Issue 14-11 March 12, 2020

Cover photo © 2020 Bob Kieser


 In This Issue 

Mark Thompson has our feature interview with Jontavious Willis. We have 10 Blues reviews for you this week including a book from Margie Goldsmith with tips from 30 top harmonica players plus new music from Albert Cummings, Son Roberts, Nicholas David, Andy B.AND, Honey Creek, Bywater Call, Guy Bélanger, Waylon Thibodeaux and Diane Blue.

Our feature video is Andrew Alli & Jontavious Willis.

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


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 Featured Interview – Jontavious Willis 

imageOver the last four decades, there have been numerous alarms sounded in the blues community expressing grave concerns about the lack of young artists playing the music, and continued viability of the art form without the support of younger generations of musicians. And yet somehow the music has endured. One unmistakable sign that the music remains vibrant occurred with the announcement of the nominees for the 2020 Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Blues Album category. It was no surprise to see the names of Bobby Rush, Jimmie Vaughan, and the award recipient, Delbert McClinton. The excitement came from the inclusion of the other two nominees, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Jontavious Willis, for his album Spectacular Class.

Willis certainly was surprised as anyone when the news came. “I was on tour with Jerron Paxton, another talented younger musician. We had been up to 5 a.m. listening to music. My phone started ringing at 9 a.m.. It was Kingfish, letting me know that we both got nominated for a Grammy. I was like, what! Are you for real? I had told Kingfish when he was doing his album that he was going to be nominated. Then I called my folks with the good news. But I didn’t stay in that space very long, because I am always thinking ahead. There were shows to do, driving to do, thinking about how in the world I was going to get out of New York in rush hour to head for Maine.

“The Awards show was a fun experience. Me and Kingfish sat together. I’m not sure, but I think that might have been the first time that two young black musicians were nominated in the Traditional Blues category, that were that young. Kingfish might be the youngest ever! Two of us from the south…..just that alone was enough for me. We didn’t have to win. That means people will hear us, people will see us young guys. People keep saying over and over that there aren’t any young black guys doin’ the blues no more. Well, that’s gone now. I felt real good being nominated along with my brother. It was a real pleasure.

“Those ripple effects is how it all starts. I hope that it perks somebody up, let’s them know that there is space out here for everybody. But you have to stay determined. If I find some young folks that are truly into the history and the culture of blues music, I make it my business to support them. If you are playing music to pass the time, that’s good. But if you are really trying to uphold the music, I am 100% behind you, and will do what I can to help you. We need more people that are deep into it. It’s a serious thing”.

Willis was born in Greenville, Georgia in 1996. His start in music followed a familiar path.

“I was singing in the church at the age of three. I’m not the best singer now, but I was a bad singer then. My grandfather, Simon Reeves, was singing all the time, so I wanted to do what he was doing. I was a part of the youth choir, but too little to sing, so I would sit on the side of the stage or stand up on a chair. I would captivate the crowd. Then my Dad was always playing music around the house, different genres of music going on all the time. I was no stranger to different styles of music”.

As far as instruments go, Willis began piano lessons at the age of eight years old. He stuck with it until his piano teacher got ill. Later, he tried several other instruments, including trombone.

“I was the first seat in the school band for one week. Then the instructor found out I couldn’t read music. Then I was second to last seat the rest of the year. I started playing guitar at the end of 2010, started playing harmonica at seventeen. I picked up the banjo the next year, but didn’t really learn much on it. But I have picked it back up, and now I understand it. I think I want to go back and try the piano again”.

Not everyone can remember the exact date that their love affair with a particular instrument began. For Willis and the guitar, the date is emblazoned in his memory.

image“It was Christmas Eve, 2010. My family always celebrates on Christmas Eve, and then we chill out on Christmas day. My father is retired, but he was an electronic technician. He would take lots of pictures and shooting videos. There is a photo with a time and date stamp of me taking the guitar out of box that year. But I wouldn’t forget that moment anyway”.

“It was an electric guitar. I started out playing alternate tunings, like Hawaiian or square neck. I played it the way I wanted to play it. By February of 2011, I could play a little tune. There is a video of that, too! But I went to yard sale and bought an acoustic guitar. It was a Old Kraftsman by Kay. The guy wanted $150 for it but I managed to talk him down to $100. I didn’t buy it for nostalgia purposes, not realizing that people were collecting old Kay guitars. The acoustic resonated with me more than the electric one did”.

“I hadn’t been playing any instruments for a period before that. My Dad had a guitar that he would not let me play, In fact, he still won’t let me play it! My Mom bought him that guitar about two years before he got the one for me. I had been sneaking in and hitting his guitar when he was off at work. So I finally asked him for a guitar. It was the cheapest one he could find, because he didn’t know if I was really going to stick with it. But it worked. It was a Fender Squier with a sunburst finish that came with a tuner, a little amp, and an instruction CD guide on how to play it. He got me what I asked for”.

“I knew once I got a guitar that I was going to play blues. Around the time I started on guitar, a lot of stuff was easily accessible on Youtube, videos that were new, no one had seen before. I was looking at stuff starting in 2007 or 2008. There was one of Muddy Waters playing live in 1976 that really grabbed me, because when Muddy was singing and playing, it was like he was doing it to a congregation. That was the way I was brought up around, the way folks talked. It reminded me of churching, and had me wondering if I could get those same kind of feelings from playing and singing. Try to get back to the way it felt when I was singing and trying to captivate people when I was younger. I did, and it was great”.

The youthful musician went through an intense period of learning, particularly about the roots of the music.

“I have always been interested in where things come from, who came before who. Things started to open up, like a huge book with hundreds of artists. This one recorded this song before this one, this one taught this person. I was studying blues history and how it paralleled with the culture I am from and the area I live in. There are a lot of people that are from a sixty mile radius of where I’m from that recorded blues, people like Tommy Dorsey. So I started diving in to get the best understanding that I could get out of it. Then I moved on from there”.

Willis spent some time playing guitar around the house and in church. One day, he decided to take a chance.

