Issue 11-34 August 24, 2017

Cover photo © 2017 Laura Carbone

 In This Issue 

Don Wilcock has our feature interview with International Blues Challenge winner, Dawn Tyler Watson. We have 10 Blues reviews for you this week including new music from Jay Jesse Johnson, The Sherman Holmes Project, Mick Simpson, Mayco, JR Clark, Guitar Slim Jr, Bobby G with Curtis Grant Jr. & the Midnight Rockers, Paul Dougherty, Jimmy Bowskill & Carlos Del Junco and Hot Roux.

Our video of the week is Matthew Curry & The Fury.

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

 From The Editor’s Desk 

2017 bbma logo 300Hey Blues Fans,

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!! – The winners of the 2017 Blues Blast Music Awards will be announced this Saturday August 26th at 3 breaks between acts via Facebook live at the Crossroads Blues Festival in Rockford, IL. At 3:30 pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm we will announce 4 of the winners in each time slot. A press release will also go out via email with all the winners at 8:00pm CST to all Blues Blast Magazine subscribers.

Plus we will also be announcing the date and location for the 2018 Blues Blast Music Awards Show at the festival so don’t miss this. Be sure to tune in at those times on our Facebook at:

The Crossroads Blues festival is being held at Lyran Park in Rockford, IL and they have a great lineup featuring Ivy Ford Band, Corey Dennison Band, The Jimmy’s, Kinsey Report and Doug Demming and The Jewel Tones plus workshops and more. Information and tickets at

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!

Bob Kieser

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 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 10 

jayjesse johnson cd imageJay Jesse Johnson – Down The Hard Road

Get Real Records GRR01

10 songs – 49 minutes

Road warrior Jay Jesse Johnson delivers a potent album of blues-rock on this album, the sixth solo release in his catalog. But that should come as no surprise to fans of the vocalist/guitarist. He possesses a pedigree that includes work with several of the biggest names in mainstream music.

Born in rural Indiana and with a deep interest in country, rock and the blues, he’s been playing professionally since his teen years. At 18, he relocated to New York where he because guitarist for the Arc Angel, a Connecticut-based rock band that was signed to CBS Records and produced the tune “Tragedy,” which was in regular rotation on MTV in 1983.

Later in the decade, he joined the hard-rock ensemble Deadringer, which produced one album on the Grunge/BMG imprint and included four Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees in the lineup: Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith from the Alice Cooper Band, Joe Bouchard from Blue Oyster Cult and vocalist Charlie Huhn, who’s worked with both Foghat and Gary Moore.

A powerful guitarist who remains steadily in the blues idiom with rapid-fire slide and single-note runs, Johnson made his solo debut in 2004 with the release of Strange Imagination. His 2009 album, Play That Damn Guitar, was included by Classic Rock Magazine when it featured an article entitled The Hottest In New Blues Rock. This CD is a follow up to Jay Jesse’s well received 2015 release, Set The Blues On Fire.

Like that one, Down The Hard Road blazes, too, through a set of eight Johnson originals and two covers. Recorded at Cotton Run Studios in Hamilton, Ohio, it features keyboard player Lee Evans, bassist Reed Bogart and drummer Jeff “Smokey” Donaldson with guest appearances by Jimmy D. Rogers for two cuts on piano and Jim Norcross for one on alto and baritone sax in a set guaranteed to blow the windows out of any roadhouse.

A bare-bones slide solo kicks off the opening title cut, “Down The Hard Road,” before erupting into a boogie as Jay Jesse describes being only flesh-and-blood and working his life away a day at a time, toiling along what any musician recognizes as a difficult path, partying only when he gets paid. It’s a tale enhanced with insights gathered from his father and a preacher, too. The pure blues, “Anyway The Wind Blows,” carries the message forward and features Johnson laying down searing single-note runs.

The tempo slows for another burner, “The Blues Is A Damn Sad Thing,” delivered from the position of a man staring out the window on a rainy day and dealing with being dead broke and with a lady who’s gone for good. Co-written by Booker T. Jones and William Bell and a major hit for Albert King, “Born Under A Bad Sign” follows before a brief, bright keyboard solo introduces the rollicking “Drive Me Home.” It begins as a ballad, but quickly picks up steam as the singer requests: “When I get tired of drinkin’/Will somebody drive me home?” It’s augmented with more flashy work on the fretboard.

Thunder and a slow-paced guitar solo initiate “Tears Of The Angels,” which deals with feelings of loneliness on a rainy night before Johnson adapts a Delta feel to open the original, “Guilty Of The Blues,” before achieving a medium-fast shuffle about living life without emotion after losing his woman. Jay Jesse’s country roots come to the fore in “Bull In The Barn,” which features light-speed single-note picking throughout, before “Beer Bottle Blues” sings the praise of a pretty lady who whispers in his year. The set closes with a rendition of Roy Buchanan’s gospel-rich burner “The Messiah Will Come Again.”

Available through iTunes and CDBaby, Down The Hard Road is right up your alley if your tastes run to rock-flavored blues. In a world rife with shredders, it’s a treat to listen to someone like Jay Jesse who remains faithful to the root amid the musical flames he produces throughout.

Reviewer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. His first experience with live music came at the feet of the first generation of blues legends at the Newport Folk Festivals in the 1960s. A former member of the Chicago blues community, he’s a professional journalist and blues harmonica player who co-founded the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working bands in South Florida.

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 Featured Blues Review – 2 of 10 

sherman holmes cd imageThe Sherman Holmes Project – The Richmond Sessions

M.C. Records MC-0082

11 songs — 53 minutes

Even though Sherman Holmes has delivered his music around the globe for the better part of the past 60 years, won numerous Blues Music Awards and has been the recipient of America’s foremost honor for a musician, the NEA National Heritage Fellowship, he makes his recording debut as a soloist on this album.

It’s a bittersweet event for the 77-year-old bass, keyboard and trumpet player, a native of Christchurch, Va., after his world was turned upside down in 2015 after being a member of the beloved Holmes Brothers band for decades along with younger sibling Wendell, the group’s guitarist and organ player, and fellow Virginian Popsy Dixon on percussion. Both Sherman and Wendell were based out of New York starting in the early ’60s. Formed in 1979, the band’s career included stops at Rounder, Stony Plain and Alligator records.

