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Hey Blues Fans,
We have a few more confirmations for the Blues Blast Music Awards October 29th at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom confirmed their appearance this week joining Eden Brent, Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross for what promises to be a historic evening of great Blues.
See the ad in this issue for more information. Get your tickets before they sell out, CLICK HERE!
This editor got to hear Curtis Salgado for the first time this week. WOW! This guy is talented. The coolest thing is that he was nominated for two Blues Blast Music Awards. We knew our nominators had done a great job picking some of the best in Blues music today to recognize with their nominations. But hearing Curtis for the first time live made us realize that our nominators really know their stuff.
We also made it out to catch a set by Eddie "Devilboy" Turner. Eddie and the band played many tunes off of the several CD's Eddie has recorded in the last ten years to a large crowd. There was a line at the CD table between set with folks buying these CD's like crazy.
In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!
James Walker reviews a new CD from Paul Mark & The Van Dorens. Belinda Foster reviews a new CD by Queenie & the Blue Cats. Steve Jones reviews a new CD by Dan Peart. Editor Bob Kieser reviews the Heart Of America Living History Blues Fest.
Our Blues video of the week is a 2002 TV profile/interview of Curtis Salgado that lets you see some of his great piano skills too. Our Streaming Blues Music link of the week returns this issue with another great 24/7 Blues online music resource.
Blues Video of the Week
Curtis Salgado TV profile - 2002
This week we feature a TV profile/interview of Curtis Salgado from 2002.
This video shows his great singing and harmonica playing but you also get to hear a great interview and see his chops on the piano too.
To see this cool video on our website, click the play button below.
For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.
Deep Blue Innovators Festival
Sat., Oct. 24, 2009
Rivoli Theater - Monmouth, IL
Featured Blues Review 1 of 3
Paul Mark & The Van Dorens - Blood & Treasure
11 songs; 46:35 minutes; Suggested
Style: Roots Rock; Rock and Roll; Blues-Rock; Soul
Ok, Blues fans, time to confess. Don’t you have some forbidden, secret pleasures? Well, don’t tell anybody, but it turns out that many Blues fans secretly like a group that is NOT a Blues band – Paul Mark and The Van Dorens. It started as an East Coast hipster thing with Mark being based in New Yawk City, but the buzz has steadily crept westward with increasing speed.
What Paul mark brings to the table is intelligent, witty, unpredictable song writing that goes way beyond my-baby-left-me-clichés (think Neil Young caliber) coupled with tone-sense and the ability to craft a song (think Bruce Springsteen – only better). Paul Mark is so smart that he realizes he “doesn’t know a damn thing. “...At this point I’m fabulously ignorant,” he says in an interview posted on his website. In his seventh CD on his own label since 1999, there is genius at work here. Trust me! You can read the included lyrics on pullout pages from the tri-fold deluxe packaging.
For example, everyone is familiar with the media finding someone guilty (even the innocent) as soon as he/she is arrested (or even just named as a “person-of-interest”). Perhaps the most striking case was the Centennial Park Olympics bombing in Atlanta in 1996. The poor security guard, Richard Jewell, a true hero, found the bomb, moved people to safety, and saved innumerable lives and minimized loss just minutes before it went off. Four days after the bombing, news organizations reported that Jewell was considered a potential suspect in the bombing. Though he was never arrested or named as more than a "person of interest," Jewell's home was searched and his background exhaustively investigated, all amid a media storm that had cameras following him to the grocery store.
Now, try writing a song about this phenomenon, and then set it to a provocative Blues-Rock groove. Mark reveals ageless wisdom in “Perp Walk.” “They say I’m guilty, but maybe I’m not... / We heard your story; we think you’re a liar...,” he sings in a voice less gruff, but similar to Watermelon Slim’s. “You might be a sinner or you might be a saint / Whether you done it or whether you ain’t / Media frenzy railroadin’ your ass / We’re ready to bargain / But you better move fast ....” Learn it; live it.
