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Friday, December 12, 2008

Bettie Page RIP

About as far away from the blues that you can get, and yet I need to say something about Bettie Page. She is the girl that everyone saw and no one knew her name. She was a G-rated pinup girl who did adult themed photos. She was on everything in the 50s from postcards, books, magazines, and films. She appeared in Playboy, and was the model for the little bunny models that appear on the Playboy joke page. She disappeared into obscurity, until the 1980s, when a guy trying to relive childhood fantasies tried to find Ms. Page, and started a magazine called the Betty Pages. I remember reading those magazines and enjoying the story of this guy going from place to place just missing her. Finally found alive years later she kept hidden and only appeared in public on her 80th birthday with Hugh Hefner, and the artist Olivia

Even when Bettie was bad, she was still good, the proverbial girl next door. I am glad that she will never grow old. God bless you Bettie, may you rest in peace.

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December 12, 2008

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News, photos, reviews, live Blues links & MUCH MORE in this issue!

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Hey Blues Fans,

We made it out to catch the Joe Moss Band in Peoria, IL last weekend. This is the first time we have seen Joe and it won't be the last.

Then we made it to Blue Monday in Springfield, IL to see an interesting group comprised of Chicago harp great Bill Lupkin along with Watermelon Slim's band, the Workers. It was an interesting combination and a GREAT show.

Also we made it to a show put on by the River City Blues Society this week featuring Nick Moss & The Flip Tops. This Blues society has been around for a long time (24 years). This society is responsible for the long running Illinois Blues Fest, the River City Harmonica Blow Out, the Winter Blues Fest and the Luther Allison Memorial Blues Fest (LutherFest). This show was the kickoff of their new Wednesday Night Blues series.

Nick and the band (Bob Carter- drums, Gerry Hundt - guitar, bass, mandolin and harmonica, and Willie Oshawny - keyboards, bass) gave everyone a taste of what real Chicago Blues is all about. Working their way through selections from their last CD "Play it Till Tomorrow" they showed their versatility and showmanship. You could never guess what the next song would bring as Nick, Gerry and Willie rotated around the bandstand switching off between guitar, bass, mandolin harmonica and keyboard. Nick and the band have a new live album coming out in the next few months that was recorded at Chan's in Rhode Island with guitar great Lurrie Bell sitting in. Look for that release soon on Nick's Blue Bella record label.

If this first show is any gauge, the River City crew looks to have started another great series of events with these new Wednesday Blues concerts. See the Society News section below for their upcoming shows.

Blues Reviews and MORE!

Blues Review this week - James Walker reviews a new CD from Rob Rio. Tom "The ENERGIZER" Schlesinger sends us a review of the new CD by Paul Metsa and Sonny Earl. Ben Cox sends us a review of a new CD by Alberta Adams. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!

Featured Blues Review 1 of 3

Rob Rio - Thank You, Joe Turner

10 songs; 34:14; Splendid

Style: Jump Blues / West Coast Swing / Rock and Roll / Boogie-Woogie

Who was “The Boss of the Blues?” It was Big Joe Turner (1911 – 1985), and even if you are not familiar with his name, you probably know some of his hits, included here, like the classic song (and film) “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” “Flip, Flop, Fly” popularized in the 1980s by the Blues Brothers, and “Lipstick, Powder & Paint” covered by many artists including Delbert McClinton.

NYC born, but now residing in California, Rob Rio, “The Boss of the Boogie-Woogie & Blues Piano,” has issued this “Tribute To Big Joe Turner” in fine style. Tribute albums can be controversial. One school says, instead of listening to the tribute, why not just listen to the original artist. Conversely, if one likes a certain artist, he/she will enjoy the covers done by that artist. My opinion: why not enjoy both?

Sincere musicians will tell you the emphasis should be on “the song” anyway, not the artist. The house-party fun on this album is way too good to be dismissed as a “mere tribute.”

