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Hey Blues Fans,
This weekend there is another great Blues festival in Illinois. The Nothin' But The Blues Festival features J.J. and Company, Sally Weisenberg, Harper and Big James and the Chicago Playboys on Friday and Chicken Shack, Matt Curry and the Curfew, BJ Allen & Blue Voodoo, Kenney “Blues Boss” Wayne, Pistol Pete, Sharrie Williams and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas on Saturday. See their ad below or visit their website for more information at: www.nothinbutthebluesfestival.com
There is also a great little fest in Evansville, IL (South of St Louis) on Saturday called Blues On The River. Blues on the River is produced by the folks from the Sparta Blues Fest and features The Barefoot Band, Fertile Soil, Rockin Daddy-Os, Rich McDonough & Rough Grooves and Chicago Blues legend Carlos Johnson. For more information, see their ad below or visit their website at www.spartablues.com
American Music Abroad Touring Program
Eric Steiner, President of the Washington Blues Society passed on information about a great opportunity for Blues acts who want to tour abroad.
Application Information Available for Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad Touring Program
The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad is a partnership between Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program is designed to foster cultural exchange with audiences worldwide through performance and educational outreach.
Applying ensembles must be comprised of four musicians and must perform in one of the following American musical styles: jazz, urban/hip hop, or American roots music (including blues, bluegrass, Cajun, gospel, zydeco, and country). Each applicant musician must be at least 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and hold a valid U.S. passport.
Selected ensembles tour to such regions as Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East for approximately one month. International activities include public concerts, master classes, lectures, demonstrations, workshops, jam sessions, media outreach, and collaborations with local musicians.
The U.S. Department of State funds international travel, hotels, and meals, and awards a modest tour honorarium to each musician.
Complete program information is available at the JALC Web site. http://www.jalc.org/theroad/
We went caught Nick Moss and the Flip Tops in Pekin, Illinois this week. Nick is an amazing guitar player. He has earned an astonishing 11 Blues Music Award nominations from the Blues Foundation and 6 Blues Blast Music Award nominations from Blues Blast Magazine. Nick and the band are nominated as Best Blues band this year in the 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards and it was easy to see why.
They started out with Willie Oshawny on keyboards, Gerry Hundt on bass and Bob Carter on drums backing up Nick on guitar and vocals as they played songs from their latest CD “Live At Chan’s - Combo Platter #2”.
Later in the first set Gerry Hundt switched to mandolin and the Willie took over the bass part on the keyboards. Then Nick switched to bass (Often playing it with only one hand!). In the second set, Willie switched to bass guitar, Nick played some great harmonica and Gerry played guitar and sang lead. A couple songs later Gerry was playing harp too. Even Bob Carter took a turn at singing lead vocals for a song. These guys are truly a GREAT band! Check them out if you get the chance.
And speaking of the Blues Blast Music Awards, HAVE YOU VOTED YET? If not visit the "listening page" our friends at GLT Blues Radio 24/7 created where you can sample the music of the nominees BEFORE you vote. To check out the website and begin listening to these great artists now, CLICK HERE. Voting continues until August 31st. To vote now CLICK HERE.
In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!
James Walker reviews a new CD from Rick Estrin. George Fish reviews a new CD by Ernie Vincent. Steve Jones reviews a new CD by Fried Bourbon. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Alabama Mike.
Bob Kieser reviews day one of the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival.
Our Blues Video of the Week is 9 year old Blues guitarist Tallan Lantz who appeared on America's Got Talent this week.
The Barefoot Band, Fertile Soil, Rockin Daddy-Os, Rich McDonough & Rough Grooves, Carlos Johnson.
Admissions is still only $10
For ticket and complete Information visit www.spartablues.com
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Featured Blues Review 1 of 4
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats - Twisted
14 songs; Time 52:03; Suggested
Style: Harmonica Led Electric Blues
Exuding more “Cool” than a Frigidaire, Rick Estrin has to be the hippest white cat on the planet! He is always sharp dressed in a suit styled from the 1940s-50s, combs his hair into a classy pompadour, wears a pencil thin moustache, and talks the lingo and walks the walk - by jingo!
I knew this was going to be a fun CD as soon as it landed in the box on the side of my Blues shack. His award-winning original songs are sly, incisive and often hilariously “Twisted.” And his hipster, street-smart vocals deliver the excitement. Estrin also ranks among the very best harp players in the Blues world today. His puts his own stamp on the reeds while echoing the deep traditions of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs.
