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© 2010 Blues Blast Magazine
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Hey Blues Fans,
Voting for the 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards is now open and more than 500 votes have already come in on the first day of voting.
You can vote anytime until August 31st but why not do it NOW? To cast your vote now, CLICK HERE.
The winners will be announced at the Blues Blast Music Awards ceremonies on October 28tn, 2010 held at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. Complete details and info on tickets to this GREAT show will be announced in August. Stay Tuned!
We expect many of the artists nominated to appear at the ceremonies. To see a complete list of the nominees scroll down to the bottom of this issue or CLICK HERE.
GOOD BLUES FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND! - Our friends at the Briggs Farm Blues Festival have a great lineup this weekend that includes Mississippi Heat, Moreland & Arbuckle, John Primer and Harper on Friday night and Clarence Spady, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Mac Arnold and Deb Callahan on Saturday. To see the complete lineup or to purchase tickets, visit their website at http://briggsfarm.com or see their ad below.
Ladies Sing The Blues Cruise - Ever wish you could afford to take a Blues cruise but know you are in the wrong tax bracket to afford one? Well there is an alternative at a lower cost. Fan Cruises has announced a five day Carnival Cruise departing from New Orleans December 6, 2010 with Ports of Call in Progreso, Mexico, and Cozumel, Mexico.
This special package includes private concerts by three Blues Ladies and cruise prices start at just $245 for double occupancy, (plus port fees, taxes and gratuities)including three private Blues concerts, private cocktail party with open bar, autograph signings and meet & greet time with the performers.
The performers include Pat Hunter, Terri Lynn & Thunder Blues and Vivian Vance Kelly. No it is NOT a Legendary Ryhthm & Blues Cruise with all Blues all the time but it is a 5 day Caribbean cruise for Blues lovers that is affordable. For more information visit their website at http://fancruises.com or see their ad below.
We made it to the 26th Annual Mississippi Valley Blues Fest last weekend in Davenport, Iowa. This fest is put on by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. We caught MANY great performance including ones by Lil Ed, Mud Morganfield and Shirley King below.
We will have photos of all the fun for you starting in next weeks issue.
In This Issue
We have four new CD reviews this week! James "Skyy Dobro" Walker reviews a new CD by John Lee Hooker Jr. Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony reviews a new CD by Otis Taylor. Steve Jones reviews a new CD by Rob Stone. We welcome new reviewer Zeke who sends us a review of a new CD by Retro Deluxe. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
Featured Blues Review 1 of 4
John Lee Hooker, Jr. - Live in Istanbul Turkey
(CD and Bonus one-song DVD animation)
Steppin’ Stone Records
14 tracks; 64:20 minutes; Splendid
Styles: Full Band Electric Blues, R&B, Funk
I first saw John Lee Hooker, Jr. perform live at the inaugural Luther Allison Memorial Blues Fest produced by Peoria’s still flourishing River City Blues Society in August of 2005. I was immediately impressed with his singing ability: powerful, dynamic, and with a wide range. His stage movements and presence, facial expressions, and audience rapport made for an impressive and unforgettable performance. I was also made aware that he is no imitator of his legendary daddy.
If Hooker Junior does play guitar (or any instrument), he never demonstrated it, nor does he play any instruments on his first live CD, “Live in Istanbul Turkey .” His voice sounds more like B.B. King than the gruff growl of his father. And, Junior is clearly from the next generation reared in Motown and Funk sounds and, later, well introduced to Rap and Hip-Hop music. His show (and this modernized-music CD with 21st Century lyrics) is definitely not a tribute to his father (like Mud Morganfield’s is as he recapitulates the voice and look of Muddy Waters.)
