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February 6, 2008
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News, photos, reviews, live Blues links & MUCH MORE in this issue! - Scroll or Page Down!
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2008 International Blues Challenge
Hey Blues Fans,
It's good to be home safe and sound after last Thursday. The 475 mile drive to Memphis in one of the worst snow and ice storms of the season was quite dramatic at times. We're talking real real white knuckle driving at a slippery 25 mph through rain, sleet, slush, ice and snow.
It was obvious that Momma Nature really had the Blues last week as the trip back was even more intense. Many cars plowed into ditches as the weather put on a repeat show but added simultaneous heavy snow and marble sized hail with lightning flashing everywhere. WOW!
But the impressive show at the 2008 International Blues Challenge (IBC) made the drive to Tennessee more than worth it.
Trampled Under Foot, an entry from the Kansas City Blues Society was the winning band. Their remarkable set in the finals earned the band first place and also earned the bands guitarist, Nick Schnebelen, the 2008 Albert King Award as the Best guitarist at the IBC.
Want to see why they won? CLICK HERE to see a video from their club performance in the semifinals.
All ten of the finalists were incredible. Second place went to Shakura S'Aida who was representing the Toronto Blues Society and third place went to Lil' Ray Neal representing the Baton Rouge Blues Society.
The solo/duo finals were also a GREAT show. The winner was a violin player from the Colorado Blues Society named Lionel Young. Yup, we are talking KILLER Blues from a fiddle! Second place went to Ben Prestage from the Blues Alliance of the Treasure Coast. We have complete pictures of all the finalists as well as many of the contestants in semifinals.
2008 IBC pictures - CLICK HERE
We wanted also to congratulate Robert Sampson from the Illinois Central Blues Club for his fine showing at the IBC! He was the only Blues piano player who made it to the solo/duo finals. Fantastic job Robert!
We encourage everyone with a passion for the Blues to support these folks. Click the links above and find out about these performers and their sponsoring Blues Societies. These folks are really "Keepin' The Blues Alive". They are the future of the Blues!
Blues Link of the Week
We think our Blues music reviewers are a great way to find out about new releases by Blues artists. James “Skyy Dobro” Walker, Ben Cox, Rob Paullin, Dale Clark, Bill Porter and Karen McFarland are remarkable for their great reviews! But there is a lot of Blues music being created and one publication can not possibly get to all of the great stuff out there no matter how had we try.
Blues Critic also looks to be a great site for Blues reviews. They have quite a few Blues reviews but much more than we have found anywhere on Soul Blues. A look at their review archive shows little duplication of our CD reviews so check them out in your search for some great Blues.
For more Blues links CLICK HERE to visit the IllinoisBlues.com Links Page
An Exciting NEW CD from
Bookings and Contacts
Streaming Blues Link of the Week
Don't think we have have gone Big Internet commercial by telling you we found this AOL site. We just found another Blues stream and as far as we can tell it is FREE! We like that combination so we thought you might too!
AOL looks to be expanding into the internet music market and this site offers you a look one of their Blues "Channels". Once you go there you can choose from just about ANY style of music you can think of including a Jazz/Blues style category where we found this All Blues channel. There were Acoustic Blues, Electric Blues channels and more there along with many jazz and swing style channels under the Jazz/Blues category.
Don't be surprised when hear an advertisement after a few songs as this is a commercial venture. The ads we heard were mercifully brief (30 seconds). CLICK HERE to go right to their All Blues channel.
Check out other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE
Other IMPORTANT News Help Save the music! CLICK HERE to Keep Blues Radio Alive!
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
By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker
17 songs; 68:34 minutes; Library Quality
Thankfully, I finally get to review an actual Blues album. So many of the “Blues” CDs that we get are not really Blues albums. Instead, they are Rock albums marketed towards an aging population of white middle-class Baby Boomers who miss the sounds of the Sixties, but can't find anything in the wasteland of commercial radio that bears resemblance in tone, texture, soul, or feel.
