Issue 9-18 April 30, 2015

Cover photo by Mike Latschislaw © 2015

  In This Issue 

Mark Thompson has our feature interview with Blues Blast Music Award Nominee, Steve Dawson. Our 2015 Blues festival coverage continues this week as John Mitchell, Rick Lewis and Mark Thompson have a review and photos from the Tampa Bay Blues Festival.

We have 5 music reviews for you including music from Joanne Shaw Taylor, Steve Lury & Andres Roots, Dave Sadler, TG and the Swampbusters and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.

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

 From The Editor’s Desk 

Hey Blues Fans,

This is our April Blues Overdose issue. We have 5 FREE music tracks for you to download including music by Darren Watson, Eight O’Five Jive, Tomislav Goluban, The King Biscuit Boys and Mary Lane. Scroll down to the bottom of this issue to get yourself more free Blues music!

Artists interested in having their music included in Blues Overdose issues coming up in May and June should send check out the details of this free program to help artists promote their music at:

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!

Bob Kieser

 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 5 

Joanne Shaw Taylor – Songs From The Road

Ruf Records

CD-12 songs time-76:34

DVD-15 songs time-139:00

British transplant Joanne Shaw Taylor, now based in Detroit, U.S.A., delivers mostly heavy-handed guitar-based music with plenty of guitar acrobatics on this CD-DVD recorded live in London . She fires off lightning-fast notes effortlessly. At times she sends forth floating, soaring and melodic solos that remind one of Robin Trower. Her vocals are of the soulful tough-gal, husky and raspy variety. At times her delivery makes some of the lyrics indecipherable. Her capable rhythm section provides the necessary muscle power to support the attack. Keyboard player Jool’s Grudgings supplies the other soloing capabilities quite nicely. This package also contains a DVD of the same show. It includes ten of the songs from the CD as well as five different ones.

The most prominent style here is portrayed in songs like “Soul Station”, “Watch ‘Em Burn” and “Kiss The Ground Goodbye”, among others. These consist of speed-freak guitar runs served-up with a jaw-dropping dexderity with bent notes flying around like a machine gun barrage. The high points in this performance for me come when Joanne reins in her guitar-killer tendencies ands puts forth these beautifully soaring Jimi Hendrix-Robin Trower like guitar solos. She rightly showcases this on a lovely cover of Hendrix’ “Manic Depression”

I won’t take the time to describe each song here. There is much of the same throughout. Guitar lovers will find much to savor here, mostly guitar pyrotechnics strung together.

One nice diversion is her treatment of the British blue-eyed R&B master Frankie Miller’s “Jealousy”, where Joanne digs down deep to deliver a reading from the soul accentuated by some soulful guitar that grows in intensity.

The DVD features some different songs, plus it gives you the chance to see Joanne flail her long, lovely blonde locks to and fro as she attacks her guitar. She also happens to be easy on the peepers.

If your a fan of this genre she is quite something to behold to the ears and eyes as she assaults the guitar strings. It isn’t “Blues” by any stretch of my imagination. There is no doubt that there is a major talent at work here. As my old pal Batman used to say-“Each to their own said the lady as she kissed her cow”.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

 Featured Blues Interview – Steve Dawson 

Two years ago, it became apparent to producer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Dawson that it was time for a change. His home for the previous fifteen years, Vancouver, Canada was facing financial pressures that were having a major impact on the local music scene. So Dawson and his wife made a decision to leave without having any idea of where they wanted to end up. Dawson explains, “For a bit, we were thinking of moving to Toronto. It is Canada’s largest city, there is a lot going on, and I know a lot of people there. Vancouver is getting ridiculously expensive to live in – and so is Toronto. But it just didn’t feel like a big enough change. I really wanted to shake things up.”

“I did a gig in Vancouver with Sonny Landreth – he was telling me all the things he liked about living in the south. Colin Linden was also on that show. Colin is Canadian but lives in Nashville. So my wife and I came down to Nashville for a week to stay with a friend. We poked around and really started to like the place. People that live in Nashville don’t think it is cheap but believe me, compared to Vancouver; Nashville is a very inexpensive place to live. At that time, the Canadian and US dollars were of equal value. Now the Canadian dollar is tanking and the US dollar is much stronger than it was a year ago. I don’t think we would be able to do the move now.”

Wanting to live in a city that had plenty to offer musically, Dawson has not been disappointed with the live music scene. “One thing that happens when a city gets expensive to live in is that the arts community takes a hit. A lot of artists can’t afford to live in Vancouver anymore, so as a result there is less going on. While Nashville is way smaller physically, there are a hundred times more things going on here. We sold our house and moved here a week later. I searched for, and found, a place that I could live and work in. I didn’t have a job or any leads here. I just like it. Any night of the week there are two or three shows that I want to see. It is pretty cool.”

Dawson set-up a recording studio, which quickly paid dividends as many Canadian musicians have been willing to travel to Nashville to record in addition to getting a chance to soak up some of the history and culture of the famous musical city. Visiting musicians can stay at the house while recording, which certainly helps them feel comfortable. As word has gotten around, local bands are also starting to utilize the studio and Dawson’s experience as a producer.

“Even though it was foreign to me, I was interested in the recording studio from the start. I’d glean what I could from watching the engineers and producers that I worked with in the early days. When I started doing acoustical instrumental music, none of the record labels had any interest in our vision. So I started my own record label, Black Hen Music, twenty years ago so that we could release our stuff. We couldn’t find a producer that we felt we could work with, so I co-produced the project. I experimented in the studio, doing things that I had read about people doing, and working on getting the sound we wanted.”

