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Hey Blues Fans,
We heard the new Soundstage special on B.B. King the other night. B.B. is truly America's greatest cultural treasure and this show is a performance for the ages. This is B.B. at the zenith of his career!
If you get the chance to see this show DO IT! Look for it in repeats if necessary, you WANT to see this! The show was recorded in the Blues capital of the world, Chicago, and it is obvious B.B. feels at home there too.
Many who only know BB for his guitar playing might not realize he is the ultimate singer and entertainer too. And true to his style he continues to inspire generations.
He is joined in this special by guests Terrence Howard, Solange, and rock guitarist Richie Sambora. You get to see him play The Thrill is Gone twice. Once with Solange singing, and then later trading leads with Sambora with B.B. handling both Sambora and the vocals at the age of 83. To see a song from this great show CLICK HERE
If you can't find it scheduled near you go to www.PBS.org and buy it on DVD for yourself, a Blues friend or even better yet, your children!
B.B. King continues to play concerts like his March 24th show at the Venue in Hammond, Indiana advertised in this issue.
B.B. and the legacy of the music he loves are on our minds as we head to Memphis for the 25th International Blues Challenge this week. Is there another undiscovered B.B. King like young performer who will later become a legend?
Hard to say for sure, but we have seen quite a bit of talent there in the past and a ton of great Blues fun! We will have some pictures for you next week. Stayed tuned to see who wins!
Top CD's and songs for 2008
This week we received the 2008 "Best of" list from Blues Blast contributor James “Skyy Dobro” Walker. James sends his picks for the Top 20 CDs and Top 50 Songs for 2008. Below are his first 10 picks of both. Click the links below to to visit our website and see the rest of the top picks.
Skyy Dobro’s Top 20 CDs
1. Reba Russell Band Bleeding Heart
Skyy Dobro’s Top 50 Songs
1. Albert Castiglia “Bad Year Blues”
Blues Reviews and MORE!
Blues Reviews this week - James Walker reviews a new CD from John Németh. Belinda Foster reviews a new CD from Walter Jr. Our Blues Video this week is a live clip of Sean Costello playing one of his original songs from the CD "We Can Get Together".
The Blues Link of the week is the 2009 Simply The Blues Festival website. Our Streaming Blues radio link this week is The Raven 'n' the Blues, an English show hosted by Blues DJ Dave Raven.
All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
Featured Blues Review 1 of 2
John Németh - Love Me Tonight
11 songs; 44:53; Library Quality
Style: Retro and Modern Blues; Soul Blues
Allow me to repeat myself: “When it comes to the best young, white, contemporary blues singers, John Németh and Andrew Duncanson of The Kilborn Alley Blues Band are in the top five with Nemeth holding my personal list’s number one spot.” It is Németh’s vocal versatility and power that secured the top spot.
That fact alone is enough to categorize this CD as a “must buy.” But, it becomes a “must buy/order today” album when one adds to the equation Németh’s harmonica mastery, melodic genius, songwriting, and band line up including guitar (and keyboards) whiz Robert Welsh. On drums is June Core, whose credits include Little Charlie and The Nightcats; and on bass is Dmitry Gorodetsky (formerly with Roomful of Blues) or Kedar Roy. Guests are Elvin Bishop on guitar for two numbers and background vocalists: Ed Earley, Steve Willis, and CD engineer and assistant producer, Kid Andersen.
Robert Welsh first knocked me out at the 2007 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, IA when he played guitar behind leader Mark Hummel on chromatic harp, and harp guest James Harman. Then he played keyboards behind Paul Oscher. Playing scorching leads when one was thrown his way and fills on guitar like a keyboardist, Welsh was impressively versatile and amazingly competent no matter whom he was supporting. He was back at the MVBF in 2008 on keyboards with John Németh and guitarist Junior Watson
This self-produced CD contains intricate arrangements that reveal more with each listen. For example, check track seven, “Where You Been.” Woven together tightly in three minutes are chromatic harmonica, a creative bass line, solid rhythmic organ and drumming and clever guitar work that blends retro and modern tones into compelling music that is just wonderful. Another example is track nine, “Love Gone Crazy” featuring some of Németh’s best harp.
