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Friday, June 12, 2009

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

Tonight (Fri) is our first ever appearance at the Cambridge Jubilee Days celebration. Cambridge is between Ankeny and Ames, a few miles east of I-35. We play 8-mid. Bring CAKE because we'll also be celebrating the Blue Band's 28th Birthday (day before yesterday-first gig, at The Cooper Wagon Works in Dubuque, June 10, 1981.) Happy Birthday to us!...

Saturday we play a private anniversary party in rural Maquoketa for a couple that had us play their wedding TWENTY FIVE years ago!...

Next Friday (June 19) We are the parking lot entertainment at a national race at the Iowa Speedway Pit Stop Weekend in Newton. 30,000 people are expected for this Indie series race! This IS the bigtime for us! Please come out and help us make that good first impression! We play 8:30-11:30 p.m...

I signed the papers to accept the University of Northern Iowa's early retirement offer. Literally FOUR administrators have to sign off on this, my Supervisor, Department Head, Dean of the College and Vice President of the University. After that, I get seven days to back out of the deal. Otherwise, Dec. 31 will be my end date. New Year's Eve should be quite the celebration!...

Iowa Public Radio says they're interested in trying to work out an arrangement that would allow me to continue to produce the Backtracks Rock'n'Roll history show and the new blues show (we still have not decided on a name for that program) that I'll be hosting starting July 12. Most of you know that I already record most of those Backtracks shows in my garage at home, so it'd be easy for me to continue making the programs. I think the deal is really contingent on IPR being able to find the funding. Coincidentally, this Saturday will be a fundraising edition of Backtracks, (7-10pm) if you have a few extra bucks, 800-882-6427 will be the pledge number, or pledge on line at If the show is successful raising money, I'm confident IPR will buy the program after I retire from UNI. Which brings me to note that I am NOT retiring from the band or music or radio production businesses. I am too young and don't have the kind of money that would allow me to retire from working. I am simply retiring from UNI's Broadcasting Services Department. As a matter of fact, I'm already looking for odd jobs! The odder the better!...

See yas on the Blue Highway, rub yer washboard to the tune of the Happy Birthday Blues, bring CHOCOLATE CAKE for the birthday party, my friend Paul wants me to remind you to USE YER DAMN TURN SIGNALS (an oldie but a goodie) and always remember we love you. Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bob Corritore Blues News

June 8, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009, 7pm-10pm - Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Bob Corritore perform and conduct a class "How To Create A Blues Trio" at Fat Tone Guitars, 1857 Janke Dr., Northbrook, IL (847)272-5117. This event is part of a series of events honoring Earwig Music's 30th anniversary. This all-ages event is free, but reservations are required. Click here for the Pioneer Press article.

Friday, June 12, 2009, 9pm - Blues On The North Shore honoring Earwig Music, will happen Friday June 12, 2009 - 9:00pm at S.P.A.C.E., 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois with a great lineup including Honeyboy Edwards, Dennis Binder, Big Jack Johnson & The Oilers with Allen Batts, John Primer, and Chris James and Patrick Rynn (with Bob Corritore and Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith). Bill Wax, host of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio's B.B. King's Bluesville will be the Master Of Ceremonies. This show will be recorded and aired at a future on Bluesville at a later date. Advance tickets are available at To see the Pioneer Press article, click here. To see the beautiful poster for this event, click here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009, 9pm - Bob will participate in the Delmark Records Revue Concert happening 9pm at Reggie's Music Joint, 2105 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 312-949-0120. This show is produced by Cadillac Zack's American Blues Legends Management, who put on a brilliant show last year. Acts include Eddie C. Campbell, Rockin' Johnny, Tail Dragger, Johnny B. Moore, Jesse Fortune, and Cadillac Zack. Bob will likely play a few numbers behind Tail Dragger with other fine harmonica players (Scott Dirks confirmed that he would be there). To see the beautiful poster for this event, click here.