“I had been playing since 2010. In 2012, I called this festival in Eutaw, Alabama, the Black Belt Folk Roots Festival, and asked if I could play there. The response was that I could come and play, but it would be for exposure. It was a five hour drive to get there. I hadn’t played in a setting like that, so me and my cousin drove down there. I did two songs. Then Miss Carol said, come on back here. She paid me a couple hundred dollars for playing two songs! I was like, whoa, I never got any money for playing. To this day, I still do that festival for the same two hundred dollars in appreciation of them giving me my start. My Dad got that on video. By the way, my Dad is my biggest fan. I don’t care what anyone says, my Dad is first, and my Mom is second”.

“I kept on playing until October, 2015 when I moved to Columbus, Ga. for college That is when I started playing in standard tuning. A friend of my cousin Tony showed me a blues in G, then I took a lesson from a guy named Gary, which taught me another song in G as well. That lesson cost me $35 or $40 dollars. That is a lot for a college student, so I knew that I was only going to take one lesson. So I would go to school, then come home and bang away on the guitar for a bit. Eventually, I started getting more interested in other artists. So I went out searching for older artists. I started buying records. That not only got to the roots of the music, but also the roots of my pocket! Those records are expensive. I can’t get all of the good stuff. It is way different listening to a record than listening on your phone. I got a new Victrola, a nice electric one. I have records that go back to 1916, one of the Tuskegee Singers”.

imageWillis graduated college with a degree in Sociology. He was following in the footsteps of his cousin, who was the first person that Willis knew who graduated high school and college.

“I saw her growth. She studied Sociology, so that was what I did, with the intent of getting into Human Resources. Half way through, I could have dropped out. That was in 2015, when I first met up with Taj Mahal. That was when my career really took off. I started making money, and 2016 was pretty lucrative. I ended doing an extra year more than I had planned. But I did finish”.

Willis played gigs while in college, but was pretty selective on the ones that he would accept. Since his room and board at college was paid for, money was not the primary factor in his booking strategy.

“If it was a quality gig, I would take it. But I wanted to be in an intimate setting where people really wanted to listen to the music. I gigged a lot in college, especially 2017 and 2018. In 2017, I opened up about fifty shows on the TajMo tour, which was Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’. We did shows at the Ryman Theater in Nashville and Austin City Limits. As soon as Taj gave me a quote in an article in Living Blues Magazine, written by Frank Matheis, that was it. As soon as that came out, I had thousands of calls coming in. The game had changed. I still talk to Taj and tell him how much I appreciate that”.

“B.B. King had passed in 2015. I had wanted to meet B.B., and a few other people just so I could hear their stories. I didn’t meet him, but I made it my mission to go meet other older people that play this music. I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I would just call people up, tell them I play blues and like to meet people. They would say ok, then hang up the phone. I finally got in touch with the folks at the Musicmaker Relief Foundation. They said they had some older musicians I could meet. So in August of 2015, I made the six hour drive to Hillsboro, NC with my mother, my grandmother, and my aunt. I met Mr. John Dee Holeman and Mr. Boo Hanks, got to hang out with them. I also recorded five songs while I was there. One was “Lucy Mae Blues,” which the head of Musicmaker, Tim Duffy, posted. Taj saw the video and very impressed. He knew I wasn’t playing in standard tuning We talked, and he said, “I’ve been waitin’ for ya!”.

Two weeks later, Willis was playing two shows opening for Taj and John Hiatt in Atlanta.

“He told me to bring my guitar. They were the biggest crowds I had ever played for up to that point. Most of the audiences I was playing for were seventy-five, a hundred, maybe one hundred twenty-five people, at the most two hundred people. There was two thousand people there. Taj and his trio, then John Hiatt. I went out and did”Lucy Mae Blues,” then came back with “Key To The Highway”.

“At the end of the night, I told Taj that if I don’t ever see you again, I really appreciate this and you will be on my mind. Taj said, “Oh, you’re gonna see me!”

“He called me in January, 2017 to ask me to open three shows for him in March. He took such good care of me. He paid me and covered my room. They don’t normally pay for rooms for the opening act”.

“Later in the year, Taj called to tell me Keb’ Mo’ would be calling, and to make sure I answer his call. I was like, ok! So I get a call, hi, this is Keb’ Mo’. I was wondering if you would like to open two shows for me and Taj in New York. I said yes, of course. Two shows turned into one a week, which turned into a month, which turned into two months. And I am riding with them on the bus. I was kind of Taj’s responsibility. Once Keb’ found out who I was, and how cool I am, because I think I’m cool, so he wanted me to go on the road with them. So Taj was the one that made it happen. He is very influential in what I do. If you don’t know the stuff from the 1920 and 1930 eras, you won’t understand where Taj is pulling from. That is how it used to be. The elders always ushered in a new generation. Now there is a disconnect. My friends and I try to stay connected, help each other out, just like Big Bill Broonzy helped Muddy Waters, who then helped Chuck Berry. That is how it is supposed to work, the natural order”.

Willis released his first album, Blue Metamorphosis, in 2016 with eleven originals and one traditional tune. He had a lot of offers to record, but finally decided to release something on his own. He met a woman who had a listening that he used for the recording sessions. One of the other musicians, guitarist Tony Bryant, had a special connection.

image“A song we recorded, “So So Blues,” was a play off a tune that Tony’s grandfather recorded in 1928, “No No Blues”. Barbecue Bob recorded the song in 1931 as “Yo Yo Blues”. Barbecue Bob’s brother would record “No No Blues #2” in 1934, and then Tony’s grandfather, Curley Weaver, would come back and do “No No Blues” in the same year. Tony plays guitar and I play harmonica. That was my nod to the Georgia blues legacy”.

The aptly titled follow-up recording, Spectacular Class, had Taj Mahal as the Executive Producer and Keb’ Mo’ as the producer. Willis explains the different roles.

“Taj would nod at the end of things, say this good, or that works. Keb’ was very hands on. Taj was more like the overseer, while Keb’ was very hands on. Keb’ was in it, and genuinely cared. He stayed with us for the three days of recording, which we did in the basement studio at his house. He plays electric guitar on five songs and plays mandolin on one track. I wanted him to have a lot of influence on the album because he has a great ear”.

When it comes to equipment, Willis confesses to not really having any favorites.

“Right now I am using a Gibson L-00 guitar, that I bought new in 2017. I use Hohner Special Twenty harmonicas, because the wood combs break my mouth out, so the plastic comb works for me. I don’t usually play through an amp, so whatever is there, I will make it work. At the end of the day, if you plug an acoustic guitar into an amp, it will sound like an electric guitar. Some people say that is not 100% acoustic blues music. I do it because I like the bottom end. I like to be able to control the volume on the guitar. I have quite a few guitars but that Gibson is my workhorse”.

When asked about his favorite blues artists, Willis defers with a claim that it is like a parent picking a favorite child.

“I listen to everybody, literally everybody. But I will give you five off the top of head just to show you how wide the range is. One is Blind Lemon Jefferson, another would be Snooks Eaglin, then Blind Willie McTell, and Pee Wee Crayton. Two others would be Sonny Boy Williamson #1 (John Lee Williamson) and the great piano player Little Brother Montgomery. I listen stuff from 1924 up to 1964, that range of stuff. When people tell me they don’t like the blues, I just figure they haven’t really explored the genre. Over the forty years that I like, with hundreds of artists, there has to be something you would like”.

“I just go with whatever is playing. I am trying not to overload myself. Of course, I also try to be better as a person. I have been kicking around an idea about putting together a band to play about twenty shows a year. That is just a thought right now. I am also the Artistic Director for the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop in Washington, so I am booking artists to be the instructors.

“I have been blessed in my life. It seems I have fallen in with fate and nothing seems to surprise me. It’s like I have hit the lottery from birth.”

Visit Jontavious’ website at:http://jontaviouswillis.com

Interviewer Mark Thompson lives in Florida, where he is enjoying the sun and retirement. He is the past President of the Board of Directors for the Suncoast Blues Society and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Blues Foundation. Music has been a huge part of his life for the past fifty years – just ask his wife!



 Featured Video – Andrew Alli & Jontavious Willis 

This featured video is Andrew Alli & Jontavious Willis performing some amazing Delta Blues. (Click image to watch!)

Andrew Alli & Jontavious were reportedly a big hit on the recent Blues Cruise. We hope these two do more performances soon!

Andrew Has a new album coming March 20th. It is available for pre-order by clicking the ad image above.

Check Out Andrew’s website at:www.andrewallirva.com.


 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 10 

imageAlbert Cummings – Believe

Provogue/Mascot Label Group PRD 76070 2

11 songs – 44 minutes

www.albertcummings.com

Guitar master Albert Cummings fires out of the gate on his debut release for Provogue Records, a dramatic, stylish change of pace that seamlessly blends blues, rock and country in a set recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Produced by Grammy winner Jim Gaines at a site where some of the most iconic and soulful music of the ‘60s and ‘70s – Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and dozens more — was brought to life, Cummings ventures out of his usual power-blues comfort zone to incorporate deep-in-the-pocket horns and backup singers to deliver what’s without a doubt his most well-rounded album yet.

A childhood banjo player who grew up in New England and whose first love was bluegrass, Albert’s come a long way since developing a passion for the blues and guitar after attending a Stevie Ray Vaughan concert while in college. After performing for the first time in public at age 27, he formed the band Swamp Yankee and soon developed a major following, thanks in part through his association with the Northeast Blues Society and the attention he received from Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon, Vaughan’s partners in Double Trouble, who produced and appeared on his debut album, From the Heart, in 2001.

He star ascended quickly after B.B. King invited him to tour as his opening act, and he enjoyed a lengthy relationship with Blind Pig Records, which issued four of his CDs between 2004 and 2015, a period during which he also self-produced the blues-rock album, No Regrets, which displayed his fretwork in another light. Cummings’ most recent effort, the self-released Live at the ’62 Center, garnered a Blues Music Association nomination in the same category.

Cummings is backed here by Dave Smith and Justin Holder on bass and percussion and Clayton Ivy, the keyboard player featured on Aretha’s “Never Loved a Man” and other chart-toppers. They’re augmented by Ken Waters on sax and Brad Guin on trumpet with Kimberlie Helton and Trinecia Butler providing backing vocals. Rounding out the sound is Brad Kuhn who sits in on keys for a single cut.

A collection of six originals and five covers, the set opens with a traditional take on the Isaac Hayes-David Porter classic, “Hold On,” which provides Albert space to allow his vocal skills to shine before a stinging, well-modulated guitar solo mid-tune. The horn-backed, original Southern rocker “Do What Mama Says” flows effortlessly to follow as it urges listeners to “Say somethin’ nice or nothin’ at all/The bigger they are the harder they fall.”

Cummings’ take on Willie Dixon’s “Red Rooster” leaves the horns behind for a slow-and-steady taste of Chicago blues chockful of tasty, inventive fretwork before the full band’s back for the medium-fast shuffle, “Queen of Mean,” which warns that “If you see her comin’/You’d better hide” because one glance from her will turn you to stone.

The tender ballad, “Crazy Love,” a 1970 hit for Van Morrison, provides a sweet change-of-pace before things heat up again with “Get Out of Here,” a Southern rocker with a percussive beat, in which Cummings drops in to a favorite tavern and spots his ex-lady across the room. Quickly overcome by painful memories, he starts tearing up and knows it’s time to go. The agony comes through loud and clear in the closing guitar solo.

“My Babe” — the Dixon-penned Little Walter classic — receives an interesting, stop-time rearrangement and country feel and twang before the uptempo shuffle “It’s All Good” sings praise for working hard and maintaining an upbeat attitude no matter what comes your way, a message that continues in the loping “Going My Way,” which notes that “It’s been a long, hard journey/But I can finally reap what I sowed.”

Built atop a steady, bluesy guitar hook, “Call Me Crazy” warns that Albert’s not as nuts as a rival might think before the action closes with a cover of “Me and My Guitar,” a tune written by Leon Russell but a staple for Freddie King.

Available through most major retailers, Believe is a winner from the jump. Like Cummings states above, the seeds he planted in his travels during the past 20 years will pay off big with this one!

Blues Blast Magazine Senior writer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. Now based out of Charlotte, N.C., 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 Review – 2 of 10 

imageSon Roberts – Three’s A Charm

Gate Productions

www.sonroberts.ca

10 songs, 39 minutes

Playing the Blues for many artists is a lifelong journey of discovery and development very often in relative obscurity. Regional masters abound all over the globe unable to sustain themselves through their art, but with no less talent or artistic perspective then those lucky enough to climb higher on the professional food chain. Toronto’s Son Roberts seems to be one of these vital artists. His third independently released album Three’s A Charm is a charismatic collection of music with a unique perspective and voice. In the promotional material it is noted how Son “doesn’t make much of a living from the Blues, he seeks to make a contribution by creating music inspired by this life and this time.” This is the philosophy of a Blues lifer who has to create the music in spite of financial realities.

Son Roberts is a singer with a warbled delivery and a harmonica blower of muscular James Cotten skill. Roberts wrote or co-wrote all the songs on Three’s A Charm making the music personal and unique. There is a James Brown funk inspired through-line to Roberts’ Blues Rock. Son sings with a bravado and affect that reminds one of Rick Estrin’s slightly nasally delivery. Except where the Nightcats lay down the old school LA Swing, Robert’s co-conspirators keep the booty shaking with hard hitting syncopated funk beats, jagged guitar cuts and layers of background vocals and horns. The musicians are:

Son Roberts – vocals & harmonica; Brett MacMillan – producer, engineer and guitar; Gary Kendal, Omar Tunnoch, Charles Collymore, Tim Burns & Jerome Tucker – bass; Ralph MacDonald – guitar and mandolin; Sergio Faluotico – drums and percussion; Sarah Thawer, Tim Browne & Duncan McBain – drums; Alan Zimaitis & Jesse Whiteley – keys; Ed Roth – accordion; Kate Roberts, Gail Roberts, Dave Sparrow, Dave Senior Jr. & Dave Boire – background vocals; Scott Bannister, Zach Forbes & Donny Hopper – horns

“Down on Vaughn Road ” is a great example of Son Roberts’ Blues aesthetic. A choppy thumping disembodied drum beat buttresses solo harp blasting. A grimy rusty slide guitar cuts in ushering through the bass and more percussion. Roberts sings off the beat about the denizens of the Road and the experiences one can have, while a chorus of background singers (mostly his daughters) hammer home the stomping refrain.

The tarnished electro-trudge of “Vaughn Road” is tempered by the Maceo Parker inspired sophisti-Funk of “Not ‘Nuff Night.” With full stop drum fills and dancing rhythm guitar, “Night” has some of the best come-on lines and free floating scripted jive talking on the record (“You can squeeze my lemon, I want to taste your lime”). This type of medium tempo laid back funk is balanced by the urgent manic Sex Machine riot of “Cold Black Chair.” Floating long harp lines over the hard Funk-Rock, Roberts details a fever dream of reflection and hard times.

Three’s a Charm has some beautiful and affecting moments. The solo harp and voice opener “Morningstar” is a lament for the disappearance of a coworker’s daughter. The acoustic Tex-Mex “Tied Up In A Song” drips with accordion telling the story of generational music-making embodied in a fiddle. As cathartic as these songs are is how silly and absurdist “Keep That Joy Alive” is. This classic gospel performance about the joyous healing properties of ganga would make any Rastafari bob their head “yes.”

Son Roberts’ Three’s A Charm is irreverent fun loving music perfectly captured by the cover photo of kids giving the finger to the viewer. There is a facile simultaneously laid back and urgent vibe to the music. Son sings with conviction and confidence and fills the space with a professional presence. This record is a great example of how talented the regional unsung heroes of the Blues can be.

Reviewer Bucky O’Hare is a Bluesman based in Boston who spreads his brand of blues and funk all over New England. Bucky has dedicated himself to experiencing the Blues and learning its history. As a writer, Bucky has been influenced by music critics and social commentators such as Angela Davis, Peter Guralnick, Eric Nisenson, Francis Davis and Henry Louis Gates Jr.


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 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 10 

imageNicholas David – Yesterday’s Gone

Wild Heart Records -2019

11 tracks; 53 minutes

www.thefeelin.com

St Paul, Minnesota is the home base of Nicholas David who has been making records locally since the turn of the millennium. He was in the final three of The Voice in 2012 and, after doing a solo support slot on a Devon Allman tour, he was invited to play keyboards in the Devon Allman Project where he met Samantha Fish who offered to produce his next project, his first on a national/international label. Nicholas travelled to New Orleans to record, using a core band of Samantha’s regular drummer Scott Graves, NO bassist Charlie Wooton (Royal Southern Brotherhood) and Jonathon Long on guitar; both Charlie and Jonathon have had recent releases on Wild Heart. Additional musicians include Duane Betts who adds guitar to four tracks, Kayla Jasmine and Anjelika ‘Jelly’ Joseph on backing vocals and R. Scott on percussion. Nicholas is on vocals and all keyboards, plus occasional acoustic guitar and all the songs are his originals.

Nicholas says that the South had been exerting a pull on him for some time and that New Orleans was the natural place to record the album. However, there is not the distinctive NO feel to these recordings, rather a mellow groove to a sophisticated and listenable album. Nicholas’ voice has been compared to Dr John and he does have a slightly gruff tone but has a better range than the late Doctor so his voice is well suited to the wistful tones of songs like “Peel Back The Leaves”, a stripped back quartet piece with piano dominating the music. Perhaps it is the piano sound but Bruce Hornsby comes to mind when listening to a track like “Curious” with Jonathon on rhythm and Nicholas playing the ‘lead’ on synth while lyrically Nicholas seems to be searching for meaning. The Hornsby comparison again comes to the fore on “Time’s Turning” which is a trio of piano, bass and drums and a convincing vocal as Nicholas reflects on time passing yet the relationship remaining strong: “So we found each other, another chance to change, a new beginning. Windows to one another, ways out of the ordinary. Let’s make a mark but let us walk softly now. Come close, love me with your heart. I can see it in your eyes, there’s no question, time’s turning, everyone playing their part, together in any direction”.