“For thirty years, Rick Estrin was the voice and face of one of the country’s best-loved Blues and Jump-blues bands, Little Charlie & The Nightcats. His huge harp sound, streetwise vocals, razor-sharp lyrics and hipster persona were as much the focus of the band as Little Charlie Baty’s hard-swinging guitar. In fact, Rick was so much the central figure of the band, most newcomers assumed that he was “Charlie,’” wrote Bruce Iglauer, president of Alligator.
Now, with Little Charlie’s retirement from touring, Rick is the front man in both name and fact. With support from the Nightcats rhythm section of Lorenzo Farrell (bass) and J. Hansen (drums), and an inventive new young recruit from Norway who is well wood-shedded in American Blues, guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, Rick continues the “Little Charlie” style on some songs while also taking the band in some fresh directions, but always staying in the Blue roots vein.
While the core of the CD is Rick Estrin’s original songs (with two by Kid Anderson and one by J. Hansen), lack of consistency saved it from perfection. For example, the opening track, “Big Time,” is a plodding clunker that might have worked better as the last song.
The real fun begins with track two, “Back From the Dead.” Estrin speaks the opening, “Man, I was heart broken, chain smokin,’ drinkin’ wine and taking dope, hit the wall, took a fall – damn near wasn’t here at all! Hey Buddy, I ain’t jokin;’ I came this close to croakin’ – but, now I’m back, back from the dead....” Now, that’s the Rick Estrin magic! As he says the word “back” the band kicks in with some jumping rhythm that drives ducks out of water to dance.
“Catchin’ Hell,” the first cut I played on my radio show, is a subtle and haunting slow blues with both shimmering guitar sounds and single string, noteworthy work.
Four great instrumentals are Andersen’s smoking “Earthquake,” the sprightly, jazzy, chromatic harp led “Cool Breeze” created by the entire band, the final track’s Andersen led romp through surf and Rockabilly, and Estrin’s self fulfilling “Take It Slow.”
When I read the title of “I’m Takin’ Out My In-laws” penned and sung by J. Hansen, I was politely thinking, “Oh, take them out for dinner, I guess.” But, NO – this is the Blues, baby! Hansen sings, “Mister [father in law], I’ve got a temper / You really ought to let me be/ Or else me and my pistol / Are gonna prune the family tree! I’m gonna take out my in-laws before this day is through...!” The music is just as rippingly raucous as the lyrics. Perfect!
Little Charlie may have “retired,” but here is to hoping Rick Estrin stays on the circuit years longer. This CD proves he still has the ability to create incredibly entertaining songs and choose Blue Ribbon band members like Chris Andersen. And, what with this global warming thang, we are going to need all the cool we can get.
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.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Festival Website www.prairiedogblues.com
The only Blues festival held on an island in the middle of the Mississippi River!
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin on St. Feriole Island
The Blues Blast Music Awards recognize the best Blues performers and their music. Our nominators included Radio stations, Blues DJ's, Blues Bloggers, Blues Critics, Journalists, Festival Promoters, Managers, Musicians and Blues Societies. They have nominated the BEST in Blues Music today. To vote now CLICK HERE.
BE AN INFORMED VOTER - If you are not familiar with all of the 2009 nominees, GLT Blues Radio 24/7 has a created a "listening page" where you can sample the music of the nominees BEFORE you vote. To check out the website and begin listening to these great artists now, CLICK HERE Voting continues until August 31st. Details of the Awards show on October 29th, 2009 at Buddy Guy's Legends coming soon.
Best Contemporary Blues Recording
" At Least I’m Not With You” The Insomniacs
"Love Me Tonight" John Nemeth
“Live at Chan’s Vol 2” Nick Moss
"Clean Getaway" Curtis Salgado
"What Love Will Do" Janiva Magness
"Never going Back" Shemekia Copeland
Best Blues Band
Nick Moss and The Flip Tops
Lil Ed And The Blues Imperials
Kilborn Alley Blues Band
Watermelon Slim and The Workers
Best Traditional Blues Recording
"Chicago Blues: A Living History" Various Artists
"Sweeheart Like You" Guy Davis
"All Original" John Primer
"Lowdown Feelin" Mannish Boys
"Blues Attack" Shirley Johnson
"One Kind Favor" BB King
Best Male Blues Artist
Best Blues Song
“Bad Year Blues” Albert Castiglia
"At Least I'm Not With You" - The Insomniacs
"Mr. Coffee" Chris James & Patrick Rynn
"20 Years of B.B. King" Curtis Salgado
"Let Life Flow" Kenny Neal
"See That My Grave is Kept Clean" BB King
Best Female Blues Artist
Best New Artist Debut
"Stop And Think About It" Chris James & Patrick Rynn
"White Sugar" Joanne Shaw Taylor
"Austin To Chicago" Dave Herrero
"2 Man Wrecking Crew" Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm
"Livin It" Guy King
"Mississippi Number One" Eden Brent
Sean Costello Rising Star Award
Kilborn Alley Blues Band
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm
Blues Society News
Please submit a maximum of 175 or words or less in a Text or Word format ONLY.
