Issue 8-50 December 11, 2014

Cover photo by Gary Eckhart © 2014 Blues Blast Magazine


 In This Issue 

Terry Mullins has our feature interview with 2014 Blues Blast Music Award nominee, Brent Johnson.

We have 10 music reviews for you including new music from Stacy Mitchhart, two new albums from Nathan James, Chicago Blues All-Stars, David Evans, Georgie Bonds, Howard And The White Boys, Big Harp George, Linsey Alexander and The City Boys Allstars.

We have the latest in Blues Society news from around the globe. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!



 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 10 

Stacy Mitchhart – Live My Life

Dr Sam Records – 2014

http://www.stacymitchhart.com

12 tracks; 52 minutes

Originally from Cincinatti, Stacy Mitchhart has been based in Nashville for many years. This album is Stacy’s twelfth and this time around he has added some more roots style material to his usual soul-blues approach. The album was recorded in Nashville, fulfilling Stacy’s wish for “the band to record in the same room, to record to 2” analog tape, to use different instruments and old microphones.” Consequently several tracks feature Stacy playing cigar box guitars, creating a more basic style of blues than fans may be used to. Stacy explains that he wanted to simplify things and the result gives an interesting blend of the stripped-down style with bigger band productions more in his usual soul-blues style.

Stacy plays all manner of guitars, cigar boxes, banjo, ukulele and percussion and sings lead on all tracks: drums are by Darin James, bass by Michael Dearing, Emanuel Cole and producer Scott McEwen, keys by Mason Embry and Jacob Tipton (who also plays harp on two tracks, as does Rev. Zack Reynolds on one); horns appear on five tracks (sax by Jules Caldarera, trombone by John Hinchey and trumpet by Cory Distefano); background vocals are added by Zelda Sheldon to three tracks. Stacy wrote or co-wrote seven songs with one of his collaborators, Gary Vincent, providing two songs of his own and there are three covers.

Opening track “I Drink Whiskey” successfully incorporates all the elements Stacy was looking for with a solid core riff doubled up on harp, the horns intervening to beef up the sound and Stacy delivering some fine guitar flourishes on a cautionary tale of ‘the demon drink’. A cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together” opens with slide cigar box guitar and distorted vocals from Stacy but the basis of the original is very much present and correct. “She Knows What To Do” has an insistent riff at its heart and is perhaps more typical of Stacy’s music from earlier albums than the first two tracks. Gary Vincent’s “Voodoo Doll” has been covered by Hamilton Loomis, but Stacy’s take on the song is a little more relaxed than Hamilton’s whilst still retaining the tone of revenge implied by the lyrics. The horns appear on this track to good effect, as they also do on “Soul Stroll” which harks back to the era of classic soul instrumentals, especially when the organ takes a solo in Booker T mode; this is one of the standout cuts on the album.

Bill Withers’ “Better Off Dead” makes for a pretty depressing tale: “She couldn’t stand me anymore, so she just took the kids and went. You see, I’ve got a drinking problem, all the money that we had I spent. Now I must die by my own hand, ‘cos I’m not man enough to live alone. She’s better off without me and I’m better off dead now she’s gone.” Stacy’s wah-wah guitar and Jacob’s moody organ provide good accompaniment to this sad tale.

Stacy declares that he intends to “Live My Life”, a statement of middle age independence; the use of a three string cigar box guitar with primitive rhythm accompaniment aided by handclaps sets up a frantic pace over which Stacy and Jacob on harp solo effectively. A second Gary Vincent song brings some amusing double entendres on the amusing “I’m The Reason (She Walks That Way)”. The horns are back for this one with short solos for each player and are again featured on a fine, jazzy arrangement of Gil Scott-Heron’s “Legend In His Own Mind”. Stacy and pianist Mason Embry both join in with some gentle, jazzy work. Lyrically this song sits well alongside its predecessor as both deal with guys with large egos.

The final three tracks perhaps best reflect Stacy’s intention to strip things back to basics. “Boogie Bar & BBQ” finds Stacy working on lap steel, slide guitar, piano, tambourine and lead vocals (presumably not simultaneously!) on a frantic tune co-written with Gary Vincent, an invitation to come on down to a jumping joint on a Friday night – sounds great fun!

“Cat Bowl Blues” is named for the cigar box used which incorporates…a metal cat feeding bowl! This one is an instrumental with drummer Darin working up a head of steam behind Stacy’s guitar. The CD closes with “Worried Mind Blues”, a song that Stacy tells us he ‘wrote on ukulele in 20 minutes, recorded immediately in three takes’. It’s a slow country blues that could have been written almost one hundred years ago with its lyrics about working from dawn till dusk and certainly meets Stacy’s desire to strip things back to basics.

This is an interesting and varied album that moves away from Stacy’s usual approach whilst still retaining some of the soul-blues for which he has become known and is definitely worth a listen.

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.




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 Featured Blues Interview – Brent Johnson 

Just as most politicians don’t like explaining their double-talk and most weathermen don’t like relating back why their forecasts go astray, most journalists don’t like having tough questions pointed in their direction.

That’s because some things are hard to explain and some questions are hard to answer, regardless of which side is doing the asking.

Early on in his tenure of playing in Bryan Lee’s band, guitarist Brent Johnson took the brunt of a Montreal journalist’s review of the first Lee album that Johnson played on. The author went on and on about how awful Johnson’s work on the disc was and about how he wasn’t playing blues guitar, but instead was playing rock-n-roll, and about how he had no business being up on stage with an artist the caliber of Bryan Lee.

Johnson picks up the story from there.

“A couple of years later, after I got to be pretty popular up there (Montreal) in my own right, he (the journalist) came and asked me if he could interview me. I said, ‘Sure, but before we start, I have a question for you.’ He said, ‘What’s that?’ I said, ‘What’s blues?’ He said, ‘What are you talking about?’ I said, ‘Well, you told me (in his review) that I wasn’t the blues, so I’m asking you, what’s blues? Is it Son House or is it Albert King, because they sound completely different. So which one of those guys is real?’”

As soon as the dumb-founded scribe started to ponder the query, Johnson continued on.

