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Hey Blues Fans,
The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research is a not-for-profit organization that will hold its first benefit concert this Sunday, March 1, 2009 at the North Atlanta High Center for the Arts at 2875 North side Drive, Atlanta, GA. The event features silent auction items and entertainment with performances by Lurrie Bell, The Wood Brothers, King Johnson, Felix and the Cats with Jon Liebman and the Soul Shakers.
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. Sean Costello was diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder and was was suffering from the disease when he died last year. See the advertisement below in this issue for more info. Blues Blast Magazine will be there and have pictures of all the fun next week.
"Simply The Blues" Blues festival is announcing their lineup this Saturday the 28th of February at 6:30pm in Ft. Madison, IA at the Comfort Inn and Suites. The Simply The Blues Festival is scheduled for May 8th and 9th 2009 in Fort Madison, IA.
The announcement event also serves as a fundraiser for the Simply The Blues Music Scholarship. This party features 2 live bands the Legendary Eddie Shaw and the Wolfgang and the Jefferson County Green Band. Admission is a $5 minimum donation. There will be drawing as well, for misc blues items as well as 2 tickets to the George Thorogood with Eddie Shaw concert in Davenport on the 1st of March, plus a pair of tickets and hotel room for 1 night, for "Simply The Blues" 2009. If you have any questions, please contact Matt Eimer at 319-470-2082.
We made it out to see our friend Deak Harp in Springfield, IL this week. Deak and the band were sounding great.
We also got to hear the Andre Howard Band at the River City Blues Society's Wednesday Blues Series. Andre is a popular Chicago Blues musician who plays bass all over Chicago including frequent gigs playing with Lonnie Brooks.
Blues Reviews and MORE!
James Walker reviews a new CD from Bobby Jones & The Manish Boys. George Fish reviews a new CD from Sweet Claudette. Belinda Foster reviews a new CD from Shemekia Copeland. Marilyn Stringer sends us some photos and a report from the Phoenix Blues Society's Blues Blast Festival last weekend.
Our video of the week is Shemekia Copeland giving a performance on David Letterman that leaves Dave at a loss for words. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
Blues Link of the Week
WGLT radio in Normal, IL is starting an interesting series of radio shows called Mojo Madness! WGLT Radio is a public station that broadcasts Blues all weekend long across the airwaves at FM 89.1 and streaming live on the web. They also have a great streaming Blues radio channel station called GLT Blues Radio 24/7.
Many folks get basketball fever during March Madness. GLT's Mojo Madness is a championship series for Blues FUN! The folks at GLT have "seeded" 4 brackets of 8 legendary Blues artists. Starting March 6 to April 4th a bracket pair of artists music will be played, alternating songs for an hour and fans will call into the station to vote for their choice during the hour. The one that gets the most votes, wins that bracket and advances to the next round. To download your copy of the brackets, CLICK HERE
For example the first bracket starts at 8:00pm on March 6, 2009 between B.B. King and Little Walter. You can listen in to their normal broadcast signal if you live in the area or you can listen via their web stream. When the DJ ask, call in your vote and the artist with the most votes wins that bracket and advances. Every 89th caller who votes will win a prize. By April 4th, only one Blues artist will be left...and a lucky GLT listener will own an iPod loaded with music from the 32 Blues contestants.
Featured Blues Review 1 of 3
Bobby Jones featuring The Mannish Boys - Comin’ Back Hard
By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker
11 songs; 41:40; Library Quality
Style: Chicago Blues
“All modern blues albums stink. Some stink less than others!” Dr. Chrank E. Irascible
With an attitude like that, the cranky doctor truly bestows a high honor on any CD he actually likes. Regarding Bobby Jones’ new release, he thoroughly likes it, which is way beyond his usual highest evaluation, “It doesn’t suck too badly.”
About Bobby Jones’ “Comin’ Back Hard:” - “My heels are in the air upside down over this one,” Dr. Irascible says. “Bobby Jones is a soulful blues singer with a smooth whiskey soaked voice that’s gruff when he needs to be and smooth when he wants to be.” Further, “The Mannish Boys have a focus on this one, and they put out a hell of a record, especially the cuts with Kid Ramos screaming on the Telecaster [guitar].”
