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Thursday, April 2, 2009


This caught me by surprise, but today is the second anniversary of the Blues Historian website! It almost slipped right by me! YIKES! I just want to say thanks to the hundreds of blues fans who stop by here on a daily basis. The growth of this blog has been amazing and I am humbled by all of the support!

The blog started off as a way to teach blues history to my college students, but now it is more a blues news gathering site. I always hope that once the school year is over I can devote more time to posting videos, and more original content. Yet, once summer starts it is summer school! It never ends:-)

Thanks for sticking with me, and if you are new please stay around! Let have another great year and thanks for stopping by!

Blues Historian

Blues In Baxter Iowa

Just got this from my old pal Craig Peterson from the Newton Iowa area. They have some really great blues coming to little old Baxter Iowa!! I am not sure if the South Skunk Blues Society is involved in this show, but I am sure plenty of familiar faces are behind this cool event. Check it out if you happen to be in Central Iowa this summer.

HI Tom, O'Kellys here in Baxter has got a darn good blues lineup for
Wednesday nights bike night. At least it looks pretty good to me. I myself
especially like Lil Dave Thompson and Brian Lee. But that is not to say
some of the others are not dynamite too. Just thought I would share. Sure
makes listening to the blues easy for me. I can walk to the show.

The shows are free admission on Weds evenings (bike night) and they usually
start around 6 PM. There are usually lots of bikers at O'Kellys and the bands
play outside. Great venue. Great lineup. Like everything, these could
change, I would call ahead to be sure the band that is scheduled is going on
(641) 227-3013 (weather and schedule changes may impact this, and more will
be added but don't know for sure who or when) but for what it is worth...:
May 27th Lil Dave Thompson
June 3rd Matt woods & the thunderbolts
June 10th Eric Jerardi
June 17th Scott Holt
June 24th Craig Swallwell
July 1st Mike Mcabee
July 15th Curly Taylor & Zydeco Trouble
July 29th Bryan Lee
Aug 5th Joe Price
Aug 12th Mike Mcabee
Aug 19th Rockin Jake
Aug 26th Eddie Turner

Illinois Blues News

The FREE Internet Magazine - All news BLUES in the US!

© 2007 - 2009

Latest news, photos, reviews, links & MUCH MORE in this issue! - Scroll or Page Down! quick website links: Reviews Links Photos Videos Blues Radio Blues Shows near YOU! Advertise for FREE! The Blues Blast Archives

Hey Blues Fans,

We have news of more great line ups from major US Blues festivals this week. Get your calendars marked and make your hotel reservations NOW!

The 10th Annual Highway 61 Blues Festival in Leland, MS is Saturday, June 6 and 7th, 2009. Performing at the fest will be Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang, Cedric and Lightnin' Malcolm, David "Honeyboy" Edwards with Michael Frank, Rocky Lawrence, Lil' Dave Thompson, T Model Ford, The John Horton Band, Mississippi Slim, Eddie Cusic, Pat Thomas, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, Mickey Rogers and the Soulmasters, Mike's Blue Groove (Sweden), The Mayhem String Band, Rob Mortimer Band, Pokey Lafarge and Lazy Bone.

The Greeley Blues Jam is June 12 and 13th, 2009 in Greeley, Colorado. Festival performers are Walter Trout, Charlie Musselwhite, Marcia Ball, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Doug Kershaw and others to be announced soon.

The IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival runs July 2nd to 4th, 2009 in Le Claire Park in Davenport, IA. It is one of the biggest and best Midwest festivals celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year. Here is their lineup: Thursday July 2nd - Bob Dorr & the Blue Band, Pena Brothers, Cobalt Blue, Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings, Radoslav Lorkovic, Hawkeye Herman, Bo Ramsey, Saffire - the Uppity Blues Women

Friday July 3rd - Ellis Kell Band, J.P. Soars & The Red Hots, Eugene Hideway Bridges, Ric E Bluz, Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater, T.J. Wheeler, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Fiona Boyes, Dee Alexander, Sugar Pie DeSanto

Saturday July4th - Steady Rolling Blues Band, Robin Rogers, Craig Horton, Larry McCray, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, Marquise Knox, Junk Joint Duo, Kenny Brown, Diunna Greenleaf, Magic Slim and the Teardrops

If these are any indication of what the summer Blues fest season is going to be like hold on to your hats because this is gonna be one HOT Blues summer!

