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Friday, May 1, 2009

Teaspoon Blues

I don't know who this is, but that is some strange slide playing! He is playing slide with a spoon in his mouth! I found this on myspace.

Teaspoon Blues

Scotty And The Wingtips Update

A band that is near and dear to my heart, because years ago I used to play with them, Scotty And The Wingtips are playing again this summer!!!! 20 years of playing the blues in Des Moines!!! That is an amazing record, and only a few bands (like the Bob Dorr and the Blue Band) can say that in Iowa. Heck I am lucky if I have a band last a few weeks!

You need to check Scotty out. His bands are always a good time and usally he has the band reved up to play some red hot jump blues.

Here is the scheadule

thur. May 7 at Porkys Pub and Garage 5125 N.E. 14th st. 266-6983 from 8 to
modnight Free
fri june 19th {same place} 9 to1 free
fri july 10 at Kennys Pub 605 ashworth drive, Waukee 9870161 from 9 to 1 free

Billy Jones Bluez Interview

Billy Jones is interviewed on the All About Jazz website (Click Here). Jones has been around for awhile, but he is certainly one of a new group of blues players that to my ears are starting to shake things up. Jones,(Black and Tan Records) and a lot of the artists like those on CDS records have a vitality that I haven't heard since my years in Kansas City. Check it out.

Bob Corritore Blues News

May 1, 2009

Blues Cruise

Press Release from Iowa Public Radio

Iowa Public Radio presents Blues Cruise with Bob Dorr & the Blue Band

5/1/09 (Des Moines) - Set sail with us on Friday, June 5 on the mighty Mississippi River for the 2009 Blues Cruise. Join Iowa Public Radio and the Spirit of Dubuque for a three-hour tour with Bob Dorr & the Blue Band.

Led by Iowa Public Radio’s very own “weekend guy,” the Blue Band has acquired a dedicated fan base of all ages and has become one of the state’s most revered and requested bands. These Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Blues Hall of Fame inductees find themselves celebrating their 28th anniversary of rockin’ the heartland.

The Spirit of Dubuque is a replica of a century-old Mississippi River steamboat with decorative smokestacks, a scalloped canopy over its open-air deck, and Victorian red and gold décor throughout the enclosed dining salon. The gangway and dining area are handicapped accessible for standard wheelchairs.

Boarding begins at 7 p.m. at the 3rd Street Ice Harbor in Dubuque. The Blues Cruise departs at 7:30 p.m. and returns at 10:30 p.m. Drinks and concessions are available and sold separately.

Attendance at the event is limited to 300 guests and tickets are available in advance for $15 per person. Tickets are available for purchase online at or by phone at 800-772-2440, ext. 0. Advance tickets are also available at Bob’s Guitars in Cedar Falls and Moondog Music in Dubuque. Tickets purchased at the event are $20 per person. All proceeds benefit Iowa Public Radio.

Iowa Public Radio informs, enriches and engages Iowans through radio programming and other media. Iowa Public Radio includes the WOI Radio Group (Iowa State University, Ames), KUNI-KHKE (University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls), and KSUI-WSUI (University of Iowa, Iowa City).


Scott Vezdos

Marketing/Communications Specialist

Iowa Public Radio

3rd Floor, CAC

Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0359

p: (319) 273-3497

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Clarence Dobbins: The Uprising

"The Uprising"
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Clarence Dobbins

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 got to see Iowa Bluesman Bob Dorr & the Blue Band this week. Bob and the band have been together for more than 28 years and are a true Blues institution. Most of the band members and Bob himself are in the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame. It is easy to see why!

This was their first time playing back in Central Illinois in almost 10 years and their fans came out to support them big time! The capacity crowd was the largest attendance for the 6 month old Wednesday Blues Series put on by the River City Blues Society.

The six piece band was superb. They had Big Blonde sitting in for a few songs. All we can say is, if you have not heard these guys put it on the "to do" list. You wont be sorry!

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

We have ten new CD reviews in this issue! James Walker reviews a CD from a new teenage sensation V.E. Paul. Mark Thompson sends us 3 reviews. A new CD by Coyote Slim, a CD from Stan Mosley and a new CD by Jeff Dale & the South Woodlawners.

Eric Steiner reviews a new CD by Australian Bluesman Glen Terry. George Fish reviews a new CD by Shout Sister Shout. Michael Packer reviews a new CD by Alex Dixon Band. Brian Holland reviews a new double CD called Chicago Blues - A Living History. John Harrelson reviews a new CD by Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials. We also welcome new reviewer John Mitchell who reviews a new CD by Eric Steckel.

Blue guitarist and photographer Robert Hughes send us a retrospective and photos of Piedmont Blues master John Cephas. Our Blues video of the week is a clip of BB King, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Vaughan & Eric Clapton all on the same stage. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!