“From there, friends started asking me to produce their projects, and even though I didn’t fully understand what that meant, I still did it. I got into producing by accident but now I do it all the time. When you are on the road touring, you can spend eight hours a day getting from one gig to the next, setting your stuff up and there is very little music involved. Those two or three hours of the live show are very special but you are only playing music for that little amount of time. When I am here producing, I can work on music ten – twelve hours a day. That feels like what I want to be doing.”

“I still love touring and playing gigs. I used to do five or six week tours but I doubt that I will ever do that again unless some really exceptional circumstances come up. Some of my early projects had success, which led to doing more production work. And I have developed my own style of producing which has appealed to some people. Things are working well for now. I am busy but I also know that I don’t have any job security.”

Going back to the beginning, Dawson got hooked on music listening to records his aunt left lying around. His family wasn’t particularly musical which meant he was on his own to pursue his dream of being a rock guitarist. He took a few lessons as a youngster, none of which took hold as the fledging guitarist had trouble articulating what he wanted to learn. After a sabbatical, he began again in earnest at the age of fourteen, learning finger-style acoustic picking. From Beatles & Rolling Stones records, Dawson quickly discovered Chicago blues and legends like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

“One of my early favorites was a record by Long John Baldry called It Ain’t Easy. I was two or three years old and loved the sound of that recording. Things came full circle when I ended up playing in his band for the last few years of his life. I never stopped digging. I kept going back to the Delta and country blues artists. That was the point where I started collecting 78 rpm records and other stuff. I was able to find a lot obscure and interesting music, including Hawaiian music. It has been a discovery process that included a number of teachers along the way but mostly it was the self-discovery that was most productive for me.”

His first experience in a band can only be called interesting. “It was a bad band because none of us could play. We called ourselves punk rock – all we knew was to turn up the amps until they distorted! I got bored real fast because I wanted to learn how to play. So it became a matter of finding other like-minded people and bands were the vehicle for playing together. There were actually opportunities to play in Vancouver at the time. They were lax about enforcing age requirements, so I was able to start doing club and bar gigs when I was sixteen.”

Eventually Dawson ended up in Boston for a couple of years before heading back to Vancouver, where he started a group called the Spirit Merchants. The band created a heady mix with their love for the sounds of Little Feat and the Allman Brothers Band in addition to ragtime and jug band music. The drummer introduced Dawson to his roommate, a fiddle player from Medicine Hat, Alberta, named Jesse Zubot.

“Jesse is a killer player. He’s become one of the top musician’s in Canada. He is now doing experimental, improvised music. But at that time we were both discovering similar music. We toured Canada & the US with that band, including some folk festivals. That opened up a whole new world that didn’t include sleazy rock clubs. So we started doing some instrumental stuff, sort of Dixie Dregs- inspired stuff, and decided to put out an instrumental album under the name of Zubot & Dawson. Soon we did less playing in bars and switched to small theaters and festivals. That suited me because people were actually listening to the music instead of getting drunk & screaming. It was a lot more gratifying.”

The pair blended a weird variety of musical influences that included bluegrass, blues and Hawaiian into a totally non-commercial sound, yet the band won numerous awards in Canada. They opened shows for Gregg Allman and David Grisman while releasing three albums under the band’s name. They also met Kelly Joe Phelps, who was enjoying plenty of attention. That led to a partnership that has continued over the years, feeding Dawson’s interest for acoustic music. Zubot & Dawson would open the shows before backing Phelps on his sets. They stuck with it for a lengthy period before the grind of life on the road doing one-nighters lost its allure. Since then, Dawson has not had a band, preferring to use different incarnations involving a bass player or a rhythm section. He also plays a number of solo gigs but really enjoys the chance to interact with other musicians.

“I did a record called Telescope, which was all pedal steel guitar music. I was really into that about nine years ago and I put in some very serious time with the instrument. I plan to do another one like that soon. When I first started doing finger picking, I was into Doc Watson, John Fahey & Leo Kottke. I wanted to do a project with one microphone, in a room with no effects – just sitting in front of a mic and playing. I had written some pieces that I felt were worth recording but I could not figure out how to arrange them for a band.”

“I had not heard anything like that for some time. There is plenty of solo acoustic guitar music out there. But the way music has changed and technology has gone, I have a hard time relating to it in any way. When I listen to an old Fahey record, it moves me. It sounds like John is sitting ten feet in front of me. Modern guitar music sounds hyper-real, like my head is stuck inside the guitar where it is really close, loud & kind of aggressive. I wanted to do something with technique but not the flash – something like a gentle Mississippi John Hurt record. That album, Rattlesnake Cage, was nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award in the Best Acoustic Album category. It is a mesmerizing collection that gives listeners an in-depth look at substantial instrumental and composing skills.

Dawson now has credits for appearing on over one hundred recordings either as a musician or as producer. “I don’t know the exact number. I am busy all the time. When I play on someone’s album, it usually only take a day in the studio as opposed to producer which, even if it is a blues project with lots of live-in-the-studio elements, it will take me three weeks to do the album properly. “

Singer and actor Jin Byrnes has enlisted Dawson’s help on six albums. “Jim was originally from St. Louis but has lived in Vancouver for thirty-five years. He is a friend and an amazing singer who has been a big influence on me. We’ve had a lot of great moments over the years. Jim is close friends with John Hammond, so we brought John in on Jim’s last record, St. Louis Times. We crammed six people into my tiny studio in Vancouver that was meant to hold three people. That was memorable.”