Sharing vocals and delivering a warm brand of gospel, soul, bluegrass and blues laced with Piedmont overtones, they enjoyed a worldwide following that was derailed that January when Popsy succumbed to bladder cancer, followed quickly by Wendell who lost his battle with pulmonary hypertension that June.

Fans can rejoice, however. Even though the Holmes Brothers are no more, Sherman has picked things up basically where that group left off. Like the predecessor, this ensemble delivers its music – and plenty of joy – by unabashedly taking familiar tunes from several genres and reworking them into songs that become totally their own.

Sherman’s surrounded by an all-star cast for this one, which was produced by the Virginia Foundation For The Humanities under the direction of John Lohman and released on the M.C. Records imprint after being captured at Richmond’s Montrose Studios.

The lineup includes Rob Ickes on dobro, Jared Pool on guitar and mandolin, Brandon Davis on guitar, Sammy Shelor on banjo, Jacob Eller on upright bass, Calvin “Kool Aid” Curry on electric bass, DJ Harrison on Hammond B-3 organ and percussion, Stuart Hamlin on piano, David Van Deventer on fiddle, Lohman on harmonica, and Randall Cort and Clarence Walters on drums.

They’re augmented by guest appearances by Joan Osborne for vocals on one track and The Ingramettes: Almeta Ingram-Miller, Cheryl Marcia Maroney and Ann Cunningham. The Richmond-based gospel group provides powerful backing vocals on several cuts.

A fiddle solo introduces the traditional gospel number, “Rock Of Ages,” which gets a full bluegrass treatment that features some tasty picking. Sherman shares vocals with the Ingramettes. The message — about crossing the River Jordan — pays unspoken tribute to Wendell and Popsy. “Little Liza Jane,” another familiar tune from the American songbook is up next with a version credited to country superstar Vince Gill. Sherman delivers it atop a sparse arrangement as a true blues song of longing.

The Marvin Gaye classic, “Don’t Do It,” written by Motown’s Holland, Dozier and Holland, features a funky arrangement with the Ingramettes doubling Holmes vocals on the choruses before they take you to church with the slow, solemn and steady “I Want Jesus.” A pair of Memphis classics — Albert King’s “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home,” delivered with a Piedmont feel, and James Carr’s “Dark End Of The Street,” penned by Chips Moman and Dan Penn — change the mood dramatically. The latter, a straight-ahead slow blues, features Osborne in duet.

Grammy-winning bluegrass legend Jim Lauderdale’s “Lonesome Pines” is a fiddle-driven waltz before Sherman attacks John Fogarty’s Creedence Clearwater Revival hit, “Green River,” in a fairly traditional manner. The water theme continues with the gospel-tinged “Wide River,” aided by the Ingramettes, before bluegrass pioneer Carter Stanley’s “White Dove” and Ben Harper’s “Homeless Child” bring the disc to a close.

Don’t be misled by the fact that all of the material has been recorded previously. Like the Holmes Brothers before him, Sherman and bandmates put a fresh spin on everything that’s come before. Available through Amazon, iTunes and other online retailers, The Richmond Sessions is a tour de force, and strongly recommended.

Reviewer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. His first experience with live music came at the feet of the first generation of blues legends at the Newport Folk Festivals in the 1960s. A former member of the Chicago blues community, he’s a professional journalist and blues harmonica player who co-founded the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working bands in South Florida.

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 Featured Blues Video Of The Week – Matthew Curry & The Fury 

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This week we feature a young guitar player and singer, Matthew Curry. Matthew is just 22 but Blues Blast has been following the amazing guitar player since he was 11 years old. Here is a video of him playing the title track from his 2014 album, If I Don’t Got You. (Click image to watch!)

Matthew is playing at the Paramount Music Festival in Port Washington, WI on Friday September 1st. For information and tickets to the Paramount Music Festival visit  or click on the Paramount Music Festival ad in this issue.

 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 10 

mick simpson cd imageMick Simpson – Black Rain

Mad Ears Productions

CD: 11 Songs, 47:50 Minutes

Styles: Contemporary Acoustic and Electric Blues Rock, Mellow Blues

Full disclosure: I never thought there would be a good use for the universally-hated Emoji Movie, except as a shoe-in for this year’s Razzie Awards. However, its main character has proven a brilliant illustration of the fourth album from the UK’s Mick Simpson, Black Rain. In the film, our hero Gene is a “Meh” emoji, meant to show his face when something isn’t bad, but it isn’t good, either. He’s supposed to be the paragon of indifference, but Gene’s strength and weakness is that he demonstrates multiple expressions. So does Mick Simpson, from angst on “To Hell and Back”, to tenderness on “Sweet Lorraine,” to rueful sorrow on “Promised the Earth” (reviewed below). However, Gene can’t deny his purpose and his parentage – his mom and dad are also Meh’s. Die-hard blues rock fans, especially of Steve Miller and Stevie Ray Vaughan, might sense an underlying “meh-ness” in Black Rain. It’s good, but could’ve been great. On eleven original tracks, he combines a smooth blues-rock edge with mellow, low-key vocals.

According to Simpson’s Wikipedia page, “In the early 1980s, Simpson found work as a session guitarist on the London scene, after receiving airplay of his track’s on BBC Radio 1’s Friday Night Rock Show. In the mid-1990s, Simpson worked with John Parr of St Elmo’s Fire fame, with his guitar work featured on the album Man with a Vision, and also on hit films such as The Running Man with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Three Men and a Baby with Tom Selleck.

“Throughout the 1990s, Simpson remained busy working with the UK session drummer and producer Graham Broad, and recorded sessions for Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Tina Turner, Bryan Adams, and Go West.”

Due to all these accolades, yours truly wonders why she hasn’t heard of Mick Simpson before, and why he isn’t more well-known in the United States as well as his native England. He’s certainly got the background and the instrumental musicianship to be a household name, but the production values on his latest effort could have been tighter and slicker.

