Issue 7-24, June 13, 2013
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Cover photo by Bob Kieser © 2013
In This Issue
Terry Mullins has our feature interview with Anson Funderburgh. Bob Kieser has part 2 of the photos and commentary from the 2013 Simi Valley Blues Fest. Jim Kanavy reviews the Western Maryland Blues Fest.
We have five music reviews for you! Rainey Wetnight reviews a new CD from The Ruff Kutt Blues Band. Marty Gunther reviews a CD from The McCrary Sisters. John Mitchell reviews a new release from Kevin Selfe. Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony reviews a new CD from Texarillo. Steve Jones reviews a new album from Gina Sicilia. We have the latest in Blues Society news from around the globe. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
From The Editor's Desk
Hey Blues Fans,
The hard working nominators for the 2013 Blues Blast Music Awards have all turned in their nominations and we are tallying up the results. We will issue a special press release with the nominees in the next week or so and include info on the 2013 Blues Blast Music Award Ceremonies. You don't want to miss this great event so stay tuned!
Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!
We made it to the Chicago Blues Fest last week where a great number of Blues legends performed. The photo below shows the finale on Sunday night. Pictured left to right are Demitria Taylor, Lil' Ed Williams, John Primer, Billy Branch, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, James Cotton, Deitra Farr and Matthew Skoller. Now that's what I call a Blues Blast!
The festival was 5 stages all day long for 3 days. Look for more great photos of all the fun in upcoming issues.
Featured Blues Interview - Anson Funderburgh
OK, so it may not hold the same mystique or panache that ‘56’ or ‘297’ does.
Still, ‘27’ is a pretty big deal.
For you see, the King Biscuit Blues Festival is 27 years old.
And for all 27 of those years, legendary Texas bluesman Anson Funderburgh has graced the stage that faces the mighty Mississippi River in Helena, Arkansas.
So while ‘27’ may come up a bit short of ‘56’ (Joe DiMaggio’s MLB record for consecutive games with a hit), or ‘297’ (Brett Favre’s NFL record for consecutive regular-season games started at quarterback), it’s still a big deal to be invited back to play at a blues festival year after year after year.
That is truly called ‘staying power.’
“Yeah, I’ve played all of them; every one of them. I’m not sure exactly how I’ve become a fixture at the thing, but I do love playing at the Biscuit. When Bubba (Sullivan) and Jerry (Pillow) and all those guys got together and started the festival, I met them in Memphis, through Bob Harding and Jay Sheffield. Both of those guys are just good friends - that whole group of people are just very dear to me,” said Funderburgh. “But The Rockets used to play in Memphis all the time in the early 80s and that’s how I got to know all those guys … this was when the Biscuit was just trying to get off the ground and Darrell (Nulisch, harp and vocals) was still in the band. But I guess the bottom line is, they just love me over there. But hey, I’ve brought some cool things over there in recent years (including last year when Kim Wilson tore the stage up with Funderburgh and The Rockets).”
And yes indeed, Funderburgh’s calendar has Oct.11, 2013 already filled in, when he is scheduled to favor the King Biscuit’s main stage with his sublime blend of Texas blues with a traditional Chicago twist, for the 28th straight year.
But it’s not like Funderburgh has just been sitting around twiddling his thumbs and waiting for October to roll around. The man has certainly found plenty to keep him occupied during the first half of 2013.
Part of Funderburgh’s recent labors can be found on 4 Jacks’ Deal With it (Ellersoul Records).
The ‘J’ is for Big Joe Maher (vocals, drums); the ‘A’ is for Anson Funderburgh (guitars); the ‘K’ is Kevin McKendree (keys); and the ‘S’ is for Steve Mackey (bass). And judging by the way the ‘C’ has a big slash through it on the cover of the CD, well, the ‘C’ is not worth mentioning.
Deal With it opens with the Staxish title cut and the groove just gets thicker and chewier from there, with the album sounding like a throwback to the good old days when a group of cats said ‘Hi’ to each other, picked up their instruments, went into the studio, had a blast, and a week or so later, emerged with an album.
“I tell you what, that’s exactly what it was. We had no pressure of any kind; we just went into Kevin’s studio – Rock House (in Franklin, Tennessee) - which is a great little room, and there was no concern about money or time – which it didn’t take us but about three days – but it was just fun,” Funderburgh said. “We’d just get in there and warm up a little and get some sort of an idea for a song and just go for it.”
According to Funderburgh, the thought of playing with Maher, McKendree and Mackey was something that’s been brewing in the back of his mind for several years.
“We’ve been talking about doing this dadgum thing for ever … a long time … I’ve known Joe since the early 80s and I met Kevin through Joe. And I’ve had a fairly close relationship with Kevin over the years because of Lee Roy Parnell and Delbert (McClinton),” he said.
With the way everyone’s schedules are so full, and with the logistics of trying to pull four musicians from different ends of the country together being such a challenge, it’s hard to tell if the 4 Jacks are just a one-time thing, or if they will take on a life all their own.
“It’s really hard to say right now. I think that Joe and I will probably end up working together some, probably as Anson Funderburgh and The Rockets, featuring Big Joe Maher – I think we’ll do the Biscuit that way. But as far as the 4 Jacks, Kevin works with John Oates and Brian Setzer, so he’s busy, man, with some pretty high-profile, good-paying gigs,” said Funderburgh. “But we’ll see what happens. All of us have to make a living, so it’s difficult for us to turn down different things that pay us good money, to go do something that we love to do. But I love playing with those guys. I mean, in my mind, it’s cool to be the worst musician in the band, because it brings you up a notch. It’s just a lot of fun.”
That’s hardly the only super-grouping of blues greats that Funderburgh has been involved in this year; there’s also Ruff Kutt Blues Band and their latest disc, That’s When the Blues Begins (VizzTone).
“Ruff Kutt is a very cool thing, too. The first one (2011’s Mill Block Blues), I played a little bit more on than this new one, but all the money on the first one went to the HART (Handy Artist Relief Trust) Fund and that’s very cool,” Funderburgh said. “I think we raised a considerable amount of money for that fund, which is good.”
The HART Fund was established by the Blues Foundation in 2001 to provide assistance to blues musicians and their families in times of financial resulting from medical emergencies.