“Live in Istanbul Turkey” on Hooker, Jr.’s own Steppin’ Stone Records is a well recorded and produced, full-band set that is energetic and has raucous, rave up song endings typical of a live set. When Hooker, Jr. shouts “Istanbul, are you ready for the blues?” at the onset, you can practically feel the electricity in the stadium. At the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival, Junior and up to nine other musicians at a time perform material from three studio albums (2004's “Blues with a Vengeance,” 2006's “Cold as Ice,” and 2008's “All Odds Against Me”). The inclusion of additional, new “bonus” songs, “It’s a Shame,” “You Make My Life Brand New,” and “They Hatin’ On Me” recorded at the Pajama Studio in Oakland, CA serve to extend the CD’s party. He does include one Hooker, Sr. standard in this set (“Boom Boom”), but, as suggested earlier, it’s done in Junior’s own style.
Born in 1952 in Detroit, he was exposed the life of the blues from a young age. At eight years old, Junior performed on Detroit's WJBK radio and knew from that moment that he wanted to follow his father and become a musician. Touring alongside Hooker, Sr. throughout his teens, Junior had already performed in prestigious venues such as Detroit's Fox Theatre with acclaimed musicians like Jimmy Reed by the time he was 16. In 1972, an eighteen year-old John Jr. was singing vocals alongside his father for the recording of Hooker, Sr.'s album “Live at Soledad Prison” (ABC Records).
Unfortunately, while living the "life of a bluesman" he succumbed to drugs and alcohol. Divorce, incarceration, and death brought his once promising career to a halt. But by 2004, Junior was back and released his first CD. Since then, he has released two more albums and been nominated for Grammys and won a Blues Music Award in 2005.
Blues are indeed an international language understood around the world. For an artist’s first live CD, Turkey provides an interesting setting and enthusiastic audience. If you enjoy great vocals joined by a full band, this CD is for you.
Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL.
To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE
Featured Blues Review 2 of 4
Otis Taylor - Clovis People Vol. 3
Otis Taylor's latest foray into what somebody has dubbed "trance blues" continues his atmospheric journeys by observing and commenting on life's less savory aspects, harkening back to the raw, tormented blues of the early originators. Not music for mere entertainment purposes, more for introspection and soul searching. At times his goal is accomplished and at others it feels like you're listening to uncompleted fragments of songs. Case in point: "Lee And Arnez". Otis keeps repeating "Lee and Arnez and the boxer dog, that was then and this is now. There is no color, there is no difference. Tell your children, they might not listen. So just whisper in their ears." Ok , something about racial prejudice. The delivery sounds poignant, but even a hint of a story is never told.
The Clovis people of the cd title refers to the prehistoric Native American culture considered to be the first human inhabitants of North and South America. Otis Taylor: "I went back to my musical past with these songs. That's why I called it Volume 3. There really is no Volume 1 or 2. My music goes back about ten years, but there's something about reaching back to an earlier time and revisiting stories of the past from a new perspective that I find compelling."
A new version of "Rain So Hard" which previously appeared on 'White African' opens the recording with Otis' acoustic guitar conjouring up a quasi raga with cornet and theramin. The cornet creeps in sounding like a buzzin' fly, then morphs to create a alt jazz backdrop. I guess this record can be seen as Taylor's cornet period as Ron Miles' playing is featured all over. Another prominent element is the electric guitar accents of British blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore, supplying hard riffs or subtle accents as needed. On "Lee And Arnez" he juts in and out over the acoustic guitar and violin, reminiscent of The Rolling Stones' more poignant moments. Moore closes out the song with jagged shards over the bubbling acoustic, organ and violin. "Past Times" is a lament of one's impending death, underpinned with cornet and what could be Chuck Campbell's pedal steel or a theramin whining, as I received an advance copy without track by track listing. Campell of the Campbell Brothers sacred steel band propels "Hands On Your Stomach" with his slithering pedal steel playing. Otis and band get into a bit of a groove on "Harry Turn The Music Up", his recounting of his early musical upbringing at the Denver Folklore Center, as theramin intertwines with pedal steel.