“When you make records the way I do, which usually means there is a band playing together in the studio, it is a lot different than a pop record where you do programming, than add some drums and bass, then begin to stack the overdubs. That kind of process doesn’t interest me. I want to be surrounded by musicians so that people are interacting and there is some camaraderie which creates special moments. Hanging out is a big part of making a record.”

Another highlight of his career was a tribute to the Mississippi Sheiks, the famed string band from the early blues era that had many hit records before fading into the mist of time. Dawson conceived the idea on a vacation, leading to phone calls to Jim Byrnes and John Hammond. Getting them on board made it easy to enlist other artists like the North Mississippi Allstars, Geoff Muldaur, Bruce Cockburn, and Van Dyke Parks. “It was a colossal amount of work. I never made any money on it. It gave me the chance to collaborate with a lot of artists. The Olympics were in Vancouver the next year. I was approached by someone about doing a concert for the project, which could never happen in the real world. But there was a bunch of money being thrown around at that time, so we were able to fly lots of people in for a concert that was recorded and released on a DVD. It became a lot more than I ever dreamed of.”

As a studio musician, Dawson has been able to observe producers operating in a variety of recording environments. He knows that the producer’s role changes with each project.

“At the end of the day, the producer is responsible for the way the album sounds and the way it feels to people. That is the job. Some producers don’t have any technical skills. They set a mood and get you in the right state of mind. That was common back in the day. Now, because budgets are lower, artists expect the producer to have technical skills so they don’t have to hire a second engineer. As a player, my preference is to get my hands dirty, to be in the room with the band, no headphones, being able to communicate without the pane of glass. For me, it is about the feel and generating a community within the players. I can feel that better when I am a part of it rather than just observing it.”

To see the video of Steve’s performance at the 2014 Blues Blast Music Awards CLICK HERE.

Visit Steve’s website at

Photos by Mike Latschislaw as marked © 2015

Reviewer Mark Thompson lives in Florida, where he is enjoying life without snow. He is a member 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!.

 Featured Blues Review – 2 of 5 

Steve Lury & Andres Roots – Live In Lerwick

Roots Art Records

10 songs time-49:28

English harmonica player-singer Steve Lury, Estonian slide guitarist Andres Roots and Estonian bassist Peeter Piik perform a live set recorded at The Shetland Blues Festival in the UK. Scottish drummer Paul Archibald joins in for the final three songs. The combination of Steve’s harmonica prowess and Andres’ fluid amplified acoustic slide guitar along with Peeter’s anchoring bass lines create a modern day country blues effect. Steve’s vocals are more akin to talking, but the lively music bolsters the performance. All but one song are mostly familiar tunes from various blues icons. The interpretations stay quite close to the originals, but the lively interplay of harp and slide add a freshness to the proceedings.

The band’s familiarity with their instruments is readily apparent as they make it sound so easy on the lead-off track, Junior Wells’ “Tomorrow Night”. Rice Miller’s “Born Blind”, usually called “Eyesight To The Blind”, finds the dynamic duo trading off licks while the ever steady bass maintains the beat. United Kingdom town references personalize Tampa Red’s “Rambler’s Blues” that benefits from a rollicking groove.

The sole original song is an instrumental written by Andres entitled “Build Me A Statue” that he lends a lonesome tone to with his excellent slide technique that plays well off the equally lonesome sounding harmonica. Some way wicked slide is all over Robert Jr. Lockwood’s “Take A Little Walk With Me”. At one point the two play some neat tandem notes. The longest song here clocking in at 7:06, Charles Brown’s classic “Driftin’ Blues” gives the guys to stretch out a bit. Speaking of classics, Robert Johnson’s “Walkin’ Blues” receives some sinewy slide guitar goodness.

The last three songs are associated with Muddy Waters as a tribute to the great man. Drummer Paul Archibald pops up to compliment the trio for these three. “Gone To Main Street” takes off like a shot. Screaming Banshee slide battles it out with equally intense harp playing. A nice reading of “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” follows. Bringing up the rear is Memphis Minnie’s “What’s The Matter With The Mill”, a song associated with Muddy. Steve says they had to learn this tune quickly, but you surely can’t tell as they are just as sharp here as everywhere else on the CD.

This international gathering of blues loving players will be hard for you to resist many repeated visits to your CD player. They are as tight as a bull’s posterior. I guarantee you many hours of enjoyment from this fine recording. Although most of these songs are readily recognizable to blues lovers, the performances stand on their own merit.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

 Featured Festival Review – Tampa Bay Blues Festival 

The Tampa Bay Blues Festival – April 10 – 12, 2015

Friday – In glorious weather the Brandon Santini Band kicked off the festival with a solid set of blues and boogie. Supporting Brandon’s harp and vocal work were birthday boy Nick Hern on bass, David Green on drums and Timo Arthur on guitar. The band took a detour to New Orleans with the help of trumpeter Nick Sperry and Gracie Curran was also on hand to add vocals to one number.

