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The Iowa Blues Showcase is on the AIR
Saturday, May 24, 2008
As for my career changes. Many of you have known I was looking for work, and I did find another job here in the frozen tundra of NW Iowa! So I am here for at least another year. However, I am returning to my roots, and teaching art again! I am excited about the change and glad to get the chance to return to the classroom.
So with summer around hopefully I will get the chance to post more, and if gas prices drop perhaps I will get the chance to catch some blues fests. However, I am pretty skeptical about gas getting to the point where I am going to be able to travel like I want to. I have already canceled a trip to Chicago, and I known I am not going to make it to KC like I have wanted to. Even with free passses that I have recieved for some festivals, gas and hotels, are just too much for me to take off and get a chance to enjoy some blues. Yet, with that said I hope that you take the time to frequent your local blues bands and performers. You would be amazed at how great these local guys can play the blues. If you don't believe me then click on my interent radio show that is filled with IOWA blues artists! Yes, everyone one of the bands and performers you hear on my radio show are local artists from Iowa! ( I did add Big Bill Broonzy because he lived in Ames for a year:-)
So enjoy the summer! School is out so drive safe, and look out for the kids!
Friday, May 23, 2008
Yes, this is the second Blue Note in a row, written and sent during "regular" hours. My sleeping habits have been messed up for years, but since moving upstairs after the water in the basement episodes, they're REALLY messed up!...
Tomorrow, Saturday, May 24 (Bob Dylan and Molly Nova's birthday) we find ourselves in the picturesque confines of the Eagle Ridge Resort, just a little east of Galena IL, which is just a little east of Dubuque. The show runs 6-9pm, it's FREE and open to the public. The weather is predicted to be perfect. Bunky and Heath will make up the horn section. Big Blonde 2 says she's coming in from Peoria with about 20 other blondes and has consented to sing a couple songs, one of which I hope will be Tore Down, as that's the song that's on our new cd (New Year's Eve Pimento) which she sang on NYE. Hopefully we can sell a disc to at least half of her friends, which would DOUBLE the current sales! Get yerself a room at the resort and we'll have a PARTY IN YOUR ROOM!!. More info: www.eagleridge.com...
Sunday (not Monday as in the past 24 years) is the annual Summer kick-off bash on the bank of the Wapsipinicon River at FB & Co. in beautiful downtown Wabeek IA (about 20 minutes NE of Cedar Rapids) If you're lookin' for picturesque, this is the spot. The Mississippi Band starts playing about 2:30p, The Blue Band at 5:30p. Heath and Al will make up the horn section. Please vibe for the rain to hold off until after 9pm! If it's an all day kind of rain, the show moves inside the bar and music is also pumped out on the deck. We've played FB many, many, many years. Come out and encourage Tim Kula (the owner of the place) to hang in there, as he's recovering from a mini-stroke earlier this year, but is determined to have this party at his place again this year. Thanks Tim! More info: 319-438-6582...
Next week: Fri. 5/30 is our annual appearance at Urbandale (suburban Des Moines) Friday Fest, Walker/Johnston Park (about 88th & Douglas) 5-8pm. Sat. 5/31 marks our return to the best sounding parking lot on the tour-John & Gary's Gametime Lounge, on West St. in Grinnell, we play 9-mid. Sun. 6/1 marks our second time playing at Mt. Horeb (WI) Summer Frolic. Mt. Horeb (about 20 miles west of Madison) is The Troll Capitol of the World and also hosts the Mustard Museum (be sure and get a Poupon U. t-shirt) we play 5-8pm...
All my radio shows for this weekend are pre-recorded. Saturday night's Backtracks show (7-10p) remembers rock'n'rollers who have passed on (hey, it's MEMORIAL Day weekend) and Sunday's show (during the 7 o'clock hour) (I think) not only has a track from our new cd but also has a track by Davis' "other" band Stable Daze. Tune in anywhere on the planet at www.iowapublicradio.org...
We've finally decided on the t-shirt design for this year's tour shirt (it's posted on the home page at www.theblueband.com) and hope to have those shirts in a few weeks. If you were thinking of hiring the band sometime this year and want to have your date listed on the back of the shirt, try and book that date NOW!! If you have a particular color or size that you need to special order, do that NOW also!...
