Issue 8-41 October 9, 2014

Cover photo by Marilyn Stringer © 2014


 In This Issue

Terry Mullins has our feature interview with Dave Gross.

We have 4 music reviews for you including new music from Elvin Bishop, Tim Gartland, Slim Bawb And The Fabulous Stumpgrinders and Shoe String Sue.

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,

Fall is here and the best Blues show for the rest of the season is just right around the corner!

The 2014 Blues Blast Music Awards is Thursday October 23rd at the Fluid Event Center, 601 N Country Fair Dr Champaign, IL (217) 359-6960.

This great show features 23 of the best Blues artists out there today including Bobby Rush And Blinddog Smokin’, Shaun Murphy Band, Toronzo Cannon, Albert Castiglia, Trudy Lynn, Too Slim and The Tail Draggers, Bernie Pearl with Barbara Morrison, Dave Riley and Bob Corritore, Tweed Funk, Adrianna Marie and Her Groovecutters, Back Pack Jones, Annie Mack Band, RB Stone, Norman Taylor, Lisa Biales, Mark T Small, Lisa Mann, Brent Johnson and the Call Up, Steve Dawson, Rachelle Coba, Sean Chambers, Josh Hoyer, an opening set by Andy T. Nick Nixon Band plus a few surprises!

For tickets and compete information, CLICK HERE or see our ad below.

Also attending the awards will be the 2014 Blues Blast Magazine Lifetime Achievement Awards winners. Who are they?

First we have Lonnie Brooks , a true legend in the Blues. And we are also recognizing one of this years nominees and Blues master himself, Bobby Rush. Stay tuned. Press release coming soon!

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!

Bob Kieser

Featured Blues Review – 1 of 4

Elvin Bishop – Can’t Even Do Wrong Right

Alligator Records

CD: 10 Songs; 39:44 Minutes

Styles: Blues Rock, Traditional Blues, Blues Covers

The cover art of icon Elvin Bishop’s latest album, created by Americana artist Paul Thorn, depicts a hilarious scene: Our hapless ‘hero’, with his pants down around his ankles, is caught between his naked mistress on one side and his club-wielding wife on the other. As California-born Bishop sings, “The dude Can’t Even Do Wrong Right!” He himself can do no almost no wrong as one of the most celebrated names in blues rock. He strikes just the right balance between traditional and postmodern tunes, both serious and humorous. Over the course of ten songs (five originals and five covers), he takes listeners on an uplifting journey through life.

With him are trombonist/background vocalist Ed Earley, drummer/background vocalist Ste, bassist Ruth Davies, Steve Willis on piano, accordion, and background vocals, and Bob Welsh on guitar, organ, bass and piano. Special guest stars include bassist Steve Evans, Willie Jordan on cajon and vocal harmony, drummer June Core, Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica, and vocalists Mickey Thomas, Emily Bishop, Kristen Lindsat, and Susan McKay. With such a talented ensemble in place, their selections all have a timeless quality, even if some are brand-new. The three reviewed below are all fresh originals, despite their wonderfully classic sound.

Track 01: “Can’t Even Do Wrong Right” – The opener and title track features a man named Maurice, who’s such an irresponsible idiot that he always ends up earning his comeuppance: “[He] jumped back in his ride, hit the highway, started to roll. He said, ‘100 miles an hour! Whoo! Look at me go!’ He thought he had everything under control, when the [police siren sound effects] – I’m talking ‘highway patrol’. He got caught…” Bishop’s spicy guitar riffs and bouncy backbeat by June Core propel this song to the right side of blues fans’ playlists.

Track 04: “Let Your Woman Have Her Way” – Mickey Thomas provides spectacular lead vocals in this lusty love song. “Nine times out of ten, all the trouble between women and men will all be okay. Let your woman have her way.” Steve Evans backs her up on the mic, and Elvin Bishop plays soulful organ. Note to couples: if the lady wants to take the floor, take this song’s advice.