“I said, ‘Look, man, if you’re going to try and make a career out of bad-mouthing everybody that tries to do something a little different, that’s fine. But you have to remember that if Muddy Waters had been worried about that when he went to Chicago, he never would have bought an electric guitar, and then where would we be?” Johnson said. “None of those guys (forefathers of the blues) were worried about anything other than being themselves.”

Being ‘himself’ is one thing that Johnson has rapidly excelled at. The Texas-born guitarist/vocalist/songwriter has been the talk of the blues world recently, with near-universal acclaim of his debut album, Set The World On Fire (Justin Time Records) filling up cyberspace all across the globe. Johnson was nominated for Best Artist Debut, as well as for the Sean Costello Rising Star Award, at this year’s Blues Blast Awards. All that outpouring of attention and the accolades that have been coming his way have caught Johnson a bit off guard.

“Yeah, I’m extremely surprised, actually. I didn’t actually set out to be a front guy and go and do this. Essentially, as Bryan got older, he was having to slow down and work less … we all knew that it was coming,” he said. “And I figured out pretty quick that if you’re a guitar player you pretty much have to front your own band, because there’s a billion guitar players and most people just don’t need one.”

Once he came to grips with that fact, Step A led to Step B, which was to step out into the spotlight under his own name and forge a solo career.

“I was like, ‘OK. Either I’m going to learn how to sing and make a good record or I’m going to go get a straight job somewhere,’” he laughed. “So I’ve never been the most confident person when it comes to singing or being a front man. I really didn’t know what to expect, but so far, it’s been a pleasant surprise, for sure.”

Johnson was fully aware that with all the ebbs and flows the music industry is currently undergoing – with artists from all genres seeking high ground to camp out on – that leaving an established act like Bryan Lee and the Blues Power Band after nearly 10 years was probably not going to be a garden path to the top of the charts right off the bat.

“It’s definitely tougher now (to start a solo career in the blues) than it was maybe seven or eight years ago. Doyle Bramhall Sr. and I got to be pretty good friends towards the end of his life and one of the things that he talked to me about was that back in the early ‘80s, they all thought they were done. They were losing venues and audiences were getting smaller and it was really tough to make a living and everyone thought the days of going out and being a touring blues band were done,” Johnson said. “He said what you’ll find is that it’s really cyclical and you’ll go through down times every now and again, but it always seems to pick back up. And that’s especially true of playing roots music; it never goes completely away. It might go a little out of fashion from time to time, but it never goes away.”

The way that Johnson sees it, the key to unlock the secret door of success is the same regardless of whether it’s pop, rock, jazz, country or the blues.

“The trick to playing any kind of music is honesty. If you mean it – even if it’s not somebody’s favorite genre – they’ll probably figure out how to listen to you and might even buy a record,” he said. “People respond to honesty. That’s what you have to go for, regardless of the market or the product; honesty.”

The New Orleans-based bluesman easily appreciates the value of a good song just as much as he does a red-hot guitar lick, which explains why Set The World On Fire is packed to the gills with both. Most of the material on the album is all original tunes, which is just how Johnson prefers it.

“I wrote that whole record in a very short amount of time. I went in with the intention of making it original material. I appreciate the guys that do covers and do them well, but the way I always looked at it is like this; no one really ever got successful by playing other people’s music. You have to be you,” he said. “I was kind of afraid I might get in trouble because it wasn’t a traditional blues record in many aspects. But for me, it’s always been that I have to do what I have to do and that’s to make my own music. I can’t get up there and be Muddy Waters – I don’t have that kind of talent. It just seems like a waste of time for me to get up there and do a bunch of other people’s songs. I could go in and record a bunch of Albert King stuff, but I’m never going to be as good an Albert King as Albert King was, so I may as well just be me.”

With all the natural talent that Johnson possesses on the guitar (he started playing at age four), it’s no wonder that he’s being touted as a major force on the roots music scene. But the attention doesn’t stop there. Johnson has managed to catch the ears and eyes of some of the biggest stars on the other side of the tracks, as well – on the pop and country side of the dial.

“Taylor Swift’s people asked me to come and play for her and there have been a bunch of people out of Nashville that have asked me to come and join these big country guys and I won’t do it,” he said. “This is what I love and this is what I do.”

It may not be easily detectable with a cursory listening of his music, but the name of Johnson’s band is a telltale marker for his longtime love of punk rock. The Call Up – Johnson’s group – is named for a song off the magnificent 1981 album by The Clash, Sandinista! There might be those that shudder to think that a bluesman could have influences of punk rock at his inner-core, but according to Johnson, that shouldn’t be cause for concern.

“To me, it’s the same thing. The reason that I love punk is the same reason that I love blues; they’re both not necessarily about how technically great you are. It’s about getting your point across and being able to make other people feel what you’re feeling,” he said. “Punk is what rock-n-roll was supposed to be. It’s stripped down and raw and has a lot of energy; it’s primal. And to me, that’s what blues are, too. The two have always seemed to be kind of intertwined to me and they have both scared people over the years. For example, if you look at Joe Strummer (front-man for The Clash), right before he died, his plan was to come down here to New Orleans and start a blues band with Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls, Heartbreakers). That’s why Thunders died in New Orleans; he was down here to do that.”

To further drive home the blurring line between punk and the hardcore blues, look no further than cats like Hound Dog Taylor, R.L. Burnside or even Son House, who were every bit as punk as Strummer, Thunders or Johnny Rotten were.

“Hound Dog Taylor is one of my favorite artists and still has one of my favorite epitaphs of all-time (‘He couldn’t play shit, but he sure made it sound good.’) But it’s all about communication, about how you get your point across. That’s true in punk and in the blues. But in my world, there’s two kinds of music; good music and bad music,” Johnson said.

Johnson started coming of age in Texas when the scene there was hot with artists like Doyle Bramall, Ian Moore and Charlie Sexton tearing it up from Austin to Dallas to Houston and way beyond. Then, he moved to New Orleans and his musical metamorphous entered another stage altogether.

