All news BLUES in the US!
Your Blues Internet Magazine
November 8, 2007
© 2007 IllinoisBlues.com
News, reviews, live Blues show links AND MUCH MORE at Bottom! - Scroll Down!
Hey Blues fans,
Are you familiar with the International Blues Challenge (IBC) sponsored by the Blues Foundation? Each year Blues societies all over the globe have regional Blues challenges to determine which of their area Blues bands or solo/duo Blues acts they want to represent them at the IBC.
The International Blues Challenge is held in at the end of January in Memphis, TN. This year it is January 31 to Feb 2, 2008.
This past weekend the Illinois Central Blues Club in Springfield, IL held a Blues challenge to determine who would represent them as a solo/duet act this January. The winner was Robert Samson.
Robert (pictured above) played both guitar and piano to win the challenge over 3 other acts.
Here are some more pics of the fun!
Last year there were more than 150 bands from all over the planet competing in Memphis. Make your plans NOW to attend the International Blues Challenge. CLICK HERE for more information
New to the Blues Blast & IllinoisBlues.com?
CLICK HERE to go directly to the list of Live Blues Music. Or click a link for more Blues content on our website. 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
So you thought the Blues season was over? No Way! This week brings the Downtown Blues Concert in Gainesville, Florida, the Roundhouse Blues & BBQ in Savannah, Georgia, the South Florida International Blues Festival in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the Southwest Florida Music Festival in St. James City, Florida, the American Music Weekend & Blues Festival in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, the Blaublues Festival Haringe in Haringe (Poperinge), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, the Blues sur Seine in Mantes la Jolie and surroundings, Ile de France and the Gala Blues Summit in Osijek, Croatia.
Also be sure to check our Blues Society News section and our Blues Fand & Friends section below (Scroll Down) for upcoming live Blues performances by Eddie Shaw, Gina Sicilia , Andrew "Jr Boy" Jones, Blues Mandolinist Rich DelGrasso, Nick Moss and The Fliptops and Watermelon Slim and others in areas around the US. Also check the IllinoisBlues.com Live Blues show listings for a show near you! CLICK HERE
Support Live Blues near you by attending one of these events!
Blues Link of the Week
Los Angeles Blues is a website for information on Los Angeles Blues clubs, bands, and musicians. We are headed to California next weekend to check out a couple Los Angeles Blues clubs. We found this site researching our trip. Great west coast resource.
For more Blues links CLICK HERE to visit the IllinoisBlues.com Links Page
If you know of a COOL Blues link, please send it to
Streaming Blues Link of the Week
Blues from Poland? YUP! Blues is HUGE in Poland. Web page is in Polish. Click the Play button if you cant read Polish. Or just Click Here to listen.
Other IMPORTANT News Help Save the music! CLICK HERE to Keep Blues Radio Alive!
Willie King DVD Available Now!
Dutch film-makers Saskia Rietmeijer and
Bart Drolenga of Visible World Films came to America with the intention
of producing a documentary about African American arts and culture in
the deep South. When they met Willie King, they decided instead to
devote their efforts to creating a DVD about Willie's life and times.
Over a period of several months, the couple recorded Willie King as he worked with his community in Pickens County and performed at festivals, juke joints and parties.
The DVD is a fascinating collage of Willie King's life and many activites, illuminated by searing live performances and interviews with his family and friends. It enables the viewer to experience what it is like to be a modern bluesman living in the Alabama Black Belt, "down in the woods."
To Purchase this DVD Now CLICK HERE
Featured Blues Reviews
James “Skyy Dobro” Walker , noted Blues writer and Blues Blast contributor reviews a new CD by Harper - Day By Day
Day By Day
Big O Records
By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker
10 songs; 53:00 minutes; Good
As Monty Python used to say, “And now for something completely different” – in this case, didgeridoo blues. Well, actually, there are two exceptions to that statement: it is not different as this is Harper’s second release on Blind Pig Records, and it is not really Blues. It seems that several artists and their albums get put into the “Blues” category because they do not fit anywhere else. Because Australia’s Harper (pronounced Harp-ah) blurs the lines between Rock, Blues, Soul, and World Music, his unique roots music style should probably occupy a category of its own.
Day By Day is his follow up to his 2005 U.S. debut, Down To The Rhythm. It displays his trademark harmonica wizardry, rhythmic exploration, distinctive instrumentation, deeply soulful grooves, and well crafted songs. Unlike other Aussie “musos” such as Sugarcane Collins, Dave Hole, and Fiona Boyes, Harper mixes in the didgeridoo, an important part of the indigenous culture of his Australian homeland, just short of being stereotypical.
Prior to his introduction to American audiences, Harper released six albums to great acclaim in Australia. Awarded Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year at the Australian Blues Awards, plus an award for Best Acoustic Act of the Year, Harper tours incessantly in the U.S., Europe, as well as Oz.
The album’s 10 songs fall into two halves, with the second half providing more familiar sounds to Blues fans. Start with track 1 to hear the distorted guitars blend with Harper’s innovative use of electronic enhancement and feedback to break the traditional boundaries of the harmonica, giving his music its distinctive harmonics and effects.
“Feels Like Sunday Morning,” the 7th cut, kicks off the album’s second half with an opening, Journey influenced, acoustic guitar soon joined by Harper’s audience friendly vocals. Bass and Drums add to the mix nailing a rock/blues groove underlying love song lyrics. An electric guitar soars solo in the bridge to cement a song completely radio worthy for audiences anywhere. Tracks 8, 9, 10 & 12 also sound as Americanized and ear engaging as any top notch USA rock/blues band.
Blind Pig Records knows it is a big world with plenty of room for this unique, high caliber international artist.
For More reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
IllinoisBlues.com also features a review by Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist, Ben Cox.
The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster
Blue Corn Records
Run Time: 44:23
Since her 2002 break through album Runaway Soul, Ruthie Foster is making waves throughout all of music. Her deeply personal lyrics and wonderfully timbered vocals full of nuance, soul, and warmth have seemingly come full circle on her latest disc for the Blue Corn label entitled The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster.
The album cover with Foster in mid-phrase hearkens to old school album covers from late 60s soul giants. Mixing all the roots of America’s music, Foster easily skates the gamut of gospel, blues, soul, rhythm and blues, and even the more commercial adult contemporary of commercial radio. If you enjoy the likes of Eric Bibb, Amos Lee, and dare I say John Mayer, Corrine Bailey Rae, and Norah Jones; Ruthie Foster is definitely worth a listen.
Foster’s personal lyrics are finally mixed with well-chosen covers of the gospel-inflected stomp of Son House’s “People Grinnin’ In Your Face” to the straight-ahead classic gospel-blues of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In the Air).” Foster also pays homage to the aforementioned Bibb with the tender blues ballad of “A Friend Like You.” Foster also makes an easy arrangement out of the empassioned woman-power poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou and softens the rough-around-the-edges roots singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams’ “Fruits of My Labor.”
If you’re a lady, I highly recommend adding this album to your collection because themes of motherhood, being loved, and the celebration of everything woman. The song “Mama Said” by Foster herself gives resonant ring on this theme.
However, lovers of music period will want this album for its stripped down acoustic feel, wonderful vocal power and range of Foster, and the mix of genre that keeps progressing blues into a direction that’s very tip-of-the-hat to the roots while still remaining fresh, new, and bold, and empowering.
You can visit Ruthie on the world wide web at: http://myspace.com/ruthiefosterband and at http://www.ruthiefoster.com/
You can purchase this CD at Blue Corn records at http://www.bluecornmusic.com/site/artists/ruthie_foster/ and her entire catalog is available at any major record outlet, Amazon.com, and CD Baby.
Chicago Blues Update
Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy
Blues Beat: Chicago, Saturday, November 3, 2007 (Photos by August Lord)
Carl Davis Band CD Release Party at The Harlem Avenue Lounge
This Saturday The Harlem Avenue Lounge played host to Carl Davis’ inaugural recording effort. The ten tune release of all self-penned songs is titled Someday (Tribute to the Kid) and is on the indie 212 Records label.
This was a Chicago-style CD release party, with party being the operative word. No limos at the front door, which is good because the front door is in the back. Rather, musician friends stopping by after their own gigs, with instruments to join the party, and show brother Carl some love.
Carl Davis sings his songs much like he plays his Les Paul, with clean, clear and meaningful lines. Carl has obvious R&B sensibilities and with a good measure of funk keeps his guitar chops subservient to the vocals. I especially liked “Bad Time”, but how can you not enjoy a song titled “Superman (Without the Tights)?
His band on CD release party night, just as on the record, included Rudy Kleiner on bass, Anthony Tabion on keyboards and Mr. Lenny Statafore on drums. One of Davis’ mentors, Joe Moss was one of the first special guests to come up and grab the spare Les Paul. As usual, Joe lit it up.
The wizard of all things musical, Shoji brought his harp instead of his guitar, and of course was amazing. What kind of blues party would this be without Toronzo Cannon? Enter TC in the last set with his left-handed Les Paul, instead of one of his trademark Flying V’s.
In the crowd also were some “real photographers” and other friends of the blues including Herb Sollars and his friends, representing from The Columbus Blues Alliance (www.columbusblues.com), and Paul Parello from the Paul Parello Blues Power Radio Show (www.chicagobluesman.com).
Look for The Carl Davis Band in person or on the web (www.carldavisband.com) and consider adding this effort to your collection. I did.
CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at ChicagoBluesBeat.com
To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE
If you know of a Chicago Blues event or
please send it to
Blues Want Ads
Veteran of Peoria, IL area music scene now available for work. Can play harmonica, guitar, mandolin, and Grandma's washboard. Love all styles of music, electric and acoustic. Willing to work with any size group ( Duo, trio, etc ). If you feel you're missing something, let me add it for you. Have references. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.
Send your ad submission to
Springfield's newest and BEST Blues Bar
11 W. Old State Capitol
Plaza Springfield, IL
Quad-Cities "only Blues" venue!
3303 Brady St. Davenport, Iowa * MAP * (563) 324-4619
Friday, November 9
8:00 p.m. Rich DelGrasso & Hal Reed
3207 N University Peoria IL 61604
Located in the Community Bingo Building
Upcoming Blues Bands
Blues Society News
The Blues, Jazz & Folk
Music Society - Marietta, Ohio
Chicago Blues Legend Eddie Shaw and “The Wolf Gang”
Friday Night, November 16 at 9PM - Hotel Lafayette, 101 Front Street, Marietta, Ohio
Tickets are only available at the doors, which open at 8PM, on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket are $10 for Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society members, $15 for non-members. The Hotel Lafayette has a large dance floor and a cash bar available. Ohio State law now makes the hotel and the ballroom smoke-free.
For more information visit
www.bjfm.org or contact Steve
Wells at (304) 295-4323 or email
Illinois Central Blues Club Blue Mondays
The Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 8:30pm $2 cover
November 12 Gina Sicilia Blues Band November 19 6V6 Blues Band November 26 Frank Herrin & Blues Power
Suzy & The Smokers December 10 Andrew “ J R Boy” Jones
December 17 Sally Weisenburg & The Famous Sidemen
Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA
2007 Artist in residency series featuring Blues Mandolinist Rich DelGrasso. Rich DelGrasso is the leading proponent and expert on Mandolin Blues. The following performance is Free and open to the public:
Creekside Bar & Grill - Friday November 9, 2007 8:00pm - 3303 Brady St. Davenport. IA 563-324-4619
Mississippi Valley Blues Society also presents the following Blues Performances:
Nick Moss and The Fliptops November 21, 2007 8:30p.m Blueport Junction 6605 West River Drive, Davenport IA 563 326-2151
Watermelon Slim and The Workers November 15, 2007
8:00pm The Redstone Room, River Music Experience - 131 W. 2nd St, Davenport, IA
Send your Society's BIG news or Press Release to:
Blues Fans & Friends Submissions
Upcoming Friends of the Blues EARLY shows:
Tuesday, November 20 - Dave Riley, 7:00 PM Brandon Casey’s, 235 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL 60915. 815-802-0202. CD Release Party To celebrate his new release on Blue Witch Records, Travelin' The Dirt Road! www.myspace.com/daverileybobcorritore
Wednesday, Nov 28 - Bill Lupkin and the Chicago Coalition, 7:00 PM, Brandon Casey’s. www.billlupkin.com
Live Blues Calendar
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