Track 06: “Everybody’s In the Same Boat” – Elvin muses about longevity here, and what will eventually happen to all of us: “You know, if you are not old now, with any luck at all you will be old one of these days…I’m talking about everybody – you and me, kings and queens, the President and the Pope. Everybody’s in the same boat.” Steve Willis’ piano sizzles, and the refrain of this song is infectious.

Elvin Bishop has been performing for over half a century. He was seventy-one at the time of his new CD’s release this year, and he sure can do blues rock right!

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.

Blues Blast Magazine is offering a fall advertising special. This special pricing will be our lowest pricing of the 2014-2015 season.

This 6-week combo rate of only $375 affordably adds significant impact to your Blues advertising and promotion campaign. It is a great way to kick up the visibility of your new album release, Blues event or music product around the globe!

Blues Blast Magazine is a great way to promote the Blues. More than 26,000 opt-in Blues fans read our magazine each week. They are located in all 50 states and in more than 90 countries. We get more than 2,000,000 (That’s TWO MILLION) hits and more than 45,000 visitors a month on our website.

Normal 2014 – 2015 Blues Blast magazine ads rates are $150 for an individual and $175 per month for website ads. BUT, for a limited time, you can advertise in six issues of Blues Blast Magazine and on our website for a month and a half for only $375. This is a $1160 value!

To get this special rate simply reserve and pay for your ad space by December 15, 2014. Ads can be booked to run anytime between now and September 30, 2015 for your 2015 Blues festival, album release or other music related product.

With this special rate, your ad can be viewed more than 220,000 times by our readers who want to know about your Blues events and music! Reserve your space today! Space is limited and will be sold on a first come first served basis.

Ads must be reserved and paid for by December 15, 2014. To get more information email or call 309 267-4425 today! Other ad packages, single ads, short run ads or long term bulk rates for publicists and record labels are available too. Call today for an ad plan that fits your needs.

Featured Blues Interview – Dave Gross

The heart rate of most musicians might jump a couple of beats when they hear a cool lick being tossed off a guitar, or from a saxophone or Hammond organ. The history of recorded music is littered with countless instances when a single note or two has sparked inspiration or set the wheels in motion for a masterpiece to be created.

But why stop at the sounds coming out of mere instruments to stir ones musical muse? Why not be moved to nirvana just from walking down a busy city street and being turned on by the sounds of everyday life?

“Well, that can happen. It’s hard to turn off that part of my brain. Regardless of the sounds being made, if somebody drops a dish in a restaurant, I listen for the sound. Not necessarily how it relates musically, but more sonically,” multi-instrumentalist and producer/engineer extraordinaire Dave Gross said. “I’m just really fascinated with the sounds that things make in different acoustic environments and how those sounds could be applied to my productions.”

Over the past few years, Gross and his Fat Rabbit Studios have given birth to an impressive array of blues and roots-related albums. Artists such as Gina Sicilia, Albert Castiglia, Mikey Junior, Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling, Brad Vickers and Candye Kane – to cite just a few – have recorded award-winning projects with Gross.

The 24-track Fat Rabbit Studios boasts a ton of high-end recording equipment, along with what seems like an endless supply of vintage guitars, basses and drums. As cool as that may be, the fact is, a lot of studios these days have such amenities. But how many studios have rattles made out of turtle shells or goat toenails or a shaker that when you play it sounds like someone eating Doritos, just laying around, waiting to be picked up and played?

“Yeah, I use a lot of weird instruments and strange percussion in my productions that are not things you’d find in a normal music store,” laughed Gross. “I like things that make completely interesting and unique sounds that can be applied to roots music, but are things that may be something that you wouldn’t normally hear. I love odd sounds that can create a certain mood or get a certain vision across.”

It may sound like Gross is some kind of a ‘mad genius’ who spends the entire sum of his waking hours locked in a musical laboratory where he does nothing but twiddle knobs and push buttons all day. That’s not the case, however, and he does manage to get out into the sunlight from time to time.

“I was on the road a few times this year with some of the artists I’ve worked with in the studio, so I traveled quite a bit,” he said. “But I also spent about two-thirds of my time in the studio this year, so it’s been a nice balance.”