Duane Betts adds some striking guitar and ups the rock quotient on “Hole In The Bottom” which is a really attractive tune to open the album as Nicholas reflects on the sadness of a faded relationship, Duane’s fine solo topping off the track; “Heavy Heart” is a soulful tune with sad lyrics, Nicholas’ trembly vocals supported by the backing vocals, Duane’s role limited to a few arpeggios; “Let U Go” is another ballad with Nicholas’ piano prominent and Duane’s elegant guitar fills sounding a little distant in the mix. Finally “Stars” starts with a country feel with acoustic guitar and a vocal that is almost half-spoken before building into a more anthemic section in which Nicholas asks to be remembered.

Elsewhere we get a little bit of island rhythms on “Okay” with funky rhythm guitar behind the organ and some very retro-sounding synth on the jagged “With Or Without”. “I’m Interested” is apparently the oldest song here and perhaps comes the closest to blues in Charlie’s bass lines while Jonathon plays some heavily distorted wah-wah and Nicholas uses a touch of rap style in his vocal approach. “Little By Little” closes the album in jaunty style with a hint of gospel in the closing section.

The PR sheet that accompanied the CD describes the album as ‘Contemporary Blues/Americana’ while my I-Tunes calls it ‘Pop’. However you categorize it, this is a very listenable album but there is no real blues here.

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 – 4 of 10 

imageAndy B.AND featuring Soulfolk – Look What the Cat Dragged In

Self-Produced

www.facebook.com/Andy-BAND

CD: 9 Songs, 34 Minutes

Styles: Roots, Americana, Contemporary Electric Blues Rock

What makes people go “wow?” CGI wizardry at the movies, for one. Fireworks on the Fourth of July, for another. So does an album that astounds without being too artsy, fascinates without being fancy, and is plain great. That’s what New Jersey’s Andy Bernstein, known as Andy B.AND, presents along with Soulfolk. Look What the Cat Dragged In is a crisp, catchy collection of nine original songs running the gamut from roots to Americana to blues rock and back again. It’s succinct, clocking in at thirty-four minutes. That means it’s tailor-made for a rotation in one’s CD player during a backyard barbecue or pizza party. Its components may be simple, like shrimp, sausage and rice, but simmered together, they’re absolutely scrumptious. Add to that a dash of Andy B.’s near-perfect diction and more than a pinch of New Orleans flavor, and you’ve got yourself some spicy gumbo.

Bernstein, leading man of roots rock band The VooDUDES, has a lot to say about his music, its influences, and the course of his life’s journey. In a revealing Q&A with Blues.gr from Greece (http://blues.gr/m/blogpost?id=1982923%3ABlogPost%3A272209), he expounds upon how American Roots music has influenced his view of the world and the paths he’s taken:

“My grandparents were all immigrants. Three of them lived into my adulthood, so I heard about their lives and processed that information through my own adult experiences. My father’s father came to America at 14, and loving cowboy stories, road the rails out west. Though the frontier was gone, he learned a lot of English from listening to the hobos singing [folk] songs – similar to what Woody Guthrie experienced when he traveled the country. So as a youngster when I would sing traditional American music, like “Candyman” on my new, solo album (or the many “trad” New Orleans songs on The VooDUDES’ discs), my grandpa would know the tune and be able to add to my understanding of it.

“My mom’s father had played music in Europe as a teenager. Once in America, he enjoyed the company of others who enjoyed music, particularly waltzes, which were the rhythm of so many early country songs. His experience was the fellowship of music.”

Joining Andy B. are Soulfolk: Gary Ambrosy on guitars, lapsteel, bottleneck, mandolin and vocals; Paul Daloia on electric bass and vocals; Bill Homeyer on drums, percussion and vocals; and Greg Stier on guitars and vocals. Guest stars are Dave Ambrosy on drums and Fred Saunders on bass.

Track number one is jumpin’ “Justine,” a ballad about a woman who can awaken even the most mummified: “If I was a dead man laid in my grave, lying in wait for Judgment Day, Justine come to my coffin and she let out a yelp – resurrected instantly without St. Peter’s help!” The solo in the middle is hotter than a heaping helping of jambalaya. Later on, take a tranquil journey on the “Master’s Ship,” promising a “peaceful ocean” to those who’ve been rejected by their peers, such as Galileo and Christ Himself. In the mood for a laugh? Hop on the “Leavin’ Train,” where Andy mentions the J. Giles Band’s hit “Love Stinks.” This number doesn’t – it’s sweet! “Incandescent Lightbulb Blues” brings back the 1950’s and homage to one of Edison’s greatest inventions, now passé and energy-inefficient. The tune itself burns halogen-brightly. Last but not least, boogie to “(A Mighty Funky) Groove Thing” like there’s no tomorrow.

Searching for a great CD? Look What the Cat Dragged In!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 40 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 – 5 of 10 

imageHoney Creek – Rattlesnake and the Junkyard Dog

Kawumm Records

www.honeycreek.de

CD: 10 Songs, 48 Minutes

Styles: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, All Original Songs

Good news, blues fans: Germany’s Honey Creek has produced an above-average hard rock and heavy metal album as their third offering. The bad news? Only one song, the catchy closer “Honey Creek Groove,” can remotely be classified as the blues. Number nine, “On the Road,” comes devastatingly close but doesn’t quite make the cut in this magazine’s favorite genre. Don’t get me wrong: The guitars are loud and proud, as are the gritty, no-nonsense vocals by leading man James Boyle. The band also keeps itself versatile as it alternates between explosive ballads like the title track and slower numbers such as “Alley Cat” and “All That I Want.” They may lean so far to the rock side of blues rock that they nearly topple off the edge, but take heart. Honey Creek’s got some blues accolades to back up their blistering “blues metal” musicianship.

To wit, their live shows have been celebrated by audiences and press alike, including gigs at SWR Television at the prestigious “Matinée am Schloß [Schloss]” in Saarbrücken, and twice at the “Total Flame Festival”, the largest blues festival in Russia. Countless club gigs and festivals round out their resume. Honey Creek’s debut album, Devil’s Lullaby, hit # 1 in the international download charts in 2016. In January 2017, it climbed back up to second place, just behind the Rolling Stones. After being released, the CD spent over six months in the Top 100, was CD of the Month for July 2016 at the Blues in Germany radio station, andGuitar & Bass Magazine’s Act of the Month in February 2017.

Honey Creek consists of James Boyle on vocals, guitar, mandolin and harp; Michael Reufsteck on electric and acoustic guitar & sitar; Sebastian Mitzel on bass, and Martin Donner on drums.

In the third decade of this digital century, traditional definitions of musical genres are being stretched far beyond their conventional limits. Time and again, with every album we listen to, we ask ourselves: “What is the blues? What should and should not be considered characteristic of blues music? How much can other musical genres and sub-genres be included without the original one being diluted?” In the case of this band, it issues a challenge to fans far and wide. It’s up to individual listeners to decide where this German ensemble resides in the hive populated by king and queen bees like Muddy Waters and Etta James. This Creek’s honey may be sweet indeed!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 40 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.


 Featured Blues Review – 6 of 10 

imageBywater Call – Bywater Call

www.bywatercall.com

Gypsy Soul Records

10 songs – 45 minutes

Some bands take a few years and several albums to find their true voice. Others seem to appear, apparently out of nowhere, with a fully realized sound and vision from their first release. And the particular joy of such bands is their ability to combine – seemingly effortlessly – the freshness and enthusiasm of youth with the mature sounds of experience. Bywater Call is just such a band and their self-titled debut album is one of those releases that makes one really sit up and take notice. Drawing influences from blues, southern soul, classic rock and jam band, Bywater Call is packed with great songs, all played with sassy confidence, a righteous attitude and no little technical ability. The only thing stopping this album from being included in any list of the best releases of 2020 is that it debuted at the tail-end end of 2019.

Bywater Call comprises Meghan Parnell on lead vocals, Dave Barnes on guitars, Stephen Dyte on trumpet, Bruce McCarthy on drums, Mike Meusel on bass, Julian Nalli on tenor and baritone sax and Alan Zemaitis on keyboards and together they produce a glorious wall of sound without ever over-playing.

The album opens with Barnes’ single note guitar as Zemaitis’s keys slowly emerge in the background before the entire band launch into the funky “Arizona”. The song has an irresistible groove, some sublime gospel-style backing vocals from Samantha Martin, Stacie Tabb, Sherie Marshall and Chantal Williams and an unforgettable lead vocal from Parnell. The upbeat “Forgive”, which follows, has a chorus that mid-70s Fleetwood Mac would have died for, but even that pales beside the gloriously uplifting chorus of “Talking Backwards”.

Parnell is a magnificent singer, blessed with a powerfully gritty voice that can convey passion, anger, sadness and vulnerability with equal conviction and she is backed by a top class band. McCarthy and Meusel lay down a series of exquisite grooves, while Barnes’s slide solo on “Bring Me Down” is worth the price of admission by itself. The band are masters of dynamics, breathing real life into the songs as the intensity ebbs and flows almost organically.

Bywater Call was produced by Darcy Yates and Renan Yildizdogan and recorded and engineered by Thomas Darcy at Taurus, Toronto. Together they captured 10 high quality self-penned tracks that recall the great bands of yore whilst still remaining fresh and vital.

It’s fair to say that this is an album informed by the blues rather than a blues album itself but, if the band weren’t heavily influenced by the blues, they would not be able to produce something like Bywater Call. If you like bands like The Band or the Tedeschi Trucks Band, you will love Bywater Call. Predicting anything will always be an exercise fraught with danger, but there is something special about this band. It will be fascinating to see what they do next.

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 – 7 of 10 

imageGuy Bélanger – Eldorado

www.guybelangermusic.com

Bros Records

11 songs – 51 minutes

Eldorado is Guy Bélanger’s eighth album and it is also perhaps the Québécois singer/harmonica player’s most ambitious release to date. Featuring seven songs written or co-written by Bélanger, together with some quite left-field covers, the result is an exuberant and uplifting pure blues album by one of the modern harmonica masters that takes the listener down any number of unexpected paths.

Bélanger’s core band comprises Robert MacDonald on guitars, Marc-André Drouin on bass and Michel Dufour on drums. There are also a number of guests, including Eric Longsworth on cello (on “Hummin'”), Paul Picard on percussion, Bob Stagg on B3, piano and wurlitzer, and Rod Huard on backing vocals. In addition, Mathis Haug (vocals and guitar), Stef Notari (percussion) and Ben Rapetti (bass) feature on one of the more surprising covers on the album. Together, the musicians create a series of subtle yet distinct musical landscapes over which Bélanger’s voice and harmonica float to great effect.

Bélanger enhances his reputation as a harmonica virtuoso on gorgeously melodic instrumentals such as the opening “Carving The Wind” and gentle title track, but he is also an under-rated singer, displaying a winning vulnerability on tracks like “When Will I Know”. A song such as “Wicked” will veer off in unexpected directions whilst still being firmly rooted in the blues, while the deep blues of “Hummin'” gives Bélanger ample opportunity to stretch out whilst nodding to his blues influences. He is also generous in highlighting the other musicians in his band. MacDonald turns in a number of striking guitar solos, whilst on a track like L. Subramaniam’s funky “Ganga”, Drouin’s bass is fundamental to the essence of the song. Stagg’s keyboard work in the middle of “Hope & Faith” is the hook around which the rest of the song revolves.

The choices of covers are also inspired. L. Subramaniam is of course one of India’s greatest musicians. And it is impossible to hear Bélanger’s interpretation of Van Morrison’s “Bright Side Of The Road” without a huge smile and a fair amount of toe-tapping (particular kudos to his rhythm section for the joyous groove they lay down on this track). The haunting cover of Prince’s “Sign O’ The Times”, meanwhile, one of the highlights of what is a very fine album, is re-imagined as an acoustic blues lament with some lovely slide guitar from Haug and a memorable descending chord progression that subtly nods towards Jim Stafford’s “Swamp Witch”.

Beautifully recorded by Charles- Émile Beaudin at Studios Piccolo in Montreal, Eldorado is an album of rare ambition where virtuosity is celebrated. Seven of the tracks are instrumentals. The music throughout is atmospheric and spacious and almost cinematic. Eldorado is an unusual album. It’s very different but it’s also all blues. Highly recommended.

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.


 Featured Blues Review – 8 of 10 

imageWaylon Thibodeaux – Here We Go Again

www.waylont.com

Rabadash Records

10 songs – 43 minutes

Waylon Thibodeaux is perhaps best known for decorating the divide between Country and Cajun music with his virtuoso fiddle playing. On Here We Go Again, Thibodeaux investigates his blues-rock side, serving everything up with a healthy dollop of South Louisiana swagger and a lot of great fiddle playing.

Here We Go Again is Thibodeaux’s third album on the Rabadash label and features five self-penned tracks, plus covers of songs by writers as diverse as JJ Cale, Willie Nelson and Edgar Winter. Thibodeaux sings and plays fiddle and is backed by a variety of different first class musicians, including drummers Chris Lacinak, Randy Carpenter and Donnie Breland; bassists Troy Billiot, Wendell Person, David Hyde, Mark Dufrene and Benny Turner; guitarists Josh Garrett, Jody Mayeau, Mark Trentacosta, Dwight Breland and Keenan Knight; Rabadash owner John Autin on piano and organ; and Johnny Sansone on harmonica.

The fiddle is not the most common instrument in blues, although Clarence Gatemouth Brown was a noted master and younger players such as the UK’s magnificent Grace Bond from When Rivers Meet are also making the instrument a fundamental part of their sound. On the evidence of Here We Go Again, it is an obvious question to ask why the fiddle isn’t more commonly utilized in the blues. Thibodeaux lays down a series of wonderfully melodic solos and licks. He also isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what one expects from a fiddle. At the beginning of “Riverboat Song” he recreates the booming sound of the riverboat steam whistle. And on “Don’t You Make Me Put My Fiddle Down” he really goes to town in creating a wild range of sounds, from birdsong to weeping tears and happy laughter to discordant electronic flurries.

Thibodeaux writes smart songs, often with infuriatingly catchy choruses, such as the title track or “Stuck With The Blues Again” (which also has some irresistible bass lines from the great Benny Turner, Freddie King’s brother). He has also selected some well-crafted lesser-known covers, including the driving rock of Doc Heart’s “When Love Comes Back”. The well-known covers are all given a fresh lick of paint, with even “Funny How Time Slips Away” sounding fresh and invigorated. JJ Cale’s “Riverboat Song” is played with toe-tapping insistence while Edgar Winter’s “Way Down South” captures a similar drive to the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ (surprisingly unreleased) version that opens the movie My Cousin Vinny, with a striking breakdown in mid-song.

Here We Go Again was recorded at John Autin’s studio in New Orleans, capturing a warm and natural sound. It isn’t a pure blues album by any means, but if you are interested in hearing a glorious gumbo of blues, Cajun, swamp pop and New Orleans-styled rock and roll, you will find a lot to enjoy here.

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 – 9 of 10 


IMAGEMargie Goldsmith – Masters of the Harmonica

30 Master Harmonica Players Share Their Craft

Mountain Arbor Press

337 pages – paperback or digital

www.margiegoldsmith.com

Anyone who picks up a harmonica can play it, right? All you have to do is suck or blow to produce cords. But if you truly want to play the instrument, it’s far more difficult because – even if you’re taking lessons from one of the best players in the world — all of the action is hidden from view.

The diatonic harmonica is a seemingly simple device with two rows of reeds, 10 holes each for blow and draw. But unlike any other musical device ever created, the instrument literally becomes part of the body when played. It’s a living, breathing entity initiated by the action of the artist’s lungs part of the lungs and – in advanced technique – shaped externally by the positioning of the hands and internally by the shape of the mouth and position of the tongue.

The process is ethereal, and — other than the occasional savant who can pick up the techniques from the jump – almost everyone needs outside help to develop their skills.

That’s where this book will come in handy.

Penned by New York-based journalist and harmonica enthusiast Margie Goldsmith — whose works appear regularly in an extensive range of publications, including the New York Times, Forbes, Robb Report, National Geographic Traveler and dozens of tourism magazines, it’s not an instructional book, per se, but it takes the reader deep into the minds of 30 of the top players, innovators and educators in the world today.

A member of the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of Harmonica (SPAH), Goldsmith also serves as a contributor to its quarterly magazine, Harmonica Happenings. Many of the interviews she conducted for that publication lead to this book.

More than half of the talents featured here are blues devotees, including Sugar Blue, Billy Branch, Magic Dick, Rick Estrin, Dennis Gruenling, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Oscher, Little Annie Raines and Kim Wilson. Other subjects include overblow master Howard Levy and innovator Jason Ricci, country legend Charlie McCoy, internationally acclaimed masters David Barrett, Joe Filisko, Jon Gindick, Richard Sleigh and Winslow Yerxa and others too numerous to mention – each of whom reveal their backgrounds in question-and-answer format and discuss their own techniques and approach to the instrument. More often than not, they provide easy-to-comprehend tips for less skilled players along the way.

Kernels of wisdom exist in each chapter, and here are a few culled from the blues players:

Both Blue and Branch stress that, no matter how many gigs you have or how good you become, it’s essential to practice. In addition to keeping your chops sharp, it gives you the opportunity to experiment and stretch your skills. While it’s important to practice along with the masters and commit their stylings to memory, it’s also imperative to remember that the blues is an oral tradition passed from generation to generation and the soul of the music has evolved because of subtle changes incorporated along the way.

Former J. Geils harp player Magic Dick recommends that beginners stick to one playing style – lip-pursing or tongue-blocking – and mastering it before delving into other techniques, noting that your choice affects the tone you produce, which is the most important aspect in your play.

For Estrin, meanwhile, it’s far more important for a beginner “to get the blues in your head” first before anything else. Self-taught from records, he insists: “Listen to the stuff you want to play; the more you listen, the more you hear.” Once accomplished, it enables you to alter your technique to produce the intonations you desire.