There are love songs in the CD, but again, far from typical. Love is honored in “Everything Is Nothing (after you);” Mark expresses how mundane everything is compared to his lover. “The Taj Mahal, that’s just a stack of bricks... The Mona Lisa, she’s just a schoolboy’s sketch... I ran with the Wall St. Bears / That’s just punks rolling dice....” This is the first track, a blast out of the box that opens with upbeat harmonic lead guitar over a kicking rhythm (James Strain – bass and Harry Peel – drums). Rick Steff takes a nice Hammond organ solo at mid-song.
The pain of lost love is soulfully expressed in “Don’t Get Me Started” with great background vocals by Susan Marshall and Jackie Johnson. More Soul, courtesy of the Memphis recording studio and Mark’s co-producer Jeff Powell, is found in “Raise the Roof” - full of construction metaphors: “How you gonna raise the roof / without stone love [foundation] down below....”
In “Lotta Things To Say” love is finally realized, but then it’s too-soon-sad-too-late-wise as his girl can out talk the protagonist. I’m betting the opening lines are autobiographical, “When I was a school boy I was a talking fool / The teacher’d snap her ruler / And keep me after school / She’d say you gotta lotta things to say / You speak your mind / But your mind’s always running away.”
The humorous side of loving devotion, where timing is everything, is revealed in “Wrong Pair of Shoes.” There is nothing the narrator won’t do for his lover, but! It will have to be “tomorrow, not now.” “I’d Waltz through a den of lions...I’d face down the world’s wildest army...I most certainly would, but today is no good / See I’m wearing the wrong pair of shoes.”
More great humor is found in “I’m Still High” about a monumental hangover. “Last night I laid down my head / Demons dancing round the bed / Thought by morning they would surely be gone / But in the dawn’s early light, much to my surprise / The party was still raging on.”
In a just-shut up-and-play moment, Paul Mark and the band throw down a killer instrumental to close the set. “Ruff House” showcases burning guitar over a boiling rhythm that doesn’t let up until the final note.
You know you’re going to be guilty of something. You might as well be guilty of digging this great band because this is not just another whiskey-rocket-roller!
PS You don’t really have to keep it a secret.
Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Thursdays from 7 - 8 pm and Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and www.wkccradio.org 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.
Streaming Blues Link of the Week
WZLX is the big classic rock station in Boston. But they know their roots too and now they have an online Blues radio stream called Radio Mojo which plays streaming Blues 24/7 across the internet. To visit their Radio Mojo page CLICK HERE. To go directly to their player and hear some Blues now CLICK HERE
Turn your speakers up LOUD and tell them the Blues Blast sent ya!
Check out other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE
Blues Blast Music Awards Tickets
On Sale NOW
Advanced tickets are only $25 and available now on our website. CLICK HERE to get yours now before they sell out.
Buddy Guy's Legends is the most famous Blues Club in the entire world. But it is a Blues club and not a huge arena so there will be a limited number of of tickets available for Awards show on October 29th.
Those with advanced tickets will be let in first and get the best seats. So get your tickets early and get there for a great show featuring some of the best Blues talent on the planet including Eden Brent, Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Chris James & Patrick Rynn w/ Bob Corritore, Carlos Johnson, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, Dave Gross and Cedric Burnside & Lightning Malcom. Join us for a gala celebration of the best in Blues music today.
HOW TO GET THE BEST SEATS!! - You can get advanced tickets with great reserved seating by becoming a sponsor of the awards. Several packages and sponsor levels are available. It is a great way to advertise your Blues organization or product and see a GREAT show too.
Sponsor packages include free tickets, great reserved seating, Blues memorabilia (Can you say "goodie bag"?) and some Blues advertising and promotion. There are a limited number of packages available on a first come, first served basis so inquire NOW! For complete information CLICK HERE.
Blues Society News
Please submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or Word format ONLY.
West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, W.V.
The West Virginia Blues Society will hold its Third Annual Blues Competition at noon on October 3, 2009 at Christopher's Banquet Center, 104 Van Kirk Dr., 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 in Memphis, Tennessee.
8 competition slots will be filled by regional blues acts from all over West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and other states. This is the onlyBlues Talent Competition in West Virginia recognized by the Blues Foundation.