His resume as a producer more than speaks for itself. But there’s more to Gross’ musical aptitude than just working on projects (and playing over a dozen different instruments on them) with other artists. He burst upon the scene in a big way as a 29-year-old when his initial CD, Crawling the Walls (VizzTone), was selected for Best New Artist Debut at the 2007 Blues Music Awards. Gross also produced Crawling the Walls and he says the approach taken to self-producing is a bit different from producing another artist.

“It is a little bit of a different mindset, because sometimes you have to step out of the artist’s chair and go into the producer’s chair and kick your own ass a little bit,” he laughed. “That’s not necessarily a hard thing, but you just have to be conscious and aware of doing it, if needed. Sometimes you can get comfortable and have a great time performing, or producing – getting what you want out of everybody else – and not be aware that you’re one of the people in the session, too, and you might need to do things differently. You just have to step back and have perspective. I wouldn’t treat my record any differently than I would anyone else’s record. But it’s been so long since my album came out (2007) that my production style has evolved considerably since then.”

As well-received as his debut album was, fans clamoring for a new disc from Gross may have to wait a bit longer.

“I love creating music for myself, but my focus has primarily been working on productions for other artists and touring with them,” he said. “Until the time comes when I feel pretty sure of the kind of music I want to create for myself, it may be a little while (before he works on another album under his own name). But I don’t want to close that door prematurely, either. I think sometime down the line I’ll be creating something new for myself.”

Even though his name may appear on the back of a CD as producer, instead of on the front as primary artist, each album that Gross works on can’t help but to bear a little bit of his heart and soul inside it.

“Each one of the projects I work on for other artists, I feel like are, in a way, my own music, just because so much of what I do and how I communicate musically comes across on the productions and recordings. So I don’t feel at all like I’m unable to get my point across. It’s just not necessarily through the vessel of my own record.”

Like any producer worth his salt, Gross knows that at the end of the day, an artist’s vision is a highly-personal – and often times fragile – thing and must be respected above all else during a recording session. That goes for not only producing the session, but playing on the session, as well.

“It’s really important not to distract from the original intention that the artist has. So when I’m recording parts now, I’m more conscious of how things, or little ingredients, are going to fit into the end product,” he said. “The first thing I do is to talk with an artist and find out what kind of record it is they want to make. Ninety-percent of the artists I work with, I’m familiar with some of their other recordings, or have seen them live, and there may be something that I’ve seen little glimpses of (on stage or on record), but I haven’t really gotten a whole set of. That’s the kind of stuff that I like to pull out of them and try and make something more out of.”

A perfect example of that is found on the latest Albert Castiglia album –Solid Ground (Ruf Records) – which was recorded at Fat Rabbit and produced by Gross (who also played some upright bass, percussion and mandolin and sang on the album).

“I’ve always thought that he (Castiglia) has been a great performer and his records were really good. But I just felt that he could have a little more focus on his vocals and on the actual song arrangements and song writing,” said Gross. “I talked with him about that and felt it would really be beneficial to do pre-production of the songs and talk back-and-forth and really develop the material until it naturally became what it was. His touring band came through and we recorded and added some other elements to it that weren’t really familiar to him before the sessions, and it became an identity that took over the record, and he went with it. He sounds really, really amazing on it. His guitar playing is always great, his vocals are always great, but I feel like the focus was put nicely on his vocals and song-writing on this one. Then his guitar takes over when it needs to, but it doesn’t really dominate the whole record. It makes a statement from section-to-section. To me, it created something completely new for him, but yet it’s also very at home for what his fans are used to hearing from him.”

Solid Ground is nominated for Rock Blues Album of the Year at the 2014 Blues Blast Awards.

Like Castiglia, Gross can more than hold his own on the guitar. His playing is like a refreshing mix of gutbucket blues with good-time jazz. Crawling the Walls is like a free-wheeling blast of ‘40s and ‘50s swing-style music with plenty of early rock-n-roll leanings, to boot. When he explains some of the guitarists that helped form his style, it’s easy to see why that’s the case.