To get a great full band sound, Rio gathered an all-star lineup in the studio to accompany his own deft piano and versatile vocals. Job Striles – guitar, Larry Taylor – bass, Richard Innes – drums, Bill Flores – tenor, alto sax, Jeff Turmes – baritone, tenor sax, and Corey Gemme – trumpet. Rick Holmstrom guests on guitar on three songs while Job Striles and Valerie Sooky add background vocals on one track.

The opening number, “Thank You, Joe Turner,” is the only non-Joe song in the set. The lyrics run down some of Turner’s styles (e.g. blues shouting) and history, like singing blues while, at the same time, tending bar in Kansas City circa 1930.

“Shake, Rattle & Roll” was Turner’s biggest smash hit, and it will have you, too, believing that the devil wears “nylon hose.” Rio takes a nice mid song piano solo followed by the type of wailing saxophone that would have Big Joe broadly smiling and snapping his fingers.

To hear some more of Rob Rio’s award winning boogie-woogie piano, check the up tempo “Corinna, Corinna” and “Boogie Woogie Country Girl.

During the mid-tempo “Cherry Red” are we allowed to laugh (with out being politically incorrect) at the idea that this African American singer’s girlfriend will “jump in her big brass bed and rock him ‘til his face turns “Cherry Red’”? Aw, it’s all done in salacious fun, anyway.

More fun: Turner’s “Wee, Wee Baby” is anything but a wee lassie. Rio sings, “...You’re sure looking good to me.” But, the protagonist is so frustrated with his love interest he would like to “go upside her head, if he only could,” but you see, “She’s six-foot-two, weighs 295 – big mama”! Look out! Holmstrom delivers a very tasty mid-song guitar solo here.

Overall, this is a wonderful album. The songs only run about three minutes each, maintaining their crispness. Rio’s vocals are a more than an adequate honor to Big Joe, the musical team is superior, and these bouncy songs are so good that one can not help but enjoy them.

At 34 minutes, they probably should have added about three more numbers. Hey, but who is counting when you are having this much fun?

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.

Winter 2009 Chicago Blues Tour

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Visit 9 of Chicago’s famous Blues clubs featuring 12 live blues bands!

For more Info CLICK HERE

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Blues Music Reviewers wanted - Southwest and Texas areas

Blues Blast Magazine is looking for reviewers to review new Blues CD's and live music shows. If you have a background and experience with Blues music and like to write we can provide new CD's and press passes for events for you to review. Photography experience helpful for show reviews. Must be willing to write a minimum of one review every other week. Reviewer keeps the CD's for writing the review. If interested please send a sample of your writing and a short bio of your Blues background to

Newsletter Editor Wanted

The River City Blues Society (Peoria, IL) is in need of a newsletter editor for their society newsletter "News of Blues" . The newsletter is published 4 to 6 times a year and normally runs from 4 to 12 pages depending on upcoming events, reviews and article material submitted. For further information, please contact

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

The River City Blues Society presents

Wednesday Blues Featuring

Russell Miller & 6V6

December 17, 2008 - 7:00pm

Captain's Wheel

2801 Court Street

Pekin, IL 61554

(309) 346-1154

Map to Club CLICK HERE

Admission $3 or free with new Society membership

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.

The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society - Marietta, Ohio

The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society of Marietta, Ohio announce their 17th annual River City Ohio Blues Competition for sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge ( IBC) in 2010. January 9, 2009 is the deadline for participants to register. The competition is to be held February 20 & 21, 2009, at Hotel Lafayette, 101 Front Street, Marietta OH. The first place winner of The River City Ohio Blues Competition will receive $1000 dollars in cash, second place winner will receive $200 in cash and the third place winner will receive $100 in cash.

The Blues is an attitude and state of mind, not an address -- not confined to any geographical area. One of the things that makes the Marietta competition unique is that it has no geographic restrictions and is open to serious Blues acts from anywhere. The Competition pulls talent from a four, five or six state area and even from overseas.

FOR BANDS WHO WANT TO PARTICIPATE: Click here . Information: call Steve Wells (anytime) 304- 295 - 4323 or

River City Blues Society- Peoria, IL

Wednesday Blues Series in Central, Illinois Wednesday, December 17th, 2008. These Early shows run each Wednesday from 7:00pm to 11:00pm and feature the best traveling regional and National Blues musicians. The shows will feature a budget priced cover charge of $3.

