Issue 11-32 August 10, 2017

Cover photo © 2017 Bob Kieser


 In This Issue 

Mark Thompson has our feature interview with Nellie “Tiger” Travis. We have 10 Blues reviews for you this week including new music from Dani Wilde, Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’, Luke Hilly & The Cavalry, Hell’s Gate Blues Band, Quique Gomez & His Vipers, Ben Hemming, Teresa Watson Band, TG Swampbusters, 55 Rose Street and Johnny Max Band.

Bob Kieser has photos and commentary from the Prairie Dog Blues Festival.

Our video of the week is Billy Branch.

We have the latest in Blues society news. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!


 From The Editor’s Desk 

2017 bbma logo 300Hey Blues Fans,

Have you voted yet? Almost 7,000 of you have already cast your ballots for your favorite artists in the Blues Blast Music Awards. If you haven’t voted yet the voting link is www.bluesblastmagazine.com/bbmas/vote/. You can stream music by the nominees before you vote at https://soundcloud.com/bluesblast/sets.

But HURRY! You only have 5 days left to vote in the 2017 Blues Blast Music Awards. Voting ends at midnight CST on Tuesday, August 15th. Join more than 6,000 blues fans and support your favorie artists. Vote now HERE. Please note that you may only vote once.

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!

Bob Kieser



Have You Voted Yet?

Voting continues until August 15th, 2017

Fan voting for the 2017 Blues Blast Music Awards continues until August 15th. We offer you the ability to actually hear the music of the nominees before you vote by going to our Soundcloud listening site at https://soundcloud.com/bluesblast/sets/

You can only vote one time so listen first and then vote NOW at http://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/bbmas/vote/vote.php!


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 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 10 

DANI WILDE cd imageDani Wilde – Live at Brighton Road

VizzTone Label Group

www.daniwilde.com

CD – 10 tracks / 42:15

DVD – 11 chapters / 59:19

Dani Wilde is a modern day British blues phenomenon, first gaining popular notice in 2007 when she opened up for Jools Holland at the venerable Royal Albert Hall, and then getting signed to the blues powerhouse label, Ruf Records. Wilde has worked very hard since then, playing up to 250 shows a year on three continents, and collaborating on the “Girls With Guitars” project with like-minded blues women Samantha Fish and Cassie Taylor. In the ten years since, Dani has released three solo albums, and her new VizzTone release certainly appeals to more than just ears.

Live at Brighton describes exactly what she put together, as it is two sets of songs that were recorded live at Brighton Studios in the UK. The playlist is broken in half with “The Acoustic Session” and “The Electric Session.” As an added bonus, the whole thing was recorded on video and there is a DVD included in the set with a bonus interview chapter. Dani provides the vocals and guitars for this project, and some fine musicians joined her in the studio, including her brother the harmonica whiz: Will Wilde.

The “Acoustic Session” kicks off with Memphis Minnie’s 1930 tune, “Bumble Bee.” Dani does a respectful version of this classic, with just her vocals and acoustic guitar, accompanied by Will’s harp. They are an amazing duo, and the recording is clear so that no nuance of their performance is lost. There are also three original songs, “My Old Man,” “Glorious Day,” and “Electricity,” as well as an extended take of Mike and the Mechanics’ 1988 hit, “The Living Years.” This ballad has amazingly powerful lyrics of regret over unresolved conflict with one’s father, and for this song Dani is joined by Sarah Davison on cello, and the trio of Megan Devereux, Kate Cameron, and Faye Streek on backing vocals. The overall effect is breathtaking, making this one of the standout tracks on the release.

The “Electric Session” includes the other five tracks, including a neat cover of “Hound Dog,” that is performed differently than the way Big Mama Thornton, Freddie Bell, or Elvis did it. This version has a Latin rhythm provided by Victoria Smith on bass and Alan Taylor on drums, with killer solos by Will on harmonica and Gregory Coulson on the keys. Dani has a lovely growl (sultry!) to her voice and lays down an awesome guitar solo to boot. The rest of the electric songs are originals and they carry on where Ms. Wilde left off when she switched labels from Ruf to VizzTone. One of my favorites is “Don’t Quit me Baby,” which is has a classic electric blues sound with organ, distorted harp, and crisp guitar leads.

The DVD portion of this set is cool and user-friendly, with a clear menu that allows the viewer to select any (or all) of the ten songs, and the bonus interview portion of the disc. The content is well lit and the depth of field focuses the action on the performers, not their environment. Multiple camera angles are used, and the editing very good so that the folks at home get an intimate view of what was going on in the studio that day. The DVD is supposed to be a supplement to the CD, but it stands well on its own and the interview portion really helps to tie everything together.

Dani Wilde’s Live at Brighton is a treat for the ear and the eyes, and being able to see the songs being recorded gives a new appreciation for her abilities and the talent of the musicians that came to the studio to pitch in. This is a cool release, and it would be a great place to start if you decide to start collecting Ms. Wilde’s catalog. As of today, there are only European dates on Dani’s tour schedule, but if the past is any indicator of what we can expect in the future, there may be some American (and maybe African) dates added. Check out her website for details if wish to learn more!

Reviewer Rex Bartholomew is a Los Angeles-based writer and musician; his blog can be found at rexbass.blogspot.com.


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 Prairie Dog Blues Fest 

We made it to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin for the 20th edition of the Prairie Dog Blues Fest. The fest is held on St. Feriole Island in the Mighty Mississippi River. The fest features an amazing place to camp and hear some great Blues. The weather was great for this years fest and first up on Friday was 2017 Blues Blast Music Award nominee Annika Chambers. Annika is nominated for Female Blues Artist this year and it was easy to see why. This woman has immense talent and she gave a great performance.

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Next up was Laith Al-Saadi from Michigan. Laith was one of the 2016 finalists on The Voice. He has a great voice and is an amazing guitar player and songwriter too.

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Next up was The Mercury Brothers from Davenport, IA. With Ricardo Burris out front on vocals and harp they played some great Blues.

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There is a second stage at the Prairie Dog Fest located in the beer tent with a band playing 1/2 hour sets between acts. On Friday Eliminator, a ZZ Top tribute band kept folks entertained doing ZZ Top songs.