Truthfully, I'm totally freaked by the price of gasoline. It's hard to imagine that every 10 miles we move the equipment truck down the road, it costs $4. OUCH! Thanks for your generosity at the tip jar (again, we promise to only spend that money on gas, nothing frivolous like food, rent, or clothes) See ya on the Blue Highway, honor those who paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedoms on this Memorial Day weekend, keep strokin' that zydeco tie, and celebrate the holiday by bringing CAKE with red, white, and blue frosting! We love you, Bob Dorr & The Blue Band
May 22, 2008
- Big Pete Pearson/I'm Here Baby Wins Independent Music Award: The people's choices for Independent Music Awards have been announced and the "Blues Album" award goes to Big Pete Pearson/I'm Here Baby on Blue Witch Records. Wow! The awards for the "7th Annual IMA Vox Populi Winners" were announced today. Congratulations to Big Pete Pearson, Arizona's King of the Blues, for a stunning record that won the attention of the IMA voters. To read more about this, click here.
- Big Pete & The All-Stars to Play Silver City Blues Festival this Saturday: Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All-Stars (with Big Pete Pearson, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey) appear at the Silver City Blues Festival in Silver City, New Mexico, this Saturday. Also on the bill for this three-day event are Sherman Robertson, Zac Harmon, Marie Knight, John Mooney, and many others. Bob, Chris, and Patrick appeared at this festival in 2000 in the Sam Lay Band and found Silver City and its festival just wonderful. Special thanks to Faye McCalmont of the Mimbres Arts Council for including us in this great event! For more information and a complete fest lineup and schedule, click here.
- Tucson Show this Sunday for Big Pete & The All-Stars: Also on this weekend's schedule for Big Pete Pearson & The Rhythm Room All-Stars is a show at Old Town Artisans, 201 N. Court, Tucson, AZ 85701 in the downtown Tucson area on Sunday, May 25th, 7pm. This is part of Jonathan Holden's amazing Rhythm And Roots Concert Series (click here to find out more about this series). Click here to see the poster for this event.
- Chico Chism Remembered: The late Chico Chism will be remembered this Friday at the Rhythm Room on what would have been 81st birthday. Chico passed away on January 28, 2007 after blessing the Phoenix area with his charm and music for 20 years. Chico was best known for being Howlin' Wolf's last drummer, but he worked with Rosco Gordon, Sunnyland Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson II, T.V. Slim, and others too numerous to name. He moved from Chicago to Phoenix at Bob's invitation, and he was immediately propelled into great popularity and legendary status upon his arrival. His role as a personification of the Blues, a teacher, and a stunning musician is greatly missed in Phoenix. The Rhythm Room will host a night in his honor on Friday, May 23, 2008 with Big Nick & the Gila Monsters, The Flamekeepers (Chico's last band), KC Blues Band, Lynne Avril, and many others. To see photo pages of Chico Chism, click on these links (page 1, page 2, page 3, and page 4). To see the poster for this event, click here. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Doors open at 7pm, cover charge is $7. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at this event. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- Dave Riley and Bob Corritore to Perform in Barcelona, Spain! Dave Riley and Bob Corritore will perform a concert in Barcelona, Spain for Vicente "Harmonica" Zumel's blues concert series. The event will take place on December 12, 2008 at a venue called Aula de Cultura de Collblanc. Vicente is an active blues promoter in Spain, and hosts a radio show and website called La Hora Del Blues. Thanks, Vicente!
- Rhythm Room Harmonica Showcase Announced: A show called "West Coast Harmonica Party" will feature a number of California harp men (The Fremonts featuring Troy Sandow, Billy Watson, and the legendary John "Juke Logan) plus the great Marco Pandolfi (from Italy), Bob Corritore, and Country Soul Bob (from Phoenix). The Fremonts will serve as the host band, and lots of great harpin' will abound. To see the poster for this event, click here. Doors open at 8pm, cover charge is $10. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at this event. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
- New Tomcat Courtney Reviews Added: Tomcat Courtney/Downsville Blues was officially released this week on Blue Witch Records. The excitement is great for this highly anticipated CD of straight, no-nonsense down home blues. The reviews have just begun to come in, and have all been raves. We have posted the first 4 reviews, which you can read by clicking here. Tomcat Courtney will have his CD Release Party on Friday May 20, 2008 at the Rhythm Room. To see the album art for this CD click here, and to see some great vintage shots of Tomcat, click here.
- DC Minner Passes: More sad news to report as Oklahoma City blues veteran DC Minner has passed on Tuesday May 13, 2008. He was 73. DC had worked all over the country with Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Tony Matthews, and many others in his long blues career. He and his wife Selby organized and promoted the annual Dusk To Dawn Blues Festival in Rentiesville, OK with a 17 year run to their credit. He was very active in Blues In The Schools programs, and he brought great joy to all that knew him. For an article on his legend and his passing, and to visit his website, click here.