Shows scheduled are: December 17 - Russell Miller and 6V6, January 7th - Studebaker John, January14th - Scott Holt, January 21 - TBA, January 28 - James Armstrong

Friends of the Blues - Watseka, IL

Join us Saturday, Dec 27 for Big James & The Chicago Playboys, 9:00 PM, Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N. Kinzie Ave, Bradley IL 815-936-1649

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

Bob Dorr and the Blue Band at the Redstone Room, 129 Main Street, Davenport, Iowa on Sunday December 21! Doors open at 4:30 and the music begins at 5:00 for this Holiday Party sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society; admission is $10. The show is a fundraiser for the MVBS. For more information contact the Blues Society at or call 563-508-6596

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 - December 8 - Studebaker John, December 22 - Scottie Miller and the Uptake Inhibitors, December 29 - Sally Weisenburg and the Famous Sidemen

Blues Blast Magazine is proud to be a media sponsor of the 25th International Blues Challenge. The silver anniversary of this great Blues competition promises to be one the best ever put on by the Blues Foundation.

In case you are not familiar with this event, it is an international search for the best undiscovered Blues band on the planet. Each year the Blues Foundation's 160 affiliate Blues societies from all over the globe hold "local" or "regional" Blues challenges.

They send the winners to compete in the semifinals in Memphis in February. There are categories for both bands and solo/duet acts.

In 2008, 100 bands and 60 solo/duo acts filled the clubs up and down Beale Street for the semi-finals on Thursday and Friday. This is a Blues show you do not want to miss. It is literally the worlds largest gathering of Blues Bands!

Beale Street is the legendary Blues Mecca in Memphis. Each club on Beale has 6 or 8 acts competing in the semi-finals. By the rules of the competition, each act plays exactly 30 minutes all using the same stage setup for a panel of judges and a packed crowd of Blues fans. They are judged on Blues content, vocal and/or instrumental talent, originality and stage presence by a different panels of judges each night (See scoring criteria HERE).

The scores are averaged and the top scoring act from each club advances to the finals that are held at the Orpheum Theater on Saturday. (To see some photos of last years fun CLICK HERE)

Tickets to this historical event are just $75 and include entrance to all the clubs on Beale Street both Thursday and Friday and the finals on Saturday. CLICK HERE to get yours now.

Be sure to get your hotel reservations NOW too as some of the host hotels are already sold out! CLICK HERE for hotel info

Featured Blues Review 2 of 3

Paul Metsa and Sonny Earl - White Boys Lost in the Blues

10 songs ; 4 - covers, 6 - originals

Sonny Earl on harmonica and vocals was doing a series of gigs on Friday night at Gabby's Saloon in Northeastern Minneapolis when he lost his blind guitar player from his band. He went looking for Paul Metsa to see if he would take over that position on guitar. Sonny had only heard of Metsa, and never met him. But, when they got together, I think history was in the making as they are two very accomplished musicians. Paul has had many awards and achievements including a 1999 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award winner, 1994 Best Acoustic guitar award, Best Folk Artist 1986, Best Blues Vocals 1986, and on and on.

Sonny started playing harp at 9 years and practiced his craft well (and, boy, is this guy good). His sister’s boy friend had played, and after pestering him for a while, got him to get Sonny a Hohner, and he was off and running. Sonny got to jam with the late Son Seals and then brought down the house when he played with Blackfoot on the song “Train Train.”

What a gem this CD is with its Jazzy, Folky, and Blues based sound! These guys were inspired somewhat by the great duo of Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, and it’s dedicated to their memory.

They lead off with a bluesy song co-written by Metsa /Earl Called “Train from Montana.” There is Great, no, make that “Out standing” attacking harmonica by Sonny Earl, and Metsa’s fine, fine guitar licks grab you on this first song! Then, song after song thereafter, they keep your attention.