Magic City Blues Society - Birmingham. AL
Magic City Blues Society presents Junk Yard Juke, August 15, 2009, 3:00 p.m. at 430 41st Street South
Washington Blues Society - Seattle, WA
The Washington Blues Society IBC 2010 Competition - WBS will host local competitions to send a band and a solo/duo act to the 2010 International Blues Challenge (IBC). The semi-final band competition will be held Sunday, July 26th at the Highway 99 Blues Club in Seattle. The semi-final solo/duo competition will be held Sunday, August 9th at Seattle’s New Orleans Creole Restaurant. Finalists in each category will compete in the finals on Sunday, August 23rd at the Highway 99 Blues Club. If the WBS receives more than 10 applicants in either category, the Board may select applicants via a lottery at the July 14th Blues Bash at the Red Crane in Shoreline. One winner in each category will represent the WBS in the 2010 IBC in Memphis, January 20-23. Judges will evaluate each act using the Blues Foundation criteria ( www.blues.org/ibc/scoring.php), and not be affiliated with the WBS Board or any contestant. Contestant applications are due July 13th from www.wablues.org, and IBC rules are at www.blues.org/ibc/rules.php. More info: Eric Steiner (email@example.com).
River City Blues Society- Peoria, IL
The River City Blues Society's Wednesday Blues Series features the best traveling regional and National Blues musicians each Wednesday at 7:00pm. The shows are held at the Dragon's Dome, 3401 Griffin Ave in Pekin, IL. Admission is $4. Shows scheduled are: July 22 - Joanna Conner w/ Donna Herula opening act
Mid-Mississippi Muddy Water Blues Society - Quincy IL
The Blues Society is holding the "Quincy Area Blues Fest" on July 17th & 18th in Quincy's Historic Washington Park in beautiful downtown Quincy. This is the 16th year of the Blues Fest in this park! Two days-8 great Acts, with Friday featuring The Beat Daddys and Eric Sardinas, and Saturday Headliner-BMA Nominee Albert Castiglia. Don't sweat the heat-this park is full of great shade trees, and there's always at least a gentle breeze blowing. If you've never been to Quincy for this Fest-this is the year to support us. Several affordable Hotels within walking distance, great acts and atmosphere, and affordable prices. Details are at www.quincyblues.com
The Arkansas River Blues Society - Little Rock, Arkansas
The Arkansas River Blues Society presents a monthly Blues jam at Juanita’s, 1300 Main Street, Little Rock, Arkansas the first Tuesday of every month. The next jam will be September 1, 2009, at 8 pm. The jam will feature a different house band each month. G - Funk The Tree Trunk will be our house band. You can check this band out on our myspace site. Admission is $5 for the public and $3 for members of ARBS. Participating musicians are FREE and this is an open jam. For more information contact Babs at 501-920-7783 or check out www.myspace.com/arriverbluessociety
Friends Of The Blues Shows - Kankakee IL
The Friends of the Blues 2009 Blues concert Series shows for July.
Thursday, July 16, ALBERT CASTIGLIA from Miami, 7 p.m. Early Show, River Bend Bar & Grill, 6070 E. Route 17, Kankakee IL 815-933-0610.
Monday, July 20 – CURTIS & THE MAYFIELDS, 6 p.m. Poolside Polynesian Party, Kankakee Elks Country Club, 2283 Bittersweet Drive, St. Anne IL (815) 937-1228. Wear your Tropical attire and enjoy goodies from the outdoor grill and great music variety from Curtis Battrell, Andy Battrell, Ed Oberlander, and Dick Dale.
Tuesday, July 28 – CHICAGO KINGSNAKES, 7 p.m. Early Show, Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen Club, 2672 Chippewa Drive, Bourbonnais IL (815) 937-0870. Some Great Chicago Blues!
Central Mississippi Blues Society – Jackson, MS
The CMBS presents Blue Monday at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St., Jackson, MS) every Monday night. Doors open @ 8:00 and music begins @ 8:30. Cover is $5.
