Issue 9-28 July 9, 2015

Cover photo by Bob Kieser © 2015 Blues Blast Magazine

  In This Issue 

Terry Mullins has our feature interview with British Bluesman Ian Siegal. We have Part 1 of the photos from the Chicago Blues Festival. We have 7 Blues reviews for you this week including music from The Duo-Sonics, J.B.Hutto and his Hawks, Nancy Wright, Laura Cheadle, JeConte, Keith Thompson Band and Delta Moon.

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

 From The Editor’s Desk 

Hey Blues Fans,

If you live in the eastern part of the US you have a couple great choices for some hot Blues this weekend. Our friends at the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland, ME have a great lineup for you.
Saturday they feature James Cotton, Tommy Castro, Eddie Shaw & The Wolfgang and Doug Deming with Dennis Gruenling and the Jewel Tones.

Sunday they have Marcia Ball, Rod Piazza, Nick Moss Band, The Peterson Brothers and Dexter Allen. Sure to be a great time! For tickets and complete info visit or just click on their ad below.

Also a bit farther south on the east coast this weekend is the Briggs Farm Blues Fest. This great event is held on a farm with lots of camping space in Nescopeck, PA and features Devon Allman Band, Teeny Tucker, Alexis P. Suter, Jimmy “Duck: Holmes and Terry “Harmonica” Bean on Friday plus Danielle Nicole Band, Mike Zito and The Wheel and Slam Allen Band on Saturday. For complete info visit or click on their ad below.

Also, remember next Wednesday the voting for the 2015 Blues Blast Music Awards begins. So be sure to visit our website at and vote for your favorite artists.

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!

Bob Kieser

 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 7 

The Duo-Sonics – N URTOWN

Topsy Records

12 tracks/39:38

The Duo-Sonics are led by two veteran musicians based in Oklahoma, guitarist Bobby Parker and David Berntson on harmonica. Both men have more than thirty-five years of experience in addition to being very active in presenting blues in area schools. Berntson’s efforts were recognized in 2006 when the Blues Foundation named him the recipient of a Keeping The Blues Alive Award for Education.

Their latest release, nominated for a 2015 Blues Blast Music Award award for Acoustic Blues Album, is a delightful mix of refashioned covers and several intriguing original songs. Their unconventional opener is a brief, lightly swinging Parker instrumental, “The Purple Cat,” with a hint of the tango featuring “Ice Pick Walt” Gibson on upright bass and Damon Daniels on percussion. A cover of “Early In The Morning” sports a rolling beat from Robbie Armstrong behind Berntson’s understated vocal. The temperatures rise on the Berry-esque rocker, “She’s Good To Me,” with both leaders delivering well-played solos on their respective instruments.

Parker gets to stretch out on another original instrumental entitled “Side Pocket”. Berntson uses his Hohner chromatic harp to add flavoring while Casey Van Beck on bass anchors the rhythm. Al Jolson’s “Back In Your Own Backyard” is just the duo with Parker riffing with gusto behind Berntson’s mellow vocal. He switches to a resonator guitar on “She Keeps Me Laughing,” adding a convincing lead vocal. With Parker playing a tough, hypnotic guitar line and Berntson blowing some full-bodied harp tones, “Love Me One More Once” never strays from the tight groove.

Another strong duo performance occurs on Little Walter’s “Can’t Hold Out Much Longer”. Berntson’s harp creates an appropriately forlorn backdrop for Parker’s subdued vocal. The guitarist also demonstrates his deep understanding of the Delta guitar style. “I’m Walkin’” is taken at a carefree pace with the focus on the vocal harmonizing by the co-leaders. Berntson’s original, “Clothes Make The Man,” provides him with extended blowing time, and he makes every second count.

They pay homage to Jimmy Reed on “The Sun Is Shining,” the rhythm section providing the lazy shuffle pattern while Berntson pulls high, reedy notes out of his harp. To close out the program, they return to the duo format for an intimate rendition of Jimmy Roger’s “Money, Marbles, and Chalk”. They hold your interest for six minutes, Parker’s guitar echoing his gripping vocal while Berntson underscores Parker’s efforts with several well-placed bursts of amplified harp.

Parker and Berntson definitely know their stuff. Using a relaxed, thoughtful approach mixed with a variety of styles, their release is a welcome relief from the avalanche of product filled with screaming vocals and instruments. If you favor good, old-fashion music-making, this one will bring you plenty of enjoyment.

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 Interview – Ian Siegal 

When he talks, it’s a dead giveaway that he’s from near Portsmouth (population 205,400), on the south coast of England.

But when Ian Siegal sings the blues and plays guitar, one would swear that the Englishman hailed from near Potts Camp (population 494), deep in the heart of Marshall County, Mississippi.

So just how does Siegal – who now calls Amsterdam (the Venice of the North) home – pull off that impressive feat?

“Well, I guess it’s just that I’ve really immersed myself in that (Hill Country) music. It’s just part of the furniture in my head and I just love it so much,” Siegal recently said just an hour or so removed from exiting a studio session for his latest release. “It’s nice to know that I can fit in with guys over there who truly come from that culture. I guess in a way, it’s my tribute to that. I would never pretend to come from there (Mississippi), but it’s an intrinsic part of my musical background and hopefully I’m appreciating it in the proper way.”

He may not be a household name in the lexicon of the blues cognoscente, but Ian Siegal is no new kid on the block, having authored 10 albums of rich, roots-related music in the past decade.

And while he’s became musical contemporaries and runnin’ pardners with a who’s-who of the Hill Country circuit – cats like Jimbo Mathus, Luther and Cody Dickinson, Alvin Youngblood Hart and members of the Burnside and Kimbrough families, Siegal isn’t content to just try and turn in a paint-by-numbers rendition of the music those guys grew up around. Rather, he’s simply flavored his own Chess-styled blues with bits and pieces of the Mississippi Delta and flourishes of other Americana, resulting in a sound that occupies its own sonic space.