Along with Simpson on lead vocals, guitars and mandolin are producer and co-writer Andy Littlewood on keyboards, backing vocals and bass; Pete Nelson on drums and percussion; Eva Carboni on lead vocals for track three; Dave Hunt on harmonica for track 7; Michael John McEligott for acoustic guitar on track four; and Becca Sanchez on backing vocals for track ten.

On this album, the last song is the best one, stunning in its resemblance to Steve Miller’s hits.

Track 10: “Promised the Earth” – One of the biggest pitfalls in a relationship is having sky-high expectations of earthbound people. “You should have stayed by my side when you promised the earth,” Simpson laments in this moody and atmospheric number. “It’s so easy to be a fool, tripping over and falling through. Why did I take you at your word?” All the instruments are so on-point it’s eerie, most notably Andy Littlewood’s rain-shower keyboards and Mick’s guitar.

If you’re in the mood for relaxing blues on a stormy night, Mick Simpson’s Black Rain will refresh you!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 37 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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 Featured Blues Review – 4 of 10 

mayco cd imageMayco – All Blues

Self-Release – 2017

9 tracks; 49 minutes

Mike Mayco is the keyboard player in Markey Blue, a band nominated in the Blues Blast Awards twice in the last couple of years. On this instrumental project he is joined by bandmates Ric Latina on guitar and Jim Klingler on drums for an organ trio album that was recorded live to tape with no overdubs, so what you hear is exactly as it went down in the studio.

‘They don’t make ‘em like that any more’ you might say, but only a year or so ago out on the West coast we had Little Charlie Baty’s Skronky Tonk CD and in Chicago Chris Foreman plays regularly with Joel Paterson in just such a trio, so perhaps these are not as rare as one might think.

Every track here demonstrates the high quality of the three players involved, Jim keeping the beat as Ric and Mike exchange solos. One of the masters of the Hammond organ in jazz and blues trios was Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes and Mike reprises two of his tunes here: “Groove’s Groove” swings mightily and “Living Soul” is a tremendously fast-paced tune with Mike’s organ playing terrific over some intense rhythm work by Ric.

The other covers are Miles Davis’ “All Blues”, a track from his seminal Kind Of Blue album which is played pretty straight with Mike playing the refrain originally played by Miles, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley – big shoes to fill! This version was good enough to make this reviewer pull out the original disc to become reacquainted with one of the greatest albums of all time. The adaptation of “Amazing Grace” which closes the album has gospel-infused organ but the beat of the drums seems a little intrusive.

The remaining five tracks are Mike’s originals, all fitting into the same style. “A Frame” opens proceedings, effectively laying down the format for the album with an attractive hook that is passed round between Mike and Ric to be embellished.

“Slow C Blues” brings us clearly into blues territory and Ric shines on this one, as does Jim on “Soul Salsa” where his drums and percussion work sounds like at least two people. “Sundown” is a more relaxed affair which winds across seven and a half minutes with some lovely playing before “Masonville Swing” does exactly what the title suggests with a very bluesy solo from Ric.

Clearly this is as much jazz as blues but the relationship between the two is always close on this disc which is a very enjoyable listen to those with open ears.

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 Review – 5 of 10 

jr clark cd imageJR Clark – January Rain

Self-Release – 2017

13 tracks; 64 minutes

JR Clark is a guitarist, singer and songwriter from Michigan and this is his fourth studio album. His band bears the impressive title of ‘The Allstar Blues Mob’ and bassist Johnny B Gayden (Albert Collins) and Buddy Guy/Magic Slim drummer Jerry ‘Bam Bam’ Porter are certainly very experienced musicians, alongside keyboard player Willie Styles. A horn section of Johnny Cotton (trombone) and Kenny Anderson (trumpet) add additional firepower to five tracks. JR wrote all the material bar one track and Johnny B had a hand in three arrangements. The album was recorded at JoyRide Studios in Chicago by Blaise Barton and Brian Leach who adds egg shaker, tambourine and ‘Fish’ on “Shakin’ Margaritas”.

The CD opens strongly with the power of the horns driving the title track “January Rain”. JR has a good voice and plays some striking guitar, very much in the Larry McCray, Michael Burks mould. Johnny B’s bass is right up in the mix and adds a funky bottom end to the tale of the girl who is staying out late, arousing JR’s suspicion.

Fans of classic soul music will love “It’s A Big Old World” with JR’s rhythm work underpinning a fine keyboard solo before JR brings out a nicely rounded solo that fits the soulful vibe perfectly (though for this reviewer the Barry White-style spoken section could have been dropped). Similarly “I Fell In Love All Over Again” is classic Philly soul material which JR sings well in a slightly lighter voice, the horns adding to the chorus and JR’s solo fitting well with the mood created by Willie’s excellent electric piano solo.

Two tracks are dedicated to departed guitarists: “Train” is dedicated to Luther Allison and features some appropriately tough guitar and “Still My Baby” thunders along in a good imitation of Magic Slim, JR singing in a harder voice. “Something Funny” discusses hunger, homelessness and unemployment on a tune with a reggae influence. JR ups the tempo on the rocking “Hard Workin’” which has plenty of boogie piano on an autobiographical song about life as a bluesman – broken down van, late arrival at the gig, etc. “Storm Blowin’” equates relationships to storms (“I’ll pick you up when you fall down, will you do the same?”) and is a lyrical song with swirling organ and an extended and dramatic solo from JR, a definite highlight.

Similarly exciting guitar embellishes “After Midnight” as JR reflects on some of the worrying features of our society such as drugs on the streets and racism. Ringing guitars that sound a little like ZZ Top and solid rocking accompaniment feature on “Your Good Loving”. The horns return on the final track, the only cover here, James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World”, which JR delivers well, sticking reasonably close to the original and giving us one more fine solo before the album ends.

Two comic songs lighten the serious mood of some of the songs here: on “Shakin’ Margaritas” JR has lots of fun with rhymes as Maria works her cocktail magic in the bar, watched by all the guys as uncredited flute and shakers add a different feel; “Hot Lunch Mama” finds JR admiring an attractive lady heading for her regular lunch date with some some double meaning lyrics and fine rolling piano work.