If you are a fan of Otis' earlier work, you'll find much to like here. New listeners will surely find touch points if they give it a chance. I'm not well versed in his music, although I own 'White African' which works better for me, as I find it a more memorable. His contributions to the soundtrack of 'Public Enemies' enhanced the mood. The unusual mix of instruments used in his music often renders the desired haunting quality found in his work. Otis' music is an aquired taste. It can be a nice alternative to much of the guitar slingers out there.
Reviewer Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog's Doghouse at http://bluesdog61.multiply.com.
Ladies Sing The Blues Cruise
A 5 day Carnival Cruise on the Triumph
A five day Caribbean cruise departing from New Orleans, LA on 12/6/2010 with Sarasota Slim on board as a special guest lead guitarist star in the Pat Hunter ALL STAR Band. Also featured will be Nitro Bozeman on harp and Steve Nixon, formerly of the Ronnie Baker Brooks Band, on keys.
This show will be one of the 3 featured shows on board this cruise. The other two "Ladies singing the Blues" will be Vivian 'Vance' Kelly, whose father is Vance "Guitar" Kelly, and Terri Lynn & Thunder Blues. There is also a FREE VIP cocktail party included.
Cruise prices start at less than $200 per person and if you book NOW, you will also get a FREE vacation to a destination of your choice.
For more information visit http://www.fancruises.com
Blues Society News
You can submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or MS Word document format.
The Golden Gate Blues Society - San Francisco Bay Area, CA
International Blues Challenge Competition - The Golden Gate Blues Society Blues Challenge announced. The winning Greater Bay Area band at each competition will go on to compete in the final where one band will be chosen to send to Memphis for The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. Everyone gets to vote for their favorite band! Free for members, $10.00 at the door for non-members - join TGGBS at the door and be admitted free. All showtimes will be from 2 – 6 pm.
July 18 - Angelica’s Bistro, Redwood City, August 1 - J.J.’s, San Jose, August 8 - Mojo Lounge, Fremont, August 22 – The Standby, South San Francisco. Finals - TBA. For more info visit www.tggbs.org or contact Dorothy L. Hill, President 415-824-3502 – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, WV
The West Virginia Blues Societ presents the Charlie West Blues Festival July 17, 2010 at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park. The “USO style” show will be a tribute to The WV National Guard. It’ll be a great day of music, and a great way for us to support the local families of our WV National Guard men and women who are serving active duty overseas.
Featured at the WVBS “Charlie West Blues Fest” will be national touring act The Jimi Vincent Band, Memphis, Tn. International Blues Challenge finalists, Mojo Theory, from Columbus, O., , WVBS Appalachian Blues Competition winner, Kristine Jackson, CrossRoads Band and rounding out the show will be Bryan Lee straight from New Orleans. The festival is free for all military members and their families, with military I.D. Veterans as well. Gate admission for the event will be $15. Food and beverages will be sold onsite. $ 30.00 for VIP Tickets. VIP Tent Party’s for $ 900, inc. 30 VIP Tickets ,wings, beer, pop and water. Gates open at 5 pm. Advance ticket sales at 304-344-2287. Best Western Charleston Plaza has room packages for the Festival, just say, "Charlie West Blues Fest". Ph. (304) 345-9779 1010 Washington Street East East Charleston, WV 25301. For more info visit www.wvbluessociety.org
Alabama Blues Project - Northport, AL
Alabama Blues Project 2010 Summertime Blues Camp will be held July 19-23 at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Hargrove Road in Tuscaloosa, AL. For more information please contact Cara Smith at (205) 752-6263 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also find out much more about our Summertime Blues Camp by clicking here to visit our 2009 review.
Los Angeles Blues Society - Los Angeles, CA
The Los Angeles Blues Society is pleased to present a NO COST Guitar Workshop hosted by Bernie Pearl, Sunday July 11th, Noon - 1:30 PM. This is a hands-on group session (bring your guitar and amp) to be followed by our 11th Open Blues Jam from 2PM - 6PM hosted by the Rebellious Blues Dogs at Zendeja's Restaurant, 665 W Arrow Highway, San Dimas, CA. For more info visit www.lablues.org.