The second song is called “Cold Outside,” another one written by these fine performer- writers. These guys are so good with guitar and biting harmonica again. Check their fantastic lyrics about a woman that is warm on the outside but as cold as ice inside. The man has ice cube tears from the hurt from her. Someday, they’ll melt, but it might take a few years. Wow!

Six of the ten songs are written by one or both of this great team. The covers are “Lollipop Momma” by R. Brown, and there’s even a great rendition of Bob Dylan's “She belongs to Me.” Another good showing is on “One Way Out” by Sonny Boy Williamson, M. Sehorn, and Elmore James. Including Sonny Terry’s “White Boys Lost in the Blues,” the title cut, all are very good covers.

This CD I rank as one of my top 5 of the year. This one, like I said earlier is a Gem, meaning a must-have-and-keep in your library.Buy this one today!

Reviewer Tom "The ENERGIZER" Schlesinger is a long time Blues fan and Blues lover, a veteran of many a Blues Festivals around the mid west and Florida, and a Legendary Blues Cruiser through the Caribbean.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

New CD

Mighty Mighty

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD

Featured Blues Review 3 of 3

Alberta Adams - Detroit Is My Home

Eastlawn Records

Run Time: 52:14

Alberta Adams has been kicking the jump blues around the Motor City for more than 60 years now. She cut her teeth down on Detroit's Hastings Street with the likes of John Lee Hooker and Bobby Bland in the 40s and 50s. She's toured with the jump blues kings of Louis Jordan, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and the swing of T-Bone Walker. This dancer turned singer declares loudly at 91 years old that she is Detroit's Queen of the Blues with a little help from some friends of course.

If you are looking for contemporary blues guitar screaming and crying deep into the night, then don't look here. Alberta Adams serves up heaps of the old style traditional urban blues that paved the way for rock n roll in the 50s. From barrelhouse swingers to deeply moving jazzy blues, Adams has a world weary voice that fades in and out. The arrangements and the band of friends that surround these recordings that have been compiled over 2 years time is some of the best old school blues players around the Detroit area. Enlisting keyboard players that checker this disc with some of the finest 88's work of the year, Ann Rabson Mark Lincoln "Mr. B." Braun, and Al Hill show the world how its done. James O'Donnell sounds like he's right out of a Harlem or Detroit club of the 40s with his muted trumpet work on "I'm Worried." Adams also turns in one of her best vocal performances on the same track.

The title track, which was written especially for Alberta is belted out as hard as she can. The band is sharp. Adams' voice is weary but the track still swings. "Doctor Blues" has got a rhumba swing complimented by a beautiful horn arrangement, jazzy guitar licks from Paul Carey, and colored underneath by the piano of Ann Rabson who also wrote the song. This seems to be the tail of the tape for most of the album until CeeCee Collins and Thornetta Davis step up to the mic to help one of their influences. These two ladies add some wonderful background and lead vocals along with this icon from their hometown. Trying not to steal the show (but she does) on the oft-covered Magic Sam tune "Just A Little Bit," Cee Collins belts out this old school tune with some great zest and the backing band is just ruckus! The song is the lone live cut and is a hidden track, tacked to the end of "Hopin' It Will Be Alright."

Adams is at her best and most evocative in her lower registers. See songs like "I'm Worried" and "Always Home" and you'll find two of the most vocally successful songs on the disc for a woman who's lived 91 years. Her voice falters on parts that normally would be belted out by the strongest singer. However, the sass is still there underneath it all. I hope I can still talk at 91, let alone sing. You know the album is completely hers and you stand at attention and recognize when she sings it. Alot of the success of this album really does hinge on the backing band and the co-lead vocal songs (check out the New Orleans flavored "Struttin' My Stuff"). With a host of players too numerous to mention, these guys and ladies are really the cream of the crop when it comes to producing these old school blues & early-sounding R&B tunes. Adams may definitely be the Queen of Detroit's Blues but she's definitely got her a great bunch of subjects to help her continue that reign.