Overall this is an impressive album with no weak tracks. The horns are superb on the tracks on which they feature but the band is strong enough to entertain us throughout the album. This was the first this reviewer had heard of JR Clark but he someone to watch out for. This CD is available from CD Baby and comes 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 – 6 of 10 

guitar slim jr cd imageGuitar Slim Jr – The Story Of My Life

Orleans Records – 2017

10 tracks; 30 minutes

Rodney Armstrong is the son of Eddie ‘Guitar Slim’ Jones and acquired the moniker Guitar Slim Junior after his father died. Based in New Orleans, Slim Jr was already an established performer when this album was recorded in summer 1987. The album was then nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues recording in 1988. Quite why it has now been re-released is unclear from the notes though those do state that Slim was something of a reluctant participant in the original sessions, stating that he “had no interest in making an album”. Since then Slim has continued to play in Louisiana and release occasional albums, the last being in 2010.

The Story Of My Life was recorded in the Big Easy with drummers Shannon Powell (Preservation Hall) and Kerry Brown, bassists René Coman (The Iguanas) and Charles Moore, keyboard players Keith Fazarde, Jon Cleary and AJ Loria appear on one track each, Keith also playing vibes on one, Stanley Atkins and David B Moorland add second guitar parts to one track each and five tracks have horns added by New Orleans stalwart Milton Batiste (trumpet) and Ernest Watson (sax); backing vocals are added to two tracks by Sylvia and Oneida Joseph. The album was produced by Carlo Ditta and engineered by David B Moorhead with Milton Batiste writing the horn charts. All lead vocals and guitar are by Guitar Slim Jr.

Although Slim is quoted as not wanting to ride his Dad’s coattails this album does feature no fewer than seven Guitar Slim tunes together with covers of three soul tunes. The opening quartet includes “Trouble Don’t Last” in which Slim’s guitar and vocals are very reminiscent of his Dad’s style, the horns adding to the chorus. “Letter To My Girlfriend” cuts out at the two minute mark and one wonders why. This lively shuffle is followed by two slow blues, the title track “The Story Of My Life” and “Bad Luck Blues” on which the horns and an uncredited pianist embellish the tune. “Can I Change My Mind” is the first of two songs originally sung by Tyrone Davis and the change in pace and style is immediate with soulful rhythm guitar and keys driving the song along in attractive manner, Slim playing a light-fingered solo over what one assumes is also his rhythm work as no other guitarist is credited. Even better is Clarence Carter’s “Too Weak To Fight” with an excellent horn arrangement, Slim’s soulful vocal and some strong guitar work, probably the highlight track of the album. “Reap What You Sow” is Guitar Slim’s song (not the Otis Rush song also known as “Mourning In The Morning”) and it’s another slow blues before a short version of “Well, I Done Got Over It” has Jon Cleary’s piano well up in the mix set against the horns. Vibes add a lightness of touch to the second Tyrone Davis song “Turn Back The Hands Of Time” before the album ends with one of Slim Senior’s most famous songs, “Sufferin’ Mind”. The horns are clearly on this one although uncredited and the backing vocals are so distant that they sound like they were recorded in another building! Slim’s guitar cuts through the arrangement to deliver a good solo on a very short version of the song.

Fans of Guitar Slim will know most of this material well and may wonder whether his son adds anything distinctive to them. Hearing this album some thirty years after it was made one realises that recording standards have been raised and there are clearly some inaccuracies in the credits which is surprising for a re-release. Overall this reviewer was a little surprised that the album made a Grammy shortlist but it is a decent if unspectacular 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.

 Featured Blues Review – 7 of 10 

bobby g cd imageBobby G with Curtis Grant Jr. & the Midnight Rockers – Still Standing

Third Street Cigar Records

10 tracks / 43:40

Bobby G (Robert Lee Gray) is slightly tardy to the music game with his debut album, but this guy is still a player and his new disc proves that 73 years old is definitely not too late to hit the studio. Bobby has quite a history, growing up in Mississippi where he frequented juke joints, then as a teenager he moved to Toledo to live with family. In the Buckeye State Bobby grew into manhood singing in clubs and also landed a job with the city, but in 1980 he took a break from the stage for a few decades after the birth of his son. After 39 years with the city he retired and returned to the stage, and after a few more decades of on-the-job training Bobby has hooked up with a solid band for a strong debut, Still Standing.

That band would be Curtis Grant Jr. & the Midnight Rockers who are also based out of Toledo, Ohio, and each of them has decades of practical musical experience. Curtis plays the skins, Larry Gold handles the guitars parts, and Johnny “Hifi” Newmark holds down the bottom end on bass. A soul blues legend, Johnny Rawls, also worked on this project as the producer and songwriter, as well as pitching in on the keyboards and some of the guitar parts.

Still Standing includes ten tracks, all of them originals that were written by Rawls and Linda Francis. The group was blessed with the ability to use the studio at the Toledo School for the Arts in downtown Toledo. One of the school’s instructors, Walter “Mac” McKeever, engineered and mixed this album, and he has disproved the myth that “those who can’t do, teach.” The production is tight, with clear sound and a well miced and balanced instrumental mix. This guy knows what he is doing, and it is so cool that he is teaching the next generation of studio engineers.

You will experience this expertise from the first track, as “Still Standing” launches with five minutes of friendly soul and blues. There is nothing over the top here, with conventional blues guitar taking the lead over a rolling bass line; this is a perfect accompaniment to Bobby’s conversational presentation of the lyrics. His voice is a little weathered, but still quite smooth, and the overall effect is mesmerizing. The rest of the album does not need a lot of complicated explanations about how the songs are built – this is pure soul and blues, so there will not be any hyphenated subgenres to wade through in this review. In fact, the next song in the set is a slow and sweet piece of 12-bar electric blues with wonderful lead guitar work from Larry Gold. This ballad celebrates a woman who is indeed, as “Good as Gold,” which is a sentiment that any of us can get behind!

