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Your Blues Internet Magazine
September 12, 2007
© 2007 IllinoisBlues.com
News, reviews, live Blues show links AND MUCH MORE at Bottom! - Scroll Down!
Hey Blues fans,
This is our BEST Blues Blast yet! Check out all the Blues content crammed into this one email magazine starting with some great live Blues photos!
The Greater Ozark Blues Festival in Springfield, MO had to be moved indoors last weekend because of VERY wet weather but nothing could have dampened the fun at this great show.
IllinoisBlues.com was there and we have great pictures for you like the one here of Luther Dickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars. Check out the fun! CLICK HERE to see pictures of Aunt Kizzy'z Boyz, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, Joe Bonamassa, Anthony Gomes and others.
This weekend brings a great music festival in Champaign. IL called the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival. This biennial three-day festival celebrates the instrument that holds an essential place in almost every musical tradition around the globe. It features top guitar players of every style of music including classical, jazz, funk, country, Hawaiian slack key, sacred steel, pedal steel, dobro and of course Blues.
Featured Blues players at this extravaganza include Sonny Landreth with Cindy Cashdollar, Campbell Brothers, Buddy Guy, Jorma Kaukonen, Los Lobos, Harry Manx, and the North Mississippi Allstars.
Artists performances are grouped by style and are priced individually and several of the performances are free! Check out the fest Website at www.walltowallguitar.com for the complete schedule, ticket prices and availability. Several of these events are sold out as of this writing so hurry if you are interested in seeing any of these artists. The performances run almost non-stop from Thursday through Saturday.
Also this weekend is the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton, Canada, the Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival in Greenville, Mississippi, the Stillwater Blues Festival in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Telluride, Colorado, Blues At The Beach in Norfolk, Virginia, Blues By The River in Redding, California and the Blind Lemon Blues Festival in Dallas, Texas. Support the Blues near you by attending one of these events!
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Featured Blues Events
IllinoisBlues.com is pleased to bring you this next featured Blues event. In conjunction with the Mid North Michigan Blues Society we are trying an experiment in internet broadcasting to bring you their 2007 Blues Challenge LIVE right from this very Blues Blast email magazine.
Below you will see the MNMBS Live Media Player, it will display still photos, and audio and video streams until Noon this Sunday Sept 16th when it will go live with their 5th annual Blues Challenge.
So if you have never been to a Blues Challenge and wonder what one is like, save this email and turn on your computer Sunday about Noon EASTERN time. All you need to do is open this email and watch.
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NEW to the Blues? Sometimes it is hard for those new to the Blues to explore this journey called the Blues! IllinoisBlues.com 's weekly spotlight introduces (or reminds experienced Blues fans) about a Blues artist or subject worth knowing about.
This week we take a look at an early woman of the Blues as we feature Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Today there are many great female Blues stars including Etta James, Koko Taylor, Deborah Coleman and Bonnie Raitt among others. In many ways Sister Rosetta started it all.
Born Mar 20, 1921 in Cotton Plant, AR to a religious family, Sister Rosetta was mainly known as a gospel singer. She was very controversial in her day as she strayed from gospel into secular music and used her formidable vocal and guitar skills to flirt with both Blues and Swing music.
This video gives you a glimpse of her journey into the blues and shows how great of a performer she was.
We have more than 20 videos of other Blues masters on our website. CLICK HERE to view them.
Blues Link of the Week
Mid Northern Michigan Blues Society
The Mid Northern Michigan Blues Society in partnership with the the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey, MI have created a very impressive website. We think our IllinoisBlues.com Blues Blast internet magazine is the future of what Blues magazines will become. (You can't do a live broadcast through the US Postal Service)
Surely this Blues society's website represents the future of the Blues and the key to "Keeping The Blues Alive" to a young new generation of Blues fans. Check them out and see what you think!
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
Blues Reviews of the Week!
WOW have we got some great reviews for you!