I personally know the good doctor; he is an actual person, and only his name has been changed to protect the guilty. He is a very knowledgeable blues expert who got hooked on blues as a teenager during the British invasion. He has a vast collection of blues recordings and has hosted more than one blues radio show. He constantly amuses and amazes me by rejecting 99% of new albums. “Did you like this one?” I wistfully ask. “No, not really,” he almost always says. “It didn’t do anything for me.”
This is the solo debut CD by Chicago Blues veteran Bobby Jones, the latest addition to the all-star blues revue The Mannish Boys. This collection of songs was recorded during the verysame sessions that produced their latest release, “Lowdown Feelin.’” The spotlight here is squarely on Jones. Could anyone have a voice as good as BB King? Bobby Jones comes as close as spots on dice!
With a title reminiscent of Muddy Water’s comeback album, “Hard Again,” Jones recorded, in the classic three-minute style, eleven covers with The Mannish Boys featuring Finis Tasby, Randy Chortkoff, Kid Ramos, Kirk Fletcher, Frank Goldwasser, Ronnie James Weber, Tom Leavey and Richard Innes, plus special guests Al Blake, Lynwood Slim, Junior Watson and Fred Kaplan.
The authentic blues start immediately on the first track, Hank Ballard’s “She’s The One.” A two second drum roll is followed by Bobby’s formidable vocals singing, “Everybody...Everybody...
Everybody wants to know why I love her, I love her so.” It’ll make you think of BB King singing “Everybody Wants To Know Why I Sing the Blues.” By mid song, Bobby says, “Play the blues in here,” and Kirk “Eli” Fletcher peels off an outstanding run.
Paris Slim’s bell-like tone on guitar sets off Willie Dixon’s and LP Weaver’s “Two headed Woman.” Yep, she’s got “two eyes on me and two more eyes on you” – now that’s just classic fun.
So is “Three Handed Woman” who is “right handed, left handed, and underhanded, too!”Other favorites: Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train,” “Come In Out of The Rain” written by bassist Tom Leavey with Kid Ramos playing lead guitar. Kid smokes again on Ike Turner’s “How Long Will It Last,” the set closer.
Louisiana native Bobby Jones began his musical career as a blues singer in Chicago, earning his stripes on the blues scene there in the late '50s and early '60s. Years later, here is his debut CD. If this one doesn’t garner some award nominations, there is something wrong. It has already received the highest praise that I know, Dr. Chrank E. loves it!
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
Never Going Back (To Memphis)
Shemekia's new CD is a great one and to promote the new CD she recently appeared on The David Letterman Show and performed the title track. This video on our website shows what will surely be a classic performance.
It is obvious this gal is gonna be hot on the Blues festival circuit this summer!
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
Featured Blues Review 2 of 3
Sweet Claudette & Friends - That Man’s Got To Go
10 tracks time: 60:57
Sweet Claudette, “Detroit Matriarch of the Blues,” is a sultry, deep-voiced singer and original songwriter who’s played extensively in the Detroit area and in Canada. She was the 2007 Detroit Blues Society Competition Finalist for the International Blues Challenge, and has twice been nominated for a Detroit Music Award. That Man’s Got to Go, her fifth CD, features nine of her original songs plus her long take on Albert King’s rendition of the blues standard, “Aint Nobody’s Bizness.” This CD is solidly in the gutbucket groove that characterizes Detroit blues—polished, yet with a sense of the raw. Detroit, with its large African American population, has a strong history of blues, jazz, soul, rock, and of course, was the home base for Motown Records. It’s where John Lee Hooker started, was home for Rice Miller in the 1950s, has produced black artists from Eddie Kirkland to Wilson Pickett, Mary Wells to Aretha Franklin, and it is on this solid legacy that Sweet Claudette now builds—and builds well.
The band here consists of the rhythm section of Greg Manning, drums, Todd McIntosh, bass, and Dan Dekuyper, rhythm guitar; horn section of Marty Montgomery, sax, and Alonzo “Big Al” Haralson, trumpet and flugelhorn; and Howard Glazer, lead guitar, with Claudette on lead vocals. Montgomery and Haralson are outstanding on both solos and tandem playing, their playing combining blues with atonal modern jazz. Glazer, one of the Detroit area’s top guitarists, also records nationally with his band, the EL 34s, for Random Chance Records. His guitar playing is sophisticated, forceful and creative. Extended horn and guitar solos are the norm on the tracks, which are all long, ranging from 4 minutes and 6 seconds to 8 minutes and 23 seconds, yet are tight and never bore.