For his second Blind Pig release, the award winning Németh, originally from Idaho and currently living in California’s Bay area, pointedly continues to capture the inspired sounds of the 1950s and 1960s. Bringing thoughts of Jackie Wilson, the CD reinvigorates the sounds of vintage American R&B. Revealing rapidly maturing songwriting skills, John has crafted ten of the eleven songs by drawing on the classic soul, blues, and R&B influences.
You’ll know exactly what I mean when the first song and title track opens in a familiar Stax Records style. Studio layering allows a completely full sound without, thankfully, a bank of needless horns. If Welsh’s 15 second guitar solo had appeared on 1960s radio, Baby Boomers would, today, be waiting for that passage every time the song played as a “golden oldie.”
Speaking of stick-in-your-mind guitar hooks, wait until you hear Welsh’s ten second opening to track two, “Just Like You.” Németh’s harmonica harmonizes near the end before John launches into goose bump vocals, “I know, I know, You no good.” Again, Welsh’s mid-song solo is so good that John literally screams. Following John’s own killer harp solo, his powerful vocals go into higher register to convince this woman that he can be “...trouble, too...just like you.”
Sing-along fans will love the chorus on the Southern soul styled “Fuel for Your Fire” and the hook saturated “Too Good To Be True.”
For all the promise of Elvin Bishop on guest guitar, “Daughter of the Devil” is an odd misstep. The rhythm is boomy and the vocals are strangely thin and buried in the back. Bishop comes through nicely, however, on the much stronger “Country Boy.”
Coming right back soulfully, “My Troubled Mind” features some of Németh’s most emotive soul while Welsh’s string bending and note stretching are in classic territory.
The only cover is a powerful version of “She's My Heart's Desire” by The Falcons. Welsh recapitulates the guitar solo of the late Robert Ward while Németh, with backing vocals, delivers the goods in pure voice.
“Blues in My Heart” is a great closer, slowly wrapping up the set with one more taste of each ingredient. When John sings early on, “I’ve got the blues in my heart; deep down in my soul,” he sounds like a young Buddy Guy at his hungriest.
Since John Németh slew critics with his dazzling Blind Pig debut album, “Magic Touch,” the buzz surrounding this highly talented and gifted artist turned to ecstatic noise. “Love Me Tonight” confirms that the Blues Blast Music Awards he received last November, Best New Artist Debut and The Sean Costello Rising Star Award, were rightly awarded!
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 Video of the Week
Sean Costello - You Told Me A Lie
The world lost an amazing young Blues guitarist last April with the tragic death of Sean Costello at the age of 27. Sean had just released a new CD called We Can Get Together on Delta Groove. The world looked bright for this gifted rising star.
Many people never got to hear Sean live. Here is a live video of one of his original tunes from the CD called You Told Me A Lie.
To see the video on out website simply click the play button below.
To visit the official Sean Costello website CLICK HERE
You can and help support the legacy of this gifted guitarist by attending the benefit concert for the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bi Polar Research on March 1st, 2009 in Atlanta, GA. See advertisement below in this issue.
For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.
'Le Blues Hot'
CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD
To read a review of this CD, CLICK HERE
Blues Radio - Streaming Link of the Week
The Raven 'n' the Blues is a weekly 60 minute streaming broadcast of the best in Blues from REM FM on the Spanish Costas at 12pm every Saturday and 9pm every Sunday and on Skybird Radio on the East Coast of the USA every Friday evening at 7:00pm by UK host Dave Raven.
You can also listen to their past shows on their website. They have links to all the shows from May of 2005 onward. We figure that is about 200 hours of great commercial free Blues to listen to online or on your iPod or MP3 player.
In addition to the weekly shows there are also some really cool interviews with Blues artists on there. CLICK HERE to hear a Walter Trout audio interview that has singing some live acoustic Blues and talking of life, sobriety, his recent recording called The Outsider and more. He talks about his band and plays acoustic solo versions of both A Matter of the Heart and The Next Big Thing from the CD. Good Stuff!
There are also many other great interviews on there including sessions with Eric Bibb, Catfish Keith, Joe Bonamassa and many more. Just click on the show links to hear them online. To play them on you computer or iPod, simply right click and choose "Save As". (Warning.. large files! You need a fast internet connection to play or save them)
Check them out! Tell them the Blues Blast sent ya!
