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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

Whoa, I'm on the move in the next 48 hours and I've already got a sleep deprivation headache so this has got to be short... I'm thrilled that Checker and The Bluetones (yes, the band that everyone loved last New Year's Eve) bought the Mini-Wini. I admit to a bit of nostalgic sadness when I walked away from that vehicle. I left 82,000 miles of memories in that cruiser. It sat on the patio at the end of the Sun Valley Idaho ski run, it got ticketed in Memphis TN for parking in the wrong spot when we played Bluestock, and it provided a little home away from home all over the midwest. I hope the Bluetonians can capture as many memories with it as I did... So now it's on to selling the equipment truck named Larry. Larry is a 2004 Chevy cutaway van with a 16' cube box. It hauls everything that is necessary to do a Blue Band show and has LOTS of room leftover. It has a mini dressing room with fold out couch. It has nearly 58,000 miles and is maintained according to manufacturer's suggested schedule. I have an appointment in 12 hours in Des Moines to see what a dealer will give me as a trade. I'd be willing to sell it to you for that trade amount... Right after doing the Larry Shuffle, I'm meeting to finalize the details for the Happy Blue Year 2009 celebration. Once we have the Hotel agreement, I can get on to booking the talent. Last year's lineup was cool, donchya think? Got any suggestions? No, The Allman Bros. are not an option... And then, it's finally on to the gig!! TONIGHT (Fri) Porky's Pub and Garage, 5125 NE 14th (just a little north of I-80) in Des Moines. Someone asked on the post-a-note page if this Porky's date was inside or outside. In my dreams it'd be outside (I love those outdoor, earlier evening gigs!) but I think it's inside. We start at 9pm. We're scheduled to be a 5 piece with Heath doing the sax playing. Saturday we play a private function for the Iowa Medical Society in Iowa City (is there a doctor in the house??!!) I need a nurse... In case you did not see the post-a-note page, trumpet man Al Naylor's dad passed away last Friday. He's scheduled to rejoin us next week. Sincere condolences go out to the Naylor family... Next week we play a private party so there will probably not be a Blue Note, but I did want to make you aware of our first gig in Peoria in nearly 10 years! It's a River City Blues Society event on Wednesday April 29 at the Dragon Dome's banquet room in Pekin IL. We used to play in Peoria quite often in the 80s and 90s. We're bringing the full 6 piece band and hope to see as many old and new Peorians as possible, the show runs 7-10:30p... We've added quite a few new dates to the summer schedule and have just a few more open weekend dates until September. We'd love to play that private bar-b-que on your deck at your mansion on the outskirts of town... It's been a "taxing" week, see ya on the Blue Highway (you'll look good driving that Larry truck) keep rubbin' that washboard, I've been told that CAKE is a good insomnia headache cure, and always remember we love you...Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

Iowa Blues Challenge


Press Release-2009 Iowa Blues Challenge Finals

The Finals for the 2009 Iowa Blues Challenge are now set!

Come join the party at the Hotel Fort Des Moines at 10th & Walnut in Des Moines, Iowa. On Sat., May 16th, 2009, performances will start at 8:30 PM with The Avey Brothers, Matt Woods & The Thunderbolts, Trouble No More and The Blues Explosion.

Cover will be $9 for Blues Society members and $10 for non-members. Call 515-243-1161 or 1-800-532-1466 and ask for the Blues fan rate to book rooms.

The competition will be stiff as these four great bands square off to determine who is the best Blues band in Iowa and play for the opportunity to advance to the International Blues Challenge held in Memphis, TN, among other prizes, so come out and support your favorite band!

For the 16th year, the Central Iowa Blues Society, in cooperation with the Mississippi Valley Blues Society and Lizard Creek Blues Society, presents the 2009 Iowa Blues Challenge, an all-Iowa Blues band contest. This contest is open to any Iowa Blues band that has not been nominated for the Blues Music Awards (Handy’s).

The Iowa Blues Challenge features one of the finest prize packages, for a contest of this kind, in the country. Prizes are awarded to the top bands, including---cash, travel expenses, recording time, as well as spots in the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, IA; Simply The Blues Fest in Ft. Madison, IA and the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.

The 2009 Iowa Blues Challenge is proudly sponsored by Central Iowa Blues Society, Mississippi Valley Blues Society, Lizard Creek Blues Society, Budweiser, Citadel Broadcasting/94.9KGGO & 98.3WOW, Junior’s Motel and Rieman Music.

Check out for more information.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

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

Happy Birthday Blues Blast!