“Greetings from Tennessee” said Denise LaSalle who remained seated through the one hour show but was in good form vocally as she and her 6 piece band gave the crowd some of Denise’s ‘greatest hits’ including “Trapped By A Thing Called Love”, “My Toot-Toot” and several risqué monologues.

John Nemeth tore up the stage with a set including several songs from his BMA nominated “Memphis Grease” release. Joining him were Danny Banks on drums, Matthew Wilson on bass and guitarist Johnny Rhoades, who was making his début with the band. John’s soul-inflected vocals, fine harp playing and strong songs in the soul-blues vein provided a definite highlight in a strong day’s line-up.

Rod Piazza And The Mighty Flyers are frequent and popular visitors to the festival and did not disappoint their fans with an excellent set featuring several cuts from their recent “Emergency Situation” CD. Rod has re-introduced a bass player to the band. Norm Gonzales’ playing gave greater freedom to Honey Piazza to dazzle us with her boogie playing. Rod was on good form on harp and vocals and guitarist Henry Carvajal and drummer Dave Kida were both featured.

Oakland, CA based Tower Of Power were making one of their infrequent visits to the East Coast and rewarded the crowd with a strong set of the best of their big band soul music. Ray Greene was excellent on lead vocals and found time to play some trombone between vocal shifts. Founding members of the band Emilio Castillo (tenor sax, vocals) and Stephen ‘Doc’ Kupka (baritone) were joined in the horn section by Tom Politzer (lead tenor), Adolfo Acosta and Sal Cracchiolo on trumpets, with Jerry Cortez on guitar, Roger Smith on keys, Francis Rocco Prestia on bass and Herman Matthews on drums.

Saturday – Friday had featured a lot of fine harp players but Saturday focused on guitars. First up Bernard Allison brought his brand of funky blues which included plenty of wah-wah on high energy versions of “Rocket 88”, Hendrix and songs written by his father, Luther. Supporting Bernard were George Moye on bass, Mario Dawson on drums and Mark ‘Muggie’ Leach on keys.

Carolyn Wonderland from Texas had a more country-influenced guitar style, playing some lap steel as well as her Telecaster. Her set included several songs from her last album “Peace Meal” as well as looking forward to an upcoming live set. Carolyn’s strong vocals received excellent support from Cole El-Saleh on keys and bass and Kevin Lance on drums.

Tab Benoit’s set ranged across his whole album history, including “Nice And Warm”, his first recording. The high energy set had the dancers up from the start as Tab offered plenty of his trademark Cajun-influenced blues. Tab’s long-standing rhythm section of Corey Duplechin on bass and Doug Belote on drums followed him at every turn.

The very large crowd were delighted to see the great Ronnie Earl who does not often play away from his New England base. Ronnie’s very clean and emotional guitar fitted wonderfully with his long-serving band: Dave Limina on keys, Jimmy Mouradian on bass and Lorne Entess on drums. Also joining Ronnie on stage for a few numbers were fellow guitarists Nicholas Tabarias and Willie Lomax.

Boz Scaggs closed the day with a large band that included sax, keys, second guitarist, bass, drums and a backing vocalist. Boz included a range of blues and rock influences as well as revisiting some of his greatest hits. Unfortunately Boz had requested no close up photographs, so no images are available for this review.

Sunday – Sunday was the first time that the festival had put on an all-Florida day. Local heroine Betty Fox had scored a place in the IBC finals in January and opened the day with her strong, gospel influenced vocals, including Etta James and Aretha Franklin, blended with songs from an upcoming new album. Betty’s band included Kid Royal on guitar, Chuck Riley on bass and Sam Farmer on drums.

Fort Lauderdale’s Albert Castiglia opened with an exciting version of “Walkin’ Blues”, marking the first appearance of slide guitar over the weekend! Albert produced a fine set with plenty of selections from his “Solid Ground” CD, including a beautiful version of Sean Costello’s “Have You No Shame”. Ably backing Albert were former Trampled Under Foot drummer Kris Schnebelen and bassist Matt Schuler.

Bryan Lee, “The Braille Blues Daddy” who was a mainstay of New Orleans for many years, is now based in Florida. Backed by the always swinging Doug Deming And The Jewel Tones, Bryan remained seated and produced a great set of classic blues and R n’ B with, not surprisingly, a detour to New Orleans that included the distribution of Mardi Gras beads from Bryan and Doug’s wives! The band was Doug on guitar and vocals, Andrew Gohman on bass, Devin Neel on drums, Madison Slim on harp and Bryan Lee on guitar and vocals. An extra treat was the guest appearances of Ronnie Earl and Albert Castiglia who joined the band to give the crowd a terrific version of Guitar Slim’s “The Things I Used To Do” – four guitars together!

The Lee Boys brought their mix of funk and sacred steel music to the stage and certainly had the dancers in action in a very loud, rhythmic set. Brothers Alvin (guitar), Derrick and Keith (vocals) and nephew Roosevelt Collier on pedal steel were supported by a rhythm section whose names unfortunately we did not catch. More guest spots here with IBC winner Selwyn Birchwood and Albert Castiglia joining in with the band for versions of “Stormy Monday” and “Voodoo Chile” respectively.

