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Friday, March 13, 2009

The Voice

The BJFMS UPDATE is back.
Just about every week (or so) you'll be getting a little something in your inbox from the BJFM VOICE which will include everything WE know about what's going on with LIVE MUSIC here and around here. That is, unless we hear from you that you want us to STOP, in which case we will take your name and email OFF the list - just reply with "STOP." Otherwise, just be patient and give us a little while to get this thing up and running. On the other hand, if you know anyone who would appreciate getting this information, just email me and we'll ADD their name and email address to the list. I really want to be just the EDITOR of all the stuff YOU, the MUSIC PEOPLE (and you KNOW who you are) send me to include here. I'm L@@KING for NEWS of WHO'S PLAYING WHERE, REVIEWS of any LIVE music, CD and MUSIC DVD REVIEWS, FESTIVAL REVIEWS, whatever YOU think the MUSIC PEOPLE would want to hear about. EMAIL any and all to:
Don't be shy. All articles, comments, suggestions and criticisms are welcome.

It's Festival Time Again...
Don't miss it!!

Festival Brings National Acts to Marietta

Some of the best blues acts from around the country will be heading to Marietta for the 18th Annual "River City Blues Festival" on Friday, March 20th and Saturday, March 21, 2009. Known as one of America's best small blues festivals, the local Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society will be presenting their annual event once again at the Lafayette Hotel, on the river in downtown Marietta.

"This year's festival lineup is strong, and we expect a strong turnout to enjoy the blues," said Steve Wells, vice president of The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society (BJFMS). "The blues was America's first original form of "popular" music," said Wells. "And blues is the roots of all American music since then. It's where rock 'n roll came from, and jazz, and R & B, and even country," he said. "More and more people are getting into the Blues. That's why we're predicting another successful festival," said Wells. "We expect our shows to sell out, and the restaurants, bars and shops in town to be full all weekend. Everybody wins," he said.

"Cobbler" John Bolen, president of the BJFMS, puts the festival together, and this year he's "out-done" himself," said John Gifford, BJFM board member and stage manager for the event. "We have a strong lineup for all three shows: Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night," said Gifford.

Friday night kicks off with "Hot Texas style Blues" from Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy from Houston, at 8PM. Greenleaf is one of the most sought-after lady blues singers on tour today, and she has the awards to prove it: 2009, nominated 30th Blues Music Awards (the Grammy's of blues music) "Best Traditional Female Artist of the Year"; 2008, nominated Blues Blast Music Awards, "Best Female Blues Artist" and "Best New Artist Debut Recording"; 2008, winner, Blues Music Awards, "Best New Artist Debut"; 2005, 1st Place Winner, The International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and on and on. (

Put Diunna in front of some amazing musicians who play together flawlessly and tightly, and you have one of the hottest acts in the Blues. Her guitar player, John Richardson, is a "monster" guitar player in his own right and winner of The Albert King Award at the IBC for "Most Promising Guitar Player" in 2005.

"Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy" is one of the strongest acts we've had on a Friday night in a long time," said Bolen. "She will really get the crowd warmed up for Nick Moss & The Fliptops, our Friday night headliners at 10PM.

Nick Moss & The Fliptops are from Chicago, and one of the new generation of performers keeping the heritage of traditional Chicago blues alive. Nick Moss & his Fliptops sizzle in live performance hundreds of times a year. Nick Moss knows he has something special happening. "I feel like I'm one of the only bands from Chicago that's actually still playing Chicago Blues the way people think of Chicago Blues. I've gotten praise from a lot of the old-timers that have seen us play, even guys who are not from Chicago like Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, and Charlie Baty and Rick Estrin of Little Charlie & The Nightcats. They say it's great to see there's actually a band from Chicago that actually plays Chicago Blues," says Moss.

For the third year in a row, Nick Moss and his great band have been nominated for the prestigious title of "Band of The Year" at the 2009 Blues Music Awards. Nick's albums have made the nomination list for "Contemporary Blues Album of The Year", and blues icon Buddy Guy says "Nick Moss is one of the local favorites at my club, Legends. I always enjoy the way he plays and works hard to please our audience." (

"Chicago Blues. Those two words conjure up the most powerful and evocative images in the entire history of American music," says BJFMS' Wells. " We have a strong representation of genuine Chicago Blues all weekend, starting with Nick Moss on Friday night. Our Friday night may just be the best show of the entire festival," declares Wells. "Not to be missed."

