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September 25, 2008           

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News, photos, reviews, live Blues links & MUCH MORE in this issue! - Scroll or Page Down! quick website links: Reviews    Links   Photos    Videos     Blues Radio     Blues Shows near YOU!    Advertise for FREE!     The Blues Blast Archives

Hey Blues Fans,

We made it to the Fall Ball put on by the Blues Blowtorch Society to hear Black Magic Johnson and Lil' Dave Thompson on Sunday September 21, 2008  at Tri Lakes Banquet Facilities in Bloomington, IL.

It was a beautiful day at a really nice venue and the show started off with Black Magic Johnson from Springfield, IL. These guys put on a fine show featuring some great original tunes as well as some fine cover tunes with Black Magic handling the drums and vocals.

They had Frank E. Parker sitting in on trumpet. Frank plays with Irma Thomas and it is easy to see why she keeps him around.

In between bands the show offered a workshop on starting a Blues band conducted by Bill "Fishbone Willie" Porter and Steve "The Harp" Mehlberg.


Next up was Mississippi Blues guitarist Lil' Dave Thompson. Dave and his band put on a great set rounding out a fine Blues day.


Kudos to the Blues Blowtorch society for putting on this great event.

Nappy Brown - October 12, 1929 – September 21, 2008

The Blues world lost a great one this week with the passing of one of the last remaining classic R&B vocalists and blues shouters, Napolean “Nappy” Brown Culp after a long battle with illness. He was 78. He will be missed.

Arrangements are as follows. Funeral visitation will be 1pm-1:30pm on Saturday, September 27, 2008, with services to follow. Both the visitation and the funeral service will be held at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 1401 Allen St. Charlotte, NC 28205. (704)334-5309

Blues this weekend!

If you are anywhere near Hammond, Indiana check out the Robert Cray Band with special guests Shemekia Copeland at The Venue at The Horseshoe Casino for a great Blues event. See ad below.

If you are near Bradley, IL check out the Nick Moss and the Flip Tops show put on by the Friends of the Blues. See complete info in Blues Society News section below.

Blues Reviews and MORE!

GTCMBS member Nancy Miller sends us a review of the Sun Prairie Blues Fest. James Walker reviews a CD from John Németh. Nikki Oneill reviews a new CD by Hybrid Groove. Mike O'Cull reviews a new CD by Michael Burks.  All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN

Tickets for this Hammond, Indiana show
go on sale Friday, 08/22/08 To Purchase Tickets CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review (1 of 3)

John Németh - Magic Touch

Blind Pig Records

12 songs; 44:25 minutes; Reference Quality

Styles: Contemporary Blues, Retro-Modern Blues, Soul-Blues

How does one measure the quality of an album? I have previously suggested different ways. Examples are: (1) How many listens did it take until one liked the CD? (2) Did any song or songs stick in your head? (3) Does one still play the album, even beyond the normal point of diminishing marginal utility? (4) Does your spouse like it, too? Reflecting back on “Magic Touch” which was released January 30, 2007, I see an album that easily passed every test as it broke John Nemeth to a world wide audience and Big-Industry-Buzz status.

There is no sense denying it; one might as well say it out loud: when it comes to the best young, white, contemporary blues singers, John Németh and Andrew Duncanson of The Kilborn Alley Blues Band are in the top five with Nemeth holding my personal list’s number one spot.

John Németh (pronounced like the Jets quarterback, Joe Namath) is, by now, a bona fide blues star with still rising stock. He is steeped in tradition and with incredible dynamic vocal range. A harmonica player of riveting intensity and virtuosity, he can also put on an audience pleasing stage show like playing a mid song solo on harmonica with just drums. Then, playing like a pied piper on the harp, leading the crowd up and down with every note, he will have some call and response with the audience where they will yell, “Hey” when Németh does a stop.

Németh’s number one spot on my personal “Best Singer” list came from bumping out number two with his vocal power. I witnessed it at a live show with Junior Watson on guitar. They were heavily into the second set of music, when on “The Pawnbroker,” it looked like Junior Watson, a California guitarist with nearly thirty years of experience and cult status, was going to steal the show. Not to be out done, especially since he was the top billed artist on tour, Németh laid the microphone down and filled the room with his powerful voice, singing without amplification!

“Magic Touch,” over time, will be regarded as an essential piece to appreciating music of the 2000 – 2009 decade. For the music styles it presents, there is not another CD to compare with Junior Watson showcasing some of his most wonderful guitar playing, Anson Funderburgh producing and playing guitar, Mark Kazinoff leading the well placed, not over the top, horns, and John Németh himself writing songs and playing harmonica as well as singing.