Blues Wanderings

We made it out to see David "Honeyboy" Edwards in Urbana, IL. playing a show with Kilborn Alley Blues Band. Honeyboy as you probably know is the last of the original Delta Blues men. He was there the night legendary Blues man Robert Johnson was killed. He and longtime partner Michael Frank opened the show with an hour set and then Honeyboy signed autographs and visited with fans as Kilborn Alley entertained the crowd with a set of tunes from their new CD to be released in June.

Afterward, Honeyboy joined Kilborn Alley on stage for a few more songs and the crowd loved it! At the age of 93, we are amazed at the stamina and passion for the music this man still has!

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from Phil Berkowitz. George Fish reviews a new CD by Paul Reddick. Tom “THE ENERGIZER" Schlesinger reviews a new CD by Walter Trout. Mike O'Cull reviews a new CD from Rev. Jimmie Bratcher.

Our video of the week is a clip of Muddy Waters playing "Long Distance Call" with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Calvin Jones, Jerry Portnoy, Bob Margolin and Pinetop Perkins. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!

Featured Blues Review 1 of 4

Phil Berkowitz - All Night Party

Dirty Cat Records

14 songs; Time 58:44; Suggested

Style: Chicago Blues, West Coast Jump, New Orleans R&B

“My fellow Americans, we must return to simple basics in this country! For example, when investing, do not put all of your eggs in one basket!” General Wetnight, 2009.

As if answering the good General’s call, Phil Berkowitz sings, “‘I Want a Roof Over My Head’ and bread on the table and love in my heart just for you, where we can have peace of mind....” Now, it just doesn’t get more basic than that. And, speaking of “basics,” it feels so good to get back to some basic Blues done really well after reviewing three non-Blues records in a row.

This is harmonica player Phil’s “fourth official CD,” and, with eight original songs, it is a solid winner from start to stop. Berkowitz is able to convey fun and excitement in the songs, and the title, “All Night Party” seems as natural as a Jamaican work-free drug place. Studio recorded, Berkowitz and Danny Caron co-produced the album with Caron co-writing three numbers and adding some guitar. Studio guests include Sean Carney on guitar and Bill Stuve on bass. At the core are a group of Bay Area musicians: Tim Wagar, Bowen Brown, William Beatty, and Marvin Greene. The few horn parts are from Jeff “Irv” Irvin, Robert Dehlinger, and Doug Rowan. Craig Knudsen added some background vocals.

Phil Berkowitz is a San Francisco Bay area based blues harmonica player and vocalist with an energetic musical style. He is a New Jersey native and the fourth child in a family of six. He relocated to California in early 1989 to complete his college degree. It was during this time at Sonoma State University that he began playing the harmonica and fell in love with all forms of blues and jazz influenced music, especially that of Louis Jordan. He decided to front a band of his own and embarked on a journey of mastering every facet of the diatonic and chromatic harmonica.

“All Night Party” is the opening track as well as the CD’s main theme. This title track sounds live and does a great job of immediately bringing the listener through the door to the party. Set at medium tempo, the song’s piano, harmonica, guitar, guests, and vocals are all intoxicatingly intertwined. The party does not end until the last song titled, “The Party’s Over,” but its rollicking piano leaves us in our dancing shoes; it doesn’t let down easy.

“Straight Up” is wonderful straight up Chicago Blues. Starting with the song’s pace, it’s classic in every way from the lyric message challenging a lover to choose to Sean Carney’s mid song guitar solo to Phil’s scolding harmonica.