Hey Blues Fans,

The Blues Blast is now starting our 3rd year of bringing you Blues news! It seems like yesterday but our first official issue went out on April 1, 2007 and here we are two years and more than 100 issues later. Over the last 2 years we have sent you hundreds of CD reviews, live show and festivals reviews, Streaming Blues Radio links, great Blues photos and so much more!

So to celebrate this week we have a double issue for you. We have 6 CD reviews, 3 live show reviews, 2 great Blues videos and more in this "anniversary" issue.

We could not have done it without our faithful readers. Thanks for all your support! Over the next few months be sure to look for a new website and more of "All news Blues in the US"!

Blues Wanderings

We made it to the Alamo in Springfield, Illinois for Blue Monday this week to see Too Slim and the Taildraggers. Tim "Too Slim" Langford has a new band and a new CD. The new band includes Polly O'Keary on bass and vocals and Tommy Cook on drums. These Seattle, Washington natives put on a great show.

They played some tunes from the new CD "Free Your Mind". Check these guys out if they come your way. They are off to Ireland on tour soon after this current swing through Nebraska and Texas in support of the new CD. To see James Walkers recent review of "Free Your Mind", CLICK HERE

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from The Rusty Wright Band. Belinda Foster reviews a new CD by Sean Carney. Mike "Cathead" Nunn reviews a new CD by The Nighthawks. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Roger "Hurricane" Wilson and Eric Steiner reviews a new CD by Joe Price and a CD by Johnny Drummer.

We also have 3 live Blues show reviews. Joan Turner reviews the International Heritage Celebration in Baton Rouge, LA. Gary Weeks reviews two live shows from Atlanta, GA by Eric Sardinas and Saffire The Uppity Blues Women. Our two videos of the week are clips of Howlin wolf and Freddie King . All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!

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.

Featured Blues Review 1 of 6

Rusty Wright Band - Playin’ With Fire

Sadson Music

10 songs; Time 48:16; Suggested

Style: Southern Blues Rock; Southern Rock

I miss good ole blues based Southern Rock. I was in my 20s during the 1970s, and we listened to such great music – starting with the Allman Brothers. Then, 38 Years ago, Duane Allman died. Along came Lynyrd Skynyrd and all was well, but 32 years ago, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s airplane crashed killing Ronnie Van Zant and other band members. Yep, the golden age of Southern Rock came and went with bands like The Outlaws, Capricorn Records era Elvin Bishop, and Molly Hatchet. Some bands are still around like the Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, and .38 Special, but they reached their zenith back then. By the early 1980s, it had sadly petered out.

The Rusty Wright Band from Flint, Michigan has recaptured that muse and spirit from the classic Southern Blues Rock bands. They also refer to early 80s Stevie Ray Vaughan; but, rather than retread the old deep grooves that have become ruts, they are moving the music along nicely in the 21 century. You will definitely enjoy their slide guitar and familiar refrains, riffs, and hooks lifted from the classics, but for anyone born after 1990 and unfamiliar with those earlier acts, it will sound like ground breaking music. Check them out, because after three short years, they are right now on fire!

Like a phoenix rising from fiery ashes of the 1970s bands, a guitar wielding dragon on the cover of the second CD from the Rusty Wright Band symbolizes the essence of this group: listening, learning, wood-shedding, blending, and taking the music on up the road, with harmony, style, energy, and fun. In less than three years, this act has jumped from a regional favorite to performing at some of North America's top blues festivals.

“Playin' With Fire” takes listeners on a tour of joyful, blues-infused, radio-ready Americana with Motor City flair and attitude. Tastes of jazz, rock, country and even gospel find their way into the music of this six-piece "energized blues storm."

Fronting the band with Wright is his wife, vocalist/guitarist Laurie LaCross-Wright. Beyond the guitar fun, the real strength of this CD is their singing. They harmonize beautifully, trade vocals on verses, and alternate lead vocals. Rusty sings in a rich tenor and Laurie's ear pleasing alto completes a match that makes this album a winner! Rounding out the ensemble is a rock-solid rhythm section with Andy Barancik on bass and Pete Haist on drums, Dave Brahce adds B-3 organ, keyboards, and guitar, and Eddie Lester is credited with saxophone and percussion.

The first song, “World Upside Down,” gives the listener a nice introduction to the album, but there are surprises to come. It opens with Wright and partners’ guitars harmonically channeling SRV, and from his first notes, the song crackles with dynamic energy. But, that is just the beginning; by 1:12 into the song, soaring Hammond B3 organ takes a tasty solo. Meanwhile, Rusty and Laurie have been trading vocal verses about lovers who are “crazy, lazy, and lost” but with such redeeming qualities that they turn “my world upside down.”