“Magic Touch,” the title song, and “You’re An Angel” are examples of stay-in-your-head songs that also got air play and appeared on juke boxes nationwide. As I am writing this, my brain is repeating the bouncy chorus, “Well now, 1 - 2 - 3; come on and rock with me,” from the last track, “Come On.” That song is an example of the album’s overall appeal, and that is FUN! The lyrics are not deep or socially challenging; they are as innocuous as “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and twice as catchy.

If, by some chance, your name is Rip Van Winkle, and you’ve failed to get this CD, go ahead and secure a copy. It is an album that will be referred to for years to come.

Reviewer James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show “Friends of the Blues” can be heard each Thursday from 4:30 – 6:00pm on WKCC 91.1 FM in Kankakee, IL

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

2008 Blues Blast Music Awards

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, IL.

Confirmed Blues artists performing are Tim "Too Slim" Langford from Too Slim and the Taildraggers, Lurrie Bell, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Steve Gerhard and Mo Bailey from the National Debonaires, The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Lurrie Bell, Teeny Tucker, Gina Sicilia and John Nemeth! Ticket info will be available soon.

 Live Blues Review

Sun Prairie Blues Fest - September 6, 2008

Sun Prairie, WI

The last days of summer were ushered in with unbelievable weather and blues at the second annual Blues Fest in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Sun Prairie, famous for its Corn Fest, now hosts a fine day of blues. Featured artists were Cliff Fredricksen, Laura England & the Mud Angels, Bobby Bryan & the Uptown Allstars, Bobby Evans & the Alimony Blues Band, Rev. Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys, and Paul Cebar.

Cliff Fredrickon is a well-known veteran of the jazz and blues scene in Madison, Wisconsin. Complementing Cliff’s exceptional guitar style was the young, talented, and beautiful vocalist Karri Daley, who is now creating her own fan base in the blues and jazz scene.

Next, Laura England & the Mud Angels were on stage. Laura and her band received awards at the Madison Area Music Awards in 2007. The Mud Angels, a tight and driving band, will be sad to lose Laura who is leaving for a new scene at the end of the year.


Bobby Bryan & the Uptown Allstars competed in the International Blues Challenge as Wisconsin’s 2007 first place winners. Bobby’s band covers blues standards and originals that deliver through Bobby’s personable and hip style.

Bobby Evans & the Alimony Blues Band came up next. Bobby credits the inspiration for his slick slide guitar prowess to the much admired slide work of Madison’s bluesman Paul Black.


Rev Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys brought the crowd up off their chairs and onto the dance floor for a wild ride of dancing.

The Milwaukee based favorite Paul Cebar provided the kind of finale we love after a day of great blues with his band of top-of-the-line musicians.


So next time you are thinking about Sun Prairie corn, bring your mind around to the Blues Fest too.

Review by Nancy Miller - Former MBS member, current GTCMBS member

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

EG Kight   It’s Hot In Here

Her first CD in four years from six time BMA award nominee and Koko Taylor songwriter.

It's Hot in  Here,"  features her blazing guitar work and fiery, resonant voice.  Patriot-News

EG Kight has hit a home-run with this excellent album. The Planet Weekly

 Featured Blues Review (2 of 3)

Hybrid Groove - Just About Feeling

Hybrid Groove Productions

This is the self-released debut-CD by the Florida-based 5-piece Hybrid Groove, who actually have been around since 2000. Fronted by singer Amy Savage and guitarist/harp player Ken Lettich, the band started out as an acoustic unit before adding guitarist Joe “Cleanhead” Buscema, bass player Christian Cousin and drummer Jim Wegener. Today the band is far more electrified, playing a loud and no-frills blues, flavored by rock, funk and soul.

Savage is your archetypical powerhouse blues belter, following the path of Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and Koko Taylor. She developed an interest for gospel early on, and that surely has influenced her passionate, high-voltage, singing style. The guys in the band are all competent players, and everybody sounds locked in like the kind of band that has been doing a lot of regional gigs and festivals.

I can imagine Hybrid Groove being a really solid live band, with a lot of energy and Savage pumping up the crowd with her power vocals. On record – and I better choose my words carefully since this is a debut CD from an unsigned band - it would have been great if the dynamics and performances had more variety… that there were a greater span of emotions expressed. Savage can definitely sing and apply the attitude of a Joplin or a Turner. But that power would have so much more of an impact if she also could express vulnerability - simply a greater range of emotions instead of limiting herself to just belting. Sometimes singers can indulge themselves too much in the sheer power of their instrument, and lose the connection to the lyrics – the telling of the story instead of just singing the melodies. Hybrid Groove chooses to cover not only one, but three, really over-played standards in the blues book: “Born Under A Bad Sign”, “Stormy Monday” and “Summertime.” Their arrangements of these songs are not personalized in any way. As a singer in this day and age, if you want to sing lines like “I can’t read, I never learned how to write” or “fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high,” you’ve got to ask yourself what these words mean to you… how do you relate? You have to find your personal connection to the words and not just belt the songs out.