Siegal is also about as prolific an artist as one will find these days, having issued three projects in a shade over a year-and-a-half. Those are three projects that speak volumes about his versatility and eagerness to avoid repeating the same old formula over and over.

The Picnic Sessions (Nugene Records) sounds just like the title suggests – back-porch pickin’ on a Sunday afternoon, miles removed from the nearest sign of civilization.

One Night in Amsterdam is the full-blown modern electric blues, with Siegal backed up by a white-hot band of hungry youngsters.

And at the opposite end of the spectrum is Man & Guitar, a set of acoustic tunes that Siegal recorded by his lonesome at famed Royal Albert Hall.

In other words, if you’re looking for predictability, you definitely shouldn’t cast your gaze in Siegal’s direction.

“I don’t really think about it much, and none of those things were particularly planned to come out the way they did … they weren’t terribly conscious … that’s just the way they happened. They’re all just different colors and different flavors, but they’re all inter-connected, of course,” he said. “I’m such a big fan of so many different musical styles that I find it easy to slip into things like that. That’s one of the similarities between myself and Jimbo and Luther and Cody and Alvin. I mean, Alvin can go out and play ’70s British rock music – that’s what he loves – but then he can also go out and play Charley Patton. I think there’s a lot of people like us that have different hats they can wear with equal aplomb.”

As if that’s not been enough to keep Siegal – who may very be the Energizer Bunny of the blues, busy – he also spent a few months late last year traipsing around the United Kingdom with his good buddy Jimbo Mathus (the un-offical Mayor of Como, Mississippi) in tow. While it may not have been Gulliver’s Travels, the pairing of Siegal and Mathus roaming freely together across the countryside must have made for some astonishing tall tales that are sure to work their way into the fabric of legend.

“It was a nightmare from start to finish. He’s (Mathus) miserable and doesn’t talk,” laughed Siegal. “No, really it was great. We had an absolute blast; certainly the most enjoyable tour I’ve ever done, without any real effort on our part to rehearse. We had the luxury of having a tour manager/driver, which made it so great for us, because we could just relax and tell stupid stories. It was honestly a laugh-a-minute, it really was. The audiences just loved Jimbo. We had such a good time and people really seemed to enjoy it – it just worked.”

Much like Siegal, it seems like Mathus has always been on the precipice of mainstream success, and with any luck, both of them will get their just deserts from the blues community in the near future.

“I think he’s (Mathus) finally getting more attention. Not as much as he deserves, but it seems like things are improving,” Siegal said. “I think he had some issues with labels and stuff in the past, but now he’s finally free to do what he wants and it’s great what he’s doing.”

Siegal’s portal into the world of the Hill Country blues came via Robert Mugge’s brilliant 1992 documentary, Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads. Through that movie, Siegal learned of the patriarch families of the Holly Springs area.

“I was about 16 or 17 when that came out and my dad got it on CD, with R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. Then, it went off my radar for awhile. And then Sweet Tea (Buddy Guy’s magnificent 2001 release that celebrated Hill County blues) came out, and in a small world getting smaller, Jimbo was basically the musical director on that album,” Siegal said. “And also about that time, the North Mississippi Allstars kind of reawakened that music and brought it back into my life. Then nine or 10 years later, I find myself working with Jimbo and Luther and Cody and all these guys, so it’s strange sometimes how things happen.”

Siegal’s 2011 album – The Skinny – was billed as Ian Siegal and The Youngest Sons and features the youngest sons of Jim Dickinson (Cody), R.L. Burnside (Garry) and Junior Kimbrough (Robert).

“Yeah, thanks to Cody (who produced the album), I had Burnsides and Kimbroughs on it. It was a real honor to have them playing on it,” said Siegal.

When Siegal gets together with the Dickinson brothers and Alvin Youngblood Hart, what you have is a collective known as The Mississippi Mudbloods. They were responsible for 2012’s Candy Store Kid, an album that they were able to do a bit of touring behind, and if things shake out the proper way, blues fans may get another dose of Siegal and The Mudbloods sometime down the road.

“Quite possibly. It’s just that everyone’ s been so busy with projects – Cody and Luther, in particular. They’ve got their fingers in so many pies that I frankly don’t know how they keep up with themselves – it’s insane how much stuff they’re involved with,” Siegal said. “But it’s (The Mississippi Mudbloods) an open-ended thing and we did it because it was a convenient time and things fell into place. We did do a real last-minute show last year. There was a cancellation at the Cambridge Folk Festival and they asked me to do it with my band, who were not available at that time. As I was looking down the roster of the groups that were playing there, I noticed the North Mississippi Allstars. So I e-mailed Cody and Luther, expecting them to say they couldn’t do two shows in one day, but they were like, ‘Yeah! Let’s do it.’ So just like that, it happened, which was really cool. But I am planning another tour with Jimbo for next year, because it was just so popular. People went nuts.”

He may not have gotten the opportunity to take the bandstand with them, but Siegal still fondly recalls getting the chance to be near a couple of other Mississippi blues legends that are no longer with us.

“I did get to see Robert Belfour at the (Kenny Brown’s annual Hill Country) Picnic two years ago and even though he didn’t play, I did get to hang out with T-Model Ford, as well. That was quite an experience. It was so sweet, but Duwayne Burnside sat beside him and held his hand the whole time – T-Model had recently had a stroke and was in a wheelchair and was in bad physical shape,” said Siegal. “But Duwayne held his hand and everybody was feeding T-Model white lightning, but you know if a man gets to be in his 90s and can’t drink a little white lightning … I really don’t know when he can. And T-Model was still managing to eye all the girls with a twinkle as they went past, so it was a real honor to be in his company, if even just for a couple of hours. But it is important to get out and see people, because there’s so many that I’ve missed, so I’ll take any opportunity to see my heroes these days.”