Then, Saturday afternoon is set to be another strong example of the powerful force that is the blues. At 1230PM, alumni from the BJFMS "Blues in The Schools" project at Marietta Middle School, now at Marietta High School will perform as "High Schools That Rock" under the direction of Mark Doebrich. Doebrich has been involved with "Blues in The Schools" since its beginning in Marietta, and has been extremely vital to its local success.

At 1PM on Saturday, the winners of the 17th Annual "River City Ohio Blues Competition" will take the stage for a 1-hour set. "Long Tall Deb & The Drifter Kings" are from Columbus, and features Deb Landolt out front on lead vocals, with one of Columbus' hottest guitar players (Ritchie B.) and an equally outstanding rhythm section. This is the band that will represent the BJFMS at The International Blues Challenge (IBC) early next year in Memphis. "It's everybody's chance to see the very best from the competition," said John Gifford, Competition Director for BJFMS. (

At 220PM, Saturday afternoon's traditional acoustic blues slot in the program brings Thomasina Winslow of the world famous Winslow Family Band. She is a singer/songwriter and music educator from up-state New York. Her newly released CD is "Essential Tunes" a collection of what she terms "heritage music" that draws from her roots of traditional acoustic blues and folk. (www.thomasinawinslow,com)

At 3:50PM, get ready to dance, 'cause Big James and the Chicago Playboys will rock the house when they bring their horn-driven contemporary Chicago Blues to the stage. Lead by "Big James" Montgomery on trombone and lead vocals, The Chicago Playboys are performing regularly at many of the well known blues clubs around Chicago. "Big James" is a former band member with the famous Little Milton, Albert King, Johnny Christian and yes, Buddy Guy. His first CD entitled "Funkin' Blues" received rave reviews from musicians, critics and fans all around the globe. His newest release called "If It Wasn't 4 Da Blues" is proving to follow suit. "This young and exciting Chicago bluesman will have you up and dancing at, yes, 4PM in the afternoon 'cause we doubt you'll be able to sit this one out," says the "Cobbler." (

"Our Saturday afternoon show is a complete journey on the Blues Highway," says Bolen. "From Columbus to upstate New York to Chicago, it's all there," he said. "After all that, you'll be hungry, so we're taking a dinner break from about 5:30PM until 8PM."

The music gets rolling again at 8PM, with the Joey Gilmore Blues Band from South Florida. "Joey Gilmore is no opening act," declares Steve Wells of the BJFMS, "Joey can and does headline at festivals and venues all over the country (and the world)," says Wells. In the business for going on 50-years, Joey has spent the last 30-years living in South Florida, playing with most every major blues act that travels anywhere close by. He is a true blues and R&B master who incorporates new and varied styles into his music, performing original compositions mixed with traditional standards in his high-energy live shows. By the way, Joey Gilmore is the only blues act in history to win The International Blues Challenge in Memphis TWO consecutive years in a row. (But that's another story.) Safe to say you don't want to miss Joey Gilmore on Saturday night.

Then, at 10PM, it's back to Chicago; this time to see a true Chicago legend right here in Marietta. Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater is an intense, flamboyant blues-rockin' showman who has ruled many a Chicago stage and festival. He's equally comfortable playing the deepest, most heartfelt blues tune, or rockin' the house with good time party music. Downbeat Magazine said, "Left-handed Eddy Clearwater is a forceful six-stringer...he lays down some gritty West Side shuffles and some belly-grinding slow blues that highlights his raw chops, soulful vocals and earthy, humorous lyrics." (

Between his slashing left-handed guitar work, his room-filling vocals, his self-defined "rock-a-blues" style (a forceful mix of blues, rock, rockabilly, country and gospel) and his boundless energy, Clearwater is among the very finest practitioners of West Side Chicago Blues working today. The blues world recognized his great talent by giving him the Blues Music Award for "Contemporary Blues - Male Artist of the Year" in 2001. His last release , 2003's Rock 'N' Roll City was nominated for a Grammy Award, Now he's back with his very first CD on the Alligator label, aptly titled West Side Strut, which has been nominated this year for "Traditional Blues Album of The Year" at the Blues Music Awards, along with Eddy (The Chief's) nomination for "Traditional Blues Male Artist of The Year." The BMA's will be given out in May.