“This new Ruff Kutt disc (which Funderburgh produced) has got Zac (Harmon) and Finis (Tasby) and they’re doing the vocals and Zac’s playing most of the guitar. I think it’s a cool little record, but it disturbs me that right after we did this record, Finis had a stroke. But I think James (Goode, who played bass and wrote the tunes on That’s When the Blues Begins) and VizzTone are going to donate money to help with Finis’ rehabilitation and towards doing what needs to be done for him to get better. And that’s a wonderful thing. James is just such a good guy.”
Somehow, in addition to cutting discs with 4 Jacks and Ruff Kutt Blues band, Funderburgh also found some spare time and managed to produce and play on the Andy T – Nick Nixon band’s Drink Drank Drunk (Delta Groove).
While he has acquired quite a studio tan over the course of the first six months of this year, it’s on the concert stage – large or small – where Funderburgh has really made his mark over the years. And for two decades, if you took in a show by Anson Funderburgh and The Rockets, you had the true pleasure of seeing the late, great Sam Myers front the band. Big, broad-shouldered with a bandolier of harmonicas strapped across his colorful and finely-cut suit, Myers looked every bit larger than life. And as a harpist and vocalist, he fit like a hand in glove with Funderburgh and The Rockets. The group even took home Band of the Year on three separate occasions at the annual Blues Music Awards (BMAs) when the big man from Laurel, Mississippi (who was also a drummer for Elmore James at one time) was in the band.
But as Funderburgh fondly remembers, Myers, who passed away from cancer in 2006, was more than just a musical partner.
“Well, I think he brought a lot of authenticity to the band, but he was just like family to me; family in the way that we could both talk about each other, but let some other son of a bitch talk about either of us and now, you’ve overstepped your bounds,” he said. “It was really just like family between us and he meant everything to me … I loved him and I still miss him. But like family we didn’t always agree on every damn thing – we argued and fought just like family does – but I mean there wasn’t one damn thing that I wouldn’t do for him and I feel like it was the same for him. We had some real good times. You know, looking back on the Biscuit, nothing can ever take the place of what we built over there with Sam. Even we he was sick or when he got over there (Helena) and got with Robert Junior Lockwood and they got to drinkin’ and he wasn’t as up-to-snuff as he could have been, it was still special.”
Another alumnus of The Rockets went on to find fame and fortune not on the bandstand, but on the drawing board and ultimately the TV screen. Mike Judge, the creator of animated favorites Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill, held down the bass spot in Funderburgh’s band for two years in the late 80s and early 90s.
So while he was laying down the low end for The Rockets, is it possible that Judge was also keeping a keen eye peeled for any possible material that he would eventually work into his TV shows?
Highly possible, says Funderburgh.
“Well, you know our appearance may have popped up on Beavis and Butt-head … I can see a resemblance in it,” he laughed. “And Boomhauer (Jeff, a character on King of the Hill) … you know I kind of caught the golf bug late in life and Boomhauer played golf and he also played video games in the truck and in our (tour) bus, we’d always play games and stuff … and my high school buddy – we called him ‘Round,’ when he got to drinkin’ he talked a lot like Boomhauer … didn’t make a damn bit of sense out of anything he said, except for, ‘You know what I mean, man?’”
Even so, you won’t find Funderburgh’s name on the screen as the credits roll by at the end of King of the Hill.
“You know what, man? My check must be lost in the mail or something ... either that or I’m sadly mistaken that any of that stuff came from us,” he laughed. “But King of the Hill, one of them (characters) on there looks like an old piano player I used to have and I mean, there’s a bunch of them that look like people I know; but hey, good for him (Judge). I’m glad someone’s making some money.”
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since Funderburgh assembled his first edition of The Rockets in Texas back in 1978. During that time, the music industry – especially blues music – has undergone a number of changes, including the ability for a working band to make a living on the road.
“You know, there’s not as many mid-week places to play now. I mean, in our hey-day, we’d leave and stay gone for three weeks, a month, or sometimes over a month. We’d stay on the road and work our way up the east coast and then back down through the Midwest,” he said. “And every 200 to 300 miles, there was a spot to play. We used to play in Nashville on Mondays and Tuesdays … there were just places where you could play in the middle of the week. We could give them a better price and they’d put us up … and we’d work Tuesday through Saturday and be off Sunday and Monday for travel days. Routing was easier because there was more mom and pop kind of places to play. And now, you add the fact that there’s more bands out there competing for places to work, and it has made things really difficult. But it’s a different world today and that’s just part of it.”
Technology, too, has played a role in the decline of places for a blues band to play, with many people preferring to stay home instead of going out on a Tuesday evening.
“Yeah, things like YouTube,” Funderburgh said. “I mean, you can go on there and watch Howlin’ Wolf, so that can be hard to compete with. It’s just a different time.”.
Photos by Bob Kieser © 2013 Blues Blast Magazine
Interviewer Terry Mullins is a journalist and former record store owner whose personal taste in music is the sonic equivalent of Attention Deficit Disorder. Works by the Bee Gees, Captain Beefheart, Black Sabbath, Earth, Wind & Fire and Willie Nelson share equal space with Muddy Waters, The Staples Singers and R.L. Burnside in his compact disc collection. He's also been known to spend time hanging out on the street corners of Clarksdale, Miss., eating copious amounts of barbecued delicacies while listening to the wonderful sounds of the blues.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Featured Blues Review 1 of 5
Ruff Kutt Blues Band - That’s When the Blues Begins
14 songs; 55:38 Minutes
Styles: Modern Electric Blues, Traditional Blues
Of all the members of the Ruff Kutt Blues Band, the most famous is likely to be one of its guitarists, Anson Funderburgh. He and his Rockets have been catapulted to the stellar status of blues legends; now, with Ruff Kutt, he‘s co-produced this year’s favorable follow-up to 2011’s wildly successful “Mill Block Blues.” Funderburgh and his fellow Texan, executive producer James Goode, know that when one loses love, “That’s When the Blues Begins.” Completing this ensemble are Zac Harmon on guitar and vocals, vocalist Finis Tasby, Gentleman John Street on keyboards, Wes Starr on drums, Ron Jones on sax, Steven Richardson on harmony vocals, and Eric Przygocki on upright bass. Together, they present fourteen original electric blues numbers, either written or co-written by James Goode. The three mentioned below will have fans singing along:
Track 02: “Blues in my Blood”--Finis Tasby takes the lead on vocals in this down-and-dirty track that should have been first instead of second: “I’ve got the blues in my blood ‘cause my woman broke my heart. She told me she didn’t love me, and made my whole world fall apart.” What’s the catchiest aspect of this song: the harmonic chorus, the wicked guitar solo, or the peppy saxophone? All of them are top-notch, proving that heartbreak isn’t only something that affects that particular muscle.