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 2010. The second place winner will receive $200 in cash and third-place winner will receive $100 in cash.
Friends Of The Blues Shows - Kankakee IL
The Friends of the Blues 2009 Blues concert Series upcoming shows:
Tuesday, Sept 22 The Insomniacs, 7 p.m., Kankakee Elks Country Club, 2283 Bittersweet Drive , St. Anne IL 60964 (815) 937-1228. Tuesday, Oct 13, Too Slim & The Taildraggers, 7 p.m. , Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL 60915. (815) 936-1649. Tuesday, Oct 20, Paul Rishell & Anne Raines 7 p.m. , Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL 60915. (815) 936-1649
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
Saturday, October 3, 2009, the Illinois Central Blues Club and the Knights of Columbus Council 4179 bring you FOOD FOR BLUES, a special live outdoor blues fest to help feed the community.
The event will be held from 3:00 PM until 10:00 PM at the Lake Springfield Knights of Columbus Hall, 141 N. Lakewood Drive, Chatham. Featured blues artists include the 2009 winner of the ICBC Blues Challenge, Eric "Guitar" Davis and the Troublemakers, and Chicago great, Vernon Herrington and the Atomic Blues Band.
Eric "Guitar" Davis and the Troublemakers take the outdoor stage at 3:30 PM. Eric began playing with Chicago greats at the age of 10, and with his band the Troublemakers, was voted the best New Regional Act of 2009 for the Midwest states. Vernon Herrington and the Atomic Blues Band headline the show at 6:00 PM. Vernon first started playing at the age of 11 and was mentored by some of Chicago’s greatest blues artists. After working for decades as a sideman to many well known established blues artists, in 2008 he released West Side Blues.
Admission to the concert is a non-perishable food item. Cash donations are also accepted. All food items and money collected will be donated to the Holy Family Food Pantry. Seating is limited, so the public is encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Food & beverages available for purchase at the show. No coolers allowed.
BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - Sept 21 - The Insomniacs, Sept 28 - Perry Weber & the DeVilles, Oct 5 - Scottyboy Daniel Blues Band, Oct 12 - The Blues Deacons, Oct 19 - Andrew "Jr Boy" Jones, Oct 16 - Dan Sanchez & the Kings of Pleasure
Featured Blues Review 2 of 3
Queenie & the Blue Cats - Another Blue Day
11 Tracks 45 min 6 seconds; 10 originals
Style: Chicago-Delta blues Rating: Meritable
Whether in a club or at a festival, here’s another live-performance act you might want to take in the next time you’re out and about in North Central USA better known as ‘the Mid-West’ from which this band hails. From the song writing to the camera spotlight to the center stage - Queenie will command you with a band who knows when to lay back and when to step up.
In Track 1’s, Cork in a Bottle, I was happy to hear the separate distinctive artistic interpretive value of each and every musician in the band within this original song. And this style continues throughout the CD. There are times when you want this clarity in blues to set a deeper groove; call it ‘chill’. Appropriate enough, too, for the subject matter of this one about kicking the booze habit. From the juke joints of the Delta to the clubs in Chicago, how often we try to wash away the blues with the same alcohol that can purvey the blues. The song’s not over played or over sung, and yet exudes from the heart. Great job, band members Susan McCarter-Wade aka Queenie, guitarist Joe Dieter, bass guitarist Scott Lukomski, and drummer Bill Cheadle.
Tract 2 is another original, Boss Lady. And if you check out Miss Queenie at a live show, cd jacket photo or a youtube clip, you can see why... it’s that ‘own-it-I’m-as-bad-as-I-wanna-be’ attitude. It’s hers - the feel of the music, the words, the stage and the conviction. Have a swig of some Chicago juice with this one.
Blues for Otis (Elevator Slide), is next. Clever job because blues innuendos are historically how sexual messages got delivered in the blues. Yep, you got it: "..gonna ride your elevator until I reach the bottom floor, until I can’t ride no more, gonna ring your buzzer baby, let you know when I arrive, gonna slide right to the bottom of the shaft so hold on tight.." Ha! Shaft?! Got to love that...Nice solo blues guitar rifts and slides within a light-handed steady rollin’ pocket.
