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August 7, 2008           

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News, photos, reviews, live Blues links & MUCH MORE in this issue! - Scroll or Page Down! quick website links: Reviews    Links   Photos    Videos     Blues Radio     Blues Shows near YOU!    Advertise for FREE!     The Blues Blast Archives

Hey Blues Fans,

The 2008 BBM Awards voting continues! So why vote NOW?

Because once you have voted you become eligible for random prize drawings beginning this week!

Starting this Friday we are giving away Blues Blast T-shirts, CD's and more every other day until voting ends on August 31st. If you have voted in the 2008 Blues Blast Music Awards, you can WIN!

It is free to vote. So tell your Blues friends to vote too. (They get the Blues Blast magazine for FREE!) New winners will be drawn every other day until August 31st. We will notify winners by email.

The sooner you vote, the better the chance you will be one of the lucky winners.  CLICK HERE to vote today!

Blues Wanderings

We made it to Blue Monday in Springfield, IL this week to see rising Blues star, John Nemeth.

John is nominated for two Blues Blast Music Awards. We think he appears to be getting better every time we see him! There are few Blues singers around as good as this young man. He also is a great songwriter and a fantastic harp player. And all three of these Blues skills we on display at this show!

He also had that fantastic guitar player, Bob Welsh with him again. We saw Bob with John Nemeth at Bluesfest International a few weeks ago in Windsor, Ontario.

The first couple times we saw John Nemeth he had the legendary guitarist Junior Watson playing with him. So when we saw Bob Welsh with the band we thought about how big of shoes he had to fill following Junior in the band.

Not to worry, as this guitar player is as good as the best around.  He tore it up in Windsor and he was at it again at Blue Monday. Just one more reason why you need to put John Nemeth on your MUST SEE list.

To see all the picture of the Blue Monday fun, CLICK HERE

Festival News

We have a sneak peek at some of the headliners for this years Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival in October for you (Formerly known as the King Biscuit Blues Festival). The festival is held in Helena, AR and they haven't released their lineup officially but we can confirm the following performers:  Tinsley Ellis, Moreland & Arbuckle, Samuel James, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets, Janiva Magness, Juke Joint Duo (Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm) and Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. Festival organizers will announce the complete official lineup soon. Stay tuned!

Blues Reviews and MORE!

This week we start a new series,  "The Future of the Blues" with a look at young man who was destined for Blues greatness at an early age, Joe Bonamassa.

Plus James Walker sends us a review of a new CD from Top Cat Records featuring Big Walter Horton, Ronnie Earl and Johnny Nicholas. Tom “The Energizer” Schlesinger  reviews a new CD by Dave Herraro and Bluesman Gary Eckhart send us a review and pictures from the Prairie Dog Blues Fest. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN

Knuckleheads Blues Bar

Saturday-Sunday, August 15-16, 2008
2700 Rochester St  Kansas City, MO  816-483-1456

August 15
Joe Moss, John Nemeth, Trampled Under Foot
8:30pm tickets $15 adv $20 dos
August 16
Steamboat Willie & the Smoothi Kings
Sean Carney, Charliehorse
Mike Zito & the Billy Gibson Band

Three Blues Blast Music Award Nominations!

Bryan Lee

  • Best Male Artist

  • Best Blues Band

  • Best Contemporary CD

Purchase Katrina Was Her Name NOW!  CLICK HERE

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 Blues Musicians Place Your Want Ad here for FREE

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Booking agent/Manager needed

MO'BLUES, High energy blues/rock band from Argentina with 3 cd's and passport and US Visa seeks representation.

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Have YOU Voted for your favorite artists yet?


CLICK HERE to vote for your favorite nominees. All you have to do to be eligible to vote for your favorite nominee is become (or already be) a Blues Blast magazine subscriber. Of course this is always free! (Current subscribers should enter the email address where they receive their Blues Blast!)

Not familiar with some of the 2008 nominees?

Be an informed voter! Listen to the music of the nominees BEFORE you vote! Our partner public radio station GLT has set up a web page where you can play music samples of the 2008 Blues Blast Music Award nominees. CLICK HERE to hear these great Blues artists NOW!  When you get there, click on one of the nominees links to listen.

The 2008 Blues Blast Music Awards are proud to have the following sponsors: 


David Honeyboy Edwards

Roamin' and Ramblin'

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee
 "Best Best Traditional Blues CD

CLICK HERE to purchases Now!

To read the Blues Blast CD review - CLICK HERE


 Blues Society News

 Send your Blues Society's BIG news or Press Release to:  

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Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

Downtown Springfield, Inc. and the Illinois Central Blues Club have announced The 5th Annual Old Capitol Blues & BBQs scheduled for Saturday, August 23, 2008. The festival is held on Fifth and Washington Streets in downtown Springfield, IL. Festivities get underway at noon with a baby-back rib cook-off and continue through the evening until midnight. Admission is $5 with children 12 and under free. The Blues lineup includes the gospel steel of Calvin Cooke, Howard and the White Boys, the Tarbox Ramblers and Dave Herrero featuring Felix Reyes.