The Blue Monday Band is comprised of the “best of the best “ musicians in the Central MS area. Featured artists are King Edward, lead guitar/vocalist and Pat Brown, Abdul Rasheed and Dennis Fountain as vocalists. Other regular band members are Dwight Ross and Rick Lewis (drums), Keith Collins (bass), Johnny Sharpe (keys) and Malcolm Shepherd (CMBS President) on Congas. Most of these musicians appeared in The Last of the Mississippi Jukes.
The Blue Monday Band plays the first set and then the event turns into a jam. For more info see: www.centralmississippibluessociety.com or call Peggy Brown @ 601-613-7377
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
The Illinois Central Blues Club will be conducting its Third Annual Blues Challenge during the Old Capitol Blues & Barbeque, August 29, 2009 beginning at noon. Deadline to apply is July 15, 2009. Official rules can be viewed on the ICBC’s website, www.icbluesclub.org . The Challenge includes both the band competition and the solo/duo competition on the same day. The winner of the band challenge will receive $1,000 and the winner of the solo/duo challenge will receive $500 in travel monies to represent the Club at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, TN January 20-23, 2010. Inquiries regarding this press release should be directed to Mark Edmiston, President of the Illinois Central Blues Club, at (217) 679-0721 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - July 20 - Texas Groove, July 27 Bill Evans
Featured Blues Review 2 of 4
Ernie Vincent - Bayou Road Blues
Montegut Street Records
10 tracks - Total time: 34:09
Ernie Vincent’s Bayou Road Blues came unexpectedly to me in the mail from Jerry Moran, music photographer (he did the photo work for Cyril Neville’s Brand New Blues) and Vincent’s manager. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise indeed.
Bayou Road Blues is a throwback to the folk recordings of the 1960s, an acoustic Delta guitar blues CD unadorned by the drums and bass of most modern-day folk recordings, and a departure from Ernie Vincent’s traditional electric musical style. Known as the Funk’n Blues Legend of New Orleans, he had a massive cult hit in 1972 with the funk dance tune, “Dap Walk,” performed with his band, the Top Notes. This song drew attention to Vincent worldwide, continues in popularity, and was even featured on “Sex and the City.” Also used commercially was another funk hit of his, “Things Are Better.” An adept electric guitar player, Ernie Vincent is adept on acoustic blues guitar as well, as Bayou Road Blues positively attests.
All ten songs on the CD are Vincent originals, many of them referencing his Louisiana background. While track 4, “King Bee,” and track 7, “Just Like My Woman,” loosely reference Slim Harpo’s “I’m a King Bee” and the blues standard, “Just Like A Woman,” they are overwhelmingly original in their lyrics. The opening track, “Party on the Bayou;” track 2, “Swamp Daddy’s;” track 3, “Bayou Road;” track 5, “Mardi Gras Chief;” and track 8, “River City People,” directly reference his Southern Louisiana roots and his present home of New Orleans. “Party on the Bayou,” “Swamp Daddy’s” and “River City People” are songs of partying and carousing, while “Bayou Road” is about coming up in hard times. “Mardi Gras Chief” adapts the rhythm structure and melodic lines of Bo Diddley to Delta blues, and features Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Monk Bourdreaux on tambourine with Vincent double-tracked on guitar, playing low-register Delta accompaniment with elegant higher-register single-note playing overlaid.
Track 9, “I Can’t Believe” departs from the Delta styling of the other tracks, as it is a 1950s/1960s-style soul ballad, while the ending track, “Swamp Jump Boogie,” is a rocking instrumental, with Vincent’s churning train-riff rhythm guitar providing the base on which electric guitarist West Bank Mike overlays some wildly delicious licks, making bass and drums superfluous for engendering the danceable, infectious beat.
Most able young bluesman Andrew Duhon provides “citified” second position harp on eight tracks, absent only from “Mardi Gras Chief” and “River City People.” While on most tracks he only accompanies, he plays two harp solos on “Just Like My Woman,” and also has solos on “I Can’t Believe” and “Swamp Jump Boogie.” He adds trills to his harp playing on “King Bee” to effectively imitate a bee buzzing. This combination of acoustic guitar with harp is thus reminiscent of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells’s Alone and Acoustic CD on Alligator, as well as Sonny Boy Williamson II’s 1963 acoustic work with Matt “Guitar” Murphy.