Another interesting twist to the musical fabric that makes up Siegal is his propensity to pen songs that instantly evoke memories of the ways and the bygone days of the deep south. It wouldn’t be too far off base to think of the knack that The Band’s Robbie Robertson (a Canadian) had for telling stories about American life south of the Mason-Dixon line when thinking of some of the compositions that Siegal has created.

“So many things (inspire his songwriting) … it could be a line from a book or a line from a movie that sets me off, or even something that someone says. I don’t really have a formula; normally it comes to me in a rush, sometimes in complete songs,” he said. “But I’m not the most prolific writer. I tend to write only when I’m told I have to. I normally don’t wander around writing, although I wish that I did … it’s quite lazy of me, really.”

Siegal acknowledges the influence of Bob Dylan as a writing force, something he says that you really can’t get away from if you’re a song-writer.

“I think any songwriter is going to be influenced by Dylan in some way or another, even if you don’t aspire to be that good. And I would never compare myself to him,” he said. “But he certainly recreated – or opened things up, if you will – songwriting with all kinds of possibilities. In my early days of songwriting, I was trying so hard to be Tom Waits … it was almost painful, but I think a lot of songwriters have been there. He’s certainly still in there, although I’ve diluted that some and I purposely avoid Waits-isms. Still, his shadow looms large.”

Speaking of the one-and-only Tom Waits, Siegal’s vocal delivery is at times highly reminiscent of his. Siegal can go from a paper-thin whisper to a wall-shattering roar – at times in the same breath – and has proven that his pipes are one dangerous weapon. Sprinkle in a dose of Howlin’ Wolf, a helping of Captain Beefheart and maybe a pinch of Joe Cocker and you’ve got an idea of the power and the fury of Ian Siegal.

“Yeah, that’s become my vocal style and I can’t do a great deal about it anymore … but I think I directed it that way when I started out. When I started singing, I wanted to be Little Richard or Marvin Gaye. I have a natural tone in my voice that’s similar to Tom Waits and Dr. John, the same kind of range, anyway,” he said. “But I don’t see the Joe Cocker (comparisons), except that I’ve got a gravely voice. But when I do The Wolf thing, it’s because I’m obviously doing an impersonation of him, it’s not a coincidence. It’s like, ‘Hey everybody, I’m trying to do The Wolf, now.’ It’s a vocal adaptation that if anything, it’s done for fun. I’m not trying to pretend that I naturally sing that way … it’s a vocal trick that Taj Mahal and Omar Dykes does really well.”

Another one of Siegal’s early influences was the King of the Blues, the late, great B.B. King.

“It’s hard to describe just how important he was. When I first started playing, I remember sitting with Live at the Regal, trying to copy every note. It’s really just hard to fathom how important he was,” he said. “He just touched so many people … his influence was huge, especially when you think about all the British guys in the ’60s who were heavily influenced by B.B. And he was just such an ambassador for the blues throughout his whole career. He never stopped, he was just so relentless. He really became a part of the culture, far beyond the blues. His name was known even by people that were not into the blues. Him, Muddy and Wolf were my three earliest influences. I wish I had gotten to see him live, but I never did and that’s sad.”

Siegal looms large in the world of British blues and is included among the ranks of the British Blues Awards Hall of Fame.

“That means a lot – it means that I’m being appreciated and being recognized. I think if anyone – regardless of the field they’re in – denies that something like that is important, they’re probably lying,” he said. “It’s easy to be like, ‘Oh, awards don’t matter,’ but of course they do. So it’s an honor to be recognized in that way, so I’m very proud of those things.”

Even though his parents were not musicians, there was still plenty of music playing around the Siegal household when Ian was a young lad.

“Music was always playing in the house where I grew up. It was Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry and Elvis and The Stones and The Beatles and so I think I absorbed all of that. I was quite a precocious child, musically. It’s funny, but when I talk to my contemporaries, they talk about buying their first vinyl when they were 11 or 12, but I think I was 3 or 4 when I bought my first vinyl. I didn’t go to the store myself, but I used my Christmas money to buy a Slade record when I was 4,” he said. “I really think the first blues I heard was The Stones’ version of “Red Rooster.” And then I found out it was a Wolf song. I always say this, but it’s true – I don’t recall a time when I was not aware of the blues. I can’t tell you exactly how that happened, but I don’t ever remember not being aware of the names Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, so I got into that (the blues) pretty early on.”

It may surprise some – especially since he grew up on the very soil where they were hailed as Gods – but Siegal never really took a major liking to some of the cats that were hailed as trendsetters and saviors of the blues back in the late 1960s.

“I was about 10 years too late for the British blues boom period, so I was never really into John Mayall and Eric Clapton and Peter Green and all those guys. I sort of had the privilege of going back before them, you know? They did promote and educate people into the world of the real blues, but by the time I came of age, people like Freddie King and B.B. (King) and Albert (King) were in the public domain, and it took me less effort to get to them,” he said. “And I’m glad about that, because the sort of rockier side of the blues is really not my thing. I’m pleased that I went straight to the source and discovered American blues before I got into British blues. I think that makes you a different – I’m not saying better – but a different, player.”

As such, Siegal knows ‘classic Howlin’ Wolf’ apart from … well, let’s just say ‘not so classic Howlin’ Wolf.’

“I’ve played the original version of a Howlin’ Wolf track for someone and then I’ll play The London Sessions version of the same song he did with like Bill Wyman and Clapton and Ringo and have had people go, ‘Oh, yeah – this (London Sessions) is much better.’ I’ll go, ‘Really? This is better than the Chess originals? Are you kidding?’ But, there’s no accounting for taste, is there?” asked Siegal. “But it does take all sorts.”

Just like in the United States, blues music seems to be enjoying a wave of popularity and very solid footing in the Untied Kingdom and Europe in the 21st Century.