Soul Searchers Update

the soul searchers
click here for our website
click here for our myspace page
click here to buy the CD

thursday, june 11, 6-9pm
jasper winery
2400 george flagg parkway
des moines, iowa

"the soul searchers lay down authentic west coast blues from their des moines, iowa surroundings" -BLUES REVUE magazine "the soul searchers are a veteran group of players who roll along slickly and confidently" -BLUESWAX "this band puts down energetic jump-blues with a vintage vibe that harks back to early fabulous thunderbirds" -OMAHA READER

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,

This is a great weekend for the Blues. The summer Blues season is in full swing and the mother of all Blues fests is this weekend in Chicago. The Chicago Blues Festival starts on Friday and runs through Sunday in Grant Park. This FREE event draws hundreds of thousands of Blues fans from all over the world. Blues Blast magazine will be there to cover all the fun!

There will be more than 50 REAL DEAL Blues artists including Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Andrew Jr. Boy Jones, Charlie Musselwhite Band , Eddie Taylor Jr. , Harmonica Hinds, Shirley Johnson , Eddie C. Campbell , Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials , Lurrie Bell , John Primer , Terry Harmonica Bean , Eden Brent , Little Dave Thompson , Bettye LaVette , The Lee Boys , Big Jack Johnson , Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings , Big Bill Morganfield , Mud Morganfield and David Honeyboy Edwards to mane a FEW. PLUS more than 30 more! For FREE, WOW!

We have the complete lineup (with links to the artists biographies) on our website. CLICK HERE to check it out! Visit the official website at

If you are west of the Mississippi, there is a GREAT fest this weekend in Greely, Colorado featuring some HUGE Blues stars including Walter Trout, Charlie Musselwhite, Marcia Ball, Ronnie Baker Brooks and more at the Greely Blues Jam which runs Friday June 12 and Saturday June 13th. See their ad below or CLICK HERE to visit their website.

Blues fans in the great Blues state of Iowa should check out our friends the South Skunk Blues Society for the 17th annual Bowlful of Blues, Saturday June 13, 2009 at the Maytag Bowl in Newton, Iowa. They feature Too Slim and the Taildraggers, Michelle Malone, The Avey Brothers and more. For complete info check out:

Koko Taylor - Visitation and Funeral

It is one of those odd twists of life. This weekend there is a HUGE celebration of this art form called the Blues in the Blues capital of the world, Chicago, Illinois.

As we prepare to see some of the best Blues music anywhere on the planet, Koko Taylor's life and legacy are being remembered too. She called Chicago her home and her memorial and funeral are right in Chicago at the same time as the BIGGEST Blues event anywhere! We will all feel the the spirit of the Queen of the Blues.

If you can not be there to celebrate the Queen of Blues or the music she loved, send flowers. Even better, make a donation to her foundation, The Koko Taylor Celebrity Aid Foundation. Better yet, Blues lovers, do BOTH!

Visitation - Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 4:00pm-9:00pm
Rainbow Push Coalition National Headquarters, 930 East 50th Street, Chicago, IL. 60615 Phone 773.373.3366

Funeral Services - Friday, June 12, 2009 6:00 pm (Visitation from 4:00pm-6:00pm)
Rainbow Push Coalition National Headquarters, 930 East 50th Street, Chicago, IL. 60615

Next Week - 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards

The nominations are in for the 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards and voting begins on July 1st. Nominees will be announced NEXT WEEK!

Be an informed Voter!

Our Friends at GLT Blues Radio 24/7 have a website to sample the music of the nominees BEFORE you vote. Details next week.

GLT Blues Radio 24/7 streams GREAT Blues radio to you FREE, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 356 days a year on the worldwide web!

Vote for FREE and win prizes too!

As always with Blues Blast Magazine it is totally FREE to vote for your favorite Blues artist. Join in the Blues fun recognizing the best of the Blues with the 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards. You can win free CDs, T- Shirts and more by voting too! Details next week!