“Aside from the guys in the blues scene that were influenced by jazz and swing – guys like Charlie Baty and Kid Andersen – some of the guitar players that I really, really dissected from the source would be Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Bill Jennings, T-Bone Walker and Pee Wee Crayton,” he said.

That’s a pretty impressive rundown of some of the most influential guitarists to ever pick up a six-string and their presence can certainly be felt in Gross’ playing. But those cats were not the only ones – and guitar was not the only instrument – to grab hold and stimulate his musical senses.

“I’m just really fascinated with music in general and with all kinds of instruments and different sounds. I just love the voices that come through, no matter what instrument it might be. For instance, Lester Young on a tenor saxophone or Clifford Brown on a trumpet,” he said. “I love the phrasing that comes through – regardless of the instrument – that is inherent to the player.”

It wasn’t by design of some master-plan, but rather just kind of organic transference, that has led Gross to spending more time in the control room producing others than standing outside with a guitar strapped around his neck looking into the control room at some other producer.

“Well, before it became full-blown production, it felt like the things I was doing were more like ‘musical direction.’ Then it sort of naturally evolved into the same kind of category as what a producer does,” he said. “It was around 2005 or 2006 when I started working more with other artists. I’d put a microphone here and there and try different things and then I became fascinated with the way things sound when they’re piled on top of each other. So curiosity kind of helped what started out as ‘musical direction’ grow into what became production.”

For as long as he can remember, Gross has always been in love with albums and has forever been intrigued with the way that they are created, whether it be by traditional production values, or by simple ‘musical direction.’

“I put records into a couple of different categories. Records from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s, you’d have players just killin’ it – guys like Charles Brown and Charlie Parker and T-Bone Walker. That all falls more into the ‘musical direction and arrangement’ category. The production there was to make sure the performance was absolutely flawless and the arrangements were correct,” he said. “Then, you have production from the manipulation of sounds and not necessarily doing a straight-ahead performance, stand-point. They’re completely different things and I love them both equally. There are certain producers out there today that I am just in awe of how they can evoke a mood just by bringing in strange sounds that don’t necessarily have anything to do with music. Guys like T-Bone Burnett and Ethan Johns … guys that are fearless in their intent. They’re some of my favorite producers.”

Trust is an important building block between artist and producer, because if the two parties can’t feel at least a little bit comfortable putting their visions in the other’s hands, a project is fated to fail before it even starts.

“Yeah, if the artist doesn’t trust the producer, it’s not really going to be beneficial to anybody, because you’re never going to be able to get them to step out of their comfort zone with any kind of confidence,” Gross said. “They’re not going to be as open to trying things that may be a little unsettling to somebody that’s unsure of what you’re trying to pull out of them. Pre-production sessions can be great for opening up dialogue and feeling each other out and seeing where your limitations are before a project really starts.”

With the track record that he’s accumulated over a relatively few short years, it would be safe to say that Dave Gross has certainly earned the trust of a host of different artists. While his resume inside the studio is impeccable, his eye for nature might require a bit of sharpening up. However, it did help lead to the naming of Fat Rabbit Studios.

“Well, for a while there were these two rabbits living on the property (where the studio is located) that were unbelievably-big. I’ve never seen rabbits so big or so round … it was like they needed to go on a diet plan,” he laughed. “But, it just turned out that they were pregnant. But nonetheless, by that time I’d already named the studio Fat Rabbit, so I couldn’t really change it to Pregnant Rabbit Studio.”

Photos by Marilyn Stringer © 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 4

Tim Gartland – Million Stars

Taste Good Music

12 tracks

Tim Gartland’s life changed at 14 years of age when he say Muddy Waters. An Ohio native who moved to Chicago and now has spent most of his adult life since 1991 in Boston, Gartland is an outstanding harp player, singer and songwriter. His touring appears to center on the Boston area with forays to Ohio and back, but when you listen to this CD you’ll wonder why he’s not touring nationally on a regular basis.