Bayou Road Blues can also be looked upon as reverse John Lee Hooker, in this respect—whereas much of Hooker’s early work could be described as the loose, loping country blues played on an electric guitar, Vincent’s songs are tight, structured and elemental in city blues fashion, but played acoustically. The same could be said of his singing, which has that same tight city blues approach, which is vigorous and compelling, but structured. Combined with his nuanced guitar work accompanied by feet tapping rhythm, the effect is one of a city blues album recorded with just acoustic guitar and harp instrumentation. Track 6, “I’m Your Snake Baby,” is really the only track that has a looser, more country feel about the lyrics. Which is by no means meant disparagingly. Bayou Road Blues has a positive ambience about it, and both Vincent and the other players are relaxed yet highly skilled and conscious in their playing. All this making Bayou Road Blues a very good listen indeed.
Reviewer George "Blues Fin Tuna" 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.
Featured Blues Review 3 of 4
Alabama Mike – Day to Day
For his initial release, “Alabama Mike” Benjamin put together a setlist that includes seven of his original tunes plus covers of songs from Elmore James, Willie Dixon and Son House. Benjamin possesses a big , powerful voice that commands your attention. The James influence is evident throughout the disc in superb guitar work from Steve Freund, Jon Lawton (Little Jonny & the Giants) and Charles Wheal (Mark Hummel).
Opening with the title track, Benjamin describes the trials and tribulations facing many Americans in the current economic environment. Lawton contributes some wicked slide guitar licks over the solid rhythmic foundation from Kedar Roy on bass and Scott Silveira on drums. Lawton unleashes a darker attack on the Son House classic, “Death Letter Blues”. Alabama Mike shouts out a spirited vocal that matches Lawton’s intensity. “Naggin” is a funky piece driven by wah-wah effects on Scott Brenton’s guitar. Another Benjamin original, “Lay My Money Down”, rocks with a fierce boogie beat sparked by Chris Burns on piano and more stellar slide guitar from Lawton. “Too Many Cooks” sports a rumba beat and a fiery guitar part from Steve Freund.
Another highlight is the extended workout on “Religion”, a slow blues masterpiece that finds Alabama Mike taking his woman to task for going to church on Sunday and raising hell the rest of the week. His voice soars into the upper register as he pleads for her to be faithful. Wheal plays some nice BB King-style guitar. On “I’ve Been Rocked”, Wheal’s guitar burns over the shuffle beat on another fine tune from Alabama Mike that features excellent harp from John Nemeth. The band slows the pace again on “Somethin On My Mind”. There is plenty of the rich tone of RJ Mischo’s harp and Burns’ piano again accentuates the arrangement.
Alabama Mike covers two lesser-known Elmore James tunes. “Strange Angel” is taken at a medium pace. Benjamin sings with conviction , supported by Barron Shullman on tenor sax and Wheal on guitar. The band rocks harder on “Knockin’ at Your Door”. Benjamin strains his voice a bit at times trying to match powerful accompaniment. The disc closes with a booming Benjamin vocal on a track in the classic James style. Silveira lays down a strong beat for Lawton’s slide guitar while Mischo contributes plenty of hot licks on his harp.
It is a real treat to review a disc this good, especially when it comes from an unknown name. The batch of original tunes on this release serve as proof of Benjamin’s skill as a songwriter. Alabama Mike gathered together a strong supporting cast of veteran musicians who inject each cut with an authentic blues sound., topped off by Benjamin’s inspired vocals. Look for this disc to gather plenty of well-deserved attention for Alabama Mike, who may be an early contender for the Best New Artist award. This one is highly recommended !!!
Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
A new CD from Michael Packer
Rikers Island Blues
CLICK HERE to buy the CD now
Blues Video of the Week
This week we feature a another salute to Blues youth. Tallan Lantz is in third grade! He appeared on America's Got Talent this week and this 9 year old brought down the house.
The crowd went wild and he got three YES voted to move on to the next round.
With kids like this getting hooked on the Blues, we are sure it this music called the Blues is NOT a dying art form!
To see this cool video on our website, click the play button below.
For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.
Blues Blast Magazine - Summer Advertising SALE!
Blues Blast Magazine is running an advertising special for Blues festivals and new CD releases during July through October. Are you a promoter or a Blues Society having a festival anytime during July through October? Is your band's CD being released in the coming months?
If so we are offering a great deal to get the Blues word out for you. Your ad can be seen each week by 12,000 Blues fans in all 50 states and in 60 countries for a very low price of $30 a week. (Four Week minimum!)