Review By Ben "the Harpman" Cox. Visit his website Juke Joint Soul

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

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Blues fans WANT to know about your Blues event of product. Call Bob at (309) 267-4425 or send an email to for a confidential quote today! covers Blues all over the US - NOT just in Illinois! also offers effective advertising for Festivals and Club Owners, Recording Companies and Performers. Put your Blues advertisement on our homepage at: either as a sponsored event or as a featured event, product, recording or merchandise. We get 10,000 visitors and 800,000 hits A MONTH on our website!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

John Lennon: Give Peace A Chance

I am just having too much fun tonight! God bless you John, I know you probably didn't believe in the big guy, but at least the Church forgave you for saying you were bigger than Jesus!:-) I also realize why I have been in a Beatle funk this month. John died 28 years ago this month! I hate to say this, but it seems like yesterday. I remember where I was when it happened I was sleeping in bed and a friend called me up to tell me the news. It was devastating. I was numb for months. At that time I was a huge Beatle freak. I lived, and breathed the Beatles, and John was my favortie. I liked John because he was working class like me, and I thought that if a guy like him could make it, so could I. However, being a working class hero proved to be pretty elusive in the long run. Yet, I like to think that I do my small part to make the world a better place.

John Lennon And Yoko Ono: Happy Christmas War is Over.

I know I am going to make a bunch of right wingers, and wingnuts mad, but I don't care. This song is as relevant today as it was in the early 70s.

Climax Blues Band: Couldn't Get It Right

70s blue eyed soul. Whatever happened to these guys?? I really miss this music from the mid 70s. The Climax Blues Band was pretty good. What I really like about this clip is that it is live, and not lip synced.

Hall And Oats: Rich Girl

Another classic from the late 70s.

Hall And Oats: She's Gone

I was watching the Daily Show tonight, and John Stewart had Hall and Oats appear early on the show to sing a funny song. However, it reminded me just how good those guys were. These guys were playing Philadelphia soul in the 70s when everyone else was playing disco. They were cool then, and they are still cool today.

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

I know I promised you a week off from these Blue Notes, but SURPRISE! (dontchya love Christmas surprises?) I couldn't stay away (how can you miss me if I won't go away?) It's the season to stay in touch with family and YOU are my family. Just consider me the weird cousin who never really grew out of his desire to play in a band and now is more like Ozzy Osbourne than Bruce Springsteen...

Be sure and make plans to join us Sunday, Dec. 21st at the River Music Experience, 2nd & Main in Davenport, for the Mississippi Valley Blues Society Christmas Party and fundraiser. Money raised will go toward producing the 25th Annual MVBS Festival over 4th of July weekend. We play 5-8pm. Our performance is made possible by the generosity of Zimmerman Motors in the Quad Cities. Marc Zimmerman and I were in rival bands at Sudlow Junior High School! We were both drummers. He was way better than me. His support of The Blue Band all these years has really been a special thing. Maybe we can get him to play drums on a song or two at the party!...

Other holiday shows include The Mill in Iowa City, Friday Dec. 26, showtime is 8pm (donchya love these "geezer gig" hours?) The Screaming Eagle in Waterloo, Sat. Dec. 27 (Eastern Iowa Pre-New Year's Party) and the Grand daddy of New Year's Eve events-Rockin The Blue Year- seven acts, three stages, food, and champagne, take the elevator home. More info and hotel link at

We seem to be such trend setters...we started doing the earlier start-time, "geezer gigs", about 15 months age. Now Jay Leno's expanded on the idea and is making many millions of $$$. We started the pay for play idea with Mustang Sally and the tip jar a few years ago and now the governor of Illinois (I'm STILL working on pronouncing that one) has REALLY expanded on THAT idea in an ATTEMPT to make many millions of $$$! So here's my attempt at starting a trend with the "bail outs", I hope we can expand on this idea: I believe the tax payers should only give money to these poorly managed, greedy, proven incompetent, corporate CEOs IF the CEOs agree to go to jail (they would be let out for 8 hours to go to work) for as long as it takes for those corporations to pay back the money with interest. As soon as the money is repaid, the CEO can go free (a true "bailout") If the money's not repaid, the CEO stays in jail. If nothing else, I bet there would be WAY fewer Corporate CEOs applying for tax payer bailouts!...