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The headliner Friday was the legendary Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials. Lil’ Ed is a master performer and musician. The band has been nominated as Band of the Year in the Blues Blast Music Awards six times, winning the awards in 2016. (And again nominated in the 2017 BBMAs.) He got Annika Chambers up to sing a tune with him too.

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On Saturday the Blues started off with Chris Avey Band. They are from Iowa and gave a great set to start off the day.

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Lil’ Davy Max was up next. Davey is an amazing harp player who played many of his own tunes for the crowd.

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On Saturday in the Beer Tent Stage Kris Lager Band gave amazing performances between each set on the main stage.

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Ray Fuller & The Bluesrockers then gave us a great set of slide guitar wizardry!

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Next up was Southern Avenue, the band I was most looking forward to hearing. They did not disappoint! Tierinii Jackson is a memorizing singer and performer. Neither the men nor the women could take their eyes off of this young powerhouse that has often been compared to Tina Turner. Make a point to catch this amazing new group!

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Next up was Carolyn Wonderland. Hailing from Texas she gave a great performance singing and playing. She also did an amazing mini-set on the lap steel that this reviewer really enjoyed.

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The final performer of the Prairie Dog Blues Fest was Eric Sardinas & Big Motor. They played a great set of music, mostly rock, that showcased Eris’s amazing slide guitar skills. A great set to close out the fest.

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The Prairie Dog Blues Fest is one you want to put on your list for next year on the last weekend in July.

Photos and commentary by Bob Kieser.


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 Featured Blues Review – 2 of 10 

tajmo cd imageTaj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ – TajMo

Tajmo Records LLC/Concord Records CRE00431-02

11 songs – 43 minutes

www.tajblues.com

www.kebmo.com

When Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ met in the studio to record this album, the synergy was akin to a supernova, pairing two of the biggest stars in the blues world, and this release, which combines the efforts of two of the music universe’s brightest lights, is certain to be essential listening for perpetuity.

The pair share five Grammys, but come from different spectrums. Born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks in the Bronx, Taj grew up in Springfield, Mass., the son of an Afro-Caribbean jazz pianist/arranger father and school teacher/gospel-singing mother. Now in his mid-70s, he emerged on the scene in his early 20s during the folk revival of the ’60s and has been at the forefront of the blues world ever since with dozens of albums to his credit. A multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, harmonica, piano and banjo, he’s a musicologist of the first order and is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on Western music.

About a decade Taj’s junior, Keb was born in South Los Angeles and grew up in neighboring Compton. An actor with major films to his credit, he began his musical career as a steel drum and bass player in a calypso band before backing violinist Papa John Creach, best known for his work with Jefferson Airplane, on four albums. A multi-instrumentalist in his own right, he earned his first gold record in the ’70s for the song “Git Fiddler,” co-written with Creach, which appeared on Jefferson Starship’s Red Octopus album. But it took another 20 years or so for his star to ascend in the blues heavens. A fan favorite, his voice is familiar to outsiders, too. One of his tunes served as the theme for the long-running Mike & Molly TV show.

As powerful and entertaining as the pair are individually, TajMo proves they’re even a more potent force together. And they’ve gathered together some of the best musicians in the business to drive their message home. The lineup includes Joe Walsh, Trevor Linden and Phil Hughley on guitar, Michael Hicks on keyboards, Keith Everette and Quentin Ware on trumpet, Roland Barber and Roger Bissell on trombone, Nestor Torres on flute, Sam Levine on sax and flute, Jovan Quallo on sax, Marcus Finnie, Keio Stroud, Chester Thompson, Thad Witherspoon and Crystal Taliefero on percussion, and Phillip Moore, Tommy Sims and Eric Ramey on bass with Jeff Taylor on accordion and vocal contributions from Bonnie Raitt, Liz Wright, Dain Ussery and Sidney Rudder.

In addition to delivering two tunes co-written by Taj and Keb’ and four more numbers from Mo’s songbook, this sweet, upbeat disc mines covers from several disparate disciplines. While traditional themes flow like a river, don’t expect any gutbucket blues. No matter the subject matter, no matter how bleak, the music will leave you smiling.

The Taj/Mo’ original “Don’t Leave Me Here” kicks off the action. It’s a medium-tempo shuffle featuring Taj on harp. The pair trade vocals, as they do throughout, and insist: “If you’re goin’ to Mississippi/Where that Delta sky is sweet/Well you know I’m stuck here in Chicago/Please don’t leave me here.” The lyrics are a stunning reversal of the common theme of poor sharecroppers yearning for life in the Windy City. Some fine picking introduces Piano Red’s “She Knows How To Rock Me” and carries the tune throughout. It’s a great version with Taj providing the raspy lead vocals and Keb’ delivering the response.

A pair of Keb’s tunes follow. The duo trade verses for “All Around The World.” Co-written with Chic Street Man, it features an island beat and female chorus as it delivers the message that people need to find a better path toward peace and understanding. The ballad “Om Sweet Om,” co-written with Om Jahari and John Lewis Parker, continues the message forward as it urges folks to open up their hearts, that the sun doesn’t care who he shines upon.

“Shake Me In Your Arms,” written by Billy Nichols, an artist best known for his work with Martha And The Vandellas and B.T. Express, is a gleefully positive mid-tempo blues that suggests a night of romance instead of a fight with a lover. Keb’s “That’s Who I Am,” co-written by Al Anderson and Leslie Satcher, describes the feeling of finally finding true love and understanding the inability to live without it.

A pair of covers — Sleepy John Estes’ “Diving Duck Blues” and Pete Townshend’s Who classic “Squeeze Box” — receive thoroughly modern makeovers before Keb’s funky “Ain’t Nobody Talkin’,” written with John Caldwell, sings about an illicit love affair, and the Taj/Keb’-penned “Soul,” a multi-layered number with a Caribbean beat, states simply that soul power spans the globe. The disc ends with a little hope for the future in a cover of John Mayer’s “Waiting For The World To Change.”

Available through all major retailers, TajMo is a pure delight throughout. Strongly recommended, and a serious contender for awards across the blues spectrum in the year ahead.

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.



