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October 7, 2009           

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Hey Blues Fans,

This weekend is one of the biggest Blues weekends of the year. The Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival (The Biscuit) starts Thursday and runs through Saturday in Helena, Arkansas.

 Performers include names like John Primer, Dave Riley, Bob Corritore, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Billy Boy Arnold, Michael Burks, Bobby Rush, John Hammond, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets, Bob Margolin and Pinetop Perkins plus 30 more!

But the Blues fun down in the Delta doesn't stop there. On Sunday a short drive away in Clarksdale, Mississippi the Blues fun picks up again at 9:00AM for the free Cat Head mini fest in the street in front of the Cat Head music store. A few miles away at Hopson Plantation in the afternoon the annual Pinetop Perkins homecoming takes place for even more Blues fun on Sunday afternoon .

Blues Blast Magazine will be there for it all. We will have pictures of all the fun for you next week. If you see the folks with the Blues Blast t-shirts taking pictures, be sure to say hello!

Blues Wanderings

We made it out to hear some great Chicago Blues this week when Vernon Ray Harrington played a Food for Blues mini fest in Chatham, Illinois for the Illinois Central Blues Club. Admission for the fest was a non perishable food item to stock the local Holy Family Food Pantry for folks down on their luck. It was a great cause with some great Blues.

We also made it out to hear a great band from Kansas City. The Scotty Boy Daniels band played some rocking Blues to the folks out for Blues on a Monday night. This was our first time hearing these guys. It won't be our last! Take the opportunity to check them out if the come to your town. You won't be sorry.

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from John Hammond. Gary "Wingman" Weeks reviews a new CD by Johnny Winter.  Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Roadblock.  Steve Jones reviews a new CD by Tia Carroll.

Our Blues video of the week is another clip of Sonny Boy Williamson playing with Otis Spann, Matt 'Guitar' Murphy, Willie Dixon and Bill Stepney! SCROLL DOWN!! Enjoy!

Deep Blue Innovators Festival

Sat., Oct. 24, 2009

Rivoli Theater - Monmouth, IL

Buy Tickets Here!

Charlie Hayes and Joel Fleming

Joe Price

Bernie Pearl

Shawn Kellerman

Watermelon Slim

 Blues Video of the Week

Sonny Boy Williamson II
Keep it to Yourself

We had such a good response from Blues harmonica fans last week with the Sonny Boy video we decided to feature another video of him this week.

In this video he has an all star backup band featuring Otis Spann on Piano, Matt 'Guitar' Murphy on Guitar, Willie Dixon on Bass and Bill Stepney on Drums.   

The video was recorded in the UK in 1963.



To see this cool video on our website, click the play button below or click the photo above.

For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 4

John Hammond - Rough & Tough

Chesky Records

15 songs; 58:33 minutes; Library Quality

Style: Delta Blues; Country Blues recorded onto Audiophile SACD and CD

And, the winner .... for "Lifetime Achievement of Preserving the Blues" John Hammond! We have the winner, now we just need for some awards show to add this category.

Consider Hammond’s Blues pedigree:

* He has introduced newcomers for 47 years to past performers, making fans for many legends like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters.

* Hammond is one of handful of white blues musicians who was on the scene at the beginning of the first Delta Blues renaissance of the middle 1960s.

* He has preserved not only memories of artists, but classic Blues songs have been kept alive, too.

* At age 67, he has just released his 49th recording, his 35th album. His self titled debut vinyl album came in 1962.

* By the time he was just 20 years old, he had been interviewed for the New York Times before one of his East Coast festival performances, and he was a certified national act.

* Born November 13, 1942, in New York City, he’s the son of the famous Columbia Records talent scout John Hammond, Sr.

* He is a solo Bluesman, and a multi-dimensional artist who continues to tour and record steadily.

What can be written about him that hasn’t already been said over almost five decades? Perhaps, most apropos, then, are just some fan accolades:

"John Hammond was my first experience with white man's Blues from his very first Vanguard album."
"This guy is so cool and so good. I'm in the process of buying every Hammond CD I can find. Love this guy!"
"John Hammond is the best single performing Blues man in the world, period! He goes back to the beginning and plays it today."
"I reckon he's one of the best white Bluesmen. There must be some enterprising record label out there that can put together a proper collectors retrospective CD."