Washington Blues Society - Seattle, WA
The Washington Blues Society’s local competitions for the 2011 International Blues Challenge will be held on Sunday, June 20th and Sunday, June 27th at the award-winning Highway 99 Blues Club in Seattle. Depending on the number of entries received, there may be an additional competition on July 11th or July 25th. The preliminary solo/duo competitions will be held on either Sunday, June 27th or one of the July dates above. Competition finals will be held on Sunday, August 22nd at the the Snohomish Taste Of Music Festival. For complete info see the website at: www.wablues.org or email email@example.com.
Crossroads Blues Society - Rockford, IL
Crossroads Blues Society is producing their very first Blue festival this year. The Byron Crossroads Blues Festival will run from noon to midnight on Saturday, August 28, 2010, in downtown Byron, Illinois.
The festival lineup includes The Resistors, noted artists Filisko and Noden, The Cashbox Kings, Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band and Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames. For more information visit the Crossroads website at: www.crossroadsbluessociety.com
The Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL
2010 Friends of the Blues shows - July 8, Sugarcane Collins, Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club, July 9, Sugarcane Collins, Watseka Theatre Club Cafe Watseka, IL, August 10, Sean Chambers, River Bend Bar & Grill, 6070 E. Route 17, Kankakee IL (815) 933-0610 September 21, Shawn Pittman, Kankakee Valley Boat Club. For more info see: http://www.wazfest.com/JW.html
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $3 cover. July 12 – Michael Charles Blues Band, July 19 - The Laurie Morvan Blues Band, July 26 - Bill Evans, August 2 – Andrew “Jr Boy” Jones, August 9 – Roger “Hurricane” Wilson, August 16 – The Sugar Prophets, August 23 – Bryan Lee “Blind Blues Daddy”, August 28 – ICBC Blues Challenge at the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ, August 30 – Kilborn Alley Blues Band
River City Blues Society - Peoria, IL
The River City Blues Society presents Blues shows during the summer season. The shows start at 7:00pm at Good Fellas Pizza and Pub, 1414 N 8TH St Pekin, IL. Admission for all shows is $4 or $3 for RCBS members. Shows currently scheduled are: Thursday July 15th, 2010 - Joel Paterson and Wednesday July 28th, 2010 - Andrew "Junior Boy" Jones.
Featured Blues Review 3 of 4
Rob Stone - Back Around Here
Rob Stone is the real deal. I have heard him on many other albums and here we finally see him out in front with a new CD for the first time in seven years. Rob wrote 8 new songs and presents 4 older tunes here; he’s done a fantastic job. His smooth vocals and powerfully expressive harp make him my favorite current artist in the Earwig stable of fine musicians.
Joining Rob are guitarist Chris James and bassist Patrick Rynn, his longtime C-Notes band mates. Also making appearances are pianist David Maxwell, drummers Sam Lay, Willie Hayes, and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and saxist Rodney Brown,a veritable all-star lineup. Stone has grown so much from being a Chicago House of Blues regular and is truly one of the top harp men out there, but I am also equally impressed by his vocals.
The title track is a smooth, jumping and rocking guitar tune which contrasts the greasy harp blowing on the opener “You’re No Good For Me” where Stone gives a Little Walter styled effort. Slow blues like “Love You For Myself” are equally impressive; he sells each song with his strong vocals and harp along with an equally great backup band.
Maxwell give his all in great barrelhouse fashion on classic tracks like “Sloppy Drunk Blues” and in the new “Can’t Turn Back the Clock”, adding a superb sound to the mix. Evoking the soul of Lerpoy Carr or doing his own stuff appear to be right up Stone’s alley. The covers and new stuff both showcase why the “hardest working bluesman in Chicago” is a force to be reckoned with.
