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Friday, February 4, 2011

Shots Of Blues


Various Artists "Shots Of Blues, Volume 1"

  1. "Forever Young"   
  Gregg A. Smith & Bobby Rush, Carl Marshall & Lucky Peterson
  2. "Don't Get Too Comfortable (Live)"
   Travis "Moonchild" Haddix
  3. "That Kinda Love"     
Clarence Dobbins
  4. "One Stop Man"    
Ken Tucker
  5. "Trouble Blues"
  Vel Omarr
  6. "A Little Snack"   
Travis "Moonchild" Haddix
  7. "Alberta" 
Carl Marshall
  8. "Howling For My Darling"
    Uvee Hayes
  9. "Looking For My Baby"
    Chick Willis
10. "Street Walking Woman"
   Ken Tucker
11. "Pain In The Gas Lane" 
Dicky Williams
12. "Amnesia"
   Nellie Tiger Travis

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

From Bob Dorr

Did ya miss me? You'll have to take better aim next time... This is going to be such a fantastic weekend. I hope you can be part of it. I finally got the band truck (Larry) dug out from the latest snow/blizzard this afternoon and I think the path down the alley is wide enough to make it to the street so I can get to the February First Friday Geeezer Gig at The Hub, bub, on the notorious corner of 4th & Main, right here in Sparkle City USA. We start playing at 6pm and if Al has his way, we'll be playing until 4:30 on Saturday morning, but we'll probably be finished by 9:30p so you can catch the 10 o'clock news. Great in-house sound system, run by skilled professionals, with a fabulous bar staff, pizza by the slice, and a spacious dance floor packed by longtime friends and neighbors. It's predicted to be the nicest weather day of the week so what's not to like, right Avis? And Avis and her husband Bob are back from their golfing trip with Alice Cooper in Palm Springs (ok, I know I'm prone to exaggeration, errr, writer's embellishment, but that's for real, Avis has pictures) and we're hoping that Bob brings out the green guitar (this week painted with gold stripes and emblazoned with the Packer G) just so I can hear that cool rhythm guitar part he does on Good Legs. But we're hoping Avis leaves her new pet toad at home. Mark is still being held kidnapped in an undisclosed location in a double wide trailer somewhere in western Florida, so our friend Muddy Watson is driving in from Des Moines to play bass and Eddie McKinley will join Al in the horn section. If you bring CAKE the night will be complete...
Then, Saturday night, I've been given the OK by Iowa Public Radio to do my Backtracks rock 'n' roll history show LIVE!! This often results in a RequestFest, so call me at 800-772-2440 ext. 5. The show runs 7-10pm CST. Advance requests usually make it easier for me to find and play your requested tune. You can do that by simply replying to this note or email me at my official radio address at Remember, the show deals exclusively in songs that are at least 25 years old. And next Saturday (2/12) will be the annual Rock'n'Roll LUV show so feel free to let me know your favorite LUV song so I can include it in that Valentine edition of the program. Get the IPR frequency in your area or listen anywhere on the planet (except Egypt) at
And then. Super Sunday. With two of my favorite teams. Every year I love to watch this game at home by myself with every TV in the house tuned to the game with the volume set on MAX!!! That is as close as I'll ever get to a luxury suite at The Super Bowl. This is the first year I have a High Definition TV I can watch it on. (my friend Diane, the self proclaimed "grammer nazi", is gonna have a fit with that sentence) It's not near as big as the HDTV my friend Bear has (Jimminey Christmas, he had to knock down a wall to bring that TV in the house!) This will be the first such Super Bowl that my wife and I will be living in the same house. I wonder how that's gonna go over since she doesn't give a damn about football. I am hoping for a double overtime game, finally won by the Packers 51-49 on a safety by Charles Woodson, tackling Roethlisberger one yard deep in the end zone after the third string substitute center for The Steelers is pushed back on Ben's foot by Clay Matthews...
Also wanted to draw your attention to next Friday night, 2/11. We have been invited, for the first time, to be part of the Waterloo Center For The Arts Winter Music Series. This is a fun way to try and raise some funds for The Center. This is an all ages dance so bring the kids and grandkids. Advance tickets are only $5, they'll be $8 at the door. The Cedar Valley Pulse Magazine is offering a chance to win free tickets, you can register for that at the deadline for that drawing is Tuesday the 8th. The event runs 7-11p, we play 7:15-10:45p. With arts funding down from government sources, it's up to all of us to keep things going, please help us help the arts. Get more information at 319-291-4490 or
It's really the good news and the bad news on booking shows for this 30th anniversary year. We added a few more really cool summer dates since the last note, but it's a VERY sparse looking March/April. Please continue to tell your company party planners, local casino talent buyers, (can you believe we get to be part of Blues Weekend at Riverside Casino? Robert Cray, Jonny Lang, John Mayall, Shemekia Copeland! YIKES!) block party organizers, and favorite nightclubs about us. Or how 'bout that house or deck party at your mansion on the outskirts of town? Start your Blue Booking adventure at and then make me an offer I can't refuse, especially if it's in March or April!...
So I want to complain about the weather, but I think you've heard enough about that from EVERYONE ELSE! Really, show of hands here, who else is ready to go looking for Mark in Florida and maybe catch a few spring training games? (and I don't even LIKE baseball) I thought last winter was bad. I saw on the local weather station where Sparkle City has seven more inches of snow at this time of year than it did last year. And it's only the 4th of February. Damn the swarms of snowflies...
See ya on the Blue Highway (if I can see around the mounds of snow piled on all the corners between here and The Hub) Rub yer washboard tie to the tune of There's No Business Like Snow Business, bet on the team that has gold as part of their team colors on Sunday, remember, every Super Bowl party goes better with CAKE and don't forget we love you. Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