His latest, "Rough & Tough," is a stripped-down, solo acoustic session recapitulating the timeless one-Blues-man-and-his-guitar (plus harmonica on a neck rack). No overdubs, no compressors, no multi-tracking, and no large mixing consoles! He plays National Steel, Guild 12-String, and Stubbs 6-String guitars.

It took me about three listens to the CD to more full appreciate his no-backup-band performance this time. Hammond’s playing is so rough and raw that I had to adjust to shrill harmonica notes bent to the point of breaking, his virtual, often ferocious, attack on the guitar and slide, and his foot-stomping rhythm section. This isn’t a mellow, laid back performance; this is a Saturday night, 1930s house party, no electric instruments available, throw down! Included are songs written by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Blind Willie McTell, Little Walter, Jerry McCain, Tampa Red, and Tom Waits among others, as well as two of his own.

Songs that I enjoyed in particular are Muddy Waters’ "I Can’t Be Satisfied," Tampa Red’s "It Hurts Me Too" (Yes, Hudson Whittaker, not Elmore James, wrote it), Jerry McCain’s "She’s Tough," his surprising version of "Chattanooga Choo Choo," and Tom Waits’ "Get Behind the Mule."

In some ways, this new release goes back to the first recording Hammond did with Vanguard Records nearly 50 years ago. By now however, he attacks the guitar and harp with more confidant abandon, and his deep vocals and expression and craggy facial lines have been earned through the years.

This CD is worthy of inclusion in one’s Blues library for many reasons, not the least of which is how it was recorded as both a CD and Super Audio CD by famed Grammy Award-winning independent audiophile label, Chesky Records. Their philosophy is simple: to create the illusion of live musicians in a real three-dimensional space, which is never a studio! Chesky Records used the most advanced, custom made, electronics available and careful single-point microphone placement in St. Peter’s Church in New York City, sans an audience. "This recording is not unlike a live show that I would do except that there was no live audience to perform for," said Hammond. "It’s been a while since I’ve had a solo album out, so I’m very happy with it."

For fans of John Hammond, getting this special SACD and CD is a given. For newcomers and the curious, this just might be the one to start your collection. Honor this man for what he has done, but remember, this is how he still makes his living every single day.

Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Thursdays from 7 - 8 pm and Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at in Kankakee, IL

To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE 

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

 Blues Want Ads

 Blues Musicians Place Your Want Ad here for FREE

"workin Blues performers" ONLY can place Want Ads here for FREE.  NO Commercial Ads! 
Buy or sell equipment , musicians wanted, gigs wanted etc. Limit 100 words.

Blues Reviewers wanted

Blues Blast Magazine is looking for reviewers to review new Blues CD's. If you have a background and experience with Blues music and like to write we can provide new CD's for you to review. Person must be willing to write a minimum of one review every other week. Reviewer keeps the CD's for writing the review.  If interested please send a sample of your writing and a short bio of your Blues background to

All ads submitted will be used if space allows. If space is limited, ads will be randomly selected to appear in the Blues Blast. Ads may be edited.  Send your ad submission to

2009 Blues Blast Music Awards

Tickets On Sale NOW

Advanced tickets are only $25 and available now on our website. CLICK HERE to get yours now before they sell out.

This is a great show featuring some of the best Blues talent on the planet including Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip TopsLurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Curtis Salgado, Matthew Skoller, Carlos Johnson  Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross.

Join us for a gala celebration of the best in Blues music today! Buddy Guy's Legends is the most famous Blues Club in the entire world. But it is a Blues club and not a huge arena so there will be a limited number of  tickets available for the show on October 29th. All this for the low price or $25. Get your tickets before they sell out, CLICK HERE!

Those with advanced tickets will be let in first and get the best seats.  So get your tickets early and get there for

HOW TO GET THE BEST SEATS!! - You can get advanced tickets with great reserved seating by becoming a sponsor of the awards. Several packages and sponsor levels are available. It is a great way to advertise your Blues organization or product and see a GREAT show too. Sponsor packages start as low as $250 and are available until they sell out. (Packages are available to individuals too. You do NOT have to be an organization to be a sponsor!)

Sponsor packages include tickets with great reserved seating, Blues memorabilia (Can you say "goodie bag"?) and some Blues advertising and promotion. There are a limited number of packages available on a first come, first served basis so inquire NOW!  For complete information CLICK HERE.

 Blues Society News

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

Please submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or Word format ONLY.