“Apart from the ’60s, when it was very huge and very influential, I think it’s as big now as it ever was – apart from that period. Some people would argue that the culture of the blues doesn’t exist anymore and that everything being done now is retro or in tribute,” Siegal said. “But there’s certainly some great players still out there … although there’s very few of the originals. When you look at Gary Clark, Jr., playing the White House, I mean, that’s big. And I’m hearing so much blues in movies and in TV shows and in commercials these days. It’s really in the air a lot, really more than ever, TV-wise. So the blues are quite hip at the moment and long may that continue.”

Even though blues music may be permeating the idiot box at an all-time record pace these days, Siegal says that it sometimes still is forced to take a backseat – or no seat at all – in the eyes of some concert promoters.

“One thing I find is often the case is when you get festivals that have many different forms of music where you’ll have the pop and rock stages and the metal stage and a jazz stage and a world-music stage, but they won’t have a blues stage,” he said. “And I suppose it is a niche genre and is not as popular as other things, but that’s a real shame. Sometimes the blues gets treated like a poor cousin and that should be changed. I mean, why shouldn’t there be a blues stage at some of these major music events?”

It’s not like very many blues artists were ever able to find a regular home on the charts – with a few exceptions – but there are sure not many that show up in the Top 40 these days. But then again, given the way that music is consumed in 2015, it’s a wonder that any artist – pop, rock, country or blues – is able to sell enough records to earn a spot in Billboard’s rankings.

“The whole music scene has changed in the last few years, with digital downloads and CD sales down. You can hardly keep a handle on things with CD sales almost at zero. In my case, since I’ve never been a major charting artist, that doesn’t make that much of a difference with me. I’ve always made CDs for promotion and to get on festivals and stuff like that,” he said. “It’s not that significant of a change for me. But as I always say, ‘If anyone gets in the blues to make a lot of money, they’re making a huge mistake.’ Trust me, I know people that have thought they would become wealthy by playing the blues. But guess what? That’s not why we do this and thank goodness for that or we’d really be let down.”

Despite the lack of wealth earned – coupled with the cost of doing business – it’s still full speed ahead for Ian Siegal.

“I’ve always played a Hell of a lot of gigs – I think I did over 200 last year – and I don’t plan on stopping. I can go out and do solo gigs and that’s what really keeps my head above water these days, because putting a band on the road is pretty tough and it’s getting harder,” he said. “I can honestly say it’s getting tougher out there, but I can also honestly say that I won’t stop.”

Visit Ian’s wensite at:

Photos by Bob Kieser © 2015 Blues Blast Magazine

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

 Featured Blues Review – 2 of 7 

J.B. Hutto and his Hawks – Hawk Squat (Deluxe Edition)

Delmark Records (Tribute Page)

CD: 18 Songs; 61:32 Minutes

Styles: Traditional Electric Chicago Blues

Connotatively speaking, an idealist is someone who has crystal-clear ideas of how life should be. S/he holds lofty yet precise ideals – hence the term – in mind, and hopes for them to become reality. In the music world, idealists are the “purest of the purists”. What is their ideal of pure blues? One prime example is the remastered and re-released album Hawk Squat, by J.B. Hutto (uncle of Lil’ Ed, of Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials) and his Hawks. It’s raw electric Chicago blues. It’s not polished. It’s not slick. It’s some people’s idea of what the electric blues ought to be. Just how fantastic is this CD? Not only is it worthy of one’s reference collection, but in 2014, the National Blues Foundation inducted Hawk Squat into its Hall of Fame for “Classic of Blues Recording: Album”. Its vintage is the Age of Aquarius, with all eighteen original tracks (six previously unissued) from 1966 and 1968. This is more than a J.B. Hutto reboot. It’s a total re-mastery of slide guitar blues that conquered the Windy City. According to Dusty, “Hutto’s a killer right from the start – singing and playing [slide] with a ferocity that easily matches, if not beats, the bigger ‘60s names on Chess Records….”

Helping Hutto catapult to fame, both then and now, are Lee Jackson on guitar, Sunnyland Slim on piano and organ, Junior Pettis, Dave Myers, and Herman Hassell on bass, Frank Kirkland on drums, and Maurice McIntyre on tenor sax.

The 20-page book hidden within the Deluxe Edition CD cover reveals: “Hawk Squat was born at Turner’s Lounge at 39th and Indiana, on Chicago’s South Side. Fifty cents would gain you entry and a beer. Not having that dollar charge at the door made Turner’s rowdier than other clubs.” Hutto’s masterpiece contains no elevator muzak. It showcases tunes tailor-made for people like one unfortunate patron of Turner’s, who got kicked out of both the men’s and the ladies’ room. Here are a few of the most powerful tracks:

Track 01: “Speak My Mind” (Original Version), Track 14, and Track 18 (Alternate Version) – OWW! This is the cry of ecstasy that those who crave Chicago blues will give once they hear J.B.’s fiery intro. Everything in the blues trifecta is here: lump-de-lump rhythm, a timeless theme of a girl who “just ain’t no good”, and robust ensemble sound.

Track 06: “20% Alcohol” – What better place to play a die-hard drinking song than in a bar? Featuring the clearest lyrics on the album, track six is a warning to our narrator’s wayward love: “Girl, you ain’t no belle. You’ve been drinking and cheating, girl – 20% alcohol.”

Track 12: “Hawk Squat” (Original Version) and Track 16 (Alternate Version) – One of the most honored traditions in blues songs is having members of a band take turns playing the lead part. The explosive Squat features all the Hawks in top form. This is great news for dancers and lovers of instrumental technique.

Attention blues idealists: You need the “new” Hawk Squat, and you need it NOW!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 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 Live Blues Review – Chicago Blues Festival Part I 

We made it to the Chicago Blues Fest again this year and it was another amazing Blues experience. This year was the 32nd annual of the premier Blues festival in the world! Held in Grant Park in downtown Chicago it is a free festival that draws more than 100,000 people each year. This year it was a bit on the rainy and cool side but that did not stop all the HOT Blues from going on. So umbrella in hand just in case, we headed off into the wild Blues yonder!

