Issue 8-25 June 19, 2014

Cover photo by Arnie Goodman © 2014

 In This Issue

Terry Mullins has our feature interview with 15 year old guitar sensation, Quinn Sullivan.

We have eight music reviews for you including new releases from Robert Cray Band, Innes Sibun, The Butanes, Sunday Wilde, Kim Simmonds And Savoy Brown, Moses Patrou, Johnny Cox and Adam Gussow.

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

 From The Editor’s Desk

Hey Blues Fans,

Big news coming this Friday as we announce the nominees for the 2014 Blues Blast Music Awards. Watch for the press release!

Voting will begin in July giving you a chance to vote for your favorite artists.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW for October 23, 2014 and plan on attending the awards celebration at the Fluid Events Center in Champaign, Illinois!

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music! 

Bob Kieser

 Blues Wanderings

We made it to Buddy Guy’s Legends for the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Induction ceremony last week. Many of Chicago’s biggest Blues stars were there to be inducted including Lonnie Brooks, Linsey Alexander, Bob Stroger, Johnny Drummer, Mike Wheeler, Nellie Tiger Travis, Toronzo Cannon, Holle Thee Maxwell and many others.

They all played a song or two providing all who attended a great show! Information on the Blues Hall Of Fame organization can be found at:

 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 8

The Robert Cray Band – In My Soul

Provogue/Master Label Group

11 tracks/48 minutes

Robert Cray is near the peak of the blues scene and his newest album is another feather in a cap that figuratively could be called a headdress from all the feathers he has collected. The trademark Cray sound is apparent throughout the album, with tight and precise guitar work, smooth and soulful vocals and a band that works together with superb, machine-like precision. Richard Cousins joins Cray on bass, Les Falconer is on the drums and Dover Weinberg is on the keys. Steve Jordan also appears on percussion, drums and as an added guitar on “Pillow.” A two piece horn section also adds a nice soul aspect to several cuts; they are Trevor Lawrence on tenor sax and Steve Madaio on trumpet.

The CD opens with a really rocking tune called “You Move Me.” Cray talks about his love in some great vocals and his guitar is also stinging on solos. Weinberg fills out the piece well with his organ work. The horns come out as Robert struts though a nice Otis Redding cover, “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” He shares the vocals with Falconer and they approach it like a Sam and Dave tune. Add a strident percussive beat and it’s a winner. The tempo then drops with “Fine Yesterday” as Cray gives a very moving performance on this new song. This is one to slow dance to with your baby. A second cover, “Your Good Thing (Is About To End)”follows and Cray adds his mark to a song done by Lou Rawls, OV Wright and many others. Done without rehearsal, the band is very soulful and together; had they not mentioned it was done without rehearsing no one would have known. The horns return here for some nice accompaniment. Cray and his guitar are quite poignant. Funkiness in a very Memphis style is next. “I Guess I’ll Never Know” blends Cray with the horns and organ as he gives a performance in a style much like Al Green Another great new song!

“Hold On” is a beautiful ballad written by Cousins and delivered impeccably by Cray on vocals. Subtle piano and organ fill make this one a tune for tender moments. Social commentary is nothing new to Cray and he gives us “What Would You Say” as commentary on how we wage war and life yet cannot feed those in need. It is very moving and well done. “Hip Tight Onions” pay tribute to Booker T. Jones. Cousins joined up again with his friend Hendrix Ackle and created this cool instrumental that could easily be a song by Booker T and the MGs.Weiberg is great on the organ solos and Cray also does well with his fret work. “You’re Everything” returns to the sweet side of soul as Cray bleats to his love, “To me, you’re everything.” Minimalistic, cool and just a neat love song. The final cover closes the album and then there is an added track. “Deep in My Soul” is a Bobby Bland song and Cray does it straight up in tribute to Bland. It was one of the last songs they recorded for the album and Cray sprung it on the team. Apparently Steve Jordan was not too familiar with it but he commented that it would be hard for Cray to best Bland, but he does say, “Put that one on and you just have to shut up!” it is quite an epically sublime piece. I loved it , too. Cray finished putting together “Pillow,” a project started by Jerry Friedman. His guitar is made to sound almost like a sitar as he navigates this funky little number.

This is a really nice album that Cray fans will put in a special place in their hearts. I thoroughly enjoyed it; it shows us why Cray is as well regarded in the industry as he is. This is masterful work and I am sure it will garner him more recognition and awards. This is one to listen to and to re-listen to often.

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.

 Featured Blues Interview – Quinn Sullivan

“It sounds like something straight out of a fairy tale.

A dad slides in a DVD of Eric Clapton’s first Crossroads Guitar Festival and a young 5-year-old sits and watches in amazement as the venerable Buddy Guy tears up the stage at the Cotton Bowl.

Fast forward 11 years and we find that same young man –at the time, a grizzled 14-year-old – standing side-by-side with Buddy Guy, tearing up the stage at Madison Square Garden with a scorching version of “Damn Right, I Got the Blues” at Eric Clapton’s most recent Crossroads Guitar Festival.
(See that video Here )

But this isn’t some lavish fairy tale, nor is it some other work of fiction or wild imagination.

This is just a small slice of the life of the amazingly-talented Quinn Sullivan, and it’s all true.