Great Northern Blues Society - Wausau, WI

Great Northern is proud to announce a brand new GNBS musical event. On October 24 the society will present “Blues ala Carte” at Tangos Ballroom on 8808 Townline Road (County N) in Wausau. Four Blues bands will perform, including Queenie and the Blue Cats, Nick Moss and the Flip Tops with special guest Lurrie Bell, the Olderbudwiser Blues Band and the Kilborn Alley Blues Band. The doors open to the public at 2:00 p.m. with the first band taking the stage at 3:00 p.m. Generous seating will be provided, with both food and beverages available in the hall (sorry, no carry-ins). The society hopes to make “ala Carte” an annual event, balancing with its Blues Café event in the spring.

Tickets are priced at $10.00 in advance and $12.00 at the door and can be purchased online at or see website to purchase locally. For “Blues ala Carte” room rate specials, call Weston Inn & Suites at 866-912-3355. Shuttle bus service between Weston Inn & Suites and Tangos Ballroom is being planned Info at:  &

Blues Blowtorch Society - Bloomington, IL

BBS Presents 3rd Friday Blues with Diddley-Squat 7 PM October 16, 2009 at the Treehouse Lounge 2060 Ireland Grove Road, Bloomington, IL 309-662-5231.

This high-energy band is from the East Texas bayou country and plays Delta to Chicago-style Blues and Memphis to West Coast Swing. Whether playing a festival, casino, club, or coffee house, they just love music and love to entertain! for more info:

Friends Of The Blues Shows - Kankakee IL

The Friends of the Blues 2009 Blues concert Series upcoming shows:

Tuesday, Oct 13, Too Slim & The Taildraggers, 7 p.m. , Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL 60915. (815) 936-1649. Tuesday, Oct 20, Paul Rishell & Anne Raines 7 p.m. , Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL 60915. (815) 936-1649

The Boston Blues Society - Boston, MA

2009 BOSTON BLUES CHALLENGE - The Boston Blues Society will hold this year’s Blues Challenge at 8 p.m. Nov. 1, 8, and 15 at Johnny D’s Uptown, 17 Holland St., (Davis Square) Somerville, Mass. The first two sessions will be semi-finals of four bands per night; with the finals, consisting of the winning two bands from each semi-final, competing on Nov. 15. The winner will be sponsored by the Boston Blues Society at the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January.

To enter, send a music sample (CD or MP3) and a $75 entrance fee (check or Paypal) to: ; or to Boston Blues Society, PO Box 386, Maynard, MA 01754.

Bands from all over New England may compete. The deadline for entries is Oct. 11. The semi-finalists will be announced Oct. 19.

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - Oct 12 - The Blues Deacons, Oct 19 - Andrew "Jr Boy" Jones, Oct 16 - Dan Sanchez & the Kings of Pleasure

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 4

Johnny Winter - Woodstock Experience


The 40th anniversary of Woodstock has become a symbol of what the original flower power children despised: an effigy of capitalism burning the green out of wallets.

The recordings of sets by Janis Joplin, Sly And The Family Stone and Santana have been released in their entirety. Despite the roughness of these recordings, they capture these artists at their zenith. Janis is a bit of a struggle to listen too. Southern Comfort and assorted illegal goodies don't always bring out the best in people.

Because guitar gods Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and Alvin Lee reigned supreme at this festival, other players got easily overlooked. If you didn't see them in the film or hear their music on the original vinyl recordings, you wouldn't know of them at all.

Thanks to the folks at the Columbia label, we are treated to Johnny Winter: The Woodstock Experience.

Long before Stevie Ray Vaughan came around, Texan Johnny Winter was igniting audiences with a brand of blues-rock that went down well with the hippies, draft resisters and blues lovers of the countercultural era.

The Woodstock Experience is a double cd package. The first album is included here. With drummer Uncle John Turner and bassist Tommy Shannon, this music has withstood the test of time. There's the nasty bottleneck trashcan sound in "Dallas."

But it's the Woodstock appearance that listeners want to hear. And when they hear it, they wonder how did Winter get ignored?

There's only eight songs. Johnny's set clocks in at little more then an hour because numbers are stretched to ten minutes or more. Original composition "Mean Town Blues" gets a guitar slinger workout. Younger brother Edgar turns up to guest on a smoke layered "Tobacco Road." His keyboard and saxophone are muddled in the mix. You don't lose any sleep especially when Johnny tears into the good time rocker of "Johnny B. Goode."