 Featured Blues Video Of The Week – Billy Branch 

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Billy Branch and the Sond Of The Blues performing their song “Blues Shock”. (Click image to watch!)

Billy Branch & The Sons of the Blues will be performing at the Paramount Music Fest on Saturday, September 2, 2017. For information and tickets to the Paramount Music Festival click HERE or click on their ad in this issue.


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 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 10 

luke hilly cd imageLuke Hilly & The Cavalry – Shake Your Bones

Road Sweet Road Records

https://lukehillythecavalry.bandcamp.com

10 tracks , Running Time – 31 Minutes

Luke Hilly And The Cavalry sound like they should have many band members and listening to this release the listener will indeed get that impression. However they are a duo from Sion in Switzerland. They are comprised of Luc Monsciani and Gianluca Cavalera. Luc plays lead guitar, cigar box guitar and belts out the singing. Gianluca plays harmonica and sings as well. Formed in the South Swiss Alps they have played for five years and have a very distinctive sound. They play rootsy blues music on a totally apocalyptic scale. They mix all kinds of genres punk it up and serve it to the listener very hot and spicy. It was recorded and remastered in Roystone Studio in Charrat Switzerland.

Ten tracks coming at you like a hurricane with a defining opener “Home Sweet Road” with a driven force so raw you can feel the blood oozing from the veins of the lyrics. The mix of gruff vocals and excellent harmonica playing is hard to beat on this one, it rolls along easy. “You Shook Me All Night Long” keeps the tempo high, punky and thrashy, a real treat. “Diggin’ My Soul” has a slower slide riff to it. This is a gospel song of sorts, played in their unique way. The next track “I Still Believe In the Ghost Of Robert Johnson” is pure delta blues with a shot of Chicago harmonica. For me the standout track is number five “I’ve Never Seen My Home”. It exemplifies the raw natural talent of the band a great beat and full of energy and good harmonies. The cover of A.P Carter’s “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” is well balanced and keeps to a traditional take of a great singalong with a good backbeat. Strong vocals persist through “Oh Lord Stay Away From Me” a slower acoustic number, still with a hill country feel.

Tempo is relaxed again on “Oh Lord Stay Away From Me” a tuneful ballad with some good picking. On the penultimate track things turn gypsy toned on the sinister sounding “The Field”. Final track is the second cover originally written by Renato Carosone, the wonderful “L’Americano” sung in their native French language. It seems a mainstay of their setlist and a real crowd pleaser. The song relates to somebody wanting to be American and all the goodness that goes with that. Considering the heavy guttural Americanised vocal delivery it would seem this duo are heavily influenced by American music and do it much justice.

This is a highly infectious release and is over too quickly, so just keep playing it on repeat. It is that good and puts a smile on your face. It’s all music at the end of the day and this powerful duo have a style of their own that begs you to see them in a live setting. Highly recommended.

Reviewer Colin Campbell is based in Scotland. He has been writing about blues music for over six years. He is also a keen photographer. He has been enthused and heavily influenced by blues music for three decades. Music is a healer, blues is the medicine.


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 Featured Blues Review – 4 of 10 

HELLS GATE BLUES BAND CD IMAGEHell’s Gate Blues Band – Thin Line

Self-Release – 2016

11 tracks; 43 minutes

www.hellsgateblues.com

Hell’s Gate Blues Band comes from the Vancouver area and this is their second CD release. There is just one cover here, with most of the material written by singer Lisa Fennell and guitarist Norm Campbell and two contributions from harp player Peter Selnar. A seven-piece band, the other players are Alan Bingley (guitar), Rick Lawrence (keys), Glenn Rowley (bass) and Peter Smith (drums). The material is predominantly melodic blues rock.

“Attraction” opens with acoustic guitar and high register harp that sounds almost like a flute, Lisa recounting an immediate attraction to a guy at a party, the whole having a latter-day Fleetwood Mac feel. Lisa has a decent range to her vocals and “Burning Bridges” offers her the chance to show that as she starts in a deeper register but has to operate also in a higher tone for the chorus. A chugging riff underpins this strong song (written by Norm and Aloma Steele), the lyrics describing how to get over a failed relationship: “I’m fine with the outcome, I’ll be fine for a while, ‘cos while you’re burning bridges I’m rebuilding my smile”. Lisa then seems torn between “Love Or The Booze”, an uptempo number with twin guitar riffs and harp before the title track “Thin Line” takes us back into difficult relationship territory with Peter’s harp again featured. “Smoke And Ashes” is another slow-paced number in which Lisa describes her passion for the blues, name-checking many of the blues greats in the lyrics, Rick playing some lyrical piano.

One of the standout tracks here is “Stitch The Pain” which has an earworm chorus, Lisa seeking a way to mend her broken heart: “You tell me that you love me, that you’ll never leave. You say it’s for ever and I want to believe, but you can’t stitch the pain in my body, it courses through my veins.” With warm organ underpinning the song this is definitely Lisa’s finest hour on vocals. Lightening the mood we then get some funky rhythm guitar on “Dancing Shoes” before “Missing You” completes the writing contributions of Lisa and Norm with another sad song played over an acoustic backdrop and Peter’s mournful harp.

Peter then offers two songs: “Woodstock Redux” takes us back to the 1969 festival with many of the stars name-checked and “Smiling Girls” provides a lead vocal opportunity for Norm though he is not as strong a vocalist as Lisa. Both these tunes have plenty of guitar and harp and are a little more blues-orientated than the rest of the album. Lisa closes the album with a dramatic reading of Melissa Etheridge’s “Bring Me Some Water” which she sings really well.

This is a solid album of original material which shows a band with plenty of talent and promise.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK who enjoys a wide variety of blues and roots music, especially anything in the ‘soul/blues’ category. Favorites include contemporary artists such as Curtis Salgado, Tad Robinson, Albert Castiglia and Doug Deming and classic artists including Bobby Bland, Howling Wolf and the three ‘Kings’. He gets over to the States as often as he can to see live blues.