We started out at the Crossroads Stage to see Quintus McCormick on Friday. Quintus has been playing in Chicago for years and this man is a real killer guitar player and singer.

Next up was Mary Lane. Another Chicagoan, she is originally from Arkansas. She at one time sang with Robert Nighthawk. She does not really tour so you need to get to Chicago to check this real deal Blues woman.

We then headed over to the Jackson Mississippi Stage next to hear singer and harp player Scott Albert Johnson.

Next we made it over to the Front Porch Stage to see Studebaker John and the Maxwell Street Kings. John had a couple great Chicago Blues celebrities with him. Rick Kreher, who was Muddy Waters guitar player sat in as well as Steve Cushing from the famous syndicated radio show Blues Before Sunrise who was playing drums. Needless to say, it was some fine Chicago Blues!

We soon headed back to the Crossroads Stage to hear some soul Blues from Charlie Love.

Next we caught part of a set by Jj Thames

Then we went to hear Nick Nixon and Andy T on the Front Porch Stage. They are nominated in the 2015 Blues Blast Music Awards and will be our “house band” for the awards show in September. This is a great band with Nick Nixon on lead vocals, Andy T on guitar, Sam Persons on bass, Larry van Loon on keys and Jim Klingler on drums. Be sure to catch these guys at the 2015 Blues Blast Music Awards on September 25th at the Fluid Event Center in Champaign, IL. You won’t be disappointed!

Following them we listened to Blues legend John Primer for a spell on the Jackson Mississippi stage. John played in Muddy Waters’ band and also did a ten year stint with Magic Slim. John is one of the best Chicago players around today. He had some great players with him including Johnny Iguana on keyboards and Bill Lupkin on harmonica. Excellent!

Then we went to hear a few song from Blues diva Nellie “Tiger” Travis. Nellie gave a shout out to Blues Blast Magazine when she saw me in the photo pit taking pictures. We love ya Nellie! You gotta’ hear this lady!

Finishing out our afternoon we went back to the front Porch Stage to catch another Blues legend, Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang. Eddie has quite a musical pedigree having been a bandleader for Howlin’ Wolf and also playing with Muddy Waters, Magic Sam and Otis Rush. Eddie is the man and if you haven’t ever heard this amazing sax player, you need to change that soon.

As the supper hour approached we got a bite to eat and headed over to the Pertillo Music Shell for the day headliners starting with the great Zora Young. You can tell just by the photos that she had the cream of the crop of Chicago Blues players and did an incredible set of Blues.

The last act we caught for the day was Clarence Carter. Clarence taught himself guitar and majored in music at Alabama State University, learning to create music charts in Braille. He went on to be a Grammy Award winning R&B songwriter. The crowd loved his set.

Tired from all the exciting Blues, we headed off to rest up for the next day of great Chicago Blues.

Photos and commentary by Bob Kieser © 2015 Blues Blast Magazine

 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 7 

Nancy Wright – Putting Down Roots

Direct Hit Records DHR 107

12 songs – 54 minutes

San Francisco Bay Area-based Nancy Wright has quietly built up a strong reputation as a saxophone player in a career that’s spanned 30 years, but she breaks new ground as a vocalist and songwriter on Putting Down Roots, her second CD to date, a follow-up to Moanin’, a warmly reviewed 2009 all-instrumental release.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, with a big, fat tone, she’s a classically trained musician who fell in love with the sax at age 16, influenced by King Curtis and Junior Walker & the All-Stars as well as jazz greats Illinois Jacquet and Gene Ammons. Revered guitarist Lonnie Mack taught her the ropes before she relocated to California. She’s been a member of the touring bands of Elvin Bishop, Commander Cody, John Lee Hooker and Maria Muldaur, and has been a popular addition in the studio, most notably backing Joe Louis Walker, Mark Hummel, Steve Willis and the Frank Bey-Anthony Paule Band, among many others. Her vocal delivery is warm and relaxed and demonstrates the impeccable, behind-the-beat delivery she displays with her reed work.

Nancy produced Putting Down Roots herself, aided by Kid Andersen, who recorded it at his Greaseland Studios and contributed guitar work on five of the 12 cuts, all of which were written by Wright. All of the musicians here also played with her on Bey and Paule’s Soul For Your Blues CD, which was nominated for two Blues Music Awards and achieved high honors in Downbeat Magazine’s critics’ poll. Joining her are Tony Lufrano (keyboards), Paule (guitar on 11 tracks), Paul Olguin (bass) and Lisa Leuschner Andersen (backing vocals).

Available through all of the major online vendors, the disc kicks off with the R&B flavored love song, “Sweet Soul Satisfaction,” in which she both can’t understand how she got to this place and releases she can’t get enough of her man. Her sax solo carries the lyrics to another, heavenly level. The syncopated instrumental “Funkin’ It Up” follows, with a simple, repeated horn line driving the song forward. “Just Can’t Put A Finger On It” is a slow blues burner in which Nancy is both appreciative of her love, but suspicious that something has changed. The stop time chorus is a grabber.

Another instrumental pleaser, the jazzy “A Serendipity,” leads into the New Orleans-tinged “The Big Queen” with Wright laying down the musical hook thick in the lower registers of the sax. “Hush Little Darlin’” delivers a message of comfort with just the hint of a country feel as Wright urges the listener to come back home, where she’ll wipe away your tears and be with you as the sun shines for you once again. Heart-warming.

“Well I’m Travelin’” is an uptempo shuffle in which Nancy lyrically hits the road after a lover’s left her. The sweet soul instrumental “Grooving Easy” plays atop another syncopated rhythm pattern before Nancy channels Curtis instrumentally on “Lovely Pretender” while delivering lyrics about a woman who appears to have it all going on, but has problems you just can’t see. The love ballad “Seems I Still Love You” is delivered with a decided gospel feel before Wright delivers a tribute to Hooker with “Boogie For JL.” She follows with “Sanctity In Blue,” a slow, soulful blues instrumental, to finish the disc.