I’ve listened to all six of the new Earwig releases and I think this one is my favorite. They are all damn good CD’s, but Stones vocals really pushed this over the top. He croons his way to your heart on this album. It was a long wait to hear a new CD from this guy but after to listening to this it was almost worth the long wait. James and Rynn got a lot of props for their recent CD and their new one is up there, too, but Stone’s work is great and he’d got his buddies and other stars supporting him well. Don’t miss this one!.
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Buy or sell equipment , musicians wanted, gigs wanted, help wanted, information wanted etc. Limit 100 words. 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
Band Leader Looking For A Label & Gigs
Koko Taylor's band leader Vino Louden is alive and well ...back from a terrible vehicle accident and near death experience playing and singing the blues. Looking for a label and gigs. Contact at 773-318-2492 www.myspace.com/vinolouden
Guitarist Seeking Work
Older/experienced guitarist who played with Texas Bluesman, Johnny Clyde Copeland before his passing away looking for gig with touring band. Also available for recording session work in and around Northern Il., So. Wisconsin area. I can be reached at….@....firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-235-6020 from 7:00Am to 3:30Pm Mon.-Fri. or @ 608-214-7868 after 3:30pm or weekends. Have gear,will play….
Blues Music Reviewers Wanted
Blues Blast Magazine is looking for reviewers to review new Blues CDs, DVDs and books. If you have a background and experience with Blues music and like to write we can provide new music releases for you to review. Person must be willing to write a minimum of one review every other week. Reviewer keeps the CD/DVDs for writing the review. If interested please send a sample of your writing and a short bio of your Blues background to Please include your phone number with the reply.
|Listen to music by each of the nominees at a listening site set up by our sponsor WGLT Blues Radio 24/7 in Bloomington, IL. Be an informed voter and check out the music of the nominees now! - CLICK HERE|
Best Contemporary Blues CD
Best Traditional Blues CD
|Joe Louis Walker - Between A Rock And the Blues||Dave Riley & Bob Corritore - Lucky To Be Living|
|Mike Zito - Pearl River||David Maxwell & Louisiana Red - You Got To Move|
|Nick Moss - Privileged||Eddie C. Campbell - Tear This World Up|
|Sean Costello - Sean's Blues||Fiona Boyes - Blues Woman|
|The Holmes Brothers - Feed My Soul||The Kilborn Alley Blues Band - Better Off Now|
|Tommy Castro - Hard Believer||Mississippi Heat - Let's Live It Up|
Best Blues Song
Best New Artist Debut Release
| Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers - |
How Much Woman Can You Stand?
|Alabama Mike - Day To Day|
|Joe Louis Walker - I'm Tide|| Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers - |
How Much Woman Can You Stand?
|Mike Zito & Cyril Neville - Pearl River||Marquise Knox - Man Child|
|Pete Anderson - Still In Love||Quintus McCormick - Hey Jodie!|
|Quintus McCormick - Hey Jodie!||Shaun Murphy - Livin' The Blues|
|The Kilborn Alley Blues Band- Better Off Now|
Best Female Blues Artist
Best Male Blues Artist
|Candye Kane||Bobby Rush|
|Fiona Boyes||Joe Bonamassa|
|Janiva Magness||John Németh|
|Ruthie Foster||Magic Slim|
|Shemekia Copeland||Nick Moss|
|Zora Young||Tommy Castro|
Best Blues Band
Sean Costello Rising Star Award
|Magic Slim & The Teardrops||Cash Box Kings|
|Nick Moss & The Flip Tops||Damon Fowler|
|Rick Estrin & The Night Cats||Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers|
|The Holmes Brothers||Joanne Shaw Taylor|
|The Mannish Boys||Marquise Knox|
|Tommy Castro Band||The Insomniacs|
The BEST Commercial free Blues web stream
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Friday, July 30, 2010
Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights Big James & the Chicago Playboys Guitar Shorty Jon Justice Eddie Turner
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Eric Sardinas Shaun Murphy Band Big John Dickerson Show Debbie Davies & Robin Rogers Band Vernon Ray Harrington Sena Ehrhardt Band Hounds Tooth
Festival Website www.prairiedogblues.com
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 4 of 4
Retro Deluxe - Baby It's Hot!