- Little Arthur Health Update: Chicago blues harmonica great and Delmark recording artist Little Arthur Duncan continues recuperation from his brain surgery last month. His guitarist, Rick Kreher, reports: "Little Arthur has been moved to a long term facility, Advocate Bethany, at 3435 W. Van Buren, Chicago, IL 60624. They are trying to get Arthur slowly off the ventilator and begin his rehab sessions. A few friends visited him in the last week, and he seemed to be awake and fairly mobile one day; and totally out of it the next day. He can have visitors at the new facility, and hopefully they can give Arthur the care he needs. Let's keep him in our prayers."
- Chicago Blues Guide: A great online source for blues events in and around the Chicago area is the Chicago Blues Guide, which features event listings, news items, blues radio shows, record labels, clubs, bands, CD and concert reviews, interviews and more. To access this valuable blues resource, click here.
- Some great photos from the Blues Music Awards and The Delta Groove Showcase: Some photos from Blues Music Awards in Tunica, Mississippi and the 3rd Annual Delta Groove Showcase at Ground Zero in Clarksdale (the day after the BMAs) have been posted on various photographers websites:
- Goodbye, Sistah Blue! One of Phoenix's most popular blues bands, Sistah Blue, will be having their final performance Thursday, May 22, 2008 at the Rhythm Room. Sistah Blue were mainstays of the Phoenix scene, performing for over a dozen years and earning a strong and loyal following. Their charismatic approach to their music boasted of the appeal of an all, or mostly all (depending on the year) female lineup with clever songwriting and well chosen covers. They served the blues in the Phoenix community with grace and exuberance, and they will be greatly missed. To see the poster for this event, click here. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Doors open at 7pm, cover charge is $15. Rack Shack Barbeque will be available at this event. This night will be a patio smoking only event; no indoor smoking will be permitted.
Blues Before Sunset Launches 7th Annual Summer Concert Series
A host of new faces will make their way to the 2008 Blues Before Sunset stage this summer, as the popular summer music series returns to the State Historical Building June 6.
The event will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays on East Locust Street in front of the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust in Des Moines. The event is free and family-friendly with beer, wine and an assortment of beverages available for sale. Food vendors will be
available on site. Guests are asked to bring their own seating.
The weekly outdoor event has become a favorite start-of-the-weekend activity for metro workers. Now in its 7th year, Blues Before Sunset supports the local Blues scene by hiring homegrown talent.
The 2008 Blues Before Sunset schedule includes:
June 6: Hot Tamale & The Red Hots
June 13: The Andy Schneider One-Man Blues Band
June 20: Blues Bureau
June 27: Jonny and the Rectifiers
July 4: NO SHOW – 4th of JULY HOLIDAY
July 11: Lady Blue
July 18: The Bob Pace Band w/Steve George
July 25: Erick Hovey Band
Aug. 1: Bo Ramsey
Blues Before Sunset is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Iowa and Central Iowa Blues Society with promotional support proudly driven by 100.3 The BUS and Capital 106.3, “quality music from then and now” and additional support by Baratta’s restaurant.
Visit www.iowahistory.org for complete details.
Thanks to Sabrina for the tip!
Here is an article in Forbes (Click Here to read about it) about the Queen of the blues Koko Taylor who has run afoul of the IRS. I am not anti tax, or anti IRS, but it is stuff like this that makes the IRS look bad. Koko is sick, and in a wheelchair. She doesnt have anywhere near the number of gigs that she had just a few years ago, and now the taxman wants to take what little she has left. I certainly hope someone in the Chicago area can step up and help Koko out. Koko owes around 400,000 dollars. I know that is probably too much money for the local blues cats to raise up. However, someone who is worth millions and gives away cars, could pay that off easily. Someone who does great things for people who are less off, and think of the TV ratings! Hmmmmm, I wonder who in Chicago could do that????? Just wishful thinking on my part.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
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May 21, 2008
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News, photos, reviews, live Blues links & MUCH MORE in this issue! - Scroll or Page Down!
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
Born In Arkansas
CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD
Streaming Blues Link of the Week
"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.
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
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
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.
July 25 - 27, 2008
Big Boulder Ski Area
Root Doctor, Teeny Tucker, Lil' Dave Thompson, Joey Gilmore, The Kinsey Report, Sharrie Williams, Michael Burks, Nappy Brown, Kenny Neal, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Jimmy McCracklin, Michael Roach, Johnny Mars, Byther Smith, The Holmes Brothers, Lurrie Bell, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Bobby Rush, Eric Bibb, Geno Delafose
Festival 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.
To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE
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Featured Blues Review (1 0f 3) SCROLL DOWN For More
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.
Blues Society News
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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!
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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
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.
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
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Featured Blues Review (3 0f 3) SCROLL UP For More
Eric Gales - Story Of My Life
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.
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