My favorite song is an instrumental titled “Tonka T.” Berkowitz’s chromatic harmonica eloquently explains why it is also called a “mouth organ.” Phil claims the song was inspired by a favorite dog, so imagine a perky, playful pooch as the song bounces along.

Other standouts: “Midnight Rooster” with its slowly wrought message of timeless values, “Fine Little Honey Dripper” featuring inspired string work by Marvin Greene, and “Beach Bar Boogie” inspired by a 2007 trip to St. John and infused with an upbeat New Orleans style.

Berkowitz claims the cover songs gave him opportunity to pay tribute to idols: Jimmy T-99 Nelson, Ray Charles, Billy Boy Arnold, Louis Jordan, and Earl King.

Tired of Rock being passed off as Blues? Then get back to the basics with Phil Berkowitz. Not only is his music authentic, it is a party!

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
To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

For tickets and info CLICK HERE

Blues Society News

Send your Blues Society's BIG news or Press Release to:

Please submit a maximum of 175 or words or less in a Text or Word format ONLY.

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: or call Peggy Brown @ 601-613-7377

Friends Of The Blues Shows - Kankakee IL

The Friends of the Blues has started their 2009 Blues concert Series. Here are thie shows for April.

Tuesday, April 14- Too Slim & The Taildraggers, 7:00 Pm, Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley Il 60915. (815) 936-1649.

Saturday, April 18 – Reverend Raven & Chain Smoking Altar Boys, 8:00 PM, Kankakee Valley Boat Club, Cobb Boulevard, Kankakee IL(815) 936-1699

Tuesday, April 21 – Damon Fowler, 7:00 PM, Kankakee Elks Country Club, 2283 Bittersweet Drive, St. Anne Il. 815-937-1228

Arkansas River Blues Society - Little Rock, AR

The Arkansas River Blues Society has settled in to its home base at Jazzi's, 5200 Asher Ave. in Little Rock. The jam is held on the 1st Wed. of each month. A different house band is featured each month and on April 1st it will be Jess Hoggard and Southern Soul featuring Charles Wood. The May house band is Unseen Eye from Hot Springs. Recent house bands have been Joe Marks and NTO, Joe Pitts Band, Mike Dollins and the Cruise Bros., Big John Miller Band, N-2 Blues, and John Craig. Regular jammers have been Dan Sokoloski, Jawbone and Jolene, Charlotte Taylor, Ed Bowman, Charles Wood, and G-Funk the Tree Trunk. Joe Pitts brought in a touring band from Italy called Shanghai Noodle Factory. Jam begins at 8:30 and runs till midnight. People are friendly and the food is good. You can find out about special events by visiting the MySpace page at

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents the duo of Hal Reed and Donald Kinsey for its Blues in the Schools Artists in Residency Series for April. Hal and Donald will conduct their “Generations of Blues” workshops at nine area schools and four Open to the Public performances between April 6 and 10.

Free, Open to the Public Performances are Monday, Apr. 6, 11:45 a.m. at CASI, 1035 W. Kimberly, Davenport. IA. Monday, Apr. 6, 4:00 p.m. at M.L. King Center, 630 9th St., Rock Island, IL. Wednesday, Apr. 8, 7:00 p.m. at Mojo’s in the River Music Experience, 129 Main, Davenport, IA. Thursday, Apr. 9, 1:30 Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Dr. Bettendorf, IA. For more info contact call the MVBS office at 563-32-BLUES or Hal Reed at 563-650-4303

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL


Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - Apr 6 - Blues Deacons, Apr 13 - Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Apr 20 - Pleasure Chest, Apr 27 - Nothin' But Trouble

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 $4. The shows are held at the Dragon's Dome, 3401 Griffin Ave in Pekin, IL.