Jeannie Webster RIP

From Bob Corritore

  • RIP Blues Sister Jeannie Webster - July 17, 1941 - January 28, 2011. The sad news of the passing of the woman affectionately known as "Blues Sister Jeanie" comes to us from harmonicist Dave Berntson. Blues Sister Jeanie was based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was a loving mother figure to all blues artists, fans, and festivals, who she consistently went out of her way to support. She could often be found at the blues fesivals such as the King Biscuit Blues Festival and the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, volunteering for the cause. Here is an excerpt from David Berntson's obit; Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she listened to r&b music, enjoying songs by the likes of Hank Ballard, Fats Domino, Bill Doggett, and other great American artists. As a teenager, she could be found at live R & B shows, showing off the latest dance steps.  Jeanie was a founding member of the Tulsa Blues Club, and later, the Blues Society of Tulsa, where she was a tireless volunteer in helping to promote blues events in Tulsa. She often came to shows with her sister Linda, and they soon had the nickname of the Blues Sisters. Jeanie’s husband, Arnold was always supportive as Jeanie’s love for blues spread from Tulsa across the country. Over the years, Jeanie traveled to and attended countless blues festivals, volunteering for blues societies throughout the country. She was gifted at staffing the poster signing table, making sure that every artist signed scores of posters.  It was a tough job corralling road-weary blues artists, but Jeanie managed it with great wit and charm. Jeanie and Arnold welcomed many blues artists to their home as they passed through Tulsa. She would offer a home-cooked meal and a place to stay, providing a short respite to traveling blues performers. Through her good friendships with many blues artists, Jeanie built a world-class collection of blues memorabilia. Much of it can now be found at the Delta Cultural Center on Cherry Street, in downtown Helena, Arkansas. Jeanie’s down-home blues style and her love for the music and its people made her one of the grand ambassadors of the Blues. She is survived by Arnold, her husband of 44 years, 5 children, and many grandchildren.

Bob Corritore Blues News

February 3, 2011
  • Off to Memphis for the IBCs! The International Blues Challenge is going on as we speak (it runs from February 1 to 5) with many bands from all over the world competing for a chance at great recognition in the blues community. It is a time when the blues community comes together to greet the up-and-coming artists that will be part of the future of this music. In addition to this event there are many side attractions such as the Keeping The Blues Alive awards presentations, Various showcases, a now famous jam after hours at the Rum Boogie hosted by Bob Margolin, and much networking. Blues societies, booking agents, labels, festivals, publications, photographers, and every possible blues industry type is in attendance, as well a multitude of fans who come to take part in this blues spectacle! For more information on this event click here.
  • Chico Chism, The Reed Family, and Sam Moore to be inducted into the Arizona Musician's and Entertainer's Hall of Fame on Feb 13th! The Arizona Musicians and Entertainers Hall of Fame is now in it's 10th year, and on Feb 13th, it will host an induction ceremony to take place at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. This year the inductees include three from the blues corner: Chico Chism, who was best known as Howlin' Wolf's last drummer, moved to Phoenix in 1986, and thrived as a blues performer and celebrity until his death in 2007, Sam Moore is best known as the Sam of Sam & Dave, the Stax and Atlantic Records soul sensation, and the Reed family which includes Francine, Margo, Michael, Bucko, Mellody, Laverne, and Girley have brought rich gospel, blues, soul and jazz vocal textures to the Phoenix area. Other non-blues inductees this year include Goose Creek Symphony, Dick Van Dyke, Tanya Tucker, JD's Nightclub, Billy Williams, Al McCoy, Dolan Ellis, and Marshall Trimble. During the presentation, Chico Chism will be honored with 2 of his songs being performed by Hans Olson and Bob Corritore. In honor of our close friend Chico Chism, we have constructed a new photo page which you can see by clicking here. Some other Chico Chism photo pages can be seen here, here, here,  here, and here. Chico Chism left his indelible mark on the Phoenix blues scene, and we will continue to honor his legacy. To see the poster for the AMEHOF event with show details, click here.
  • Lightnin' Hopkins on YouTube! Please enjoy this great version of the classic "Baby Please Don't Go" performed by Texas blues master Lightnin Hopkins. Click here, to see.