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from Joanne Shaw Taylor. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Mary Flower. Eric Steiner Reviews a new CD by Ramblin' Rose and a new CD by Colin Linden. John Harrelson reviews a new CD by Charles Wilson. Michael Packer reviews a new CD by Jim Byrnes.

Blues Blast Magazine - Summer Advertising SALE!

Blues Blast Magazine is running an advertising special for Blues festivals and new CD releases during July through October. Are you a promoter or a Blues Society having a festival anytime during July through October? Is your band's CD being released in the coming months?

If so we are offering a great deal to get the Blues word out for you. Your ad can be seen each week by 12,000 Blues fans in all 50 states and in 60 countries for a very low price of $30 a week. (Four Week minimum!)

So for the low price of $120 your ad will be seen nearly 50,000 times by real Blues fans. How is that for a deal? You want more you say? OK then we recommend our combo rate where for an additional $20, your ad will also run at the same time on our website at Our website gets 10,000 visitors and more than 800,000 hits each month.

The sale prices are good for ad space reserved through July 31st, 2009. Available advertising space is limited and is offered on a first come, first served basis so contact us today at to start getting the Blues word out about your Blues event or CD!

Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation invites you to take a RARE night time tour of the historic
Chess Studios
, located at 2120 S. Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago!

WHEN: Saturday, June 13th from 9pm - 1am
WHERE: 2120 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60616
ADMISSION: Donations Suggested

Come tour the studio, hear live music, watch video footage of blues legends, and enjoy food & refreshments...all where rock and blues legends were made!

Also, if you're attending the Chicago Blues Festival, come stop by the Blues Heaven Foundation booth!

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.

Touring Guitarist Available

Professional studio and touring guitarist available for traveling. George Walker has played with Barry White , Lou Rawls, Freda Payne, Bill Cosby and more. I would like to play all styles. Please contact at 402-496-2233 Video and sample CDs available on request.

Music Reviewers wanted

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

Web Design Intern wanted

Great opportunity for a motivated college student who wants to work with a large music organization. Do you have experience and training with web design? Do you know how to work with SQL databases on the web? If so we seek an intern who wants beef up their resume. This in an unpaid internship but will be a GREAT reference for a web designer in the music business world. If interested please send your resume to

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

Friday, June 19

The Rev. Jimmy Bratcher

Angela Hagenbach


Saturday, June 20

Parkville Community Band

The Skip Hawkins Band

Tommy Andrews Band

The Sons of Brazil

Roger "Hurricane" Wilson w/ Levee Town

Stacy Mitchart

Featured Blues Review 1 of 6

Joanne Shaw Taylor - White Sugar

Ruf Records

10 songs; Time 51:44; Library Quality

Styles: Blues, Blues-Rock

Remember the musical “British Invasion” circa 1964 and its impact? Forty Five years later, the British are still forcefully invading. This time, it is Joanne Shaw Taylor, a British white girl playing blues guitar, singing, and songwriting with an attention grabbing passion.

Joanne's white hot debut album "White Sugar" was released in January on Ruf Records. With label support, a publicity maven behind her and summer touring, expect to see some Best New Artist Debut award considerations headed her way.

Born and raised amidst the coal mines of Britain’s Black Country; Joanne picked up a guitar and got turned on to the blues as a very young teenager. When Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics met her, Joanne Shaw Taylor was only 16. “[She was] playing blues guitar so deep and passionately it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end!" he said. Her Telecaster guitar playing was so skilled that the blues fan asked her to join his super group D.U.P. to tour Europe in 2002, at age 17.

Today Joanne is 23 and happy about the fact that she took her time with the recording debut: "I wanted to take time out to really work on my craft and make sure that when I did an album, it was the best that I could do."