Following that rollicking opening song, Track two opens with some ear grabbing slide guitar soon followed by two fisted piano reminiscent of Skynyrd’s Billy Powell. Southern blues veteran Eddie Lester, adds a saxophone solo and then bounces off more of Rusty's guitar solos. Before it is over, Pat Travers runs are heard during twin lead guitar harmonies. At this point, as one’s speakers are smoking, the seasoned listeners realize they have just come across a monster of a band playing old, yet new, music.

Proving they are no one trick pony, track three carries the new CD into new territory from the first two. "Lost Souls" is a slow emotional mix of piercing guitar and booming bass notes during the intro soon followed by more mellow organ tones and shimmering jazz chords. The tale of “Lost Souls” is punctuated throughout the 6:28 minutes with welling power and complementing guitar solos.

Track four’s focus on smooth vocals again shows the complexity of interests the band brought to the recording. And, speaking of vocal focus, track five, “Make a Liar Out of Me,” will absolutely capture hearts.

The twin harmony lead guitars on cut six nicely set up the fun story of the “Last Days of Whitey Malone” and his mis-adventures at the “head cutters ball.”

While the opening chords of both the up tempo “Playin’ With Fire” and "What A Ride" will nail you to your seat, “A Change in the Weather” will kill fans of Southern Rock slide guitar. This song was the first cut from the CD that I heard on the radio and the first one I played on my own radio show. One passage reflects the exciting call and response heard on the original Allman Brothers’ version of “One Way Out.”

Get this CD and play it for friends both young and older. I guarantee they will be inquiring, “Who is this?” within any three songs!

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.

May 9, 2009 - Downtown Shreveport, Louisiana

For complete performer info and tickets visit

Live Blues Review - 1 of 3

Eric Sardinas and Big Motor - Live at Smithes Old Bar, Atlanta, GA

April 8th, 2009

Like many other blues acts that come from America, Eric Sardinas and Big Motor tour Europe so much that it has become their second home. Blues enthusiasts are well aware that Europe embraces these musicians with open arms. And Sardinas is such a hot act, he doesn't go unrecognized in countries on the other side of the globe.

He might have made a big mistake playing Smithe's Old Bar In Atlanta on a Wednesday night. The weekend would probably have been better for him as people would not have had to get up for work the next day. Sardinas played only to a 100 or so people.

It's too bad. Eric Sardinas and Big Motor is a wrecking ball of bluesbuster sound. Eric could very well have sold his soul to the devil at the crossroad. With an electrified dobro, Eric is a whirlwind of fury. Big Motor's music is geared to a crossbreed of blue collar workers, blues enthusiasts and night owls looking to get pulverized by blistering blues rock.

Watching Sardinas perform is nothing short of heartstopping. He tears into his instrument, slashing notes with vicious slide attacks as if a horde of piranhas were in a feeding frenzy on a piece of steak. Eric reminds you of a younger Johnny Winter in his prime with bloodkin lines tracing to Robert Johnson.

At one point during his set, Eric left the stage to let his bassist and drummer solo while obviously taking a break from such an over-the-top performance. The duo provided an earthquake of rhythm loud enough to make bits of paper fall off the ceiling. It's surprising they didnt' fall through the floor to the downstairs bar below.

Sardina's did enough of his own compositions without falling into the trap of phoning it in like a predictable jukebox of standards. But when he did the Muddy Waters classic "Cant Be Satisfied, " one couple couldn't resist the urge to get out on the dancefloor and get their mojo working. Eric stamped this Dockery Plantation number with his indelible blueprint of bourbon slide boogie.

Eric has a reputation of going out into the audience while still ripping sweat drenched notes in a slide mania. The man's even been known to set his guitar on fire. None of that happened this night. No it wasn't disappointing. But it would have been great to photographers wanting to capture a precious snapshot of time. It's nothing to ruin your evening. Sardinas might get a little tired of presenting a nightly bag of tricks that for him just gets too damned repetitive.

It's one thing to have a couple of Eric Sardinas' cds. The man's forte is live performances. You just have to be there to experience the sound. Once you do, you'll need a couple of days to recover from an almost cardiac arrest.

The show stretched to an hour and forty-five minutes. The encore was "Roadhouse Blues" done the Eric Sardinas way. Dedicating this number to Jeff Healey, Eric pulled it off effortlessly as he rocked this number into hard shuffle stomp. Jim Morrison and the Doors might have authored this song. Sardinas hyper-drived this mother into a Delta slidefest of Mississippi White Lightning.

After it was all over, you wondered if the roof was still on the joint. It was one of those gigs you would rave about for days after. If you see this guy, bring earplugs. Your cage will still be more then rattled.