All the songs here are by Gartland and/or his keyboard player Tom West. West impressed me with his piano and organ work here. Chris Rival on guitars, Paul Justice on basses and Forest Padgett on drums round out the membership of his band. It’s a nice and very together sound backing up Gartland. West’s organ work and Rival’s guitar play are excellent; Gartland delivers the goods with vocals that remind me of a breathy and focused Duke Robillard mixed with a little Charlie Mussewhite. His harp is poignant and soulful. The songs are topical and meaningful lyrically while flowing well musically. What is not to like here? Nothing!

“Let Me Keep the Dog” opens and is a song about a split up. While he’s letting her go, he really wants to keep the dog; “She’s the only one worth fighting for.” While it sounds humorous it’s done seriously and delivered well. “Off My Mind” follows, another relationship issue where he’s trying to get a woman off his mind but he’s not succeeding well at it. “Mess Me Up” is a dirty and seductive sounding sort of song about looking for attention from a woman with bad intentions; more nice organ work in support of a fine song, too. “When the Wind Blows” adds piano and organ to the mix with good fret board work as Gartland blows some filthy sounding harp and sings in that gutsy tone. Nice stuff.

“I Should Have Cared Less” is a blues ballad of sorts and Gartland continues to deliver the goods vocally and the boys are right there again in support. “Two Rights Make a Wrong” is up next and he continues in the vein of busted relationships and gutsy vocals. There’s a nice guitar solo by Rival and West again is solid on organ. More of the same style of stuff in this cut but in a little more subdued manner with “Better the Foot Slips” before moving into the title cut. This is a down tempo honky tonk song that is kind of cool but might have been a little better served with a faster beat as Tim gets a bit pitchy.

“Tippin’ Time” keeps the tempo down as does “Shine Your Loving Light.” Good stuff but it’s getting very repetitive stylisitically. “I Can Add” is slow,dirty blues and has a lot more emotion but the down tempo stuff has little variety. “Shake It Nina” closes the set with a mid tempo instrumental. Nice guitar work and the organ stays on top of things; Gartland blows some mean harp and the band builds up into a fade out finish.

Gartland has written some great songs here and really display guts and emotion in his vocals and harp. His band is also super; Tom West delivers some outstanding performances throughout and producer/guitar player Chris Rival is solid. I’d like to have some more variety in style and tempo,but Gartland is good at what he does!

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 Review – 3 of 4

Shoestring Sue – Mr. Right Now

Self-Release – 2014

11 tracks; 43 minutes

Shoestring Sue is from Redwood City, California and is a solo performer who plays acoustic guitar and ukulele. On this CD the emphasis is on blues guitar tunes, in a style which Sue herself calls ‘all original hillbilly acoustic country blues comedy.

With a voice that recalls Joni Mitchell Sue sings of relationships that have gone wrong, strange characters and desperate relationships, mostly imbued with a strongly humorous tone. A good example of the humour is “Take Me Back” in which Sue half sings, half talks about rekindling her relationship – tricky when she also declares “Guess I should have mentioned my commitment to Satanism earlier, it just didn’t seem such a big deal at the time”, “I’m not a kleptomaniac, I just like to steal things” and later mentions that her kids may come to live with them too: “Remember the twins, Tom and Dave, their meth lab burnt down. They’re getting out of prison soon and want to come live with us – won’t that be fun!”

“Dog Food Stew” is almost the reverse scenario as HER ex is back in touch and wants to get back together so she confesses that after he smashed her guitar and treated her badly she gave him dog food stew – “forgiveness is sweet, revenge is cold”. The title track places Sue in a desperate search: “I don’t care what you look like, I’ll take you anyhow, I’m not looking for Mr Right, I need Mr Right Now.”

One can imagine that in concert Sue must put on an entertaining show with her tales of low life relationships but on a recording the limited musical palette does not make for an easy listen. Lyrically there is plenty of dark humour here and Sue’s vocals are clear. Musically there is just the single guitar though Sue can clearly play as she proves in some of the short breaks in the vocal tracks and with the closing “Guitar Doodle” instrumental.