Monday and Tuesday's ice coating has made it difficult to just walk to the garage, so walking for exercise outside just can't happen. That puts me racing around College Square Mall, where inevitably I have to walk past the Victoria's (call her Vicki) Secret store. Even the mannequins in that store make this old square guy blush! But I found it odd that the latest sign promotion in front of the store proudly proclaims that all robes are on sale. This is from a store who has built it's success on DISROBING!!...

We're playing a private Christmas party in Okoboji on Friday night. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate (she certainly has been fickle lately, hasn't she?) and not add any weather obstacles to the 4+ hour road trip. I'm planning on being back to do the Backtracks rock'n'roll History show on Iowa Public Radio LIVE on Saturday night, 7-10p. Requests/suggestions/holiday salutations: 1-800-772-2440, ext. 5. And don't forget about our annual LIVE rockin' Christmas Eve together on the radio, this year 7-10p on Xmas Eve...

I'm hopin' the Blue Highway doesn't turn icy-blue, if you're going to give someone a tie for Christmas, make it a washboard tie, be careful, it's the time of year for FruitCAKE, and don't forget the question: Naughty or Nice? We love you, Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

Boosweet Records Release Tribute To Stevie Wonder


For Immediate Release
Michael Friedman
Skope Entertainment Inc


There's plenty of excitement at Los Angeles based label Boosweet Records these days as they have released award winning guitarist, producer, and label CEO Vernon Neilly's newest project titled, "Vernon Neilly & Friends: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder".

The new CD titled "Vernon Neilly & Friends: A Tribute To Stevie Wonder" was recorded on 3 different continents as Vernon was able to tap the shoulders of a few friends and magnificent musicians to come up with a musical experience as diverse as it's participants. Featured on the CD with Vernon is American guitar virtuoso Greg Howe, label mate Brasilian rock star and guitar virtuoso Kiko Loureiro (Angra), Grammy award winning Bassist Juan Nelson of the worldwide touring band "Ben Harper And The Innocent Criminals", also Parisian Smooth Jazz sensation U-NAM, power shredder Bill Hudson of "Power Quest" (Cellador), and even including the sultry sounds of multi-dimensional saxophonist Michael Paulo.

All songs on this CD are original arrangements that Vernon and Friends respectfully honored the melodic structure of Wonder's original compositions. However, the listener receives a truly diverse and exciting sonic experience with each tune distinctly building on the next within this multi-genre project that has Progressive Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Smooth Jazz, and R&B vocals. Where ever on the musical spectrum your individual taste may land, you are sure to find something you like on this fine CD.

Sample tracks are now available to preview at and

Vernon Neilly & Friends: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder

Vernon Neilly CD Art


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Taj Mahal: Dust My Broom

I was looking at my blog list, and saw that Crooks and Liars, had posted a video of Taj! I just had to steal it:-) Enjoy!!!

Little Richard: Ready Teddy

The amazing Little Richard in the movie, The Girl Can't Help It, staring the incredible Jayne Mansfield. An interesting bit a trivia about Jayne Mansfield, is that her daughter Mariska Hargitay stars in Law and Order SVU.

Gene Vincent: Rocky Road Blues

Interesting clip of Gene Vincent performing in France. I have no idea what the announcer is saying at the beginning, any of our French visitors perhaps they can tell us what is going on. This is post accident Gene Vincent(the second accident which killed Eddie Cochrane). His leg was pretty busted up, and in another clip they show him coming on stage on crutches. I was listening to an interview with Gene in 1971, and said eventually he had to have it amputated. considering how painful it must have been for him to perform, that is an amazing film clip.

The Beatles: Get Back

Studio version of a classic Beatles hit which features Billy Preston on Keyboards. Cool clip, check out Mick Jagger sitting in the control room during the song.

Bob Corritore Blues News

The AP of blues news! The Latest from Bob Corritore!!!

December 10, 2008