For "White Sugar" Joanne took a plane to Memphis where she was booked with Jim Gaines at Bessie Blue Studios in Counce TN. Jim had worked with some of Joanne’s idols like Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He brought in the experienced session men Steve Potts (Drums) and Dave Smith (Bass) for a classic power trio. “They didn’t know the tracks until five minutes before we recorded them. I made them listen to the songs once and then play them. It was fantastic. They got so much feeling and soul. They are amazing guys to work with,” Joanne reported.

Taylor’s triple threat talent is demonstrated big time on the CD! Of the ten songs, she wrote all but one. Some songs were written during the flight to Memphis, and a few others were written ten years ago and are her signature tunes. Her publicity describes her sound as “the love child of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dusty Springfield” for its “mixture of fiery guitar playing, sultry vocals and 100% pure soul. She can play the hard stuff of her influences like SRV, and make one feel the bite of her Telecaster like Albert Collins.”

The set gets serious right from the opening track, “Going Home.” It is not a happy tune as one quickly discovers the narrator has death in mind, “Now only God is on my mind...I’m going home to rest my heavy soul.” The guitar sound perfectly maintains the song’s edgy ambiance.

The search for love that’s real is the theme of tack two, “Just Another Word.” Featuring some Robert Ward sounding riffs in the middle guitar solo, the song finds Joanne singing pleasing, breathy vocals early as a platform from which to build up the emotions of the heart.
Opening with Texas guitar sounds, “Bones” will grab electric Blues fans with its bounce and intricate mid-song guitar solo and final rave up.
“Who Do You Want Me To Be?” showcases Taylor’s fiery rock side while “Time Has Come” slows things down for some classic 12 bar Blues and guitar punctuating the end of lyric lines.

Track six is the title track, a burning instrumental with a hypnotic hook in which Joanne works her powerful magic.

The autobiographical “Kiss The Ground Goodbye” is an excellent example of Taylor’s poetic songwriting and ability to create the accompanying music as she crafts a real winner. More deep feelings come with “Heavy Heart” as the narrator sings forlornly over the wah-wah pedal to the “the only one behind these scars.”

“Watch’em Burn” features Taylor’s lyrics and guitar scolding the shallow cad here accused, “One line on my face / And I was out of your grace....”

"Blackest Day," a song that Joanne wrote when she was 14, was where “I really wanted to show my influences,” she said. It is an 8:17 minute slow, lost-love Blues that is among the best on the CD.

Clearly, Joanne Shaw Taylor can be proud of her first album. "White Sugar" is the proof that the confident and young British woman can keep the traditions of her influences while she is winning new fans on her own merits.

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.

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

Gregg Wright

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

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.

The Madison Blues Society - Madison, WI

The Madison Blues Society presents their 7th Annual Blues Picnic On June 20th, 2009 from Noon to 9:00PM at Warner Park in Madison, WI. MBS calls their event a “Blues Picnic” because of the family-oriented atmosphere. This event is free because we believe that Blues music should belong to all of the people, regardless of their ability to pay, as it has been throughout American history.

Performers include Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo, The Karri Daley Band, Joe Nosek's Blues Kids, The Cash Box Kings, The Jimmys, Linsey Alexander, and The Groove Hogs. The event is Free and open to the public. For more information visit :

The Windy City Blues Society - Chicago, IL

The Windy City Blues Society will be celebrating at the Chicago Blues Festival with a 4-day long Instant Friends Party. it starts with our WCBS Kick-Off Party on Thursday, June 11th at the Billy Goat Tavern, 330 S. Wells (Wells & Van Buren) from 6pm to 9pm. After 9pm, we’ll head out for some blues. We'll have your membership cards, pins, mugs, T-shirts and our first edition of our newsletter available.

At the Chicago Blues Fest - Friday, Saturday & Sunday (June 12, 13, and 14), we'll be flying our flag near the Front Porch Stage each day and moving to the grass near the big screen in front of the Petrillo at 6:00. Join us at the flag to meet other blues lovers.