 Featured Blues Review – 5 of 10 

quique gomez cd imageQuique Gomez & His Vipers – Dealin’ With The Blues

Sweet Records SRCD-008

12 songs – 51 minutes

www.quiquegomez.com

Even though this is the debut release for Quique Gomez, the Spanish-born vocalist/harmonica player is no stranger to fans on both sides of the Atlantic, having worked with several top bluesmen and traveling the world since first visiting Chicago. He delivers a set of Windy City-flavored blues here in an album recorded in his hometown of Madrid but mastered by Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios in California.

Now in his early 40s, Gomez began playing harp at age 18 and migrated to the Windy City for the first time in 2008, quickly establishing himself. He’s toured with a who’s who of talent, including Chicagoans John Primer, Eddie C. Campbell, Jimmy Burns, Taildragger and Rockin’ Johnny Burgin as well as Canadian keyboard player Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne.

Quique’s no stranger to the recording studio, having served as a sideman on about a dozen CDs, and he works frequently with Italian guitarist Luca Giordano, often joining him to back Stateside musicians during European tours. The pair have collaborated on two releases, Dead Mama Blues, recorded in Italy in 2009, and 3011 Studio Sessions, captured in Chicago in 2012. And he paired with Brazilian guitarist Netto Rockefeller on another album, Bahia Times, two years later.

He’s an excellent harp player in the Chicago tradition, and possesses a clear, strong baritone voice. He’s joined here by his regular band, The Vipers: Curro Serrano and Pablo Sanpa on guitars, Hector Rojo on bass and Guillaume Destarac on drums with Javier Diaz sitting in on keyboards for three of the 12 cuts, all of which are covers of blues, jazz and soul standards.

An uptempo harp introduction kicks off Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight.” It swings from the jump and gives the guitars plenty of space to rip and run on the mid-tune solo before Quique’s harmonica drives things to the finish. Written by Willie Dixon and recorded famously by Little Walter, “Too Late” is up next with Gomez faithful to the original in the opening bars atop a racing rhythm pattern. A stellar guitar solo makes this one shine, and Quique adds an original solo of his own.

He delves into the Gulf Coast next for an updated, uptempo take on Slim Harpo’s “I’m Gonna Keep What I’ve Got” before returning to the Windy City for a strong slow-blues version of Jimmy Rogers’ “Gold Tailed Bird,” on which the guitars come to the fore again with Gomez providing rhythm and fills. Next up is “Sugar Ray.” Written by Babs Gonzales, the bebop-era jazz vocalist born Lee Brown, and made popular by Dizzy Gillespie, it puts Quique’s chromatic skills on display with sophisticated runs.

“Sloppy Drunk,” written by Lucille Bogan, gets a faithful treatment before a take on Jimmy Witherspoon’s “Times Getting Tougher Than Tough,” which would leave the ’50s superstar smiling. Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” gets a full-on blues overhaul next. The musicianship will make you forget that Gomez’s Spanish accent slightly creeps into the vocals on both numbers.

“It’s Too Late Brother,” written by Al Duncan, one of the most important, yet overlooked, sessions drummers in the golden era of Chicago blues, follows before takes on Muddy Waters’ “Honey Bee,” Memphis Minnie’s “What’s The Matter With The Mill” and Sonny Boy Williamson I’s “Wonderful Time” bring the action to a close.

Dealin’ With The Blues is a rock-solid debut that’s available direct through www.sweetrecordslabel.com. It will be interesting to hear what Quique does next. An album with Rockin’ Johnny is currently in the planning stages.

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.


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 Featured Blues Review – 6 of 10 

ben hemming cd imageBen Hemming – City of Streets

Self-Produced

www.benhemming.co.uk

CD: 11 Songs, 33:04 Minutes

Styles: Drone/Trance Blues, Contemporary Acoustic Blues Rock, All Original Songs

Blues Blast Magazine has characterized the music of Great Britain’s Ben Hemming as “songs of bleak beauty.” The cover art of his sophomore release, City of Streets, is certainly bleak, all in shades of washed-out blue-grays. According to Ben’s website, featuring the above quote, “The title of the album…was chosen as the majority of the songs were written in London, were Ben Hemming is currently based, and were an attempt to embody the isolation that lies at the heart of the modern metropolis.” Sound depressing? It kind of is, as is the ambiance of this CD. FULL DISCLOSURE: Drone/trance blues is not everyone’s cup of tea, whether it comes from the UK or the North Mississippi Hill Country. Hemming’s angst-ridden monotone will remind listeners far more of R.E.M. or Kurt Cobain than Jimmy Reed or Albert Collins. There are no danceable numbers on this album, either, although a few are up-tempo. One good thing about it is that every song is original, with an hour’s worth of meaning packed into just over thirty minutes.

States Moria Dennnison, Hemming’s publicist: “City of Streets is Ben Hemming’s second studio album and was recorded in the small Norwegian town of Spydeberg, 40 minutes away from the capital, Oslo, at ‘Velvet Recording’ – a state-of-the-art studio with an impressive live room. This enabled Ben Hemming’s backing band to be recorded playing together, and gave an amazing live vibe to the album. It was produced by Nick Terry, who has worked with some big names such as The Libertines, Ian Brown, and Klaxons. His initiative, work ethic, and production techniques gave the release a distinctive sound all of its own.”

Performing along with acoustic guitarist Hemming are Raf Ruocco on double bass and Eric Young on drums.

The following tune may not be blues per se, as most people know them, but it’s the one that made Ms. Rainey Wetnight sit up in her computer chair and pay strict attention.

Track 04: “Devil’s Soul” – This magazine’s genre of choice has often been called “the devil’s music,” as opposed to soul and gospel. Our narrator claims to have the spirit of the Adversary within his own mortal frame. With a hard-driving, chugga-chugga rhythm on his acoustic shredder, Ben Hemming howls in torment as he sings the lyrics. “Show me where to go,” he begs God – or his audience – in the chorus. The band Nirvana would be right proud of this number.

London is a City of Streets. If you’re in a zone-out mood, blues fans, Ben Hemming can relate!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 37 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.


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 Featured Blues Review – 7 of 10 

teresa watson band cd imageTeresa Watson Band – Teresa Watson Band

Self-Release: 2017

www.facebook.com/Teresa-Watson-Band-1465595647024845/

10 tracks: 44 minutes

This is more of a comeback release for this very talented lead singer Teresa Watson. Well known in the North East of England pub and club scenes, she gave up singing after twenty years to recharge her batteries. Unfortunately this forced retirement as such lasted six years but now she is back with a vengeance. She put together a new band by calling in Paul Donaldson on keyboards first as he has played with her previously. The other three members are from a former local band called The Groove-A-Matics. They are award winning blues guitarist John Whitehill (Paul Lamb And The Kingsnakes), Barry Race on drums and John Morgan on bass guitar. Certainly a very good combination , a very professional band with very slick and intricate tones.

All the songs are covers, mostly blues and soul with definite influences from Bonnie Raitt and Koko Taylor. Teresa is a very powerful singer but not a blues shouter as such. Her delivery of songs has a passion that marries well with the rest of the band. They harmonize on the opener by Randel and Mitchell, “Come To Mamma”. Sultry and sassy singing but not over the top. The band comes together on the Don Robey tune “You Got Me Where You Want Me” with some sweet guitar licks. Her vocals on the Lee Roy Parnell tune “Breaking Down Slow” drips with emotion and soft tones. There is a laid back approach to the Z.Z. Hill track, “Down Home Blues”. It is on the stunning version of “Leap Of Faith” that old Gary Nicholson tune where Teresa excels though. A stand out track and possibly a self reflective tune.

The interpretation of “Angel From Montgomery” the John Prine tune, flows like a mighty river. The piano playing on this is very simple but so effective and mirrors the vocals well. “I Just Wanna Make Love To You” by Willie Dixon has been covered to extremes but it rolls along nicely on this version.

The eighth track is the best tune. “Married To The Blues” by John Hahn has the hallmarks of a classic. It is a punchy tug at the heartstrings version and a real crowd pleaser. The vocal range on this one is stunning. “Love Me Like A Man” the Chris Smither cover is a plea from the heart, sung with venom. The interpretation of most of these twelve tracks is like that but done very subtly. The release closes with “Need Your Love So Bad”, the Mertis John Junior classic. This is given an exquisite makeover that fades out well.

A very good debut release , instrumentation and singing first class. watch out world Teresa Watson is back and meaning business.

Reviewer Colin Campbell is based in Scotland. He has been writing about blues music for over six years. He is also a keen photographer. He has been enthused and heavily influenced by blues music for three decades. Music is a healer, blues is the medicine.


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 Featured Blues Review – 8 of 10 

t g swampbusters cd imageTG Swampbusters – Swamp Rock Country Blues

www.swampbusters.ca

Booze Records

12 songs time-45:45

From deep down in the swampland of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada comes the “dad gumist” configuration of varmints you ever laid your ears on-TG Swampbusters. From the rustic noise they make you’d swear they where from deep down in the Louisiana swamps. They capture that essence with a funky-ness unbeknownst to most of mankind. The quirky lyrics and wonderfully off- kilter guitar antics by TG make for one hell of an unexpected good time. He also plays harmonica that serves more as a way of lending blues authenticity as his playing skills are limited. TG(Tim Gibbons) and the rest of his swamp power trio have conjured up a refreshing set of music. The rhythm section of Patch on drums and “Swampy” Joe Klienfiltr on bass prop up the musical shenanigans of TG who wrote all this crazy goodness. The lyrics are rife with Louisiana and southern references that lend an authenticity to the proceedings.

Anybody that can come up with witty lyrics such as- “slick back possum with a reefer in his paw, rackin’ up a tray, he’s a rebel with a cause”, “crow strumming on a Dobro, an alligator pickin’ on a tenor banjo” as in “One Hundred Proof Blues” is just fine and dandy in my book. Full of chuggin’ guitar, bayou references and rattling percussion…It doesn’t get any better than this. Witticisms abound in these parts with song titles like “She Always Ate Her Crackers In Bed” and “Twist My Rubber Arm”. “Pitching A Tent” is super catchy with its’ nicely distorted guitar parts. A wonderful guitar tone is attained on “The Devil Gets His Due”.

“Baby Sin” has a funky-chunky groove with rustic sounding guitar. The variety of guitar sounds used continues throughout the CD, including some way neato fuzz guitar on “Cranberry Corners”. The melancholy lyrics and acoustic guitar of “She Gave Me The Blues” caps things off in a laidback mood.

Swampy, southern downhome perspective oozes out of every song with a true authenticity. Nothing here comes off as corny or hokey. It seems like every guitar and harmonica lick, drum part, bass line and word were carefully thought out to create the sense of a drunken, loopy, feel good swamp juke joint band. “Pappy pass me some a’ dat possum gravy and turn the jukebox up way loud”. Who you gonna call?

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.


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 Featured Blues Review – 9 of 10 

55 rose street cd image55 Rose Street – Misery

https://www.facebook.com/55RoseSt

Southern Red Bird

9 songs – 37 minutes

55 Rose Street is a blues studio project, written and produced by Florida-based bassist Mick Metz, whose company, Southern Red Bird, also provides full management services for 55 Rose Street including production, promotion, and distribution. Metz pulled in a variety of top class musicians to bring Misery to fruition, with a core band featuring drummer Rick Brunetti (whose resume includes Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods’ #1 hit, “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero”); guitarist/vocalist Heather Gillis (who currently holds down the guitar chair in Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band in addition to fronting her own band); and singer/harmonica-player, Chris Balding. Three guest artists also make appearances. Sarah Mac contributes sultry vocals to the lolloping opening track, “Black Ice.” Guitarist Pat Buchanan adds space-age guitar to “The Blues Is What I Live With” and raucous slide guitar to “Empty World” and “Juke Joint.” And Clyde Ramsey provides keyboards and vocals on “Juke Joint” and “Devil Done Put Me Out.”

Every studio-only project runs the risk of sounding disjointed or at least thematically incohesive due to the variety of musicians used and the fact that it takes time to develop a rapport with other players. Metz deserves great credit therefore for producing an excellent album of modern blues-rock that sounds like it was produced by a band that had been playing together for years. The pop of “Ray of Texas Sunshine” and “Juke Joint” sits easily next to the heavy riffing of “The Blues Is What I Live With”, the blues-rock of “Empty World”, the straight-ahead shuffle of “Thunderbolt” and the closing slow blues of “Misery.”

The lead vocals are shared between Balding, Gillis, Sarah Mac and Clyde Ramsey, while Brunetti and Metz lock down a series of irresistible rhythms with Metz picking a series of cool bass lines. Balding’s blues harmonica is the primary solo instrument, but both Gillis and Buchanan turn in a series of short, snappy guitar solos and neat rhythm patterns. Buchanan’s slide playing throughout “Empty World” is particularly impressive, while Gillis’s chiming Strat tones elevate “Ray Of Texas Sunshine” and add spice to the end of “Devil Done Put Me Out.”

Don’t be misled by the album’s title. Misery is actually an upbeat, life-affirming collection of music. Metz is a smart songwriter, delicately treading the fine line between blues and rock, with a fair amount of pop and soul thrown in. Lyrically, he is happy to subvert classic blues couplets, as in “Devil Done Put Me Out”, where Ramsey confesses: “I went down to the crossroads, the Devil done put me out. He said, ‘Son, I can’t perform miracles. You just got to figure it out’.”

55 Rose Street may be a studio project, but there is more than enough evidence on Misery to suggest a bright future should Metz and his crew decide to take the band on the road. A very entertaining release.

Reviewer Rhys Williams lives in Cambridge, England, where he plays blues guitar when not holding down a day job as a technology lawyer or running around after his children. He is married to an American, and speaks the language fluently, if with an accent.


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 Featured Blues Review – 10 of 10 

johnny max band cd imageJohnny Max Band – Roadhouse Soul

www.johnnymaxband.com

Poor Soul Records

10 songs time-38:29

Johnny Max’s sincere and warm vocals meld perfectly with his musicians and lyrics on this well crafted collection of roots rock tempered by funk, blues, R&B and whatever else they throw in. These Canadian bands have an uncanny knack for creating imaginative music. With just the basics of guitar, mandolin, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals the band whips up a full and satisfying sound. The production by Johnny Max and guitarist Kevin Vienneau gives clarity to each instrument. All compositions are band originals.

Sweet revenge is the subject of the upbeat “Couldn’t Happen To A Nicer Guy”. Boogie-woogie piano, slide guitar, clever lyrics delivered in a warm manner add up to a winner. “Blind Leading The Blind” comments on the sad state of the world situation over a super catchy guitar riff. Speaking of which, a another nifty riff leads into the funky “(I’m Your) 911”, where guitar intertwines with the textured keyboards of Rob Gusevs. Quisha Wint contributes her soulful background vocals as she does elsewhere during the proceedings. A modern day song with similar sentiments of “Nobody Knows You Are Down And Out” is the delightfully wistful and upbeat “I’m Broke”. Kevin Vienneau’s melodic mandolin greatly enhances this tune. The only other instrument being some bluesy piano.

Johnny’s warm voice envelopes the tender lyrical content of the perfect love song “I Wish I Could Write You A Love Song”. The title track is a rollicking rocker is a jubilant description of their type of music. Brotherhood is the thrust of the slow electric piano driven “Lend A Helping Hand”. Quisha once again offers up her soothing backing vocals. The roadhouse groove really kicks in on the raucous “Time Well Wasted” with its’ Chuck Berry-ish guitar goodness. The tender “We’ve Been Together For Such A Long Time” melds spy movie guitar with “chimey” piano. A beautiful wrap up to a totally enjoyable good time.

Everything works well here from the vocals, Kevin’s guitars and mandolin, Rob’s keyboards, Jim Casson’s drums, Russ Boswell’s bass to Quisha Wint’s complimentary vocals. When all the parts gel like this it makes for musical magic. It’s very obvious that much care was given to this project. Take advantage of the good feelings within this CD.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.


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 Featured Blues Interview – Nellie “Tiger” Travis 

nellie travis pic 1There are plenty of stories about talented people who leave their small-town upbringing behind for the lure of the big city, only to lose their way in the glare of the bright lights. For singer Nellie Tiger Travis, that tale played out in her career until she traded one metropolis for another one, where her efforts have resulted in international recognition and and a spot on late-night television.

Last year, the Tonight show host, Jimmy Fallon, did one of his Do Not Play segments. One track he featured was “Slap Yo’ Weave Off,” from the Travis’s 2008 release I’m A Woman on CDS Records. In January, Travis made an appearance on the show, singing several verses of the song backed by the Roots, Fallon’s studio band. “I didn’t send it in. It just popped up. Fallon said he liked the song and that I sounded like Gladys Knight. Oh my God, that was a big compliment! When it happened, my whole persona changed. I was running around the house, didn’t know what to do. It made a statement.”

Raised in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, Travis was raised by her grandmother, who was a woman of the church. Travis started singing gospel at an early age. “I had no choice. My grandmother was an Evangelist and most of her brothers, my uncles, were gospel singers or ministers. Up until my adult life, church was an every day thing. Those experiences taught to to be free, not be shy or timid about what I do. I was raised very poorly but it was the best part of my life. Many days my breakfast was eggs and gravy, sometimes with biscuits or cornbread.”

“I knew we were poor but there was lots of love. My grandmother raised me from six months of age. She was by herself, my grandfather died at an early age had to pick and chop cotton for school clothes. When I was younger, I would help her fill her 100 pound sack, which earned $5 for a full, heavy sack. I asked her if I could get in the sack when they weighed it, so she wouldn’t have to pick so hard! Sometimes the kids at school would laugh at me. I wasn’t dirty – I thought I was cute. Those kind of experiences made me more determined to be somebody. One of my goals was to be Miss Universe or Miss USA. When I was fourteen, I was a finalist for the Mississippi State pageant. When I went to the orientation meeting, I was the only black girl there. The other girls wanted nothing to do with me. It was so discouraging that I left and never went back.”

“I wore gym shoes that my grandmother bought to school and got teased about it. So I joined the basketball team so that I could get a pair on Converse shoes to wear. I played pretty good ball. The first year on varsity I was Rookie of the Year and the next season I was the top free throw shooter. So I deserved those Chuck Taylor shoes. I wasn’t a bad, bad girl. But when you are younger, you think boys. My grandmother had me believing that if I kissed a boy, I’d get pregnant. She was smart about lying to us. I had a beautiful upbringing.” Living in a community where neighbors cared for each other, Travis was an all-around girl who ran track in addition to basketball. She also participated in numerous talent competitions and was named Queen of JFK High School in 1979.