To close the day we had the Florida supergroup of Southern Hospitality: Victor Wainwright (keys and vocals), Damon Fowler (guitar, lap steel and vocals), JP Soars (guitar and vocals), Chris Peet (drums), Matt Walker (bass) and Nick Black (percussion and backing vocals). The band played a superb set of varied music drawn mainly from their “Southern Living” album (a Blues Blast Award winner in 2013 for New Artist Debut Release) that included blues, country, reggae, flamenco and boogie woogie – and that was just in the first three numbers! Obviously keen to join in the fun once more Ronnie Earl sat in for a splendid version of “Fried Neckbones And Home Fries” and another local guitarist Sean Chambers added his skills to the final number to once again provide a four guitar line-up to close out a great weekend of music at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival.

Photos by John Mitchell, Rick Lewis and Mark Thompson as marked © 2015

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 – 3 of 5 

Dave Sadler – Matchbox

BluezArt Records

10 songs – 40 minutes

Singer and guitarist Dave Sadler was raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, a town that was also home to blues legends Big Bill Broonzy and Cedell Davis. Sadler himself is aspiring to the same high standards as his forebears, as evidenced by his new album, Matchbox, a solid collection of 10 hard-hitting, guitar-centric modern blues and blues-rock songs.

Matchbox comprises five original tracks, written by Sadler himself, and five well-known covers. The covers are a fair reflection of Sadler’s approach to the music. Kicking off with rocky version of Koko Taylor’s “I Got All You Need”, the horns on the original are replaced by Sadler’s over-driven rhythm guitar with over-dubbed lead guitar featuring a series of artificial harmonics suggestive of something ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons might play. It’s a cracking start to the album. Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox” is played as a mid-paced shuffle with Duane Allman-esque slide guitar and a stop-chorus that hints of Elmore James’ “I Can’t Hold Out”. The Meters’ “Cissy Strut” has an extended, jazzy opening before the classic instrumental lick arrives, doubled by the guitar and the bass. “People Get Ready” is given an instrumental treatment and “Killing Floor” is played pretty straight, although with a rockier edge than the Wolf’s original, particularly in the use of artificial harmonics again. None of the covers is played identically to the original. Sadler respects the originals but he is not afraid to re-interpret them or take them in a different direction. As a result, he successfully breathes new life into each track.

Sadler’s own songs fit well with the covers. “Junior’s Jam” is a driving instrumental based on a riff not dissimilar to “Born In Chicago” over which Sadler cleverly lays an sliding chord melody. It provides Sadler the opportunity to stretch out on guitar for three minutes, which he does with impressive energy and intensity. His other instrumental, “Fourth Street Ruckus”, is an upbeat, swinging horn-driven beauty of a song, with lovely harp from Roly Platt. “Satisfaction Guaranteed” is a mid-paced, funky track, with excellent fluttering harmonica from Sadler himself. “You Put Me Out” is a flat-out rock’n’roller with roaring slide guitar and uncredited piano and organ to the fore. “You Should’a Known” also displays funky blues influences with wry lyrics explaining to a woman how his attempts to impress were consistently being foiled: “I found my old suit, I did my best. I went down to Walmart to buy you that dress. Told your little brother, that he couldn’t tag along. Got a table for two at Susie Wong’s. You should have known, known, known, known, you should have known.”

Sadler is a fine singer and guitar player and he receives solid, swinging support throughout from a variety of musicians, including Jim McCarty, Frank Biggs, Jesse Rocha and Mel Sarreal (drums), Randy Landas, Dave Grant and James Ryan (bass), Marvin Taylor (drums, bass and guitar), Pat Murdoch (guitar), Phil Clark (organ) and Dan Cipriano (horns).

Matchbox is a highly enjoyable collection of modern electric blues, centred around Sadler’s muscular guitar playing. Warmly recommended.

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 – 4 of 5 

TG and the Swampbusters – Swamp Tooth Comb

Booze Records

9 tracks

Hamilton, Ontario’s Tim Gibbons is an eclectic roots artist. He is an experienced and accomplished musician who has worked on a variety of projects and styles, but roots music is his forte. On this CD he has shifted from banjo as his primary instrument to the electric guitar. He takes a bayou approach to his music and there is a distinct swampy-ness to his approach that belies his Canadian roots. Tim Gibbons leads the band and is joined by Swampy Joe Klienfeltr on bass and Patch on drums for this CD of nine original cuts.

The sound is very much out of the bayou. On the vocals Tim takes a gritty and almost minimalist approach. The guitar work is also not over the top; it blends with the overall sound, a slow delta sort of groove. Even when there is a big solo one can sense restraint- there is no desire or need for over the top histrionics. Laid back and cool seems to be their mantra.

“Bayou Preacher” opens the set. Gibbons begins to pick a little and lets out a groan before the guitar and greasy harp (no credits anywhere for the harp but it must be Gibbons as he plays a plethora of instruments) come in. A gutsy vocal begins and it sets the hook. An impressive opening cut. “Who Wants To Dance w/an Old Ding Dong?” is a slick little boogie. Gibbons wails and whines while picking out the lead on his guitar. The harp interplays with the guitar as Gibbons lets it a bit loose; the restraint is still evident. Next up is “Hey Poor Boy Hey” where TG bemoans being a poor boy. “The Brooder” opens with nice guitar licks. I was waiting for Gibbons to go off but he remained in line and this country rocker with a deep bass line just grooves along. My head was bobbing all the way through. “Country Side of Town” begins with a deep bass line with a little guitar laid over it. Gibbons gets into the first verse and chorus as we visit his country side of town. The tune builds as the drums and guitar sound gradually increase their presence. It’s a slow country rocker with a bluesy overtone.