Track 07: “Blues Ain’t a Color”--Zac Harmon preaches from the lead singer’s pulpit in this Chicago-style stomp explaining what the blues are: “The bills are flyin’, you owe more than you got. They won’t take your check ‘cause they know you’re blazing hot. The blues ain’t a color when you’re going wrong. It’s your way of knowing that you’re on your own.” Gentleman John Street’s organ keyboards will make listeners shout, “Amen!”
Track 14: “When a Bluesman Goes to Heaven”--What happens when a genre maverick enters the Pearly Gates? Whom might he meet? “He’ll be playing with Pinetop Perkins, backing up Jimmy Reed, sitting in with Sam Meyers. What else does he need? When a bluesman goes to heaven, he’ll be in the coolest band around. He built his life at the crossroad--Lord, now he’s heaven-bound.” The Robert Johnson legend begs to differ, but blues fans know their favorite music is ethereal, not infernal. The last ditty makes this CD go out with a danceable bang instead of a whimper.
Sadly, these sessions are the last recordings Finis Tasby completed before suffering a debilitating stroke in December of 2012. His many friends, knowing “Where the Blues Begins,” have been sending prayers, support, and hopes for his recovery. Let’s join the rest of “Ruff Kutt” in wishing him well!
Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 33 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE
Featured Blues Review 2 of 5
McCrary Sisters -- All The Way
12 songs – 56 minutes
From the first horn flourish that opens this set, you know that the McCrary Sisters --Ann, Deborah, Regina and Alfreda -- mean business with their in-your-face musical stew of R&B, soul, funk and a heaping spoonful of gospel in a style that carries forward the work of the Staple family and Poynter Sisters. It’s a follow-up to their well-received 2011 debut album, “Our Journey.” Based in Nashville, the ladies are daughters of the late Rev. Samuel McCrary, a founding member of the legendary Fairfield Four, one of the most important gospel groups ever to grace a stage. And they learned the value and skill of harmony singing while still toddlers.
Two of the sisters, Ann and Regina, were stars on the gospel circuit as children with the BCM Mass Choir, with which Regina earned a Grammy nomination for singing lead on the group’s “I Made A Vow.” Ann’s worked with a who’s who of gospel superstars through the years, including the Winans family, Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams, and spent 12 years in Bobby Jones’ Nashville Super Choir. Regina toured with Bob Dylan for six years and appeared on three of his albums. She’s also worked with Stevie Wonder and Elvis Presley. Deborah’s background includes work with the BCM Choir, Isaac Hayes, Elvis and Ray Stevens. Alfreda took a more spiritual route until joining her sisters. For years, she and husband Narcisco Lee have preached music ministry at the Old Happy Day Church in Nashville. And three of the ladies have issued solo albums in the past in addition to having worked in musical theater.
This disc is produced by the hard-working Tommy Sims and Kevin McKendree and features backing from an all-star cast of Nashville musicians, including Delbert McClinton sideman Rob McNelley, Akil Thompson, Chris Rodriguez, Colin Linden, Jason Hardin and Sims on lead guitar, McKendree, De Marco Johnson and Jeremy Nixon on keyboards, Dwan Hill on organ, Quentin Ware and Vinne Ciesielki on trumpet, Dana Robbins and Rashaan Barber on saxophone, Danny Flowers on harmonica, Steve Macky, Anton Nesbit and Sims on bass, and Derrick Phillips on drums. And three of the songs feature strings. While the instrumentation is carefully annotated in the material accompanying the album, sadly vocal credits are lacking for the nine McCrary Sisters originals and three covers contained within.
Written by Alfreda, “Come In” starts the party. The song serves as an uptempo introduction and sweet testimony for what’s to follow: “We come to praise Him/We come to give Him glory.” You know they’re serious -- in the most pleasant of ways. The horns, keyboards and drums drive the message home as the McCrarys sing in powerful harmony. Written by Ann, “Train” pulls out of the station with a driving bass line. Of course, it’s the Glory Train, and you’ve got to get on board. The mood slows with “Skin Deep,” a cover of a Gary Nicholson, Tom Hambridge and Buddy Guy original. The first secular song on the disc, it tenderly delivers the message of racial equality, with the ladies taking turns at the vocal lead. The tempo picks up again with “Let It Go,” written by Deborah and one of the strongest songs in the set, positive affirmation about leaving your problems in the Lord’s hands.
Regina’s “Hum And Moan” kicks off with a haunting country blues feel on slide guitar provided by Linden, his only appearance in the set. It also delivers a spiritual message, that “if you want to make the Devil mad, all you have to do is hum and moan.” A secular message about love follows with “Right Where You Are,” penned by Bonnie Bishop and Jimmy Wallace, and features one of the sisters singing lead as the rest of the family lays down a strong choral undertone. “Hello Jesus” is a solemn plea for strength amid weakness, while “Victory” drives home the fact that you can win, a message carried forward in the piano and string driven ballad “You Can Make It.” The ladies deliver a call for peace in “The Ways Of The World,” while “Talk To You” sings praises of direct contact with the Almighty. The disc concludes with “All The Way,” a slow hand-clapper about living life the right way.
The end product congeals into a pleasant, foot-tapping spirit-raiser that swings from beginning to end no matter your religious path.
Reviewer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. His first experience with live music came at the feet of the first generation of blues legends at the Newport Folk Festivals in the 1960s. A former member of the Chicago blues community, he’s a professional journalist and blues harmonica player who co-founded the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working bands in South Florida.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE
Featured Blues Review 3 of 5
Kevin Selfe – Long Walk Home
11 tracks; 50 minutes
Virginia native Kevin Selfe was a latecomer to music, only discovering the blues from a fellow student at university in North Carolina. Bitten hard by the bug, Kevin opted to try to make it as a performer and writer rather than in his degree subject of Meteorology. That may be a loss to the Weather Channel, but not to the blues world to judge by this debut on a major label!
Kevin’s band The Tornadoes started in Virginia but a second version evolved once Kevin relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 2007. Since then the band has become a firm favorite in and around Portland, Oregon. In 2011 ace drummer Jimi Bott (Rod Piazza, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Mannish Boys) joined the band alongside bassist Allen Markel (The Insomniacs) and it is that rhythm section plus Kevin on guitar and vocals that make up the core band here. Adding substantially to four tracks is a three man horn section led by Joe McCarthy and baritone sax player Doug James (Roomful Of Blues, Duke Robillard, Jimmie Vaughan) plays on another track. Former Thunderbirds and Blasters pianist Gene Taylor appears on four tracks, Steve Kerin and Dover Weinberg adding keys to a further three tracks. Fellow Delta Groove artist Mitch Kashmar plays harp on one cut and adds backing vocals to another; Lisa Mann adds b/v to a further track. Jimi Bott engineered and mixed the album at his home studio in Portland. Kevin wrote all the material here which ranges invitingly across a range of blues styles.
The album starts in shuffle mode with the wonderful title “Duct Tape On My Soul”, the horns providing a real swing to the cut. Kevin’s lyrics encourage us all to keep going in life: “Just like my shoe, I’ve got duct tape on my soul. Years of living the blues have taken a mighty big toll.” Kevin adds some nice T-Bone style guitar and Chris Mercer a fine tenor solo – an excellent opener. “Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool” features Mitch Kashmar’s harp and Doug James’ baritone on a bouncy number. “Moving Day Blues” slows things down and Kevin plays some very nice relaxed guitar over another fine horn arrangement before letting rip in his extended solo. Kevin seems to have reached the point of no return in his relationship: “Now the boxes are packed, I carried them to your door. You said, thanks for the help, but I don’t love you anymore.”
“Last Crossroad” changes the style again with some Delta style slide playing over an up-tempo beat, Kevin assailed by “that old evil feeling coming over me”. I particularly liked Jimi Bott’s ability to both drive the beat and offer some solo embellishments at the same time here. “Dancing Girl” has a riff that reminded me of “Lonely Avenue”, with Kevin providing a convincing vocal, his guitar working persistently round the core riff. “Midnight Creeper” is the longest track at just over seven minutes, starting with some shimmering slide on a steel guitar before Kevin picks out a riff for the rhythm section to follow. This is a trio performance with some more of Jimi’s great drumming and Kevin both singing and speaking the lyrics and then demonstrating his command of the Delta style of slide playing.
“Walking Funny” has the largest contingent of musicians, with backing vocals from Jimi and Allen as well as Lisa Mann. The horns are back, as is Gene Taylor on a wonderfully swinging piece of jump blues. The lyrics pick up some of those old favorites – “Where did you sleep last night? Why are you walking funny? If you stay out tonight, better not come home again.” “Too Much Voodoo” sounds like an ideal title to visit Louisiana and Dover Weinberg’s swirling organ certainly adds to that feel, as does Kevin’s tasty guitar playing. An issue of concern in contemporary society is then raised (albeit in a humorous way) as Kevin explains that, having fallen on hard times, his new home is the “Second Box On The Left”. “The Blues Is My Home” is another acoustic slide piece with Kevin speaking the vocals as he observes that whatever happens, he will play his way through it. The album closes on a real rocker with “Put Me Back In Jail”, Steve Kerin’s rocking piano sitting alongside Kevin’s slide.
This is a very impressive album which is recommend to all blues lovers as it covers many of the bases. I look forward to hearing more from Kevin and his band.
Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. Current favorites from recent releases include Chris Antonik, Shaun Murphy, Barbara Carr, Johnny Rawls, Andy T/Nick Nixon, Otis Grand and Doug Deming.
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Featured Blues Review 4 of 5
Texarillo - Black Satin Blues
Canadians seem to have an uncanny knack for achieving an authentic sound, regardless of their chosen genre. In this case Texarillo puts blues-rock through its’ paces via their power-trio approach. The music has touches of most blues varieties, as well as mining Stevie Ray Vaughn-Jimi Hendrix territory. The “head honcho” Dwane Rechil handles lead guitar, vocals, the writing and production duties. His “ace in the hole” is his fluid attack on his guitar. His singing chops are adequate for blues-rock. The lyrics are of the usual “garden variety”, covering back-stabbing women, sexual prowess, the devil, etc.. The production is crisp and clear. The rhythm section of Ricardo Bacardi on bass and Ken Loudmann are there at the “beck and call” providing the necessary muscle to drive the music forth, while knowing when to lay back during the slower moments Uncredited keyboards crop up from time to time. These guys surely know their way around this kind of music.
They dig right in with straight ahead charging blues-rock on “I’d Rather Get Shot Down” as the guitar slashes like a sword, with the spirit of SRV looking over their shoulder. Lame lyrics mar “Elevator Operator”, but the guitar mimics an elevator going up and down quite nicely. Modern blues is represented in “24-7 Blues”, featuring a “soaring through the clouds” guitar solo inspired by Jimi Hendrix. Dwane’s plaintive vocal fits the slow scorcher that is “Long Way (From Loving You) “to a tee”. The guitar gets all light and jazzy on the self-explanatory “The Things I Would Do To You”…real nice stuff. I swear the ghost of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” hovers over “The Devil Is Knocking”, words aside. The screeching guitar work here is something to behold. “Fire Starter” features some SRV style rhythm and Hendrix “string noodling” soaring to speed-freak heights. Shades of “Crosstown Traffic” loom in this one as well. They break out some zooming slide guitar action for the swaggering “Stone Cold Heart Breaker”. A Rockabilly-Boogie fired instrumental brings things to a splendid close. In fact it brings Jeff Beck’s “Jeff’s Boogie” to mind. What a way to go!
The band brings a touch of Texas blues from up north. They can easily downshift from hard charging rockin’ blues to some smoldering burners with seemingly little effort. They wear their influences “On their sleeve” while injecting originality and freshness along the way. I’d like to see more attention to the lyrics, but if you are in the mood for some blues-rock done up right, that is a minor quibble in what is a very enjoyable listen for the most part.
Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.
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Featured Blues Review 5 of 5
Gina Sicilia - It Wasn’t Real
When BluesBlast recently sent this CD to me for review I was excited to have the opportunity to once again review the new album from one of my favorite young female vocalists, Ms. Gina Sicilia. I had the privilege of having the first review published for her first CD, Allow Me To Confess. As I have stated before, I have loved her voice ever since I first heard it on the CD during half time of Superbowl XLI. Not being a fan of the half time pomp and circumstance (and also not being a Bears or Indianapolis fan) , my friend Mark Thompson and I instead listened to this young woman’s CD and we were very impressed. Mixing blues, R&B and more, Gina’s first CD was a superb effort. I was sold from the opening lines of “That’s a Pretty Good Love.”
Gina’s voice grew and she continued to write excellent new songs and lyrics. Her second CD, Hey Sugar, expanded her repertoire a bit further. A little bit of country/folky songs were added to the mix and her sophomore release also made a great impression on me. Ms. Sicilia’s last CD Can’t Control Myself further showcased her voice as it continued to grow in depth and experience and presented perhaps us a darker side to her talents, mixing in angst and emotions she had only touched on before. It Wasn’t Real expands on that side of her talents, exposing hurt and pain as few women vocalist can emote and express.
Of the ten tracks presented, Gina wrote nine and chose Etta James’ “Don’t Cry Baby” as the lone cover. He growls and blasts though this song with such feeling and deep emotion. Jay Davidson’s sax adds a nice touch in his solos and Joel Bryant’s piano is solid throughout. Well done! I have to give a shout out to Scott Hornick on the big bass; he is solid here backing Gina as he always is. The CD opens with the title track and it jumps up and grabs the listener, telling them to hang on as this is going to be a big and emotionally charged ride. Sicilia sings how she’s been a fool all these years, expressing herself after getting suddenly dumped by someone she trusted. The band backs her nicely here as they do throughout and they deliver a really great song that I think will be covered by others as time passes.
“Please Don’t Stop” is a bouncy and sexy tune that Gina swings to the groove with. As she says, “I said no-no-o-o-o-o-o, baby please don’t stop” she really sells the tune. “Wake Up Next To You” has Gina pleading to have her baby go home with her so she can do what the title states. Dennis Gruenling adds his harp to the mix in “Walkin’ Along the Avenue” and Sicilia and he stroll and swing through this great little tune. Bryant is on B3 here filling in superbly. The ballad “City By The Water” is a breathy and cool number showcasing her voice so well. Davidson adds a soulful sax solo here, too.
“Write a Little Song With You” has Glenn Barrett on acoustic guitar, Mike Brenner on dobro amd Kevin Hansen on electric guitar and they blend well and add a lot of nice texture here. “Don’t Wanna Be No Mother” is another angst filled cut with a women looking back at her life. She no longer wants to be a mother or a wife; as she and the family fly off to Disneyland she expresses her remorse and frustration. “Oh Me Oh My” bounces back to a less remorseful setting. Mike Brenner’s lap steel is poignant as he solos here and Jeff Lee Johnson is solid on the more traditional six strings he plays. Gina bops and bounces through this one with her usual expressiveness. She closes with a C&W take off called “Walkin’ Shoes.” Ross Bellenoit and Jef Lee Johnson aptly twang on guitar to make this one rich and full to the genre and Gina nails it as she always does.
The band here is solid. In addition to those already mentioned, Erik Johnson is on drums throughout and is strong and also solid. Mayra Casales adds percussion on a few cuts, too. The guitar players switch up periodically and the axe-men do a fine job throughout.
Produced by Grammy-winner Glenn Barrett, the CD gives us a great set of tracks that Sicilia delivers the goods on. Her prior efforts were produced by Dave Gross, whom I am also a big fan of; Barrett adds soulfulness and edge to the mix and delivers another well-produced effort for Gina.
Sicilia has penned nine exceptional songs and delivers a great performance on each track. She is growing in her music and expressed in the promotional materials that she is evolving and always reaching for a new place for her music to go. As she searches for new horizons and produces new material for us, we can continue to accompany this fine young artist on a wonderful ride! Highly recommended!!
Reviewer Steve Jones is president of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In addition to working in his civilian career since 1996, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and works with their Blues In The Schools program. He resides in Byron, IL.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE
Featured Live Blues Review 1 of 2 - Simi Valley Blues Festival - Part 2
Blues Blast Magazine made it out to California over Memorial Day weekend to catch the Simi Valley Blues Fest. Last week we brought you photos of all the fun on the first day of the fest. The fest continued on Sunday starting off with Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King with special guest Bob Corritore, Randy Chortkoff and Big Pete.
They played a long set that really got everyone in the mood for all the great acts to follow.
Next up was a set by Nathan James & the Rhythm Scratchers. The set included Nathan James on guitar, Tony Sandow on bass, Marty Dodson on drums.
Next up were the Mannish Boys. The Mannish Boys are a super group of Delta Groove musicians. At this show it included Willie J. Campbell on bass, Ron Dziubla on sax, Frank Goldwasser, Monster Mike Welch and Kevin Selfe on guitar, Audrey Turner on vocals, with regulars Randy Chortkoff on Harp and dynamic front man and lead singer Sugaray Rayford.
And just for good measure they brought along another great soul singer and harp player, Curtis Salgado!
Next up was my favorite act of the whole festival, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. With Rick on lead vocal and harp, Kid Anderson on lead guitar, Lorenzo Farrell on keyboards and bass and J Hansen on drums, these guys are a blast to watch because they have soooo much fun performing!
And Estrin even treated the crowd to his Sonny Boy Williamson trick of playing the harmonica lead with no hands!
Closing out this great fest was multi BMA winner Janiva Magness. Her band included herself on vocals and cigarbox slide guitar, Zach Zunis on guitar, Jim Alfredson on keyboards, Gary Davenport on bass and Matt Tecu on drums.
They had a great set to close out a fantastic festival.
If you can get to sunny California, put the try to make the Simi Valley Blues and Cajun Fest next year. Promise you wont be sorry!
Photos by Bob Kieser © 2013 Blues Blast Magazine.
Reviewer Bob Kieser is publisher of Blues Blast Magazine. He loves his job!
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE
Featured Live Blues Review 2 of 2 - Western Maryland Blues Festival
The Western Maryland Blues Fest is held on the first weekend following Memorial Day and has become an annual community celebration in Hagerstown, MD. The first Western Maryland Blues Fest was held in 1996 with modest results but it was enough to keep the fledging event alive and it has grown into a regional favorite, drawing top national acts including several BMA winners, up and coming artists, and a slew of talented local blues bands. The 18th Annual Western Maryland Blues Fest was held this year from May 30 to June 2 and Blues Blast joined the action on Friday and Saturday in downtown Hagerstown.
The Blues Fest had a soft opening on Thursday night at the Blues Prelude. This free admission show featured the Bad Influence Band and gave everyone a chance to check out the festival poster art exhibit. Friday, May 31 was the official start with the Lotta Blues Kickoff. Regional favorites Hard Swimmin’ Fish opened the festival with their old-time blues show. They played a mix of classics and originals and set the tone for the festival with a spirited performance.