Also during this event the Illinois Central Blues Club will be conducting their Second Blues Challenge. Ten acts are competing for a chance to represent ICBC at the 2009 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Lorrie Eden Blues Band, the Sofa Kings, Nothin But Trouble, Frank's Creation (Innercity Blues Band), Cabin Fever, Bobby Taylor, Nightlife, The Voodoo Blues Band, Pleasure Chest and Pike Station.

Blue Mondays- Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover  - August 11 - Steve the Harp Blues Band, August 18 - Springfield Shaky, August 25 - Peter Karp, Sept 1 - Scott Ellison, Sept 8 - Bill Lupkin & the Chicago Blues Coalition, Sept 15 - Harmonica Wizards Dennis Gruenling & Steve Guyger, Sept 22 - Lil Dave Thompson, Sept 29 - The Blues Deacons, Oct 13 - The Rich Fabec Blues Band, Oct 20 - Too Slim & the Tail Draggers

The Blues Blowtorch Society - Bloomington, IL

Blues Blowtorch Society presents The Blues Blowtorch Society's Educational Fund Raiser, September 21, 2008 -1:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Tri Lakes Banquet Facilities, 2100 Bunn St., Bloomington, IL

Featuring Black Magic Johnson 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM and Lil' Dave Thompson 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM. Food and Drink for sale by Tri-Lakes Membership. Events for Everyone - How to Start a Band Workshop, Auctions, more! For more Information - Deborah Mehlberg - Entertainment Director 309-662-0996 or E-mail

Madison Blues Society  - Madison, WI

Madison Blues Society Presents "South Madison Blues Kids", a public performance by South Madison youths, ages 7-16, who have been learning to play Blues harmonica and write kid-based blues songs and lyrics. This performance is the culmination of a music education program taught by Joe Nosek, whose band, local blues stars the Cash Box Kings, will accompany and follow the “Blues Kids.” The performance will take place at Penn Park, 2101 Fisher Street, Madison, WI at  3:30 PM Saturday, August 16, 2008. Organizers of this summer night out in Penn Park are encouraging audiences to bring their lawn chairs to come and enjoy an afternoon of free blues music, with some of Madison's newest Blues Artists.

The "Blues Kids" will perform the first set with the band, followed by a full set of Chicago-style Blues by The Cash Box Kings.

The West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, W.V.

The West Virginia Blues Society will hold its Second Annual Blues Competition on October 4, 2008 at Christopher's Banquet Center in Fairmont, WV.  Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts will compete for cash prizes and WVBS sponsorship to the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge held every year in Memphis, Tennessee.

The West Virginia Blues Society will have 18 competition slots filled by regional blues acts from all over West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and other states. The first-place winner of Blues Competition will receive $750 dollars in cash and WVBS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in early 2009. The second place winner will receive $200 in cash and third-place winner will receive $100 in cash.

CONTACT PERSON FOR COMPETITION PARTICIPANTS: Complete information, application & rules are available online at .  Deadline for application submission is September 1, 2008. For more information contact Competition Director, Jack Rice at 304-389-1438 or e-mail:

Saturday, September 6, 2008
Angell Park, Sun Prairie, WI


Cliff Fredricksen

Laura England & the Mud Angels

Bobby Bryan & the Uptown Allstars

Bobby Evans & the Alimony Blues Band

Rev Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys

Paul Cebar

Riot and his Rhythm Devils

Latest CD Tough Times is available now!


To Purchase this CD CLICK HERE

 The Future of the Blues

This week we begin a new series, the Future of the Blues. This new series will look at some of the young Blues artists who will likely be shaping this music called the Blues.

We start this week with a young Blues player, born in 1977, who is at the top of the Blues Rock genre, Joe Bonamassa. 

In his short life of 30 years he has left his mark on the Blues world. Recently elected to the Blues Foundations board of directors, Joe was named the 2007 Best Blues Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine’s readership in their annual Reader’s Choice Awards.

His greatness was evident from an early age, at age eight, he opened for B.B. King. At age 12, he was playing regularly all around New York state. Often crossing over to the Rock side of things, Joe created a BIG stir in the Blues world with an excellent Blues CD release called Blues Deluxe in 2003.

You can find out more about this artist at his website at  There is a a great bio and complete discography of Joe Bonamassa on the All Music Guide website. CLICK HERE to check it out.

So just how good was he at age 12? We got the answer for you! We found a video of Joe at the age of 12 jamming with guitar great Danny Gatton in 1989. 