After Fest - Friday, Saturday & Sunday The Windy City Blues Society, we'll be visiting the various blues clubs around town. Please join us in celebrating our Society's first Chicago Blues Fest. Visit us at and for more information.

The Arkansas River Blues Society - Little Rock, Arkansas

The Arkansas River Blues Society presents a monthly Blues jam at Juanita’s, 1300 Main Street, Little Rock, Arkansas the first Tuesday of every month, beginning July 7th, at 8 pm. The jam will feature a different house band each month. Unseen Eye, from Hot Springs, has been chosen as the first house band. Admission is $5 for the public and $3 for members of ARBS. Participating musicians are FREE and this is an open jam. For more information contact Babs at 501-920-7783 or check out

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. June 19th – Watermelon Slim & The Workers

The Long Island Blues Society - Long Island, NY

The LIBS Presents Carolyn Wonderland, June 14th 2009 @ BOBBiQUE, 70 West Main Street, Patchogue NY (631) 447-7744. Joe Rock & The Allstars open the show! Tickets are only $18 ($15 for Blues Society members). Tickets are available at and at BOBBiQUE. Doors open 2:30 PM. For more info visit This is going to be one exciting performance – not to be missed. See y’all at BOBBiQUE!!

The South Skunk Blues Society - Newton, Iowa

The South Skunk Blues Society is proud to announce the17th Bowlful of Blues, June 13, 2009 at the Maytag Bowl in Newton, Iowa. Featuring Too Slim and the Taildraggers, Michelle Malone, 2009 Iowa Blues Challenge winners The Avey Brothers, and Iowa bands Brad “bebad” McCloud & His Case of the Blues and Mojo Machine. Dewey Cantrell will play solo between sets. Tickets are $15 in advance $20 day of show. For more info:

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. 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 presents British sensation Joanne Shaw Taylor on Thursday June 18 at Creekside Bar and Grill, 3303 Brady Street in Davenport. Admission is $8.00, $6.00 for MVBS members. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. For more info 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 - June 8 - Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin' Altar Boys, June 15- Andrew Junior Boy Jones, June 22 - Harper, June 29 - Deak Harp

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: June 10 – The Plateros, June 17 – Joanne Shaw Taylor, June 24 - Gina Sicilia

For complete info visit:

Featured Blues Review 2 of 6

Mary Flower - Bridges

Yellow Dog Records

14 tracks/50:15

Mary Flower may not be a familiar name to most blues fans but those fortunate to have been exposed to Mary’s artistry are undoubtedly captivated by her talent. Flower started out as a folk singer in the Denver area. After attending a blues guitar workshop, she switched careers and developed her skills as a guitar picker. She has two “Top Three” finishes in the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship that attest to her ability. Her strong voice is a dark-hued instrument that easily glides from to note without a hint of strain.

Having relocated to Portland, Oregon, Flower has called on a cross-section of that city’s diverse musical community for assistance with her latest project. The title refers to the structures that span the Willamette River in Portland as well as the mixing of newer tunes with the classic songs that serve as the foundation of the blues genre. Take a listen to Mary’s version of Emmett Miller’s “The Ghost of St. Louis Blues”. The backing from clarinet, soprano sax, piano and tuba pushes Flower’s guitar to the background as they update this obscure late 1920’s tune. “There Ain’t No Sweet Man That’s Worth the Salt of My Tears” is another older jazz tune with Duffy Bishop and Rebecca Kilgore supplying excellent harmony vocals. Janice Scroggins shows her skill as a piano accompanist when she joins Mary on “Backwater Blues”.

“Columbia River Rag” is a solo guitar piece with Flower picking intricate patterns with an easy grace. Even more impressive is “Daughter of Contortion” a Flower original that updates the difficult Piedmont style. Her son, Jesse Withers, adds his string bass to “Slow Lane to Glory” and “When I Get Home I‘m Gonna Be Satisfied“. Mary switches to the lap steel guitar on both tracks and proves that she is well-rounded guitar player.