There is a definite 1960s vibe throughout Still Standing, and after “Ball and Chain” (no relation to the Social Distortion song) the band adds a little more soul to the blues with “Love, Love, Love.” This tune is built around rhythmic handclaps, with an excellent display of different guitar tones from Mr. Gold. Bobby G explores the lower registers of his impressive range, and his growly parts are just as enjoyable as his smooth highs. This is one of the standout tracks on the disc, as is “The Worst Feeling,” and the closer, “Feels So Good,” a good-times ode to Bobby’s hometown in Mississippi. The latter is a classic electric blues song with the unbreakable backline of Grant and Newmark, and layers of clean guitars from Gold. The upbeat lyrics really put this tune over the top, and it is a neat way to finish things up.

Still Standing is a classic blues album that is full of solid songs played by the fine musicians of Curtis Grant Jr. and the Midnight Rockers, and Bobby G sings all of the lyrics with great skill. If you dig this sort of stuff (and who doesn’t?) you will have the opportunity to hear them in person if you are around the Toledo area, as there are a few local gigs listed on the Third Street Cigar Records website. Bobby G is no stranger to the stage, and his decades of experience guarantee that the show will be tight. Check them out and see what you think!

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

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 Featured Blues Review – 8 of 10 

paul dougherty cd imagePaul Dougherty – Spankin’ Hankin’

Bake It Black Records – 2017

14 tracks; 59 minutes

Paul Dougherty is an expat American living and working in Munich, Germany where he has recorded eight previous CDs released on the Bake It Black label. On this album, a tribute to Hank Williams, Paul produced, recorded and played everything you hear.

Taking many of Hank Williams’ best-known songs and putting an individual spin on them is a daunting task at the best of times and Paul is brave to take on the challenge. He sings the often familiar words in a Dylan-like voice, almost spoken at times, and the instrumentation has plenty of keyboard work, patches of slide guitar, occasional horns and drums (both possibly synth?); one suspects that Paul is predominantly a keyboard player as there is quite an emphasis on piano and organ. However, the drums are not always well done and it would be interesting to know if they are programmed or not. In any case there are times when the ‘muddy’ drum sound gets in the way of the song, as for example on “Weary Blues From Waiting” and “I’m A Long Gone Daddy” – a pity in the latter case as the horn arrangement here pushes the song along well but the drums do not follow. Some of the piano leads are very good as on the version of “Move It On Over” but the organ sometimes veers into that territory which British readers would recognise as ‘Reginald Dixon’ style (the man who played the organ at Blackpool Tower for the afternoon audiences of elderly people, for non-British readers) – a very far cry from George Thorogood’s version.

Is there any blues here? Well, not a lot, though “Leave Me Alone With The Blues” introduces some harp and slide and the horn-driven “Rockin’ Chair Money” are blues-orientated selections amongst the more uptempo tracks. Two other tracks worth noting are the closing “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome”, recorded with distorted vocals (possibly an attempt to sound like vintage technology) with piano and some very distant-sounding trumpet accompaniment and “I Saw The Light”, a gospel piece with Paul using a very deep voice over churchy organ.

This reviewer is not very familiar with Hank Williams’ music so it is hard to comment on how devoted Hank fans will react to this recording. In terms of blues this is a limited palette and not a disc to which this reviewer will return.

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 Review – 9 of 10 

jimmy bowskill cd imageJimmy Bowskill & Carlos Del Junco – BLUES ETC…

Big Reed Records

10 songs – 45 minutes

The traditional blues pairing of a simple guitar and a harmonica continues to offer a seemingly inexhaustible vein of musical ideas to mine, especially when those players are virtuosos on a level with Canada’s Jimmy Bowskill and Carlos Del Junco.

Opening with “Beale St. Toodle-oo”, one is struck immediately by ease and facility of each man’s playing. Bowskill’s adroit finger-picking constantly shifts rhythms and timbres underneath Del Junco’s singing harp licks while all the time the duo look to circle back to play the main head of the arrangement together.

Jimmy Bowskill is still only 26 years old, but he has packed a lot into the years since he first played at Jeff Healey’s Toronto club as an 11 year old, receiving his first Juno nomination at 13 and a Maple Blues Award in 2013 for New Artist Of The Year. He switches between acoustic and electric guitars with equal dexterity. On a boogie like “Heaven’s Where You’ll Dwell”, he dials in a dark and dirty overdriven tone that recalls the great Willie Johnson tones of the late 40s and early 50s. On the stomping “Confidence Man”, his powerful finger-picking hints at folk and early Led Zeppelin (and Del Junco’s delightfully bonkers harmonica solo even hints at Area Code 615’s “Stone Fox Chase”, in keeping with the slightly 70s-vibe of the track).

Havana-born Del Junco’s family emigrated to Canada when he was one. Also a multiple Juno nominee, his harmonica is a consistent delight, combining a sophisticated, warm tone with masterful melodies, all the time retaining a raw vulnerability.

Del Junco and Bowskill are both fine singers, although it might have been helpful if the CD had listed who was singing on which track. On the assumption that the tracks were recorded without overdubbing, it is presumably Bowskill singing on the ballad “Everybody Knows” and “Can’t Lose”, where his emotion is almost tangible.

Bowskill and Del Junco wrote or co-wrote five of the tracks on the CD. The covers are Kevin Cooke’s “Heaven’s Where You’ll Dwell”, Muddy Waters’ “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” (here re-titled “Can’t Lose”), John Lee Hooker’s “Hug You”, Mississippi John Hurt’s “Spike Driver Blues”, and Otis Spann’s “The Blues Don’t Like Nobody”. “Hug You” and “The Blues Don’t Like Nobody” are live recordings from 2014 whereas the other tracks were all recorded in the studio in 2015 and 2016.

The duo touch on a range of genres on BLUES ETC…from the primal boogie of “Hug You” and the slow blues of “Can’t Lose” to the pop of “If I Call Your Name” and the folk-rock of “Everybody Knows” and “Roll Away The Stone” with its harmonised vocal choruses and reverb-drenched electric guitar.

BLUES ETC… is a highly enjoyable album, played with emotional commitment and technical fluency whilst retaining a lightness of touch and spontaneity that reward repeated listening. Great stuff.

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

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 Featured Blues Review – 10 of 10 

hoy roux cd imageHot Roux – Hometown Blues

Hi Hat Records 2017

11 tracks; 38 minutes

With a name like Hot Roux you might expect the band to come from New Orleans and the band does hit a Louisiana groove on some tracks but in fact they are from California! The rhythm section of Jerry McWorter on drums and Brent Harding on bass wrote all the material here, Jerry also handling all lead vocals; guitar duties are shared between Franck Goldwasser (aka ‘Paris Slim’ of the Mannish Boys) on four tracks, Ed Berghoff and Kyle Jester on three tracks each and Johnny Main and Jon Lawton on a cut each. Carl Sonny Leyland plays piano on one track, RJ Mischo harp on two and Jimmy Calire and Bill Flores add sax to three.

Jerry sings in a clear and pleasant voice throughout and on opener “Don’t Wanna Talk About Love” there is a definite NO feel with the saxes pushing things along nicely, solo honours going to Jimmy’s tenor, RJ’s high-pitched harp and a ‘twangy’ outing from Franck. “Della Be My Baby” opens with Jerry’s drums and Franck’s slide and develops into a fine piece of rock and roll with New Orleans drum patterns. The pace drops for “Woman You Haunt Me” with the piano adding a 50’s Rn’R feel to the track before the horns make a second appearance on “Down And Out” which is possibly the standout track here; Franck’s rhythm work underpins everything, the horns add depth and Jerry’s vocal is convincing as he sings of being left stranded. The short rocker “Misery Misery” has a real 50’s feel with Kyle’s rocking guitar at the heart of the song while “One More Train” sounds a little like Canned Heat’s “Goin’ Up The Country” performed by a country band!

Ed Berghoff adopts a Mark Knopfler style of guitar on “I Hear’m Talking”, a gentle tune with rather sad lyrics which Jerry conveys well. The comic “Can’t See” finds Jerry bemoaning his failing eyesight which results in multiple pairs of glasses: “I got two on the nightstand and more in the drawer, another pair on a stack of books piled on the floor. Can’t see – these old baby blues have passed their warranty”. A fun song that will make you smile as you listen to it! “Rent Party Boogie” does pretty much what the title suggests as Jimmy’s brooding sax follows the rhythm section and Johnny Main’s rock and roll guitar in support of Jerry’s slightly distorted vocal. RJ Mischo makes his final appearance on “What A Lie”, a slinky latin rhythm and Jerry’s cynical lyrics about some marriages, Franck adding some tasty slide. The album closes with the catchy “Wake Up Slim” in which Ed plays some country-flavoured licks over his own rhythm work. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of this album is that with the exception of “What A Lie” only one guitarist appears on each track so all the rhythm and lead interplay we hear is by a single player.

Overall a thoroughly entertaining album with a satisfying mix of retro styles – definitely worth investigating.

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 – Dawn Tyler Watson 

dawn tyler watson pic 1Don’t scat! That was Shakura S’Aida’s advice to her friend Dawn Tyler Watson when she came down from Montreal to compete in this year’s International Blues Challenge.

“She was amazing. She told me, ‘Dawn, you’re going down to Memphis. This is what counts.’”

Shakura had made it into the finals years before, but didn’t win the contest. But in her heart, she knew Dawn had a good shot. Yes, the winners always seem to come from the south, but things are changing.

“She’d judged and stuff, too. She’s like, ‘Blues content! Avoid the scatting,’ you know, ’cause jazz is my thing. She said. ‘Get into the blues. Remember, it’s blues, and play every single stage like it’s a huge festival because they’re looking for headliners.’

“That was good advice because you go in and you’re playing this little dinky bar, right? Dinky bar on Beale St. Small stages with less than ideal sound systems and a way less than necessary, in our case, sound system because we’re an eight-piece band.

“So, I have the horns blasting in my monitor. It sounds like crap to me on stage, but I still have to play like I’m having a ball, and that I’m loving it, and that I’m in front of 10,000 people, in front of the Montreal Jazz Fest on one of the big, huge stages.

“So, you have to play that way, and I’m grateful she told me that, and I did that. And she understands on the other side of that mike how all those things can factor into your mood and to your performance. It doesn’t mean that as a professional you never show that you’re not happy, but it can affect you if you allow it emotionally.

“So, you just ignore it for the 15 – 20-minute set you have and do your best. It was a great suggestion because after my first performance, she said, ‘Girl, you’ve got more than that,’ you know? So, she was great. She coached me and helped me so much. I love that girl, but I cannot believe she did not win the year she competed.”

But Dawn did win.

And five months later, she still hasn’t totally processed what that win means. A 52-year-old daughter of mixed race parents with one foot in jazz, another in acting and what once was a vestigial foot in blues, is suddenly the highest profile up and coming blues act in the world. Add to that a back story that includes a life-threatening heart operation that almost prevented her from competing, and you have a woman in a daze, a wonderful daze, but a daze nonetheless.

In an interview earlier this year, Dawn told me she had three months to recuperate from her triple bypass before competing in this year’s International Blues Challenge. She may have thought that was enough time, but her doctor didn’t.

“He said, ‘Dawn, if you’re on stage and you feel any pain, any chest pain, I don’t care if you’re in the middle of a song, you need to stop, go sit down, squirt this stuff under your tongue, wait five minutes and if it doesn’t go away, do it again, and get your ass to an emergency room. I don’t care if you’re on stage in the middle of a show.’

“And I’m like, ‘Ok, no problem.’ He says, ‘You have to choose your health over your ego here,’ and I was like, ok, and in my mind I was thinking I would do that, but there is probably no way. I know myself. I would finish the song. It’s my passion. I’m in that moment. I’m in that giving 100%. This is my all. This is what I’m born to do. This is what I love doing, and if I die on stage, I’ll be a happy camper, you know? Seriously!”

dawn tyler watson pic 2Today, she’s had some more time to reflect. “It sounds corny, but it’s the truth. Each day really is a new beginning and a gift, and that may be your last. You gotta live it. Can’t waste it. I was shocked the last time we spoke about the fact I’m going down with seven white boys from Quebec and a Frenchman on drums, and we were able to go down there and have enough – I don’t know – passion, creativity, I don’t know, whatever it takes to stand out with this band.”