“To go from watching him (Buddy Guy) playing Crossroads to then getting a chance to play with him at Crossroads … I mean, that’s extraordinary,” Sullivan said recently. “I just never would have ever thought something like that could happen.”

Sullivan, who is poised to finish his freshman year of high school in his hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts, has been like a virtual Cyclone – which incidentally was also the name of the first album he issued when he was just 12 – ever since he first picked up the guitar at age 3.

But wait … there’s more.

Just a year after getting turned on to the magical powers of Buddy Guy via the 2004 Crossroads DVD, Sullivan burst upon the national conciseness with an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Only 6 at the time, Sullivan mesmerized the studio audience (along with those watching at home) with a solo take of The Beatles’ version of “Twist and Shout.”
(See that video HERE )

“I was 6 years old at the time and that was my first time on a plane and my first trip to California. And yeah, it was my first national TV appearance. It was all new to me,” he said. “It was a good experience for me and it taught me a lot about being on TV and I think it’s made it easier for me to do it now. She (DeGeneres) was awesome; just really nice and generous.”

‘Generous’ might be an understatement. DeGeneres gave Sullivan a Gibson ES-235 (which he still has today) after his first time on her show. Sullivan earned a return engagement to Ellen in January of this year, where he performed “She Gets Me” off his latest album, Getting There (SuperStar Records). And this time, Sullivan went home with a coveted Fender product tucked under his arm, once again, thanks to DeGeneres.
(Seee that video HERE )

“She gave me a 1954 reissue Fender Stratocaster (60th anniversary model, which had a limited production run of 1,954) and I think mine was one of the first 30 or so they made,” he said. “That was awesome. Both of my experiences on her show were really cool.”

With the completion of his ninth-grade year in high school just around the corner, Sullivan has his summer schedule filled to the brim with plenty of concert appearances …here, there and everywhere.

“In late June, I’m opening a couple of shows for Buddy Guy and in July, we go to France to play L’Oympia Theater in Paris, so that’s going to be awesome,” he said. “Then we’re doing the jazz fest in Vienne, France and the Montreux Jazz Festival – which I did a few years ago with Buddy – with Tedeschi/Trucks, so I’ve got some really, really exciting stuff coming up. It’s an honor to get to go to Europe and it should be a lot of fun. Then we’ve also got a lot of other stuff going on over here (in the USA) this summer, so I’m going to be busy, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Even though he’s been out on the concert circuit for just a little over five years – and part-time at that – Sullivan has still managed to play some of the most hallowed venues and well-respected festivals and events that one could imagine. Madison Square Garden, Montreux Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, Gathering of the Vibes, Lollapalooza, Experience Hendrix Tour and the Crossroads Guitar Festival … the list simply goes on and on.

“Every single time that I’m playing one of those places, or when I’m in the presence of amazing people – not be corny, but sometimes you do have to pinch yourself to make sure this is actually happening,” he said. “Some of the stuff that’s happened is really unbelievable. Being only 15 and having these great, great experiences, I mean, I’m very humbled to be doing all of this. It’s incredible.”

Sullivan also was chosen to take part in the ‘Howlin’ for Hubert’ tribute held at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater a couple of years ago. The All-Star gathering – which included such luminaries as Jody Williams, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton, among others – paid homage to the late, great Hubert Sumlin, long-time guitarist with Howlin’ Wolf.

“That was so awesome … just incredible. That was the first time that I met Eric Clapton,” Sullivan said. “That was just so huge to be invited to be a part of that.”

Regular high school life can be plenty daunting when forced to balance academics with the seemingly endless choices of extra-curricular activities, such as sports, civic clubs and other school functions. That easily gets ratcheted up several notches when your academic calendar says it’s a typical November school day in New Bedford, but your business calendar says you’re supposed to go on stage at The Iridium in New York City. But when you’ve got an understanding and enlightened school district behind you, such matters can be worked around, says Sullivan.

“It’s really not been much of a struggle for me this year – not like I thought it might. The teachers and the school have been pretty cool with letting me go places during the (school) year. Most of the things I do are in the summer, but when I do have to miss school, they give me the work ahead of time and I do it and bring it back with me the day I come back,” he said. “They let me go and do stuff and they know I’m not out being a truant, so the attendance thing worked fine for me this year.”

In addition to the normal reading, writing and arithmetic, Sullivan has been busily promoting Getting There. Recorded last year in Nashville, Getting There was produced by the ultra-in-demand (and Grammy Award winning) Tom Hambridge.

“He’s just such an amazing person … not just an amazing producer, but an amazing person. The way he works in the studio, everything’s natural and nothing is forced. He’s not pushy about anything,” Sullivan said. “He really knows how to work together with you and he’s open to a lot of things, so we kind of bounce ideas off each other. It’s just a really nice atmosphere to work in. He’s just such a nice guy.”

The relationship between Sullivan and Hambridge actually dates back to 2008 and Buddy Guy’s highly-touted Skin Deep (Jive Records) album.

“Buddy asked me to do a song on Skin Deep – “Who’s Gonna Fill Those Shoes?” and that’s when I met Tom. He’s also a great drummer and I’m lucky enough to have him playing drums with me the whole summer,” said Sullivan. “Great producer, great drummer, great songwriter … Buddy calls him ‘the white Willie Dixon.’”