Considered by Hohner “the world’s foremost authority on the diatonic harmonica,” Filisko believes that tongue-blocking provides the fastest track to a big sound, noting that lip-pursing limits the player to clean, single notes. He stresses the importance of finding a relaxed position for both hands and body to enhance breathing.

The reining SPAH and Blues Music Association harp player of the year, Gruenling stresses the need to practice scales. By doing so, you’ll have a better understanding of music in general. And don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes.

But Masters of the Harmonica is far more than a primer for would-be players. Goldsmith provides in-depth character studies of her subjects along the way, weaving their life stories into the fabric consistently along the way. Available as either a soft-cover hard copy or digital download, a bargain at its listed price and highly recommended for musicians and fans alike.

Blues Blast Magazine Senior writer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. Now based out of Charlotte, N.C., 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 Review – 10 of 10 

IMAGEDiane Blue – Look For The Light

www.dianebluemusic.com

Regina Royale Records

10 songs time-46:03

Diane Blue is the proverbial triple threat: singer, songwriter and harmonica player. With her deeply soulful voice she is part of Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters as well as fronting her own band. Ronnie Earl and former Broadcaster Lorne Entress and current one Dave Limina contribute guitar, drums and keyboards. A few other New Englanders pitch in as well. Diane wrote six of the well crafted songs included here.

“If I Could Talk To My Mama” strikes directly to my heartstrings as it is almost the one year anniversary of my mom’s passing. Diane’s yearning vocalizing pleads for one more chance to talk to her mother. It’s a feeling I know all too well. Ronnie Earl’s searching guitar notes together with the piano and organ compliment the solemnity of the sentiment. As an added bonus all the musicians get the opportunity to stretch out as the tune clocks in at just under eleven minutes.

Diane handles J.J. Cale’s “Same Old Blues” with that deeply soulful voice of hers, making it even more bluesy than the original. Her bountiful harmonica chops along with Chris Viterello on guitar seal the deal. Guitar master Ronnie Earl makes his first of two appearances on “I Never Knew”, helped out greatly by his cohort Dave Limina’s organ and newcomer Brooks Milgate’s piano. It’s a wonder to behold Ronnie coaxing beautiful “blue” notes from his axe.

Dave once again jazzes the proceedings with his organ styling’s on “That’s A Pretty Good Love”. Kevin Barry’s mellow lap steel sits nicely on the cushion of piano and organ on the soothing rhythm & blues ballad “Wishin”. Diane and band nestle right into Magic Sam’s blues chestnut “Easy, Easy, Baby”. Dave and Brooks display more of their keyboard magic here as Diane adds a touch of her harmonica.

Ballad time again on the original “Reach Out For Me” with the usual first rate vocal. Kevin Barry lends some lovely mellow guitar to clinch the atmosphere. “Im Gonna Make You Love Me” makes its’ point short and sweet in the old timey barrelhouse style. Mr. Milgate nails the vibe on the ivories. “Knock, Knock” conjures up an old school New Orleans groove.

Chris Vitterello rips off a nifty blues guitar solo joined by an under current of Kevin Barry’s lap steel on “Don’t Box Me In”. The afore mentioned “If I Could Talk To My Mama” is the lovely icing on this cake.

Well crafted R&B and blues in the hands of a gifted singer backed up by a first call group of musicians, this is what makes my job truly satisfying. You guys need to support great music like this to ensure it stays around. A welcome addition to any music collection!

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


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The Great Northern Blues Society – Wausau, WI

To celebrate 21 years of the Blues Café, The Great Northern Blues Society will be starting things off for the weekend by hosting a 21st Anniversary ‘Kick-Off Party’, Friday, March 13th at the Rothschild Pavilion (near Wausau, WI). Doors will open at 5:30 pm, with Soul Symmetry getting things started at 6:30 and the Ever-popular Aaron Williams & the Hoo-Doo taking the stage at 8:30. Friday admission can be bought the night of the event for $10 and/or is included with all Saturday Blues Café tickets, which will be available to purchase at Friday’s event.

Saturday’s Blues Café lineup includes Boom Boom Stevie V. Band with Bruce McCabe on keyboard, at 1 pm, the Bel Airs at 3 pm, Venessa Collier at 5 pm, the John Nemeth Band at 7 pm, and the Ana Popovic Band at 9 pm. Doors will open at noon. We hope you can join us for a weekend of great music, and to celebrate 21 years of good times at the Blues Café. For more information, visit www.gnbs.org.

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society – Champaign, IL

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society has announced their 3rd Annual Blues Fest will be held Saturday August 8. Watch our website and Facebook page for lineups and other information coming soon.

PCBS hosts two Blues Jams each month. Jams are held the 2nd Sunday of each month from 4 to 7 pm and the 4th Wednesday of each month from 7 to 10 pm. The host band plays the 1st set and then it’s opened up to all the jammers in the house. Jams are held at Pipa’s Pub, 604 S. Country Fair Dr. in Champaign. Bands hosting upcoming Jams in 2020 include: Raw Sugar April 12. Bring your instrument and join in the fun. For more info visit: http://prairiecrossroadsblues.org

Crossroads Blues Society – Rockford, IL

Crossroads Blues Society shows coming up in the Rockford, IL area.
Hope and Anchor in Loves Park, IL 2nd Saturday every month, 8 PM, $5 Cover: March 14 – Kilborn Alley Blues Band, April 11 – Cash Box Kings,
Lyran Society in Rockford, IL 1st and 3rd Fridays, 7 PM, No Cover: March 20 Jonny T-Bird & the MPs, April 3 – Dave Fields, April 17 – Billy Flynn & Milwaukee Slim

The Illinois Central Blues Club – Springfield, IL

The Illinois Central Blues Club has announced the line-up of talent for Blue Monday live performances and other shows held at the Alamo, 115 North Fifth, Springfield, IL from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. Additional information on any performer listed below is available upon request.  Mar 23 – Scott Ellison, Mar 30 – Tony Holiday. Moore info at: www.icbluesclub.org

Also, The Illinois Central Blues Club annual birthday party is Saturday March 28 featuring John Nemeth tickets and details HERE.


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