That Man’s Got to Go opens on a funk note with the first two tracks, “Best Damn Loving” and “Hee-Bie Gee-bies,” with the horns playing percussive riffs á là James Brown. The fourth track, “Not Another Moment,” is a contemporary jazz love ballad. The other six cuts are all city blues, up-tempo on track 3, “That Man’s Got To Go,” track 5, “Too Many Irons,” and the final track, “Meet Me.” Track 6, “Don’t Talk That Yak To Me,” is also up-tempo, but has more of a country feel, with slide guitar over a driving bass line. Tracks 7 through 9 presents an interlude of three long slow blues, the 7-minute, 44-second “Love I See In Your Eyes,” the 7-minute, 14-second “23 Hours & 45 Minutes,” and the 8-minute, 23-second rendition of Albert King’s “Aint Nobody’s Bizness.”
Sweet Claudette is a solid songwriter who bases herself on that standard theme of blues and jazz, men and love. Although “Hee-Bie Gee-bies” is a song of fear about those “things that go bump in the night,” all her other songs here are of men and love, both good and bad. “That Man’s Got To Go,” “Too Many Irons” and “Don’t Talk That Yak To Me” are all tales of bad, two-timing men, while “Best Damn Loving” celebrates her good man, and “Meet Me” is an exuberant party song of coming home to her man and his good love making. “Love I See In Your Eyes” and “Not Another Moment” are about relationships. The wry, uniquely-themed “23 Hours & 45 Minutes” is about her quick-on-the-draw man who completes the lovemaking in 15 minutes, leaving her to disconsolately lament, “Now what will I do with the other 23 hours and 45 minutes?” All this makes That Man’s Got to Go a most enjoyable CD indeed, variegated and well done.
Reviewer George Fish lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of blues legends Yank Rachell and Leroy Carr, and writes a regular music column, “Blues and More” for the online Bloomington (IN) Alternative. He’s also published in the regional Indiana blues and alternative presses as well as Living Blues and Blues Access, and wrote the notes for Yank Rachell’s Delmark album, Chicago Style. He has also published on blues and pop music for the left-wing press as well, and has appeared in Against the Current and Socialism and Democracy, as well as the online Political Affairs and MRZine.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
The Rivoli Theatre - Monmouth, IL
CLICK HERE to Purchase Tickets
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... or email email@example.com
For tickets and further information CLICK HERE
Featured Blues Review 3 of 3
Shemekia Copeland – Never Going Back
12 Tracks with 7 project member originals; 45 minutes 43 seconds; Splendid
Style: “Coming-Out-of-the-Contemporary-Blues-Box” with some rocking guitar, gospel twists, attitude, Delta slides and rifts and some folk pop jazz….can you say ‘mainstream crossover’, ‘movie sound track’, ‘more BMA winning to come’…..
On the heels of returning from the Bluzapalooza Tour of Iraq and Kuwait, Shemekia’s launching the release of her 5th CD, Never Going Back. The players are Shemekia Copeland vocals and background vocals; Oliver Wood, slide guitar; Ted Pecchio, bass; Tyler Greenwell, drums/percussion; Ike Stubblefield, Hammond organ Kofi Burbridge, Wurlitzer piano, background vocals (3); Arthur Neilson, slide guitar (2); John Medeski, Hammond organ (3); Mike Mattison; Chris Wood, bass (4, 6, 7 ); Marc Ribot, guitar (4, 6, 7); Marcus Henderson, tambourine, background vocals (7); and Chonda McKnight, background vocals (7)
I’ve had Shemekia’s Never Going Back CD in my possession since the first week of February when the Blues Blast editor handed it to me in Memphis in front of Rum Boogie during the IBC week, with the message, “…ok, you’ve earned this, and just so you know, everyone wanted to review Shemekia’s newest CD but I’m giving you the honor.” And what an honor it has been.
But hey, what more can I possibly say here about it, when you’ve got David Letterman exclaiming “oh my God, oh my God, oh my goodness, wow, wasn’t that great!” after Shemekia and her band performed on the David Letterman Show February 20, 2009. He even kissed the back of her hand (Shemekia, don’t wash that hand girlfriend)! Doesn’t that say it all that one of our favorite female ‘blues’ singers is getting us some attention by sliding into home-base with what’s obviously another comfort zone for her of jazz-pop-rock-gospel-jam influences? In case you missed it, you can see the performance and both David’s and the audience’s reaction by going to the link on her website www.shemekiacopeland.com. (Or simply CLICK HERE)
So yeah, I’ve been listening to it over and over again and again, knowing I’d better get going on the review before I get a ‘ahem, Belinda, review please?’ request from the editor! But hold on, I’ve not been selfish in my listening! I’ve carried this piece of art with me all over Memphis, then to Phoenix, then to South Beach and turned on both my blues and non-blues friends to the CD. I even played it during an in-hotel-room massage where the South Beach masseuse asked, ‘who is that you’re listening to, it’s great!”
Track 1 is Sounds Like the Devil (co-written by Shemekia, her manager John Hahn, and Kevin So) and one of my personal favorites out of the 4, ok 5, well 6 personal favorites I selected. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all amazing tunes, both in the lyrics which have been skillfully crafted by John Hahn, Shemekia or John and Oliver Wood or Oliver and Chris Wood or Oliver Wood and Chris Long; I mean jeeezzzzz…is there a multitude of talent here or what? How lucky are these guys to have Shemekia to spread their word through her passionate vocal delivery and how lucky is she to have talented band and project members with a song-writing manager to boot! That’s why this CD just works and why you should probably buy yourself a copy. If you don’t know the Wood Brothers, check out Medeski Martin & Wood on the ‘net and you’ll see why John and Shemekia are on an exciting blues path with mainstream audience appeal.
John and Oliver’s Broken World Track 3 is another favorite (I’m partial to a Hammond organ). The song’s message is timely, as we’d all like to fix the brokenness of this current world we’re living in. Track 4 is the title track Never Going Back to Memphis and the one they performed on Letterman. The beat, the words, the message—all haunting and eerie—laced up in a nice package with some Memphis-crime truth—this one’s a movie soundtrack for sure….Track 5 is The Truth is the Light, keeping it real and upbeat with a message about love, hurt, tears, and truth mixed with some great rockin’ guitar rifts. The song’s story and Shemekia’s vocals build and rise to a powerful crescendo ending. Track 7 is (I was) Born a Penny (and I ain’t gonna be no dime). Don’t be trying to change her; you’ll be wasting your time, she’s holding on to this simple life!
Track 8 Limousine I’ve probably listened to a hundred times, VOLUME TURNED WIDE OPENED! I LOVE this one! My heart ain’t your limousine, my heart ain’t your easy chair, it ain’t your garbage can…catchy clever and addicting! Ladies, listen up: talk about attitude and confidence! This should be our 2009 theme song.
All tracks are CD-project originals except for the following: Track 2 Dirty Water, a Julie and Buddy Miller tune delivered with a rocking soul grabbing style; Track 9 River’s Invitation, a Percy Mayfield song; Track 10 is Paul Thorn and Billy Maddox’s Rise Up, whose sound and message has always reminded me of the theme song on Good Times, We’re Moving on Up; on 8 we have Shemekia’s sweet slow rendition of Joni Mitchell’s Black Crow; and Track 12 is a Johnny Copeland original Circumstances. I love how the CD ends with this tribute to Shemekia’s father Johnny who was a popular touring blues act having played with other great acts like Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Mama Thornton and Freddie King. He won a Grammy in 1987 for best traditional blues album for Showdown, recorded with Robert Cray and Albert Collins.
You get a little mainstream taste of it all here with big blues-inspired bites of the perfect project mix of talented musicians, great songwriting, sassy attitude, exploding voice, raw honesty, passion, soul, and inspirational heights of sincere emotion. Buy it today (and see you at this and next year’s Blues Music Awards, Shemekia).
Belinda Foster is a Columnist and Contributing Writer for Greenville SC Magazine “Industry Mag” and former manager of Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues. She currently books blues-rock-jam musicians and is a devoted promoter and supporter 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 River City Blues Society presents
Wednesday Blues featuring
7:00pm March 4th, 2009
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.