This CD proves that Wright has a voice to be heard as a vocalist in addition to her horn play. If you’re old enough to remember King Curtis in his prime, you’ll love this one. And if you’re not, you owe it to yourself to give it a spin. Nancy’s got the sound down pat, but delivers it with one step in the future.

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

 Featured Blues Review – 4 of 7 

Laura Cheadle – Where the Blues Hangs Out

BloozyToonz Records

CD: 13 Songs; 57:41 Minutes

Styles: Piano Blues and Ballads, Soul-Influenced Blues

As the nursery rhyme states, what are girls made of? “Sugar and spice and everything nice.” Contrast Mother Goose with horror god Stephen King, who characterized the blues as “mean music” in his 2014 novel Revival. Female blues vocalists typically fall into either the “sugar” camp (e.g. Dani Wilde and Claudia Carawan) or the “spice” camp (e.g. Janis Joplin, Etta James, and Nina Simone). The best chanteuses in this genre run the gamut of both, switching with ease, even within the same song. At one moment, they croon with unrequited love, and at the next, they wail in agony. It’s a daunting feat to accomplish. Only a handful can pull it off perfectly. New Jersey’s Laura Cheadle tries her best on Where the Blues Hangs Out, but she’s almost all sugar. On thirteen songs, ten originals and three covers, she warbles like a lark on mellow blues. The few times she does wail, a la Joplin, her pitch might be too high for some folks’ ears. Laura’s music is more suited for the piano bar than the traditional brash blues bars.

With her as she performs lead vocals and guitar, are several members of her family: co-songwriter and father J.S. Cheadle on piano, organ, guitar, drums, bass and background vocals, brother Jim Lee Cheadle on electric guitar, and mother Sue Cheadle on background vocals. Also along for this low-key and relaxing ride are drummer B.W. Smith, background vocalists Madi Hart and Maddie Brewer, Mikey Jr. and Steve Guyger on harp, Bobby Michaels on saxophone, and Jeff “Blondie” Van Stenz on trumpet.

According to her website, “Laura Cheadle Family Blues Band have many accomplishments under their belt opening for: The Jonas Brothers, Sister Hazel, Spin Doctors, Ryan Cabrera, Kasim Sulton, Terrence Simien, Garland Jeffreys, John Oates/Hall and Oates, Average White Band, Clarence Clemons III for Bruce Springsteen’s After Party and Constantine Maraoulis of American Idol. These South Jersey Natives and current Philadelphia residents have toured nationally and internationally everywhere from the East Coast/West Coast to London. The Cheadle’s have appeared on 6ABC’s Tuned In as the very first viewers’ choice, The NBC 10 Show, the national reality show ‘Next Great Family Band” on NBC/Cosi TV. Laura Cheadle was named a “Super Woman” in South Jersey Magazine for her active charity work. A very recent accomplishment: Laura Cheadle Family Blues Band just recently won “Best Indie Jazz/Blues Band of The Year” 2014 at Tri State Indie Music Awards sponsored by WXPN.”

Laura’s artistic style is warm and good natured, but for heart-pumping, beer-drinking blues, listeners may look elsewhere. Perhaps next time, she and her family will try a darker tone and sharper edge, especially when they play covers such as “Stormy Monday” (featured on this album). Her voice is as sweet as candy, but if it were more like Red Hots instead of Pixy Stix, it might suit more people’s taste.Laura Cheadle – Where the Blues Hangs Out

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 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 7 

JeConte – Down By the Bayou

Red Parlor

CD: 9 Songs; 39:09 Minutes

Styles: Harmonica Blues, Blues Rock, New Orleans-Style Blues

An atmospheric title, such as California-based JeConte’sDown on the Bayou, conjures up mental and musical images. Swamps, alligators, voodoo charms, Zydeco, and horn-based blues are but a few. One might think the accordion to be the instrument of choice on their newest album, but it takes a back seat to JeConte’s expertly-played harmonica and guitar. This band’s music is reminiscent of Blues Traveler and the slide/acoustic side of Eric Clapton. Even JeConte’s vocals have the contemplative tone of “Slowhand” in his later years. Although they might not be quite that powerful, they’re poignant and expressive in each of his nine swamp-influenced songs. All of them were either written or co-written by JeConte and his bandmates.

This evocative ensemble consists of its titular lead singer on vocals, harmonica and guitar; Anders Osborne on vocals, lead/acoustic/slide guitar, and keyboards; Wall Ingram on drums and percussion; Matty Cohen on vocals and lead/acoustic guitar; Chris Haugen on vocals and lead/acoustic/slide guitar; Carl Dufrene on bass; Dre Michot on violin and accordion; and Daniel Horstmann on additional percussion in “Down by the Bayou”.

The CD contains a balanced mixture of pure harmonica and New Orleans blues, along with mellower ballads such as “Little Christina”, “Cellophane” and “Promised Land”. These three critiqued below are of the former category and will get crowds on their feet, especially in bars or at outdoor festivals.

Track 01: “Down on the Bayou” – Number one is, in this reviewer’s humble opinion, number one on the entire album: the best. It’s a tambourine-shaking, ruckus-making, foot-stomping good time. According to the back of the CD cover, this track is “featuring Anders Osborne”, and indeed, his superb slide guitar skills will drive listeners hog-wild with glee. Also of note is Dre Michot on violin, an understated treat that gives this tune a true New Orleans touch.

Track 02: “Evermore” – After that glide down the waters of the bayou, it’s time for electric blues rock. “Evermore” is full of grit and growling riffs on the intro, and JeConte takes a commanding lead on harmonica. Its in-your-face lyrics describe a lost soul who “fought the demons and dragons within” to achieve redemption. In the middle of the song, there’s a method to the madness: it’s meant to sound like an instrumental hurricane. “Evermore” may not be church music, but it’s darkly inspiring.