This is certainly a very different CD from much of what we hear at Blues Blast and may well appeal to those whose tastes include a strong sense of humour and acoustic 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 – 4 of 4

Slim Bawb and the Fabulous Stumpgrinders – Gristle and Guts

Self release through Swampgrass Records

11 tracks / 46:30

When thinking of Sacramento, California, high-test swamp music might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but this is where Slim Bawb cut his teeth with the Beer Dawgs, playing five nights a week for 20 years. Their take on swamp rock and blues was a powerful force, enough to gain them entry into the Sacramento Area Music Hall of Fame. But all things change over time, and Slim Bawb (also known as Bob Pearce) moved to Austin, Texas eight years ago, where he founded Swamp Studios and his latest band, Slim Bawb and the Fabulous Stumpgrinders.

Slim Bawb has released six albums, the latest of which is Gristle and Guts. The new Fabulous Stumpgrinders line-up for this CD includes Jay Warren on drums and “Lil” Howard Yeargan on accordion, keyboards, and harmonica. Pearce takes care of the vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, mandola, and the boot bass. The latter is a custom foot-operated bass pedal assembly that Slim Bawb uses to bang out the low end. It might seem weird on paper but it works very well in the real world (and on this disc).

Gristle and Guts includes 11 original tracks, all of them penned by Pearce and Yeargan. This is not unusual, as Slim Bawb has been playing his own music professionally for the last 35 years, which is an impressive feat in this era of used-up cover tunes. And when the first track “Job Job” starts, it is hard to believe that Pearce is a California native, as this song is straight-up Cajun country. Piano and accordion are used to set the mood over some heavy-sounding slide guitar work. Bawb’s voice has a pleasant whiskey rasp, and the lyrics are clever and use good rhyming techniques. By the way, the song is not referring to the Biblical figure, but rather to the idea that “She wants me to get a Job Job.”

One of the standout tracks is “Down to the River,” a gospel-tinged Cajun tune with some super sweet vocal harmonizing by Pearce and Yeargan. This is a fun song with good interplay between the squeezebox and the resonator guitar, with a kicking snare drum driving the way. Bawb also throws in a well-placed mandolin solo, which lends a little folk feel to the proceedings. This is backed up by “Bottle is Home,” a swamp blues track that provides a grim contrast to the hopeful feel set by the previous song. What album would be complete without a song about the misery of the hard-drinking life?

But the Fabulous Stumpgrinders do not limit themselves to bayou music, as they serve up some hearty funk with “Last Call for this Fool,” which features hard-core syncopated electric guitar from Pearce and terrific harp work from Yeargan. They also put together a beautiful ballad, “Redneck Riviera” which may be the best track on the album with its gorgeous melody and laid-back vibe that paints a vivid mental picture. This band is not a one-trick pony by any stretch of the imagination.

The title track, “Gristle and Guts” was written to honor Slim Bawb’s grandson Jon, who was hit by a drunk driver when he was 15. This swamp blues song tells the story of that night in chilling detail, accompanied for the first half by a somber guitar ostinato and a simple kick drum to hold the beat. After this, synthesizers are used to add to the mood and then all hell breaks loose to end the tune on a positive note. By all accounts it was a terrible accident, but fortunately Jon is recovering and getting stronger every day.

Though the spooky accordion-fest “Bayou Shine” is listed as the final, there is a hidden reprise of “Job Job” for track 11, and it is a jangly 60-hertz snippet with glorious feedback and hiss. It is not exactly something people would buy all by itself, but it is a fun closer and gives and idea of what a neat spirit Slim Bawb has.

Throughout Gristle and Guts, Slim Bawb and the Fabulous Stumpgrinders keep coming up with new musical approaches for each song so that the album never gets dull and it remains consistently entertaining. These guys have made their own niche of Louisiana-style rock and blues, and it works well for them. They are gigging regularly, and their shows are well-reviewed by critics and well-received by their fans, so check out their website for their schedule if you are anywhere near Austin. Also, if you are in the Sacramento Area, Slim Bawb comes back each year for a Beer Dawgs reunion show, so keep your ear to the ground or you might miss it!

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

 Blues Society News

 Send your Blues Society’s BIG news or Press Release about your not-for-profit event with the subject line “Blues Society News” to:

Maximum of 175 words in a Text or MS Word document format.

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society – Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents keyboardist Bruce Katz and the Bruce Katz Band at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf, IA on Monday, October 27 starting at 7:00 p.m. Admission to see this brilliant performance is $5 for Mississippi Valley Blues Society members, or $8 for non-members (applications will be available at The Muddy Waters door).

more info contact: Steve Brundies 563-508-7660 or visit

The Golden Gate Blues Society – San Francisco, CA

Don’t miss the 2nd Annual San Francisco International Boogie Woogie Festival Sponsored by The Golden Gate Blues Society to benefit Musician’s Medical Relief Fund Sunday November 9, 2014 at 4:00pm Miner Auditorium SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco. Featuring a stellar lineup including Bob Seeley, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Lluís Coloma, Silvan Zingg andWendy DeWitt. Info at

The DC Blues Society – Washington, DC

The DC Blues Society holds its Annual Battle of the Bands on Saturday, October 18, 2014. This popular event is from 7:00 pm to midnight at the American Legion Post 268, 11225 Fern Street, Wheaton MD, 20902. Tickets are $13 in advance ($10 for DCBS members) and $15 at the door ($12 for DCBS members). Go to to purchase tickets in advance for this usually standing room only event or call (301) 322-4808. Doors open at 6 pm; cash bar. Seven bands have entered the competition so it is sure to be an exciting event. The winner of the Battle of the Bands will represent the DC Blues Society at the 31st International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN next January and at local events including the 7th Annual College Park Blues Festival on November 8, 2014 at Ritchie Coliseum.

River Basin Blues Society – Evansville, IN

The River Basin Blues Society will host the 3rd annual River Basin Blues Blast starting at 4 pm on November 29, 2014, at the Deerhead Sidewalk Cafe, 222 E. Columbia, Evansville, IN. Bands performing at the event include the Beat Daddys, Honey Roy, Soul Creation and 103 Degrees (featuring Grammy Award winner Jeff ‘Stick’ Davis and Joe Doughtery, the road drummer for the Grass Roots).

At this year’s Blues Blast the River Basin Blues Society will award the 1st Annual Blues Heritage Award. This inaugural award will be given to Steady Wailin’ Sid Scott. Sid has been a force of music, culture, and news in the African American community in Evansville.

The event is free, but a portion of food and drink sales from the event will benefit the RBBS and 91.5-FM WUEV. There will also be prize giveaways. For more information, contact the RBBS at

Piedmont Blues Preservation Society – Greensboro, NC

Piedmont Blues Preservation Society is holding it’s 29th Annual Blues Challenge talent competitions at the Blind Tiger live music venue in Greensboro, NC on Oct 19 and October 26. Our events have brought talent from all over the East Coast and last year we had competitors from Barcelona, Spain! On October 19, we will have our Solo/Duo Challenge and on October 26 we will hold the Band Challenge. Top three (3) places in each competition win Cash Prizes and the First Place Finalist in each competition advance to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, January 20-24.

For more information:

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society – Champaign, IL

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is holding its local IBC Band Challenge on Saturday, October 18, at Memphis on Main, 55 E Main St. in Champaign. Doors open at 4:00 and we invite everyone to come out and cheer for your favorite blues band.

PCBS will hold it’s local IBC Solo/Duo Challenge on Saturday, November 1, at Bentley’s Pub, 419 N. Neil St. in Champaign. We’re looking forward to conducting our first Solo/Duo Challenge and the event kicks off at 5:00.

For more info, visit our IBC Challenge Page;

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. Oct. 13—Jarekus Singleton, Oct. 20—Ghost Town Blues Band, Oct. 27—Albert Castiglia

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

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

Please follow and like us: