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October 16, 2007           

© 2007

News, reviews, live Blues show links AND MUCH MORE at Bottom! - Scroll Down!

Hey Blues fans,

We got lots of great responses to last weeks photos from the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival. took over 1500 photos of the event. We don't use them all due to space limits but by request here area a few more, not shown before, for you to enjoy! Scroll DOWN for more news!






Here comes Koko

Have all of you in Downstate Illinois purchased your tickets to see Koko Taylor this Friday yet? She doesn't get down state that often and you have a chance to see her in a small intimate club with a no smoking environment. 

The New Lafayette Club in Bloomington, IL is presenting the show this Friday and tickets are only $22 if you get them by Thursday. See the ticket details in our featured events below.

According to the schedule Koko is going to have Japanese guitarist Shun Kikuta playing with her at the show. If you haven't seen this great player, he should definitely be on your list of MUST sees. To hear a short MP3 sample of his playing CLICK HERE. will be there too so don't miss this great show! welcomes a new Blues Club sponsor this week, Catch 22 in Springfield, IL. They have LIVE Blues music every Friday and Saturday. See their ad below or CLICK HERE to see their complete schedule!

This weekend brings the Tommy Johnson Blues Festival in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, the Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Festival in Tucson, Arizona, the Buckingham Blues Bar Blues Festival in Ft. Myers, Florida and the  ShedHed Blues Festival in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Support Live Blues near you by attending one of these events!

New to the Blues Blast & CLICK HERE to go directly to the list of Live Blues Music. Click a link for more Blues content.   Reviews  Links  Audio Interviews  Photos Videos  Blues Radio   To advertise your blues shows or event for FREE Click HERE!   To see The Blues Blast Archives Click HERE

 Blues Link of the Week

Blues in London is advertised as the definitive guide to Blues music and culture in the UK's capital. This is a cool site that features London area gig listings, interviews, feature Blues articles, live music reviews, CD/DVD reviews and a selection of UK Blues links. Some great stuff here such as the interviews of artists such as Robert Belfour, Bob Brozeman, Catfish Keith and Charlie Musselwhite. From this site it is easy to see that Blues is doing well in London!

   For more Blues links  Click HERE to visit the Links Page

If you know of a COOL Blues link, please send it to

 Blues Radio - Streaming Link of the Week

John Rhys has a great blog site with a large archive of great music to listen to. John's blog shows are a great resource.  Each week he offers some great streaming music in his shows. Check out the website for all he offers.  For a sample of the podcast streams his shows offers check out this recent show about Blues giant T-Bone Walker. CLICK HERE to listen now.

Check out other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE

 Other IMPORTANT News   Help Save the music! CLICK HERE to Keep Blues Radio Alive!


 Blues Basics

 NEW to the Blues? Sometimes it is hard for those new to the Blues to explore this journey called the Blues!'s weekly spotlight introduces (or reminds experienced Blues fans) about a Blues artist or subject worth knowing about.

Muddy Waters

This week we take a look a one of the greatest Blues legends ever, Muddy Waters. Born McKinley Morganfield on Apr 4, 1915 in Rolling Fork, MS, Muddy Waters changed the way we think of Chicago Blues. Muddy was one of the first Delta Bluesmen to use the electric guitar. His impact was not only on Blues music but many feel he is the father of Rock and Roll. Many of the British invasion bands of the of the 1960's were directly influenced by Muddy.

Muddy's music influenced artists as wide ranging as Johnny Rivers, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Conway Twitty, The Band, Johnny Winter,  Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Jeff Beck, Elvis Presley Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones. (They took their name from one of his songs.) His impact continues to be felt today in the Blues scene by newer bands such as the Mannish Boys.

Some testaments to his fame are Muddy earned an impressive 6 Grammy awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He is one of only 3 Blues guitarists that the US Postal Service has released stamps of. (Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolfe were the other two in a 1994 Set of 8 Series  - American Music: Jazz and Blues Singers )

 His songs continue to be recorded by artists in many musical genres. The members of his band, Bob Margolin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Pinetop Perkins and others continue to be top draw performers on the Blues festival and concert circuit.

All Music Guide has a biography and a complete discography of Muddy Waters. They also include 15 second samples of most of his songs for you to listen to.  CLICK HERE to read to read more about him. There is also an Official Muddy Waters Website that has an extensive amount of information on this great Bluesman

You can see some videos of this great Bluesman on our website. Click the links below to see the videos

- Singing "Mannish Boy" at the Checkerboard Lounge in 1981 along with the Rolling Stones, Lefty Dizz, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.

- Muddy Waters & Sonny Boy Williamson II

- Muddy playing slide. Backed by Jerry Portnoy on harp, Calvin Jones on bass Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums, Pinetop Perkins on Piano and both Luther Johnson and "Steady Rollin'" Bob Margolin on Guitar. There is not much footage in existence of Muddy playing slide!

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

 Featured Blues Review 

James “Skyy Dobro” Walker , noted Blues writer and contributor reviews a book from Karen Hanson, "Today's Chicago Blues"

Today's Chicago Blues
By Karen Hanson

Review by James “Skyy Dobro” Walker

Ask not what the Chicago Blues can do for you. Instead, ask what you can do for the Chicago Blues! That rephrased Presidential challenge could serve as a working author’s theme for former Kankakee area native, Karen Hanson.

She is the author of Today’s Chicago Blues, a guidebook for fans on the Chicago blues scene published in January of this year and released through Lake Claremont Press. The book gives blues fans an introduction to the clubs – both urban and suburban, artists, media, and creative figures.

In an interview, Karen shared her roots, “I grew up just outside of Kankakee IL, and I lived in Bradley and Bourbonnais for much of my adult life until I moved to New Lenox six years ago. I taught English for several years at Kankakee High School.”

Today, Hanson is a teacher of writing and literature at DeVry University in Tinley Park IL. She is also a freelance journalist who, for the past decade, has been a blues fan with special interests in Chicago Blues, blues harp, and acoustic blues.

“For Today's Chicago Blues, I wanted to go directly to the sources,” Hanson revealed. “I visited the clubs profiled in the book, I sat in the crowds and chatted with the fans, I spoke with musicians, club owners, DJs and record label owners. I wanted to present the Chicago Blues scene as a fan might experience it.”

“I have chapters on historical spots, cultural sites, and the blues record labels in Chicago. There’s a chapter on blues jams and radio shows. It’s a guide for fans, and it’s not meant to be evaluative, it’s descriptive,” Hanson added.

From aficionados of the Chicago Blues scene to emerging fans to the merely curious, all will find the book very useful and so much more than a recounting of history. “This was my intention,” said Hanson. “I wanted to make the blues accessible to everyone - from tourists and visitors to devoted fans. And, I wanted Chicago area people to wake up and realize what a great cultural treasure we have right in our neighborhoods.”

A good example of fostering accessibility is found in Chapter 3, “Lake Michigan Blues: The Chicago Blues Festival.” For the annual festival in June, one can get a copy of her book and start planning early. In the first sentence the reader is informed that the festival is “the largest free blues festival in the world.”

After a brief history mentioning the festival’s 1984 beginning and its roots in the old “ChicagoFest” of Mayors Bilandic and Byrne, Hanson provides a section titled “Planning Your Day.” Parking is always a problem in the Windy City, so Hanson lists the closest underground parking garages (“the Grant Park and Millennium Park garages”), and she suggests sensible alternatives, including public transportation. Other Chapter 3 topics include: Food and Beverages, Souvenirs, and a description of the five different performance Stages.

Hanson even offers a bonus blog at “One of the goals is to present news about clubs and artists. For example, I'll soon be visiting the Peppercorn Grille in Palos Hills and blogging about it. Eventually I hope to do a 2nd edition of Today's Chicago Blues.”