Review and photos by Gary Weeks

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.

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

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents Toronto guitar wizard Shawn Kellerman and his band on Monday, April 20 at the Rock Island Brewing Company, 1815 Second Ave., Rock Island, IL. Admission is $7.00, $5.00 for blues society members, and the show starts at 7:00 p.m. 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 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 22 - Damon Fowler Group, April 29 - Bob Dorr & The Blue Band, May 6 Shannon Curfman w/ opening act Barb Hamilton, May 13 - Scott Ellison, May 20 - Deak Harp, May 27 - The Insomniacs

Featured Blues Review 2 of 6

The Sean Carney Band - Live Blues On Whyte

Nite Owlz Records 2009

10 Song Tracks; ¬ 50 minutes 15 seconds

Style: Blues, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues

Are you ready for a personal live show from Sean Carney, Eric Blume and their two talented Canadian gig mates? Then just turn up the volume wherever you are so you can simulate that club experience; you’ll feel like you’re there in person as you listen to this jam taking its unscripted natural course. You don’t get this in a studio recording, so look elsewhere if it’s that slicked up, touched up, highly mastered and mixed studio craftiness you want—you won’t find it here. This is simply and purely Sean in the raw with his mighty fine players and backers.

If you’re reading blues reviews, then you’re a blues fan. And there’s a good chance you’ve also attended the IBC at some point in your life. Had you attended the 2007 IBC, you would have ridden the 3 day blues wave straight to the Orpheum Theater stage to witness The Sean Carney Band blues surf away with the 1st place win.

To win this competition among the 150 or more acts that compete is like winning the talent lottery. And this Columbus Ohio resident is no exception or overnight sensation. He’s an old soul late-30-something active blues promoter, musician, supporter, writer and host. A quick glimpse at his website and you’ll see that he gets it honestly—it’s literally in his blood. Nothing like a 1940’s vintage black and white photo of your jazz trombonist grandfather on the bio link of your website, and there’s a music educator father, trombonist uncle and more….talk about passing the torch and carrying on a legacy of great modern American music.

This recording came only two crazy whirlwind weeks after The Sean Carney Band’s 2007 IBC Memphis win. With barely enough time to bask in the now of their win, they hit the Memphis road to Canada via a stop over for 3 shows at Ft Myers Beach Florida through an Illinois to Minnesota blizzard arriving 2,996 miles later in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, specifically to the Blues on Whyte club.

While at times the vocals give us a hint of what just had to have been an insane amount of road weariness and exhaustion, Sean and the band remind us why and how they won the IBC and why they will forever be around years from now as future IBC special guest, host and BMA award nominees and winners. They have perfected their perspective instrument skill with heavy doses of pure honest from-the-heart blues passion and intellect.

After the Blues on Whyte announcer on Track 1, Sean opens Track 2 with a Bobby “Blue” Bland original “It’s My Life Baby” asserting his own characteristic vocal style here and throughout the remaining tracks as well. Graham Guest showcases his piano finesse with an outstanding solo complementing the track. Track 3 is a Sean and Eric Blume original “All These Worries”. Eric ‘the heartbeat’ Blume--fellow Columbus neighbor, engineer, writer and teacher—has his own star-power and resume. Check out his website at Graham Guest once again splashes the middle with some impressive grooving organ rifts to round out the fun.

Track 4 starts out with a fun fast-paced fast-driving blues beat “Why Do You Lie”. Another Carney/Blume original, the consistent drum pocket allows Graham to have his fun with the organ ball before he tosses it back to Sean to sing the story and rip the strings in that mesmerizing way we’ve witnessed live on stage. This is where you’ll be shaking your head, going ‘man, that’s good blues guitar’, or as Paris Hilton would say ‘that’s hot’. In fact, listen closely; you’ll hear those fan-approving ‘whoas’ and ‘yeahs’ being shouted throughout the audience!

Moving right along comes Willie Dixon’s 29 Ways. Someone HAD to be swing dancing at Blues on Whyte that night. Graham’s back with a brilliant jazzy-swing-boogie woogie solo sure to make you move your behind. And here’s where we get to hear another great Canadian talent, Chris Brzezicki on an Ampeg baby bass. Tossing the spotlight, Eric’s drum solo rounds out the fun, garnishing a few audience screams and shouts of approval of its own before Sean takes us all home.

The next three tracks give us a traditional blues dose of Emery “Detroit Junior” Williams, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Willie Dixon with “Call My Job”, “Money’s Getting Cheaper”, and “Too Many Cooks”. Sean’s guitar licks are varied, free yet deliberate with intent and a plan—so much so—his blues contagion spreads like a fever to his stage mates, overflowing like white lightening onto a sock-it-to-me audience. I think they were having way too much fun up there. And in my humble opinion, that makes for some of the best blues bands I’ve ever heard.