It’s like she put on a pair of polarized dark glasses and the clouds switched from being portents of darker things on the horizon to God’s paintings of a beautiful world. Those glasses make her look cooler to the world, while looking through them gives her a new perspective on the meaning and significance of her personal clouds.

“I think this band and I are a really good fit, and these guys are exactly what I needed to shine. I could not believe that against all that south-centric talent and all the artists that were there that we actually won. It was shocking. You never know. That’s what I mean. You never know who’s going to win. I mean Paul Deslauriers and myself when we were down there. I don’t know if you were there. I think it was 2012, and we were an acoustic act. We went all the way to the finals and people are like, ‘You guys shoulda won,’ but to me I know blues content was not our strength.”

Months before the competition when she went into emergency heart surgery, her friends gave her a heads up. “You might die. Do you have a will?” “Uh, no. So, I get my girlfriend to start videotaping me on her iPhone. That was the weirdest thing because you know in a way I’m still in denial that all that happened to me. It’s like I was in such shock. I mean, I was making jokes with the guy going into the operating room. I really didn’t grasp the situation. I could have seriously not come out or come out on the other side. You know what I mean?”

Now, six months after her win, she feels like she has a new heart “engine.” Her voice is stronger, she’s stronger, and the nightmares have disappeared. “I haven’t had any nightmares. I still carry whatever that stuff you’re supposed to spray, nitroglycerine, but I mean I can’t live my life in fear. I really just believe I got a new engine, got a new lease on life. You know, cleaned all the engine out. This is good. My heart’s working better than it was for years. So, I’m not worried.”

And she wears the scars on her chest like the badge of the survivor she is. “It’s like this huge diamond crested silver lining of all this pain that I went through. The healing process and I’ve got this hot real sexy scar right down the middle of my chest, man. I’ve just started wearing low cut stuff again now. I really had thought for the longest time and it’s pretty prominent because of the kind of skin I have.

“So, some people say, ‘Oh, you can get a tattoo.’ And I’m like it’s great to draw more attention to that area, but with a little makeup I don’t mind, and since I’m now part of the zipper club as they say, I keep seeing other people and I see a lot of women who – I have a man who comes and buys CDs and is like. ‘Hey, I’m in the zipper bag, too.’ You know like I can see their scar and I’m like ‘Why hide that? Why hide that? I don’t have to be perfect, and there’s no reason to hide that. It’s a badge of honor for me. It’s like a survival – I’ve survived this. This is something to be proud of. So, yeah. I’ve stopped kinda hiding it, but I’m not exactly flashing it either. I don’t know.”

“I’m till super super proud of myself, and I have a hard time being proud of myself. I’m a perfectionist. I’m always trying to – ‘Yeah, I did good, but!’ I win an award or I get something and I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s great and I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah. You screwed this up or that up. But this, every time I think about it I really smile with my heart that we won this. And mostly because it was such a team effort. I can’t take credit. It was really a unit. We’re a unit. The band – the Ben Racine Band and myself, we make that product.”

Ben Racine took home the Albert King Guitarist Award at the IBC.

dawn tyler watson pic 3“They weren’t getting paid ’cause they’re a committed unit. You find a lot of people, ‘Ugh, they’re sidemen. You know people working as sidemen and if a better gig comes along,’ but these guys they’re so committed, and the fact that they’ve dropped their lives and their wives, and they didn’t have gigs. And there was no money for us going down there. Everybody went down there basically unpaid, and they had to spend their own money on food and stuff like that, and these guys all came down. So, I don’t take that lightly, and the fact that we won is absolutely a gift, really. They’re freakin’ amazing.”

In 2004 Dawn starred in the film Jack Paradise. “Gilles Noel, the producer, came into the jazz club and they heard me and they said, ‘We’re gonna do this movie, and we need a jazz singer, and you’re Curly Brown. You’re the heroine in the movie, not the heroine, but the female whatever.

“So, I was like a year later I got a call to come in and do the sound test, and with a guy named Ray Dupuis who’s internationally known for his role in Nikita, that show that’s shown in like 50 countries and translated into like 30 languages. Anyway, he’s the Brad Pitt of Quebec.

“They called me up, and I auditioned, and I got the part, and in 2004 they released the film. It told the story about a black singer and a white piano player set in the ’20s through the ’70s which was a really rich cultural time here in Montreal for jazz. Like everybody played here: Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong. Anybody who was anybody played in Quebec at that time in Montreal.

“I was lucky because a jazz singer is basically playing myself and I based the Curly Brown character on my own life. I could totally relate to Curly. She was a little black kid who sang, had a lot of talent, loved to – she was young. So, she would sit outside the jazz club, and listen, try to sneak in all the time back in the ’30s and ’40s and finally, when she hit 18, she went in. They discovered her, and she started a career as a singer, and she always dreamed of going to New York and making it big and fell in love with this white piano player, and at the time, of course, black and white relationships were kind of frowned upon. He fell into drugs, and he became a bit of her savior.

“Then, he married a white woman and had kids with the white woman which broke her heart. She took off, got deeper into drugs and depression and ended up in New York eventually. Anyway, in the end, they came back together, but I could understand Curly’s passion for the music, and drive to succeed.”

Dawn could relate to Curley’s death dance with drugs.

“I had my stint with craziness in my youth, you know, with drugs and drinking and partying. I didn’t get caught up in the (music) business so quickly because really literally I got sidetracked with the drugs and alcohol. Once I got back on track, then music became my focus. Music is my driving motivation, my force, the thing I love to do most in the world. Music became my power, my force.

