Club. The Carl Davis Band is just getting ready to start, but I have just enough time to introduce you to Carl, Anthony Tabion (keyboards), Pete Scach (bass) and Lenny Spatafore (I love that name) on drums. It doesn’t take singer, guitarist and songwriter Carl Davis long to get the place up and dancing. This is too good, so we’ll stay for a few sets. I’m glad you asked, and yes they do have a new and successful cd titled Someday. After hearing some of those tracks live mixed in with some great new material we get Someday and ask when the next one will be out. It is only about 11:30, the night is young and you have already met six of the nicest guys in the biz.

Further on up I-55, which here in Chicago is the Stevenson Expressway, we exit at Harlem Avenue. Next stop (you guessed it) is The Harlem Avenue Lounge in Berwyn. The Pat Smillie Band is an R&B revue band that fills the large stage at HAL. That’s Brother Alton Woodley at the keys and Big John Merideth with his very large left handed six-string bass (think tree). That’s Al Wittek playing a Les Paul now, but before we leave we will hear him on the lap steel. The name on the bass drum says Sambo and is stomped by Arthur “Sambo” Irby. I think Sambo is one of the most talented guys around. He drums, he sings, he plays imaginary harmonica and…wait a minute he’s standing on his drum stool. The requisite girl backup singers are the lovely and talented Ashley Stevenson and Jackie Patton. I wish Tina Howell was with them tonight. You have to meet her sometime. Ashley and Jackie don’t spend the full set on stage. We can be gentlemen of course and let them share our bar stools. By the way, that hug was from Ramblin’ Rose. Wait until you hear her version of “Give Me One Reason”. Here is another signed cd to add to your collection. Well the party is over, for now. You and I just can not be the last ones out of this bar, so we talk to our bartender Dre (yeah I like blue jeans too), and Kenny Z the proprietor for a while. Dre prepares the best scotch on the rock around. I think they want to go home, so on to home. I love the chirping of birds in the morning, when the sun is coming up and I am coming in.

What do you know? It’s Saturday and as sure as night follows day, I will pick you up tonight for round two. (The Saga continues next week with part two of Lordy's Excellent Blues Adventure. Stay Tuned for the Saturday night tale next week!)

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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

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Featured Blues Review (3 0f 4) SCROLL DOWN For More

Monster Mike Welch - Just Like It Is
BGB Records
Run Time: 51:49

Monster Mike Welch’s musical influences speak in his head all the time, ever-channeling a path from the past through his guitar and songwriting. Lauded at the tender age of 13 as a Blues guitar virtuoso, Welch’s voice with his instrument continues to burn bright and strong. At 28, Mike along with many younger artists continue to be the torch bearer of the traditional electric Blues.

From B.B. King, to Freddy King, Otis Rush, and Buddy Guy you can hear it all in little under an hour re-channeled through this “kid” from the East Coast. With the early sixties B.B. King influenced guitar on “I’m Gonna Move to Another Country” to the instrumental bonanza like Freddy King's “Sticky Whisket,” Welch provides the punch of all the electric Blues guitar greats without sounding like a complete knock-off of any one of the aforementioned individuals. On these 11 originally penned and 2 covers, Welch gives us the rich warm guitar tone of a mature player, though his age belies the statement.

Welch’s backing band of Anthony Geraci on keys, Brad Hallen on bass, and Mark Teixiera on drums are completely with him, strongly steeped in the rich hallows of Chicago Blues of years gone. Geraci conjures thoughts of the great piano players of these old days when he cuts loose on the anchoring solo in the Otis Rush minor key sounding but Peter Green penned “Love That Burns.” Hallen and Teixiera never move from the groove at all, and are solid as an iron bone throughout the album.

Welch’s tenor seems a little undersuited for the task at hand at times, but they are confident and tend to grow on the listener after repeated listens. Vocally, Welch is very reminiscent of his contemporary and friend Nick Moss. By little less than midway through the album on a bad-love-gone-wrong song “Don’t Expect Me To Cry,” Welch’s swagger and angst aptly fit and remove a little from the crooning vibrato tenor he provides on the majority of the disc. “I’m Not A Stupid Man” would be the other penchant to know-it-all swagger in his voice when he tells us he’s not about to cheat on his lover.
Overall, the album should be a pleasing delight to traditional fans and sound like a well-rounded disc to the contemporary fan by not sounding too dusty and tired while still giving the “old school” a young face with updated motifs. If you haven’t been shocked by this Monster on your CD Shelf, you probably should. This one will scare you, he’s so dang good. This CD is available from CDMojo and all major outlets.

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

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Featured Blues Review (4 0f 4) SCROLL UP For More

Kelly Richey - Carry The Light
Sweet Lucy Records

By Gary Weeks

As a live performer, Richey goes all out. Tearing and slashing at the guitar, her music is always a full out assault without too much time to catch your breath. The stage is a liberation zone which Kelly embraces wholeheartedly.

Kelly Richey's latest release Carry The Light finds the artist addressing important world social issues that in turn become strong lyrical statements. The CD divides itself between ballads, moderate paced numbers and smoking rockers.

Title track "Carry The Light" drives along the message of love and music underscored by scalding guitar lines. A slow paced "What In The World" finds a human race reflecting on their inner strengths and looking to rebuild a faith once lost. Here Kelly shows her usual guitar showmanship and evolving artistic abilities.

Kelly is not abandoning the rockier side of things either. Opening track "Leave The Blues Behind" is a fast gallop into guitar inferno "I Want You". A catchy riff makes "No More Lies" a candidate for a Govt Mule record with Kelly's fretwork being front and center. A dark force pervades "When All Is Said And Done" then transforms into positive waters with a glimmering solo.

The lyrical nature of "Time For A Change" makes this ballad a focused effort on achieving world unity. A unity counteracted by losing one's way on the gentle "Jericho Road".

While some of these numbers may be soap-boxy, they are reminders we live in a grim world. Corrupted as the human race is, Kelly knows the healing power of music. And of musicians deserving to carry the light, she has our many blessings.

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If you have a large travel trailer, touring coach or motor home (Air Stream etc) that we could use as a dressing room for our festival performers during the MVBS festival (July 3-5th, 2008) we can offer FREE VIP backstage passes and Hotel accommodations at our Festival hotel (The Lodge) in Davenport, IA in return for the use of your mobile trailer. For more information please contact the MVBS office at (563) 322-5837 or by email at

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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 5 Chris Cain from California, May12 Blues Deacons from Champaign, IL, May 19 Dan Sanchez & the Kings of Pleasure from the West Coast, 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 Too Slim and The Tail Draggers Thursday, May 08, 2008 in a 7:00 PM Early Show at NV Ultra Lounge, 107 East Beaufort St. Normal, Illinois 61761 Tickets are $5.00 At The Door

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents The Chris Cain Band Sunday May 4th at Creekside Bar and Grill, 3303 Brady Street in Davenport, IA (563) 324-4619 The show starts at 8:00pm $5 cover

Friends of the Blues - Watseka, IL

The Friends of the Blues presents 2 "Early" shows. Friday, May 9 - Too Slim & The Taildraggers will be performing at Brandon Casey’s, 235 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL and Tuesday, May 20 – Bryan Lee will be at Brandon Casey’s. For more information call 815-802-0202.

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