Issue 11-4 January 26, 2017

Cover photo by Marilyn Stringer © 2017

 In This Issue 

Terry Mullins has our feature interview with Indigenous front man and guitar icon Mato Nanji. We have 8 Blues reviews for you this week including a new book by Marie B. Trout plus reviews of new music by Eight O’Five Jive, Fabrizio Poggi and the Amazing Texas Blues Voices, Owen Campbell, Fiona Boyes, Anton Machleder, Shakedown Tim & The Rhythm Revue and Paul Reddick.

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

 From The Editor’s Desk 

Hey Blues Fans,

Lots going on in the Blues world right now. First, the International Blues Challenge is happening next week in Memphis on Beale Street. There will be 259 Blues acts performing from all over the world. You can see a list of all of the competitors Click HERE

There will also be a ton of Blues Showcases held all week long plus on Friday there is the “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award ceremonies. Also on Friday there is a great symposium moderated by journalist and Blues Blast contributor Don Wilcock called “Blues as Healer” which will look at the restorative power that music, especially blues music. It features a panel discussion with Walter Trout, Marie Trout, Kenny Neal, and Patti Parks.

Also last week the nominees for the 2017 Blues Music Awards were announced. A complete list of the nominees is at the bottom of this weeks issue. Voting began this week and is open to all members of the Blues Foundation until Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The Blues Music Awards ceremonies will be held on May 11 2017 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis. You can get more information at

Finally I wanted to mention The Chicago Blues Camp, a great event and learning opportunity being presented in June by one of our sponsors and advertisers. Chicago Blues Camp is a unique 5 day immersive learning and performance opportunity for adult musicians to learn from and play authentic Chicago Blues with leading blues performers. There are two 1-week camp sessions during the month of June. Camp instructors include Billy Branch, Billy Flynn, Donald Kinsey, Jimmy Burns, Paul Kaye and Rockin’ Johnny Burgin.

Plus Chicago Blues Camp will also feature a host of guest artists who will visit the class to share their personal tips and insights into the Chicago Blues style including legendary players Bob Stroger, Chainsaw Dupont, Charlie Love, Eddie Taylor Jr, Joe Filisko, John Primer, Lurrie Bell, Matthew Skoller, Melvin Smith, Mike Wheeler, Omar Coleman, Rick Kreher, Tom Holland and others.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to get your Blues Mojo goin’ on. Check out The Chicago Blues Camp at or click on their ad below in this issue!

Wishing you health, happiness and lots more Blues music in 2017!

Bob Kieser

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 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 8 

eight o five jive cd imageEight O’Five Jive – Swing Set

Red Ruby Too Tunes

11 tracks/36:33

Harking back to a bygone era several generations removed, the Nashville-based ensemble Eight O’Five Jive sounds right at home with a retro style full of cool rhythms designed to excite the dancers and humorous lyrics that address the various shades of love as viewed through an alcohol-induced sheen.

Vocalist Lee Shropshire has a smooth, mellow voice complimented by vintage dresses and cool spectacles. Her husband, Andy Scheinman, is the band’s guitarist. The other instrumental soloist is saxophonist Patrick Mosser while the swinging beats stem from the combined efforts of Bill Bois on bass and Duane Spencer on a Cocktail drum kit. The four musicians also add backing vocals as needed.

Several blasts from Mosser’s horn open the disc, then Shropshire delivers a smooth litany of her cocktails of choice with a special request on “Make Mine A Double”. On the closing track, ‘A Little Bit Of Bourbon,” she finds comfort in the warm glow generated by the whiskey, with Scheinman urging her on with a fleet-fingered solo. In between these bookends, the group runs through nine other songs that never fail to induce your feet to start tapping.

“Get Away” is a excited plea for a break from the stress of life, accented by Mosser’s brawny sax. The buoyant tempo on “Never” will certainly fill the dance floor every night while “One More Glass Of Wine” returns to the alcohol theme, with Shropshire breaking out her femme fatale attitude as she delivers a resounding kiss off to a man headed out of her life. Mosser chills the mood with a wispy solo that seems to come complete with late-night cigarette smoke. The mid-tempo glide and humorous lyrics on “Watch Out For The Wives” take some of the edge off Shropshire’s recitation of mistreatment at the hands of male deviants. She issues a no-doubt-about-it warning on the bluesy ‘Back of My Hand,” letting her man know she is nobody’s fool.

Throughout the disc, Mosser and Scheinman deliver short, concise solo statements, as they do on “Put It Back” while Shropshire delivers a captivating sermon on booze, neon lights, and enjoying life after the work day ends. “Ragged” finds Shropshire looking for a break from her man’s constant attention, reassuring him that her love is true. On “I Won’t Wear Flats (To Your Funeral),” her voice rides a jazzy rhythm while delivering a solemn promise to celebrate in style once her man leaves this world. The lone cover, “My Mumblin’ Baby,” is a rocking tribute to a tongue-tied man complete with Mosser’s obligatory sax solo and a fiery turn from Scheinman before the duo engage in a heated musical exchange.

The party never ends for Eight O’Five Jive. Even when things take a turn for the worse lyrically, the band keeps swinging their cares away with tight rhythms and a hep cat attitude that has no time for worrisome, downhearted blues. This one will be a guaranteed delight for for all the cool chicks and chucks!

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

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 Featured Blues Review – 2 of 8 

fabrizio poggi cd imageFabrizio Poggi and the Amazing Texas Blues Voices – Texas Blues Voices

Appaloosa Records

11 tracks

Fabrizio Poggi is an Italian blues harp player who has released his 20th album with Texas Blues Voices. He has collected up a host of Texas blues singers and musicians to feature on this landmark CD where he showcases his harp and their skills in a mix of traditional songs, covers and songs written by the artists. Poggi plays but does not sing here: each cut features a Texan fronting his great band of players.

The backing band is tight. Bobby Mack and Joe Forlini are on electric and slide guitars. Cole El Saleh does the piano and organ work. Donnie Price is on bass while Dony Wynn is the drummer and percussionist.