“Portland Town “ takes some good-natured jabs at Mary’s new hometown. Her voice rings out over the unusual backing of Courtney Von Drehle on accordion and Matt Vehrencamp on tuba. Flower is joined by an old friend, Tim O’Brien on fiddle, for Hoagy Carmichael’s “Up a Lazy River”. The two instruments engage in a delicate musical duet until Flower’s vocal closes the track with a spirited verse and chorus. Featuring O’Brien on mandolin, Von Drehle on accordion and Flower on guitar, “Blue Waltz” is a fitting closing number. The piece has an easy-going tempo with a hint of sadness. As the track unfurls, the three instrumentalists take turns moving in and out of the spotlight, weaving an intricate musical fabric while making it look easy.

As good as her last several recordings were, Bridges may be the best work of Mary Flower’s career. She has obviously found acceptance for her unique musical vision within the Portland musical community. Some listeners might wish for more of Mary’s stellar guitar work. Most of us will appreciate the quiet grace of this package Mary has put together. It is a moving collection that deserves a wide audience.

Reviewer courtesy of Mark Thompson and the Crossroads Blues Society of Rockford. IL

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

For more info visit:

For Tickets and more info visit:

Featured Blues Review 3 of 6

Ramblin’ Rose - Woman in Heat

Ramblin’ Rose Records

Woman in Heat showcases eight songs from Chicago blues singer Ramblin’ Rose who’s also a very talented harmonica player. My only complaint with Woman in Heat is that it is far too short, clocking in at just under 36 minutes. I would have appreciated a couple of traditional Chicago blues covers, and a lot more harmonica from Rose.

Rich Wiktorowicz and Tommy Hollywood share note-bending duties with some exceptional solos, particularly on the opening cut, “Part Time Lover,” and some inventive slide work on “Dirty Old Woman.” Woman in Heat takes its title pretty seriously: three songs focus on love and sex, leaning heavily toward the latter, with few thoughts left to the imagination from two Denise La Salle covers (“Long Dong Silver” and “Dirty Old Woman”). Andy Dylewski’s jazzy “Para Pa Para” features Wally Wander on saxophone and Sam Maciejzczyk on trumpet, and this love song features some Russian or Polish samples (most likely ‘sweet nothings’ in keeping with the theme of the CD).

Mississippi native Ramblin’ Rose has played around Chicagoland with the Andy Dylewski Blues Band, and Woman in Heat was recorded at Andy’s Media Sound Studios on Chicago’s North Side. Lordy’s back cover photo catches Ramblin’ Rose in action at the Harlem Avenue Lounge in Berwyn. Lordy’s Chicago Blues Beat has some nice pictures of Ramblin’ Rose sitting in with the Harry Garner Blues Band at the Willie Dixon Garden online at

Last month, Ramblin’ Rose was part of the 2009 Chicago Blues Festival Preview known as “Blues University.” The Chicago Blues Tour joint-cover pub crawl at Catcher’s Inn on West 35th with Robert Pasenko and the 35th Street Blues Band’s South Side Showcase with Tre’, Killer Ray Allison, and Linsey Alexander.

Whether she’s playing with her own band or sitting in as a guest performer at Harlem Avenue Lounge or other Chicago land nightspot, go see Ramblin’ Rose live.