As expected with a name like “Deak Harp,” you get a blues album featuring lead harmonica with 17 studio-recorded songs that cover three main areas. First, some songs could easily be used for harmonica instruction. Secondly, harp fans will thoroughly enjoy Deak’s inspired playing. Finally, there are some great Chicago Blues numbers when joined by the band: Tom Holland – guitar, Eddie Clark – drums, and T Bone Tom on Bass.
From Central Illinois, Deak started playing harmonica at age 12. He listened to British blues until he learned about a harp master named James Cotton. Possessing all the Cotton material he could find, Deak finally met Cotton in person. At that first meeting, Deak helped Cotton by trading harmonica cases with his future mentor as James’ case was damaged at the airport. It started a long-lasting friendship to this day. James asked Deak to drive for him on the east coast tours. Deak learned directly from Cotton who helped him with his tone on the harp. By February of 1992, Deak and Cotton were two of the featured harp players at a show at the Berkeley Carteret Hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Today, Deak does guest gigs - some of which with the legendary John Primer, performs solo, and appears with the Deak Harp Blues Band all the while promoting this CD. All songs were either written or arranged by Deak Harp; “John Henry” and “Davidson County Blues” being traditional. Deak uses only Hohner Marine Band Harmonicas including a Big C 364 and a Super 64 Chromatic.
Recorded at Twist Turners House of Sound Chicago IL, and produced by Twist Turner and Deak Harp, this CD contains solo acoustic and electric harmonica. It travels through time up to the present Chicago Blues sound starting with the train "hollers" of the 1930s. For example, tracks one and two, “Riding The Rails” and “John Henry” are solo numbers heavy with a train rhythm and train sounds. The next four keep the train a-rollin,’ nicely adding drums here and bass there.
Starting with the seventh track instrumental, “Old Soul,” the band gets more involved in the mix with some 12 bar blues that is just wonderful. The full-band Chicago Blues shuffles continue through track 17. Most of the tracks are instrumentals including the unique patterns in the title track.
Track 10, “Yeah My Baby,” gives us the first listen to Deak’s sharp register vocals and road-lesson lyrics. Tom Holland plays a tasty lead slide guitar bridge half way through on top of his double tracked steady rhythm guitar. More well-crafted slide is found mid way through “Brocton Straight.”
Other standouts include the break neck tempo on “Moving Soon,” a burn-the-house-down slow blues, “Midnight Blues” with magnificent interplay between Deak’s chromatic harp and Holland’s electric guitar, and “Cone-A-Phone-A-Boogie” which uses a Gi Joe Communicator Helmet with a cheerleader megaphone duct-taped to it. Deak says, “I call it a Cone-A-Phone; it runs on a 9 volt battery and has got such a cool crunchy sound.”
So, if you, too, are looking for some real blues content, and you just happen to love harmonica, look no further. Let this CD show you the “Gateway To The Blues.”
James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is a noted Blues writer and Blues Blast contributor
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Jumping Jack Records
Run Time: 40:28
Delta Moon is one of those road tested southern rock & blues based bands of old. They’ve had their highs and lows and are still pluggin’ away after all this time. Delta Moon, like all bands with a good story, formed with a chance meeting by Mark Johnson and Tom Gray a few years back in a music store. Mark tried to sell Tom a dobro. He didn’t sell him the guitar but they exchanged phone numbers. After Ry Cooder and Dave Lindley perform together, Mark gave Tom a call and the rest spiraled together.
Their unique dual-slide guitar approach to a band is unique and almost unheard of in the blues world. Playing around the South and in Atlanta GA they picked up a female singer Gina Leigh and took off, winning the International Blues Challenge in 2003. Gina left the band in 2004 and was replaced for all of 2005 and part of ’06 with Kristin Markiton. Since then Tom and Mark decided it was time to pursue their musical careers as a quartet with Tom at vocals.
Here we are in 2007 with Tom’s gutsy gravel voiced approach, reinventing Delta Moon into almost an entirely new band from what the blues community heard in 2003. With sometimes a progressive blues-rock feel (as demonstrated on the album’s title track that hearkens a bit to Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road”) or to some latent country stylings a la Ry Cooder. Delta Moon serves up some hungry southern rock for those starving to relight the flame of the genre that some say passed on with the onset of the 80s. “Cool Your Jets” though offers a taste of the blues of old from this band, copping the ever famous “Spoonful” from Howlin’ Wolf and spinning it into something entirely new.