Hanson’s interest began with Muddy Waters, Chicago’s best know musician. Chapter 8, the last chapter, is 84 short bios of “major blues musicians who live and work in the Chicago area.” Her goal is to acquaint “visitors and novice blues fans not familiar with the performers by name.”

Of her beginnings as a blues fan, Hanson reported, “I got a CD player for my birthday and went shopping. I found a cassette tape of The Best Of Muddy Waters in a discount bin. I brought it home and played it and thought ‘Oh my God, where did this music come from?’ ....and it just mushroomed from there.”

Of her Chicago interest, Hanson said, “Today, it’s the only city in the world where you can hear live blues seven days a week, 365 days a year. More blues musicians live and work in the Chicago area than any other place on earth. Fans from all over the world visit Chicago especially to experience the blues. As a blues fan, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.”

Hanson concluded, “I'm available to give book readings and presentations on today’s Chicago Blues scene. E-mail me at”

Book Available:, Borders, Barnes & Noble,

Samplings From Today's Chicago Blues:

Blues clubs tend to be casual and intimate. In between sets, it’s common for band members to hang out at the bar, give autographs, and chat with fans.” (page 8)

“Restvale Cemetery, just southwest of Chicago city limits, is the final resting place for more than a dozen legendary musicians. The grave...for McKinley Morganfield (aka Muddy Waters)....” (pp 72-73)

“Bossman Blues Center...plays only two kinds of blues: gutbucket and monkey grip. Gutbucket is the down-home blues...from the delta. Monkey Grip is...when you fall in love with somebody and want to hold on forever....” (pp. 17-18)

“If you want to get your kicks—and your blues—on Route 66, then Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket is the place to go. [Located] 645 Joliet Road, Willowbrook.” (p. 43)

“Chicago was a logical place for...record labels specializing in African-American music....Here was a significant concentration...,both as musical talent and as a potential market for records.” (p. 91)

 “Delmark Records, Alligator Records, and Earwig Music...Through the last several decades, these three labels adapted to changes in technology from vinyl to audiocassettes to CDs to MP3s....” (p. 93)

CLICK HERE to purchase this book now.

Click HERE for More reviews and interviews

 Chicago Blues Update

Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy

Blues Beat: Chicago, Friday September 28, 2007 (Photos by August Lord)

The Chicago Blues Experience at The Blues Island Pub

Blue Island, Illinois is a suburb just South of Chicago. On the corner of Vermont & Hoyne, is a neighborhood tavern that features live Chicago blues several nights a week. Aptly named The Blues Island Pub, it is at least a weekly destination for me. How Pat Taylor the owner can run out of my favorite scotch whiskey is beyond me, but he has yet to run out of great authentic live blues. On a recent visit to the bar, I crossed paths with The Chicago Blues Experience.

Front men Vince Agwada and Russ Green came together with one thing in mind; to bring to their audiences Chicago Blues in its purest and most unadulterated form. They formed The Chicago Blues Experience with this philosophy. Russ Green is a harpist and a vocalist. He grew up on Chicago’s West side but didn’t take to the blues until he was an adult. With inspirations like Sugar Blue, he has done well. Guitar player and vocalist Vince Agwada, on the other hand has been a part of the Chicago blues scene for twenty-five years. Brian Jones the drummer is a thirty-plus year veteran. BJ has toured and recorded with a long list of Chicago blues greats and brings a traditional Chicago style backbeat to this group. Pete Andre on bass completes the rhythm section and rounds out the band.

The band fulfilled its mission, as it stayed true to the genre through three sets. They also included one of my favorites, the seldom covered "44 Blues", complete with the great riff and choppy cadence. Vince, Russ and BJ all sing, and all four players are solid musicians. I wish you could have been there. Come to think of it, why weren’t you there?


 CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at

To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE

If you know of a Chicago Blues event or news, please send it to

 Blues Want Ads

Musicians Wanted

Guitarist and Vocals, 54 yr. Moving to Momence Illinois area (by indiana border). Need to get to work Looking for a band that needs help in this area. Blues, that is. any age is ok....I will be moving to the area in November. You can email me at  and I will send a sample to listen to. Or you can call me at 954-270-1525.


Bluesy guitarist looking to jam with anybody in the Pekin/Peoria, Illinois area. Not an SRV imitator. Influenced by Freddy King, Jimmy Page, 60's Clapton, Howlin' Wolf, etc, etc.  I am sloppy and inconsistent. Contact me at     Play a Les Paul through a small Fender.

Every Sunday 3:00pm with The Organgrinders - at the Broken Spoke Roadhouse (formerly Silver Moon) Hwy 11 Darien, WI 262.724.5400

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Place your WANT AD here for FREE. Buy or sell, musicians wanted, gigs wanted etc. Limit 500 words. All ads submitted will be used if space allows. If space is limited, a selection of ads submitted will be randomly selected to appear in the Blues Blast.

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Featured Blues Events

"The Queen of the Blues"

Koko Taylor

Friday October 19, 2007



The New Lafayette Club

1602 South Main Street
Bloomington, IL (309) 828-1212
w/ opening act FunKrazy Band

Tickets $22 in advance,  $27 day of show


Tickets available at, The New Lafayette Club
and Growing Grounds(309) 827-4343 in Bloomington, IL





Springfield's newest and BEST Blues Bar

11 W. Old State Capitol Plaza Springfield, IL

Friday, October 19 8pm Bluesmattic Band  Saturday, October 20 9pm  Jonny Quest Band  Friday, october 26 8pm Texas Groove Band  Saturday, October 27 8pm  Lowdown Blues Band

 Quad-Cities "only Blues" venue!

3303 Brady St. Davenport, Iowa  * MAP *  (563) 324-4619

Friday, October 19
5:00 p.m. Jack Wessels Band
9:00 p.m. Wade Braggs and Blue Luck

Sunday, October 21
8:00 p.m. Steady Rolling Blues Band

Friday, October 26
5:00 p.m. Jack Wessels Band
9:00 p.m. Pena Brothers

Sunday, October 28
8:00 p.m. Steady Rolling Blues Band

3207 N University Peoria IL 61604
Located in the Community Bingo Building

Upcoming Shows

Fri 10/19 Phat Noiz Blues Band     Sat 10/20th The Soul Mystics

 Blues Society News

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

Solo/Duo Blues Challenge

The Illinois Central Blues Club will be conducting its first Solo/Duo Blues Challenge on November 3, 2007 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Alamo, located at 115 N. 5th St., Springfield, IL.  The winner will receive $200 in travel monies to represent the Club at the Blues Foundation International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN during February 2008.  Entries must be received by Monday, October 15, 2007  Complete challenge rules and info available at: Questions? Contact Mark Edmiston, at 217 622-0340 e-mail , or Charlotte A. Montgomery 217 899-9840

Illinois Central Blues Club  Blue Mondays for October

The Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 8:30pm $2 cover

October 22 - Bill Lupkin   October 29 - Springfield Shakey

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

 Featured Blues Advertisers

South Side Cindy & The Slip Tones

New CD

Mighty Mighty

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD

 Blues Fans & Friends Submissions

Friends of the Blues Kankakee, IL - EARLY Shows Series

7:00 PM Wednesday, Oct 17
Too Slim And The Taildraggers- Brandon Casey’s  Bradley, IL


Nybakke Vacuum Shop Presents
The Stamps Quartet With Ed Enoch
(Elvis Presley's Back up vocalist)

Saturday, November 3, 2007 7:00 pm
Trinity Lutheran Church
801 S. Madison, Bloomington, IL

Admission is free! Please bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Clare House.

Live Blues Calendar

 Performance dates were submitted by Musicians, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Blues festivals. is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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