“It’s scary as hell (playing music in New Orleans). When we moved here I was in high school and I was dumb enough to kind of think that I was pretty good, because I’d been playing for a long time,” he said. “I made it two nights in New Orleans – I wasn’t old enough to get in to hear anybody, but I’d hang out by the windows and listen – to figure out there are some scary musicians down here. There are guys that play on the streets here that could smoke any of us. There’s a reason why you look at (Mike) Zitos’ road band and see that he’s got a bunch of New Orleans’ cats with him. We have the best rhythm sections in the world here in New Orleans. The best drummers in the world come from New Orleans, because your whole life is a parade, from the first year to the last; there’s a parade every weekend with a marching band and that rhythm becomes ingrained in you. There’s something very unique and very spiritual about music that comes from New Orleans.”

A fixture on the New Orleans scene – specifically Bourbon Street – for many decades (as well as the blues scene in general) has been the great Braille Blues Daddy, Bryan Lee. Johnson spent nearly a decade playing stages all over the world with Lee.

“The most important thing I learned from Bryan was to give everything you have, every night. He couldn’t tell if the crowd was three people or 3,000 and it didn’t matter any to him, he was going to nail them to the wall.”

That ‘leave everything on the floor’ mentality on the bandstand is just a small measure of Lee’s legacy. Another thing that has set Lee apart from some of the rest of the pack is his unflinching desire to make sure the show goes on, regardless of the situation.

“We were in Montreal after I first started playing with him and he called me one night and he sounded like Droopy Dog. I asked him what was wrong and he said he couldn’t feel the left side of his face. I thought he had a stroke and I wanted to call an ambulance and call the promoter and cancel the show (Johnson was also road manager for Lee at the time), but he said not to worry about that. He just wanted me to know it would take him a little longer than usual to get ready, because he couldn’t feel his face to shave. I said, ‘You can barely talk, there’s no way you can sing.’ He insisted that we do the show and when we got there, the place was packed to the rafters and he still couldn’t talk. Every time he talked into the mic, you could tell something was wrong with him. But when he would sing, it was like nothing was the matter. He did four more shows (after that night) before I could convince him to go to the doctor. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there were at least three tours that by the time we got done with them, he was close to death. He’s just so tough and so driven that he was not going to give up or give in for anything or anybody. When you’re that guy’s sideman and you’re 22 years old, you learn that you better not take a night off, because if that man doesn’t, you have no excuse to.”

Johnson’s dedication to Lee was one reason that when the cream of the Nashville crop kept blowing up his phone with offers to tour the world, the answer was always the same – thanks, but no thanks.

“It was a hard thing to do, when I left (Lee’s band). But I promised myself that I would not leave his band until I felt like he was where he needed to be. Honestly, I turned down the Taylor Swift gig so I could keep playing with Bryan,” he said. “I just love the guy. After spending all those years with Bryan we kind of got spoiled a little bit and are having to start over at the bottom again.”

With as much notice as his guitar skills have been drawing, it’s really debatable as to whether or not Johnson is really at the bottom. But equally as important as his maneuvers up and down the fretboard are, is Johnson’s perspective on keeping his copious abilities in check and making sure focus is not lost on the composition. Tastefully-restrained while also laser-beam deadly seems a logical way to sum up Johnson’s guitar playing.

“I really have no interest in being the guitar-hero guy. That’s not what I want to do. There are nights that I get bored if I play too much,” he said. “That’s one of the other things that I learned from Bryan, as well getting to play with Buddy Guy and Hubert Sumlin and Otis Rush and Lonnie Brooks and all of them, is that it’s really easy to over-play and the only people that will be really impressed when you over-play are the guitar players in the audience. Nobody else cares. They just care whether or not it sounds good, not how complicated the lick is. If it’s not musical, it doesn’t matter. I would rather be known as an artist rather than as a guitar player.”

There’s no doubt that Johnson’s solo career – while really just leaving the launching pad – is headed for lofty heights. But where it ends up is anybody’s guess at this point in time and he seems more than fine with that.

“As long as I can play and make a living, I’ll be happy. You don’t get into this genre to get famous or to make a bunch of money. I’m blessed with a good record company; they give me carte blanche and I can do whatever I want,” he said. “So I don’t have to worry about that. I’ve got the ability to get my music out there as long as my label is there. I just want to play and this is the only kind of music I’ve ever played and the only kind that I want to play.”

Editor’s Note: Brent was nominated for Best New Artist Debut Album in the 2014 Blues Blast Awards. To see a video of Brent Johnson, CLICK HERE

Visit Brent’s website at www.reverbnation.com/brentjohnsonband

Photos by Gary Eckhart © 2014

Blues Blast Magazine Senior Writer Terry Mullins is a journalist, author and former record store owner whose personal taste in music is the sonic equivalent of Attention Deficit Disorder. Works by the Bee Gees, Captain Beefheart, Black Sabbath, Earth, Wind & Fire and Willie Nelson share equal space with Muddy Waters, The Staples Singers and R.L. Burnside in his compact disc collection. He’s also been known to spend time hanging out on the street corners of Clarksdale, Miss., eating copious amounts of barbecued delicacies while listening to the wonderful sounds of the blues.



 Featured Blues Review – 2 & 3 of 10 

Nathan James – Hear Me Calling & Natural Born That Way

Sacred Cat Records

www.nathandjames.com

2 CD Set: 11 Songs; 40:55 Minutes and 11 Songs; 39:13 Minutes

Styles: Traditional and Contemporary Acoustic Blues, Harmonica Blues

The best way to describe California native Nathan James’ latest albums, Hear Me Calling and Natural Born That Way, is through its cover art: two reflections, as if in a mirror: one light and one dark.

The former is his solo, acoustic one-man band approach to roots and blues. The latter features his full ensemble, the Rhythm Scratchers, along with special guest stars. Several songs (e.g. “Look Before I Leap”, “Doing the Same To You”, and “Look Out Your Window”) are on both CDs. Thus, it’s incredibly hard to tell which version is better, because both are great.

