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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

Whoa, A LOT has transpired since the last Blue Note on the first day of October. Now it's THE LAST day of October. TRICK 'ER TREAT!!!. Later on, a statement that I've NEVER made in one of these notes...

Tonight, (Sat. 10/31) HALLOWEEN!! It's our first gig, open to the public, in a month! Join us at the state's premiere blues club, Blues On Grand, 15th and Grand Ave. in downtown Des Moines. Costume or not. Let's resurrect the old Freaker's Ball! We'll have The Blue Band box of masks with us, come out and be someone else for awhile. Show time is 9:30p. Take a nap, we play until 1:30a. Make sure you stay til the end so you can set your clocks back EXACTLY when the time changes at 2:00am!! Why do we inflict these biorhythmic changes on ourselves twice a year? Those of us who live on the opposite side of the day from "normal" people NEVER see the sun during Standard Time. I'm depressed just thinking about the depression that I'm heading into. But I digress...

Next Friday (11/6) is THE FIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH CLUB, at The Hub, bub. 4th & Main, right here in Sparkle City USA. Perhaps it's the fact that I only have to travel 12 blocks to get to The Hub. Or maybe it's the cool in-house sound system run by top-grade professionals. Or maybe it's the crowd of people, some of whom I've known for 30 years, that we get to play for. Or maybe it's the constantly encouraging management and staff of the place. Or maybe it's the "geezer" hours that we play (6-9pm) Or maybe it's that Bob Guthart always brings his GREEN guitar to jam with the band. I'm not really sure why I love playing that date, but I do. Come out and help me figure it out. Pizza by the slice, a couple pops, a few dances, and yer home before the 10 o'clock news. You have no excuse. Be there...

A couple/three dates that have come in that you might be interested in planning for: Fri. Nov. 27 (the day after Thanksgiving) a fundraiser for The New Bohemian Festival in Cedar Rapids. CR is trying to rejuvenate the flood ravaged areas of town and we're tickled to be invited to be part of this event, to be held at Gatherings, Bottleworks Building, 905 3rd Street SE in Cedar Rapids, we play 8-11pm... Sat. Jan. 9 we have (tentatively) been invited to play at The Mill in Iowa City. Hopefully this will be a celebration of the Hawks being NATIONAL CHAMPS!...and Sat. February 13 we have been invited to a local Arts fundraiser in Ames, more info on that as we get it...

The statement that I've never made in one of these notes: I am engaged to be mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmarried. (I knew I could get that out there) After 20+ years of chasing after, and running away from each other, Carolyn and I have decided to try something that neither of us have ever done. Be married. To each other. We've found a house that is exactly 4 blocks from her house and 4 blocks from my house (talk about yer meeting in the middle!) that we think offers enough space to "get away" from each other, have 3 vehicles all parked in a garage, and that we (think) we can afford! We should close on that house before year's end with the actual wedding in early 2010. I hope the marriage lasts at least as long as the courtship!...

There are now only 8 weeks left before my "early retirement" from the University of Northern Iowa. I'm freakin' out. The band biz is, shall we say, "challenged", I'm getting married and I'm buying a new house. (I've been 100% debt free for about 5 years now, so taking on house debt with a dubious income (none?) is really making me anxious) On the good side, Iowa Public Radio has indeed offered me a contract to continue to produce the Backtracks Rock'n'Roll History show (which has a very cool Halloween special tonight (Sat. 7-10p) so while you're driving to Blues On Grand, tune me in) and the new Sunday evening (5-6:30p) blues show Blue Avenue (have you the seen the cool statewide newspaper advertising campaign that IPR has included me in also?) My lawyer advises a few changes in the EIGHT page document, but I'm sure that the legalese can be worked out. IPR Executive Director/CEO M. G. Herrington and Music Director Al Schares put a lot of time into making this offer possible for me. I am grateful. I'm hoping to produce those shows for Iowa Public Radio for at least another 37 years (the 37th anniversary of my hosting the first rock'n'roll show on ANY Iowa public station was Oct. 3)...