Eventually Travis moved out on her own, joining a band doing secular music locally. Ed Townsend, producer of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, came to Mound Bayou to recruit new talent.

nellie travis pic 2“Out of more than 100 people, it got narrowed down to a group we called SSIPP, I named the band after our home state. We did some recording and did some performances, including opening for Dionne Warwick. For another show, we were supposed to open for Ray Charles at Delta State College. But Ray’s manager felt there wasn’t enough people there to perform, so Ray didn’t do the show. That was a crushing situation in my life. Being with the group helped to advance my career and move to the next level.”

Looking to get a recording contract, Travis tried to get a spot with Joe “Poonanny” Burns, a Malaco Records artist popular on the southern soul blues scene. Burns already had a woman singer in his show. Eager to move forward, Travis began to plan a move to Los Angeles. The day before she decided to make the move, Poonanny called to say his singer was pregnant and he needed someone. But Travis decided to stick to her plan.

“I didn’t realize how hard it was going be. I was going to sit on Quincy Jones’s doorstep to make him hear me. It was not that easy to be a star. I was hearing all these people singing so great in the clubs, wondering why they don’t have contracts. Coming from Mississippi, you are green, don’t know anything. I could never even tell you what direction Quincy lived in! There was so much you could get caught up in. Shortly after moving out there, I experienced my first 7.5 earthquake. I was living with my sister. I took my two boys and jumped in the bathtub. But that is what you do for tornadoes. She told me to get in the doorway but I said no, the bottom might drop out!”

“I spent six years in Los Angeles – learned that it is no place for a country girl. Everybody I met was with a record company or this or that. It was all a myth, a lie. I did not meet anyone who was able to get me somewhere. What I can say is I started singing in a club in Compton. That is where I met Peggy Scott-Adams (who had a major hit with the song “Bill” on Miss Butch Records). That lady can sing – and we are still friends today. So I did club stuff and worked a temp situation at Northrup Aircraft. It was so much more competitive in the clubs. The men hated to see you coming if you had a decent voice – and the women were even worse! It was a battle every day. I’d go to jams and not get called up. The song that carried me was “Neither One Of Us” by Gladys Knight. I got with a band and they refused to play my music right because they did not want me to outshine them.”

One experience still remains a vivid memory. Travis went to an audition for the remake of the Motown Marvelettes group. She saw an ad in the newspaper and headed out to the Beverley hills address. “The producer was from Memphis. I did the audition. He told me to turn around – and I’m wondering where this is going. Then he left and disappeared in the studio. I waited for a bit but my girlfriend and her husband were waiting for me. They gave me a ride as I didn’t have a car at the time. Finally I start going through the studio calling his name. He suddenly comes out of this room and I see three young ladies lined up against the wall naked. He tells me I made the audition, that I have a great voice and the right size. Then he says,” You know, in this business, you have to suck ****s to make it”.

“When I left Mississippi, my grandmother said that if I didn’t make it out there, you can always come back to church and sing free. She warned me not to stoop below my morals. That sticks to me to this day. It got shaky at times, so thank God I had two sisters out there who were well off.” In 1992, Travis sent her sons to live with their dad in Chicago when times got tough. Later she came to visit her ailing mother and, despite trepidation about Chicago, she relocated once again.

nellie travis pic 1There was quite a disparity in the music scene in the two cities. In Mississippi and Los Angeles, Travis had been singing Top 40 and R&B tunes. Up to that point, she had limited exposure to blues music. She felt confident in her abilities and singing. She heard about many of the city’s blues clubs, but made a point to stay out of them because “Down Home Blues” was the only blues song she knew well enough to sing. Finally, she went with her brother to Lee’s Unleaded Blues. She got called up to sing with Scotty & the Rib-Tips, doing her signature Gladys Knight song. Afterward, Walter Scott told her to get over to the Kingston Mines, where she would be able to get a job.

“I started listening to blues artists – Koko Taylor, “Wang Dang Doodle,” Jimmy Reed, “Sweet Home Chicago,” and even “Proud Mary,” because that always got a reaction from the people. I would listen to the guys singing songs at Lee’s Unleaded and would write down the lyrics. Half the time the lyrics were wrong. People sang it wrong and I didn’t know any better. I didn’t bother to try to look up the lyrics somewhere. When I finally went to Kingston Mines, I sat in with Howard Scott & the World Band. As soon as I opened my mouth, the place went crazy, which is exactly what I envisioned happening. After I did two songs, the manager called me in the back and told me they wanted me to start next Tuesday”.

So Travis started hitting the clubs in earnest, trying to learn songs. She has always believed that the show is about her, not long guitar or drum solos. It is her name on the billboard, so she is committed to keeping the focus of her shows on her singing. She spent six years singing at the club, developing a reputation for being a tough, sassy blues vocalist. Through her friendship with Artie “Blues Boy” White, Travis got to meet Koko Taylor, the reigning Queen of Chicago blues. She was part of a big show in 1998 at Koko’s banquet hall with White and Ruby Andrews, with her mother there to videotape her performance. Tragedy struck when Travis’s mother was struck down by a massive aneurysm and heart attack.

Travis recalls, “After that, Koko took me on as a blues daughter. I learned so much from that lady, about the industry, musicians, and jealousy. Everything I experienced since, she had already warned me about what to expect, so it didn’t hit as hard as it would somebody who didn’t know”. She got her “Tiger” nickname from a friend who thought it fit the singer’s tough vocal style.

In 2009, after Koko had passed away, I was doing a gig when Pervis Spann, a well-known broadcaster and music promoter, came in with some friends.Stopping the show, Spann announced that he had given Koko her crown, and now he was crowning me the new Queen of the blues. No one ever really acknowledged that. I realize that it is not about a title. I am a queen either way. So I wrote the song “There’s Queen In Me” – “I have been around the world many times before, and there are great role models that opened many doors. But there is one thing you need to see – and that is there’s a Queen in me.” I’ve had some slick situations with the queen thing. Not once did I step up ask for it, except when I ran for it in high school. But it did cause me to write a nice song a ballad. I’m not a great dancer, so I really like ballads. That’s where the gospelness comes out in me. I sing from my soul with all my music, but there is something about a ballad that cause me to weep, the tears coming from my thanks for me getting as far as I have.”