Track 06: “Everything” – In its highest form, love is all-encompassing, and each partner in a romantic relationship considers the other to be his or her “Everything”. In this brisk boogie-woogie, all of the band members play full-blast, especially Michot on accordion, JeConte himself on harp, and Carl Dufrene on a bass backbeat that keeps him bee-busy. Baby boomers will be able to do the Twist, while younger people watch and learn the moves or jump around instead.

JeConte’s professional musicianship will make blues rock fans yearn to go Down on the Bayou!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 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 – 6 of 7 

Keith Thompson Band – Catch the Fire

Density Music

CD: 16 Songs; 62:27 Minutes

Styles: Contemporary Electric/Psychedelic Blues Rock

It’s time to play a word association game: What comes to mind when reading the phrases “target demographic”, “Little Wing”, and “flaming guitar”? What, or who, is the connection between them? Here’s a hint: He immolated one of his incredible instruments back in the ‘60s, causing both men and women in the audience to scream in ecstasy. The answer is Jimi Hendrix, one of the many musical influences of the UK’s Keith Thompson Band. Their eighth album, Catch the Fire, does indeed feature a sizzling shredder. Where does the “target demographic” come in? To put it plainly, people who love Hendrix will consider this CD a must-have, but those who favor less esoteric rock and more blues might skip it. Its pluses are originality on fifteen out of sixteen songs, and as the band’s website boasts, “No ‘Baby’s gone and left me’ lyrics!” Excellent, but Keith and his posse could have augmented that with more traditional melodies.

This ensemble has toured extensively throughout Europe – not only in populous countries such as Germany and their native Great Britain, but former Soviet republics like Croatia and Slovenia. Their claims to fame are as a live band as well as a studio band, full of vigor at any venue.

Performing along with Keith Thompson as he does vocals, guitars, keyboards, blues harp, and bass, are chief bassist Neil Simpson, drummer Roy Adams, special guest guitarists Buddy Whittington and Laurence Jones, Patsy Gamble on saxophone, background vocalists Robyn James, Jan Thompson and David Pick, and Federico Bozas on bass, drums and keys for track seven. All songs were written and composed by Thompson, except for Hendrix’s “Little Wing”. The three reviewed will be most likely to make purists clap instead of cringe:

Track 02: “Money” – This raw blues rock stomp proves that “Money ain’t such a good deal. We all do what we can in making it for real, but money won’t bring you joy…What goes round comes round again.” Perhaps the narrator of this song made too many shady compromises to earn his living. However, Keith Thompson compromises nothing in his habanero-hot guitar solo.

Track 07: “She’s Too Hot” – Buddy Whittington stars on lucky number seven. As for romance with the titular character, “it may look like fun, but it’s a dangerous game.” The reason? Check the title again. “Something tells me that you ain’t gonna listen to me,” says our protagonist to his naïve pal. Here’s what’s really too hot: Whittington’s riffs, which are the highlight of this song.

Track 14: “Wrong Side of the Bed” – We’ve all had days where our circumstances are nasty, and our mood is worse. Nevertheless, track fourteen takes off like a bullet train. “Can’t start my car, but it’s me that’s not in gear,” Thompson laments, evoking Steve Miller with a melancholy touch.

Catch the Fire of the Keith Thompson Band’s psychedelic blues rock, because it’s smoking!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 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 – 7 of 7 

Delta Moon – Low Down

Jumping Jack Records

12 songs – 46 minutes

Some records just don’t want to come off your music system, such is their demand to be played, and Delta Moon’s latest release, Low Down, is one of them. The band packs 12 songs into just three-quarters of an hour, but the result is an early contender for some “Best Of” awards at the end of the year.

Although Low Down is the band’s 10th album, they have yet to achieve the widespread acclaim their talents deserve. This release may change that. Featuring nine originals by lead vocalist Tom Gray together with three covers by Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Skip James, the album is a scorching brew of traditional blues-rock, but with the emphasis on the blues rather than the rock, helped in no small part by the wonderful double slide guitar attack of Tom Gray and Mark Johnson.

Opening with “Wrong Side Of Town”, which has hints of Sonny Landreth in its Louisiana-stylings, Tom Gray sings in his warm, whispery, whiskey-aged voice: “Across the tracks, you like to put it down. Welcome back to the wrong side of town.” In fact, the entire album sounds like the best that can possibly come from the wrong side of town. Gray’s lyrics paint vivid images of life in the shadows and on the edge. In “Mean Streak”, he sings “Close shave, could have been dead, had denial in my head and a fist down in my gut. You didn’t kill me, but you sure tried, and you still ain’t giving up” before the defiant chorus of “You got a mean streak, running through and through. But I got a mean streak, I’m just as mean as you.”

“Afterglow” again has rhythmic hints of the Big Easy, before the jungle drums and reverb-laden bottleneck guitars (subtly hinting at the slide melody of Muddy’s “Can’t Be Satisfied”) of “Nothing You Can Tell A Fool” lead to a descending chord chorus in which Gray warns: “No matter how you tell it, no matter what you do, there is nothing, nothing you can tell a fool.”

Gray’s intelligent, well-constructed songs sit easily alongside covers of Tom Wait’s “Low Down”, Dylan’s “Down In The Flood” and Skip James’ “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues”. The latter track, a notoriously difficult song to cover, is here given a modern-day re-interpretation in which the ethereal, other-worldly tone of the original is replaced with a melancholy resignation and haunting multi-voiced chants. It is perhaps the most striking song amongst many on the album.

Other highlights include the gorgeous backing vocals and soaring slide guitar on “Mayfly”, taking the listener on a summer escape “like a moment out of history” and the dual-slide guitars in “Spark In The Dark” and “Open All Night”.