The factor that makes this reviewer recommend one release slightly more than the other is that there are very few covers on Hear Me Calling. Six of the eleven songs on Natural Born That Way were originally done by Freddy Fender, Earl King, Long John Hunter, and The 5 Royales. However, all 22 tunes in total are quite catchy.

As listed in the liner notes for Hear Me Calling, Nathan James performs vocals and plays rack harmonica, foot percussion, National Resonator, Martin 00-17 and Washtar Gitboard guitars. On Natural Born That Way, featured musicians are Marty Dodson on drums, percussion and background vocals; Troy Sandbow on bass, harmonica and background vocals; Carl Sonny Leyland on piano; and Big Jon Atkinson on rhythm guitar. These three tracks are tops:

Track 01: “Hear Me Calling” – The opener and title track of James’ solo CD showcases Nathan’s incredible rack harmonica skills and vocal prowess. The late, great Sean Costello’s ghost echoes here: “Don’t you hear me when I’m calling, baby? Don’t you do no stalling, babe. I need you, I need you, I need you.” The acoustic guitar and harp hooks will ensnare listeners on first ‘bite’.

Track 06: “No No Blues” – Midway through Hear Me Calling is this stellar cover of a Curley Weaver classic. Slide guitar fans will go certifiably insane at how well James plays their favorite instrument. Unfortunately, lyrics quoters might meet the same fate trying to decipher the words (except “I ain’t no gambler; I don’t take no fools”). No matter: this is an old-school party stomp.

Track 03: “Natural Born That Way” – The self-evident title song of Nathan’s ensemble effort starring the Rhythm Scratchers describes a free spirit who can’t help her innate inclinations: “She leave the house about a quarter to six. Follow her down; she’ll get her natural fix. She only have one thing on her mind – never holds back from having herself a time. She natural born that way, just the way she do.” This jump-blues/swing song perfectly combines the cheer of the 1950’s with the grit of this present decade.

Hear Me Calling and Natural Born That Way make the perfect pair to banish winter blahs!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 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 – 4 of 10 

Chicago Blues All-Stars – Red, Hot & Blue

Azure Music 2013

www.chicagobluesallstars.com

11 tracks; 55 minutes

This group of experienced Chicago sidemen came together originally in 2009 to enjoy some fun jam sessions, liked what was emerging and decided to record their endeavours, resulting in this album. The initial idea came from Dan ‘Chicago Slim’ Ivankovich who plays guitar and sings, as does ‘Killer’ Ray Allison; Scott Dirks plays harp and sings, Roosevelt ‘Mad Hatter’ Purifoy is on keys and the rhythm section is Johnny B Gayden on bass and Jerry Porter on drums. A horn section of Johnny Cotton on trombone, Garrick Patten on sax and Kenny Anderson on trumpet boost the sound on most tracks and Anji Brooks sings lead on three tracks. If some of those names look familiar it’s because they have backed some of the greatest bluesmen, including Muddy Waters, Albert Collins, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, James Cotton and Koko Taylor. This album takes ten well known blues tunes and gives them a funked-up reading, with some mixed results.

Dan sings lead on a version of Little Walter’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” which Walter would certainly have had some difficulty in recognising. Dan’s vocals sound almost as if sung into a harp mike and his guitar sound is laden with fuzz distortion. Phil Guy is the source for “Feeling Sexy” which Ray sings quite well though the harp sounds really distant, as if it was recorded in another room. As they do on most tracks here, the horns definitely add polish and power. Things look up on BB King’s “Wonder Why” as Anji takes the lead after some initial ‘debate’ with Ray. The harp is far livelier here and this one is sonically far better balanced than the two opening tracks. The horns kick the song along with Roosevelt in sparkling form on the piano. Junior Wells’ “Snatch It Back And Hold It” and “Hoodoo Man Blues” both appear with Scott on lead vocal, using the harp mike on both cuts. As Dan’s vocals have similar distortion the album suffers from a surfeit of this technique/style of singing. Nothing wrong with Scott’s harp playing on these two cuts, however, and some stinging guitar on “Snatch It Back” is an attractive feature. “Hoodoo” gives the horns a feature with both trombone and trumpet getting solo sections to good effect.

An album of classic Chicago songs would not be complete without Willie Dixon and he is represented here by “Wang Dang Doodle” filtered through James Brown as the horns riff frantically behind Anji doing her best Koko Taylor impression, as well as by a heavy rock version of “Let Me Love You Baby” with lashings of Dan’s signature guitar sound and distorted vocals. Rufus Thomas’ “Walking The Dog” is another oft-covered tune and has its origins in a funky Memphis stew, so suits this band’s approach well. Several tracks here suffer from the inclusion of some initial ‘chat’ before the band starts, as occurs at the start of Jay Owens’ “Why You Treat Me This Way?”, a relative obscurity amongst such well-known songs but very well sung by Ray. The harp is again relegated to the background but the horns are strong enough to match some more of Dan’s wild guitar. Another of ‘the usual suspects’ completes the covers as “Rock Me Baby” again features Anji on a really funked-up version of this venerable warhorse. The album concludes with a lengthy instrumental “Mad Hatter’s Blues”, a co-write between Roosevelt and Dan which is clearly intended as a feature for the keys but has some spoken voice over parts that detract from what turns out to be a pleasant late night piece with the horns in close company with the keys and some fine picking by Ray!

To take on the classics you either have to bring something new or deliver them in an exemplary fashion. This band is clearly trying to put funk into everything and it works part of the time.

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 

David Evans – Under The Yam Yam Tree

13 songs – 55 minutes

Blind Lemon Records – BLR-CD1401

www.blindlemonrecords.de

One of the world’s foremost blues scholars in addition to being an outstanding acoustic guitarist, David Evans leaves the classroom to deliver his second CD for German-based Blind Lemon Records, some of the lovingly delivered 13 tunes here are familiar while others are obscure gems from the first generation of blues superstars.

Now in semi-retirement, Evans has been a faculty member at the University of Memphis for the better part of the past 40 years, serving as chairman of the ethnomusicology department. A 2003 Grammy winner for the liner notes to “Screamin’ And Hollerin’ The Blues: The Worlds Of Charley Patton,” he’s written several important books in the blues field, edited others and run the university’s High Water Recording Company, which has provided a worldwide voice to several area musicians who either had never set foot in a studio or were woefully under-recorded.

When he isn’t researching his latest field of interest, the music of Ethiopia, Evans is also in high demand as a performer, both solo and as a member of the Last Chance Jug Band, often delighting audiences with shows that last for hours, and his catalog includes four previous discs on the Inside Sounds and Heavywood imprints. Well-versed in many of the arcane guitar tunings of the past and extremely familiar with his forbearers’ stylings, his performance – as evidenced in this CD – is wholly his own rather than note-for-note copy of tunes laid down on acetate in the ‘20s though the early ‘40s.

Evans kicks off the album before a live audience with a finger-picked slide guitar version of “Railroad Blues” inspired by the stylings Furry Lewis. Thomas Schleiken, who produced the disc, accompanies him on second guitar on three numbers, and Evans adds some accents on kazoo. His tenor voice is powerful and fretwork exceptional. “Louisiana Blues,” influenced by Muddy Waters’ song of the same title and Little Brother Montgomery’s classic “Vicksburg Blues,” is up next, drenched with a Delta feel, before a traditional rendition of William Harris’ “Bullfrog Blues,” which was hugely popular when recorded by Canned Heat in the ‘60s.

“Aunt Caroline Dye Blues” is original treatment with material borrowed from Will Shade, W.C. Handy, Madame Van Hunt and Jessie Mae Hemphill. It tells the story of an Arkansas-based fortune teller who’s “never told a lie.” “See See Rider,” not a cover of the Ma Rainey hit but close to the tune as delivered by Babe Stovall, is up next before a rousing take on Washboard Sam’s “Who Pumped The Wind In My Doughnut?” The familiar rag guitar run that kicks off the tune is an old friend to a blues audience.

“Every Day In The Week Blues,” based on Ish Bracey’s “Saturday Blues,” slows the pace before a reinterpretation of Johnny Temple’s haunting tale of a wayward woman, “Louise.” Another Stovall offering, “The Ship Is At The Landing,” precedes a take on Elester Anderson’s version of the standard “Careless Love,” the only song in the Piedmont tradition on the record. Three more tunes recorded live at a 250-year-old guest house in Munich — Robert Petway’s “Catfish Blues,” William Moore’s “One Way Gal” and Tommy Johnson warhorse “Canned Heat Blues” – conclude the effort.

If you love good, old fashioned country blues, you’ll love this one. The material Evans has chosen is as vibrant today as the day it was written. The sole drawback is that it’s only available from the label website. But order it. It will be worth the wait.

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 Review – 6 of 10 

Georgie Bonds – Stepping Into Time

8th Train Records

www.georgiebonds.com

12 songs – 54 minutes

Georgie Bonds’ back-story reads like something put together by a Hollywood scriptwriter. Born and raised in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, he has been incarcerated; spent 15 years working as a blacksmith; nearly died from a medication error that caused significant internal damage; and he has discovered a late-flowering gift for singing the blues. As part of the house band at Warmdaddy’s, a blues club in Philadelphia, Bonds has shared the stage and played with the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Koko Taylor, Larry Garner, Bill Branch and The Kinsey Report. And, in 2013, he won an acting/singing role in the Broadway success, “It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues”, which was nominated for four Tony Awards.

Stepping Into Time is Bonds’ second album, following 2000’s independently-released Sometimes I Wonder, and features 10 original songs written by Bonds or one of his band-mates, together with two classic but superbly done covers.

The album opens with one of the covers, a short, a capella version of the traditional “St James Infirmary”, where Bonds’ voice beautifully captures the poignant edge behind the lyrics. It is a bold way to open an album, but it works superbly, especially when followed by the modern country blues of “The Blacksmith”. Bonds’ powerful, soulful voice is given free rein to express the protagonist’s lust as he sings “The tongs are in my left hand, my fire’s good and hot. Pump a little on the bellows, my hammer will find the spot. They call me the Blacksmith, and that’s what I am. I got the fire deep inside me and my hammer in my hand.”

Bonds is backed by a top quality band, featuring Neil Taylor and Harry Jacobson on guitars, Andy Haley and Russ Joel on drums, Kenny Githens and James White on bass, Walter Runge on organ, Joe Stout on piano and Buddy Cleveland harmonica. Dave Renz also adds tenor saxophone to the upbeat shuffle of “What More?” Each of the musicians adds spice to the music without ever getting in the way of the song. Runge’s organ, in particular, adds some lovely touches, such as in “Dyin’ Is The Easy Way”. Neil Taylor, in addition to contributing to the writing of several songs, adds haunting, hanging single notes to the verses of Githens’ “Hurricane Blues” and some stellar slide guitar to the funky blues of “Lord, Oh Lord”, which also features some lovely honky tonk piano Stout.

The slow, minor key “Daily News” captures the concerns and worries of so many at the current state of society. There is a palpable anger to Bonds’ voice as he wails: “A mother kills her children, a husband kills his wife. Brother killing brother, cut down in the prime of life. People keep on asking, what’s giving me the blues? Read all about it, just pick up the daily news.”

The second cover on the album is John Lee Hooker’s “Dimples”. Bonds’ version does not have the sly undercurrent of the original, but instead acts as an irresistibly muscular celebration of love and the sexual act. Then, just as the listener expects the album to end, a child’s voice plaintively says “OK, Dorothy. That’s it. Time to go home. Oh, wait. There’s more.” The secret song starts with beautiful finger-picked acoustic guitar. A slide is added, then Bonds’ voice comes in just before the harmonica. It’s an acoustic reworking of “The Blacksmith” and is a wonderful way to end a thoroughly enjoyable album.

Stepping Into Time is a very enjoyable slab of modern blues. Great songs, fine playing, crystalline yet warm production (kudos to Neil Taylor) and superb singing. What’s not to like?