The band doesn’t completely depart from straight ahead down home blues. Feeling a bit disjointed, almost like a bonus track to the album is the final track “You Done Told Everybody” that has some gritty Mississippi Hill Country stomp to a completely acoustic track (which is the only acoustic track on the album). And because it is the only acoustic track and what some purists would consider the only completely “blues” track on the album, it offers a glimpse into the band that was and affirms that two slide guitars can work in the acoustic blues form and work well. To me, this last track is what I would’ve liked to have heard more of out of this disc. If you like bands like Devon Allman’s Honeytribe or JJ Grey and Mofro, this is the band for you and I would highly recommend picking up this highly unique dual slide guitar heaven.
Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
To hear some song samples or purchase this CD now - CLICK HERE
Chicago Blues Update
Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy
Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)
John Primer & The Real Deal Band at Harlem Avenue Lounge
John Primer & The Real Deal Band start their first set at Harlem Avenue Lounge and don’t come up for air until deep into the set. This band of road warriors consists of John Primer on guitar and vocals backed by journeyman bassist Mike Morrison. The rest of the rhythm section has sometime bassist, Vernon Rodgers on drums.
The young bloods of the Real Deal are harp man Dan Beaver and Dave “Kid” Ross on keys. If given the nod from Primer, each player can step out front with vocals included. The band finally downshifted into a very nice “Let’s Get it On” (Marvin Gaye), to allow the crowd to catch up.
Dan Beaver’s features included a “make-you-smile” version of Tuff Enuff, while the Kid sang and played the Band’s Take A Load Off. Special guest included Vivian Kelly-Levzinger, daughter of Chicago’s own Vance “Guitar” Kelly. Vivian and her husband were in visiting from their home in Switzerland, which is a suburb East of Chicago. You know, the one near Italy. Vivian’s hubby Kaspar Levzinger stepped up for some guest guitar duties as well.
If I remember correctly, that day had not gone as planned for me, so when I took my seat at the bar, I thought “OK guys entertain me”. They did and they do. This is a truly professional ensemble that takes their mission seriously…entertain Lordy. There is nothing quite like live blues in Chicago, and as John Primer frequently says, “you know dats right!”
To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE
"From the opening chords and boogie beat
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
Blues Society News
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 Springfield, IL - Blue Mondays
Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - Feb 11 - The Groove Daddies Feb 18 - The Sofa Kings - Feb 25 - The Todd Wolfe Blues Project - guitarist for Sheryl Crow 1993-1998
Blues Want Ads
Place Your Blues Want Ad here for FREE
Milwaukee blues band; Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin Altar Boys is looking for a full time drummer for local and road work.
Band includes Madison Slim on harmonica and vocals. Need drummer that can play all traditional beats, from Muddy Waters to Slim Harpo, Junior Wells, Billy Boy Arnold, Eddie Taylor etc...
Job pays about $22k per year includes one meal per day on the road. Have independent label support, distribution with Burnside and national booking agent. If interested contact Rev Raven at www.reverendraven.com
Green Bay area Improv/Blues/Rock
needs gigs. Must
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bathrooms. Please check out our site at;
www.myspace.com/broknarrow If you want unique
improv's with lots of energy, Hire this Act!! Jeffrey
Smith Ph. 920-989-2543
2x12" Tuck Away Cabinet for a '62 Gibson GA 300 RVT amplifier. Contact Bob at email@example.com
Blues guy seeks to join a band, Can sing and play. By Kankakee, IL area. Have played professionally. Just moved here from Florida. 2nd guitar ok. I have a strat and a deluxe reverb. Anyone out there need help? Craig - 219-992-9455
Place your WANT AD here for FREE. Buy or sell, musicians wanted, gigs wanted etc. Limit 500 words. All ads submitted will be used if space allows. If space is limited, a selection of ads submitted will be randomly selected to appear in the Blues Blast.
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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.
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