"This is why we're known a one of the best small blues festivals in the country," said Wells. "You'd have to go a long way to beat that lineup, and lucky for us, "Cobbler"John does it every year. That has led to growth and a very high rate of return festivalgoers for our River City Blues Festival."

Tickets will be sold at the door, but advanced tickets and weekend passes are suggested. For tickets, passes and information, call Peggy Bolen at 740.376.0222 (evenings). Weekend passes to all three shows are $50 for members/$70 for non-members. Tickets for individual shows are: Friday Night: $15/$25, Saturday Matinee: $15/$25, and Saturday Night: $20/$30. The ballroom at The Lafayette Hotel will be set up with a large dance floor and a cash bar. As with all BJFMS events, the festival will be a non-smoking event. Complete information about the 18th Annual River City Blues Festival is available at

Special "blues rate" room rates are available at the Marietta Holiday Inn ($45+tax) and at The Comfort Inn in Marietta ($52.99+tax). Taxi service will be available for the 1.8 mile trip downtown to The Lafayette.

The festival at a glance:

18th Annual River City Blues Festival
March 20-21, 2009 Lafayette Hotel, Marietta, Ohio

Friday, March 20, 2009
8PM - Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy
HOT TEXAS BLUES with Gospel-influence from Houston. 2008 BMA: "Best New Artist of the Year"; 2005 IBC Winner
10PM - Nick Moss & The Fliptops
Traditional Chicago Blues doesn't get any better than this! Nick Moss is nominated for "Album of the Year" and "Band of The Year" at The Blues Music Awards.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

1230PM - BITS /"High Schools That Rock"
Directed by Mark Doebrich
1PM- 2009 Blues Competition Winners:
Long Tall Deb & The Drifter Kings - Columbus
220PM - Thomasina Winslow
From World Famous Winslow Family Band -
Singer/Songwriter/Educator from Up-state New York
350PM - Big James Montgomery &
The Chicago Playboys

From Guess Where (Chicago). Big James is former band member with Little Milton, Albert King, Johnny Christian and yes, Buddy Guy. You'll dance, guaranteed!

8PM - Joey Gilmore Blues Band
Florida Legend, Blues and R&B Master. 2-time IBC Winner - South Florida Blues
10PM -
Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater
Chicago's premier blues showman. "The Chief" of authentic West-Side Chicago Blues

See you there, everybody...
From Todd Burge...
Songwriter Night with Todd Burge will resume taping in front of a live audience at the Galley (Upstairs) in Marietta this Saturday.
Songwriter Night with Todd Burge, the only live radio program featuring performing singer songwriters of the Mid-Ohio Valley, will be taping live shows on the second Saturdays of March, April and May.
The popular radio show and podcast is heard on Classic Rock Z106, WWVU-FM92 in Morgantown and online at
The first live recording of 2009 will be Saturday March 14th at 7pm and will feature John Lilly from Charleston with Special guest Joseph Henry from Vienna.
"The Galley's upstairs is the perfect place to record my radio show," said Burge. There's only room up there for about 70 audience members, so it is very intimate and this is the way a great song was meant to be heard, in an intimate listening atmosphere with a fine meal! And these songwriters are indeed great!"
Header Music News
John Lilly's original, traditional, and classic country music hits home and rings true. From hidden masterpieces by Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Louvin Brothers to ancient folk ballads and creative original songs, John Lilly presents music of unusual depth and sincerity.
John Lilly is a multi-talented acoustic music performer from Charleston, West Virginia, specializing in Americana, country roots, and traditional folk music. He writes new songs that sound as old as the hills, and performs older songs like they were made yesterday. According to one reviewer, "If Hank Williams had a sunny disposition, he'd be John Lilly."

John has released four self-produced CDs. His latest, "Haunted Honky Tonk," achieved the #1 position on both the Freeform American Roots (FAR) and the Euro Americana radio charts. "Broken Moon," released in 2000, earned enthusiastic reviews and widespread radio airplay. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine called it one of the "most unusual and interesting acoustic disks of the year." John's second CD, "Last Chance to Dance," released in 2003, debuted at #1 on the FAR radio chart and rose to #4 on the Euro Americana radio chart. His 2005 CD release, "Blue Highway," is a collaboration with legendary Tennessee fiddler Ralph Blizard.