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 – 7 of 10 

Howard and the White Boys – Rosa’s Lounge

3011 Records

www.howardandthewhiteboys.net

CD: 11 Songs; 67:47 Minutes

Styles: Live, Contemporary Chicago and Electric Blues

Rosa’s Lounge, located on Armitage Avenue, is one of Chicago’s most renowned clubs. Only the best and brightest blues bastions receive the honor of playing there, as did Howard (McCullum) and the White Boys (guitarists Rocco Calipari and Pete Galanis, and drummer Jim “Bucka” Christopulos) on a certain fortuitous night: August 2nd, 2013. All but one of the eleven original songs on this album were recorded live at Rosa’s. The liner notes reveal that the final number, “That’s Alright,” was recorded at Joyride Studios by Brian Leach. Perhaps the best summary of the CD is its inside cover photograph, worth a thousand words. Four band members are sitting at Rosa’s bar, with one clear liquor shot in front of each, adding to their merriment as they smile and laugh. One glance at Howard’s joyful face encapsulates what live blues is all about: cheerful camaraderie with the music itself and one’s audience. Performing with them that night were guests Steve Asma on slide guitar and Neal O’hara on organ.

According to the band’s website, “Howard & the White Boys formed in 1988 and began jamming together just for fun, but their fast-growing popularity soon convinced them they could make a career of it. After only a few months, they got their first big break by opening for B.B. King. Their reputation grew in Chicago and they began performing with the biggest names in blues…Between 1994 and 1997, the group made two highly acclaimed recordings, ‘Strung Out On The Blues’ and ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’”. Both tracks are featured on this CD. The following three are fantastic:

Track 02: “Strung Out on the Blues” – Witness what pure Chicago blues is: Everything about this song is perfect: the smoldering lead guitar, Howard’s clear and passionate vocals, and “Bucka” Christopulos never missing a beat. Addictions are typically unhealthy and dangerous, but what about this one? “I’m strung out on the blues; people, I just can’t say no. Every time I try to run away, you know these blues, they won’t let me go.” Nearly eight minutes of magic delighted the fans at Rosa’s Lounge.

Track 03: “Trouble Follows You” – With an infectious bassline by Howard and relentless drum beat, there won’t be a person left seated while everyone else dances. Down and dirty, this is a warning to someone who might “end in the joint again, and make your mama cry.”

Track 09: “Walk Away” – Our narrator is trapped in a romantic double bind: “I’m damned if I do. You know I’m damned if I don’t…Baby, I‘m so tired. I can’t stand to have another fight. No matter how hard I try, girl, nothing I do seems to be right.” This poignant blues ballad contains just the right dash of R&B.

Even if you’re not in Chicago, this musical trip to Rosa’s Lounge is definitely worth it!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 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 – 8 of 10 

Big Harp George – Chromaticism

Blues Mountain Records – 2014

www.bigharpgeorge.com

12 tracks; 48 minutes.

Born in the USA to a Palestinian father and American mother, George Bisharat made his first recording in 2002, playing harp on one track of the Otis Grand/Joe Louis Walker album “Guitar Brothers”. Otis (also of Lebanese extraction) invited George to contribute to another of his albums “Hipster Blues” in 2006 but it has taken a further eight years to see this debut CD appear.

Why the delay? Well, George has a day job teaching Law at the University of California in San Francisco but has now set out to take what was always a hobby to a professional level. On this disc George is backed by a dream team of Northern Californian aces including Little Charlie Baty and Rusty Zinn on guitar, producer Chris Burns on keys, engineer and Greaseland studio owner Kid Andersen on bass and occasional guitar and old friend Raja Kawar flew in from Paris to play drums. Michael Peloquin adds sax and Kent Bryson vibes to two tracks each. George plays chromatic harp on all tracks bar one where he plays diatonic and also handles all the vocals. The album features an even split of George’s originals and covers from a wide variety of sources.

The CD opens with a wonderfully swinging version of Charles Calhoun’s “Smack Dab In The Middle”. Once covered by Count Basie, George takes the Basie band horn lines and translates them to harp most effectively. This is a song that has been well done by many artists (Roomful Of Blues and Ry Cooder spring to mind, in very different styles) but this version, aided by some nice, jazzy vibes work by Kent Bryson, is a cracker. George has a good voice too, clear and pleasant which bodes well for the rest of the album.

Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Crazy About You Baby” is another frequently covered tune but, again, George’s version is excellent with some very strong piano, George on diatonic on this cut. It is also worth noting the bass playing of Kid Andersen here which is fluid and funky and beautifully featured in the mix, a further indication of how well this album was recorded and mixed.

Two T-Bone Walker tunes appear on the album, an interesting choice for a harp player: “My Baby Is Now On My Mind” has a nicely poised guitar solo from Rusty Zinn and “Hard Way” brings Kid Andersen’s T-Bone style guitar to the fore, George’s singing harp fitting the rumba beat perfectly. The other two covers are “Someday” (Johnny Green) which features Chris on organ and is played as a dedication to George’s mother who loved this song from the great American songbook; the closing track “Drum Boogie” (Roy Eldridge/Gene Krupa) obviously features drummer Raja but is also an opportunity for others to get some solo action, including sax man Michael Peloquin and Little Charlie’s very jazzy guitar.

The first original is a tribute to the late Paul deLay who was a big influence on George’s development as a harp player. “Left Too Soon” is a slow blues with an elegiac feel as George takes his time in the intro before he sings of how sad he was to lose Paul at such an early age. For the harp technicians George plays in second position chromatic on the title track “Chromaticism”; for those of us who simply enjoy the music this jump instrumental swings like crazy with George and Little Charlie leading the way!

George tells us something about his attitude to modern technology in “Cellphone Hater”, a slow blues with some fine picking by Rusty and moody sax by Michael: “Does anyone remember when a man’s business was purely his own? Well, that’s all gone now, gave it up to that little telephone.” “Strolling Down Bliss Street” references a street in Beirut but could apply to anywhere that evokes positive memories in the listener. Little Charlie’s guitar intro is great and leads well into George’s lively vocal and harp on another swinging piece of upbeat jump blues.

In contrast “Cocktail Hour” is a cool instrumental with the vibes adding to the jazzy feel of the piece, accentuated by Little Charlie’s sensitive guitar stylings. The final original “Hey Jaleh!” pays tribute to George’s wife as George and the band swing along terrifically on an upbeat number with Chris’ piano and Rusty’s guitar to the fore.

In the sleeve notes George says that he aspires to play ‘locally, maybe get some invitations to festivals’. On the evidence of this CD he should expect rather more invitations as this is superb music, well played and produced. It comes highly recommended by this reviewer.

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 – 9 of 10 

Linsey Alexander – Come Back Baby

Delmark Records – 2014

www.linseyalexander.com

13 tracks; 65 minutes

Chicago veteran Linsey Alexander received a big boost to his career with his first Delmark CD “Been There Done That” in 2012. Two years later Linsey follows up with a further impressive selection that demonstrates what audiences in clubs like Kingston Mines, Rosa’s and Legends have been saying for years – the ‘Hoochie Man’ has the lot: a good guitar player with lots of stage presence, a solid vocalist and a strong songwriter. On this baker’s dozen of tracks we get everything from classic slow blues, through shuffles and soul-inflected rockers to almost disco-funk. Linsey wrote eleven of the songs and there are two covers.

The band is Linsey on vocals and guitar, Breezy Rodio on second guitar, Roosevelt Purifoy on keys, Greg McDaniel on bass and Pookie Styx on drums. Billy Branch adds harp to three tracks and a horn section of Bill McFarland on trombone, Chris Neal on sax and Ryan Nyther on trumpet appear on most tracks to good effect.

The opening four cuts tell you a lot about Linsey’s varied approach. A cover of the witty “Little Bit Of Soap” (Frank & Mary Lopez) makes for a sprightly opener, the horns pushing the rhythm along as Roosevelt’s piano and Breezy’s rhythm guitar allow Linsey to add some nice flourishes on guitar. The pounding rocker “Booze And Blues” explains how Linsey copes with difficulties in his life: “Bought me some booze, got my guitar and played some blues; when I do that I ain’t got no bad news”. Roosevelt’s organ solo is the instrumental centerpiece here but Linsey’s guitar takes centre stage for the lengthy slow blues “I Got A Woman” which has no link to the Ray Charles classic.

Breezy Rodio gets a credit on the sleevenotes for his role in the musical arrangements and is rewarded with the solo on title track “Come Back Baby”, a great piece of soul-blues, the horns and the rhythm section producing some Memphis sounds right in Delmark’s Riverside Studio, Chicago! Breezy’s solo is a beautifully crafted piece of cool playing on one of the definite highlights of the album.

Billy Branch’s harp opens “Call My Wife”, a shuffle in which Linsey tells us of being so drunk that he cannot find either house or car keys! He’s been drinking all day, is starving hungry but has also lost his false teeth! A far more serious side of Linsey’s writing is “Things Done Changed” in which he tells us of how it used to be for a black man – eating out the back of a restaurant, having to travel at the back of the bus, using separate restrooms, etc. Musically this song works superbly with the band in great form, the bubbling bass and twinkling piano providing interest and the horns playing a key support role, Linsey taking a short but nicely formed solo.

“Can’t Drink, Can’t Sleep, Can’t Eat” recounts how Linsey feels after his woman walked out, a mid-paced blues with Billy Branch’s solo the standout instrumental feature. “Booty Call” shows us the humorous side of Linsey’s writing as his guitar finds a Santana-esque tone over a fast-paced rhythm track with Roosevelt’s bubbling clavinet and the rhythm guitar reminding us of the disco era, the horns fitting in with that style too. Not very PC, but great fun and irresistibly catchy!

Linsey gets serious again on “Too Old To Be A New Fool”, another slow blues. Linsey has the prospect of a new relationship but warns the girl that he is too experienced to fall for her wiles: “If you want a new fool you better go get yourself one of those low pant young dudes”. Billy Branch again contributes some fine harp to this track, his final appearance on the album, before Linsey shows us both sides of his playing with one restrained and one wild solo, Roosevelt underpinning everything brilliantly on piano. Linsey’s tale of a big freeze, “Snowing In Chicago”, is another standout driven by Pooky’s drums and cymbal work, the horns brilliant throughout, Roosevelt’s piano solo startlingly good and Linsey’s guitar powering through the rhythm in spectacular style.

Willie Dixon’s classic “I Can’t Quit You Baby” has been much covered, not least by Led Zeppelin; Linsey steers a middle path between the heavy metal Zep approach and more traditional versions. Linsey then returns to funky rhythms with “Funky Feeling”, the horns following his vocals at every turn and sax player Chris Neal getting the chance of a solo which he grasps with both hands. The closing shuffle “Goin’ Out Walkin’” perhaps offers a clue to how the seventy year-old Linsey maintains his energy levels and enthusiasm as he tells us how he is heading out walking – all the way to Texas in verse one, Memphis in verse two, New Orleans in verse three, San Antone in verse four – no wonder he is so fit! More great piano from Roosevelt sees us out, wishing this was not the last track.

A terrific CD with lots of different aspects of Linsey’s talent on display, but above all this is a band record with all the players making a significant contribution. Recommended.

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 – 10 of 10 

The City Boys Allstars – Blinded by the Night

www.thecityboysallstarts.com

9 Tracks; 48:54 running time

A fine group of ten musicians and three singers make up this jazzy, bluesy, and soulful ensemble. The band formed in 1988 and their latest recording released in September 2014 was the group’s first performance in 17 years. Recorded live at The Cutting Room in New York City (the super groups originating roots), the performance is dripping with feeling, emotion, and raw energy. Personal influence includes artists such as BB King and Joe Pass. Trying to find an instrument that isn’t played on this disc will be the real challenge here. Guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, trumpet, trombone, percussion, saxophone, and vocals are all present and accounted for in fine form! The title of Blinded by the Night makes one think of darkness, reality, and speaking the truth. Speaking the truth was the overall cry of this CD according to one band member on the night of the live show.