The afternoon had a bit of a Fish theme which continued with Hagerstown stalwarts Rudy & The Bluefish. Rudy & the Bluefish is a local favorite who hosted a post show jam at Hempen Hill BBQ. They made the most of their main stage set with energetic tunes and a performance that belied their reputation. They even got Carl Disque, founder and chairman of the festival, to sit in on saxophone for a few tunes.
While the first two acts played in a more traditional blues style, Moreland & Arbuckle brought us all up to date and beyond with their heavy blues. The trio arrived late Thursday night from a European tour in support of their new disc 7 Cities. They barnstormed through a powerful set that included many songs from the new album as well as a steaming fresh tune written a few days earlier. They finished the set with their trademark rendition of “The Legend Of John Henry.” This was their second year in a row at the Festival and they have become a crowd favorite.
Friday night closed out with one of the most acclaimed acts in recent memory - Trampled Under Foot. The trio of siblings is also out promoting a forthcoming new album Badlands and played a sampling of new tunes for the rapt audience. Danielle Schnebelen’s voice is the clear draw for this band and she belts it out in the tradition of the greats.
Saturday featured acts on two stages. The festival sets up the stages in an offset fashion with equal room for the crowd on either side. The music runs continuously and amazingly on time. Emcee Larry “Larry B” Banks split his time between the stages, introducing the acts and encouraging the attendees to make more noise to hear “one more” from the bands. Larry was the host of a popular radio show, “Blue Notes with Larry B,” heard all over the upper Shenandoah Valley, and has been the only emcee the festival has ever had.
More Maryland favorites opened the show early on Saturday with The Rhythm Kings opening the Blues Fest Stage and Paul Pfau kicking things off on the Blue Moon stage. Up and coming national performer Clarence "The Blues Man" Turner hails from Washington, DC and kicked up some dust on the Blues Fest stage with a rollicking set featuring tunes from his two CDs and an electrifying, old-time R&B groove.
Australian blues man and didgeridoo player extraordinaire Harper and his band Midwest Kind played some new world blues. They incorporate the native sounds of Australia and New Zealand with the Mississippi Delta, Chicago, and the British Black Country. The droning notes of the didgeridoo fit perfectly into the blues, adding depth and a rumble that will shake your core. A highlight of the set was a brilliant version of the Led Zeppelin arrangement of “When The Levee Breaks” which drew mighty cheers. Afterward Harper displayed his keen sense of humor by quipping, “Yeah, I love the Beatles!”
Guitar wunderkind Eric Steckel unleashed a barrage of notes on the festival goers who were held in a trance by his dazzling playing. He drew the biggest crowd of the day with practically everyone taking notice of his talent. The crowd closed in tight in the 95 degree heat to get a better look at his hands as he roared through a set of originals and tracks by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Buddy Guy and others. Steckel was the youngest guitarist to ever be on stage with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and even got the call to perform on Mayall’s Road Dogs album. There was no shortage of guitar worshippers at the festival and with Eric’s performance they were not disappointed.
The Honey Island Swamp Band kept the energy level going with a heat-appropriate set of swampy Louisiana-style blues. Slinky slide guitar, funky bass lines and chiming mandolins all melded together for a mighty fine gumbo.
Another Louisiana favorite, slide guitar wizard Sonny Landreth, took the Blues Fest stage by storm. Sonny is a low key performer, standing steadfast like the eye of the hurricane while his guitar emits a swirl of sounds and his hands dance effortlessly up and down the neck of his guitar. He has been called the greatest slide guitar player of all time and it is no surprise that nearly every guitar player who was performing at the festival turned up to watch Sonny Landreth. He and his powerful trio played a roaring set chock full highlights and “how did he do that?” moments.
The main portion of the Festival closed with sax-man Maceo Parker, considered by many to be the funkiest man in show business. He played for many years in the band of the hardest working man in show business, James Brown. Maceo brought that funk with a high energy, playful set highlighting a long career in soul and R&B. He and his talented band provided a joy and love filled end to the Downtown House Party in Hagerstown.
Altogether, the Western Maryland Blues Festival is a well run, smartly paced event. The bands hit the stage on time, the acts are staggered so you don’t miss anyone and you can hear the music from anywhere on the grounds. The Western Maryland Blues Fest is also family-oriented and they offer several activities for every age group. The Kids Jam Too! workshops are a perennial favorite and encourage musical interest and blues awareness among children. They include harmonica workshops, make your own musical craft workshops, and temporary tattoos. All budding musicians need a commemorative tattoo right? Just keep those kids away from the beer tent.
The fun doesn’t end on Saturday night. On Sunday the Blues Fest moves to the city park for a free admission Family Blues Picnic. This year the picnic featured Fast Eddie Galvin and the Fast Lane Blues Band, Fast Eddie Galvin and the Fast Lane Blues Band, and Maryland legends The Nighthawks. The Western Maryland Blues Festival offers a weekend of music and family fun that is affordable and most importantly enjoyable. Whether you make it for one day or all four, you are in for a treat. Mark it on your calendar for 2014..
Photos by Jim Kanavy © 2012
Reviewer Jim Kanavy is the greatest guitar player in his house. He has been reviewing albums in his head for 30 years and in print since 2008, and is deeply committed to keeping the blues alive and thriving. For more information visit http://jimkanavy.com.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE
Blues Society News
Maximum of 175 words in a Text or MS Word document format.
Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA
MVBS is sponsoring guitar virtuoso Dave Fields, with his “Pot Luck Supper” band, appearing at The Muddy Waters (1708 State St. Bettendorf IA) on Thursday, June 13th, in a show presented by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. Showtime will be 7:00; admission is $7.00, $5.00 for MVBS members.
ALSO Get on the Party Bus! Brews & Blues Cruise Thursday June 20! With the BluesFest only a few weeks away, it’s time to start the pre-fest activities!! The Mississippi Valley Blues Society is sponsoring a Brews and Blues Cruise on June 20, 2013. We will start at Martini’s On The Rock in Rock Island beginning at 4:30 p.m., where they will be offering a Blues Burger for only $4.00 At 6:00 p.m. we will leave Martini’s on the party bus and head to the first microbrewery, Bent River in Rock Island, then to Great River and Front Street in Davenport. At each stop, two free samples and $1.00 off pints will be available.
YYou will receive a commemorative glass. Door prizes will be drawn between each of the microbreweries including, but not limited to, fest tickets and MVBS merchandise. We will return to Martini’s On The Rock for blues music with Chris Avey and Detroit Larry till 11:00pm. All this for only $25.00!! Tickets are available at the Blues Society office (Harrison and River Drive in Davenport) Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 11:30-5:30 to pay for the event. (Call first: 563-32-BLUES.) The bus only holds 34 people, so don’t delay in getting your seat reserved!! For more information, contact Andrea Vallejo at 309-737-6863.
And finally, MVBS also announces Discount Blues Festival Tickets For Active Military and Veterans! The MVBS and R.I.A. Federal Credit Union recognize the great contribution to our country’s freedoms made by active military personnel and veterans, who should be celebrated on the most American of holidays, July 4, Independence Day—the first day of the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. To honor them, we are offering discount BluesFest tickets in advance; These special tickets will not be available at the gate.
Active military personnel and veterans can get BluesFest tickets for only $10 (gate admission is $20) by showing official military ID at the R.I.A. Federal Credit Union locations listed here through June 30. Tickets are limited to two per military ID.
Arsenal Island, Building #61—Rock Island IL, 1522 46th Ave.—Moline IL, In the Hy-Vee at 750 42nd Ave. Drive—Moline IL, 110 E. 10th Ave.—Milan IL, In the Hy-Vee at 2001 5th St.—Silvis IL, 4217 Utica Ridge Rd.—Bettendorf IA and 3509 Harrison St.—Davenport IA.
Orange Blossom Blues Society - Orlando, Florida
Exciting news from the Orange Blossom Blues Society in Orlando. OBBS has connected with Greg Rike Productions in Orlando who produces the stream show called "Living Legends". He believes in what we stand for: to Promote, Preserve and Present Blues. The new show, "Front Row Seat" will be streamed throughout the U.S. and Canada. GRP Studios decided to be a Blues Benefactor and give this to everyone for FREE!!!
The first show will be held on Saturday, June 15th with The Ladies of the Blues featuring Suze Lanier-Bramlett and on August 2nd featuring the IBC Winner, Selwyn Birchwood. This new venture will showcase other Blues and National Blues acts. It is opportunity for all Blues Societies that would enjoy an opportunity of seeing an IBC Winner (plus gorgeous girls:).
Enclosed link below. A Blues Society website that wants it can embed the player. It's Free!! Click on the envelope link to email to Greg to get code/instructions. Members can connect to it and view the shows at this link http://grpstudios.com/LOB/splash.html
For more information visit http://www.obbs.org/
TThe event "Ladies Of The Blues," a special evening featuring ten
talented lady blues singers, headlined by Suze Lanier-Bramlett,
streamed live from GRP Studios in Orlando, Florida throughout the
U.S. and Canada, Saturday, June 15 at 10 p.m. Eastern Time is
a benefit for the Gary Ingber Musicians Relief Fund. Info/tickets:
(407) 862-6882 or
The Columbus Blues Alliance
- Columbus, Ohio
TThe Columbus Blues Alliance will hold its first Blues, Brews and BBQ
All A Cart on Sunday July 14, 2013. The venue, All A Cart, makes
food carts. It’s located at 2001 Courtright Road.in Columbus, Oho.
The opening acts feature Pett Crow, Micah Kesselring, and Mojo
Theory. All have represented the CBA at the International Blues
Challenge in Memphis and have gone into advanced rounds.
The headliner is Eddie Shaw and the Wolfgang.
Eddie Shaw is one of the reigning “kings” of Chicago Blues most
known for his time spent with Howlin’ Wolf. After Wolf’s death in
1976, Eddie formed Eddie Shaw And The Wolfgang. He is part of a
generation of musicians that defined and shaped the “Chicago Sound.”
His hard honking, blues busting saxophone can be found on some of
the best blues recordings to date. At 77, he’s still a force to be
reckoned with. Eddie was the 2013 Blues Music Award winner for
Find more info at www.ColumbusBlues.com. Funds will benefit the CBA
and our Blues In The Schools program.
Illinois Central Blues Club -
TThe Illinois Central Blues Club presents "Blue Monday"
every Monday night for the last 25 years - BLUE MONDAY
SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL
(217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:00pm $3 cover. June 17th -
Laurie Morvan Band http://www.lauriemorvan.com , June 24th - Reverend
Raven & Chain Smoking Altar Boys
Http://www.reverendraven.com. More info available at
Madison Blues Society
- Madison, Wisconsin
TThe Madison Blues Society will host their 11th Annual Blues Picnic
on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin,
with headliner Matthew Skoller. This free public festival will
feature the Boys and Girls Club's “Blues Kids” and a fantastic
line-up of popular local and regional blues bands.
Dave Potter & the Alley Kings - 12:00PMbr>
Joe's Blues Kids - 1:15PM
Society - Rockford/Northern Illinois
TThe Inaugural Rockford Field of Blues Festival will be held on
Saturday, June 22nd at Rockford Aviators Stadium, 4503 Interstate
Drive, Loves Park, IL. The event features Lil’ Ed and the Blues
Imperials as headliners and also has Willie Buck and Taildragger
with Rockin’ Johnny Burgin to celebrate Delmark Records 60th
Anniversary. Delmark’s Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames and Toronzo
Cannon are also featured on the bill as are Madison’s Aaron Williams
and the HooDoo and the Flaming Mudcats from Auckland, New Zealand!
Advanced tickets are only $10; gate admission is $15. Attendees can
bring a lawn chair and sit on the field or relax in the stands;
there is a large, covered pavilion on the stadium promenade for
shade. This event is conducted by Crossroads Blues Society and all
proceeds support their Blues in the Schools Program. They have done
116 programs for over 35,000 students in Northern Illinois since May
CCrossroads is excited to bring a blues festival back to the Rockford
area. There has never been an annual blues event in the Forest City,
but Crossroads aims to fix that. They hope to keep this going and
even expand to two days next year if this is successful. Local
response has been superb and there is a great buzz for this deep
blues event that they have planned.