John is recognized internationally as a powerful performing songwriter. In 2005, he won the national Ghost Writers In the Sky songwriting contest, sponsored by HankFest, a Chicago-based festival honoring the music of Hank Williams. John won a customized guitar for his original song "Blue Highway." He was a finalist in the 2002 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, chosen from 853 entries and placing third in the Country category for his song "Broken Moon." John Lilly's 2008 Mountain Stage radio performance is available at NPR Music.

John was born in Illinois in 1954 and has traveled and performed widely. A former member of the Green Grass Cloggers dance team, John spent years playing traditional string band music with groups including Ralph Blizard and the New Southern Ramblers. He is a former a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, and is currently editor of West Virginia's Goldenseal magazine.
Listen to John Lilly on NPR's Mountain Stage podcast now
John Lilly's website
Joseph Henry
"Joseph Henry (Vienna WV) is the most amazing new songwriter. In all my years, I've never heard anybody more original. In a single tune you'll hear Bowie, Lennon, Ben Folds and even Randy Newman. To miss him perform, is to miss an event." Todd Burge, host of Songwriter Night
Listen to Joseph Henry here
The Details at a glance.....
Songwriter Night with Todd Burge Radio Show Taping
Featuring John Lilly and Joseph Henry
Saturday, March 14th 7pm-9pm
Galley (Upstairs)
203 Second Street
Marietta, Ohio
Tickets $8
We take all major credit cards. Purchase now Available online
Or reserve seats by calling
Pasta Buffet will be served at an additional charge
All legal beverages
Afterwards there will be a
Songwriter Invitational at the Galley (Downstairs)
Songwriters are invited to sign up here
Contact Todd Burge for interviews
Let's get out there and support our local songwriters and musicians. voice
Court Street Grill Report
Support your local juke joint....
Court Street Grill, 112 Court Street
Pomeroy, Ohio 740-992-6524

It's a Rock 'n Roll Party Friday night
with local rockers' Jimmy Dryjaw!
Showtime at 9pm, No Cover!

Saturday, Fresh and Funky Blues --
with the Jon Justice Band! (from Cincy)
Young guitar slinger, Jon Justice, returns to the Grill for a heavy dose of Blues and Groove!
Showtime at 9pm, No Cover!

Happy St. Patty's Day, Erin Go Braugh
and all that other stuff...
Tuesday, March 17th, the Grill will be serving piping hot plates of traditional Lamb Stew with pints of Guiness! All day!

Jon Justice Band - 3/14
Luke Jivetalker - 3/28
Johnny Rawls Revue - 4/3
Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang - 4/10
Common One with Shannon Scott - 4/11
Blackberry Jam - 4/18
Bill Lupkin & Chicago Blues Coalition - 4/24
Marietta Brewing Company
167 Front Street, Marietta, Ohio 740-373-BREW
FRIDAY, March 13th: The New Relics
SATURDAY, March 14th: Train Jumpers
TUESDAY, March 17th: Justin Arthur of Radio 1 - St. Pat's Day
FRIDAY, March 20th: Swinging Orangatangs
SATURDAY, March 21st: Dave Martin Band
TUESDAY, March 24th: D.W. West of Muffintop Removal
SATURDAY, March 28th: Cold Shot
TUESDAY, March 31st: Bobby Kirl
COMING SATURDAY, April 11: Jon Justice Band from Cincinnati
It's Saint Patty's Day
Friday through Tuesday
A Great Irish Menu:
Shepherd's Pie
Corned Beef & Cabbage
Angel Hair Pasta
Irish Guinness Stew
Black and Tan Onion Rings
Homemade Stout Bread
and Saint Patty's Day ONLY
on tap
Kelly's Pride
The Marietta Brewing Company's Famous
Green Beer
Emerson Sports Grill
4000 Emerson Ave, Parkersburg, WV 304-422-7655
Starting back up on Emerson
from Bill Poole...

Hey music lovers and sports fans the newly remodeled "Emerson Sports Grill" formerly the Front Row is the place in Parkersburg to catch every single second of "March Madness" and also starting in March "Friday Night Live Unplugged" featuring the region best singer songwriters and acoustic musicians unplugged. A smaller room, a softer sound equals a cozy and more intimate listening experience.
Hope to see you there.