Shows scheduled are: Apr 8 - Third Degree Blues Band, Apr 15 - Too Slim & The Tail Draggers, Apr 22 - Damon Fowler Group, April 29 - Bob Dorr & The Blue Band, May 6 Shannon Curfman, May 13 - Scott Ellison, May 20 - Deak Harp, May 27 - The Insomniacs

Featured Blues Review 2 of 4

Paul Reddick - Sugarbird

Northern Blues Music

12 tracks, total time: 46:32

Sugarbird is singer/songwriter/harpman Paul Reddick’s fourth album for Canada’s renowned Northern Blues label, and is testimony to the fine artistry of Reddick and his producer, Colin Linden. Sugarbird features 12 original songs, 10 of them co-written by Reddick with the CD’s producer, the multiply talented Colin Linden (one of them co-written by Reddick, Linden and Kate Schutt), and two of them by Colin Linden. As befits a bluesman like Reddick, who also enjoys bird watching and is a devotee of modern poetry, especially that of Kenneth Rexroth, the songs on Sugarbird are infused with the poet’s lyrical sense. The song lyrics are not so much lyrics as they are poems that are specially honed and crafted poems created to fit their music.

While most of the songs are wistfully positive or exuberant, Reddick’s lyricism can also find eloquence exploring the darker side of life and the ways of women, as shown by the chorus of “Every Temptation”

Whoa, and it’s every temptation
Your mouth is full of knives
I fell in love with a pretty girl
A heart like a clasping knife

Colin Linden’s own lyricism expresses itself equally deeply, as in this line from his wistful tone poem tribute to John Lennon, “John Lennon in New Orleans”:
I was hiding in the storm
And you saved me from the rain

Reddick’s label, Northern Blues, is not only one of the world’s premier blues recording labels, but more significantly, has been instrumental in stretching the boundaries of what can be considered blues, and doing this without watering down the music, or becoming merely eclectic. Indeed, its stretching has been characterized throughout by a commitment to artistic excellence. It has simply given its artists space in which to be freely expressive in their own voice, and in doing so, has extended the range of what is blues music. This is a quality that is much evident in Sugarbird.

Indeed, Sugarbird is a mixture of styles and genres, reflecting Reddick’s passion for all types of American roots music. Piedmont blues mixes here with traces of Appalachian folk ballad, and acoustic folk blues intertwines with percussion. Blues-rock is a presence on a couple of tracks, and especially characterizes “Every Temptation.” Sugarbird, always in its essentials a blues album recorded for a blues label, showcases two numbers that are straight-ahead mid-1950s electric city blues, “Devilment” and “Block of Wood.” “John Lennon in New Orleans” is most felicitously rendered as a medium-tempo New Orleans blues with solid sax riffs, while the exuberantly lustful “It’s Later Than You Think” is horn-driven jazz swing with an appropriately bluesy complement provided by Reddick’s harp solo.

Producer Colin Linden doubles as guitarist on Sugarbird, giving forth with expressive virtuosity on electric, 12-string acoustic and National Steel guitars, as well as banjo. Rhythm players here, bassists Hutch Hutchinson, John Dymond, and Dave Roe, and drummers Ryan Owings, Stephen Hodges and Gary Craig, are veteran players from the bands of Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Shelby Lynne, Dwight Yoakam and Johnny Cash. Joe Sublette and Jim McMillen play sax, and Darrell Leonard trumpet, on “John Lennon in New Orleans,” “It’s Later Than You Think” and the torchy blues, “Breathless Girls.” The Band’s Garth Hudson provides accordion accompaniment to the more folkish “Morning Bell,” “Wishing Song” and “Climbing Up the Hill.” And last for musician credits, Chris Carmichael provides cello and violin to “Blue Wings” and “If By This.”

The CD jacket and enclosed note booklet feature the gorgeous renderings of the Mango Hummingbird by John James Audubon. Both jacket and booklet are excellently printed, making Sugarbird a visual as well as aural treat. Lastly of note, the production of Sugarbird received financial support through the Canadian government’s Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund), with financial support also provided by Canada’s private radio broadcasters. Too bad the blues here in the United States doesn’t get that same kind of “socialistic” encouragement.