So for the low price of $120 your ad will be seen nearly 50,000 times by real Blues fans. How is that for a deal? You want more you say? OK then we recommend our combo rate where for an additional $20, your ad will also run at the same time on our website at TheBluesBlast.com. Our website gets 10,000 visitors and more than 800,000 hits each month.
The sale prices are good for ad space reserved through July 31st, 2009. Available advertising space is limited and is offered on a first come, first served basis so contact us today at to start getting the Blues word out about your Blues event or CD!
Live Blues Music Review
IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival - Day One - July 2nd,2009
The 25th annual Mississippi Valley Blues Festival was another great show put on by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society in Le Claire Park in Davenport, Iowa. The first night of the festival featured artists from the very first MVBS festival 25 years ago. This evening featured a "Retro" admission price of only $5.
Starting off the show was Iowa Blues Hall of famer Bob Dorr & the Blue Band. Bobs band is top knotch and he always puts on a great show. This show was no exception.
Next up on the band shell stage was the Peña Brothers. They played some smoking guitar that the crowd really enjoyed.
The festival features two stages so we headed to the "tent" stage to catch Michael "Hawkeye" Herman. Hawkeye put on a very intimate show that featured his great musical skills telling the Blues history of the music he plays. He is in great demand for Blues in the Schools because of this ability.
After Hawkeye the tent stage featured Iowa alternative country and roots singer, Bo Ramsey. There was a definite twang to his set clearly showing his country roots.
Next up on the the band shell stage was a group called Cobalt Blue. This was our first time hearing this band and they did a fine set of Blues.
After Cobalt Blue the band shell headliner for the night, slide master Roy Rogers took the stage. Roy recently released a new CD called "Split Decision" that is climbing the Blues charts getting lots of radio airplay. He played some tunes from the new CD and wowed the crowd with his fantastic slide playing on both electric and acoustic guitars.
There was one more act we had to see. The headliner on the tent stage was Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women. Saffire is Gaye Adegbalola on guitar, Andra Faye on bass and mandolin and Ann Rabson on piano. They all sing and write catchy, story songs and have been performing together for over 25 years. This season is their final farewell tour. After this summer they will still perform and record as solo artists but will no longer perform as Saffire. We were pleased to be able to see this great trio one more time. If they come anywhere near your location take the opportunity to catch their show while you still can.
We headed back to the hotel eager for the next day of great Blues. Stay tuned next week for day two!
Review and photos by Blues Blast editor Bob Kieserl
New CD From
To listen & purchase this CD now - CLICK HERE
Featured Blues Review 4 of 4
Fried Bourbon – Deep Fried
The music is straight up, down home blues and boogie woogie by a band “discovered” by the Bay Area’s newest favorite son of the blues, John Nemeth. These guys serve up the blues like they came out of the Mississippi Delta and went to Chicago and yet they hail from ports far away. Steven Troch (vocals/harmonica); Tim Ielegems (guitars); Jurgen Claes (drums) and Patrick Houthooft (bass) make up the main band. Gene Taylor (piano) and RolanVan Campenhout (percussion/vocals/sitar) from Rising Sun Studio add some more unique flavors to the stew. Troch is a great front man; his vocals and harp are top-notch!
There are no bad tracks on this disc. Fifteen songs served up with superb musicianship and vocals top to bottom. “The River Styx” interestingly blends traditional blues with sitar and yet it sounds natural and normal. Troch’s harp work and vocals are clean and bright and the backing players’ work and solos just fill in to make this a great track. “Black Cat Bone” seems to be a featured track; while the blues is filled with voodoo references to black cat bones, these Belgians take the bone out for another fresh spin and it’s a fun one indeed. The opening track “Ding Dong” is another good one. The interplay between Ielegem’s guitar and Toch’s harp is done very nicely.
One track (“Camel Chase”) even has a whirling dervish of an Arabic sound and then it later shifts more into a Klezmer styled clarinet sound that had me somewhat incredulous, but I was already sold that this is quite the cool and unique album and it just helped to prove it. A kazoo intro graces “Loaded Dice”, a ragtime piece that is followed by a full-up barrelhouse “Deep fried Boogie.” More fun tunes from a really great band!
These guys play up a storm and are just a pleasure to listen to. Their schedule on MySpace shows them only on the European Continent through the end of the year. I hope they tour the states because I will be sure to catch these guys and you should, too! In the meantime, this fine CD will have to suffice to serve to dish up their “Deep Fried!” specials!
Reviewer Steve Jones is Secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
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.
TheBluesBlast.com is not responsible for errors or omissions.
or click a state to see Blues shows by State
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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.
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