Here's The Emerson Sports Grill lineup of singer/songwriters for March:
FRIDAY, March 13th: Todd Burge
FRIDAY, March 20th: Joseph Henry
FRIDAY, March 27th: Josh Buskirk
FRIDAY, April 3rd: Bobby Kirl

Woody Hawley Concert Series
Walker Theater at The Clay Center
Charleston, WV
March 21: Craig Bickhardt

It's time for the next Woody Hawley Concert ! We will proudly present
Craig Bickhardt a week from Saturday on March21 at the Clay Center's Walker Theater at 7:30. Craig is another super successful songwriter. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash,
Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Ray Charles, BB King, Alison Krauss,
Art Garfunkel, Dianne Shuur, Kathy Mattea....... the list goes on. He
wrote two songs for Robert Duvall's movie "Tender Mercies" and has
just released a CD called "Brother to the Wind" that features artists
such as Tim O'Brien, Terri Hendrix and Beth Nielson Chapman.

Craig is an accomplished guitar player and singer in addition to being
an engaging performer and storyteller. I met him at the Newsong
Academy several years ago and was impressed by his mastery of
songwriting and by his relaxed and friendly performance style. I knew
that he would be right at home on the Woody Hawley stage.

Singer/songwriter Jim Savarino will make the trip
down from Morgantown to perform a 30 minute opening set featuring
songs from his new CD "Don't Let the World Get You Down".

Tickets are $15 general and $10 for seniors 60 and over. They can be
purchased online at , by phone at 304-561-3570,
at the Clay Center box office during business hours, or at the door
the evening of the concert. The entrance to the Walker Theater is
located at the rear of the Clay Center diagonally across from CAMC
Generals ER.

Great music, great sound, great atmosphere. See you there !

Take care,

Ron Sowell
Artistic Director
The Woody Hawley Concert Series

Next month alert ! April 18 featuring Chris Smither with opening act Bare Bones

Legendary Bluesman Willie King
Dies Unexpectedly
Willie King
On Sunday, March 8, 2009, the outstanding Alabama blues musician Willie King passed away near his home in Old Memphis, Alabama, following a massive heart attack. His career started on a plantation with a one-string, homemade diddly-bo. Six recordings, a DVD, numerous national and international festival performances later, Willie King gained a substantial national and international reputation.

Ever since he first heard a blues musician play at his grandmother's juke joint over sixty years ago, Willie King was consumed by the blues. His life story is about great music, but equally it is about care, interest and concern for the community he grew up in - King's own definition of the "blues life."
The loss of this great blues man will be felt by fans and musicians all over the world who have been touched by his unique juke joint blues and uplifting message of peace, love and social justice.
The funeral is scheduled for Sunday, March 15th, and will be held at the City Hall in Aliceville, Alabama, with viewing the day before at Lavender's Funeral Service, Aliceville. Timing and other details will be posted, when available, at Willie King's web site,
Alabama Blues Project
Sweaty Betty Blues Band
Saturday, March 14th
The Baja Bar @ the Old Fox Chapel Yacht Club welcomes
Sweaty Betty Blues Band
for a special performance
on March 14 at 9:00pm.

Don't miss an evening of live music with Sweaty Betty *

The Baja Bar is located at 1366 Freeport Road Pittsburgh 15238
A great venue for live music, the Baja Bar hosts many popular local bands.
Check it out! This Saturday. Hope to see you there.

thank you for supporting live music in Sixburgh
About The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society P.O. Box 2122, Marietta, Ohio 45750
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 all-volunteer "force" of music enthusiasts on a mission to enhance the appreciation of American Roots Music in the Mid-Ohio Valley and we do it by presenting concerts, workshops, conferences, and a forum for education and development in the schools.

The BJFM Society celebrates and perpetuates blues and roots music as a traditional, evolutionary, and uniquely American art form. During the grant period, we will continue to present live music in genres not normally available in a small town like ours, to educate and expose our audiences to music new and unfamiliar to many of them. Our goal is to keep blues, jazz and roots music alive in our area.

With the help of volunteers from our membership, and an 8-member board of directors, the BJFM Society will continue to produce and present our "core events" plus other shows throughout the year as the opportunity presents itself. The BJFM Society has also undertaken the expense of production and presentation of the nationally recognized multicultural "Blues in the Schools" program here in our local schools
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society Board of Directors:
John Bolen - President
Steve Wells - Vice President, Director of "Blues in The Schools"
Peg Bolen - Treasurer
Maren Beery - Secretary
John Gifford - Board Member, Competition Director
Helen Holt - Board Member
Mary Ann Orborne - Board Member
Kezia Douglass - Board Member

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