In their original songs, Hybrid Groove have some pretty cool ideas, like the changes of groove in “Matchstick,” and a great riff in “Swamp Queen.” Developing a personal sound is the hardest thing to do for a musician and band, besides staying together. But Hybrid Groove definitely are ready and able to take that next step on their musical journey, since they’re all great players and have an obvious chemistry and locked-in feel. For now, this disc should be a great way for the band to secure more gigs and get the word out about them. It does live up to its title… I’d just like to see a broader palette of feelings being expressed, and a more personal take on blues classics that already have been covered by an infinite number of people.

Review by Nikki Oneill

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

"What Goes Around” – a new CD from Michael Osborn!

"Michael Osborn is one of the best blues guitarists around, he can really lay it down". - John Lee Hooker

"Michael Osborn is one of the authentic blues guitarists today. His style goes straight to the heart of the blues and he’ll steal your show if you don’t watch out!” – Robben Ford

CLICK HERE  to purchase


Eden Brent

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee

"Sean Costello Rising Star Award"

To read a review of this CD, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD now!

 Blues Society News

 Send your Blues Society's BIG news or Press Release to:  

Please submit a maximum of 125 words in a Text or Word format ONLY. Press releases  not formatted

Simple Man Enterprises - Ft Madison, IA

Australian Blues sensation Harper, will be playing a benefit for the Relay for Life Oct 3rd, 2008 at Richmond Stadium in Fort Madison, IA.

Simply The Blues Blues Festival has raised over $12,000 for non-profit and charity organizations over the past 5 years during our festival.  Relay For Life has been one of those. This year Simply The Blues has a Relay for Life team and we are sponsoring the performance of HARPER. Please come and be on the team or just make a contribution.  Contact Matt Eimer at 319-470-2082 or at

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

MVBS Party Bus Trip, Saturday October 4, 2008 to see Bob Dorr & the Blue Band at Tabor Wineries Anniversary Party Near Maquoketa, IA. Leaving from and returning to Creekside Bar & Grill 3303 Brady St. Davenport IA. Sign up at Creekside 563-324-4619 or MVBS office 563-322-5837. Bus
leaves at 12:30 p.m. and returns at around 7:00 p.m. BYOB. MVBS members $25, Non members $30. The Rockin Jake Band will be playing at Creekside when we return

Chicago Blues & Bluegrass Festival - Chicago, IL

The Chicago Vlues & Bluegrass Festival on November 22nd, 2008 is a one-day festival hosted by the Congress Theatre. It features 12 hours, 16 bands, for only $31 to help eradicate congenital heart defects in children. A portion of the event’s proceeds will contribute to the research efforts of the Chicago-based Saving Tiny Hearts Foundation. The lineup includes: Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials, David Grisman, The Avett Brothers and many more. Check out  for more info.

Friends of the Blues - Watseka, IL

The Friends of the Blues presents Nick Moss & The Flip Tops at Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N. Kinzie (Route 50) in  Bradley, IL on Saturday, Sept 27, 2008 For info 815-936-1649 or 815-401-1170 Show starts at 8 :00 PM.

The Rowan Blues and Jazz Society - Salisbury, NC

The Rowan Blues and Jazz Society is presenting its 10th Annual Blues and Jazz Festival, October 11 in Downtown Salisbury, NC at 2p.m. It is featuring the Homemade Jamz Blues Band featuring Ryan, Kyle and Taya Perry and Dad, Big Bill Morganfield, Joe Robinson Jazz Band, Larry Davis Jazz, Ladies Auxiliary Blues Band, and Bob Paolina. Bring your own chairs and blankets, Variety of vendors and family friendly. For more information go to our website  Contact 704-636-2811.

Second Wind Cancer Retreat - Atlanta, GA

Legendary singers Bonnie Bramlett and William Bell are among the many artists scheduled to perform at BluesFest ‘08, benefiting the Second Wind Cancer Retreat, on Sunday, October 5, at Blind Willie’s blues club in Atlanta. Other artists scheduled to perform at the benefit include Liberty Jones, Men in Blues and Ike Stubblefield and Friends. Doors opening at 3:00 PM and music scheduled to run from 4:00 – 8:00 PM. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door, with no one admitted under 21 years of age. This non-smoking event is also dedicated to the memory of blues guitarist Jeff Healey, who passed away from cancer in March.