Delta Moon comprises Gray (who sings lead vocals as well as playing guitars, keyboards and harmonica) and Johnson together with Franher Joseph (bass) and new arrival Marlon Patton (drums), plus backing singers Anna Kramer and Francine Reed. Together they have produced a superb, uplifting album of traditional blues-rock, where the focus is on the song rather than on the technical virtuosity of the players. There are no traditional 12-bar blues on Low Down but, if your tastes extend to the rockier sides of Rory Gallagher, early Black Crowes or The Allman Brothers, you will want to hear this gumbo of spicy, slide guitar-driven good-time party music. Top notch.

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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Minnesota Blues Society – St. Paul, MN

The Minnesota Blues Society presents the Annual Member Appreciation Picnic/Food Drive Sun, July 19 starting at 1:00pm at the Rosetown American Legion Post 542, 700 W. Cty Rd C Roseville, MN.

Music by Big George Jackson Blues Band, and the Cajun stylings of Kathy Smithson. Pulled pork/turkey sandwiches provided. Bring sides. Cash Bar, $2.00 beers on patio. We are collecting canned goods for Keystone Community Services. Bring chair, no coolers. Free for members, $5.00 donation for guests. More info:

Southeast Iowa Blues Society – Fairfield, Iowa

The 2nd Annual “Blue Ribbon Blues Fest” will be held on Saturday August 1st, 2015. Gates open at 4:30 and music begins at 5:00pm on the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Fairfield, IA. Featuring Van & the Movers (5:30-6:30) and then The Nick Schnebelen Band (7-8:30)and finishing with Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King at (9-10:30). In Between acts brings Uno-Blu (Tony Blew)

Along with some great Blues there will be a Beverage Garden and BBQ, Bring your chairs …No outside food or drink. Ticket are $20 Day of Show and $15 in advance and SIBS members Call 641-919-7477 for tickets For more information visit

DC Blues Society – Washington, DC

Come to the free DC Blues Society’s 11th Annual Hotter-Than-July Fish Fry and Veterans Appreciation on Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 4:00 to 11:30 p.m. Honor our Veterans and enjoy non-stop blues from area artists at the American Legion Post 41, 905 Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring MD 20910. Building entrance on Fenton Street near the large public parking lot. Fish dinners are free for Veterans and their families. Fish sandwiches ($8) and other foods available for purchase from 4:30 to 9:00 pm; very affordable cash bar.

Dr. S.O. Feelgood deejays downstairs. Two of the 7 bands who’ll be cooking upstairs are, Full Power Blues – smooth Chicago-style blues with a side of modern soul, always a favorite at DCBS events and The Mojo Priests – 2014 DC Blues Society Battle of the Bands winners. Thanks to our Sponsor, Walter Reed Society!

For details: or call (301) 322-4808.

Boise Blues Society – Boise, ID

On Sunday July 19, Boise Blues Society presents the 2015 Boise Blues Festival , 6 hours of great live music, dancing, eating, and outdoor fun, noon-6pm in Julia Davis Park. All ages welcome. Admission price: 3 cans of food for Idaho Foodbank.

2015 lineup features incredible guitarist and showman Matthew Curry, who played two sold-out shows in Boise last year. The Idaho Statesman raved that Curry “has it all—unreal-wicked guitar chops and a soulful singing voice that belies his years.”

Local band Freudian Slip kicks off the Festival with a rare performance of blues songs from the 30’s and 40’s, then the Hoochie Coochie Men deliver a set of tightly honed traditional blues. Jimmy Lloyd Rea and the Switchmasters promise to get folks out of their seats with a helping of raw, rockin’ blues before Curry takes the stage for the grand finale.

More info at and

Mississippi Valley Blues Society – Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society is offering a “Blues Cruise for Two” raffle for a 7-day cruise on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise sailing in January 2016 and featuring Taj Mahal & the Phantom Band, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Elvin Bishop, Mickey Thomas, Latimore, North Mississippi Allstars, Tab Benoit , Tommy Castro, Samantha Fish, Ruthie Foster, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Colin James, Phantom Blues Band, Danielle Nicole Band, Sugar Blue Band, Kelley Hunt, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, and more!. Raffle ticket sales will officially begin on May 23, 2015. Only 150 tickets will be sold for $100 each chance. State of Iowa gambling regulations do not allow on-line purchase of raffle tickets. However, the MVBS “Blues Cruise for Two” raffle ticket mail order forms can be found at This raffle is a fundraiser for MVBS and proceeds will go towards producing the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival held September 5 -6, 2015.

The 31st annual Blues Festival is September 5 and 6, but we need your. This raffle is a great way to keep the blues alive and support our organization.” For all rules and facts about this raffle and to get your ticket visit

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. 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. 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. August 7th – the New Savages. Free shows, plus a fish fry and steak dinner are available!

The Lyran Society has decided to add blues to their Fish Fry and Steak Dinners with performances generally twice a month on the first and third Friday of each month at their club. Located half a block east of 7th Street at 1115 4th Ave, Rockford, IL 61104, you can call (815) 964-0511 for info. There is no cover charge, it’s a free show. Open to the public, all ages are welcome! July 17: Recently Paroled, August 7: Martin Lang with Billy Flynn, August 14: Rob Stone, August 21: Trinadora Trio, September 4: New Savages, September 18: Dave Fields, October 2: New Savages, October 16: Roy Orbison Tribute

First Sunday’s in July through August Crossroads has Free blues at All Saints Lutheran Church from 4 to 6 PM. 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.

Friends of the Blues – Kankakee IL area

The Friends of the Blues announce their 2015 Concert Series. All shows start at 7 pm. 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. July 13 – Southside Johnny July 20 – Anni Piper, July 27 – Holland K Smith Blues Band, August 3 – Josh Hoyer & the Shadowboxes, August 10 – “Bad” Bill Robinson and the Hard Road Blues Band, August 17 – Polly O’Keary & the Rhythm Method, August 24 – Albert Castiglia, August 31 – Maurice John Vaughn.

Additional ICBC shows: July 16 – James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6-9 pm Guest host: Blues Expressions, August 6 – James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6-9 pm Guest host: Black Magic Johnson, August 20 – 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

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


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