A few favorite tracks include “Funky Peaches”, “Strung Out”, and “City Boy Blues”. “Funky Peaches” is just that-full of funk and soul. A horn filled instrumental with jazzy undertones and feelings of down right funk will make your body groove. “Strung Out” is dedicated to musician Frankie Paris which gives an interesting insight to the dangers and feelings of being addicted. Real descriptions via strong and heartfelt lyrics help the listener experience the pain of looking for the all-encompassing high. “City Boy Blues” reaches out by having that fun New Orleans style of jazz and blues. Superb vocals and harmonizing as well as a constant hook and drive by the bass player and drummer make this track unforgettable. Songs that stay with you for days and keep running around in your head are the best kind!

The album is sprinkled with solid musicianship though out. Some of the tracks are slow and romantic while others are upbeat and flavored full of funky tones. The live performance is a genuine touch and helps the fan appreciate the extreme enthusiasm and heart of the group. It truly sounds as if the band has a grand time and enjoys being in with the crowd and drawing them even closer with each track. So much for a 17 year break…

What is next for The City Boys Allstars? According to band leader Mike Merola, “This thing could really explode, I don’t think there’s anything like us out there, quite frankly.” Having such a great crowd of musicians and musical instruments certainly can’t hurt things in this respect. Band members have been noted as being devoted to making the best music possible while having fun and connecting with their audience. The band plans to find more venues, live appearance opportunities, and free up time to travel both in the states and overseas.

Reviewer Shannon Courto has been a Blues enthusiast since 1999. Her favorite types include delta Blues, Chicago Blues & jump/swing. She is lucky to live in St. Louis, Missouri where the music is flourishing.



 Blues Society News 


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Southeast Iowa Blues Society – Fairfield, IA

“Rockin’ in the Blue Year” Double Feature…Sena Ehrhardt and John Nemeth, two of the hottest Blues Singers around, all in one night, January 3rd, 2015. All happening at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center in Fairfield, Iowa. Doors open at 6:30 music begins at 7pm. Tickets $15 advance and SIBS members…$18 Day of Show

For more information visit www.southeastiowabluessociety.org or call Gary at 641-919-7477…you don’t want to miss this one!!

Mississippi Valley Blues Society – Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents two fiery blues-rockers—Dave Fields from New York City and Bobby Messano from NJ—on Friday December 12 at The Lodge Hotel and Convention Center (Spruce Hills Drive and Utica Ridge Road in Bettendorf, IA). The show in the downstairs ballroom will begin at 8:00 p.m. with Dave Fields, followed by Bobby Messano. Admission is $10 for MVBS members and $12 for non-members, with membership applications available at the door.

For more info visit www.mvbs.org or contact Steve Brundies at 563-508-7660

Utah Blues Society – Salt Lake City, UT

Friday, December 19th marks the date for the Utah Blues Society Member Appreciation Holiday Party!! And it’s FREE! Join us at The State Room (638 South State Street) for a holiday hoopla of humongous proportions!!! 7 p.m. Doors – Social Hour (you’ll also be able to sign up as a member, but best to do so beforehand!). Membership not strictly required to get it but it sure is “APPRECIATED”!

8 p.m. – 9 p.m. Blues Trivia Contest w/UBS President & KRCL blues programmer Brian Kelm – prizes galore! Fun for all, increase your blues knowledge to impress that certain someone at the next blues gig!

9:15 p.m. – 10:15 p.m. Pat McEwen and Kenny Kruckenberg of River House Band & friends

10:30 – 11:30 p.m. Candy’s River House Band Special guest appearances by Utah’s stellar all-star blues musicians too!

DC Blues Society – Washington, D.C.

The DC Blues Society rings in the New Year with Severn Records’ newest recording artist, Ursula Ricks. On December 31, 2014 from 7:00 pm – 12:30 am, the “Queen of Baltimore Blues” will provide the dance groove at the American Legion Post 268, 11225 Fern Street, Wheaton MD 20902. The Party includes a southern-style dinner, party favors, midnight champagne toast & a reasonable cash bar. Seating is limited. Buy tickets at www.dcblues.org or call 301-322-4808: $35 in advance ($30 for DCBS members); $40 at the door ($35 for DCBS members). Metro accessible. Ample parking.

Ursula Ricks is a blues singer & songwriter with a rich, sultry velvety voice evocative of Etta James. She brings her soulful, deep-throated, blues-driven approach to a wide range of songs.

“Ursula’s unique vision and vocal ability made recording her debut album a real pleasure….Ursula has flown under the radar for so long. We are excited that the world will finally get an opportunity to experience her incredible music.” –David Earl of Severn Records, on Ursula’s new release “My Street”

Colorado Blues Society – Windsor, CO

Join the Colorado Blues Society for the 3rd Annual Colorado Blues Society Members Choice Awards are 2PM Dec. 22 at Herman’s Hideaway on South Broadway, Denver. Come out and see who are the favorites of CBS members, over 500 nominees in over 35 categories. The day is also a CD release party for our BSPCD entry, “JAM For Blues in the School”. Performing that day will be many of the local performers who made that CD possible including Dan Treanor and Afrosippi featuring Erica Brown, the 2013 IBC third place finishers in Memphis! Check our website for more info www.coblues.org

The Illinois Central Blues Club – Springfield, IL

The Illinois Central Blues Club has announced the line-up of talent for the Blue Monday live performances and jam sessions held every Monday night at The Alamo, 115 North Fifth, Springfield, IL from 8:00pm to midnight. Dec. 15 – Studebaker John & the Maxwell Street Kings, Dec. 22 – Mary Jo Curry & Tombstone Bullet, Dec. 29 – James Armstrong

Additional ICBC shows: Nov. 20—James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6 pm, Nov. 22 – Hurricane Ruth CD release party at The Alamo, with special guest, Mary Jo Curry & Tombstone Bullet, 7 pm, Dec. 4—James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6 pm, Dec. 18 – James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6 pm.

Questions regarding this press release can be directed to Michael Rapier, President of ICBC, at mikerapier@sbcglobal.net at 217-899-9422, or contact Greg Langdon, Live Events Chair, at langdon38@att.net or by visiting www.icbluesclub.org



P.O. Box 721 Pekin, Illinois 61555     © 2014 Blues Blast Magazine 309 267-4425

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