Carolyn Wonderland gets thing started on the Blind Willie Johnson tune “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” She testifies to us as she demonstrates why she is dubbed the queen of the Austin blues scene. Shelly King and Mike Cross back her vocals as Poggi wails on harp and Wonderland and Mack do some nice guitar work. Passion and power reign here; the piano and organ takes it up even one more notch of goodness. A great start to a great album! Ruthie Foster’s version of Brownie McGee’s “Walk On” follows. Forlini’s slide is impressive but it’s Ruthie’s vocals that really make this one special- she is amazing here! This is another winner to listen to with some slick harp and just a great overall sound. The guitars, keys and vocals are very well done. Mike Zito gives us his take on “Forty Days and Forty Nights,” the song Muddy Waters immortalized. Zito takes the tempo down a notch and offers up some gritty vocals and guitar to go along with Poggi’s persuasive harp. Nicely done! Zito and Poggi turn this into some sweet slow blues . W.C. Clarke takes the lead with a cut he did with Stevie Ray Vaughn and was the B side to “Hole Sound.” “Rough Edges” is a very upbeat and uptempo rocking blues with great guitar work by Clarke and Mack. Poggi, of course, delivers some stratospheric harp to make it even better. Clarke shows his chops on both guitar and vocals- well done!

Miss Lavelle White is featured on “Mississippi, My Home,” her cut about the tough times growing up and living in Mississippi.Wonderland takes the first solo and Mack the second (on slide) but White offers up some amazing vocals. Her bio reports her singing with Aretha, Bobby Bland, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Junior Parker, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy and I can see why they sang with her! At 88 she still has it. Poggi offers more impassioned harp to go with the fine guitar work, too, and Cole remains solidly great on keys- superb piano on this one. Bobby Mack is featured on Jimmy Hughes’ “Neighbor Neighbor” and he gets to show us what he’s made of. He’s played with so many greats and we see here why. His vocals and guitar are both fantastic here. Suave and cool, he delivers a great rendition of a song covered by Gregg Allman, the Dead, and The Spencer Davis Group. Mack does a marvelous job as Cole kills it on organ and Poggi blows some mean harp. More outstanding stuff here! Mike Cross and Karen Marie wrote “Many In Body” which Cross leads with acoustic guitar and vocals. Wonderland and King help take us to church backing Cross on this sweet Gospel tune. El-Saleh’s organ is spot on and we have Radoslav Lorovic on piano in fine support, too. Joe Folini’ s guitar is also well done as is Poggi’s harp- a gregariously fun solo that is followed by some fine slide. Cross is a super vocalist and is quite convincing in his testimonial! It is a raucous and fun song.

Shelley King sings her song “Welcome Home” and plays acoustic guitar, too. She sings with Carolyn Wonderland and has a subtle and cool vocal style. Cross and wonderland back her up and Wonderland also offers up a guitar solo. Forlino does most of the electric guitar work and Poggi mixes up some chromatic stuff with his regular harp here. King is a fantastic vocalist in her own right and I was glad to get the introduction to her here. Forlini and Cross wrote “Wishin’ Well;” it features Cross on vocals and Forlini on guitar. Joe plays some impassioned Texas styled guitar as Cross delivers some great vocals. Forlini’s guitar and Poggi’s harp spar with Cross and make for a fun ride. Big solos by Poggi and Folini are impressive here. The traditional “Run On” is a classic cut done by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Odetta and Blind Boys of Alabama. Guy Forsyth sings and plays the National Reso-Phonic and Poggi adds his harp in a slick duet that completes the album. Great passion and chops here!

I’ve heard Poggi before and was not sure what to expect. He’s got lots of really well done albums out there. Here he delivers a truly superb set of tunes by some of Texas’ finest. I loved the harp work by Fabrizio throughout- it was tasteful and poignant. The singers were all spot on and fantastic. The guitar work was impeccable. The keyboards were solid and supportive. There is nothing to complain about here. I loved this CD and blues fans can rest assured that this is an album that I think will be well received and broadly enjoyed by a broad spectrum of blues, Texas and roots music fans. Highly recommended!

Reviewer Steve Jones is president of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In addition to working in his civilian career since 1996, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and works with their Blues In The Schools program. He resides in Byron, IL.

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 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 8 

marie trout book imageMarie B. Trout, PhD – The Blues Why It Hurts So Good

Yakkabiz Publishers

309 pages

The title of the book, The Blues, Why It Hurts So Good, promises the reader a perspective on the blues genre that breaks the chains of the mantra “Keeping the blues alive.” There is a subliminal suggestion in that oft quoted catch phrase that suggests blues is an anachronism whose very existence as a contemporary theme song for our lives is in jeopardy. Dr. Marie Trout trounces that suggestion and makes the slogan instantly passé. She not only makes good on proving the validity of her title, she also shatters more than one glass ceiling in the process and gives the fan base the promise of a bright future.

How does she do that?

First of all, she’s not your typical blues journalist, a middle-aged male obsessed with the blues as an adult outlet for adolescent excesses at the altar of pop rock. No, she’s a beautiful Danish blonde who earned her Ph.D. writing her doctoral dissertation in Wisdom Studies on the healing effects of the blues. That dissertation became this book.

The name of the book comes from an observation she makes in the book that “Ninety-four percent of fans (surveyed) agreed blues music helped them release emotion, and 92 percent stated they felt the healing effects of blues: what is commonly meant by ‘hurt so good.’ This term, hurt so good, could well be interpreted to mean that one can let go of unresolved distress (that is often felt as paradoxical and may be difficult to describe.) in a properly distanced ritual, while feeling connected to others.”

She does not base her conclusions that blues is emotionally, physically and medically good for you just on personal beliefs but rather on detailed questionnaires filled out by more than 1000 readers of several blues websites. She followed up those questionnaires with random interviews with respondents as well as in-depth interviews with industry veterans like Bruce Iglauer, founder of Alligator Records, and bluesman Joe Louis Walker.

Don’t think for a moment that Dr. Trout’s tome is informed solely by hollow echoes from the halls of academia. Yes, she draws conclusions from carefully documented research, but, more importantly, she processes her data through the eyes of a blues road warrior. For a quarter century she’s been in the blues trenches as manager to her husband, award winning blues rocker Walter Trout.

Add to that her experience as Walter Trout’s care giver through a harrowing two years where he came perilously close to dying before receiving a live transplant. The process of writing this book saved her sanity as she watched her husband nearly disappear in front of her. Her research uncovered the startling revelations that she and her husband are not alone in experiencing blues music as a sanity savior and life savior.

The 1000 people who filled out her questionnaire confirmed that she and Walter are not alone. This book documents the amazing healing qualities of this music, not just for the artists obsessed by it but by the fans who form a bond with the artists and their work. They also confirm that while rock music touches the same chords, blues cuts way deeper with the honesty that comes from a life if not well spent, certainly just plain spent.