Tombstone Bullet

Springfield’s drivin’ blues band

Sat. May 2, 2009 10::00 PM -- 1::30 AM

Marly's Pub, 99 SW Old State Capitol Plaza
Springfield, Illinois 217--522--2280

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 Drummer Seeks band

Blues drummer looking for work, full time or set in, no need for rehearsal, I know blues. I have toured with James Peterson, did a gig with W.C. Clark. 51 years old 40 years on drums. Play in the style of Casey Jones. Contact Skully 269 637-1463

Information Wanted on Chicago's Club 708

Looking for information about an old south side Chicago blues club called the 708 Club that was at 708 E. 47th Street, Chicago and was run by Ben Gold and his brother. Interested in information from about 1954 to 1959 because the 708 Club was called, “The southside’s leading blues house,” by the Chicago Defender in 1957. Also, according to several sources the club played host to Muddy Waters, the 4 Aces, Howling Wolf, Memphis Slim, Jimmy Rogers, Willie Mabon, Otis Rush, Billy Boy Arnold, Little Walter, Snooky Pryor, Magic Sam, James Cotton, Buddy Guy and David “Honeyboy” Edwards; among many others. Records indicate that the club closed in early 1959. Want to find out why. Contact

Blues Interviewers wanted

Blues Blast Magazine is looking for volunteers to interview Blues musicians for the magazine. If you have a background and experience with Blues music and like to write we can provide leads to conduct interviews with the artists. Person must be willing to write a minimum of one interview every other week. This is a great way to beef up your resume. If interested please send a sample of your writing and a short bio of your background to

Information Wanted

Still looking for members of the Aladdin Records group The Rolling Crew who did Home on Alcatraz and Cryin' Emma. I found out that one member was Cleo Page. Who were the other guys? Contact John Lee Williamson, Conjur Root Records

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

The Simply The Blues Festival For tickets go to

Featured Blues Review 1 of 10

V.E. Paul - Susquehanna Stomp

Self release

10 songs; Time 31:07; Suggested

Style: Delta Blues; Traditional Guitar Picking Blues

Do you know any casual Blues fans? I do not either. I know casual music fans, but no true Blues fans seem only mildly interested. Among passionate fans, two subjects will immediately immerse one into a lengthy discussion (if not a diatribe): (1) What is Blues and what is not? And(2) The future of the Blues.

Among aging Baby Boomers, who seem to make up a large part of the Blues audience, looking 20, 30, or 50 years into the Blues future brings thoughts from one extreme to the other. The future of Blues is such a concern that Memphis’ Blues Foundation even has its annual recognition and awards called “Keeping the Blues Alive.”

So, when an artist comes along that both represents the future and can be celebrated in the present, he or she is worth our notice. 15 year old V.E. Paul is such an artist. With Robert Johnson as a hero and playing and singing in the traditional one-man-and-his-guitar style, Paul will likely carry these Blues we love on another sixty years. He seems to have the same fire in his belly as his musical heroes and will play Blues no matter how much the remuneration, or lack thereof, and many obstacles.

On a side note, “Youth playing Blues” is a third topic (translated can-of-worms) which can also immerse one into a lengthy discussion. Sure, Blues and its themes is basically an adult music that requires some living and seasoning, but many of the greats got an early start, like Buddy Guy, Little Walter, Eddie C. Campbell playing with Muddy Waters around age 12, and Sean Costello – to name a very few.

Born V. E. Paul Sgroi on June 19, 1993, and residing in Dallas Pennsylvania, the youngster reports from the Blind Man’s Blues Forum that by age 12, “...the urge came about to play the blues. In my short few years of doing so, I've mastered (mastered, of course, being a relative term) the art of slide guitar, piedmont-style finger-picking, and all-around manipulation of the instrument to facilitate my musical tomfoolery.”

As a member of the 2009 Youth Showcase at the International Blues Challenge, Paul commented on the future, “On the bright side, lack of talent isn't the question. It seems like there's enough people my age who are playing real blues well. Anyone who was at the Youth Showcase of the IBC this year can attest to that.”

Paul’s debut CD, “Susquehanna Stomp” is a wonderful album of mostly original songs (7 of 10) played adeptly on electrified guitars and sung with a soulful voice that will fool anyone into thinking he is much older. Paul said, “The traditional style suits my tastes, maybe with a little jazz influence, and that's what I'll keep doing.”

The CD opens with the bouncy, two minute title track with its name a nod to that western Pennsylvania river. The melodic opening guitar tones reminded me of the Chet Atkins and Les Paul album “Chester and Lester.” This is one of only two songs where Paul has guest musicians, here Wayne Sorbelli on guitar and Tom Martin on harp. Tom Martin’s harp work is heard again on “South Main Street,” a slow Blues lyrically reminiscent of “Tin Pan Alley.”

Track two is a fast paced 12 bar number nicely intermixing single string picking and slide chording. Lyrically, Paul reveals a mature understanding that even a “nice girl... greatest woman in the world” can actually be a “Devil Woman” (the title) with initially hidden “horns upon her head” and “wings coming out of her back.”

With the way Paul can communicate a story with both his guitar playing and his voice, I do not how he did not win at the International Blues Challenge. I wasn’t there, but his online videos show a confidence to match his dexterity and deep sense of the Blues. Get this CD, keep an eye on his career, and rest easy about the future of the Blues!