Check out other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE
Featured Blues Review 2 of 2
Walter Jr. - The River Club
1l original tracks; 45 minutes 48 secs; Meritable
Styles: Blues, Contemporary-Soul-Fusion Cajun style but not….
The River Club is a Walter Jr. producer-singer-songwriter work of eleven original compositions with the setting being deep down Louisiana Blues and lingo mixed with some contemporary spiritual fusion twists. Walter Jr. is on vocals and guitar, Michael Burch is on drums and David Ranson is on Bass. Sonny Landreth is featured on track 11 "He Holds The Lightning". The CD was recorded by Ivan Klisanin, mixed by Johnny Sandlin and mastered by Jonathan Russell. Cover art and design is by Megan Barra with photography by Philip Gould.
The title track 1, The River Club, starts with a drum solo, followed by Walter’s Telecaster, and finally his story about some hoochie coochie mama who came into The River Club. Catchy fun little ditty with some cool guitar licks to finish out the song and story. By the way, I MUST give you the so-fitting urban definition of ‘hootchie cootchie’ which is:
“A meaning derived from the French "couche," past part of "coucher" which means "to lay down." The Hootchy-Kootchy (Hoochi-Coochi) or Cooch dance is a pseudo-Turkish, sensual dance executed only by women in short skirts, bare midriffs and tight breastbands, which is said to have originated at the Philadelphia Centennial Fair (May-Nov-1876.)
Ha! Now ya’ know. And perfect, since Walter Jr. would know all about a French influence, wouldn’t you think?
Track 2 Sugarhouse Road starts out reminding of a slower Slim Harpo Shake Your Hips version or even the more contemporary bluesy Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing by Chris Isaak. Walter’s Louisiana dialect for pronouncing Sugarhouse as Sugarhow threw me at first, but hey, this CD’s packaging includes the song lyrics, which I’m always appreciate of.
Track 3 is What She Want. To give you just a taste of some of the words to a risqué song about a risqué woman who’s gone bad—“she don’t wear no drawers, she got the credit card she take it to the max, she don’t even ask, she never really behave like I say she should, she got to be real bad to be so damn good.” Guys (ahem, and ladies with power), you know the type…apparently Walter Jr. does too….
Track 4 may actually move your emotions if you’re solo and chillin’, in for the night. I confess I felt a sad and lonely blues cloud set right down on me (this feeling is welcomed among our blues community) and Walter’s story is so true, as the name of the song suggests, You Never Make It Up. Once you make a woman cry or break her heart, you never make it up. Hey guys, listen up, Walter will get you straight! You tell ‘em Walter.
Track 5 What I Was Missing starts out to be another slow atonal heart breaker, but then quickly picks up the beat. Track 6 is Down the Bayou with more traditional blues guitar and rifts. Track 7 Something Something is a funky Cajun ‘a go-go blues tune with some down home Louisiana gumbo, salsa, crawfish lyrical licks…followed by Track 8 Sweet Potato Pie to continue the food theme. Seems like blues has always liked the play on words with culinary innuendos.
In Track 9 She’s My Baby Now, we jump to an entirely different genre of music, I wouldn’t say it was blues, or that all the vocal notes were exactly on key but I appreciated that Walter’s got soul and wants to mix it up a bit with an alternative pop sound. In Track 10 Jesus Say, we get a few opener type big chord strokes, like we’re about to see the beginning of an epic outdoor concert start (or Moses about to part the Red Sea)…then we hear Walter’s narrative intro to Jesus Say, set to a quick blues-rock tune while he tells us Jesus Say Blessed Are the Meek, Blessed are the Peace makers, Blessed are etc, but Everybody Else Can Just Go to Hell (hey, why does The Devil Went Down to Georgia come to mind?). Don’t be too thin skinned, it’s actually pretty funny because Jesus blesses us all, really, so there’s really no one left to go to hell, is there? OK, yes, this one’s a little odd, but don’t we all have our religious demons that pop out every now and then in our music? Certainly religion and root-blues music married a long time ago before Walter put it together.