It’s par for the course for any relatively-new artist to exhibit a marked growth between their first and second releases. That’s certainly the case with the musical strides made from Cyclone to Getting There. In Sullivan’s case, however, there’s more going on than just an increased sense of confidence between his freshman and sophomore albums.

“If you listen to Cyclone and then listen to my voice now, it’s pretty funny because I recorded it when I was 11 and my voice hadn’t really dropped then,” he said. “And once it dropped, it was like, ‘Wow. It sounds different.’ And even now, listening to Getting There, it’s amazing how my voice has dropped even more. Hopefully on the next album, my voice will kind of be where it’s going to end up.”

While his vocal range may have yet to hit its final resting spot, Sullivan rattles off an impressive array of vocalists that he admires and looks up to, a list that makes one think he may be closer to age 50 than to age 15.

“There are a whole lot of singers that I love, from a lot of different genres. I really love Susan Tedeschi, she’s one of my favorite vocalists of all time. I’ve gotten to meet her – and (her husband) Derek Trucks, who is one of my favorite guitar players and they’ve always been really generous and really nice. And I love Steve Winwood. I’m a huge fan of Traffic and Blind Faith, so he’s awesome,” Sullivan said. “And Stevie Wonder … Warren Haynes, Gregg Allman, Otis Redding … there’s just so many great, great singers that I really like.”

Too often in life, we are denied the opportunity to personally acknowledge those that initially inspired us to begin the journey down the path to our chosen profession. But thanks to his personal relationship with Buddy Guy, Sullivan has been afforded the chance on many occasions to let his mentor know that the ‘Legend From Lettsworth’ was the reason that playing the blues quickly became a driving passion in his young life.

“The first Eric Clapton Crossroads DVD … that’s what really opened my mind to that kind of music, especially seeing Buddy Guy playing on it. I just remember being 5 years old and watching it and seeing Buddy walking out,” he said. “I mean, you don’t see someone playing like that all the time. It was incredible and I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”

Just a couple of years after seeing Guy on his TV screen, Sullivan met the man himself at New Bedford’s Zeiterion Theater in 2007. Actually, Sullivan –who was 8 at the time – did more than just get introduced to Guy backstage; he was also invited on the bandstand to jam.

“Luckily enough, I got to meet him and play with him and all that stuff that night,” he said. “It was amazing and it was the start of a journey that has continued on. He’s obviously been the biggest help that anyone could ever ask for. You couldn’t pick a better mentor, someone to take you around the world and introduce you to so many people. I’ve gotten to meet so many of my heroes and play so many iconic venues, all over the world, because of him.”

Hanging with Buddy Guy and talking about the blues has got to be a lot like hanging with Thomas Jefferson and taking about the United States Constitution. After all, if you want to know the history of a subject, you go straight to the source.

“Buddy has a life that not many people have lived. He’s full of stories and even when you shake his hand, you can really feel the life that he’s lived. Just being around him and listening to the stories he tells and all the life experiences he’s had, along with a lot of the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the music business, has offered a lot of valuable lessons,” said Sullivan. “It’s important. It’s almost like going to a history class every time you talk to him. It’s so cool to hear what all he’s been though and all his struggles and how he’s managed to come out on top.”

His immense talents have drawn praises from blues and guitar aficionados from all corners of the globe ever since his first appearance on Ellen. And although a lot of his classmates in New Bedford might be more into 50 Cent or Lady Gaga, they’re still hip to Sullivan’s abilities on a six-string.

“Yeah, they’re more into pop, but I’m not strictly just in love with the blues; I like a lot of pop music, too. The blues is my base, but I can listen to a whole bunch of pop and rock and stuff like that. But the main music my friends listen to is rap and hip-hop and that kind of stuff,” said Sullivan. “They obviously respect what I do, but I think they think it was a lot cooler that I was on Ellen than it is that I get to play with Buddy Guy, you know?”

That may well be the case, but that has given Sullivan a shot to play the role of teacher to his peers.

“I think if I had never gotten to play with Buddy, that they may have never known who he was. So a lot of my friends do know who Buddy Guy is now, just because I’ve played with him,” he said. “So it’s nice to have that and to be able to open up some new music to them. But a lot of it has to do with who is playing music in the house. I mean, if you don’t have parents like I do that love and appreciate all kinds of music, I don’t think kids get exposed to a lot of different styles. It’s important to start at a young age, listening to a whole bunch of different kinds of music and not limit yourself to just one style. It’s nice that I’ve been able to listen to a whole lot of different music growing up.”

With all the accomplishments that he’s stuffed under his belt at such a tender age, it might be tempting to think that Quinn Sullivan has seen it all, done it all and has no goals or dreams left to tackle. While it might be tempting to think that, according to Sullivan, that line of thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“Hopefully down the road, I’ll be continuing what I do now, but maybe on a higher scale. Maybe doing it more full-time,” he said. “I would like to have a really successful album one day and get to play some even bigger places and do my own tour. You always have dreams and it’s important to think like that, because it could happen … a lot of dreams, a lot of dreams.””