“Cornpone” is the story of a young country boy who works by day and pleases the ladies by night. The swamp groove and harp are done well and Gibbons vocals are solid. “Hot Money” follows. Showing restraint, we have more of that half-baked swamp country sound with nice harp and guitar again. Next we have “Play Me Some Blues & Keep It Country” where Gibbons gives us some straight up, laid back blues. He closes with “The Bone of Contention;” it’s sort of “Dire Straits visit the swamp” in it’s approach. Another good cut, demonstrating Gibbons approach and roots. My only bone of contention with this album is that the tempo and tone of all the songs is the same. It’s not slow, it’s not fast, it’s unhurried and it does not vary in tempo and mood very much. That is the lone fault I see. I liked all the songs and TG and the Swampbusters are a cool band. I just wish they’d have let it all hang out on a couple of tunes. The slow songs are close to the fast one in tempo, so you kind of feel that the groove starts with the first song and ends with the last one.

Despite that complaint, this is a solid record. Musically, Tim Gibbons has the country bayou blues sound down, giving authentic and convincing performances. The back line offers the same restraint in their approach as Gibbons and compliment well what Gibbons is leading with. If you like music from the bayou, this one with a Canadian twist will interest you. Get you alligator head out and groove to the beat!

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 reer 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 – 5 of 5 

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – So Delicious!

Yazoo Records

12 tracks

Hailing from Brown County, Indiana, Reverend Peyton blends blues, country, ragtime and Americana with rock and punk into a hell-raising mix of finger picking fun. In this, his 5th record release and first on Yazoo, Reverend Peyton savors being recorded on his favorite record label of his youth. Featuring Breezy Peyton on washboard, percussion and supporting vocals and Ben Bussell on drum, buckets, percussion and supporting vocals, Rev. Peyton claims, “Yazoo was my favorite record label growing up. For fans of old country blues and all manner of early American music, they are the quintessential label. And for me, it’s like being on the same label as Charley Patton and ‘Mississippi’ John Hurt. To think that Yazoo believes we are authentic enough to stand with the other people in their catalog means a lot.” It’s all original hillbilly country blues from the down home Delta and it’s damn fun stuff!

“Let’s Jump a Train” is a primal sort of song with a driving beat. The big guitar and percussion give it a very RL Burnside sound. Reverend Peyton’s vocals are over the top and unique, well suited to his songs. “Pot Roast and Kisses” is a cute little tune of food and love, “So delicious,’ as the song tells us. “Dirt” follows, and it is an angry tune for the working class. Peyton tells the dirt comes off the hands of the working man with a little Lava soap but the dirt on the smooth hands of the high and mighty who look down on the working class can’t be washed off. This is country blues rocking with a poignant message. The slide comes out full throttle in “Raise a Little Hell” and the Rev throws in his Raise a Little Hell Children’s Choir to back him. “Work real hard from 7 to 11 gotta raise a little hell if you wanna go to Heaven,” seems like at least fun if not good advice. Mixing drill instructor and RL Burnside, the song smokes along nicely. “Scream at the Night” shifts gears with a simple and airy acoustic guitar opening with a little harmonica thrown in. Peyton first warns us of the dangers of long commutes and working too hard. He then notes we don’t need another love song, but that we need a fight song. He also bemoans the terrible state of the pop music industry, taking a Dylan-esque stance in revolting against the establishment.

The big Sirius XM radio blues hit for Reverend Peyton has been “Hell Naw” and it is the next track on the CD. Hillbilly, country blues (more country than blues but still cool) with social commentary and an attitude. Very cool stuff in my humble opinion. One lie of the song sums up what’s bugging the Rev: “Phones are smart, the people are dumb.” He picks out some great licks and blows some mean harp here, too. Sliding at 100 mph, we get into “Front Porch Trained” where we find out how Reverend Peyton got good at what he does. He didn’t go to school or sell his soul, he spent a lot of time in the woodshed and was front porch trained. Great slide and slick prercussion. “Picking Paw Paws” is a gentler and kinder Peyton, asking his woman to go pick some flowers with him as he takes a little break. It does not last long as he opens the throttle again on “We Live Dangerous.” There is lots more slick picking and a throbbing beat. “You’re Not Rich” slows it down with sweet sounding layers of Peyton’s guitars as he sings this angry ballad. Reverend Peyton wraps it all up with “Music and Friends.” He tells is he “just wants to make music and friends,” ending the album on an uplifting note. By the way, the Brown County All-Star Choir backs the Rev for this cut.

Suffice it to say this is not mainstream, modern rocking blues nor is it straight up Delta blues. Peyton is a great finger picking guitar player and the band provides an old-time sound without seeming fake or unoriginal. I found this album to be really entertaining and a lot of fun. I have to admit I had some tredipation when I first spun the CD, but it quickly dissipated and I started to love it. These guys are touring the festival circuit this summer and I hope I get a chance to see them. It’s well worth a listen!

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 reer 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.

 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.

Crossroads Blues Society – Byron, IL

Crossroads Blues Society and the Byron Park District have scheduled FREE Sunday Blues in the Park shows in Blackhawk Meadows Park in Byron from 3 to 6 PM. June 14th – Doug MacLeod and Dan Phelps, July 26th – Jimmy Nick and Don’t Tell Mama, August 23rd – Bobby Messano.