Our dear friend Nancy Shaw was laid to rest last Friday the 23rd. We were scheduled to help Nancy and Jim celebrate their 37th anniversary just three weeks from now. I will remember her as someone that was always encouraging and supportive of life in general and The Blue Band in specific. Jim Shaw really needs a lot of that kind of encouragement and support from all of us now. Deaths like this always make me think too much. Realizing and dealing with one's own mortality is a tough one. End of life issues are something that I have avoided (denied?) for quite some time. Something like Nancy's passing is a stark reminder that we all will deal with this sometime, ready or not. YIKES! Getting older ain't for sissies! Tell those around you who are special in your life that you love and value them before it's too late...

We've still got a lot of open dates through the Holidays, so if you need some entertainment for that last minute Xmas party or you'd just like us to set up in your basement to play before/during/after the NFL games on Sunday, give us a call! (319-277-4007) (

It's late, I've still got some recording to do for the radio shows this weekend, and I still have no idea what the costume for Halloween at Blues On Grand will be. See ya on the Blue Highway, USE YER DAMN TURN SIGNALS, rub yer zydeco/washboard tie to the tune of The Monster Mash, think in terms of chocolate wedding CAKE, and always know that we love you. Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Larrry Fountain RIP

Larry Fountain was not your typical bluesman. He didn't play an instrument, or sing, but he lived and loved the blues. To the rest of world that reads this blog, you won't find Larry's biography on the internet, and unfortunately I never posted about Larry on Blues Historian until today.

I first met Larry sometime in the mid to late 90s when Jimmy Pryor was jamming around the various blues dives in town. Larry was Jimmy's right hand man. After Jimmy's second wife died, Larry was the one that kept him going. Larry would drive him to gigs, and watch out for him. He was Jimmy's Bodyguard, and friend. They might start the night at the Cloud, and then end the night at an after hour joint. Once Jimmy starting playing for bands again, Larry was still there watching out for his old friend. Still making sure he was getting where he needed to be. Later when Jimmy got married again, Larry could be found volunteering his time for the Central Iowa Blues Society, or hanging out at Blues On Grand. Larry was an kind and caring soul, and truly lived the life of a bluesman.

I am sorry old friend, that I didn't make it down to Des Moines much to talk to you and hang out with you after I moved to Storm lake. I truly miss your gentle humor, and your love for your fellow bluesman. I know you are looking out for Jimmy once again up there in the big blues arena in the sky. God bless you Larry, and say hi to Jimmy for me.

Tom Gary
Blues Historian

For those readers in Des Moines that know Larry here is the memorial schedule.

Larry Fountain visitation will be Saturday, Oct 31 from 10-11 am with a funeral service following at 11 am at the East University Church of God Christ. It is at 1639 E University.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Soul Searchers Update

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

wednesday, october 28, 8-11pm

greenwood lounge
3707 ingersoll ave, des moines
(join us every wednesday through thanksgiving, and maybe beyond . . . )

"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

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nellie Tiger Travis: I'm In Love With A Man I Can't Stand

ne CDC1028
1 Before You Grab This Tiger By The Tail (Southern Soul Blues Version)
2 Clean It Up
3 In In Love With A Man I Can't Stand
4 Let's Get It Poppin'
5 I'm With You Baby
6 Do What He Didn't Do
7 Don't Ever Leave Me Again
8 Understanding (Is Better Than Money)
9 Queen Of The Blues (tribute to Koko Taylor)
10 MOD (Man On Drugs)
11 I'm A Tiger
12 In The Vibe Room/None But The Righteous
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Nellie 'Tiger' Travis
"I'm In Love With A Man I Can't Stand"

Nellie is truly a "Queen Of Soul/Blues". Her previous CD, "I'm A Woman", was a major success and this new 12 song set will take her to the next level. Already, her song "Queen Of The Blues", dedicated to late Koko Taylor, is making waves in Chicago and throughout the South...but that's just an appetizer.

This new CD serves up all the items on Nellie's menu of strengths from catchy Southern Soul bumpers like "Clean It Up" and "Do What He Didn't Do" to Soulful slowies like "I'm With You Baby" and "Don't Ever Leave Me Again", with Party Blues numbers such as "Before You Grab This Tiger By The Tail" and even a little Gospel for dessert at the end!
Nellie has been singing throughout the Midwest & Deep South areas for years and has standing engagements overseas, performing in Greece, Germany, Brazil, Italy and Japan. This release is the most anticipated release in the genre of Soul/Blues"


Get the Nellie 'Tiger' Travis "I'm In Love With A Man I Can't Stand"Plus a limited edition full color poster with the first 100 orders! HERE