Taylor Hicks: Various Jamming With Taylor Hicks

After the first couple minutes of a video montage, the live video kicks in.  Watch the volume because it will jump up at ya during the switch if you are not paying attention!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

John Hammer Blues News

'Devil Got is Way'

'Know Your Driver'

'The Essential Popa Chubby'

Important Links

Struttin' The Dark Side on the Radio
It is sooo true; ya gotta know the dark to appreciate the light. February 6th on Hammered By The Blues  (every Sunday on KOWZ 1170AM at 10pm) we will walk the other side of the devils music as banshee guitars wail and demon rhythm sections howl. Hold on tight to your mojo lest it be seduced by Damon Fowler and a tempting taste off his latest project 'Devil Got His Way'. As we careen thru the dark, we hold your hand with some excellent advice from The John Stephan Band off their new CD 'Know Your Driver'. We wrap our romp on the raucous side today with a maelstrom of cliff hangin' hooks by Popa Chubby from his must have CD 'The Essential Popa Chubby'. It's OK; That's just salvation comin' up behind ya right now!
 When ya walk thru the dark don't be alone;
    Friends by yer side are better than cell phone;
We gots yer back while yer payin' life's dues;
Hangin' wit' you at Hammered By The Blues!
Fresh Stuff Ya Wanna Know
February Blue Monday
NOW On Line

Feb. 5 Fargo Winter Blues Fest
See Poster below


 'Proudly sharin' all things blue at Hammered By the Blues'
 Listen On Line Now: Click Here <-
Episode #248 featuring
: The Todd Wolfe Band, The Vincent Hayes Project, John-Alex Mason

Be sur
e to check out brand new blues on the Juke Box Page, vote for your favorite song and enter to win a 2010 Limited Edition Blue Monday Lapel Pin

'Hammered By The Blues' now on
 ROCKIN U RADIO on LIVE365 11pm to 1am Monday, Wednesday and Friday!
Give a listen - > CLICK HERE for LINK
Print Out The 'OPPORTUNITIES LIVE' section at Blue Monday OnLine offering somethin' to do in LIVE MUSIC in Minnesota, Iowa, St. Louis, Omaha, Lincoln, Clarksdale, and Memphis at:
Just click on the link above -or- type the name into your browser; right click on the Calendar page you want, save and print. Yes, it is just that easy!

John 'blueshammer' Hammer
Blue Monday Monthly Magazine
Hammered By The Blues Weekly Radio
KOWZ 1170am/ 100.9fm
510 West McKinley
Owatonna, MN 55060

Illinois Blues News

The FREE Internet Magazine - All news BLUES!
Can't see images? Click Here
January 27, 2011
© 2011 Blues Blast Magazine
Latest news, photos, reviews, links & MUCH MORE in this issue! Scroll or Page Down!

Website Links: Reviews    Links   Photos    Videos     Blues Radio     Blues Shows    Advertise for FREE!     Past Issues

Hey Blues Fans,
It is not often that we see a deceased Blues legend's website get an upgrade but we we just learned of a new website for legendary Bluesman Willie Dixon complete with a Myspace page, a Facebook page and a twitter account.
As one of the most famous song writers ever known to the Blues, many artists continue to perform and record his songs quite frequently even today. But few Blues legends get this much effort for their legacy. (Willie died in 1992.)
With a huge portfolio of songs like "Spoonful", "I Can't Quit You", "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Back Door Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You", "Little Red Rooster" and "Wang Dang Doodle", we suspect there is still a good revenue stream coming in to support efforts to promote his legacy.
You can check out the new website at
But Willie was not just a great songwriter, his bass playing was incredible. Check out our Blues Video of the week below to see what we mean. SCROLL DOWN!

Blues Wanderings
We made it out to see our good friends Matthew Curry and The Blues Fury at a show this week. Fifteen year old Matthew is headed down to the International Blues Challenge next week.
He has been featured in this magazine three times previously. If you are in Memphis for the Challenge next week, check him out to see why!  We have a whole page of great videos of him on our website from these past feature stories. Check them out, CLICK HERE.
Blues Blast Magazine will be in Memphis next week and we will bring you coverage of the Challenge finals in a upcoming issue. STAY TUNED!

In This Issue
We have five Blues music reviews this week! James "Skyy Dobro" Walker reviews a new CD release of a 1970 concert by the Doors.  Steve Jones reviews a new CD by Mark Rigg and the Big Rigg Band. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Milky Whites & the Bluesmen. Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony  reviews a new CD by Jim Byrnes. John Mitchell reviews a CD from Blues Cargo. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 5
The Doors - Live in Vancouver 1970 (Double CD)
Doors Music Company / Bright Midnight Records / Rhino Entertainment Company
13 Songs plus extras; 114:24 Minutes; Meritable
Styles: Rock, Blues-Rock, Psychedelia
This Baby Boomer relates how, as a teenager, I was listening to the Blues before I knew it was “The Blues.” I usually credit the British invasion bands for bringing Blues back across the ocean to this insulated white boy in Southern Illinois. But, as far as I knew, they were all playing “new” Rock-n-Roll songs. By reading the label notes of song writing credits, I discovered that many of my favorite “new songs” were actually covers of old Blues songs done originally by African-American artists! Writing this review has reminded me that The Doors, an American band, were also a part of that exposure.
The cool kids had the single 45 rpm of “Light My Fire,” but the hep cats had the January 1967 “Light My Fire” vinyl album with the seven minute version. More importantly, that first album contained Willie Dixon’s and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Back Door Man.” Later albums contained “Crawling King Snake” and Bluesy numbers like “Been Down So Long” and “Roadhouse Blues.”
Keyboardist Ray Manzarek and vocalist Jim Morrison were proud Blues fans, Mazarek having been raised on Chicago’s South Side, the home of Muddy Waters by the 1950s. It was a proud moment for The Doors when, on June 6, 1970, legendary Blues great Albert King opened a show for them in Vancouver, Canada. They even convinced King to join them for four Blues songs. Their entire concert, including stage noise during between songs tunings, is presented in this double CD package.
Unfortunately, the results are mixed. While the sonic quality is better than a bootleg version one might have, it still leaves much to be desired. While the instruments’ sounds faired well, the vocals did not come out as good, and Morrison’s loudest primal screams clipped and distorted. Of the four songs featuring Albert King, only one really found the musicians meshing (“Who Do You Love”), and we get no vocals at all from Albert. Also, Albert is incorrectly credited with playing slide guitar (the slide is Robby Krieger’s).
The killer, 7:30 minute version of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” starts with what sounds like tap dancing on John Densmore’s drums. Krieger adds rhythm on dampened strings, then Ray comes in on organ pulsing the Bo Diddley beat. By four minutes in, King unleashes some of his classic single note string work while Krieger slides and slithers behind him. I found it the best track on the CD. Respectfully, Morrison implores at the end, “Let’s have a hand for Albert King,” and then adds, “Man, that was fun!”
King also jams with The Doors on “Little Red Rooster,” “Money,” and “Rock Me,” but, apart from the historical significance, they suffer from too much Morrison, both King’s and Krieger’s guitars coming through the same channel, and incohesion from no prior rehearsing.
Disc Two contains two songs: a seventeen-minute version of “Light My Fire” and an eighteen-minute “The End.” The CD’s second best track is “Light My Fire” in all its foot tapping, head bobbing, tripping glory. Deftly giving the audiences then and now what they want, Manzarek just kills on the keys, and as the tempo drops, Krieger delivers his best solo, eventually playfully adding a passage from “My Favorite Things.” With the band vamping the “Light My Fire” rhythms, Morrison also drifts by singing the lyrics to “Fever,” “Summertime,” and “St. James Infirmary.” Finally, it fulfills with the “Light My Fire” lyrics.
This two-disc set is great for Morrison worshippers and the most fanatical of The Doors fans. Of the twenty-two tracks, ten are crowd noise, tuning sounds, and Morrison talking. Of value, there are also the interesting and historic jams with Albert King. Forty-one years later, these American originals are still stirring things up..
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 in Kankakee, IL. To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Blues Society News

 Send your Blues Society's BIG news or Press Release to:  
You can submit a maximum of 125 words or less in a Text or MS Word document format.

The “Memphis-Bound Getdown “ fundraiser will take place at the beautiful new Adelphia Music Hall at The Galley on 2nd Street in downtown Marietta and will feature the Tokyo Tramps from Boston, Mass, winners in the band category, and solo/duo category winners Bongo Joe & Little Steve-O from Akron, Ohio, in a special concert to benefit one of their favorite charities: themselves. .All proceeds from the “Memphis-Bound Getdown” will go to help pay for their trip to Memphis for The International Blues Challenge. For more information contact Steve Wells 304.295.4323 or visit
Colorado Blues Society - Boulder, CO
On Feb 13, 2011 please join CBS for an afternoon of Blues and Heart Awareness at Jazz at Jacks in the Denver Pavillions (500 16th Street Suite 320 Denver, Colorado 303-433-1000) . National recording Blues star, Deanna Bogart is headlining the event. Deanna, the 'Girl in the Band', is a multi talented award-winning pianist, writer, songstress and saxophone player, who has performed with the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise Revue in addition to fronting her own outstanding band. Joining Deanna on the marquee are three extremely talented Colorado Blues bands: Papa Juke, the Delta Sonics, and Eef & She Grooves.
In addition to a fabulous Blues lineup, the afternoon will present valuable information on cardiovascular disease and strokes. There will be an AHA informational booths and Heart Check America will provide free heart scans to emphasize the importance of heart health awareness and early detection. There will also be silent auctions and raffles with some pretty amazing prizes.
The funds raised will be presented to AHA and will go towards public health education, early detection, research and community service. Tickets are $20.
The Central Iowa Blues Society – Des Moines, IA
The Central Iowa Blues Society presents the Winter BluesFest Saturday, January 29 at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott, 700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA. Things heat up in downtown Des Moines with 10 bands on 6 different stages. This multi-band event will culminate with an After Hours Jam in the Des Moines Ballroom in the Downtown Marriott. Advance tickets are available for just $12 at, or $15 day of the show.
Things will kick off with a pre-fest party in the Lobby with Bad Luck City at 5:00 and then music will fill the hotel at 7:00 with: The Most Handsome Duo in the World, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Bob Pace Band feat/ Steve E. George, Curtis Marlatt & The Kicks, Mary Bridget Davies Band, The Steady Rollin’ Blues Band, Alvin Jett & The Phat Noiz, And Scott Holt Band. Trouble No More will kick off the After Hours Jam at 12:30 a.m. The Jam will last well into the wee hours.
The Downtown Marriott is offering special Blues Fest rates for the night. You can make room reservations by calling 1-800-514-4681, 515-245-5500 or online at Be sure to mention that you are going to be there for the BluesFest to receive your special rate. Rooms sold out last year, so call now! Age 18 and older unless accompanied by parent. Sponsored by CIBS, Budweiser, KGGO/98.3WOW, Cityview, Dahl's Foods, Downtown Marriott.
The Grafton Blues Association & the Cedarburg Cultural Center will present Tinsley Ellis on Thursday March 24 at the Cedarburg Cultural Center. Doors open at 6pm show starts at 7pm. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Tickets are $14 in advance for GBA and CCC members, $15 in advance for non-members and $17 at the door for everyone. For more info visit -
The MVBS entry into the 2010 Iowa Blues Challenge came away with a win last May. And now the Quad-Cities’ own Steady Rollin’ Blues Band is heading to Memphis Feb. 2 to represent the state of Iowa in the International Blues Challenge.
Memphis is an expensive city, so to help defray costs, the band is hosting a show at Rascals—1414 15th St. Moline IL—on Friday January 28, from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Admission is only $3.00, and there will be raffles, with all proceeds going to the Steady Rollin’ Blues Band. Come on out on January 28 and wish them well!
Also The Mississippi Valley Blues Society will celebrate Black History Month by bringing Chicago blues guitarist, singer, educator, and actor Doktu Rhute Muuzic to the Quad-Cities February 7-11 for the third of four residencies of the 2010/2011 Blues in the Schools Artists in Residence series. Doktu Rhute will conduct workshops at ten area schools and three free, open-to-the-public performances. He will present a program of music and song that incorporates blues history with the world today. The free, open-to-the-public performances are: Tuesday Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.—Borders in Davenport, Wednesday Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. —Mojo’s in the River Music Experience, 2nd and Main in Davenport and Thursday Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.—Bettendorf Public Library.
The Great Northern Blues Society in Wausau, WI will be hosting their annual fundraising event “Blues Café’”, on Saturday 3/26/11 at the Rothschild Pavilion. (Near Wausau, WI)
Performing will be Jumpship Blues Band, 12 Year Old Tallan Noble Latz, Red White & Blues Band, Young British Blues Diva Joanne Shaw Taylor, and Atlanta Based Blues Guitar Flamethrower Tinsley Ellis. The Fun Starts at 1:00PM. $13 in advance, $18 at the door. Bulk ticket rates also available. For more info see
Blues Blowtorch Society - Bloomington, IL
The Blues Blowtorch society present Blues Blast Music Award winners Mississippi Heat for their monthly 1st Friday Blues event at The Castle Theatre at 209 East Washington Street in Bloomington, Illinois on February 4th, 2011. The show starts at 7:00pm. Admission is $10 for the general public and only $6 for BBS members. BBS members MUST present their membership card to receive the discount.
For more information call 309-820-0352 or visit
West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, WV
The West Virginia Blues Society presents the Charlie West Blues Fest May 20 & 21, 2011 in Haddad Riverfront Park, Charleston, WV Here is the lineup: Friday May 20 - Sit Down Baby, Izzy & Chris, Mojo Theory, Lil Bryan & The Travelers, Davina & the Vagabonds and Joe Louis Walker. Sat. May 21- IBC Band Winner, Slim Fatz, Trampled Under Foot, Sean Carney, Kristine Jackson, Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King and Ana Popovich.  The Charlie West Blues Fest is produced by the West Virginia Blues Society, Inc. and
The Windy City Blues Society presents a fundraiser featuring the 2011 WCBS Chicago Blues Challenge winners. These fundraisers will be held to help defray costs for these artists trip to compete at the IBC in Memphis this February.
January 28, 2011 - Rob Blaine’s Big Otis Blues, winners of the WCBS Chicago Blues Challenge Band Division perform at 9:30pm at B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL
For more information about the WCBS  please visit  or the WCBS Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter Sites
The River City Blues Society presents Blues shows during the winter 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: February 9th - Gina Sicilia
Cincy Blues Society - Cincinnati, OH
The Cincy Blues Society celebrates its hottest Winter Blues Fest line up yet! On January 28 and 29, 2011 The Southgate House in Newport, KY, will be rocking with 25 of the best local blues bands.
At 6:00 pm on each evening, the Fest will be kicked off with special performances by Cincy Blues Society's Blues in the Schools (BITS) Band. The full line up includes: B. Hatfield Band, Bad Men on a Mission, Balderdash, The Blue Birds, The Blues Merchants, Blues Therapy Rx, Chuck Brisbin & the Tuna Project, The Electric Souls, G. Miles & The Hitmen, The Gear Shifts, John Redell & Company, The Juice, Kayneevol, Leo Clarke Band, Miss Lissa & Company, The Mudpies, Ralph & the Rhythm Hounds, Richie & The Students, Sonny's All Blues Band, Tempted Souls Band, Them Bones, Thomas Long & Blue Sacrifice, and Voodoo Puppet. This line-up may be subject to change.
Advance tickets will be available for purchase on January 1 online -- a link to the new ticket vendor will be on the website -- for $15 (plus a $2.75 service fee per ticket) On each day of the show, tickets will be $20 at the door. A full list of performers and scheduled times is available on Cincy Blues Fest's website:
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society will host the 19th Annual River City Ohio Blues Competition on February 18 & 19, 2011, at the historic Lafayette Hotel in Marietta. Blues Bands and Solo/Duo blues acts will compete for cash prizes and BJFMS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, TN, in early 2012.
For more information contact Steve Wells at 304-295-4323 or email or visit
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. Jan 31 - Sugar Prophets, Feb 7 - Eddie Snow Tribute w/ Bill Evans, Feb 14 - Dave Lumsden Blues Band, Feb 21 - Kilborn Alley, Feb 28 - Bruce Katz. 

 Featured Blues Video
Our Blues videos this week is one of Blues legend Willie Dixon.
Click picture for video on our website  Willie Dixon - Bassology
This is a video of Willie Dixon playing a duet. It clearly demonstrates that Dixon was not only a legendary songwriter, but a virtuoso acoustic bass player too!

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 5
Mark Rigg and the Big Rigg Band - Mark Rigg and the Big Rigg Band
Bluestone Records
6 tracks
Mark Rigg’s been paying his blues dues for over 20 years in Detroit, New Orleans and now New York. His gritty vocals and fuzzed out guitar have supported many greats over the years, ranging from Bob Dylan and Johnny Winter to Frank Sinatra and Peter Tosh. He released his first CD in 1995 while still in Detroit; he moved to New Orleans and worked with Johnny Adams, Jean King and Earl Knight, and now calls the New York area home where he plays with various individuals and band including Albert Bouchard from Blue Oyster Cult.
The CD starts with Rigg hearkening back to his Motown roots in “Three Strikes”. It swings with the help of piano support by Mark Dunayerand a big brass and horn section. “Slip Away” is a bright and bouncy song where the whole entourage drives the song well, but I liked Rigg’s guitar solo best on this one. “Warpaint Baby” may be more New Orleans-sounding than anything else; a big drum sound and stinging guitar are the highlights here. On “I’m Gone” we get more of a Chicago sound. Jon Paris’ harp is strong here and Rigg continues to show his prowess as he trades licks with Paris. In “I’m Going Home” the cast changes out completely to 6 new musicians. Again with more of a New Orleans approach, this one weaves and bobs with Rigg and a nice solo by Dunayer on organ. “Who Do You Love Tonight” is old school blues, with vocals that reek of cheap bourbon and a haunting reverb sound from the guitar.
Riggs wrote 5 of the 6 songs. They are all solid enough and delivered with nice musicianship. Two minor complaints would be the over use of effects on the vocals and having only six songs to sample. On the latter a six song sampler is OK, but folks want to hear more. Throw in some of the many covers that must be in the repertoire from the past two decades and let us see what else tyou can do with others’ stuff. On the former, there seems to be a bit too much monkeying with the vocals on a couple of the tracks to make them sound more hollow and bluesy. I think Riggs voice carried the tunes well and would be better served with less effects. But those are minor beefs. Riggs and his plentiful crew offer up some solid music and it would be a great night listening to these guys in a small club over a few cold ones!
Reviewer  Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 5
Milky Whites & the Bluesmen - One Direction
Andrew McIntosh/Riff Productions
9 tracks/44:18
It stands to reason that a country the size of Canada would have plenty of blues musicians. In recent years listeners have grown to appreciate the abilities of northern neighbors like Colin Linden, Paul Reddick, Steve Dawson as well as bands like the Twisters and Monkey Junk. Now Andrew McIntosh - a.k.a Milky Whites – is making a bid for some attention of his own.
Whites is a life-long musician born in Toronto and still based in Ontario province. He has played and toured with a variety bands in a wide-range of styles. For his first release, Whites decided to focus on a batch of original “progressive blues” tunes. He is the lead singer, handles all of the guitar and bass guitar parts plus served as the producer and engineer for the project. The band includes Mark Rockworthy on drums & percussion, Steve Koven on keyboards, Brent Rowan on saxophone and Court McIntosh provides vocal support.
There is plenty of dark despair in the world that Whites inhabits. His view is summed up succinctly on “Feelin’ Like a ‘Shroom”, a slow blues that finds Whites hoping for better days but admitting to “…gettin’ shit on all the time.” The piercing runs from Whites guitar punctuate the urgency in the vocal. Koven turns in a fine solo on his electronic keyboard. “It’s Too Soon for Ya Momma” is a brooding examination of the emotions surrounding the death of Whites’ mother.
Whites describes the torment of a fading love affair on “Can’t Get By”. The builds steadily to a musical maelstrom, then settles into a lighter feel with Rowan’s sax and Koven’s piano providing a nice contrast to Whites harsh guitar tone. “Don’t Take My Baby” finds Whites pleading with his lost lover for the right to see their child. His impassioned, raspy vocal is the work of someone who has dealt with that reality.
The mood loosens up considerably on “The High-Na-Kin Maneuver”, which celebrates bars, alcohol and good times. “Milky Whites” is rock rave-up that presents women as sex objects. The opening cut. “Don’t call Yourself a Friend” is an energetic rocker that features some wicked slide guitar licks from Whites. The instrumental title track closes things out with Rowan distinguishing himself on sax .
This is a solid effort from Whites and his friends. Occasionally the lyrical content gets a bit too simplistic for my tastes but McIntosh the songwriter isn’t afraid to venture into the darker corners of human relationships. Time will tell if his view of the world resonates with the listening public.
Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL
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 Featured Blues Review 4 of 5
Jim Byrnes - Everywhere West
How does a Canadian icon originally from St. Louis with a honey-honed gravel voice that records seamless, perfectly produced blues-roots music goes virtually unnoticed in the states? Beats the ever-loving wotever outta me, but the evidence of his greatness lies in his latest release were every note and word makes sense. His voice drips Memphis. This quintessential blue-eyed soul brother bespeaks years of living the blues life. That warm, well-traveled voice complimented by interwoven guitars, dobros, fiddle, trumpet, harmonica, organ, piano and horn section just flies by too fast and you find yourself playing this record over and over. Guitarist-producer Steve Dawson is a wiz on all manner of stringed instruments, be it masterful slithering slide, country-tinged licks or back porch national steel guitar. Jim’s and Dawson’s original songs sit well amongst his clever reworkings of blues standards.
A Byrnes rough and tumble original “Hot As A Pistol” tells the tale of a heart-breaking woman as a punchy horn section supports wicked slide and organ solos. “Bootlegger’s Blues” overflows with blues-meets-hoedown goodness by the way of dobro, fiddle, banjo and mandolin interaction. Steve Dawson’s thick, wicked electric slide floats to the heavens in a gutsy workout of Lowell Fulsom’s “Black Nights”. Dawson contributes a tune that visits John-Hiatt singer-songwriter territory while adding his lilting pedal steel touches. It’s one of those perseverance tunes that won’t leave your head or feet. The producer shows his range with country guitar runs alongside trumpet and fiddle on the pickin’ and grinnin’ romp of “No Mail Blues’.