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,

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

May 9, 2009 - Downtown Shreveport, Louisiana

For complete performer info and tickets visit

John Cephas Remembered

By Robert Hughes – April 24 2009

John Cephas introduced me to the open Dm tuning. I once remarked to John “open Dm is so beautiful that it should run for Miss America.” John immediately summoned his patented infectious smile.

I, and anyone lucky enough to know John, became the beneficiary of his brilliant, and articulate, approach to life. A life filled with integrity and a passion to further enhance Blues as an Art form. The emotional and creative blues voicings, along with John’s willingness to share knowledge, insure that his teachings, and philosophies, will live forever in the hearts of every ear that he reached.

It has been my honor to have been invited by world-class Blues Harpist Joe Felisko, to be his accompanist at Joe’s performance class at Augusta Heritage Blues week for the past three years. John Cephas was a “fixture” at Augusta. John shared “tales-of-the-road” and “back porch pearls of wisdom” in the same unique stylized fashion which was revealed in his music.

Through a lifetime of dedication to excellence, hard work, and his emotive brand of Blues, John Cephas earned his place in history as one of the worlds most imaginative, unforgettable, influential, and important Bluesmen.

Photos by Robert Hughes – Master Photog., CR., MEI., ASP., ALPE. Photographic Artist/Speaker/Musician/Writer/Teeny Tucker Guitarist

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

Blues Blowtorch Society – Bloomington, IL

3rd Friday Blues - The Treehouse Lounge, 2060 Ireland Grove Rd, Bloomington, IL (309) 662-5231 A blues show the 3rd Friday of every month at 7:00 PM. May 15th – Dave Lindsey Band

Friends Of The Blues Shows - Kankakee IL

The Friends of the Blues has started their 2009 Blues concert Series. Here are their currently scheduled shows. May 2 – Everyday People, Watseka Theatre downtown Watseka, IL. May 11 – Shannon Curfman, Kankakee Elks Country Club Kankakee Elks Country Club, 2283 Bittersweet Drive, St. Anne IL. 815-937-1228, May 26 – The Insomniacs, Kankakee Elks Country Club Kankakee Elks Country Club, 2283 Bittersweet Drive, St. Anne IL. 815-937-1228, May 30 – 2nd Annual Blues & BBQ Festival, Watseka Theatre, downtown Watseka, IL June 16 – Joanne Shaw Taylor, River Bend Bar & Grill, 6070 E. Route 17, Kankakee IL. 815-933-0610 Aug 11 – Laurie Morvan, Kankakee Elks Country Club 2283 Bittersweet Drive, St. Anne IL. 815-937-1228

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society and the Dam View Inn present Joe and Vicki Price at the Dam View Inn, 410 E. 2nd Street in downtown Davenport, on Friday May 22. The show, a fundraiser for the Blues Society, starts at 9 p.m., and admission is $5. For more info contact call the MVBS office at 563-32-BLUES.

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 - May 4 - Suzy & The Smokers, May 11 - Scott Ellison, May 18 - Tombstone Bullet, May 24 - Bruce Katz

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: May 6 Shannon Curfman w/ opening act Barb Hamilton, May 13 - Black Magic Johnson, May 20 - Deak Harp, May 27 - The Insomniacs

For complete info visit:

Featured Blues Review 2 of 10

Coyote Slim - South Bay Jive

Independent release

12 tracks/41:41

This disc provided several surprises. First, upon opening the cd case, I discovered that the review copy was a Memorex CDR with the title and artist’s name written on the disc in black marker. The accompanying booklet was printed on a regular home printer, with the inside blank. The cover photo of Coyote Slim shows him to be an average-looking white man, whose spectacles give him a bookish demeanor. My initial impression was none too favorable.

The second surprise was the amazing performances on the disc. Slim has an authentic blues voice, rich and powerful, sounding like he was born and raised in the heart of the Mississippi delta. He picks out captivating rhythms on his guitar that dance around his vocal lines. Slim penned seven of the tunes and most of them sound as good as the five classic songs that he covers.

He gives Big Bill Broonzy’s “Too Many Drivers” an energetic run-through and manages to inject some excitement in the classic “Rollin’ and Tumblin”’. Slim speeds up the tempo on “Milk Cow”, his deep voice riding the intrinsic slide lines he picks out on the guitar. His own “You Go On, Baby” is just as compelling a performance with it’s insistent rhythm and Slim’s gritty singing. “Slim’s Stomp” sports a Hooker-boogie beat while another original, “Hot Chile Mama”, features a booming vocal as Slim runs down the tale of a woman who is a magician with habanero peppers.

The disjointed rhythmic pattern on “Catfish Blues” could have been a distraction but Slim uses it to prove his skill as a singer, his voice commanding your attention in the midst of the musical mayhem. “Bay Area Busking Blues” is a brief comment on the best – and worst – towns for street musicians. He expresses his unhappiness with the holiday traffic in San Jose on “Cinco de Mayo Blues”.

Like the best acoustic bluesmen, Coyote Slim bends and stretches the standard blues formats into his own style. From one cut to the next, he dazzles you with outstanding guitar playing and a voice that was made for a juke joint. And the performances held up over repeated listens. Slim certainly made a believer out of me – and South Bay Jive 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.

Featured Blues Review 3 of 10

Jeff Dale & the South Woodlawners - Blues From the South Side of My Soul

Pro Sho Bidness

11 tracks/37:54

Guitarist Jeff Dale grew up on the south side of Chicago and later relocated to California, where he was a member of the Blue Wave Band until 1988. After a lengthy absence from the music business, Dale is back at it with a new band composed of Rich Hyland on guitar & organ, Clark Pardee on drums, Geoff Mohan on harp, Mark Brown on piano, Peter Kastner on bass and Georgic Avenesian on guitar. Dale wrote all of the tracks and he handles the lead vocals.

The title cut starts the disc off with a strong boogie rhythm with Dale celebrating his old neighborhood with Mohan making a strong contribution on harp before Dale finishes the track with some distorted guitar licks. “Alabama Lovin’”is an up-tempo funky cut spiced by a horn section of Jim Jedeikin on sax and Lee Loughnane on trumpet. Anitra Castleberry adds backing vocals on “You Don’t Know Nothin’ About Chicago”, highlighted by solos from Mohan and Dale.

“Grown Ass Man” is a cautionary warning for younger women with a snarling vocal from Dale. Hyland fills out the arrangement with his organ part in support of more taut guitar work from Dale. The pace slows down on “I’d Hit It”, a shout-out to attractive women with Dale showing that he is an adept on slide guitar. “Big Gas Station” is a rocker with Jedeikin adding a rousing sax solo. The closing track, “Third Rail”, has a programmed rhythm track that detracts from an otherwise strong performance from Dale on slide guitar and vocal.

This band plays with lots of energy and enthusiasm. Dale has crafted a solid batch of original tunes,, which is a welcomed break from the usual covers of standard blues songs. The one issue with the disc is Dale’s singing, which might be an acquired taste for listeners. His gritty style works well on “Highway One” but he has a limited range and a voice that is ragged around the edges, which can be grating on the ears. Overall, this is a strong initial effort from a new band – and a welcomed return by Jeff Dale.

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

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

4th Annual T-Bone Walker Blues Fest
June 19-20, 2009
Music City Texas Theatre -
Linden, Texas

Jimmie Vaughan

Gary Nicholson

Bugs Henderson

Guitar Shorty

Danny Johnson

The Wolf Tribe

The Bluebirds

Joe Jonas Band

Bobbie Oliver & Jam City Revue

Pleasant Hill Quilting Group

David “Honeyboy” Edwards

Wes Jeans

TuTu Jones

19th Street Red

Bernie Pearl

Betty Lewis & the Executives

Marquise Knox

Kayla Reeves

Colton O’Neill Band

Featured Blues Review 4 of 10

Glen Terry - Soul Searchin

I’ve enjoyed rediscovering Australian blues performers. Growing up, my father was ill a lot, and one thing we did as he convalesced at St. James’ Hospital in Chicago Heights was listen to an old Zenith Trans-Oceanic short wave radio. Radio Australia featured a weekly broadcast called “Dennis Gibbons Sings,” and he sang original folk songs about the bush, the open skies and the open road, and about his native land.

Well, I’m equally pleased to discover contemporary Australian blues artists like Andy “Sugarcane” Collins, Derrin Nauendorf, Suzannah Espie & Big Boy Lemonade, Chase the Sun, and Fiona Boyes. Some of these artists have played North America, most notably the award-winning Fiona Boyes, who has received many awards in Australia and many nominations for a W.C. Handy Award and Blues Music Award. Suzannah Espie and Big Boy Lemonade turned in an impressive performance at Pat O’Brien’s at last year’s International Blues Challenge, and I hope that they (as well as the others I’ve mentioned) can perform for US audiences soon.

With Soul Searchin, add Glen Terry to that list of Australian blues performers. He’s called Australia his adopted home, and assembled a talented and musically diverse crew for this 10-song CD that includes heavy helpings of soul blues (the title cut) to horn and guitar-fueled funk (“Maurice”). In addition to these choice cuts, I really like the “Sugar Blues Express” and the softer ballad, “Loved by My Woman.”

The CD is distributed by , and that site features links to many independent artists from all over the world, including Florida’s Joe Bonamassa and Illinois’ Steve Arvey. Check out Glen’s MySpace link for a full copy of his CD cover art – the centerfold montage shows Glen and his friends celebrating blues music – and samples of his songs. Australia has its own blues festival for Australia-based musicians and has two local societies affiliated with The Blues Foundation: The Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society ( ) and the Sydney Blues Society ( ).

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.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

New CD from Alex Dixon Band

Rising From The Bushes

Hit #4 on the Roots Blues Charts prior to its release!

Now Available to download at Amazon, iTunes, Rhapsody and other digital sites. You can also purchase the CD at

Featured Blues Review 5 of 10

Shout Sister Shout - Hit that Jive

MC Records MC-0063

Shout Sister Shout is an excitingly different quintet hailing from Lansing, Mich., capital of the Wolverine State, right next door to my old 1960s college stomping ground of Michigan State University, in next-door East Lansing. This quintet -- Rachel Davis, vocals; Joe Wilson, trombone, steel guitar and background vocals; Andy Wilson, harmonicas, trumpet and flugelhorn; Dominic John Suchyta, standup bass and background vocals; and Joshua Davis, guitars and vocals -- loves the music of the 1930s and 40s, and lovingly re-does these songs in a uniquely different way.