And again, with Tract 4’s original December Again, we get the clarity and distinctive mood setting tone with those Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Water’s characteristic measures. Keeping it slow and steady, go ahead and drop, rock, and roll your head to Blue Day just like you would alone in a small obscure club--lights down low, liquor on the rocks, light up your smoke, then sit back and feel. Once again, great guitar solo by Joe Dieter, supported by the steady pocket of Scott Lukomski on bass and Bill Cheadle on drums.
Joe’s Song is Tract 6, and yes, that would be Joe the guitarist. Nice to include a solo from him because as a scene stealer, he can command the floor much like a lead singer. Blues-rock your way in to Woman of the Blues, then take it back to some Chicago Delta with Willie Dixon’s You Shook Me, move on to have some fun with the original Crossdresser’s Blues (about a man wanting to wear Queenie’s shoes, lipstick, dresses, hum...) and end with Watermelon fun. Take the words and phrases like ‘juicy, the poor man’s passion fruit, melon baller’, then throw in a few orgasmic screams and some seed spitting, and you’ve got the Watermelon blues.
Have fun yet chill with Another Blue Day, all at the same time. Enjoy!
Reviewer Belinda Foster is a Columnist and Contributing Writer for Greenville SC Magazine “Industry Mag” and former manager of Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues. She currently books blues-rock-jam musicians and is a devoted promoter and supporter of live blues root music and history, making frequent trips to “The Crossroads” and Clarksdale Mississippi, birthplace of the blues. Her column “The Upstate Blues Report” can be found on line at www.industrymag.net
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Nominated for two 2009 Blues Blast Music Award
Best Traditional Blues Recording
Best Male Blues Artist
To Purchase the new CD CLICK HERE
To Read the CD review CLICK HERE
Featured Blues Review 3 of 3
Dan Peart - Truth Be Told
Solo acoustic blues is hard to pull off. If someone makes a mistake, the blame is easy to affix. But if things go well, it’s easy to figure out who to compliment. Here we have an intriguing and well done CD by an Iowa blues man who has put his heart and soul into his first, self-released CD.
Dan recently won second place in the 2009 Iowa Blues Challenge for Solo/Duo Blues. His powerful, driving acoustic guitar and solid harp playing made this album grow on me more and more with every listen and one can see why he placed second in the competition! The album is an ambitious undertaking, with 14 solo tracks released here from 34 that he laid down for copyright and demo purposes in 2008. Recorded live in the studio, he lays it out for all to see and what he has done shows well. His songs evoke his strong, positive attitude; his faith both in God and in people comes out in the tempos and lyrics to his songs.
The song Dan chose to open the album with, “Hallelujah!” sets the tone for an inspired and rollicking CD. He goes from track to track relishing life, telling us mostly joyful stories from his youth to his adulthood in his lyrics. He is a river bluesman who truly enjoys his life, his relationships and, especially, his music.
Most of the tracks are quite lively and upbeat. He fills in the spaces between his vocals with very strong guitar and harp lines; he blows and picks with great skill. If there is one “complaint” that I have, it is that only the last track shows us a very different and much softer side of this artist. His vocals up to this last song are pushed to a gruff and bluesy tone and his harp and guitar work hard to impress the listener. But in the last track, “Isn’t That The Truth…”, he shows us Peart in a completely and totally exposed position, singling softly and reverently, picking with great care and filling in here and there with harp to support his vocals. This song was my out and out favorite. While Dan shows us in the prior 13 tracks how he can bounce around adeptly in his honky tonk and fast paced stuff, when he really slows it down he gives us something truly great to listen to.
If you are a fan of acoustic guitar work, you will be impressed with how Peart moves up and down the frets with single notes, chords and providing a strong back beat. Harp fans will enjoy his vibrant style of play. This is a nice opening effort for a talented musician. If this CD is indicative of what Peart can do, I am sure we will be seeing much more of this guy in years to come!
Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
September 26th, 2009
Advance tickets $15
For tickets or info Contact: Derek at 507 798-1703 firstname.lastname@example.org
or Gary at 507 282-2795 email@example.com
Heart Of America Living History Blues Fest
Des Moines, Iowa September 5th & 6th, 2009
The Heart Of America Living History Blues Fest was a great show. It was put on by the Central Iowa Blues Society (CIBS) and it was clear they have this festival thing down. This was the first year for this location but you would never know it from how well the show ran. They had 2 stages, a main stage and an Iowa Blues Hall of Fame stage. All of the artists performing on the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame Stage we members of the Iowa Blues Hall of fame. The fest kicked off with a set by George & Gil Davis. These guys have been playing around the Central Iowa area since the 1960's and put on a great set to kick things off on the Hall of Fame stage.
CIBS made it really easy for all the fans. You did not have to walk from one stage to another at this fest. Both stages were right next to each other and actually used the same sound system. After an act finished on one stage, the next stage immediately kicked off providing continuous music for the fans. The only thing you ever had to get up out of your chair for was to get another beer or to get up and dance. Great idea for a fest setup!
Kicking off the main Stage on Saturday were The Avey Brothers. These guys are really good and to prove it they won the Iowa Blues Challenge for the last 2 years running. They will represent the state of Iowa at the 2010 International Blues Challenge for the second year in a row this coming January in Memphis.
Steve George w/Bob Pace hit the Hall of fame stage next for a soulful set for the crowd.
Next up on the main stage was Hamilton Loomis. Anyone who has ever seen a show by Hamilton knows this guy is high energy and puts on a great show. This was true here too as he and the band played tunes off of their latest CD.
Eddie Shaw & The Wolfgang were up next. Eddie is still recovering from a bad traffic accident this spring but was in great form. He still has to have a bit more therapy and recovery before we get to see him on the sax again. His arm was still in a sling but that did not slow down his great vocals and the band featuring Shorty Gilbert on bass and son Eddie "Vaan" Shaw on guitar tore it up for the crowd.
Vann Shaw's triple neck custom guitar was not just for show either. He used all three necks in several of the songs thrilling the crowd with his pyrotechnic solos.
The Chicago Blues Legends finished out the night as the headliner act on Saturday. With legends like Bob Stroeger on bass, Steady Rollin Bob Margolin on guitar, Pinetop Perkins on keyboards and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on harmonica, this group brought down the house to close the first night of the festival.
On Sunday Catfish Keith opened the fest on the Hall of Fame stage with a great set of his delta blues. Catfish is a huge draw at festivals in Europe and it is easy to see why!
First up on the main stage Sunday was Matt Woods & The Thunderbolts serving up a set of down home juke house Blues.
Joe Price followed next on the Hall of Fame stage. Joe has a new CD out called "Rain or Shine" which demonstrates the great talent of this Iowa Bluesman. He was joined onstage by his wife Vicki who showed her great knack for performance too.
Next up on the main stage was Chris Cain. Seeing Chris perform is a treat. Imagine a singer like BB King, a guitar tone like Albert King and a stage presence like Elvin Bishop and you can get an idea of how good this guitar player is. He has a great band and these guy rocked the place with a super set.
As the afternoon progressed to early evening EC Scott was up next. EC is a great vocalist and songwriter. Her songs are sexy and she knows how to get the crowd going. Always a favorite with the ladies in the audience she has a crowd rapport that gets folks dancing and singing along from the first note.
Ronnie Baker Brooks was the headliner for Sunday. If you have seen a RBB show before you know he is a fantastic second generation Bluesman who is a real guitar slinger. Not only did he learn to play great guitar from his father Lonnie Brooks, he picked up quite a few things about performing too.
That was easy to see from his dramatic entrance through the middle of the crowd playing from the back of a red convertible as it slowly made its way toward the stage.
The Heart Of America Living History Blues Fest is one great fest. Look for it next year and get there for a great show!
All Photos by Bob Kieser.
Live Blues Calendar
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Performance dates submitted by Musicians, Clubs, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.
The BluesBlast.com is not responsible for errors or omissions.
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