Click the link below to see the video on our website

NEXT WEEK - Another young Blues player who made his mark in his teen years! Stay Tuned!

We have many more videos of Blues masters on our website. CLICK HERE to view them.

September 19 & 20, 2008
 Grafton, WI

Festival Website:

Sue DaBaco & Wise Fools - Zac Harmon - CTA - California Transit Authority - Fruteland Jackson -David "Honeyboy" Edwards  - Sharrie Williams - Bryan Lee - Watermelon Slim & the Workers - Tab Benoit - Elvin Bishop

The National Debonaires

New Sounds from Kansas City

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee
 "Best Blues Song" for Ain't Gonna Happen Again

CLICK HERE to purchases Now!

To read the Blues Blast CD review - CLICK HERE


 Featured Blues Review (1 of 2)

Bocce Boogie – Live 1978

Featuring: Big Walter Horton, Ronnie Earl, Johnny Nicholas, and More

Styles: Chicago Blues - 15 songs; 70:43 minutes; Library Quality

Dear Skyy,

What I wouldn’t give to spend one more night with Big Walter Horton! There were times when a lot of the old guys would all be at the same club. None of them would even think of getting up to play when Walter Horton was on stage! They wouldn’t even look at Walter! Walter just had this stare in his eyes.

He would see me walk into a club. He would come up to me and put his eyeball about half an inch from my eyeball with the harmonica in his mouth and hit a screaming note and say, “I don’t feel good tonight!” Then he would play “La Cucaracha,” “I Been Around The World,” “That Ain’t It,” or “Walter’s Boogie.”

When Walter Horton played – it was the most incredible feeling – like being in an electric chair. He made the top of my head go numb!  The feeling, his phrasing, his tone, and his presence were just undeniable. The look that he had – that fire in his eyes – it was like, “Don’t mess with me; if you do, I’ll cut you!”

Whenever people would ask him about other harmonica players like Little Walter [Jacobs] or Sonny Boy Williamson II, he would say, “I taught’em all!” -- and he did.   -    Yer fan,  - Gnu Walter Well

Hey Gnu,

Would you give $14.95 plus $1.79 shipping? TopCat Records in Dallas TX has just released a fantastic and rare live set from 1978 featuring Big Walter Horton. In it you can hear Big Walter say his phrase you remember, “I don’t feel good tonight.” The CD is titled Bocce Boogie, and it is a party, literally!   -   Skyy

This CD is real-deal Chicago Blues played the way it is supposed to be played. On this September night in 1978, some of the best blues musicians gathered to celebrate the marriage of Joan and George Nicholas and the reunion of Guitar Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton, and Ronnie Earl along with Sugar Ray Norcia and his great band ( Sugar Ray Norcia  is a 2008 Blues Blast Music Award nominee). There were also about 150 of their closest friends, even though the Bocce Club only held 75 people. Listen carefully at the end of “Breakin’ with the Earl,” and you’ll hear an ecstatic fan exclaim, “This is Rhode Island?!” On this night, this was the blues in Southern RI.

The artists: Big Walter Horton - vocals and harp, John “Guitar Johnny” Nicholas - vocals and guitar, Ronnie “Youngblood” Earl Horvath – guitar, Sugar Ray Norcia - vocal (“Every Day I Have The Blues”) and chromatic harmonica (“That’s Why I’m Cryin’”), Ted Harvey – drums, Mudcat Ward – bass, and “Little Anthony” Giarossi – piano.

The sound of this CD is great even though it was not recorded professionally. A technical note of interest: this party was recorded by Dick Koulbanis on his reel to reel tape recorder with one microphone. Only once, on “La Cucaracha,” is there a frequency waver due to stretched or slipping tape, and, naturally, there is crowd noise from the guests. Party photos on the cover and liner sleeve are courtesy of Jack Koulbanis. The 15 songs are annotated with song title, song author, and lead artist on the particular track.

Standout moments: Hearing Big Walter talk to the audience between songs, hearing Walter defend his honor that he was, indeed, the song’s author before playing “Walter’s Boogie,” a young Ronnie Earl on “Breakin’ With the Earl,” the guitar solo on “Sweet Black angel,” and Guitar Johnny Nicholas on the title track “Bocce Boogie.”

Fans of Chicago Blues and history buffs, get this CD. Even at quadruple the price, it would be worth it to spend one more night with Big Walter Horton, live!

Reviewer 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.



Too Slim and the Taildraggers


Fortune Teller


2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for

 "Best Contemporary Blues Recording"


CLICK HERE to Vote for Us NOW


To purchase this CD now CLICK HERE




Eden Brent

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee

"Sean Costello Rising Star Award"


To read a review of this CD, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD now!