Retro Deluxe/Rinkled Rooster Records
Retro Deluxe howls and growls through 13 blues, jazz, retro and swingin’ rock tracks on “Baby It’s Hot”. They are all originals written by Robert J. Thompson and recorded in Bowie, MD. @ The Olde Bowie Town Grille. Vocalist Bobby Joe Owens pays his dues while guiding the boys through the retro Memphis style “That Ol’ Rooster” (A tribute to the Blues masters). It counts off Porch Board style and features the gritty retro Harp work of Robert Lighthouse. Unfortunately this is the only time we hear Robert’s Harp. Robert also fingers some vintage Dobro.
“I Got Sidetracked” rollickingly strolls through some well written excuses ala Billy C. Wirtz. Preston Wood thumps his bass prowess and will be a key contributor throughout the disc. Dave Gorozdos adds piano over a “spoken word” type vocal. There is a ‘50’s swing vibe and the Party is now getting started! Geoff Holdridge brings his Electric Violin to the party. The title track brings in Scott Ramminger’s swingin’ sax w/more piano and PWoods dyno bass. The band sets a nice groove w/Bobby Joes growled vocals and “Hoochie” backup from Melanie Green. McCloskey takes a nice “Flashy” solo. “King Size Boogie” features nice blues guitar, boogie woogie organ and plenty of double entendre. The cover of the CD says; “Recorded Live” but, I haven’t heard anyone yet. Maybe they are sitting on their hands or someone has a gun to their head.
“In The Past” I can see/hear rockin’ in Memphis. Papa John Creech influenced fiddle w/spirited vocals and more solid writing from Bob Thompson. It appears that Bob isn’t a band member. He’s their manager. Nice wah-wah guitar vs. electric fiddle. “DC To Memphis” makes the deal go down w/jazzy guitar, bass and organ. Rob “Smitty” Smith lays down some big band style drum riffage. PWood stretches out a nice bass solo and there is more? Electric violin. I wish they would trade the violin for Robert Lighthouse’s harp. There is still no “Live” audience. “ 3 Piece Blues” sounds more like jazz too me. It is composed by McCloskey,Wood and VanGelder. It is the only instrumental.
“Drinkin’ Doubleshots” would really get the crowd partyin’. Rockin’ blues and Drinkin’! They’ve got the Olde Bowie Town Grille reverberating here! Sometimes I sense an “everybody Solo” tendency. “She Can’t Wait Anymore” features violin? over jazz with plaintive vocals. “The Dirty Song” is a great blues rocker that really suits Bobby Joe’s voice. There is cool us of the word “dirty”, nice stop time breaks and plenty of Partyin’! George Thorogood, Booker T. and John Lee are channeled here. “Jump, Scream, and Shout” is a piano fueled Party! There is dirty sax, jump blues and a touch of Rockabilly. They sing; “Jump, Scream and Shout, gonna wear everybody out.” I wish they would throughout. The Olde Bowie is jumpin’ here and the audience is sorely missed. Everybody sings to try and help the feel. “You Got No Creek” is sung through a harp mic. It has reggae, and some acid guitar work. The rhythm section is solid and the vocals really make it unique.
“Baby it’s Hot’ is a fine CD w/solid writing and profound musicianship. The CD cover is great and the Retro Deluxe insignia is cool. All the websites are clearly marked on its exterior. The interior is clear and concise. (Something I like). If you are near Bowie, MD., Go party w/Retro Deluxe! Promoters/club owners should book Retro Deluxe ‘cuz they will bring the Party! There are plenty of airplay worthy tracks on “Baby its Hot”. I say get that audience packed into the Olde Bowie and record like “Jump, Scream and Shout” w/overhead audience mikes. Less fiddle and more Harp!!
Reviewer Zeke is a published columnist and reviewer. He is a tireless promoter/supporter of Blues in CT. and beyond.
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