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 BEST Way To Promote YOUR Next Blues Project!

BANDS, BARS, AND LABELS: Is your promo material getting you the gigs and business you desire? If not, call music journalist and copy writer Mike O'Cull for all your promotional needs. Mike is a veteran music journalist and musician and writes for the Illinois Entertainer,, and and can deliver the highest quality promotional writing around quickly and at a reasonable price.

Mike's specialties include bios, press releases, liner notes, and web content. Full press kit design, including graphics, is also available. Clients include The Joe Moss Band, Carl Davis, TruSoul Entertainment, B.A. S. Entertainment, and many others. Samples available on request. Email , call Mike O'Cull Music at 847-608-0357, or visit us online at for more information.

Mention the Blues Blast for a $10 new customer discount.

New CD by

BJ Allen


Blue Voodoo


"From fun to funky to soulful ballads and back again" - Blues Blast Magazine

To read the complete review CLICK HERE

Available now at:

Blues Want Ads

Blues Musicians Place Your Want Ad here for FREE

"workin Blues performers" ONLY can place Want Ads here for FREE. NO Commercial Ads!
Buy or sell equipment , musicians wanted, gigs wanted etc. Limit 100 words.

Blues Music Writers wanted

Blues Blast Magazine is looking for reviewers to review new Blues CD's. If you have a background and experience with Blues music and like to write we can provide new CD's for you to review. Person must be willing to write a minimum of one review every other week. Reviewer keeps the CD's for writing the review. If interested please send a sample of your writing and a short bio of your Blues background to

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

Its "MOJO MADNESS" At WGLT In Normal, Illinois The Whole Month Of March !!! 89.1 & 103.5, And On The Web At Just Click On "Listen"

Listen to GLT Blues every weekend in March for MOJO MADNESS! It's your chance to win tickets to the Illinois Blues Festival in Peoria on Labor Day weekend as you call GLT to vote for your favorite blues artists. Here's the deal:

We've seeded and bracketed 32 great blues artists from yesterday and today for a blues tournament we're calling "MOJO MADNESS." MOJO MADNESS is just like the NCAA Basketball tournament every March, except YOU decide the winner of each round with your phone votes. If you're the 89th voter in a particular match, you'll win concert tickets. You may call to vote as often as you like, but you can only win once during the tournament. Every person who wins concert tickets by being the 89th voter qualifies for the Grand Prize: A Black Cat Bone ... that is, an iPod with songs from all 32 artists who made it into the 2009 MOJO MADNESS bracket.

Look at and download your own MOJO MADNESS bracket so you can keep track of the winners, as well as the date and times of each MOJO MADNESS match. Here's the link to the bracket:

This Weeks Mojo Madness Championship Match

Saturday April 4th (1:00pm) John Lee Hooker vs. BB King

Listen Live and phone in your votes at 309 438-8910

Last Weeks Winners

  • John Lee Hooker vs. Albert Collins = John Lee Hooker

  • Koko Taylor vs Albert King = Koko Taylor

  • BB King vs. Howlin' Wolf = BB King

  • Buddy Guy vs Stevie Ray Vaughan = Buddy Guy

  • Muddy Waters vs Eric Clapton = Muddy Waters

  • John Lee Hooker vs. Koko Taylor = John Lee Hooker

  • Semi Final # 1 BB King vs. Buddy Guy = BB King

  • Semi Final #2 Muddy Waters vs John Lee Hooker = John Lee Hooker

Week Three Winners

  • Koko Taylor vs Willie Kent = Koko Taylor

  • BB King vs. Bo Diddley = BB King

  • Big Momma Thorton vs Howlin' Wolf = Howlin' Wolf

  • Buddy Guy vs Freddie King = Buddy Guy

  • Pinetop Perkins vs Stevie Ray Vaughan = Stevie Ray

  • Muddy Waters vs Luther Allison = Muddy Waters

  • Eric Clapton vs Etta James = Eric Clapton

For more info, go to To tune in to GLT Blues Radio 24/7 and Play MOJO MADNESS simply CLICK HERE

Blues Video of the Week

Muddy Waters

"Long Distance Call"

This week we feature a video from a 1976 that has Blues legend Muddy Waters playing with a great collection of all star Blues players in his band.