“I know the devastating effect of addiction in people’s lives that I’ve been able to overcome that and conquer that is a miracle and not for nothing. I do a lot of volunteer work and stuff like that with youth at risk. I’ve come so close with the operation, and I feel it’s time now to connect the dots a little bit more. I don’t exactly know how to express it yet. I don’t want to go too far into my past, but suffice it to say, yeah, it was pretty dark and for me what I’m living now to come to where I am now to where I came from is nothing short of miraculous.”

dawn tyler watson pic 4Dawn recalls her first gig with a band that played R&B, Doors and Aretha Franklin. “The guy came up to us afterwards and gave me $50, and I was like wow! I got paid. I was shocked that I got paid to do something I love to do. Today, I can tell you you can pay me all the money in the world, but it’s not – there’s no price tag on the joy I have on stage. The money you pay me is a to deal with the website and the social media, and the rehearsals and booking and the paperwork and the visas and you know. That’s what I get paid for. That’s the hassle, the day-in-day-out music business. Yeah, pay me big bucks for that because that’s a lot of work, but once I’m on stage, that’s my high. That’s when I’m highest. That’s where I believe I’m also expressing – manifesting the highest part of myself. The creativity that was given me, the gift that was given me.

“When I give back to people on stage that is my nirvana really. That is my joy. It truly is. Even when the sound is crappy, I don’t like this. I’m not in great mood, I still get transported to that place when I look somebody in the eye, and they have that smile on their face, and I know I’m connecting to that person.

“Last night there was this girl on the dance floor. We played in a park in the West Islands. As soon as we started, two bars into it, I don’t know. Maybe she was 13 or 12 or 11. She gets out on the dance floor, and she starts dancing with her dress and swirling her dress and she was having so much fun. Within two minutes, all the other people got up and started dancing, watching this girl. She stayed there for the full hour or whatever we played and just the joy on her face every single time I connected with her. I looked at her, and she’d smile and I’d smile. I mean come on! There’s no price tag for that. I love my job, you know? I just love it.”

On tour around the world, and being nominated for a Blues Blast Award are just some of the perks that are helping Dawn actualize her new reality.

“Every time I turn around now, I’m looking and everybody’s looking at me with love in their eyes like a puppy watches their masters. There’s this connection. They’re there. They’re there for me. They’re supportive as all get out. They support me. They’re there for me and that’s a beautiful feeling. I think this is the first time I’ve had a band that’s there for me. It just fills me with joy. What’s life about if not connections? It’s about connections.”

So, is there life after winning the International Blues Challenge? She doesn’t know yet. “I haven’t stopped really. We’ve been running around the globe. It’s been great. It’s been awesome, and I had a meeting with my producer Francois Thiffault, and he’s like ‘Well, Dawn, now you gotta start thinking about the next record now.’ I’m like, ‘I’m too busy,’ but he’s like, ‘You gotta start now,’ which is true because what usually happens is I just get busy and it’s like, ‘Ok, time to do a record,’ and I get slammed with it, so this is why it’s taken me so long to do.

That’s why I have so few albums with relatively such a long career. So, yeah, actually I’m on my way today to get to the country for a few days and take a look at my material and get a base idea of where I’m at with that so that we can start arranging songs and stuff. So, that’s exciting. Meanwhile, I’m still touring and getting around. We’ve done a bunch of American festivals which is awesome. I got nominated for a Blues Blast Award which I guess you know is awesome, my first American nomination.

And as for Shakura’s admonition not to scat? She’s still a little willful about that. “Yeah, she was right. But I still scat in my solo ’cause I love it. I just love it. It’s part of my act. Jazz is part of who I am. And I still have a jazz trio I work with quite often in the city when everyone else is away on tour. So, I still do jazz quite actively in Montreal. Yeah, I scat. I’m a scat fool.”

Visit Dawn’s website at:

Interviewer Don Wilcock has been writing about blues for nearly half a century. He wrote Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues, the biography that helped Buddy Guy jumpstart his career in 1991. He’s interviewed more than 5000 Blues artists and edited several music magazines including King Biscuit Time.

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Central Iowa Blues Society -Des Moines, IA

Iowa Blues Challenge Finals – The preliminary rounds are complete and the lineup is now set for the 2017 Iowa Blues Challenge Finals on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry St, 5 pm Admission at the door is $15, $10 for members of any Iowa Blues Society with a current card.

Competing in the Solo/Duo bracket at 5:00 pm will be Bruce Kort & Forrest Rische, Freight Train Frank Strong and Kevin BF Burt. The 3 contesting bands starting at 7:15 pm are Blue Scratch, Avey Grouws Band and Hound Dog Shy. Winning acts will represent Iowa in Memphis at the 2018 International Blues Challenge.

Special thanks to our sponsors Budweiser, Exile, Iowa Public Radio, Zimm’s, Rieman Music, Junior’s Motel, Lefty’s, Des Moines Social Club, Vividpix, Central Iowa Blues Society, South Skunk Blues Society, MS Valley Blues Society and Southeast Iowa Blues Society. For more information go to

Sacramento Blues Society – Sacramento, CA

The Sacramento Blues Society will be hosting the fabulous Golden State-Lone Star Blues Revue on September 3, 2017 at the world famous Torch Club, 904-15th St. This band consists of Mark Hummel and RW Grigsby representing the Golden Gate and Wes Starr and Mike Keller from Texas. Keller was once a member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds and is stepping in for Little Charlie Baty, who is on yet another endeavor. Music is from 4:00-7:00, 21+, $15 SBS members, $20 public.

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

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

For more additional information:

Long Beach Blues Society – Lohg Beach, CA

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

More info at or

Friends of the Blues – Kankakee, IL

Nov 14 – Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat, Manteno Sportsmen’s Club. More Info at:

The Illinois Central Blues Club – Springfield, IL

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

Blue Monday Schedule: , Aug. 28 – Green McDonough Band.

Additional ICBC partnered shows: Aug. 17 – James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6 pm Sam Crain Trio, Aug. 25 – Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Festival – Mary Jo Curry, Albert Castiglia, Lil’ Ed, Aug. 26 – Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Festival – James Armstrong, Kenny Neal, Eric Gales. For more information visit

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


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