Crossroads also hosts blues shows on the second Saturday of each month at the Hope and Anchor, an English Pub in Loves Park, IL from 8 PM to midnight. May 9th – The Jimmys, the Generation Blues Experience with Justin Gates, Macyn Taylor, Dan Phelps, Steve Ditzell and Barstool Bob Levis. July 11th – Altered Five, August 8th the New Savages. $5 cover after 7 PM.

The Friday Fish Fries at the Lyran Club on 4th Ave in Rockford also continue. May 1st – Dave Fields, June 5th – Ron Holm, Bob Levis and Justin Gates, the Kryptonite Blues Jams leaders, July 3rd – Collins-Grayless Band, August 7th – the New Savages. Free shows, plus a fish fry and steak dinner are available!

First Sunday’s in June through August Crossroads has Free blues at All Saints Lutheran Church from 4 to 6 PM. Dan Phelps (June 7), Macyn Tylor (July 5) ad Justin Boots Gates (August 2); a free will donation for the local food bank, will be accepted.

The 6th Crossroads Blues Festival at Lyran Park is Saturday, August 29th. Featuring Albert Castiglia, Dave Specter with Sharon Lewis, the Mike Wheeler Band, Stormcellar with Jo Fitzgerald, and Jimmy Nick and Don’t Tell Mama $5 advanced tickets. for more info and tickets.

Central Mississippi Blues Society – Jackson, MS

The Central Mississippi Blues Society hosts Blue Monday every Monday night at Hal & Mal’s in downtown Jackson. Blue Monday features a Front Porch segment starting at 7:15 PM, followed by a set by the Blue Monday Band featuring King Edward Antoine on guitar. Blue Monday is an open jam, with visiting performers drawn locally and internationally.

For more information visit or Email: or visit Facebook:

The Detroit Blues Society – Detroit, MI

The Detroit Blues Heritage Series will present a tribute to Eddie “Guitar” Burns hosted by Carlton Washington and many others. This event will take place at the Scarab Club (217 Farnsworth in Detroit Michigan) on Saturday May 9,2015 from 2 PM until 4:30 PM.

(Wikipedia) Eddie “Guitar” Burns (February 8, 1928 – December 12, 2012) was an American Detroit blues guitarist, harmonica player, singer and songwriter. His career spanned seven decades, and in terms of Detroit bluesmen, Burns was deemed second only in stature to John Lee Hooker. Special Guest for this event will include Carlton Washington, Little Sonny (Aaron Willis ) and Billy Davis, as well as, other artists TBD. Admission is a $5 Donation/ For more info visit The Detroit Blues Society at: or email

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society – Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society, Central Iowa Blues Society, Southeast Iowa Blues Society, and South Skunk Blues Society present the 2015 Iowa Blues Challenge.

The Final Round of the IBC will be held in Des Moines, IA on May 16, but first each solo/duo and band, made up primarily of Iowa based musicians, must surmount a Preliminary Round. The Mississippi Valley Blues Society Preliminary Round of the IBC will be held at the River Music Experience, 129 N. Main Street, Davenport, IA on Sunday, April 26 starting at 5:00 pm. Three (3) bands and three (3) solo/duo acts will be competing with only one (1) solo/duo act and one (1) band moving on to the final round in Des Moines.

The 2015 Mississippi Valley Blues Society Preliminary Round participants are: Down the Drain (Band) 5:00pm, Dan Peart (Solo/Duo) 5:45pm, Zach Harris Band (Band) 6:20pm, Myers Brothers (Solo/Duo) 7:05pm, Concreteslim & the Sidewalks (Band) 7:40pm, Rowdy Rooster (Solo/Duo) 8:25pm. Admission price is $8 for Blues Society members and $10 for non-members.

Also come to the Mississippi Valley Blues Society’s Festival Fundraiser on Sunday May 3 at the Redstone Room in the River Music Experience, 2nd and Main Streets, Davenport IA. Doors open at 1:30 for a silent auction and raffles, with music from 2:00 until 9:00 p.m.

In addition to a silent auction featuring memorabilia such as signed posters, there will be raffles throughout the day and MVBS merchandise for sale. Seven musical acts have donated their performances for the cause, many of them former Iowa Blues Challenge winners. Music will be provided by: Ellis Kell-2:15-2:45, Larry Davidson and Charlie Hayes-3:00-3:45, Joe and Vicki Price-4:00-4:45, Detroit Larry with Blues Rockit-5:00-5:45, Mercury Brothers-6:00-6:45, Hal Reed and Blues Journey-7:00-7:45 and The Candymakers-8:00-8:45. Admission is only $15. Proceeds go to the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival scheduled for September 5 and 6 in LeClaire Park, Davenport. For more info visit

Central Iowa Blues Society – Des Moines, IA

Iowa Blues Challenge FINALS will be held at the Downtown Marriott in Des Moines on Saturday, May 16 at 6:30 PM. Admission is $10 with a $2 discount for current Iowa Blues Society members with card. For more information and band bios go to