It is a classic you have got to see!

His band included Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums, Calvin Jones on bass, Jerry Portnoy on harmonica, Bob Margolin on guitar and Pinetop Perkins on piano.

To see this cool video on our website, click the play button below.


For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.

The Simply The Blues Festival For tickets go to

May 8th -Bobby Rush, Sugar Blue, porterdavis, Patrick Hazell and the The Smokin Mojo Kings

May 9th - Johnny Drummer, Liz Mandeville, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Harper, The Soul Of John Black, Shannon Curfman, JP Soars And The Red Hots, Little Joe McLerran, Rich Berry,
The Avey Brothers and Brad McCloud and the Case of the Blues.

The River City Blues Society presents

Wednesday Blues 7:00pm Early Shows


April 8 - Third Degree Blues Band

The Dragon's Dome
3401 Griffin Ave, Pekin, IL.

To see Map- CLICK HERE

Admission $4 - One free admission with new Society membership

Featured Blues Review 3 of 4

Walter Trout - The Outsider

Provogue Records

13 songs; 68:37 min.

All songs written by Walter Trout (plus Rick Knapp on the title track)

I had the pleasure of seeing Walter the first time at the Tampa Bay Blues Fest in 2000, I think, and he blew me away. Walter Trout was voted sixth best guitar player in a 1993 BBC radio poll with 154 guitarists voted on, and thousands of votes cast. Only one vote separated 3rd and 4th and only a few votes between 4th and 6th. Further kudos, The Dutch National radio station “Arrow Classic Rock” asked their listeners to make a list of what they felt was the best blues songs ever made. It turned in to a Top 50 Best Blues Songs list, and Walter Trout is leading the list in #1 with the song, “Say Goodbye to the Blues (1991). His version of Jimi Hendrix's “Red House” (on “Life in the Jungle”) is at #24 on the list. Quoting David Wilson of “The Tonequest Report,” “Walter Trout isn't just a great guitar player. He works from the heart with a flawless and fiery edge. When Walter Trout plays, he owns you!”

Hard rockin’ blues man Walter Trout has come out with a real winner CD, again; "The Outsider" is partly hard driving with some change of pace slower music.

Reflecting 3 and 1/2 decades of experience, playing, touring, and being tutored by some of the very best, Walter says, “I've been loved, and I've been hated. I've been praised and vilified. I've been accused and vindicated and more....” Wow! These lyrics are in his first song, “Welcome to the Human Race,” an autobiography. This song is so very well done, I love it. It has everything: fantastic lyrics, slashing, stinging guitar riffs and a very nice gravely tone in Walter's voice. This guy is something else. You can read and/or sing along because the lyrics are included in the CD’s liner notes.

Four more standouts worth mentioning are “The love Song of J. Alfred Bluesrock,” “Child of Another Day,” “Can’t Have It All,” and the title track “The Outsider.”

On Track 4, “The love Song of J. Alfred Bluesrock,” Sammy Avila just kicks it on the big B3 organ when its time for his lead part. There’s a very notable second lead part by Walter with a very long double lead with some really good riffs. Again, great lyrics.

Track 6 is “Child of Another Day.” Again, great vocals, unbelievable lyrics, and this one has a guest appearance by Jason Ricci who is outstanding on the harmonica. By song’s end, there’s a little dueling guitar vs. harmonica very tastefully done.