We have four (count em 4!) Blues reviews for you this week including a fantastic guest review by Karen McFarland of the new Kilborn Alley Blues Band CD Tear Down Chicago before it's official October 9th release date. Also we have James Walker's review of Haley Crouch's CD Bring Pluto Back and a review of the a new CD by Omar Kent Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan, On the Jimmy Reed Highway by Ben Cox. Last but not least we have another great Blues venue/performance review of the Genesis Lounge by our Chicago senior editor Lordy.
Reviewer Karen McFarland is a former officer and long time board member of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. She is also a former member of the board of directors of the Blues Foundation who was recently re-elected for another term on their board.
Kilborn Alley Blues Band -
Tear Chicago Down
By Karen McFarland
From the opening North-Mississippi chords and boogie beat of “I’m Spent,” the first track of The Kilborn Alley Blues Band’s release Tear Chicago Down, you know you’re in for some deep blues. That’s a sign of a good CD right there—that the opener is full of energy and great musicianship. Another plus: Most of the twelve cuts feature a Chicago blues feel that sounds so familiar that it’s hard to believe every single song was written by the Kilborn Alley Blues Band.
According to James Walker in the liner notes, “In the tradition of the Chicago blues band created by Muddy Waters, the emphasis in each song is on the ensemble” rather than guitar pyrotechnics or drawn-out harp solos. Producer Nick Moss notes that the best thing about Kilborn Alley is “They have this great feel when they play together. In the blues world it is actually a compliment when someone says you have an ‘ignorant’ sound. These guys have a real ignorant, authentic sound. They sound like the old records when they play.” That’s an accurate assessment of what Tear Chicago Down is all about.
Combining their efforts in the band are Andrew Duncanson on guitar and vocals, Josh Stimmel—guitar, Joe Asselin playing harmonica, Chris Breen on bass, and Ed O’Hara on drums. Nick Moss contributes guitar on a few cuts, and Gerry Hundt plays organ on four tracks. The title track, a funk number, includes Abraham Johnson on second vocal and Dave Fauble on sax.
Fortunately for us listeners, the promise of the opening cut is fulfilled on the rest of the album. “Fire with Fire” is reminiscent of the Thunderbirds; my favorite song, “Crazier Things,” sounds as though Muddy himself was in the studio supervising.
“Come Home Soon” is a mixture of southern rock and soul, where Duncanson’s vocals remind me of a rawer-voiced Van Morrison channeling Sam Cooke, and “The Weight on You” takes us down to Memphis too. “She Don’t Know” has a West Coast swinging jump to it by way of Chicago.
I wasn’t sure I liked “Redneck in a Soul Band” on first listen—with a harp underpinning and shuffle backbeat, it’s a hybrid of a country ditty crossed with a train song. But the CD ends with an alternate take of the same song, this time done in a Chicago-blues style that had my toes tapping and my blues-o-meter in the red.
This is the second album by the Kilborn Alley Blues Band.
Their debut, also on the Blue Bella label, was nominated for a Blues Music Award
in 2006. Tear Chicago Down showcases an even tighter band that deserves
wide recognition for its ensemble talent and true blues feel.
NOTE: This CD will be released for purchase on 10/9/07
James “Skyy Dobro” Walker , noted Blues writer and IllinoisBlues.com contributor reviews the new CD from harmonica sensation Haley Crouch & The Comet Blues Band - Bring Pluto Back
Haley Crouch & The Comet Blues Band - Bring Pluto Back
By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker
8 songs; 29:13 minutes; Very Good
When it comes to the future of the Blues, who will keep the Blues alive? Thankfully, there are youngsters out there who will do a fine job, and one of the most notable is Haley “The Kid” Crouch. At age 16, Haley is already an award winning harmonica player who has appeared on many stages including that of the prestigious Illinois Blues Festival in Peoria in 2006 with Cobalt Canopy.
For her debut CD, Haley had the good fortune to record in Kevin Chalfant’s Clique Records studio with Kevin doing the producing and adding vocals to two tracks (“Killing Floor” and “Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven”). A dream team of musicians join Haley on the 8 songs including guitarists JuJu Kings founder Jerry Lee Gingery, Eddie Nakarus, and Alby Odum, organist Jimmy Caleca, bassist Brian Bridenthal, and drummer Tommy Colangelo.
Haley lives in Streator IL which is also the birth place of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who first photographed Pluto in 1930. Being in high school sciences classes, the inspiration for the title track was too obvious when the powers-that-be decided to demote Pluto from the rank of “planet”. “Ole Clyde Tombaugh must be rolling in his grave / ‘Cause they just took away that one thing that brought him fame / What gives them the right to change the past? / It’d be a whole lot easier, baby – Bring Pluto Back,” she sings. The 3 word title is sung through the harmonica microphone for an extra “spacey” sound while the chorus is wonderfully supported by no less than 9 backup singers.
The CD opens with 5 quick honks on Haley’s harp before the band jumps in up tempo behind her vocals on an original “They Call Me The Kid.” When Haley sings, you are hearing a good voice developing to be one of the future great ones! When she plays harp, you are hearing precociousness that may just eventually surpass her formidable teachers Steve “The Harp” Mehlberg, Brian Stear, and Corky Siegel. Solid blues all the way through, Haley’s harp alternately leads and blends expertly on every track
Relax all you befuddled baby boomers, the future is in the good hands of “The Kid”!
EDITORS NOTE: Haley Crouch was the winner of the First Annual River City Harmonica Blowout in 2006. You can catch Haley performing live with the Roling's Tones at Po Boys this Friday. (See advertisement above for more information)
IllinoisBlues.com also features a review by Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist, Ben Cox.
Kent Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan - On the Jimmy Reed Highway
Run Time 45:45
Stripped, smooth, and crisp is the message that this disc sends to its listener’s ears. It is the epitome of less is more and one of the most ample tribute discs of its kind. Omar Kent Dykes and Jimmie Vaughan got together with a star-studded group of friends and has garnered one of the best discs to be released so far this year. Dykes’ gasoline drenched vocals sound the best they have in years. Jimmie Vaughan’s no flash all skill talent on guitar brings a renaissance to his skills that were once lauded as some of the best in the business once again.
With only two originals tracks, penned by Dykes and Vaughan amiably, the disc is a solid reworking of the master Jimmy Reed’s catalog. The disc also reunites old friends Vaughan and Kim Wilson on harmonica for 3 tracks, and Wilson does not take a back seat or let down on his all acoustic servings. Wes Starr, a veteran of the Texas blues market (Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets among others) serves up the backbeat on drums on the disc. Lou Ann Barton plays the part of Mama Reed on three tracks as well. James Cotton brews up some Sonny Boy Williamson II like licks on the harp on “Caress Me Baby” while Delbert McClinton conjures the vocal and harp ability, almost in complete mimic of Reed himself on “Hush Hush.”
Dykes and Vaughan shine throughout the disc in a truly renaissance performance. Dykes’ vocals are crystal clear, and he even sheds his gruff growl for more sugar-coated phrases on “I’ll Change My Style” and completely wrapping his vocals around the ever-sultry Barton’s backing vocals on “Caress Me Baby.” Vaughan’s guitar chops dazzle with pure picking and spacing on tracks like “Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth” and “Bad Boy.” Gary Clark, Jr. and Gary Primmich also turn in some beautiful guest spots that don’t really shine as clear as the rest, but are wonderful notes to an otherwise pristine disc. If you are a Jimmy Reed, Omar Dykes, or Jimmie Vaughan fan this disc is a must have for your library. If you’re a voting member of the Blues Foundation, this one should pop up on your radar as one of the best traditional blues album in a long, long time.
Click HERE for More reviews and interviews
Chicago Blues Update
Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy
Blues Beat: Chicago, Sunday September 9, 2007 (Photos by August Lord)
Vance "Guitar" Kelly at the Genesis Restaurant & Nightclub
4838 West 183rd Street Country Club Hills, IL 60478
I was saved last Sunday. I was reading Genesis. Actually I was reading the sign outside of Genesis Nightclub that said Vance “Guitar” Kelly Sunday Nights. I was saved from a boring Sunday night.