Capital Area Blues Society - Lansing, MI
The Capital Area Blues Society presents legendary bluesman Sonny Rhodes appearing at the Small Planet at 16800 Chandler Road, East Lansing, MI, on Friday, March 6, 2009. Award-winning lap-steel guitarist Sonny Rhodes makes his way through mid-Michigan, with local slideman Stan Budzynski and his band 3rd Degree as the opener. Join us for a classic Blues night at the Small Planet. The show starts at 8pm; tickets are $8 in advance, and $12 at the door. www.myspace.com/capitalareabluessociety.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 .
Monmouth Blues - Monmouth, IL
The hard-driving blues-rock of The Kelly Richey Band will take center stage at the Rivoli Theatre on Friday, March 13th, 2009 at 7:30pm. This pre-Spring show is the first of three scheduled 2009 blues events sponsored by MonmouthBlues.com. Opening the show will be Galesburg’s own Mike Budde’s Rhythm Circus. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
In addition to the concert, the Kelly Richey Band will be presenting a program to local students in an assembly at the Monmouth High School at 10am. For more information go to www.MonmouthBlues.com or call 309 536-0854
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: Mar 4 - Lil Dave Thompson, Mar 11 - Rooster Alley Band, Mar 18 - Chris Bell & 100% Blues, Mar 25 - Sally Weisenburg & The Famous Sidemen, Apr 1 - Reverend Raven & The Chain Smoking Alter Boys, Apr 8 - 3rd Degree Blues Band, Apr 15 - Too Slim & The Tail Draggers, Apr 22 - Damon Fowler Group
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
23rd ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
BLUE MONDAY SHOWS
Live Blues Calendar
YOU can submit your Blues performances for FREE at: http://www.illinoisblues.com/submitnews.htm
Performance dates were submitted by Musicians, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.
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Performance dates submitted by Musicians, Clubs, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.
The BluesBlast.com is not responsible for errors or omissions.
Live Blues Review
Phoenix Blues Society – Blues Blast Festival – Feb 21, 2009
Review and Photos by Marilyn Stringer
The lineup for this year’s Blues Blast started with The Sugar Thieves, winners of the 2008 Arizona Blues Showdown and finalists at the 25th IBC in Memphis. When I arrived at the Mesa Amphitheatre, Meredith Moore was already belting out her big blues sound that stopped me in my tracks. She reminded me of a combination of Susan Tedeschi, Janiva Magness (the headliner), and Danielle from Trampled Under Foot. I was duly impressed! The next band was Omar & The Howlers.
When I looked up on stage, I immediately recognized Ronnie James Weber, who plays bass for the Mannish Boys, along with others. Although Omar has an Elvis “do” he pounds that guitar and pumps out the blues with the best of them. Directly following Omar was Cedric Burnside and the Juke Joint Duo. Cedric, grandson of the legendary R.L. Burnside, is considered one of the best drummers in the world. And while he is beating out the blues on the drums, he is singing! The day was heating up both on the stage and out on the grass.
Chosen as a way to honor some of the key musicians in Phoenix’s Blues History, the next set of artists were chosen for their accomplishments as members of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame and they were key contributors to the development of the Phoenix area blues scene. They have all been instrumental in “keeping the blues alive”. Each group performed two songs and rotated in other musicians. It was truly a great jam session! In order of the photos:
George Bowman, Jim Glass, Jim Dorholt, Nancy Dalessandro, Scotty Spenner
Susie Tarsha, Tony Flores, Big Pete Pearson, Matt Roe, Rochelle Raya
Small Paul Hamilton, Terry Davis, Bob Corritore & Big Pete Pearson (Rhythm Room - Phoenix)
And after all of that talent, we were treated to our headliner, Janiva Magness. It was bittersweet for Janiva as she began her career in Phoenix in 1980 and befriended Bob Tate, the musical director for Sam Cooke. She formed her first band, Janiva Magness and the Mojomatics, and within the year the Phoenix New Times named her group the city’s Best Blues Band. During her performance she tearfully, and with great appreciation, shared her experience about performing in Iraq with Bluzapalooza.
As the sun set slowly in the warm southwest and the blues echoed through Mesa, the attendees welcomed the warm weather and opening of the 2009 Blues Festival Season. Support the musicians, support the festivals, and keep the blues alive!
(EDITORS NOTE: Blues Blast Magazine is not affiliated with this great festival put on by the Phoenix Blues Society)
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