Friends of the Blues – Kankakee IL area

The Friends of the Blues announce their 2015 Concert Series. All shows start at 7 pm. May 12 – Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat – Kankakee Valley Boat Club – Kankakee IL, May 21, The Ori Naftaly Band – Moose Lodge – Bradley IL, June 9 – Frank Bang & Secret Stash – Moose Lodge – Bradley IL, June 23 – Victor Wainwright – Moose Lodge – Bradley IL, July 7 – Brent Johnson & Call Up with Sugarcane Collins – The Longbranch – L’Erable IL, July 21 – Nick Moss Band with Chicago Blues Angels – The Longbranch – L’Erable IL, July 30 – Studebaker John & Hawks – Kankakee Valley Boat Club – Kankakee IL, August 5 – Damon Fowler Band – Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club – Bourbonnais IL, August 18 – Too Slim and Taildraggers with Polly O’Keary and Rhythm Method The Longbranch – L’Erable IL, August 27 – Albert Castiglia with Maybe Later – The Longbranch – L’Erable IL

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. May 4 – Bex Marshall , May 11 – Jim Suhler, May 18 – Brother Jefferson, May 25 – The MojoCats, June 1 – Kilborn Alley, June 8 – Ghost Town Blues Band, June 15 – Dennis Gruenling & Doug Deming, June 22 – The Daddy Mack Blues Band, June 29 – Brandon Santini, July 6 – Laurie Morvan.

Additional ICBC shows: May 7 James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6-9 pm, May 16 ICBC Jam & Fundraiser @ Casey’s Pub. Host band The MojoCats, 7 pm, May 21 James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6-9 pm, June 4 James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6-9 pm, June 18 James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6-9 pm

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

Blues Overdose 4/30/2015 – These free tracks are available for 30 days. More info below.

Download Instructions

1.) Click the link below where it says “Click HERE to download” just after any of the artist descriptions below. (You only need to do this once as all the tracks are there!)

2.) The link will take you to the Blues Blast Magazine page on at

3.) On The Blues Overdose Page click the on any artist to listen to the song. You do NOT have to join to listen or download these tracks!

4.) To automatically download the artists song click on the download icon

Darren Watson

“Slow Cooker” from the album Introducing Darren Watson

Darren Watson is one of New Zealand’s finest rhythm & blues artists. He’s been plying his trade in the land of the Kiwi for 25 years or so clocking up multiple NZ Music Award nominations, and opening for just about every international blues-based act to tour NZ along the way. He won the blues section of the International Songwriting Competition in 2008, and recently had a song about his country’s leader banned from sale and airplay after reaching #5 on the NZ Top 20 Singles Chart. He is currently in the middle of a very public High Court battle over the song’s status. (Yep, no First Amendment in NZ, folks!) The track featured here is considerably less contentious. It’s all original Kiwi grease and comes from his latest album Introducing Darren Watson.

More information at

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

Eight O’Five Jive

“Young Enough To Be My Son” from the album Too Many Men

© 2014 Lee Shropshire (Red Rudy Too Tunes). All rights reserved.

Eight O’Five Jive has enough energy to power a small fleet of ’57 Cadillacs with their driving sound of swingin’ blues and early rock ’n’ roll. From the classic era of the late 1940s to the late 1950s, jump jive defined an exciting era of music and dance. Eight O’Five Jive’s debut album, Too Many Men, builds on some of the best jump blues music of the past and moves it forward into the future. One of the album’s two original cuts, “Young Enough To Be My Son” (written by lead singer Lee Shropshire and based on a true story) is not only the featured video from the album, but also one of the “plot points” that make Too Many Men a virtual “Jump Operetta,” telling the tale of a woman’s odyssey from bad love to good, with misadventures along the way.

For more info visit

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

Tomislav Goluban

“Gambler’s Blues” from the album Blow Junkie © 2014 Menart/Spona. All rights reserved.

Tomislav Goluban, blues musician from Croatia, composer, harmonica player and a singer, released his new album titled „Blow Junkie“ at the end of December 2014. His latest , 6th album, houses 16 pieces of high-power blues, stripped to four instruments: harmonica, guitar, bass and drums. On the album, harp plays the leading role and the old blues mantra “less is more” is well established here. The first single “Gambler’s Blues” also got nice, funny video.

For more info visit

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

The King Biscuit Boys

“If You Want Loyalty, Buy A Dog!” from the album All In A Days Work

The King Biscuit Boys feel as though the dynamics and energy can be lost through over dubbing and trying to make it too slick. They wanted to show people what they were like if they booked, or came to see The King Biscuit Boys playing live.

An unusual couple in that Craig is in his early 20’s while Jonathan is nearly 30 years older. It has been said by a reviewer that “they have that rarest of things, chemistry. The musical empathy they so clearly share is hard to resist and only ever serves the material in a beneficial way”. It was like a modern field trip recording. We think of this as Country blues for today. We think this song would suit George Thorogood.

For more info visit

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

Mary Lane

“Ride in Your Automobile” from the album Angels Sing the Blues

This CD was recorded in Chicago in concert in March 2007 with 3 studio tracks added from March 2013. 16 songs by 3 generations of Chicago blues divas – Liz Mandeville, Mary Lane and Shirley Johnson, backed by show band Johnny Drummer and the Starliters. The enthusiastic audience and executive producers were professionals in the field of gerontology. For many in the enthusiastic audience, this was their first experience at an authentic blues nightclub.

Blues Divas Shirley Johnson, Mary Lane and Liz Mandeville with Johnny Drummer and the Starliters gettin’ down in concert doing a funky batch of uptempo and slow blues with an attitude, Chicago style.

For more info visit and

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

Visit our website at:

P.O. Box 721 Pekin, Illinois 61555     © 2015 Blues Blast Magazine (309) 267-4425

Please follow and like us: