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February 20, 2008
© 2007 - 2008 IllinoisBlues.com
News, photos, reviews, live Blues links & MUCH MORE in this issue! - Scroll or Page Down!
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Hey Blues Fans,
Our friends at Simply The Blues Festival have completed their line-up. The festival is May 9th & 10th in Fort Madison, IA
Saturday May 10th,
(Line-up theme -
International Blues Challenge competitors )
To see the complete details, CLICK HERE. Start planning your summer Blues fest season NOW!
Festival announcements are heating up and IllinoisBlues.com will bring you more line-ups as they are released. The Chicago Blues Festival typically announces their festival line up at the end of February. The 25th Annual Chicago Blues Festival runs Thursday June 5th through Sunday June 8th in Grant Park. Admission is FREE!
For this 25th year celebration, Chicago will have even MORE BLUES with continuous music and extended hours of 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. There will be MANY of the best Blues artists from around the world performing all day at this fest.
IllinoisBlues.com will feature a complete schedule as soon as it is released. Below is a "sneak" peek at a few of the artists scheduled to perform:
A Unique Blues Event You Don't Want To Miss!
If you are anywhere within driving distance of Decatur, IL mark your calendars for Thursday, February 28th, 2008! (YES this show would be worth flyin' in for too if you are in the right tax bracket!) 92 year old Blues legend David "Honeyboy" Edwards is going to perform with one of the youngest 2008 Blues Music Award nominees, the Kilborn Alley Blues Band.
The show begins at 8:00pm at Block's Brewery in Decatur. Honeyboy will do a set with his harmonica player Michael Frank first and then do a second set with Kilborn Alley Blues Band! This GREAT show is only $20. This small intimate venue will likely sell out! DON'T MISS THIS ONE! For details & tickets CLICK HERE
EDITORS NOTE: 2008 IBC Solo/Duo pics - We were notified that our photo page for the solo/duo finals was corrupted/missing. We have fixed this so if you did not get a chance to see the pictures, CLICK HERE
Festivals seeking Blues performers!
Streaming Blues Link of the Week
Smokestack Lightnin' is a syndicated Blues radio program that broadcasts weekly on WUCF FM 89.9MHz in Orlando, Florida and on the worldwide web. The program is comprised of new and reissued Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Funk , Blues/Rock, Gospel and Zydeco/Blues music in the ratio of approximately 80% new and 20% reissued.
Smokestack Lightnin' is live only on Saturday night's from 8PM to 11PM Eastern Time (U.S.A.), but you can listen to the current weeks show anytime if you CLICK HERE GREAT STUFF!
They also have an archive of some of their previous shows. Click Here to to go to their Blues show archives.
Check out other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE
Other IMPORTANT News Help Save the music! CLICK HERE to Keep Blues Radio Alive!
To hear some song samples or purchase this CD now - CLICK HERE
Blues Link of the Week
BluesWax is a weekly Blues newsletter from the same folks who publish the fine print magazine Blues Revue. The newsletter is free and has articles, news and reviews. You go to their site first and create an account. This is painless and you will start getting the newsletter free the next week!
First class Blues journalism. Check them out! CLICK HERE
For more Blues links, CLICK HERE to visit the IllinoisBlues.com Links Page
MARCH 19 to MARCH 23rd
THE 6th ANNUAL ST. JOHN BLUES FESTIVAL
Coral Bay Ball Field – Coral Bay
Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band
Sean Carney & The Sean Carney Band
For further information contact Steve Simon at 340-693-8120
firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.stjohnbluesfestival.com
6 live Blues shows over 5 days beginning on March 19th and running through March 23rd.
Featured Blues Reviews
“I play what I love, and I love what I play,” says Little Arthur Duncan right at the beginning of the bonus Commentary-option of the DVD. “I appreciate you listening to my DVD. Thank you, and I hope this [DVD or CD] winds up in your home and not on my dresser!”
This Delmark Records CD/DVD project is all about authentic, old school Chicago Blues. The lead practitioner, fronting a band of relative youngsters, is harmonica playing, blues shouting Little Arthur Duncan, one of the last of the second wave of Mississippi-to-Chicago bluesmen. This DVD is the latest in Delmark’s effort to honor the remaining few Chicago greats while they are still on top of their game.
Born in Indianola, Mississippi 73 years ago (1934), Duncan relocated to the Windy City's West Side during the 1950s, often playing with guitar great Earl Hooker (Duncan: “Earl Hooker was the baddest of’em all. He was as bad as that gasoline my baby brought me when I asked her for water.”)
Being in the second generation behind Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Elmore James, Arthur played using a unique harmonica custom of playing the bass notes on the right. Duncan owned a couple of clubs himself, and for decades Arthur remained little-known outside of the Chicago scene, primarily appearing at his own Back Scratcher Social Club.
After Duncan moved to Chicago and met Little Walter, he took up the harmonica seriously (DVD: “[As a child], I wanted a saxophone, but I didn’t pick enough cotton to get one. I picked up playing harmonica by playing a hair comb with a paper over it.”)
For a while during the 1950's, Arthur shared a house with Little Walter and Jimmy Reed. (DVD: “Little Walter got me to go to the car wash with him. At that time Leonard Chess [Chess Records] had bought him a brand new white Cadillac. So he say he goin’ to the car wash, but I think I got back home two days later. Yes, he was a go-getter [hard partier].”)
Arthur sang and played in blues clubs all over Chicago. Most of the time he had his own band, but often he would work with artists such as Hip Linkchain, John Brim, and Floyd and Moody Jones. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Arthur worked construction jobs during the week, and played blues on the weekends. By the 1980s he was working regularly at some of Chicago's premier blues clubs. In 1989 he recorded an album called Bad Reputation for Blues King Records. In 1999, Delmark Records studio recorded Singin' With The Sun, a solid set of Chicago Blues. It was nominated for a W.C. Handy (Blues Music) Award.
Today, Little Arthur's style follows the greats like Jimmy Reed and Slim Harpo, and he sounds on this DVD as if you were in a bar on West Madison Street in 1959. As you will see, Little Arthur Duncan and his band The Backscratchers’ blues are infectious and joyous. Age causes Arthur to be seated on all but three numbers, but as he sings, there’s pure emotion escaping his soul and penetrating his audience. Guitarists are a stoic Illinois Slim and Rick Kreher, bassist is Michael Azzi, Twist Turner flicks the sticks, and Little Al Thomas performs a guest vocal on “I Got To Find My Baby.”
DVD highlights are two bonus songs not included on the CD (“Mean Old Frisco Blues” and “Scratch My Back”) and the Special Featured Little Arthur Commentary in which he tells his story, anecdotes, and recipes in his own words. Song highlights include four originals among the many well done covers like Jimmy Reed’s “Pretty Thing,” Little Walter’s “Blues With A Feeling,” and Howlin’ Wolf’s ”Little Red Rooster.”
Little Arthur Duncan is an artist you will want to see perform live while you can, short of that, this DVD is the next best thing!
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
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Hundt - Since Way Back
Gerry “The Utility Man” Hundt first sprang on the scene back in his college days, recording a little known record with college buddy John-Alex Mason aptly titled Mason & Hundt and from there got snatched up by Nick Moss after Moss heard him play harmonica for Easy Bill in Chicago. Hundt’s been a staple of Moss’ Flip Tops ever since as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and road-savvy new blood on the south side of Chicago.
Hundt’s knowledge of the music and it’s origins are played out well, as he serves up a wholesome slice of the gritty, harsh realities of the Windy City brought up Johnny Young/Yank Rancell style with his mandolin-induced musings of the Southside motifs of drinking, loving, hurting, and being a player in the home of the electric blues.
Hundt growls a la Paul Butterfield in a confident swagger that “It’s put up or shut up if you wanna play here in Chicago” on track 12 of the disc and rightly puts his money where his mouth is through the bumps, stomps, and slow burners that have become the penchant of Nick Moss’ Blue Bella label.
Hundt’s BMA-nominated performance is aided by a crack band of the Blue Bella stable with Moss on bass, Willie Oshawny on keys, Bill Lupkin on harp, and Josh Stimmel of Kilborn Alley on guitar, and Bob Carter on drums. Calling this an all-star jam would be drastically underestimating Hundt’s ability to lead us through the down-home slice of authenticity at its finest. The songs are tightly arranged but everyone is still given room to unleash their fire. Lupkin, at times, hearkens to James Cotton’s recordings with Johnny Young, rolling us over with his thick tone and burning to shine. Stimmel, the youngest in the group, is not frightened by the world around him and flawlessly switches between rhythm and lead before you know what hits you, and along with the searing, sharp sword of Hundt’s mandolin solos leaves you re-listening again to confirm what you had previously heard.
Hundt does well to steer clear from imitation of the masters before but doesn’t forget them either. He gives us something new and different than the regular fare but serves it to us in something that sounds like déjà vu. You know you’ve heard it, you just can’t figure out where but you don’t care to go looking for it because Hundt’s given it to you now. Well, if you can makes sense of that last sentence than you’ll surely be able to convince yourself of going out and nabbing this record, and it will be a perfect compliment to any of the rest of the Blue Bella catalog.