Reviewer Eric Steiner is the President of the Washington Blues Society, a proud recipient of a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation. Please visit for more information on the Washington Blues Society

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

For info and tickets visit

Featured Blues Review 4 of 6

Colin Linden - From the Water

True North Records

Colin Linden has released an acoustic CD that has been in my CD player for one full week. Each time I press “play” on From the Water, I hear something new, and appreciate the haunting title song that opens the CD, and Colin’s reworking of Blind Teddy Darby’s song from the early 1930’s, “Built Right on the Ground,” is a classic Delta interpretation of a regrettably little-known bluesman.
“Between the Darkness and the Light of Day” is a classic example of the songwriter’s craft: it’s deceptively simple, built around a basic snare drum, soft acoustic strumming, and understated horn fills. Colin’s got The Memphis Horns along, too: Wayne Jackson on trumpet, Tom McGinley on saxophone and Jack Hale on trombone. While the song mulls over being “bound by pride and fooled by desire,” it ends on an optimistic note seeing “the dawn coming around the bend/Yesterday’s sorrows are about to end.” We need more songs like this that point us in positive directions.

Colin’s band features the foundation of John Dymond on bass, Gary Craig and Bryan Owings on drums, John Whynot on keyboards, and Paul Reddick on harmonica. Whitey Johnson contributes some driving National Resophonic guitar on “The Price You Pay.”

Linden began playing in coffee houses when he was 12, and since then, his career has included several East Coast Music Awards-Canada trophies, a half-dozen Juno Awards (Canada’s most prestigious music honor), plus a shelf-full of Maple Blues Awards, Canada’s national blues award hosted by the Toronto Blues Society every January. He’s been a recognized song-writer, producer and performer, having toured with Keb’ Mo,’ Bruce Cockburn, and is a key player in Blackie and the Rodeo Kings (an outfit featuring Colin, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson, initially formed to honor the memory of Canadian troubadour Willie P. Bennett). I knew that he produced Janiva Magness’ Northern Blues CD, Bury Him at the Crossroads, but I didn’t know he has 69 additional producing credits in addition to that 2004 CD.

After listening to From the Water, I’m going to check out Colin’s ten other releases, plus find CDs from the Rodeo Kings (love Stephen Fearing’s cowboy get-up!). While my knowledge of French is haphazard at best, Colin’s “Mon Coeur Est Dans Tes Mains” is a touching love song and I hope it gets radio play not only in Francophone countries (and provinces), but on mainstream blues radio as well.

Reviewer Eric Steiner is the President of the Washington Blues Society, a proud recipient of a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation. Please visit for more information on the Washington Blues Society

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Featured Blues Review 5 of 6

Charles Wilson - Troubled Child

Severn Records

I am optimistic when I read the track list of a CD and see a wide variety of composers credited. You’ll find songs here by entrepreneur/hustler Don Robey, vocalist Denise LaSalle, and George Jackson, a writer from Malaco’s organization. I notice, too, Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” in the #7 slot. Very promising.

If your tastes run to Tyrone Davis, Joe Hinton, and pre-1970 Don Covay you will delight in this disc. The production is Philadelphia smooth but still has intensity. Wilson is a skilled vocalist, persuasive and real. It is said that he is the nephew of Little Milton. He has the goods to ensure that’s believable.

Starting point is “Where My Baby Went,” a song associated with Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland. It’s way cleaner than any Duke recording and way smoother, but it’s a tasty track. Genuine Soul Music. Slip into the zone, this is the style and texture of the disc from front-to-back.

Up 2nd is “Someone Must Have Taught You,” composed by Wilson’s bassist, Steve Gomes. The turn of the phrase is thoughtful—“Someone must have taught you to not trust a man.” Good song, well done. By the way, if the Martians invaded and asked for an explanation of what Soul Music is, this could be the perfect model. The bass, the two guitars, the lead trumpet, all brilliant, precision playing.

“It’s Love That Really Counts” is a little faster and features a pedal-point bass line, a great church-derived musical device ("Higher and Higher,” “Gimme Some Lovin’,” the verse of “What Is Hip?”). This is like the preceding track, a perfect model of what Soul Music is all about.

At 4th position stands “I Want to Shout About It.” Gomes appears as a co-writer on this It’s another better-than-average song.