When you want to add Sunday night to your heavenly weekend, this venue is a sure thing. Vance “Guitar” Kelly leads the Backstreet Blues Band through a night of professional grade R&B. John Wall on keys and Charles Hancock on drums have been mainstays in this outfit and bring sweet soul harmonies to the mix, as well as being excellent instrumentalists.
Guitar Kelly plays a signature lush sound through his Epiphone, and provides great lead vocals as well. Vance frequently uses two keyboardists and joining John Wall was Jerry J. Hall. Michael Turner wailed on the sax and the bass man who identified himself as Tiny, locked on with Charles for the groove.
Guitar Kelly kept the show moving with a host of guest singers. Like Tiny, I may not have the identities complete, but when I get this information I will correctly label their pictures on my site. A guest singer introduced as the man from Arkansas gave us Fever and Money which set the tone for the night. This was not going to be straight blues, and that’s alright with me.
Randy Johnson sang for a few, as did Lawuanda who did some Sam Cook (my personal favorite). I love it when a blues venue is crowded as Genesis was on Sunday. This was a happy crowd and the very able staff works hard to keep you happy.
This clean, friendly gem of a venue is my “go to” place when I need to extend my weekend with more live blues on Sunday night.
CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at ChicagoBluesBeat.com
If you know of a Chicago Blues event or news, please send it to
Featured Blues Advertisers
Blues Society News
The Blues Blowtorch Society FREE Membership Thank You Event
All members of The Blues Blowtorch Society are invited and will be admitted FREE OF CHARGE in thanks for all the support shown at our events. Anyone who joins the Blues Blowtorch Society on September 20th at the door will also be admitted free of charge.
Admission for the general public is $5.00. Tickets available at NV Ultra Lounge.
The this event preempts the regularly scheduled Blues Blowtorch Society general meeting of September 20th and all BBS members are invited to join us here instead. Note: Parking is always available and free at the Normal AMTRACK station located right behind the NV Ultra Lounge
River City Blues Society Peoria, IL
The monthly membership meeting for September will be held at 7:00pm Thursday September 13th, 2007 at the 305 SW Water St Peoria, IL 61602.
Send your Society's BIG news or Press Release to:
Blues Fans & Friends Submissions
Silver Dollar Saloon Wednesday Night Blues Jam!!
Open Stage Blues Jam Every Wednesday night At The Silver Dollar located at 4322 N Prospect Rd. Peoria Ill. 61616 Music Starts At 8:30 pm with Chuck Ely and the Sliver Dollar blues band and continues on until 12:30 am. Come on out and jam or just to have a great time listening to some great Blues. http://www.myspace.com/silverdollarbluesjam
Friends of the Blues Kankakee, IL - EARLY Shows Series
7:00 PM Tuesday, Sept. 18
Bryan Lee - Brandon Casey’s 235 N Kinzie Ave. Bradley, IL 815 802-0202
7:00 PM Saturday, September 22
Ana Popovic - Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N. Kinzie (Route 50) Bradley IL 815-936-1649.
August 8 - December
Special exhibit in honor of the Sunflower Festival - Photos of contemporary Blues artists from around the USA by photographer/Blues writer: Gary Eckart. A limited edition of these photographed, numbered and signed by the photographer will be for sale at:
Rock 'n Roll and Blues Museum - 113 East 2nd St. Clarksdale Ms. 38104 - 901-605-8662 www.rockmuseum.biz
Blues Want Ads
Hammond organ with leslie for the real blues sound...only $850...we can deliver for $$ contact Rob firstname.lastname@example.org
Female delta Blues guitarist/songwriter seeking rhythm guitarist (slide a plus), and harpist for recording & blues festivals. Chicago suburb. Serious inquiries only. email@example.com
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