The CD concludes with yet another somewhat spiritual slow melancholy moving guitar solo He Holds the Lightening. This is a somewhat more contemporary new age sound apparently drawn from Job 37: 1-15 as inspiration. Finally at the end of the CD it strikes me that Walter’s unique gravely song voice sometimes reminds me of Leon Russell but with a just a bit more rustic and off-key “I gotta be me” quality. Hey, check it out for yourself, and let me know what you think.
Belinda Foster is a Columnist and Contributing Writer for Greenville SC Magazine “Industry Mag” and was former manager of Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues. She currently books blues-rock-jam musicians and is a devoted promoter and support of live blues root music and history, making frequent trips to “The Crossroads” and Clarksdale Mississippi, birthplace of the blues. Her column “The Upstate Blues Report can be found on line at www.industrymag.net
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research will hold its first benefit concert Sunday, March 1, 2009 at the North Atlanta High Center for the Arts at 2875 Northside Drive, Atlanta, Georgia, 30305.
Sean was a beloved blues musician from Atlanta, who was internationally acclaimed, and in his honor, fellow musicians Lurrie Bell [2008 Living Blues Awards for Blues Artist of the Year and Most Outstanding Guitarist], The Wood Brothers, King Johnson, Felix and the Cats with Jon Liebman and the Soul Shakers will lend their time and talent to this cause.
Doors will open at 4p.m. for review of silent auction items with entertainment to follow at 4:30p.m. Tickets are $30 and will be available online and at the door. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research is a non-profit 501 C3 organization. Donations are tax deductible.
For more information call 404 310-4514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For tickets and further information CLICK HERE
Blues Link of the Week
Our good friend Matt Eimer has finished booking the 2009 Simply The Blues Fest lineup. This years sixth annual Festival is happening May 8th and 9th, 2009 in Ft. Madison, Iowa. This festival is the first of the season in the Midwest and as usual it has a great lineup. It features Bobby Rush, Sugar Blue, Porter Davis, Patrick Hazell and the Smokin’ Mojo Kings on Friday night. Saturday’s Lineup is another of Matt's famous themed shows. This years theme is Earwig Music’s 30th Anniversary Review and features several Earwig Music artists including Johnny Drummer & the Starliters, Liz Mandeville, Chris James & Patrick Rynn w/ Bob Corritore and also Soul of John Black, Shannon Curfman, Harper, the Avey Brothers , Case of Blues and the 2009 International Blues Challenge Band Winner.
Go to their site and and check out the event. And while you're there get your tickets so you don't forget. Tell them the Blues Blast sent ya!
For more Blues links Click HERE to visit the IllinoisBlues.com Links Page
The River City Blues Society presents
Wednesday Blues featuring
February 11, 2009 - 7:00pm
The Dragon's Dome
To see Map- CLICK HERE
Admission $3 - One free admission with new Society membership
Blues Society News
Please submit a maximum of 175 or words or less in a Text or Word format ONLY.
The Koko Taylor Celebrity Aid Foundation - Chicago, IL
Columbia’s Blues Ensembles & Chicago Blues History Classes Present Koko Taylor & Friends 3nd Annual "Makin’ it in the Music Biz Seminar" Wed., Feb. 11, 2009 at 6:45 PM at Columbia College Chicago in the Music Department’s Concert Hall, 1014 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL. The Koko Taylor Celebrity Foundation Invites you out for this free candid evening discussing the ins and outs of the music business. Join the the Queen of the Blues and Grammy Award winner along with some of her industry friends as they talk about everything from musician healthcare to copyrights to publishing to making a living as a woman performer in an intimate environment. This FREE seminar is open to all of interest. Spread the word. Seats go fast! Special guest performance by the Columbia College Blues Ensemble, Prof. Fernando Jones, Director. RSVP and submit panel questions to: BluesNewz@aol.com
The Connecticut Blues Society - Higganum, CT
The Connecticut Blues Society will have it's annual benefit " Blues Blizzard " on Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ The West Hartford VFW. Five of the areas hottest Blues bands will donate time for the CT. Blues Society. Performing this year from 7PM - 12 are; Crystal Blue Project ( w/young "Hot" guitarist Trey Wilson ), The Kingpins, Mojomatics, Eric Ducoff Band , Gene Donaldson & The Stingrays. There will be plenty of food and drink available. $10 donation or 2 for $15. For info contact 860-292-6112 or e-mail email@example.com
Alabama Blues Project - Northport, AL
The Alabama Blues Project's award-winning Blues Camp in it's11th year is now registering students ages 8-17 for 2009 Spring After-School Blues Camp. The Blues Camp gives students the opportunity to learn music instruction in their choice of guitar, harmonica, drums or vocal workshops. Intermediate level classes will also be offered for students who show exceptional skills. Instruction is provided by some of the best professional blues musicians in our area.