For example, there is no horn section or drums. Instead, the melodies are carried by the combination of guitar, steel guitar and upright bass, with Joe Wilson's steel guitar giving the sound a Western swing feel, particularly on several of the up-tempo tracks -- the opening track, "Slow Down;" track 6, "It's A Sin To Tell A Lie;" and track 11, "It's Only A Paper Moon." There are solidly-done solos throughout, on guitar, steel guitar, harmonica, trombone and trumpet, and Rachel Davis's excellent, melodious vocals are sultry, sophisticated, and when the song calls for it, even sexually suggestive.

The MC Records' rendition of Hit that Jive is a 14-track CD that's complied of the 12 tracks that appeared on Shout Sister Shout's original self-produced CD, with the addition of two bonus tracks and a video of the group performing that will run on most computers. A listen to the songs on Hit that Jive will convince one just how good was much of that 1930s and 1940s music, which did indeed possess a sophisticated sexuality that did not need to be graphic or raunchy.

But then, that was an era when sex was integrally tied to romance, and sexual infidelity was a serious taboo. Yet there's no doubt that Shout Sister Shout shows convincingly that these are songs of now, and not just of a past that came before most of us were born.

There are standards on Hit that Jive, such as "Moonlight In Vermont," "Carolina Moon," "It's A Sin To Tell A Lie" and "It's Only A Paper Moon," elegant songs that truly justify their longevity. Bluesy jazz tracks here comprise "Slow Down," "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin' (substantially different songs than the rock/pop songs of the same titles from Larry Williams and Gerry and the Pacemakers respectively), Louis Jordan's "No Sale," "Never Missed My Baby," and the two bonus tracks, "You Rascal You" and "Hit That Jive Jack"

Other songs notably featured are Billie Holiday's "God Bless The Child" and Davis's a cappella version of Cole Porter's poignant "Miss Otis Regrets." Also featured is the group's namesake song, Sister Rosetta Tharpe's swinging "Shout Sister Shout!" And last, that romantic caution, "Don't Let Your Eyes Go Shopping For Your Heart."

Notable indeed is the lyricism and even ironic poetry of the words from these songs. Consider this verse from "It's A Sin To Tell A Lie":

"If she leads me to the altar, I'm sunk
'Cause I can't tell the preacher I was drunk"

Or the realism in what is still one of the classic songs on poverty and riches, "God Bless The Child":

"Rich relations give
Crusts of bread and such
You can help yourself
But don't take too much"

And for directness, nothing tops Sam Theard's "You Rascal You":

"I'll be glad when you're dead
You rascal you"

Hit that Jive is in store now and can be ordered directly from MC Records online at ....

EDITORS NOTE: This review is courtesy of the Bloomington Alternative at

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.

Featured Blues Review 6 of 10

Rising From The Bushes - The Alex Dixon Band

Dixon Landing Music LLC

" The blues are the roots of American music ", Willie Dixon tells his grandson and us in the introduction to this very compelling and well produced CD " Rising from the Bushes". This recording features well crafted songs, some fine musicianship, a killer rhythm section and some above average vocals displayed by various singers who take their turn expressing Alex Dixon's material.

The first cut " Fantasy' written by Alex is a very, radio friendly song with a fine performance by Marcy Levy on vocals. "Lose Control" features Alan Mirikitani on guitar and vocals. His voice has a blues feel with a modern edge and adds some nice guitar licks to this song and throughout the entire album. The band goes way down home on Grandpa Willie Dixon's ' Down in the Bottom". This is a great true blues track with David Dills taking his turn at the microphone. Dills also sings "Still in Love with You' a fine tune that could receive airplay on jazz stations as well. Marcy Levy is a force to be reckoned with and must be a good friend to have around. Her vocals are soulful and the texture of her voice is a pleasure to listen too. The song "Paint You a Picture' is one of the highlights of this album (nice harmonica on this cut too by Michael Fell). The CD contains classic Willie Dixon "Spoonful". What can i say? Blood!. "My Suspicious Mind", 'These are the Times" are other creative gems penned by Alex Dixon.

Alex Dixon is an excellent keyboard player and songwriter. His tunes come from the heart. His lyrics are interesting and the melodies catching. The majority of of the songs published here could easily be heard on commercial radio which would be a good thing because the blues world needs the younger generation to start listening to some good music and start becoming more intelligent and open minded because the blues is also at the roots of their lives too. Little brothers and sisters need to wake up and so does the music industry and give the blues a broader audience.

Find a way to Live' is sung by bassist Gerald Johnson (Steve Miller, Dave Mason, Greg Allman} with James Gadson on drums( Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Ray Charles) is my favorite cut on this album because it sounds so damn real. Johnson and Gadson are also heard through out the album and their playing is superb. 'Everything's going to be alright' the final cut on the CD basically says it all. Everything is going to be alright for Alex and for us if he keeps making CD's like this. There is a fantastic picture of Alex as a child probably about 4 or 5 years old at the piano with his grandfather Willie Dixon standing over him while Alex is learning the notes on the keyboard. You can see the love. Well now you have to the chance to hear and feel the love too. Go out and purchase this CD. Keep the blues alive and by doing so you will be keeping Willie Dixon's dreams alive as well.

Reviewer Michael Packer is a singer-guitarist from NYC who fronts his own band "The Michael Packer Blues Band". He has been performing for over 40 years and has recorded on major labels Atlantic and RCA.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Blues Video of the Week

BB King, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Vaughan & Eric Clapton
Rock Me Baby

This week we feature a video by some of the best Blues guitar players alive today. In this clip BB King and the gang sit down for some serious Blue guitar shredding.

It is cool to see each of their slightly different lead styles. It is hard to imagine more Blues guitar talent on one stage at one time!

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


For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.

Lincoln Square - Urbana, Illinois


Friday June 26th

Delta Kings

The Kinsey Report

Sonny Landreth

Saturday June 27th

The Impalas

Gina Sicilia

Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin

Eddy The Chief Clearwater

Pinetop Perkins
w/Willie "Big Eyes" Smith Band

Buckwheat Zydeco

For more info visit:

Featured Blues Review 7 of 10

Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell

Chicago Blues - A Living History

Raisin Music

Raisin Music recently released an exciting dual CD tribute, entitled "Chicago Blues - A Living History". The 21 included staples from 1940 to the present are performed by four of the greatest living Chicago bluesmen: Billy Boy Arnold (harmonica, guitar, vocal), John Primer (guitar, slide guitar, vocal), Billy Branch (harmonica, vocal), and Lurrie Bell (guitar, vocal). Backing the four living legends are The Living History Band, an all-star blues ensemble featuring Billy Flynn on guitar, Felton Crews on bass, Kenny Smith on drums, Johnny Iguana on keyboards, Matthew Skoller on harmonica, and special guests Carlos Johnson and Mike Avery. They all add individual flair to honor many of the renowned Chicago composers and performers of past and present; Sonny Boy Williamson I & II, Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy, Jimmy Reed, Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, and more. It's a fine display of blues tradition and originality that has merged over time to form the renowned Chicago blues sound.

The four primary players fall right into their own groove in their individual featured performances. Billy Boy Arnold, known for his potent harmonica wail and easygoing vocal resonance, is featured in six of the album's twenty-one tracks. It's fitting that his first contribution, the album's first track as well, is Sonny Boy Williamson's "My Little Machine". Sonny was Billy's harmonica mentor back in the late 40s. John Primer, a bluesman who started out as guitarist in Willie Dixon's band before sharing the stage with Muddy Waters, is right at home in slide guitar territory in Muddy Water's "Feel Like Going Home", and his potent voice evokes the vocal resonance of Howlin' Wolf in "Moanin' at Midnight". Billy Branch's harmonica moan is all over Little Walter's "Hate To See You Go" and the Junior Wells/Sonny Boy Williamson penned "Hoodoo Man Blues". The former harmonica player for Willie Dixon's Chicago Blues All-stars easily confirms the significance of the blues harp in the Chicago sound. Lurrie Bell, who has been touring and recording with Chicago's Nick Moss over the past year or so, gets into a deep and bluesy rendition of Willie Dixon's "My Love Will Never Die", in a manner that would make both Dixon and Otis Rush smile and sway. He closes the album with a rollicking rendition of Buddy Guy's "Damn Right, I've Got The Blues", an electrifying display of Chicago blues guitar featuring both Lurrie and Carlos Johnson. Johnson is also featured on guitar and vocal in a superb rendition of John Lee Hooker's "The Healer".

"Chicago Blues - A Living History" is just that, and it's a must have for lovers of Chicago blues, lovers of blues in general for that matter. It doesn't come any better than this. The track listing below says it all.

Disc One
1. My Little Machine - featuring Billy Boy Arnold (written by John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson)
2. She's Love Crazy - feat. Billy Boy Arnold (Tampa Red)
3. Night Watchmen Blues - feat. Billy Boy Arnold (Big Bill Broonzy)
4. Chicago Breakdown - feat. Johnny Iguana on piano (Jelly Roll Morton)
5. Feel Like Going Home - feat. John Primer (McKinley Morganfield)
6. I Believe - feat. Lurrie Bell (Elmore James)
7. Moanin' At Midnight - feat. John Primer (Howlin' Wolf)
8. Three O'clock Blues - feat. Billy Boy Arnold (B.B. King)
9. Memphis Slim USA - feat. Billy Boy Arnold (Memphis Slim)
10. Hate To See You Go - feat. Billy Branch (Little Walter)

Disc Two
1. Sugar Sweet - featuring John Primer (written by Mel London)
2. Can't Stand To See You Go - feat. John Primer (Jimmy Reed)
3. I Wish You Would - feat. Billy Boy Arnold (Billy Boy Arnold)
4. Your Imagination - feat. John Primer (Sonny Boy Williamson)
5. My Love Will Never Die - feat. Lurrie Bell (Willie Dixon)
6. Hoodoo Man Blues - feat. Billy Branch (Junior Wells/Sonny Boy Williamson)
7. Hooking It - feat. Billy Flynn on guitar (Earl Hooker)
8. Out Of Bad Luck - feat. Mike Avery on vocal (Magic Sam/Al Benson)
9. One More Mile - feat. Billy Branch (Muddy Waters)
10. The Healer - featuring Carlos Johnson on guitar and vocal (John Lee Hooker)
11. Damn Right, I've Got The Blues - feat. Lurrie Bell/Carlos Johnson (Buddy Guy)

Reviewer Brian Holland is a music journalist who resides in Massachusetts.

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

The Golf Hotel, Carnoustie, Scotland

For tickets an info or

Featured Blues Review 8 of 10

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials - Full Tilt

Alligator Records

This is one raucous front-man. Lil’ Ed Williams is a declarative singer, in the mold of young Muddy Waters, Johnnie Taylor, an unsophisticated Edwin Starr, if you will. Should you want refinement or subtlety you’ll have to go elsewhere. His Imperials are in-synch with his aggressive approach and provide a solid, if mono-dynamic backing for Lil’Ed to practice his art on his own terms.

Williams’ skill as a guitarist ranks with Son Seals and Homesick James Williamson. The intensity is not to be denied, but the imagination and the technique are simply absent. He slips between standard left-hand fingering and bottleneck slide, sometimes to good effect. As a slide player one can tell he admires Robert Nighthawk, but doesn’t have the superior musicality that Nighthawk possessed.

The Imperials are due some extra respect. Though the drum sound is right out of 1984, that’s in the producer’s lap. Drummer Kelly Littleton does a fine job of setting and holding every groove. He plays the Chicago shuffles well and the Texas ‘scoop’ shuffle, too. The funkier stuff is solid and the slow blues are fine. Bass player Pookie Young, while demonstrating minimal flair, is one who holds his patterns without seeking any attention at all. Jerome Arnold and Johnny Gaydon are likely the heart of his inspiration. Some extra points are also due Michael Garrett. As a second guitarist, he invests some thought and energy in building rhythm parts that add to the texture and color to several of the songs. Michael, listen to some Jimmy Nolen and Jimmie Vaughan to get even better. Without Garrett’s contribution Ed would have a less potent band.

The piano, organ and horn section additions sound like after-thoughts. The color and depth that any of these might add are nullified by the fact that they are obviously there to add sorely needed variety. All that they do for me is point out how mono-dimensional this CD is prone to be.

The songs are the main dish of any Blues recording. Gathering lyrics and then picking a “type” of song ain’t what real writers do. Perhaps Ed aimed for ‘better than average’ songs, but nothing on this recording makes that kind of mark. Williams composed four tunes, James Young contributed one and two covers are noted. Seven tunes are not credited—perhaps just as well.

The opener is a raw, driving song, as declarative as they come. “Hold That Train” recalls lame rock licks of the early 60s but here rises to the level of a decent tune. It chugs rather than ‘choogles’ and connects, to my ear, to Big Joe Williams’ dark explorations.

“Housekeeping Job” reveals something personal I suspect, something real in Ed’s day-to-day life. The groove is dynamite but the content is thin. It does reflect this moment in economic time, though. Blues comfort?

It’s nice to hear words like “e-mail” and “fax” demonstrating that a modern Bluesman isn’t pretending to know anything about cotton, boxcars, and store porchin’. Still this song, “Don’t Call Me,” ain’t much of a tune.

The MoTown “First I Look at the Purse” is a refreshing choice. I suspect Ed drew on Jay Geils’ 1970 version rather than Smokey’s original. His approach is an interpretation that one might expect from a bar band, raucous and noisy. Still, it’s a great break from the 12-bar standard.

If you’ve heard “High Heel Sneakers” (which I know you have) “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” won’t thrill you much.

“Candy Sweet” is the kind of filler that no one needs to hear. It is a set-closer for the second best Blues band in your town or region. Grabbing stock verses and phrasing them over a nice rhythm doe not constitute song writing.

About “Life Got in the Way,” it is a slow, mournful piece. It’s a song out of the Elmore James realm. The opening guitar phrase has been played ten-thousand times and calls to mind Jeremy Spencer as quickly as Elmore. The choice of tone and vibrato for the organ is quite simply bad. It’s probably the best composition on this disc.

“My Baby Moves Me” is “What’d I Say” using the semi-common “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” progression. Think of Muddy’s magnificent “She Moves Me” and see whom you believe.

Albert King’s “As the Years Go Passing By” or Ray Charles’ “I Believe to My Soul” are incredible minor-key Blues songs. “Every Man Needs a Good Woman, contributed by bassist James Young, is not.

Ed chose to close the CD with the band’s current break song, something gleaned from Hound Dog Taylor. It is simply “Shake Your Moneymaker” that insists that the band needs to “Take Five.” Only Jimmy Johnson’s break song ever earned a place on a recorded set.
I like this band. I don’t like these songs.

Reviewer John Harrelson has been playing Blues since 1965 and worked in virtually every genre of music; Folk, Country, Jazz, R&B and Rock. He holds a Ph.D in Historical Musicology from the Claremont Graduate University and a B.A. in Anthropology and Ethnomusicology.

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Featured Blues Review 9 of 10

Eric Steckel – Feels like home

Independent release ESB45

Originally from Pennsylvania and now based in Jacksonville, Florida, this is Eric Steckel’s fourth CD and he is only 17! His previous release was distributed in Europe by Rounder and he has toured in Holland, Belgium and Italy.

The new CD is a significant step forward as Eric’s singing voice and song construction have matured to go alongside his already excellent guitar work. Having had the pleasure of seeing him play live I can assure you that his guitar playing is amazing – fluent, emotional and apparently effortless.

For this CD Eric is supported by Duane Trucks (younger brother of Derek) on drums and Mike Esposito on bass. Eric plays all guitars and organ, with old friend Craig Thatcher guesting on the fourth track, Don’t look behind, a moody, heavy tune, not dissimilar to the CD opener Just walk away, a riff driven rocker with strong organ support to the guitar. The title song is a rousing, anthemic chorus which expresses clearly how at home on stage Eric feels. Something better is another mid-paced, melodic tune in a similar style.

One of the highlights of the CD is Southern Skyline, an instrumental that recalls vintage Allman Brothers and Dicky Betts in particular. The guitar riff is extremely catchy and you really don’t want this track to come to an end!

Two tracks in the middle of the CD make an interesting contrast. Smilin’ liar opens with Eric on solo slide dobro, then adding acoustic guitar under the vocal which warns us against those who try to sell us things, including politics; did anyone note that it’s election year! That is followed by one of the few covers and it’s Robert Johnson’s Come on in my kitchen, a song that often appears in a version not dissimilar to the previous track. Here Eric adopts a heavier approach, alone on electric guitar and vocals.

From time to time (written by James Armstrong) is a shuffle with a blistering solo from Eric and the third cover is a lengthy run through Donny Hathaway’s The Ghetto. Clocking in at over eight minutes this is almost an instrumental, as the vocal only appears in the final minute of the track. It’s an opportunity to stretch out and Eric grasps it on both guitar and organ, offering us a jazzier style of playing and a lot of very intricate work.

When ignorance turns to bliss is a slow ballad with no drums, subtle bass and echoey guitar. The final track is a solo instrumental which although entitled Tuscany does offer a rather eastern flavor and shows us yet another side of Eric’s guitar playing, this time on acoustic.

Overall this CD offers a snapshot of a young man in development but already providing very high quality throughout. Definitely one to watch for the future. The CD is available from the band’s website and CD Baby. Rating: 8.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a Blues writer based in the UK! His reviews have been published in Blues In Britain magazine. He travels widely to see blues and has been to San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Springing the Blues festivals as well as spending time in Chicago and Memphis.

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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 10 of 10

Stan Mosley - Man Up

CDS Records

12 tracks/47:45

Stan Mosley is one of the stars of the southern soul-blues circuit, music based on good-time grooves, sexual braggadocio and a few ballads for slow dancing. Blessed with a dynamic vocal style that rivals the best in the business, Mosley manages to overcome the one major drawback of the disc - the lack of real musicians. Two guitar players , Walter Scott and Jim Simms, appear on one track each. All of the keyboards, other guitar parts and the programmed rhythm tracks are the work of Floyd Hamberlin Jr., who also wrote all of the songs as well as producing the disc. Stan supplies all of the lead and backing vocals.

It is a testament to Mosley’s skill that his singing often transcends the artificial backing common to this genre. That point is brought home on “You & Me”. With spare accompaniment, Mosley unleashes a stirring performance, his voice earnestly pleading before breaking into a soaring falsetto cry. It is the best track on the recording and unfortunately, it’s also the shortest. Other highlights include the ballad ”Bitter with the Sweet”, with Mosley’s vocal conjuring up visions of Rev. Al Green - circa the Hi Records era. “Barstool Woman” has a tougher sound with Mosley testifying about the wife that doesn’t do anything but sit in the bar every night. “ I Came to Party” opens the disc with a strong beat. Mosley wrings every bit of emotion that he can out of the simple lyrics. The title track finds Stan promising to be a better man for his woman, his taut vocal conveying the intensity of his promise.

“Backbone” is requisite tune glorifying sexual prowess while “Mr. DJ” serves up a slow groove made to order for those who want to dance up close and personal. Once again, Mosley turns in a compelling vocal that captures your attention right from the start. It is amazing how much emotion he can wring from such basic material.

The last two tracks are a bit deceiving. “Backbone” is listed as an extended track. Technically it is longer but the additional forty seconds don’t add much. The so-called “live“ take of “I Came to Party” adds thirty seconds to the track along with dubbed audience noise.

That still leaves Mosley plenty of time to showcase his marvelous voice. Someone should put together a solid band, gather a up a batch of strong tunes and give Mosley the opportunity to showcase his talent. Based on the work he does on this recording, the results would undoubtedly be a recording for the ages. Until that time, give Man Up a listen. Mosley certainly deserves to be heard by a wider audience.

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

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The River City Blues Society presents

Wednesday Blues 7:00pm Early Shows


May 6 - Shannon Curfman

w/ opening act Barb Hamilton

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

To see Map- CLICK HERE

Admission $4

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