Track #5 is “Somebody’s Tears” and has a note attached that says it’s a tribute to Little Milton. I can say that I’m certain that wherever he is, Milton approves. It was written by Denise LaSalle, who knows how to write a good song. The arrangement is a nod to Milton as well. The guitar soloist is even using the same or similar model six-string that Milton employed. This is thoughtful and is probably the key to a Blues fans acquisition of this R&B document.

When one considers the songwriting skills these next two are fantastic and for different reasons. "Troubled Child” could be something written by the masterful Curtis Mayfield in 1972. It’s a cogent statement, well formed and nicely arranged. In the global village I could hear this fine song covered by fifty different artists [except of course, the Linda Ronstadt of the new millennium, Sheryl Crow].

When I mentioned Don Covay at the beginning, I should have also included Bobby Womack. The approach used on Bob Marley’s “Is This Love?” summons both to mind. A good song can be measured by the number of ways it can be interpreted. This rendition underlines that. There’s no Reggae present, it’s R&B, all R&B. Points to the arranger as well as to Wilson for his vocal interpretation.

George Jackson, solid craftsman of song, wrote “I Don’t Want to Take a Chance.” All that’s needed is a male vocal trio in harmony and this is the Spinners. More solid Soul Music. Classic hook and perfect bass line. Excellent delivery by Wilson.

There are two more tracks, but I know you understand. If you like a feast of solid Soul put this in the player. If you don’t understand, go find 25 Temptations tracks, 15 by the Four Tops, 10 by Jackie Wilson, 35 by Otis Redding, 8 by Brook Benton, 12 by O.V.Wright and ask me for further suggestions after that

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 Claremont Graduate University and a B.A. in Anthropology and Ethnomusicology.

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12th Annual Prairie Dog Blues Fest

Friday, July 31, 2009

Queenie & The Blue Cats Curtis Salgado The Groove Hogs Ana Popovic The Swamp Kings

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Perry Weber & The Devilles, Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers Johnny Rawls Lil' Brian & The Zydeco Travelers Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam Jon Justice

Festival Website

The only Blues festival held on an island in the middle of the Mississippi River!

Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin on St. Feriole Island

Featured Blues Review 6 of 6

Jim Byrnes - My Walking Stick

Black Hen Music

Singer-guitarist-songwriter Jim Byrnes has won numerous Juno awards (the Canadian equivalent to the U.S Grammy).'My Walking Stick', is produced by Steve Dawson whose long collaboration with Byrnes as producer and musician has contributed to Byrnes successes.

The album starts with an eerie cut called 'Ol Rattler' with some nice vocal, slide and organ . 'Walk On Boy' is a gospel tinged song which includes the gospel singing group the "Sojourners". This track is great! Hypnotic rhythms and cool banjo.

The title cut 'My Walking Stick' is a classic Mills Brothers tune and is lots of fun with violin work from Jesse Zubot. 'Looking For A Love' is a fine R&B piece complete with outstanding vocals by the Sojourners.

Robbie Robertson of the Band's 'Ophelia', is a great song from another great Canadian musician. 'Talking in Circles' is a Jim Byrnes original with a Dr. John feel. Very good lyrics with a nice hook.

Three Shots' is another slide guitar eerie type track. 'Lonely Blue Boy' is a country gem with some fine pedal steel. 'Drowning in My Own Tears' is another slow R&B song. 'I'm Living Off The Love You Give' is more upbeat in the country-rock vein. 'What Are They Doing In Heaven Today' and 'I Want My Crown' are fabulous spirituals that are exceptionally well done.

The album concludes with the Jim Byrne original 'One Life' (Creole Poetry).

'My Walking Stick' is a well produced CD with exceptional musicianship. Jim Byrnes vocals are excellent and his songs are well written but the album just didn't have enough diversity for me when it comes to tempos. Too many slow ballads. Yes they are good songs but I found myself going to sleep. I needed a nice blues shuffle or something funky to wake me up. Next time keep it alive with some more upbeat material.

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.

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