For half a century I’ve been telling the stories of blues artists who’ve struggled financially to keep their art alive. Add to that challenge the destructive lifestyle of the veteran road warrior and you often come up with a picture of a genre that can be as much a problem as it is a solution. Dr. Trout’s fascinating book is the yin to that yang. Her husband’s horror story has turned into an adult fairy tale. Not only did he cheat death and recover from a liver transplant, but he wrote a whole CD about the experience, Battle Scars, that defines catharsis. And he totally supports his wife’s work on this book, and that’s not simply nepotism.

Dr. Trout addresses virtually all of the ghosts in blues’ closet:

That it’s African American music co-opted by whites. She explains that good blues adds fresh and contemporary references that only add to this American cultural legacy regardless of the color of the artists’ skin.

That African Americans have abandoned the blues because to them it looks backward into a painful past. Her interview with Joe Louis Walker on this is most insightful when he asserts that “when you live the blues, you do not choose to play it. You have no way out. The blues, then, becomes a way of life, not a musical expression.”

That white guilt accounts for some of its appeal to baby boomers. She prints comments from a majority of mostly white male respondents over the age of 40 that say the music stands on its own merits for this demographic.

That the U.S. as a country has a horrible record of mistreating minorities. Her litany of abuses from documented sources in this regard is startlingly conclusive and powerful coming from the perspective of a European unsullied by American jingoistic pride.

That blues is counter cultural. Respondents’ quotes illustrate that they appreciate a form that is honest and “tells it like it is.”

That blues encourages drug use. She shows that blues is a healthy alternative to drugs that induces a euphoric trance-like feeling.

That blues is all about plain and suffering. She documents the cathartic effect of blues on both the artists and the fans.

That blues is simple and simple-minded. While technically simple, she shows that blues probes the depths of feelings often buried or glossed over in other genres, that it brings to the surface emotions honestly, clearly and forthrightly.

That blues is a retro rearview mirror. She documents the belief of fans that the best blues reflects the past which offers a rich heritage of American music, is the soundtrack for the present and is a window on the future of American culture admired the world over.

It is refreshing to read a book about blues that lends scholarly validity to many of the positions blues journalists have been preaching at least since the ’60s. Some of Dr. Trout’s positions may be controversial, but her perspective is healthy both for the genre and for people who are hurting in so many ways and searching for a positive antidote.

It’s no secret to blues lovers that the music is a tonic, but few have considered the topic important enough to verify its palliative effects statistically. Dr. Trout has done just that dramatically. I’m especially heartened, too, that this thesis has been done by a woman and a native of Denmark unsullied by the prejudices many American male writers have about the definition of the genre.

The music has, is and will be defined by the fans who invest their hard-earned money in the work of the artists who provide cathartic heartfelt songs that pull on our heart strings and transport us into a Zen space with empathy for their messages. Dr. Trout’s husband Walter’s Battle Scars is amazing evidence of that, and the Blues Foundation’s Blues Healer Symposium will bring this all in sharp focus.

On Friday, February 3rd I will be hosting a panel consisting of Dr. Marie Trout, Walter Trout, 2017 BMA and Grammy nominee Kenny Neal, and registered nurse/blues performer Patti Parks as a marque event in the Blues Foundation’s 33rd annual International Blues Challenge. The panel commence at 2:15 p.m. at Alfred’s on Beale St.

All proceeds from The Blues Why It Hurts So Good are being donated to Hart Handy Awards Relief Trust.

Reviewer 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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 Featured Blues Review – 4 of 8 

owen campbell cd imageOwen Campbell – Breathing Bullets

MGM Distribution

10 Tracks; 34 minutes

Owen Campbell Guitar came to the attention of the world at large as “The Angry Busker” on Australia’s Got Talent. He showed up with a lot of talent, a lot of miles on him and an attitude that used to define rock, blues and vagabond singers. The attitude offended what passes for entertainment industry professionals these days, and they almost kept him from going on. Luckily the producers noticed his talent and made sure he was on the show. He didn’t win which is probably the best thing that never happened to him.

But the notoriety took him to America, and specifically to a recording studio in Nashville to cut this album. That attitude, the spirit of the road-worn vagabond, is all over this album and all over each of these original songs. Oh, it’s been cleaned up a little by the absolute killer backing band and producer Devon Allman. But Allman knows from his father, Greg, what raw country rock blues should sound like and he lays it down on every track.

The opening title track, “Breathing Bullets”, kicks things off with Campbell’s signature raw vocals and percussive acoustic guitar, buoyed by great backing vocals by Wendy Moten and superb organ by Rick Steff.

The high octane continues with the highly engaging “On My Knees” and “Howling” which show off his expressive howling voice. I wish he had actually howled a little more, but he channels it through an intense guitar solo instead.

“Intensity” is a good word for this whole album. Campbell feels his music all the way to his gonads and puts it all in the recordings. I can’t imagine he left so much as a quarter rest on the studio floor.

He also shows in “Rattlin’ Round” that slow songs can be just as intense as the rockers. This is a song of reflection and melancholy very nicely sung and played. The next track, “Eagle Man” brings seemingly disparate elements together: a haunting cello and percussion that evokes First Nations, which is fitting because this song tells the story of a Native American who longed to be as free as an eagle. His voice tells the story and the cello gives the Eagle Man wings.

“Soldier Of Fortune” is another blues/rock tune with Wendy Moten’s powerful vocals a perfect counterpoint to Campbell’s more earthy sound. This is followed up with yet another strong song by Campbell, “Rise.” This is a slow, uplifting ballad about overcoming adversity through perseverance. It is a declaration of grit, and Campbell leaves true grit on every track of this CD.

The eclectic nature of this album can be summed up in the final track, a rollicking Cajun-infused toe-tapper. You can hear hints of The Band in this track, not surprising since Campbell counts The Band as one of his major influences. This has some wonderful, distinctive Cajun piano by Rick Steff that carries the tune right up to the end.

This is a very good album with strong, diverse songwriting that shows a lot of promise for songs not yet written, but eagerly awaited. Owen Campbell brings us a sound born and bred in American southern country blues all the way from the Land of Oz.

Reviewer Lex Dunn is a writer and musician living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He has fronted blues bands in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax and looks forward to his next venture on the Island. He is passionate about music in general and the blues in particular.

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 Featured Blues Review – 5 of 8 

Fiona Boyes Cd imageFiona Boyes – Professin’ The Blues

Reference Recordings RR-140

16 songs – 54 minutes

Australian singer/guitarist/songwriter Fiona Boyes returns to the basics with Professin’ The Blues, her latest release on California-based Reference Recordings.

Fiona can roar like a lioness when backed by a full electric band. But this one catches in a much more relaxed setting. Like the first-generation blues men she honors, she delivers a collection of 14 originals and two covers in all-acoustic solo, duo and trio formats and accompanied in pared-down formats that include only bass drum and tambourines, cymbals and mallets and similar arrangements.

She delivers her message on traditional acoustic, resonator and four-string cigar-box axes, backed only by bassist Denny Croy, who’s worked with Doug MacLeod and the Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz, and Jimi Bott, one of the most decorated drummers in the blues, whose pedigree includes service time with The Mannish Boys, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Rod Piazza And The Mighty Flyers, Junior Watson and many others. All of the material was recorded in one take without benefit of any overdubs or added effects.

A former graphic artist with Lonely Planet, the popular Down Under travel guide, Boyes’ career in the blues began about 25 years ago after winning an Australian-produced Maton guitar in a coffeehouse talent show. She released her first CD, Blues In My Heart, in 2000 after a five-year stint in the all-girl band, The Mojos. It earned her honors for Aussie’s Female Artist, Song and Album Of The Year. Three years later, she rocketed to stardom by winning the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

The 13th release in her catalog, this one’s dedicated to “Professor” Keith O. Johnson, Reference Recording’s technical director, who engineered this project at Skywalker Studio in Marin County using his own hand-built equipment. Beginning with “Can’t Stay Here No More,” it’s mellow and relaxed throughout with the ambiance of a home concert in front of a roaring fire – even though some of the subject matter is serious in nature. Boyes’ voice remains powerful yet subdued.

The opener finds Fiona, a 2016 Blues Blast Awards nominee for Female Artist Of The Year, with her bags packed and ready to go at the end of a troubled relationship, while “Devil You Know,” which follows, displays the masterful fingerpicking techniques she employs throughout as it informs the listener that Satan might be living right next door ready to accuse you for any perceived indiscretion. The musical stylings brighten for “Lay Down With Dogs,” about a two-legged canine who’s running with the wrong crowd and coming home with fleas, while the ballad “Angels And Boats” describes Boyes’ new flood-prone hometown near the Great Barrier Reef on Australia’s east coast.

“One Rule For You” features Fiona on a purposely out-of-tune National Reso-Phonic guitar as it criticizes folks who possess an unjustified sense of self-entitlement. She switches to cigar box lap guitar for “Card Sharp,” which is dedicated to a cheating ex and describes someone holding a hand with a disappearing queen. She’s back on Reso-Phonic for the tongue-in-cheek “Old And Stiff,” which refers to the condition her husband, known as The Preacher, once complained about upon waking.

“Kiss Me Darling” sings about the difficulties encountered in a love relationship with a musician. The theme continues in “Love Me All The Way,” which Boyes wrote with Gary Vincent during a trip to Clarksdale, Miss. Bott keeps time on a cardboard box for “Stubborn Old Mule,” an upbeat tune about a miserable bully, before Fiona takes a trip to New Orleans for the instrumental “Catfish Fiesta.”

“If I Should Die” follows. It’s a simple tune on the surface, but contains deep meaning to the singer. “At The Crossroads” recounts a sermon delivered by The Preacher, who’s a real-life Anglican priest. “Love Changing Blues” describes the difficult path to finding real romance, from the perspective of a woman who was divorced and childless but found happiness with a man with five children and – now – eight grandkids. Covers of Big Joe Williams’ “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Face In The Mirror,” penned by fellow Aussie bluesman Chris Wilson, bring the set to a close.

Available wherever fine CDs are sold, Professin’ The Blues is a delight throughout, gritty, yet sweet. Added bonus: A richly annotated, 20-page book of liner notes written and illustrated by the Boyes and designed by Kristy Hough.

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

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 Featured Blues Review – 6 of 8 

Non Solus Cd imageAnton Machleder – Non Solus: Music Of The New World

Red Creek Studio

16 songs – 68 minutes

Here’s an album that’s considerably different from most of the CDs reviewed on this website. It’s an eclectic combination of blues-flavored classical, straight-ahead blues, jazz and world music delivered by someone who’s both a gifted concert guitarist and a highly respected college professor.

Anton Machleder is a familiar face as a soloist on the chamber music circuit in addition to serving as an assistant professor of guitar at Houghton College’s Greatbatch School Of Music in Caneadea, N.Y., and also teaching the instrument and the history of rock at nearby Monroe Community College.

A former student of three of the most important luminaries on classical six-string – Jeffrey Goodman, Ronald Pursell and Manuel Barrueco, he made he’s played Carnegie Hall and is skilled in classical, flamenco and synth guitar in addition to blues-related electric and acoustic stylings.

He produced and recorded Non Solus, which translates from Latin to mean “alone by oneself,” at his studio in Rochester, N.Y. It’s the third album in his catalog. He’s assisted here by Nicholas Goluses, Rez Abbasi and Marty Lofaso (guitar), John Nyerges (keyboards), Hye Sung Choe (flute), Omar Faruk Tekbilek (ney, a Middle Eastern flute), Philip Borter (cello), Wayne Naylor (bass), Mike Plouffe (drums). Guitarist Dan Schmitt features prominently, too, in addition to providing vocals for all of the blues cuts. Katie Halligan and Breyana Lanay provide vocals on one cut.

Four instrumental classical numbers — Astor Piazzolla’s “Histoire Du Tango” in two parts, “Café 1930” and “Nightclub 1960” and Radames Gnattali’s “Sonata For Cello And Guitar” in two parts, “Allegretto Comodo” and “Adagio” – begin the action. The former feature a duet with Choe have some blues overtones since they’re written in a minor key. Machleder is unhurried as he delivers sweet single-note runs amid chording. The latter pair Machleder with Borter and are much more formal for blues lovers.

“Other Tones,” a minor-key jazz pairing written by and features Abbasi, is up next before the first blues number, Machleder’s original, “Gypsy Dance.” Featuring the ladies on vocals, it’s quite an aural departure with its full-band arrangement and breezy feel.

Six instrumentals follow. The texture changes to World Music for the originals, “Bells Over The Genesee: Omar’s Lament” and “Locrian Canon” before a pair of classical samplings — Rodolfo Hernandez’s “Cantos Guajiros” and Hector Angulo’s “Homenaje Al Bongo, Sonera.” The blues start kicking in full force when Machleder’s guitar replaces the horn for an interesting cover of Miles Davis’ 1959 classic “All Blues,” followed by Luiz Bonfa’s samba “Black Orpheus.”

The album concludes with a four-tune blues set, all featuring Schmitt, who leads his own band in the Rochester area, on vocals: Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” T-Bone Walker’s “T-Bone Shuffle,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking” and Magic Sam’s “You Belong To Me.”

Available through Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby and other retailers, this one’s definitely targeted for folks with adventurous listening habits. I enjoyed it. Machleder’s an excellent musician no matter the format. But if you’re stuck in the rut of the old one-four-five, you’ll probably be disappointed.

Additional note: although richly annotated inside, the front of the CD, which won a Global Music Award, fails to credit Machleder.

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 – 7 of 8 

shakedown tim cd imageShakedown Tim & The Rhythm Revue – Hard To Catch

Rhythm Bomb Records RBR 5835

11 songs – 44 minutes

Even though guitarist/vocalist Shakedown Tim Ielegams has been one of top performers in the blues scene of Belgium for the past 20 years or so, this debuts his new group, which successfully delivers a combination of jump, swing and boogie guaranteed to keep you on the dance floor.

Hard To Catch was produced by French guitar stalward Nico Duportal, a longtime fan of the blues being produced in the nation on his homeland’s eastern border, and released on the British Rhythm Bomb Records imprint. One of the bands he enjoyed most was Fried Bourbon, co-founded by Shakedown Tim and his harmonica playing partner, Steven Troch.

Fried Bourbon broke up after a decade-long run. When Tim – who’s shared the stage with James Harmon, Gene Taylor and other blues luminaries — launched his new ensemble, Duportal was eager to get them into the studio. This album is the result. The band creates a full sound with a four-man lineup that includes Bart Stone on tenor and baritone sax, Dennis Tubs on drums and Boss on bass. Duportal contributes guitar on one cut and backing vocals and percussion on others, and Joes Brands contributes maracas and shakers on another number.

The loping shuffle, “How Long,” opens the set of eight originals and three covers as Shakedown Tim wonders if the troubles plaguing the world today will ever come to an end. The arrangement is simple with Stone’s horn lines in full command until Tim’s mid-tune solo. He’s got a strong baritone voice and delivers his material in English with just the slightest of accents.

“Red Hair” swings from the jump atop a driving guitar rhythm as it describes a beauty that catches the singer’s eye from the stage and she can’t help noticing him staring. Tim’s single-note lead break shines as the action heats up with Stone’s horn. The band switches to a little Delta blues with the fishing song “Hard To Catch,” which comes across with sexual undertones.

There’s no mistaking the meaning of “Take Off Your Clothes,” a slow blues written by Donnie McCormack that features a beautiful horn intro, before the instrumental “Shakedown” comes across with a swinging feel that hints of T-Bone Walker and puts Tim’s guitar technique on display. Next up is a faithful cover of Junior Parker’s familiar “Feelin’ Good” set up with a spoken introduction about a visit to Red’s, the popular juke in Clarksdale, Miss.

The tempo slows for “This Ship,” a loping account of a boat adrift without a captain and about to go under, a metaphor for difficulties in dealing with problems in everyday life. “Wild Calypso Night” follows with a syncopated island beat before the catchy “Wiggle Wobble” describes the singer’s urge to dance every time he hears the funky beat. Another swinging instrumental, “Takin’ Off,” follows with more fine fret work before an extended version of “Feelin’ Good” serves as a bonus cut and brings the CD to a close.

Available through Amazon, Bear Family and other online retailers, Hard To Catch is a whole lot of fun, especially if your tastes run to jump and swing.

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 – 8 of 8 

paul reddick cd imagePaul Reddick – Ride the One

Stony Plain Records

11 tracks / 45:05

Paul Reddick is one of the pillars of the Canadian blues community, and he is working to ensure that the genre continues to grow in his country, going so far as to create the Cobalt Prize to honor songwriters who further this art form. He is also an accomplished poet, songwriter, vocalist and harpman, and he has been leading the charge for Canadian blues since 1990 when he formed the Sidemen. He recently released his first album for Stony Plain Records, and Ride the One is a wonderful effort that is a departure from what he has done before.

Reddick wrote all eleven of the tracks for Ride the One, which was recorded at Union Sound Company in Toronto, Ontario. Paul provided the vocals and harmonica parts, and he was joined by Anna Ruddick on bass, Greg Cockerill and Colin Cripps on guitar, and jack-of-all-trades Derek Downham on drums, piano, and the talkbox. Special guest Steve Marriner from Monkeyjunk helped out with guitar and Fender Rhodes; this is a form a payback as Monkeyjunk is one of the bands that benefited from the groundwork that Reddick helped to lay down.

If you are familiar with Reddick’s previous albums, Ride the One will not be what you expect as it has many more layers of sound and a decidedly intense feel. This is modern blues with an edge to it, and it takes a few listens to get the whole picture of what Paul is trying to accomplish, but he definitely succeeds. The opening track, “Shadows,” is a perfect example of this as it hits the listener solidly with Downham and Ruddick laying down a fervent beat. Over this there is a thunderous chorus of guitars and Paul carrying the melody with hs howling vocals and growly harp, both of which are served up with a bit of distortion. There is a lot going on here.

The intensity does not let up for the next song, “Celebrate,” but it does have a more melodic feel with cool stereo guitar effects and a melodic bass line from Anna Ruddick. Then the listener gets a breather with “Mourning Dove,” which has a heavy swamp rock beat, sparser instrumentation, and a plethora of killer guitar tones. This is one the standout tracks on the album, as it does such a fabulous job of setting the mood.

There are also some more accessible tunes on Ride the One, and “Gotta Find A…” delivers more conventional vocals that are accompanied by organic-sounding instrumentation. The backing vocals and harmonies are a welcome addition to this track, moving it into an almost radio-friendly format. Another catchy tune is “Watersmooth” which has lyrics that are delivered in short phrases over a slick blues-rock beat. Downham adds a little piano into the choruses as a counterpoint to the guitar solo, which is a nice contrast to the inherent weight of this track.

From there, the listener will encounter modern electric blues (“Diamonds”), Midwestern rock and roll (“Living in Another World”), and moody rhythm and blues (“Love and Never Know”). Before you know it, things come to a close with “Moon and Star” which is a poem that is presented with muffled vocals (and a touch of echo) alongside Reddick’s harmonica. This bare-bones formula works, and it is a cool acoustic coda to an otherwise heavy and complicated album.

Ride the One is a strong effort from Paul Reddick, and it is a satisfying 45-minute set of hard-hitting blues-rock that is played by a very tight crew. It has been four years since Paul last released an album, but he took his time to get everything right, and he certainly has not lost a step. Check it out for yourself to hear some awesome modern blues out of Canada, and head over to Reddick’s website to see if he is gigging anywhere near you – it will definitely be worth your time!

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

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 Featured Blues Interview – Mato Nanji 

mato nanji photo 1He’s not a politician, he’s not a lobbyist and he doesn’t hold a degree in environmental sciences.

Mato Nanji is the vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and front man for the band Indigenous.

In addition to the skills that have helped to make Indigenous a force on the blues scene ever since their first album – Things We Do (Pachyderm Records) – came out in 1998, Mato (Ma-TOE) is also blessed with a boatload of good old-fashioned common sense.

“If we don’t have water, we don’t have people. We don’t have anything without water,” he recently said.

Mato’s response to the firestorm that is currently burning at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation – the sixth-largest Native American Reservation (in land area) in the United States – boils the essence of the matter right down to its very core.


The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is meant to transport oil through four states – and over 1,100 miles- from the Dakotas down into Illinois. When the DAPL was rerouted from its planned path near Bismarck (the capital city of North Dakota), to near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, is when the protests began. The tribe that calls Standing Rock its home opposed the new route of the pipeline, because they felt it’s construction under Lake Oahe – along with the Missouri River – would pollute those waters and have a harmful impact on countless lives in the area. In addition to the potential for pollution, the tribe also believes the DAPL violates established treaty rights and puts sacred burial grounds in peril.

So far, those tasked with constructing the pipeline (referred to as the ‘Black Snake’ by many Native Americans in the area) have chosen to ignore many of the concerns with the project and thus, a standoff was born between the two sides.

While it’s failed to become the lead story on any of the nightly newscasts that mainstream media has to offer up, the situation at Standing Rock (which covers land in both South and North Dakota) has nevertheless become a huge presence on just about every social media site and that has helped lead to protests and demonstrations in places thousands of miles from the Dakotas. From Denver to San Francisco to Miami and even New York City, those concerned are making their feelings well known.

Mato – who was born and raised on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota – has been doing his part to bring awareness of Standing Rock to a heightened level, even helping to bring the blues crowd up to date with the struggle.

Mato has played several benefit shows for Standing Rock this past year and he says he’s been encouraged by the response to the shows.

“It’s been really good. A lot of people have shown up and have shown support. We’ve done quite a few benefits for it, actually,” he said. “A lot of people have turned out and it’s good to see so many folks coming out and supporting the cause. It’s really been good to see everybody – not just Natives, but everybody – come together. They know it’s important. It’s inspiring to see so many people coming together and supporting the cause to stop the waters from getting polluted. I know that other waters in this land are already polluted, but we need to do as much as we can to stop any further pollution.”

Although the epi-center of the battle is several hours from where he currently calls home, Mato says the possibility of negative impact is imminent where he lives, as well.

“I’m about seven hours away from there (Standing Rock). I’m actually right along the Missouri River, where they’re trying to put the pipe,” he said. “I live south of there, right along the river where it meets up with Nebraska. So what’s going on there really affects us here, too.”

Standing Rock didn’t come up many times on last year’s campaign trail, from either the Democratic or Republican candidates, and the currently-standing administration has not had a whole bunch to say on the matter, either.

mato nanji photo 2So, are those involved with the protests encouraged at all that the new administration will listen to the voices of the people and become involved?

“It’ll probably just be more of the same, you know? I think there’s probably people that may have some ideas of getting in there and setting things right, but I don’t know what happens, but it always seems to be more of the same,” Mato said. “I think if they could just move it (DAPL) to another spot, then you wouldn’t have to worry about polluting everybody’s water that they get from there. The people responsible for the pipeline are probably not thinking about that, because they don’t live there. But it’s not just Natives. Everybody on down along the river could be affected. It’s everybody. But hopefully, they’ll think about it and do the right thing. That’s all everybody wants; for them to do the right thing.”

While the Dakotas have been much talked about in recent months because of Standing Rock, the two states were never much a part of the national conversation when the talk turned to blues music.

Mato and Indigenous helped to change that.

The original lineup of the band included Mato (guitar, vocals), his brother Pte (bass), his sister Wanbdi (drums) and cousin Horse (percussion). In addition to being a spiritual advisor and spokesperson for the International Indian Treaty Council, Mato’s father – Greg Zephier, Sr. – was also a musician, who was in a group with his brothers. He helped turn on Mato and his siblings to the wonderful world of the blues.

“When I grew up, my dad had all the old blues and all the old records and that’s where I heard all of that music. I grew up in the ’80s and heard a lot of ’80s stuff, too. Popular stuff like Wham! and Boy George,” he laughed. “But it was the sound of the old stuff that kind of caught my ear, more than anything else. We just got together and started practicing and rehearsing and started trying to play anywhere we could.”

There was no master plan for Mato and his siblings to make an immediate splash on the blues scene and begin world dominance back in those days. Rather, they were just interested in getting out and playing in front of as many people as possible, starting with their local circuit.

“There was a regional booking agent in Nebraska and he started helping us in the early days. He started booking us in the area. We weren’t really thinking about breaking our name or anything like that. We just wanted to play music,” he said. “So we went out and toured as much as we could. Slowly, we started building a following like that. Each time we’d go out and play, there would be more people there than there were the last time. It was like building a foundation and working off of that.”

It can sometimes be hard for a group of young blues players in their teens and early 20s to break through and find welcoming ears among the older, more mature fans of the genre. It’s almost like if a younger band has not earned their stripes, then they can be shunned. Compound youth with being Native Americans playing the blues and it would seem like Indigenous had a lot of barriers to break through and a big mountain to climb in order to find love amongst the blues crowd. By Mato says that really was not the case.

“No, I’d have to say we never experienced anything like that. Everywhere we played from early on, there seemed to be a lot of support from the fans and musicians, too,” he said. “I mean, we toured with B.B. King and Robert Cray and Buddy Guy and it’s always been really supportive from the audiences on to the musicians we’ve played with.”

However, being Native American and playing in a band called Indigenous did leave some fans scratching their heads early in the game, Mato says.

“Sometimes early on the road, we did have a few fans come out and say because of the name of the band they were expecting something like the stereotypical flute music or something like that,” he laughed. “But at the end of the night, they’d be happy and like the music, so we kind of converted a few of those fans over, maybe.”

The original lineup of Indigenous lasted for four more albums after their debut (Circle, Fistful Of Dirt, Indigenous and Long Way Home) before Mato and his siblings decided the time was right to go their own ways in 2006.

“We had worked together and lived together ever since we were kids and then toured together in a band for about 10 years. It got tougher and tougher (to do that) the older that everybody got, so I think it was a good move for everybody to do their own separate thing. Everybody starts going their own direction, but I think that’s the case for a lot of bands, even if the members are not related to each other,” he said. “I’ve always felt like I was the main songwriter and wrote most of the music, so that’s why I decided to keep going with the name and keep going with the music. It just felt natural for me to keep the name going and to this day, I’m still putting it out there.”

mato nanji photo 3Although they may not be related to Mato, that family vibe still runs deeply through Indigenous in 2017.

“Right now, I’ve got some young guys, Navajo guys (from the Navajo Nation in Tohajilee, New Mexico), that have been playing with me for the past two of three years. The Plateros is their name. Actually, Levi (Platero; guitar) has just started going out and doing his solo thing. I’ve still got Doug Platero on drums and Bronson Begay on bass (both are cousins of Levi Platero). And Horse, from the original band, has been coming out and playing percussion with us a lot. So yeah, it’s close to what the original band was right now.”

Indigenous recently completed work on a follow-up to 2014’s Time Is Coming (Blues Bureau Int’l).

“We just finished it and are getting ready to mix it and hopefully get it released this spring,” he said. “Mike Varney is producing this one, too.”

Varney has been behind the board on the last three Indigenous albums. After working with and helping to launch the careers of some of the most hair-raising guitarists on earth (including Chris Duarte, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert and Marty Friedman, to name a very few), it’s safe to say that Varney knows guitar like Willard Scott knows weather.

“He’s (Varney) awesome to work with. I always have a lot fun going out and doing a record with him. He does it all, produces, helps you to arrange … he just fine tunes everything,” said Mato. “I bring in all the songs and the music and then we sit down together and go over it. He works with you and doesn’t come in saying, ‘It has to be this way or it has to be that way.’ He lets you be you. That’s pretty cool. And me and him co-wrote a few songs on this new record, which was really fun.”

Mato is not one of those songwriters who feels the need to sit down with a pen and paper in hand and forcefully try to write a song. For him, the process is more organic.

“I just kind of let it happen on its own. I’ll be playing the acoustic a little bit and all of a sudden, I’ll get an idea for a riff. I used to have a tape recorder, but now when I get an idea, I’ll record it on my phone,” he explained. “I try to record riffs and if there’s a melody, I’ll try and record that so I don’t forget it. You never know when you get something and if you don’t get it down right away, chances are good you’ll soon forget it.”

Since first hooking up with them in 2002, Mato has been a featured and integral part of Experience Hendrix, the annual tour that celebrates the music and legacy of Jimi Hendrix.

“Those tours are awesome. Everybody’s great … all the people working on the tour, the people that puts it together, the musicians … they’re all great. It’s really cool to see all the different musicians bring their different takes on Hendrix songs every night,” he said. “I mean, I get a chance to jam with Billy Cox (bass), who played with Hendrix and I get to play with Chris Layton (drums), who played with Stevie Ray Vaughan. I get to jam with Buddy Guy and all the different musicians. It’s just awesome. I look forward to it every year.”

Hendrix is one of those iconic musicians whose popularity never seems to dip or wane, even nearly 50 years after his passing.

“It’s almost like he’s still around, making that music. It’s really awesome. He was one of my big influences from the start,” Mato said. “It’s really cool that the Hendrix family, along with John McDermott, who puts the whole tour on, are still bringing his music to a lot of newer and younger fans. Fans that didn’t get a chance to hear or see him when he was alive. It’s great they’re keeping that music going and alive, and it’s cool to see the younger fans at the shows jamming to his music. That’s inspiring.”

After the 2012 edition of the Experience Hendrix Tour wrapped up, Mato went into the studio with a pair of fellow guitar slingers from the tour – Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and David Hidalgo (Los Lobos). When they re-emerged, the trio came out with 3 Skulls And The Truth (Blues Bureau Int’l), an album that more than showcased their abilities on the guitar. It was bluesy, psychedelic, loud … and above all … down and dirty.

In 2013, Indigenous released Vanishing Americans (Blues Bureau Int’l), an album titled after the name of his late father’s 1960’s band – The Vanishing Americans. “My dad was my favorite musician, so he really influenced me with a lot of everything,” Mato said. “I just felt it was time to pay tribute to him and his band.”

mato nanji photo 4Mato has never been strictly a blues player, nor has Indigenous ever been strictly a blues band. But blues music is most definitely what provides the fuel that feeds the engine that keeps Mato and Indigenous rolling along. And the way he sees it, people that are listening to his band as more of a vehicle to rock out to, may not even realize that they’re getting a hearty dose of the blues along the way.

“I think a lot of people that may hear music may not know that it’s the blues or has blues-influences or feeling in it. They may hear something they like, but not recognize it as the blues and that’s OK,” he said. “People like that would probably be surprised at how many musicians – who don’t play straight-up blues – are influenced from all the great blues players from back in the day. That probably goes for me, too. I don’t feel like I can do it as great as B.B. or Buddy, so I try to use other avenues to try and pull together all my musical influences and make the music that I make. But the blues is always the base of everything I do. It just is … I never planned it that way, but that’s just how it is.”

When he young, Mato might not have known that his father was a musician and played in a band, but seeing his instruments around the house still had a magnetic effect on him during his youth.

“I found his guitars and amps at our house when I was real young, but I didn’t really start trying to play until I was a teenager,” he said. “I was like 16 or 17 when I started playing guitar and I didn’t start singing until I was 18 or 19, so I was a late starter. I don’t know what it was, but just being able to make sounds was interesting to me. Then hearing all the different guitar players that he (his dad) told me to listen to really inspired me. Actually, the first guitar player for Chicago – Terry Kath – was a huge influence on me early on. He was one was of my favorites growing up, along with Hendrix and Santana and Clapton and all the guys. But Terry was awesome.”

After first picking up one of his father’s guitars and then learning to play as a teenager, Mato probably didn’t stop and think for one second that a couple of decades down the road, that he would become an inspiration for today’s generation of young blues guitarists to sink their teeth into.

“No, I never would have thought about that back then. It was just about making music and hitting the road in those days. Even now, its’ all about making good music and giving it to the fans who want to hear it,” he said. “That, and going out and playing live for them, which is what we’ve always done from the start. Those things are what matter the most. Seeing Buddy Guy and Billy Cox, who are in their 70s, get up there on the Experience Hendrix Tour and do it every night is so inspiring. It really makes you want to do this for as long as you can.”

Visit Mato’s Indigenous website at:

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.

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 2017 Blues Music Award Nominees 

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The nominees for the 2017 Blues Music Awards are:

Best Acoustic Album:

“Live in Europe” by Doug MacLeod

“The Happiest Man in the World” by Eric Bibb

“Professin’ he Blues” by Fiona Boyes

“Live at Briggs Farm” by Jimmy “Duck” Holmes

“Stand Your Ground” by John Long

“Blues and Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook) Vol I and II” by Luther Dickinson

Best Artist Artist:

Doug MacLeod

Eric Bibb

Fiona Boyes

Jimmy “Duck” Holmes

Luther Dickinson

Best Album:

“Porcupine Meat” by Bobby Rush

“Bloodline” by Kenny Neal

“From the Root to the Fruit” by the Nick Moss Band

“Seeing is Believing” by Sugar Ray and the Bluetones

“The Chicago Way” by Toronzo Cannon

“This is Where I Live” by William Bell

Best Band:

Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials

Nick Moss Band

Sugar Ray and the Bluetones

Tedeschi Trucks Band

B.B. King Entertainer of the Year:

Joe Bonamassa

John Nemeth

Lil’ Ed Williams

Sugar Ray Norcia

Sugaray Rayford

Best Emerging Artist Album:

“Corey Dennison” by the Corey Dennison Band

“Truth” by Guy King

“Tengo Blues” by John Del Toro Richardson

“My Blue Soul” by Terrie Odabi

“Honest Woman” by Thornetta Davis

Best Contemporary Blue Album:

“Mid Century Modern” by Al Basile

“Blood Line” by Kenny Neal

“From the Root to the Fruit” by the Nick Moss Band

“Give it Back to You” by The Record Company

“The Chicago Way” by Toronzo Cannon

Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist:

Alexis P Suter

Ana Popovic

Janiva Magness

Shemekia Copeland

Susan Tedeschi

Best Contemporary Blues Male Artist:

Albert Castiglia

Kenny Neal

Mike Zito

Sugaray Rayford

Toronzo Cannon

Best Historical Album:

“A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw” by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup

“More B.B. King: Here’s One You Haven’t Heard” by B.B. King

“Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush” by Bobby Rush

“I’m A Bluesman” by Michael Burks

“Genuine Blues Legends” by Pinetop Perkins and Jimmy Rogers

Best Bass Instrumentalist:

Biscuit Miller

Bob Stroger

Michael “Mudcat” Ward

Patrick Rynn

R W Grigsby

Best Drums Instrumentalist:

Cedric Burnside

Jimi Bott

June Core

Tom Hambridge

Tony Braunagel

Best Guitar Instrumentalist:

Bob Margolin

Joe Bonamassa

Kid Andersen

Monster Mike Welch

Ronnie Earl

Best Harmonica Instrumentalist:

Dennis Gruenling

Jason Ricci

Kim Wilson

Mark Hummel

Sugar Ray Norcia

Best Horn Instrumentalist:

Al Basile

Nancy Wright

Sax Gordon Beadle

Terry Hanck

Vanessa Collier

Traditional Blue Female Koko Taylor Award:

Annika Chambers

Diunna Greenleaf

Inetta Visor

Shaun Murphy

Trudy Lynn

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award:

Anthony Geraci

Barrelhouse Chuck

Henry Gray

Jim Pugh

Victor Wainwright

Best Rock Blues Album of the Year:

“Big Dog” by Albert Castiglia

“Keep Coming Back” by Mike Zito

“Promised Land or Bust” by Moreland & Arbuckle

“Le Me Get By” by the Tedeschi Trucks Band

“Alive in Amsterdam” by Walter Trout

Best Song:

“Blues Immigrant” written by Matthew Skoller and Vincent Bucher

“I Gotta Sang the Blues” written by Thornetta Davis

“Seeing is Believing” written by Ray Norcia

“Walk a Mile in My Blues” written by David Duncan, Curtis Salgado, and Mike Finigan

“Walk it Off” written by Toronzo Cannon

Best Soul Blues Album:

“Porcupine Meat” by Bobby Rush

“The Beautiful Lowdown” by Curtis Salgado

“Tiger in a Cage” by Johny Rawls

“Live! Notodden Blues Festival” in Wee Willie Walker

“This is Where I Live” by William Bell

Best Female Soul Blues Artist:

Bettye Lavette

Lara Price

Mavis Staples

Terrie Odabi

Vaneese Thomas

Best Male Soul Blues Artist:

Bobby Rush

Curtis Salgado

Johnny Rawls

Wee Willie Walker

William Bell

Best Traditional Blues Album:

“House Party at Big Jon’s” by Big Jon Atkinson and Bob Corritore

“My Road” by Bob Margolin

“Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue” by the Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue

“Can’t Shake this Feeling” by Lurrie Bell

“Seeing is Believing” by Sugar Ray and the Bluetones

Best Male Traditional Blues Artist:

Bob Margolin

John Primer

Lil’ Ed Williams

Lurrie Bell

Sugar Ray Norcia

Complete information on the Blues Music Awards is at

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 Blues Society News 

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The Great Northern Blues Society – Wausau, WI

The Great Northern Blues Society of Wausau, WI (GNBS) is Proud to announce the lineup for our 18th Annual Blues Café fundraiser to be held at the Historically Registered Rothschild Pavilion (near Wausau, WI) on Saturday, March 11 2017.

The Lineup will include Joyann Parker Band, Jimmy Nick & Don’t Tell Mama, Ghost Town Blues Band, Brandon Santini, Becky Barksdale, and Bing Futch playing acoustic sets between main stage acts. Doors open at noon, and Music will start at 1:00PM and continue non-stop until 11:00PM. Chairs, Food, and Cold Beverages will be available on-site. Special Hotel Rates available at the nearby Stoney Creek Inn. Limited supply of rooms available so make your reservation now.

Please come, sit by the huge stone fireplace, with a beverage of choice in hand, and join us for 10 hours of non-stop glorious Blues Music on 3/11/17. Artist Biographies, directions, and Tickets are available on our Website at –

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. January 30 – Slam Allen, February 6 – Maurice John Vaughan, February 13 – Dave Lumsden & Friends, February 20 – Southside Johnny, February 27 – Jeff Jensen.

Additional ICBC partnered shows: February 2 – James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6 pm, February 16 – James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6 pm.

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

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