Tickets are available on line at
http://fieldofblues.blogspot.com and information on mail order
sales is also available there. Local Rockford area venues selling
tickets include Aviators Stadium, Guzzardo’s Music on Charles
Street, the Adriatic Bar on West Jefferson Street, Kryptonite Bar on
West State Street, CD Source on East State Street, Toad Hall Records
on Charles Street, Just Goods Fair Trade Store on 7th Street and the
Cumulus Broadcasting Office on Brendenwood Road. Call 779-537-4006
for more information. For more info see
River City Blues Society
-- Pekin. IL
The River City Blues Society presents the following shows at
Goodfellas 1414 N. 8th St., Pekin, Illinois - Laurie Morvan Band: Wednesday June 19th
7:00 pm, Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin Altar Boys: Friday June
28th 7:30 pm. Admission for all these shows is $6.00 general public
or $4.00 Society Members. For more info visit:
or call 309-648-8510
Friends Of The
Blues - Watseka, IL
NNow in their seventh season, The Friends of the Blues present 7 pm
early shows: Tues,
June 25, Laurie Morvan Band, Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club
July 18, Jerry Lee and the Juju Kings - Bradley Bourbonnais
Sportsmen’s Club - Outdoors!
www.jujukings.com/index1.htm, Thur, July 25, Albert Castiglia w/
Donna Herula, The Longbranch Restaurant in L’Erable, Outdoor show
Aug 15, Ivas John Band, Moose Lodge
www.ivasjohn.com, Thur, Aug
29, Little Joe McLerran, Venue To Be Announced
Thur, Sept 19, Reverend Raven and Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, Kankakee
Valley Boat Club
www.reverendraven.com, Thur, Oct 3, Too Slim and The
Taildraggers – “It’s Everybody’s Birthday Party” - Kankakee Valley
Boat Club www.tooslim.org,
Tues, Oct 22, Kilborn Alley Blues Band - Venue To Be Announced
Nov 7, Terry Quiett Band - Venue To Be Announced
The Columbus Blues Alliance - Columbus, Ohio
TThe Columbus Blues Alliance will hold its first Blues, Brews and BBQ All A Cart on Sunday July 14, 2013. The venue, All A Cart, makes food carts. It’s located at 2001 Courtright Road.in Columbus, Oho.
The opening acts feature Pett Crow, Micah Kesselring, and Mojo Theory. All have represented the CBA at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and have gone into advanced rounds. The headliner is Eddie Shaw and the Wolfgang.
Eddie Shaw is one of the reigning “kings” of Chicago Blues most known for his time spent with Howlin’ Wolf. After Wolf’s death in 1976, Eddie formed Eddie Shaw And The Wolfgang. He is part of a generation of musicians that defined and shaped the “Chicago Sound.” His hard honking, blues busting saxophone can be found on some of the best blues recordings to date. At 77, he’s still a force to be reckoned with. Eddie was the 2013 Blues Music Award winner for Instrumentalist/Horn.
Find more info at www.ColumbusBlues.com. Funds will benefit the CBA and our Blues In The Schools program.
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
TThe Illinois Central Blues Club presents "Blue Monday" every Monday night for the last 25 years - BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:00pm $3 cover. June 17th - Laurie Morvan Band http://www.lauriemorvan.com , June 24th - Reverend Raven & Chain Smoking Altar Boys Http://www.reverendraven.com. More info available at icbluesclub.org
Madison Blues Society - Madison, Wisconsin
TThe Madison Blues Society will host their 11th Annual Blues Picnic on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin, with headliner Matthew Skoller. This free public festival will feature the Boys and Girls Club's “Blues Kids” and a fantastic line-up of popular local and regional blues bands.
Dave Potter & the Alley Kings - 12:00PMbr>
Joe's Blues Kids - 1:15PM
Crossroads Blues Society - Rockford/Northern Illinois
TThe Inaugural Rockford Field of Blues Festival will be held on Saturday, June 22nd at Rockford Aviators Stadium, 4503 Interstate Drive, Loves Park, IL. The event features Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials as headliners and also has Willie Buck and Taildragger with Rockin’ Johnny Burgin to celebrate Delmark Records 60th Anniversary. Delmark’s Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames and Toronzo Cannon are also featured on the bill as are Madison’s Aaron Williams and the HooDoo and the Flaming Mudcats from Auckland, New Zealand!
Advanced tickets are only $10; gate admission is $15. Attendees can bring a lawn chair and sit on the field or relax in the stands; there is a large, covered pavilion on the stadium promenade for shade. This event is conducted by Crossroads Blues Society and all proceeds support their Blues in the Schools Program. They have done 116 programs for over 35,000 students in Northern Illinois since May 2002./p>
CCrossroads is excited to bring a blues festival back to the Rockford area. There has never been an annual blues event in the Forest City, but Crossroads aims to fix that. They hope to keep this going and even expand to two days next year if this is successful. Local response has been superb and there is a great buzz for this deep blues event that they have planned.
Tickets are available on line at http://fieldofblues.blogspot.com and information on mail order sales is also available there. Local Rockford area venues selling tickets include Aviators Stadium, Guzzardo’s Music on Charles Street, the Adriatic Bar on West Jefferson Street, Kryptonite Bar on West State Street, CD Source on East State Street, Toad Hall Records on Charles Street, Just Goods Fair Trade Store on 7th Street and the Cumulus Broadcasting Office on Brendenwood Road. Call 779-537-4006 for more information. For more info see www.crossroadsbluessociety.com.
River City Blues Society -- Pekin. IL
The River City Blues Society presents the following shows at Goodfellas 1414 N. 8th St., Pekin, Illinois - Laurie Morvan Band: Wednesday June 19th 7:00 pm, Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin Altar Boys: Friday June 28th 7:30 pm. Admission for all these shows is $6.00 general public or $4.00 Society Members. For more info visit: www.rivercityblues.com or call 309-648-8510
Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL
NNow in their seventh season, The Friends of the Blues present 7 pm early shows: Tues, June 25, Laurie Morvan Band, Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club www.lauriemorvan.com, Thur, July 18, Jerry Lee and the Juju Kings - Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club - Outdoors! www.jujukings.com/index1.htm, Thur, July 25, Albert Castiglia w/ Donna Herula, The Longbranch Restaurant in L’Erable, Outdoor show www.albertcastiglia.com www.donnaherula.com, Thur, Aug 15, Ivas John Band, Moose Lodge www.ivasjohn.com, Thur, Aug 29, Little Joe McLerran, Venue To Be Announced www.littlejoeblues.com, Thur, Sept 19, Reverend Raven and Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, Kankakee Valley Boat Club www.reverendraven.com, Thur, Oct 3, Too Slim and The Taildraggers – “It’s Everybody’s Birthday Party” - Kankakee Valley Boat Club www.tooslim.org, Tues, Oct 22, Kilborn Alley Blues Band - Venue To Be Announced www.kilbornalley.com, Thur, Nov 7, Terry Quiett Band - Venue To Be Announced www.terryquiettband.com More information: www.facebook.com/friendsoftheblues or firstname.lastname@example.org
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