The final three tracks are Carney/Blume originals, “Life of Ease”, “What Can I Say”, and “Bad Side Baby”. Track 10’s “What Can I Say” shows us the emotional sensitive side of Sean with his guitar, as he quietly lays down a feeling, taking us somewhere familiar and lingering there just long enough to climb back out with a triumphant celebration of persuasive electric charm.

If all the world’s a stage and the men and women in it, merely players, then certainly Sean has the lead role when it’s his stage. Signature style from attire, attitude, chops and licks all combine into one package giving us a heady blues dose of ‘something special’. This is a package you’ll not only want to hear but also see, so be sure to check out his website for upcoming tours and show dates.

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

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Live Blues Review - 2 of 3

The 12th. Annual International Heritage Celebration Live Review

On Sunday, April 5, 2009, Baton Rouge, Louisiana hosted the 12th. Annual International Heritage Celebration. Presented by the Baton Rouge Center for World Affairs, the event is designed to bring the community closer together by highlighting its rich muli-cultural makeup with music, food, dance, storytelling and educational booths from many countries.

One of the most colorful and interesting features of the celebration this year was the Parade of Nations. With bagpipers leading the way, Mayor – President Melvin “Kip” Holden led country representatives as they marched dressed in native costumes and presenting their countries’ flags.

The free event highlighted entertainment on three stages, the International Music Stage, the International Dance Stage and the Louisiana Heritage Music Stage.

Under the capable direction of producer and Baton Rouge music industry leader Henry Turner, Jr., the Louisiana Heritage Music Stage provided a rich variety of talent from many musical genres across the state, including Cajun, gospel, rock, jazz, reggae, funk, Native American and blues. Outstanding performers included Lori Kates, Briggs Brown and Bayou Cajuns, Jonathan Long and the Baton Rouge Soul Explosion, Wonton Lust, Lil Fallay, the Herman Jackson Trio, Nukie, Step Child, King Solomon, the GreyHawk Band, Henry Turner, Jr. & Flavor, Gordon Nurse and the Steel Drummer/Island Band. Of special interest was a performance by the Mystic Belly Dancers, a Tahitian dance group from Corpus Christi, Texas. Other fun events included a children’s and adult’s limbo contest.

In a city known as the “Blues Music Capital of Louisiana” that has produced such legendary artists as Slim Harpo, Buddy Guy, Henry Gray, Raful Neal, Tabby Thomas and his son, Grammy Award-winning super star Chris Thomas King, great blues performances are expected on such occasions, and blues lovers at the International Heritage Celebration were not disappointed.

Veteran blues artist and former Malaco Records star King Solomon and his band turned in an outstanding performance. Solomon, born Johny B. Willis, is a master bassist, a writer, singer, producer, and performer who has toured throughout the United States and in several European countries. He now owns his own Knapp Town Sound label and his album Blues Take One is currently available.

Nukie, an exciting new star on the Baton Rouge blues and soul scene, thrilled fans as she belted out her songs like a young Aretha Franklin. Her sultry voice and warm Southern charm is a winning combination. Nukie, born Dekisha Miller, is a powerful performer with vibrant talent and a unique style all her own. Her new singles are available from Hit City Records.

Jonathan “Boogie” Long, a gifted young songwriter and blues artist, thrilled fans with his dynamic performance. Jonathan and his band, the Baton Rouge Soul Explosion, recently represented the Baton Rouge Blues Society in the 2009 International Blues Competition in Memphis. Picked by B. B. King’s Blues Club to perform at The New Daisy Theater for the title of King of Beale Street, Jonathan sang his way to second place and a $500.00 cash prize. His debut album is coming soon and his own composition “Blues Revolution” is a hit in the making.

Lil Fallay, Chris Andrus, a finalist for Southern Soul Male Artist of the Year, 2009, rocked the stage with his charismatic and exciting performance. He brought festival goers to their feet when he introduced his new dance sensation the “Zydefunk Slide.” A polished and professional artist with a string of hit albums, including Dreams Do Come True, Taste Me, and Follow My Lead, Fallay thrilled listeners with songs like “A Mother’s Love,” and “L-O-V-E under Arrest.”

The 2009 International Heritage Celebration was an outstanding event that spotlighted the diversity and hospitality of Baton Rouge and the remarkable array of talent the city and state have to offer. Plans are already underway to make next year’s festival even more memorable.