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

The Illinois Central Blues Club announces the 2008 call for entries for the Solo/Duo Challenge. The winner of this challenge will receive a slot to represent our club at the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge to be held in Memphis, TN, February 4-7, 2009, and well as $500 in travel money. Entries must be received by Monday, October 10, 2008. The event will be held at The Alamo on Saturday, October 25, 2008, from 6pm - 10pm. At least one member must be a member of ICBC to participate in this challenge. For rules and regulations check our website at For more info contact Judy Burgess Secretary Illinois Central Blues Club

Blue Mondays- Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover  - Sept 29 - The Blues Deacons, Oct 6 - Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Oct 13 - The Rich Fabec Blues Band, Oct 20 - Too Slim & the Tail Draggers, Oct 27- Gina Sicilia with David Gross

The West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, W.V.

The West Virginia Blues Society will hold its Second Annual Blues Competition on October 4, 2008 at Christopher's Banquet Center in Fairmont, WV. Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts will compete for cash prizes and WVBS sponsorship to the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge held every year in Memphis, Tennessee. Complete information is available online at


The 25th International Blues Challenge

February 4-7, 2009 in Memphis, TN

Advance tickets, host hotel information, merchandise and preliminary event schedule will be available at  beginning October 1.



Too Slim and the Taildraggers


Fortune Teller


2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for

 "Best Contemporary Blues Recording"

CLICK HERE to Vote for Us NOW

To purchase this CD now CLICK HERE


 The BEST Way To Promote YOUR Next Blues Project!

BANDS, BARS, AND LABELS: Is your promo material getting you the gigs and business you desire? If not, call music journalist and copy writer Mike O'Cull for all your promotional needs. Mike is a veteran music journalist and musician and writes for the Illinois Entertainer,, and  and can deliver the highest quality promotional writing around quickly and at a reasonable price.

Mike's specialties include bios, press releases, liner notes, and web content. Full press kit design, including graphics, is also available. Clients include The Joe Moss Band, Carl Davis, TruSoul Entertainment, B.A. S. Entertainment, and many others. Samples available on request. Email , call Mike O'Cull Music at 847-608-0357, or visit us online at  for more information.

Mention the Blues Blast for a $10 new customer discount.

 Chicago Blues Update

Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy

Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)

Lordy will return with another report soon

In the meantime, check out his website!

CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at

To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE

New Sounds from Kansas City

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee
 "Best Blues Song" for Ain't Gonna Happen Again

CLICK HERE to purchases Now!

To read the Blues Blast CD review - CLICK HERE

Festival Website:

 Featured Blues Review (3 of 3)

Michael Burks - Iron Man

Alligator Records

Michael Burks is a force to be reckoned with, both as a musician and a man. He makes rock-influenced blues music and does it with the kind of force and physical presence not seen in these parts since the last time Albert King played Chicago. Burks is the same kind of big, powerful man that King was and, like King, his physical presence is clearly felt in his music.

Burks puts every ounce of his being into his guitar and plays thick, muscular lines over his bands’ churning grooves. Iron Man is his third release for the Alligator label and it is the first one recorded with Burks’ road band, rather than with a group of session players, and the immediacy of musicians who have rocked the house countless times with these songs makes all the difference. Band and leader both know each other so well that the interplay is almost telepathic and the listener really gets a feel for what this stuff must sound like live.

The title of the album is taken from Burks’ nickname and it seems to fit. He is legendary for long, physically draining performances and equally long cross-country drives behind the wheel of his tour van getting his band from gig to gig. One gets the sense that Burks is one of the true believers, still under the spell of what the music can do, for his own life and for his fans.

The songs on Iron Man freely mix blues and rock sounds and are modern in their drive and energy, rather than modern in a jazz-influenced way, and still contain the heart-and-soul pentatonic content that defines the sound of the blues. “Love Disease” is reminiscent of Albert King’s “Phone Booth” without being derivative and “Salty Tears” is everything that is good about the 21st Century blues scene. Burks is all about feel over flash and his heartfelt blues will win over anyone with even a casual interest in this music.

By Mike O'Cull

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Roamin' and Ramblin'

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee
 "Best Best Traditional Blues CD

CLICK HERE to purchases Now!

To read the Blues Blast CD review - CLICK HERE

Three Blues Blast Music Award Nominations!

Bryan Lee

  • Best Male Artist

  • Best Blues Band

  • Best Contemporary CD

Purchase Katrina Was Her Name NOW!  CLICK HERE

Live Blues Calendar


Performance dates were submitted by Musicians, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Blues festivals. is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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