Hundt’s disc is available at all major record outlets. You can find out more about Gerry and Co. by visiting Blue Bella Records on the web or at www.myspace.com/gerryhundt
Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Chicago Blues Update
Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy
Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)
The Pat Smillie Band’s Rhythm & Blues Revue at Harlem Avenue Lounge
Pat Smillie has gigs all over the city, but my personal favorite venue to see his act is The Harlem Avenue Lounge. Harlem Avenue has a stage that can handle The Pat Smillie Band’s Rhythm & Blues Revue, which frequently sports seven or eight members. This show is a vocal driven show featuring Pat’s gritty vocals and the sound system and acoustics at Harlem Avenue do it justice. Each high energy set usually starts with the drummer Sambo (Art Irby) taking the first song or two. Sambo is a talented one-man show with a dynamic on stage presence and great vocals to compliment his drumming. He also does a great vocal imitation of a harp, which has people craning their necks to see where the harp player is. This show manages to bring out some of my old favorites that don’t get much play around these parts: J.J. Cale’s
‘They Call Me the Breeze” and Chuck Berry’s “Back to Memphis” are good examples.
Smillie plucks songs from his own CDs such as the bluesy “Finally Over You” and Neil Young’s “Down by the River”.
On keys was Brother Al Woodley who has braved many medical setbacks to find his way back to the stage. He hasn’t lost a lick. Big John Meredith appropriately has a big left-handed six string bass. Uncle Al Wittig is Pat’s regular guitar player. Al switches between his six string Les Paul and his lap steel through out the show. Also on guitar was Mark “The Shark” Wydra. Mark is one of those well-traveled pros that has become a walking dictionary of songs and licks. What R&B Band wouldn’t have a female backup singer? Not this one. Jackie Patton did a respectable call and response as well as nicely placed harmonies. Remember, you get your money’s worth with this band (revue). Ramblin’ Rose Kelly spiced things up with her take on “Dirty Ol’ Woman” and very sweet “Give Me One Reason”.
Pat can’t do a show without a bow to one of his major influences, Mitch Ryder. C.C. Ryder was the pick tonight. I just have to tell you that Pat Smillie give’s it up for his audience, many who have turned into a staunch fan base. I am one of them.
To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE
MALKUM GIBSON and THE MIGHTY JUKE
Our CD's - "HooDoo Blues" & "Its Gonna Be Alright
Top 100 CD's list for the last 9 months in Real Blues Magazine
Booking by -
Oh Whata' Records
Advertise with IllinoisBlues.com
Get the Blues word OUT!
With the new year, Blues festival promoters and Blues societies begin work planning a great 2008 Blues season for all. Festival committees are hard at work booking Blues performers, planning their advertising budgets and getting ready to put on the next great Blues show.
For those of you doing the planning for these great Blues events, remember that the Blues Blast & IllinoisBlues.com's website are great ways to promote ANY Blues event or product. In fact we believe we just might have THE best Blues advertising vehicle anywhere to promote YOUR event!
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Blues Society News
Max of 125 words, Text or Word file preferred.
River City Blues Society - Peoria, IL
The Grafton Blues Association - Grafton, WI
The Grafton Blues Association will host
it’s annual Blues in the Schools and Scholarship fundraiser with the Legends of
The Columbus Blues Alliance - Columbus Ohio
The 13th Annual Traditional Acoustic Blues Festival, Saturday February 23, 2008 featuring Honeyboy Edwards, Moreland & Arbuckle, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Cliff Starbuck & Colin John, Sonny Moorman, and more Live acoustic music from 3pm – Midnight Go to our website for all the information! www.ColumbusTradFest.com
Illinois Central Blues Club
Call For Volunteers for March 8 - Illinois Central Blues Club 22nd Birthday will be celebrated March 8 at Capital City Bar and Grill's "City Nights" in Springfield, IL beginning at 7:30. Volunteers are needed to work the door from 7-11. Shifts will be 1 1/2 hours, and there will be 2 people on each shift. Headliner for the show is "Mississippi Heat" from Chicago' Please call Volunteer Coordinator Maria Ferraro at 452-0171 (home) or 622-5015 (cell), or replay email Maria Ferraro at email@example.com or Judy Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Presented by the Illinois Central Blues Club at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - Feb 25 - The Todd Wolfe Blues Project - guitarist for Sheryl Crow 1993-1998.
Blues Want Ads
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Blues Drummer Seeks Band
Former Walter Trout Drummer-----Joey Pafumi formerly with Walter Trout for 6 years 2002-2007--looking for full time touring band. Contact Joey at email@example.com or 818-749-8856--
Serious, Seasoned Blues Musicians (Guitar, Bass, Drums) needed for Blues Band. Local, regional and some national work. Based out of Central Illinois Call Steve 309-662-0996
Festivals seeking Blues performers!
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Live Blues Calendar
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