This Blues Camp will be held at First United Methodist Church. It will take place from 4 to 6:30 pm every Thursday, beginning February 12 through April 30. The end of the year performance will be a Blues Extravaganza celebration at the Bama Theatre on May 1. The cost for Spring Blues Camp is $165 per student. If you are on a limited budget, scholarships are available. Space is limited and on a first-come-first-serve basis. To register, please call (205) 752-6263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mid-Mississippi Muddy Water Blues Society - Quincy IL
The Mid-Mississippi Muddy Water Blues Society of Quincy IL is holding their big fundraiser of the year on Saturday February 7th in support of the 2009 Quincy Area Blues Fest (July 17 & 18 09’). The event is “THE BLUE NOTE OPEN” which has 4 person teams playing 9 holes of indoor golf at 9 local establishments. Entrance limited to first 80 teams entered. For more details on the event, or entering a team-go to www.quincyblues.com
The Dayton Blues Society - Dayton, Ohio
The Dayton Blues Society will present it's first "Winter Blues Showcase" February 28th at Gilly's in beautiful downtown Dayton, Ohio. Sonny Moorman, Snapper Mitchem, Inner City Blues Band, and Stacy Mitchhart will blaze the stage starting at 7pm. For more information see www.daytonbluessociety.com .
The Magic City Blues Society - Birmingham, AL
The Magic City Blues Society is proud to present Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials on March 3, 2009 at the fabulous Workplay Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama. Tickets available for $10 and are available at www.magiccityblues.org or at Workplay at 205-380-4082.
River City Blues Society- Peoria, IL
The River City Blues Society's Wednesday Blues Series in Central, Illinois are early shows each Wednesday at 7:00pm, featuring the best traveling regional and National Blues musicians. The shows feature a budget priced cover charge of $3. The shows are held at the Dragon's Dome, 3401 Griffin Ave in Pekin, IL.
Shows scheduled are: Feb 11 - Bill Lupkin, Feb 18 - Shawn Kellerman, Feb 25 - TBA, Mar 4 - Lil Dave Thompson, Mar 11 & 17- TBA, Mar 25 - Sally Weisenburg & The Famous Sidemen, Apr 1 - Reverend Raven & The Chain Smoking Alter Boys, Apr 8 - TBA, Apr 15 - Too Slim & The Tail Draggers
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 Feb 9 - Jim Suhler, Feb 16 - Shawn Kellerman, Feb 23 - Deak Harp
Phoenix Blues Society - Phoenix, AZ
The Blues Blast 2009 will be held on Saturday, February 21st, 2009 at the Mesa Amphitheatre. The 20th anniversary of this Blues festival sponsored by the Phoenix Blues Society will start at 11:00 AM. Headlining the show is Janiva Magness. Other artists appearing at Blues Blast are: Omar & the Howlers, The Juke Joint Duo of Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm, The Mikel - Meridith Band, Kathy Mabry, Kevin Casenhiser and a special Phoenix Blues Artist Showcase and Retrospective featuring many of the Valley's finest Blues Musicians. Here's a partial listing of the line-up: George Bowman, Bob Corritore, Terry "TD" Davis, Nancy Delessandro, Jim Dorholt, Brian Fahey, Jim Glass, Chuck Hall, Mario Moreno, Hans Olson, Big Pete Pearson, Jimmy Peyton, Johnny Rapp, Rochelle Raya, Paul Thomas, Scotty Spenner. For more info contact email@example.com or check out the website at http://www.phoenixblues.org/
The Rivoli Theatre - Monmouth, IL
CLICK HERE to Purchase Tickets
Live Blues Calendar
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Performance dates submitted by Musicians, Clubs, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.
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