Track 11 is set to the tune of “Hootchie Cootchie Man” ala Muddy Waters. Here’s really good lyrics like, “The politicians painted smile / Soon begins to fade. He's drunk on booze and power / Like a priest that just got laid.”

The final cut and title track has really good everything! This one is written by Walter and bass player Rick Knapp. It’s down and dirty 12 bar blues the way I like it. Absolutely great riffs by Walter and again, slashing, biting guitar to make Stevie and Jimi turn over in their graves to listen to the new/old, how about “very well seasoned,” guitar slinger that knows how to it!

Walter was born in 1951 in New Jersey. As a young music lover, he started playing the trumpet, and when he got to meet the Legendary Duke Ellington, he then knew he wanted to try to pursue a music career on the horn. But, in the mid 1960s he heard Michael Bloomfield on guitar from The Paul Butterfield Blues band and changed his instrument to guitar and his music to blues.

In 1973 he moved to L.A. where he became an ace sideman playing with many of the old greats like, Lowell Folsom, Percy Mayfield, Pee Wee Crayton, John Lee Hooker, and even Big Mama Thornton - to name just a few.

By the early 80s he was primed, and people were starting to hear about him everywhere when he got the nod from the blues based rock band Canned Heat. He stayed with them a few years until he got the call to play with one of his childhood heroes in the blues, John Mayall’s Blues Breakers. It was like living a dream for him. On the way up, though, he unfortunately found a new friend named Jack, that is “Jack Daniels.” After a drunken performance in East Berlin, Carlos Santana nicely took him aside and said, “You are wasting God’s gift.” He soon became sober.

The Outsider – go buy this one! Keep and play it often, and then look up and get one of his other 17 recordings (but some are no longer available).

This review by Tom “THE ENERGIZER" Schlesinger, a seasoned Blues lover and fan for many years, a veteran to a many Blues Festivals and The Legendary Blues Cruise in the Caribbean.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Featured Blues Review 4 of 4

The Reverend Jimmie Bratcher - The Electric Rev

Ain’t Skeert Tunes

The Rev. Jimmie Bratcher is an honest-to-gosh man of the cloth, along with being a pretty hot blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Based in Kansas City, MO, Bratcher brings, as one might expect, a strong gospel influence to his blues music and the songs contained on his latest CD release The Electric Rev., are entertaining and uplifting at the same time. Bratcher uses his music as part of his ministry to preach the word to both the churched and un-churched alike and takes his blues and his message everywhere and anywhere he is needed. He plays in venues ranging from blues clubs to churches to correctional institutions, bringing the Word with him. If his sermons are anything like his CD, Rev. Bratcher surely has a large and growing congregation, as he is one of the more unique and talented characters on the roots music scene today.

When preaching time comes, Bratcher really turns it on, as evidenced on the CD’s opening cut “Call On Me”. The song calls those struggling in their lives and marriages to call on Jesus, letting them know that He is there with them through their darkest hour, all over a sweet gospel groove. Bratcher lays his soul bare on this and other cuts here and speaks directly to what is good in all of us, which is what makes his message understandable by all types of people, not just the already devout. Other highlights on the record include “Green Bananas”, “Pray For Me”, and “Cadillac”. Those looking for a different flavor in the music they love or for deeper lyrical content than the typical big-legged-woman-fuss-fight-boogie themes found in much of the blues may find what they seek as part of Bratcher’s flock.

Reviewer Mike O'Cull is a noted Chicago music writer and Blues Blast contributor. Visit his MySpace page at:

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Live Blues Calendar

YOU can submit your Blues performances for FREE at:

Performance dates were submitted by Musicians, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Blues festivals. is not responsible for errors or omissions.

CLICK HERE - for the Latest Complete Blues Calendar on our website at:

or click a state to see Blues shows by State

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Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
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Performance dates submitted by Musicians, Clubs, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.

The is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ted Jarrett RIP

From Bob Corritore

Bob Corritore Blues News

March 31, 2009