While she has been a fixture on Chicago blues scene, Travis has also found great success in the southern soul blues genre, where most of the music is programmed instead of utilizing real, live musicians. Her eight albums veer back and forth between the two genres. She has done track shows in the southern states, where she is singing to an audience along with a recorded disc. But when it comes to the blues, Travis is adamant about what she wants. “Titles don’t make me no difference whatsoever. I can be classified like Prince – I am just an artist. I am totally an icon in the southern states, especially with my latest hit, “Mr. Sexy Man”. And I am old-school. My blues recordings use real musicians. There is nothing in this world like live musicians on an album. But I have an opportunity to show my versatility and I enjoy that.”

Visit Nellie’s website at: https://nellietigertravis.com/

Interviewer Mark Thompson lives in Florida, where he is enjoying life without snow. He is the President of the Board of Directors for the Suncoast Blues Society and the past president of the Crossroads Blues Society of Northern Illinois. Music has been a huge part of his life for the past fifty years – just ask his wife!


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Sacramento Blues Society – Sacramento, CA

The Sacramento Blues Society will present Doug MacLeod August 13th, 2017 at the nationally known Torch Club in downtown Sacramento. MacLeod is known for his superb songwriting, guitar wizardry, warm soulful vocals, wit and unforgettable live performances. Doug is a multiple Blues Music Award winner from the Blues Foundation, most recently the 2017 BMA for Acoustic Artist of the Year and the Blues Blast Music Award for Male Artist of the Year. Doug is a multiple Blues Music Award winner from the Blues Foundation, most recently the 2017 BMA for Acoustic Artist of the Year and the Blues Blast Music Award for Male Artist of the Year. This is a 21+ only venue. Tickets $10 SBS Members; $15 Public

Also, it is with great pleasure that we announce the 2017 Sacramento Blues Society Hall of Fame Inductees. They are: Bill Scholer, Fred “Deacon” Baker, Kenny “Obie Dee” Van Cromphaut, Stan Powell, and Tim Wilbur. And special HOF Induction Presentation for the late Jay Peterson by 2010 SBS Hall of Fame Members Rick Estrin and Charles Baty.

Please join us for the Induction Ceremony on Sunday, September 24, 2017 from 1 pm – 5:00 pm at Harlow’s, 2708 J St, Sacramento, CA (SBS members $10, non-members $15) followed by an after party from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the nationally known Torch Club, 904 15th St, Sacramento, CA.

For more additional information: www.sacblues.com.

Long Beach Blues Society – Lohg Beach, CA

The Long Beach Blues Society is proud to present New Blues Festival 4, Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3 (Labor Day Weekend) at El Dorado Park in Long Beach, Calif. 2017 Contemporary Blues Album Nominee Janiva Magness and Serbian-born guitar great Ana Popovic, along with Blues legend Guitar Shorty and Chris Cain, headline a strong 2-day Main Stage lineup. Vendor Village, Craft Beers on Tap, BBQ Vendors, Gourmet Food Trucks, and more. The Golden Groove Stage will feature performances by many of the Southland’s best Blues acts.

More info at www.newbluesfestival.com or www.longbeachbluessociety.org

The Blue Jay Jazz Foundation – Blue Jay, CA

Blue Jay Jazz Foundation presents The King Brothers Thursday, August 10 (at 6 p.m.)at SkyPark at Santa’s Village, the entertainment and dining destination that reopened in 2016. The King Brothers are bringing the blues back to the San Bernardino Mountains to kick off the 2017 Blue Jay Jazz Festival concert series.

The Brothers, whose first Festival appearance in 2007 helped launch a serious blues component to the Blue Jay event, established a new standard of blues while staying true to a solid blues tradition. Drummer Sam and guitarist-vocalist Lee have played, toured and recorded with their cousin Freddie King and their “adopted uncle” Albert King. Their recent CD is Get up and Shake It, which All About Jazz called “blues played the way it should be, by guys who have been doing it for a while.”

The series is produced by the non-profit Blue Jay Jazz Foundation and continues with Greg Adams and East Bay Soul on August 17 and Adrianna Marie and her Groovecutters on August 24. More at www.bluejayjazz.com.

Southeast Iowa Blues Society – Fairfield, IA

The 4th Annual “Blue Ribbon Blues Fest” presented by the Southeast Iowa Blues Society (SIBS)is August 12th, 2017 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Fairfield, IA. The fest features Rob Lumbard, Danielle Nicole Band, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials and with Tony Blew between acts

Gates Open at 4:30 with music beginning at 5pm. Beverage Garden and BBQ & more…No Outside Food or Drinks Bring your chairs and Camping is available. Tickets – Advance $20 and SIBS members / Day of Show – $25

For more info. go to http://southeastiowabluessociety.org/ or call 641-919-7477 or 641-233-7438

Friends of the Blues – Kankakee, IL

Tues, Aug 22 – Jeff Jensen, Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club, Tues, Nov 14 – Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat, Manteno Sportsmen’s Club. More Info at: http://www.facebook.com/friendsoftheblues.

The Illinois Central Blues Club – Springfield, IL

The Illinois Central Blues Club has announced the line-up of talent for Blue Monday live performances held every Monday night at The Alamo, 115 North Fifth, Springfield, IL from 8:00pm to midnight. Additional information on any performer listed below is available upon request.

Blue Monday Schedule: Aug. 14 – Andy T & Alabama Mike, Aug. 21 – Lucky Loser’s, Aug. 28 – Green McDonough Band.

Additional ICBC partnered shows: Aug. 17 – James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6 pm Sam Crain Trio, Aug. 26 – Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Festival – Mary Jo Curry, Albert Castiglia, Lil’ Ed, Aug. 27 – Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Festival – James Armstrong, Kenny Neal, Eric Gales. For more information visit www.icbluesclub.org.


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P.O. Box 721 Pekin, Illinois 61555 © 2017 Blues Blast Magazine (309) 267-4425

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