To find out more about Quinn visit his website at:

Photos by Arnie Goodman © 2014

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

 Featured Blues Review – 2 of 8

Innes Sibun – Lost in the Wilderness

Blues Boulevard Records

12 tracks / 50:45

For a budding musician, it would be hard to find a better example than B.B. King, the man that inspired British guitarist Innes Sibun to play the blues when he was just 12. This was a great start, and from there Innes went on to play all types of music including punk, reggae, jazz and rock — but the blues had a firm hold on his heart. His skills improved to the point where he was able to join Robert Plant’s band, and during his career he has had the opportunity to share the stage with luminaries such as Joe Louis Walker, Steve Cropper, Peter Green, and Johnny Winter. Besides recording two albums with Plant, he has also cut a half dozen of his own discs.

Sibun’s latest solo effort is Lost in the Wilderness, which he recorded in Holt, England with bassist Steve Hall, drummer Kevin O’Rourke, and keyboardist Jon Buckett. Innes took care of the vocals and all of the guitars, as well as taking the role of producer and assisting with the mixing and mastering. So, what we end up with is an album that was the creative vision of a guitarist, so it has an incredible sound with up-front guitars, thunderous drums and fat bass tracks.

Ten of the twelve tracks are originals, including the opener, “You Can’t Miss What You Never Had,” a vintage rock and roll tune that has the energy of an early Jerry Lee Lewis performance. Sibun drastically changes direction for the next cut, “Lost in the Wilderness.” This track has a slow-grinding British blues rock feel (think early Led Zeppelin), and true to its album-oriented rock format it clocks in at over six minutes thanks to an epic guitar solo. Sibun’s vocals are not highly-polished, but are growly and heartfelt and perfectly express the introspective lyrics while Jo Nye’s soulful backing vocals complete the rock anthem concept.

Innes stirs things up again with the first of two instrumentals, “Where are You?” This song is an acoustic interlude that provides a breather between the title track and the hard blues rock of “There Always Will Be.” The other instrumental is “G’zan Hoedown” which takes its name from the G’zan custom guitars that he favors. True to its title this tune starts out with an Albert Lee country feel but morphs into an all-out shred fest with hammering snare drum from O’Rourke and a neat walking bass line from Steve Hall. Sibun proves here that he is a technically talented guitarist with tremendous speed, but unlike some other high-zoot axemasters he never loses the feel and emotion of the music.

Lost in the Wilderness has a tremendous variety of genres, and a great deal of care was put into the placement of the songs so that they all fit together into a cohesive whole. An example of this is backing up the raucous vocals of the punk-fueled blues rocker “Let’s Call it a Night” with the mandolin of the sweet ballad “When Love Breaks Down.” This is a delicate balancing act, but Innes pulls it off.

The sole cover on Lost in the Wilderness is Otis Rush’s 1958 single “Double Trouble.” This 12 bar blues classic maintains the dramatic feel of the original, and though it would be a temptation to overplay on a slow song like this, Sibun is disciplined and maintains space between riffs. Jon Buckett’s organ is spot on and sets a strong foundation.

The album finishes with Innes’ funk-fueled modern take on the traditional spiritual, “Going Home.” This turns out to be a fun song that makes use of different guitar techniques and effects, and is a fresh reminder of the constant evolution of the blues.

Innes Sibun put his heart and soul into Lost in the Wilderness, and it is a showcase of his love for the diverse genres of blues-based music. His band will be touring Europe for the rest of the year, including stops in the UK, Belgium, Poland, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, and Spain. We can only hope that he makes the time to bring his tour to the states – from the energy and skill he exhibited on this album his live show must be fantastic!!

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

 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 8

The Butanes – 12 Frozen Favorites from the Upper Bayou

Haute Music

CD: 12 songs; 49:39 Minutes

Styles: R & B, Zydeco, Jazz-and-Soul-Influenced Blues

What gives a lighter its bright flame, and is also an R&B band of Minneapolis fame? The Butanes! Even though they’re from Minnesota, one might think that they hailed straight from New Orleans after listening to their eighth album, 12 Frozen Favorites from the Upper Bayou. Headed by former Chicago bluesman Curtis Obeda, who served a guitarist’s apprenticeship in Hubert Sumlin’s band, the Butanes also feature John Lindberg on bass and vocals, drummer Robb Stupka, Virgil Nelson on accordion and Hammond organ, Bruce McCabe on upright piano, and vocalists Deb Brown and Aisha Baker. Their fantastic horn section includes Michael B. Nelson on trombone, Sue Orfield on tenor sax, Steve Strand on trumpet and coronet, and Kenni Holmen on baritone sax and clarinet. All together, they present twelve magical and original songs that evoke the spirit of the opposite end of the Mississippi River. The final one, “Yeah, Right”, was originally recorded in 1995, with horns added in 1998. Special guest stars on that number are drummer Dan Hostetler, Jim Greenwell on tenor and baritone sax, trumpeter Brad Shermock, and vocalist Bob Scoggins. The following three tunes are the finest of them all:

Track 03: “Be Careful What You Wish For” – This pure-soul sensation might be far better advice to recent graduates than Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Its message? “You start wishing for something and don’t realize the cost: For everything gained, there’s always something lost. Experience has shown me plans are made to change, and best intentions don’t mean a doggone thing.” Check out the sizzling saxophone solo in the middle, which can’t be beat.

Track 04: “Amy is a Gold Digger” – Proving the point of the previous selection is track number four. Wealthy gentlemen might be looking for love, but when it comes to the titular character, “Amy got married while still eighteen, to a man who was seventy-three. The old man’s family never understood that Amy was treating the old man good. Couple years later the man was dead. The family was surprised when the will was read…” This song’s a Zydeco-fest with lots of accordion zest by Virgil Nelson.

Track 09: “B.S. (Bob’s Song)” – Believe it or not, there’s a trap worse than gold-digging Amy: an “evil woman” who has a drone named Bob in her clutches. Bob’s best friend describes them both thus: “She must have a magic box, but what’s inside? Seems to be something that takes away a good man’s pride. My friend used to have a spine and a mind that could think; now he crawls on his belly whenever she blinks.” Listen closely for Steve Strand’s “blah-blah-blah” trumpet, a la Charlie Brown’s teacher.

The Butanes may not be pure blues a la Howlin’ Wolf or even James Armstrong, but they capture the distilled essence of NOLA in “12 Frozen Favorites”!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 34 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

 Featured Blues Review – 4 of 8

Sunday Wilde – He Digs Me


CD: 13 songs; 52:43 Minutes

Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues, Slow Blues, Pop, Gospel

Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. So is the cover art of Ontario, Canada’s Sunday Wilde’s third album, He Digs Me, currently featured at number one on SiriusXM’s station of BB King’s Bluesville. From the deep magenta color and shapes drawn on the back of the case, one might expect Wilde to have a semi-adolescently sweet voice similar to Marlo Thomas of “Free to Be, You and Me”. Wrong! She has rather deep pipes that have been toned by experience, one part Etta James with a tiny dash of Janis Joplin. With that said, her vocal versatility is low, as she sounds almost the same on each song. Not to worry. From the catchy title track to the final gospel number, Sunday shows us that what she lacks in range, she makes up for in attitude. With her as she sings and plays piano are bassist Reno Jack, guitarist Little Bobby, drummer Carol Dierking, trumpeter Bobby J. Marks, and Jimmy Wallace on saxophone. Dan Dahlin guest stars on drums on number twelve, “Crying Shame”. Overall, there are thirteen selections – ten originals and three covers (the rather unnecessary “Fall to Pieces”, Black Mountain Blues”, and “Walk With Me”. These three originals are the very tastiest pieces of musical ‘candy’:

Track 01: “He Digs Me” – Although Wilde characterizes her opening number as “pop”, this reviewer would call it smooth contemporary blues. The lyrics are simple yet unforgettable: repeating amiably: “He digs me in the morning, digs me in the night. He digs me in the evening when he holds me tight. He feels me; he loves me; he touches me on the inside and the out.” As well as providing sultry vocals, Sunday is more than ordinary on the organ, as sly as any guitar.

Track 04: “Show Me Mercy” – Ever had one of those days when waking up seems like a terrible idea? Such is the circumstance behind “Show Me Mercy”, a slow blues number with a bite: “Today the bed’s feeling mighty good, even though I know I should take the covers off of my head, but today I wish I could just lay in bed.” The background moaning between each verse is hallucinatory and eerie, mostly because our narrator has a hangover. Little Bobby’s echoing electric guitar provides plodding, reverberating chords that emphasize Sunday’s weariness.

Track 12: “Crying Shame” – The penultimate acoustic ballad describes a controlling relationship to a T: “He reeled me in, yes, and smothered me with love, and then he screamed in my ear that he’d had enough. He calls me to say he needs me, and then the next day he wants to be free.” The atmosphere is one of lethargic frustration, as if it would take too much effort to end the romance.

Sunday Wilde sings that “He Digs Me”, and fans of female blues artists will dig this CD!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 34 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

 Featured Blues Review – 5 of 8

Kim Simmonds And Savoy Brown – Goin’ To The Delta

Ruf Records/

12 tracks; 61 Minutes

On 2011’s “Voodoo Moon” veteran bluesman Kim Simmonds produced some excellent songs, mainly in a blues-rock vein. This time around Kim has opted to go back to basics and record as a three piece so Joe Whiting, who shared vocals and played some sax on “Voodoo Moon”, is not involved and there are no additional instruments, just the trio of Kim on guitar and vocals, Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums. Apart from the lack of harmonica the sound here is a return to the ‘British Blues Invasion’ of the late 60’s of which the original Savoy Brown were a part. Since then a lot of water has flown under the bridge, Kim has been resident in the US for many years and Savoy Brown are probably better known in the States than in the UK.

Kim’s voice is not his finest asset but it works fine on this material, all of which was written by Kim who recorded and produced the album in Syracuse, NY. In a trio format the main instrumental focus is on the guitar and Kim seems to be up to the task as he opens the album in great style with a rocking “Laura Lee” and continues with a rolling “Sad News” both of which feature some solid playing. “Nuthin’ Like The Blues” has a Magic Slim vibe and “When You’ve Got A Good Thing” finds Kim hitting some sweet notes on a mid-paced tune before we get some John Lee Hooker style riffing on the instrumental ”Cobra” over which Kim finds some fine, biting phrasing. A similar guitar feel is there at the start of “Backstreet Woman”, a slower blues in which Kim’s anguished words about his ill-fated relationship with the title character are reflected in his strong playing.

The title track is excellent, Kim’s guitar riding over the core rhythm as he sings of having “Vicksburg on my mind” and the fact that he has “waited too long to knock on your cabin door” – obviously a man inspired – as he is again shortly afterwards in the uptempo shuffle “Turn Your Lamp On”. Separating these two tracks is the classy slow blues “Just A Dream”. The slow-rolling blues “I Miss Your Love” finds Kim playing some exciting slide over a steady rhythm section before a shuffle with some classic blues themes (“she changed the locks on my door”) explains why Kim is “Sleeping Rough”. The album closer “Going Back” ups the pace a bit with some nice guitar flourishes over a rock-solid foot-tapping rhythm.

When so many albums in the blues field are as much rock as blues it is relatively unusual to find one that has 100% blues content, but that is what Kim and his band have produced here. This is a solid album that can easily be recommended to blues fans out there for a dose of classic electric blues.

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 8

Moses Patrou – Can’t Stop, Vol.1


7 songs – 28 minutes

Moses Patrou is a NYC-based vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. On his sophomore effort, Can’t Stop, Vol. 1, he sings, and plays drums, keyboards and percussion, in addition to arranging the horns. He also wrote all the songs, bar “Song For My Friend”, which he co-wrote with guitarist and producer, Scott Sharrard.

The album is rooted in R&B and, while there is much for a blues fan to enjoy, it most certainly is not a blues album. The music is old-fashioned R&B/Soul and, as one might expect from a drummer who learned at the feet of the great Clyde Stubblefield, Can’t Stop, Vol. 1 is all about the groove. The songs are loose-limbed, funky, structurally simple work-outs, all driven by some sophisticated but often subtle drumming. Opening with the foot-tapping rhythm of “Everybody Wants Everything”, there is a sheen and a polish to the music that contrasts nicely with Patrou’s slightly raspy, whispery vocals.

Patrou receives stellar backing from Sharrard (perhaps best known as the lead guitarist for Gregg Allman & Friends), Jeff “The Claw” Hanley on bass and Ben Stivers on piano, keys and organ. On “Everybody Wants Everything”, Al Falaschi adds sax (including a wild solo), and Courtney Larson and Charles Wagner add trombone and trumpet respectively. Sean Dixon, Christina Courtin and Erik Carlson contribute strings to “Can’t Stop (People Change)”.

The record was co-produced by Patrou, Scott Sharrard and Charles Martinez (previously a sound engineer for Michael McDonald, Boz Skaggs and Donald Fagen, amongst others), and recorded and mixed at Audio Paint in NYC. Together, they do a good job of capturing a warm depth to the sound.

With seven songs and clocking in at 28 minutes, Can’t Stop, Vol. 1 is a very short album. Even the solo spots are kept short and to the point. The musicians however are more than capable of producing memorable solos in the limited opportunities they are offered. Sharrard in particular is extremely impressive, demonstrating a detailed understanding of a wide range of styles, from the slide guitar solo on “Didn’t Wanna Fall…” and the wah-wah’ed rhythm guitar on “Everybody Wants Everything” to the George Benson-esque solos on “Who Will Be There?” and the Cornell Dupree-inspired sliding fourths that feature on a number of songs.

The standout track on the album is “Mistreated Your Love”, a funked-up, slightly rockier number that settles into a groove as deep and irresistible as the Colorado River and features a longer more hard-edged guitar solo from Sharrard. This is one of those songs that grabs the listener from the first few bars and does not let them go.

As an introduction to the music of Moses Patrou, Can’t Stop, Vol. 1 offers enough evidence to suggest that he is a musician of talent with bags of potential. It also however has the feel of being something of a stop-gap album, or even an EP, given its short playing time and the loose “jam-feel” to the songs.

Worth checking out if your tastes run to the smoother side of R&B and soul, albeit with the hope that Vol. 2 will provide meatier fare.

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

 Featured Blues Review – 7 of 8

Johnny Cox – Thin Blue Line

Self-Release – 2013

11 tracks; 43 minutes

Born in Scotland, singer and guitarist Johnny Cox is now based in Canada where this debut CD of all original material was recorded. The album was produced and recorded by Johnny with drummer Rich Greenspoon. Bass is played by Ian De Souza with Jerome Tucker, Malcolm McCuaig and Kenny Neal Jr each subbing on one track. Keyboards are added by Marty Sammon on two tracks, harp by Ansgar Schoer on three and by Robbie Bellmore on two, sax by Neil Braithwaite on one. Shelley Zubot is on backing vocals, assisted by Brad Roth on two cuts.

Johnny’s vocals are clear but a little monotone on material that is generally in a blues-rock style. Opening track “Your Love” is rather atypical of the album, being a gentle, soulful tribute to Johnny’s love interest. The frenetic pace of a track like “New Way” eventually ends up in a dead-end of clashing sounds from harp and guitar while “Runaway Train” leans too heavily on the wah-wah for this reviewer’s tastes. On the upside “High Price To Pay” is a strong song with a good hook, harmonies and a fine guitar solo and “Something For Me” (a co-write with girlfriend Danielle Di Vicenzo) moves along nicely with Marty Sammon’s electric piano a strong feature alongside Johnny’s searing guitar riffs. The title track displays a change of pace with acoustic slide guitar and some nice harp embellishments from Robbie Bellmore who also plays on “My Destination” on which his harp and the sax make for a fuller sound over which Johnny plays some nice guitar. “I’m Fine” returns to full electric mode with some not very pleasant distortion on the guitar but “All These Tears” makes a new departure with a lilting reggae beat and Shelley’s b/v’s to the fore, Ansgar’s chromatic harp helping to flesh out the sound. “Long Day” slows the pace for a brooding blues on which Johnny’s weary voice suits the downbeat nature of the song and his double tracked guitar dialogue in the middle works well. The disc closes with “Didn’t Commit The Crime” with more discordant guitar and a rhythm that never seems to get out of first gear.

Overall this is a mixed-bag of material with a few highlights to set against some over-the-top guitar effects on some tracks.

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 – 8 of 8

Adam Gussow – Kick And Stomp

Right Recordings

14 songs – 65 minutes

Hot on the heels of his recent The Blues Doctors release with Alan Gross, harmonica maestro Adam Gussow has now released his debut solo album, Kick And Stomp.

Anyone who is familiar with Gussow’s work in Satan and Adam, in The Blues Doctors, or through his blues harp teachings, might be able to predict what can be found on this album: virtuoso harmonica playing, expressive vocals, and a kick drum and tambourine pedal providing an incessant backbeat to songs that are delivered with exuberance, emotion and no little wit. And that is exactly what Kick And Stomp delivers.

The first three songs capture the album in microcosm. Opening with the instrumental “Kick and Stomp” (which does what it says on the tin), Gussow then produces a solid re-working of Sonny Boy Williamson’s classic “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” before laying down a gloriously bonkers version of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love” with the harmonica covering all guitar parts and including a superb solo that takes the song in a wholly new direction before looping back, almost inevitably, to that famous guitar riff again.

Featuring 14 songs, six of which Gussow wrote, the overall feel of the album is upbeat. The covers range from the traditional “Poor Boy” (permanently a long way from home) to R.L. Burnside’s one-chord stomp, “Goin’ Down South” as well as covers of rock, jazz and even R’n’B oldies such as Stanley Turrentine’s “Sugar”. Interestingly, Gussow also covered “Sugar” on The Blues Doctors’ CD.

Gussow’s re-interpretations of various classic songs that were originally guitar-focussed help to remind the listener of the quality of the original songs as well as enjoying Gussow’s work. “Every Day I Have The Blues” works superbly with just harp and kick drum, sounding like an amplified foot stomping on the wooden floor of an old back porch, but also reminds us of the genius of the original melody.

Gussow’s one-man band approach enables him to take on songs that are sometimes over-played in their original format. Cream’s version of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroad Blues”, for example, has been massacred by so many pub and jam bands that Gussow’s harp-led version enables to us to reflect on just how good the original song actually is.

Likewise, the closing song is an upbeat rendition of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” which, whilst perhaps missing some of the original’s wistfulness, nevertheless does accentuate its exuberance and joie de vivre.

Kick And Stomp was recorded and mixed by Bryan W. Ward at The Tone Room in Oxford, Mississippi in July 2010 and Gussow and Ward have done a fine job of capturing the dynamic range of Gussow’s playing. Listening to this CD, it is easy to forget the complexity of what Gussow is doing. Without other instruments to provide backing, his harp has to suggest the implied chord changes over which he is singing, whilst maintaining a fluid rhythm with the kick drum. It is a mark of how successful he is, that none of the songs sounds forced, nor like they might have benefited from additional instrumental support.

So, having been for 25 years the harmonica-playing sideman to one of the great one-man bands of the blues, Sterling “Mr Satan” Magee, Gussow is now taking his own first steps as a one-man band of his own. On the evidence of Kick and Stomp, it is a role he is eminently capable of playing..

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.

 Blues Society News

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Flathead Valley Blues Society – Kalispell, MT

The Flathead Valley Blues Society presents our annual Blues cruise July 3, 2014, 7-9PM. Flathead Lake Blues Cruise on Far West Excursions. 7PM leaves the dock in Lakeside, MT Music by Three Eared Dog from Missoula.

Tickets: $25.00 *available from Blues Society Board Members or call Brian Higgins at 406-471-9926 or MaryAnn Kelley 406-857-3119 for reservations. Info at

Topeka Blues Society – Topeka, KS

For the fifth year in a row, the Topeka Blues Society will present a stellar line-up of internationally-renowned artists at its Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival at Lake Shawnee in Topeka on Friday, July 4th. There is no admission charge for the festival which will start at noon and present continuous music until 9 pm.

After the crowd has been warmed up by three Kansas-based blues artists, the Randy Oxford Band, a high-energy six-piece group from Seattle, will kick things up a notch followed by the 44s is a band which hails from Los Angeles and regularly captivates audiences with its gritty blues roots style.

Canadian-born guitarist Anthony Gomes who has been named one of the top ten guitarists in the world follows. Hamilton Loomis from Houston a protégé of Bo Diddley, headlines the main stage this year.

For more info contact Stacy Jeffress, 785.249.6969 or Suki Willison, 785.554.5478 or visit

The Madison Blues Society – Madison, WI

The Madison Blues Society will host this year’s Blues Picnic on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at Madison’s Northside Warner Park from Noon to 9:00pm.

Music lineup is Kyle Henderson, “Blues Kids”, Altered Five, Jim Schwall and Chris Aaron, Barrelhouse Chuck With Billy Flynn and Westside Andy, Aaron Williams And The Hoodoo.

In addition to our regular selection of great American and ethnic foods, Capital Brewery beers, and 9 hours of FREE music, there will be a Prize Raffle, a 50-50 Cash Raffle and lots of fun merchandise. Don’t miss this chance to get your summer boogie on!


Natchel Blues Network – Norfolk, VA

The Natchel’ Blues Network and Beach Events presents The 21st Annual Blues at the Beach Festival September 5 & 6, 2014 at 17th Street Stage – Virginia Beach VA.

Lineup includes Jarekus Singleton and Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials on Friday and Doug Deming & Dennis Gruenling w/ The Jewel Tones, Dirt Cheap Blues Exchange Dance Workshop, Damon Fowler Group, Bernard Allison and Tommy Castro & The Painkillers on Saturday.

$5.00 Daily / $8.00 Weekend Pass. For more info visit

Friends of the Blues – Kankakee, IL

2014 Friends of the Blues Concert Series –  All shows held in Kankakee, IL unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, June 24, Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch, Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club, Tuesday, July 8, Brandon Santini, BB Sportsmen’s Club , Wednesday, July 16, Albert Castiglia with opening act, The Impalas featuring Dawna Nelson, Longbranch Restaurant, Thursday, July 31, Terry Quiett Band, Venue TBA, Tuesday, August 12, Laurie Morvan Band, Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club, Tues or Thur, August 26 or 28, Nikki Hill (& Matt Hill), Kankakee Valley Boat Club, Thursday, Sept 18, Jerry Lee & The Juju Kings, Kankakee Valley Boat Club Thursday, October 02, Sena Ehrhardt, Moose Lodge

Crossroads Blues Society – Byron, Illinois

Long-time Rockford blues DJ Rich Gordon retires from his day job as does his wife Monica. Celebrate with them and Rich’s band the Basement Blues Band at Mary’s Place, 602 N Madison St, Rockford at 7 PM on Saturday, June 21st. Iron Orchard will also be playing, led by Rich and Monica’s son.

Sunday June 22nd at 2 PM Crossroads is hosting a benefit for Bob Levis at the Lyran Society Club att 1115 4th Avenue in Rockford. $20 tickets get you into a 5 hour event featuring many bands and artists including teh Brooks Brothers (Ronnie and Wayne), Dave Specter and many more.

Saturday June 28th is the Second Annual Field of Blues Festival at Rockford Aviators Stadium.  refers.  Advanced tickets are only $10.

Headlined by the great blues and soul singer John Nemeth (8 PM), Crossroads has a great lineup for 2014! At 6 PM Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones will appear with Dennis Gruenling on harp. The 4 PM band is the ever popular Jimmys! Liz Mandeville is on stage at 2 PM and the day opens with Crossroads Blues Challenge winner the Alex Wilson Band. Dan Phelps will also be performing between Sets in the Pavillion.

Advanced planning: The 5th Annual Crossroads Blues Festival on August 23rd moves from Byron, IL to Lyran Park just south of Rockford Airport. Lurrie Bell headlines this year’s event! .

Check us out at or call festival chairman Steve Jones at 779-537-4006 for more information!

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. Additional information on any performer listed below is available upon request. June 23 – Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, June 30 = Chris O’Leary Band

Other events sponsored by ICBC – June 14, Blues for Abraham Festival @ K of C on Meadowbrook Road, 2 – 10 pm. Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. w/Susan Williams Band, Monica Morris & Josie Lowder, Robert Sampson & The Gumbo Band, Black Magic Johnson. Followed by and after fest jam at Casey’s Pub, hosted by Mary Jo Curry & Tombstone Bullet & The MojoCats.

Questions regarding this press release can be directed to Michael Rapier, President of ICBC, at at 217-899-9422, or contact Greg Langdon, Live Events Chair, at or by visiting

Utah Blues Society – Salt Lake City, UT

PRESS RELEASE – Utah Blues Society formed! – After a year in the works, as of May 15, 2014, the Utah Blues Society is an officially recognized, non-profit entity! UBS will now also pursue 501(c)(3) status. Inaugural officers are President Brian Kelm; VP Tony Holiday; Secretary Jordan Young; and Treasurer Tripp Hopkins. UBS is dedicated to expanding the reach of the Blues genre throughout Utah, promoting both local and national touring blues artists, building a network of Utah Blues artists, and providing educational programs to further increase the Blues’ visibility in its community. FFI, see Its first major endeavor is July 12, 2014 when it will be the beneficiary of the 6th Annual RnB Rendezvous blues festival. See also or contact President Brian Kelm,

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

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