Willie Big Eyes Smith

New CD

Born In Arkansas

CLICK HERE  to Purchase this CD

 Featured Blues Review (2 of 2)

Dave Herrero - Austin to Chicago

What a joy it is when you hear something fresh and done a little different. Right off I want to tell you that I think this is one of the best sounding CDs I have heard this year. It sounds like it was recorded in the 50s.

Dave starts out with a song by Don Robey. When it starts, you kind of think you are going to hear a cover of “Sweet Home Chicago,” but after a couple of bars, it completely changes. “I Don't Believe” is an unusual song about a guy telling his lady just that, “I Don't Believe you let me go after treating him the way he liked.” He says, “If you didn't want me around, you should‘ve put my love on the shelf.” Dave’s Stratocaster work on this is stupendous; it gave me cold chills. His Texas sound on “I Don’t Believe” shows some Jimmie Vaughn, Stevie Ray, Kid Ramos, Nick Curran, and Anson Funderburgh influences -- on steroids with a twist! His finger plucking is phenomenal. Dave has a Texas / California jump sound to him. I was amazed at the clarity of his voice on this and the other songs on this CD.

Track # 3, “Doggie Blue” and all but two others were written by Dave Herrero and Felix Reyes. “Doggie Blue” goes a totally different way than the first track. It sounds like an old Leadbelly song with acoustic guitar and slide. It is done very well.

Track # 4 track is an extremely slow blues song, down and dirty, titled “Leave Me Be.” It’s done in a Texas and Muddy Waters style with absolutely great harmonica from Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff. Again Dave shows off his great singing talents.

Tracks # 6 and the final track, # 10, are the same song done with a nifty little twist. Track # 6 is “What Could Have Been,” and # 10 is “What Could Have Been (Reprise).” I vote for the #10 track with its extra reverb on the voices and guitar and really doctored up from the prior, but both are very nice to listen to. What a way to end a fine CD!

So, why don't you go out and give yourself the Blues and buy this CD. No, buy two and give one to a friend.

Review by Tom “The Energizer” Schlesinger

The Code Blue Band

Tight at Midnight

Intensely energetic R&B, funk, and rockin' Blues

CLICK HERE to buy the CD





 Live Blues Review

11th Annual Prairie Dog Blues Festival -  Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin - July 25th and 26th, 2008

Well raise my rent, what do you know, the rain gods decided to spare The 11th Annual Prairie Dog Blues Festival. The weather was in the mid 80's and there was a ton of sunshine "Perfect". The last four events i attended, rain was a factor in some way shape or form, but not on this weekend. The blue sky's were right on and so was the music here are some of the highlights.

The festival's opening act was a grand one, "The Bobby Bryan Band" laid down the gantlet and some bone shaking blues. Bobby spent some time with Johnny Copeland and Daughter Shemekia and it was quite evident that it was time was well spent.

Davina & The Vagabonds followed Bobby and more than held there own. Davina arrived in Minnesota via Key West back in 2005 and promptly showered the Midwest with her New Orleans style boogie woogie blues, she's a treat that can't be beat believe me.


Jason Ricci & New Blood was next. I swear Jason's harp is nuclear powered, man can that cat go. Walter Trout says's Jason Ricci is the best harp player in the world and he's dead serious. Walter Trout was also the main act and followed Jason to close out Friday night. This was the highlight of the Festival for me, at one point during Walter's set he called Jason up and what followed was amazing. Those two traded lick for lick and took it to a level I have never experienced before in my life, you had to be there.


Saturdays highlights included Nick Moss & the Flips Tops. Nick is a bluesman from Chicago who keeps the "Chicago Blues" close to his vest. He got the crowd in a groove and kept them there. The Kilborn Alley Band is a band from the Chicago area that deliver the goods and then some, I saw them in Davenport and now Prairie Du Chien and I am in belief that the sky's limit for this group (The crowd loved em') , Nick Moss also sat in on bass.


The Groove Hogs ripped the stage a new one. I am not big on horn bands, but would go a long ways out of my way to see this band. These guys had the crowd worked into a frenzy two songs into the set, a brass band that rocks. It was a barn burner.

Bernard Allison was next and didn't let the crowd rest for second, it's easy to see that with Bernard Allison the apple don't fall far from the tree.


The tent had it's moments also. Friday night it was Moreland & Arbuckle entertaining the people during band change overs. That Kansas City area sure has a abundance of talent and Moreland & Arbuckle are just another example of that. They dazzled the
crowd all night long and held them there to the last note.


Brandon Scott Sellner took command of the tent Saturday. We have another young guitar wizard on our hands here folks. Johnny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Ross William Perry yes indeed Brandon is cut from the same cloth.


Finally I want thank Todd Yeoman and his right hand lady Sharron for putting on one of the best Blues Festivals around. It all ends to quickly for me.

Review and photos by Bluesman Gary Eckhart.


Live Blues Calendar


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