The Byrnes- Tim Hearsey “Storm Warning” speaks of “trouble in paradise” via clichés, blues and otherwise that don’t come off as trite. Robert Johnson’s “Four Until Late” fares well from a New Orleans brass band treatment. All the standards here are given fresh overalls that enhance rather than take anything from the originals. Byrnes’ vocal delivery fits everywhere as if it was always there. Jeanne Tolmie supplies spot-on counterpoint vocals on a sweet, mournful and warm rendition of “He Was A Friend Of Mine”. Daniel Lapp’s trumpet takes the jug on the jug band tune “You Can’t Get That Stuff No More”. Kansas City circa 1938 is invoked in “Me And Piney Brown” with requisite barrelhouse piano touches courtesy of Mike Kalanj.
This is a satisfying release that calls out for wider distribution and attention. Music doesn’t get any better than this. If this “cream doesn’t rise to the top” it is certainly an injustice to blues and music in general. The singer describes it best in his press flyer-“Deep down, blues is an acceptance of life. You stand in front of life and life says, ‘that’s the way it is baby’. To play the blues, you take all the bullshit that’s been piling up and you channel it through your guitar and voice. You let the pain go and turn it into a good feeling. That’s the blues-pure and simple.”
Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at
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 Featured Blues Review 5 of 5
Blues Cargo – Delayed Delivery
Pan-Vox 2009
14 tracks, 65.51 minutes.
In the latest edition of Blues Revue Bob Margolin writes of the great pleasure he has had from playing with blues musicians from countries where there may be no tradition of blues music but the musicians are skilled and love the blues. Bob could have been writing about Blues Cargo who hail from Greece and have accompanied a long list of visiting US players touring Greece, including Lurrie Bell, Eddie C Campbell, Guitar Shorty and Byther Smith.
Blues Cargo is a four piece band based in Athens. Vocals are handled by bass player Dimitris “Handyman” Ioannou, lead guitar is Stelios Zafeiriou, drums are shared between Stelios Gabrielides and Petros Daktilides and sax is Babis “Saxy Bee” Tsilivigos. Keyboards are added on most tracks by Orestes Vavitsas or George Lagogiannis. The album’s title is a reference to the band’s first album, released in 1994 and entitled First Delivery.
The CD features 10 originals and four covers. The album opens with Chris Cain’s “Drinking Straight Tequila” which was fine with me as I am a big fan of Chris and am surprised that he is not covered more often as his songs often contain interesting lyrics alongside catchy tunes, as is the case here. The other covers are Memphis Slim’s “Everyday I Have The Blues” which has the merit of being much more upbeat than is usually the case with this often covered tune and two less well known tunes. The first is an excellent version of a song by little known writer Buzz Clifford entitled “Ain’t That I Don’t Love You” which has a first class guitar solo and horn arrangement. The second is “I Got The Blues”, a tune by Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli which at 6.17 is the longest cut on the CD and again features some tasty guitar playing and an excellent sax solo.
The self composed material is written by Stelios (4 songs) and Dimitris (6) and covers a good range of blues styles. I liked “95%”, a song about dating tall women and “Handy Man”, a funkier tune in Albert King mode which extols the DIY skills of the singer (or does he mean something else??). “Emptiness” is more of a ballad with a hint of reggae in the rhythm. “Garbage Bin” is up tempo and moves along well, “Six Hundred Miles” is a rolling blues with nice organ/piano underpinning the rhythm and “I Don’t Care” is a funky ending to the CD.
Overall there is a lot to enjoy in this CD. The sound is excellent and the band has clearly paid a lot of attention to the quality of the recording and mastering of the CD. It is varied and the covers are well selected to add balance to the originals. Vocals are good, with just a trace of accent, but that is not intrusive. I do not know how easy it is to purchase the CD but enquiries could be made to the band’s website. The CD certainly demonstrates that there is some good blues music being produced in Greece (we should not forget that Joe Bonamassa recorded his last CD there) and these guys are clearly in the vanguard of that, both on their own and backing visiting acts.
Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He recently attended the Blues Blast Awards in Chicago and had a great time! He was just back in the USA for the January 2011 Blues Cruise!
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We Need Your Help!
Many readers know who Blues Blast Music Award nominee Sean Costello is and the impact that he and his music have had. Sean and  2 millions other Americans suffer from bipolar disorder disease. The link between bipolar disorder and creative genius is certainly evident, but little progress has been made in understanding this link. In the wake of Sean's passing, his parents, close friends, and supporters formed the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research in hopes of furthering the work currently being done as well as providing support, guidance, and information to those currently suffering from this illness.
The Fund is currently undertaking a project, aptly titled "The Mojo Project," which seeks to implement an interactive website and sleep monitoring tool. It will both allow musicians suffering from Bipolar Disorder to monitor their sleep with accessible treatment and intervention should problems arise while providing a means by which the link between BPD and sleeplessness can be further studied.
The The Mojo Project is in the running for $50,000 in funding from Pepsi. Of nearly 1200 ideas, Pepsi awards the $50k to only the top ten projects. The Mojo Project is currently 43rd. Rank is determined by votes and ANYONE can vote for FREE, but only until the end of January. We need your votes, once a day, every day until January 31st. You can vote using your email address, Facebook account, and you can text your vote using your cell phone. It doesn't cost you anything and takes less than a minute. And you can do all three in one day - they count as 3 votes.
This is where you vote using your email (it has a comprehensive description of the Mojo Project):
To text using your cell phone:   Text "103310" to to 73774
Blues Blast Magazine is asking all its readers to help with this effort. Thanks for your help! Please vote today and everyday till January 31st.

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