For more information: or

Review by Joan Turner

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Blues Video of the Week 1 of 2

Howlin Wolf - I'll be back someday (1964)

This week we feature a video by Blues legend Howlin Wolf.

Born Chester Arthur Burnett on June 10, 1910, Howlin' Wolf remains one of the most influential Blues musicians of all time.

Many of his hit songs such as "Smokestack Lightnin'," "Back Door Man" and "Spoonful" are standards of blues and blues rock to this day. This 6 foot 6 inch, 300 pound man continues to influence young Blues musicians today.

This 1964 video is Wolf at the top of his game when his music influenced some of the great British rockers like the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton.

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


For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.

The Smokie Blues International Festival - August 14 - 16, 2009

The Golf Hotel, Carnoustie, Scotland

For tickets an info or

Featured Blues Review 3 of 6

Roger Hurricane Wilson - Exodus

Blue Storm Records

15 tracks/74:23

Hurricane Wilson is a guitarist and singer who use’s his eighth release as a tribute to the musicians who have influenced him over the years. The eleven covers and four originals show that Wilson utilizes a broad musical palette. He gets expert backing from Mark “Rockette Morton” Boston on bass and Michael Traylor on drums. Together they served as the rhythm section of Captain Beefheart’s original Magic Band. Traylor also produced the recording.

Opening with “Honey Hush”, Wilson puts his powerful, deep voice to good use, punctuated by stinging guitar licks that evoke the style of Albert Collins. Two tracks are devoted to paying homage to Roy Buchanan, an old friend of Wilson. The instrumental “After Hours” is an outstanding showcase for Hurricane’s impressive skills on guitar. Merle Haggard’s “Lonesome Fugitive” adopts an easy-going pace with Wilson adding a faithful note-for-note rendering of Buchanan’s original solo. Two brief instrumentals – “Buckaroo” and “Last Date” – highlight Wilson’s country music roots filtered through Buck Owens and Floyd Cramer. The title track runs the movie theme through a surf guitar rendition that is another highlight of the disc.

One of Wilson’s originals is the six minute “Tribute to Danny”, providing Hurricane with plenty of space to fashion a memorial to another master of the Telecaster, the late Danny Gatton. Wilson states a convincing argument for his spot in the Blues world with “One More White Boy Singing the Blues”. His lyrics mix sly humor and heartfelt emotions for a very honest assessment of his career. His attempt at a rave-up on “Full Speed Ahead” is less effective as his vocal never captures the intensity of the best gospel singers. “You Do Your Job” is a medium tempo groover with Wilson politely asking to be left alone to play the guitar his way. He lays down a biting guitar solo to drive home the point.

Wilson gets mixed results on his cover versions of classics like “Slip Away”, which features a mellow vocal from the leader. His version of John Hiatt’s “Slow Turning” doesn’t offer anything new. Wilson’s take on Beefheart’s “Sure ‘Nuff N Yes I Do” is good enough to convince listeners to check out van Vliet’s original. “Hurricane” is doomsday ballad with Wilson’s slide guitar creating a mournful backdrop to the tale of impending doom in New Orleans. But the song was first released in 1981, an ominous warning of the horror to come.

A long guitar intro sets the mood on the closing track, “Rainy Night in Georgia”. The classic tune should have been a great fit for Wilson’s voice but his effort falls well short of better-known versions. But once Wilson steps back from the microphone, he lets his guitar do the talking and for over eleven minutes he weaves a masterful interpretation that reminds you of the Allman Brothers Band in full flight. This track by itself makes the disc worth a listen. But there are plenty of other treats as well. Wilson definitely captured my attention with this solid effort that is definitely worth a listen.

Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

New CD from Alex Dixon Band

Rising From The Bushes

For more info CLICK HERE

Dixon Landing Music

Featured Blues Review 4 of 6

The Nighthawks - American Landscape

The “American Landscape” CD from The Nighthawks is aptly named from a band that has intact “Street Creds” and then some in major league BLUES circles. After 30 years of hangin tuff as a Blues band the Nighthawks have stayed true to following their Blues Based Bliss. The Band has backed such Blues Luminaries as John Lee Hooker, Pine Top Perkins, Elvin Bishop , Luther “Guitar Junior”, Calvin Jones, Carl Perkins , and Muddy Waters alum, “Steady Rolling” Bob Margolin!

Mark Wenner ( harmonica & vocals), Paul Bell (Guitars, vocals) Pete Ragusa (Drums and vocals), Johnny Castle ( Bass guitar, vocals & percussion) have crafted a CD that reflects their many diverse musical influences and flavors. Cut numero uno is “Big Boy.”

This is a cover true to the west coast original by The Imperial Crowns. Working its way “On Down The Line” eastward, The Nighthawks continue this well seasoned American Blues based stew with one of my all time traditional fav-o-rites: “MATCHBOX.”

The mellow “Try It Baby” slows it on down to a simmering, jazzed rave up, with lots of tasty guitar hooks and sweet vocal riffs perfect for that slow dance with your significant other! NEXT , “Don’t Turn Your Heater Down” serves up a great hip deep Blues groove that, like an after dinner mint, just SASSIFIES!

Rounding out this tour of the American music landscape the unique “Fishing Hole Theme” just brings it on home Ya’ll, to Aunt Bea with a send up of the Mayberry RFD theme song that will give you case of happy feet that won’t easily dissipate and best of all can be whistled in the shower! My drooling appreciation for American Landscape nearly required me to put on a Lobster bib! And NOW, I most eagerly await seeing the Nighthawks live at Atlanta’s Blind Willies on April 17th!

Review by Mike “CATHEAD” Nunn

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Live Blues Review - 3 of 3

Saffire The Uppity Blues Women - Live

The Variety PlayHouse, Atlanta, GA - April 11th, 2009

Having released "Having The Last Word," on Alligator records, Saffire The Uppity Blues Women are embarking on a final tour with extended dates so people are afforded one more opportunity to catch their act. And they be wise not to pass it up.

This Saturday night gig at the Variety Playhouse was not a sellout. But the audience whooped and hollered enough that it didn't really matter.

Opening act E.G. Kight was perfect in getting the show started. Seeing her alone with an acoustic guitar didn't set forth any anxieties. Her laid back charm, joking demeanor and storytelling stage presence were a sufficient backdrop for her country and back porch blues. Her take on Willie Dixon's "Evil" just gave her Georgia songbird reputation more credibility.

Taking the stage shortly after, Saffire were eager to please. Highly animated, telling jokes, stories, and the stories behind the songs, these women were obviously going to go out on the top of their game.

What's great about watching Saffire is their ability in playing musical chairs. Andra Faye McIntosh is quite the multi-instrumentalist as she handles fiddle, stand-up bass and mandolin chores without any problem. Ann Rabson's boogie-woogie Otis Spahn style of piano goes over well. But she was just as adept at sitting on stage with a guitar. The harmonies between all three of them interlocked perfectly.

Gaye Adegbalola was really the group's main focul point. Her guitar playing wasn't about flash, speed or substance. It was only there to complement the songs. Her harmonica playing in some numbers was as sad and mournful as the subject matter itself. It wasn't depressing all the time. On "Sweet Black Angel," Adegbalola came off the stage, singing to men and women at tables, singing without the mike, and blowing tasty harp licks. The woman indeed resembled a blues voodoo priestess anointing the heads of the chosen ones.

Saffire is notorious for their bawdy songs immersed in sexual imagery with tongue-in-cheek good time fun. People howled with laughter at Gaye's song "Silver Beaver" with its lyrics waxing sexual innuendo. And they howled just as loud for Andra Faye Mcintosh's dirty ditty "Lightning In Them Thunder Thighs."

These women clearly respect tradition and play blues that come from the Ma Rainey, Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith chapters of American Roots Music. For blues purists, it's a joy. The blues rockers wont spend their money on anything that doesn't give them a sheer adrenalin rush. At least with Saffire you won't need earplugs. Their music is a comfort zone and wont make you run for the hills.

Performing almost half of their latest album was fitting as this was their final Atlanta appearance. Like the other albums, the songs are hysterical lyrical commentary on the male and female perspectives of everyday life. McIntosh's singing of "Too Much Butt" garnered hoots of laughter with its humor drenched lyrics.

Playing two sets that almost lasted an hour each just wasn't enough. Afterwards, the women headed to the lobby of the theater to sign and sell cds and even pose for a picture.

If this was Saffire's last waltz, they indeed went out with their heads held high, basking in the love an audience gave them for so many years of music.

Review and photos by Gary Weeks

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Featured Blues Review 5 of 6

Joe Price - Rain or Shine

Rain or Shine is the latest CD from Iowa bluesman Joe Price. Half-way through his ten-song set, imaginatively alternating instrumentals and ballads, I understand why he was a finalist at the 2006 International Blues Challenge in the Solo/Duo competition at the Center for Southern Folklore in Memphis. That year, the Solo/Duo finals included winner Eden Brent. From the Mississippi Delta Blues Society , and bluesmen Ben Prestage (Blues Alliance of the Treasure Coast), Noah Earle (Kansas City Blues Society), Tommy Keys (Long Island Blues Society), and Julien Brunestaud & Gullaume Nouax (Blues Sur Seine). The judges had to have had a tough time sorting through this exceptional line-up of blues talent. Joe represented the Central Iowa, Lizard Creek and Mississippi Valley Blues Societies at the IBC, and he made it to the finals. Mathematically, that’s pretty hard to do, especially when there are well over 120 acts in competition. I’ve long felt that succeeding at a local blues society contest was honor enough to get to Memphis: in Joe’s case, three Blues Foundation-affiliated societies achieved consensus on just one act.

Over the past three decades, Joe’s produced more than a half-dozen blues releases – some going back to the days of selling cassettes out of the back of his car at festivals in the 1980’s, and I am very pleased that I’ve discovered his handiwork with the National Reso-Lectric guitar. His fellow Iowans know that they have a musician to be proud of: in 2002, he was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame, and in 2007, he was elected to the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Standout tracks for me include the opening “Hornet’s Nest,” and a song all to familiar to blues fans, “”Too Little, Too Late.” While these ballads showcase Joe’s strong songwriting skills, I keep coming back to the instrumentals of “Blues on 12” and “Rock Slide” – each of these gems get me out of my seat and onto my feet, because Joe Price’s blues boogie is absolutely infectious. Joe’s wife Vicki sits in on three songs, and this year, they’ll celebrate 22 years of marriage and 28 years as partners in music.

If you appreciate rough-hewn IBC competitors like Ben Prestage, John-Alex Mason or Son Jack Jr, or have enjoyed a bit of Jack Daniel Time from Mississippi’s T-Model Ford, you’ll enjoy Joe Price’s Rain or Shine

Reviewer Eric Steiner is President of the Washington Blues Society in Seattle, Washington. The Society was the recipient of the 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive Award in the blues organization category. He can be reached at

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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:

Featured Blues Review 6 of 6

Johnny Drummer - Rockin’ in the Juke Joint

Earwig Music

I had the good fortune to see Johnny Drummer and the Starliters at a Chicago Blues Festival after-set at the Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation fundraiser at 2120 South Michigan Avenue in 2007 , and his 2006 Earwig release, Rockin’ In the Juke Joint, brings back many pleasant memories from that show. Since then, he’s been noticed by Detroit’s Big City Rhythm and Blues magazine and noted blues writer Matt Socey over in Indianapolis at the Nuvo alternative weekly. \Rockin’ in the Juke Joint is an exceptional CD of post-war Chicago blues, and the title cut, “You’re Breaking Me Down,” and “Working With Your Mojo,” and “Have Your Fun” are my favorites on this CD. Johnny’s a regular at Lee’s Unleaded Blues on Chicago’s far South Side (also the title of one of his other two Earwig CDs), and his electronic keyboard complements the spot-on lead guitar work of “Al Guitar” Short nicely. I looked up Johnny’s April schedule online and noticed that he’s got a lock on Saturday nights at Lee’s Unleaded Blues.

I’ve never seen a six-foot portable electronic keyboard played like a guitar before checking out Johnny Drummer, but in his capable hands, it more than works. Thanks in part to tutelage from Junior Wells early in his career, and Johnny's own mastery of the Mississippi saxophone, Johnny plays some pretty mean harp parts on this CD, too. On Rockin’ in the Juke Joint, Johnny’s got a full band that includes Diane Madison, Theresa Davis and Kay Reed on background vocals on several cuts, and this CD offers a full, rich, big-band sound that’s a solid counterpoint to the smaller, blues trio format that seems to be gaining steam in many national blues markets. If you're looking for some great South Side Chicago blues action, look no further than, and pick up Johnny Drummer's CDs at

Johnny was there, dapper as the classy bluesman that he is, at the first-ever Illinois Blues Blast awards show last November at Buddy Guy’s Legends, and I hope he’ll join the jam onstage at the next show.

Reviewer Eric Steiner is President of the Washington Blues Society in Seattle, Washington. The Society was the recipient of the 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive Award in the blues organization category. He can be reached at

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

The River City Blues Society presents

Wednesday Blues 7:00pm Early Shows


April 22 -Damon Fowler Group

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

To see Map- CLICK HERE

Admission $4

Blues Video of the Week 2 of 2

Freddie King - Travis County Jail, Austin, TX April 11, 1976

This video is a live recording made when Freddie was in Austin to play at the Armadillo World Headquarters in April 1976. Richard Halpin (Jail Arts & Education Project) got Freddie and his brother Bennie to play for the inmates at the Travis Co. Jail.

He plays several songs in this video on acoustic guitar with his brother Bennie who played bass in his band. Recordings of Freddie King on acoustic guitar are rare.

Freddie King died in December 1976

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


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