The Woodstock set was mixed by legendary producer Eddie Kramer whose resume includes working with Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and other legendary acts.

It's too bad that 40 years had to pass and that the anniversary of a mythic event finally saw brought to life a release by an artist who was a leading figure in the blues renaissance.

Review by Gary "Wingman" Weeks

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Group Rate Hotel Rooms for the Blues Blast Music Awards

Blues Blast Magazine has put together an affordable group rate for hotel accommodations for the Blues Blast Music Awards October 29th at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. The Travelodge at 65 Harrison Street is just a block from Buddy Guys and rooms for the weekend are just $99 plus tax each night for either 2 doubles or a king size bed.

To get this great rate call group coordinator Darren Andrews at 312-376-1481 and mention the Blues Blast Music Awards. The rate is available from 10-28-09 to 11-2-09 so come for the show and stay the weekend in Chicago to visit some of the many other great Chicago Blues clubs while you are there. For complete hotel info CLICK HERE

The lineup for the awards show includes Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip TopsLurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skoller, Carlos Johnson  Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross. Advanced tickets for the show are only $25 and available now on our website. CLICK HERE to get yours now before they sell out.

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 4

Roadblock - Live Vibe @ BB King’s

6 tracks/20:10

Promising "Classic Licks - Fresh Vibe", this EP from Roadblock captures the band live on stage earlier this year at BB King’s in Orlando. The group consists of Rachelle Maurer on lead vocals, Steve Guerra on keyboards & vocals, JJ Jensen on guitar & vocals, Tom Nordin on drums & vocals and Jerry Waller on bass. The veteran group has steadily built a following by working the Orlando club scene and hosting area jam sessions.

The opening track, "She’ll Leave You Wantin’ More", rocks hard right from the start. Maurer’s got a strong, husky voice that has no problem being heard over the surging musical accompaniment that her band mates provide. Guerra lays down several rousing choruses on the organ before Jensen adds a taut guitar solo. The band dials the energy back a bit on "Moonlight Man", which gives Maurer a chance to showcase the impressive range of her voice. Jensen and Guerra once again provide brief but tasteful solos on their respective instruments.

\"Momma, Momma" slows down the pace and sports a sassy vocal from Maurer, who purrs, growls and shouts with conviction. The arrangement features Jensen on slide guitar. The weakest track on the disc is "Tell Me to Go". Maurer struggles to hit a few notes. Her performance falls flat despite strong support from the band.

If you ever wondered what Janis Joplin might have sounded like if she had taken a stab at Led Zeppelin’s "Whole Lotta Love", be sure to listen to Roadblock’s version. Jensen opens the track with a nasty slide guitar riff before Maurer pulls out all the stops with a performance that certainly captures the attention of the audience. The disc closes with another classic, "The Weight", with the band providing nice harmonizing on the backing vocals. Maurer’s vocal packs a punch and easily rides the surging rhythm. She finishes with a flourish, hitting and holding several notes with ease.

This project shows that Roadblock is a dynamic live act - solid musicianship behind a powerhouse vocalist. They may not be doing anything particularly innovative but they play to their strengths, keeping the solos short and to the point while giving Maurer plenty of opportunities to showcase her vocal talent. Catch them live - they throw a great party !!!

Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL   

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.



John Primer


Nominated for two 2009 Blues Blast Music Award

Best Traditional Blues Recording

Best Male Blues Artist

To Purchase the new CD CLICK HERE

To Read the CD review CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 4 of 4

Tia Carroll - Live!

Big Cat Records\

10 tracks

Tia Carroll is a Bay Area blues woman with a big, sultry voice who can keep an audience charged up and wrapped around her finger. Tia recently toured Italy with great success and is a staple out in the California music scene. This third CD release of her career features the singer belting out ten live tunes in the manner of former great blues women, and she appears to be the real deal.

The first three cuts show us up front what Tia Carrol can do with a song. She begins her album with a very convincing cover of "Let the Juke Joint Jump". Her backup band Hard Work is very solid in supporting her here and throughout. Jimmy Smith (from Vallejo) on keys and Joel Cohen (from Paris) on guitar are quite good and Artie Chavez on drums and Tom Towers on bass are solid Bay Area musicians who keep the beat going strong. Her take on "Don’t Put Your Hands On Me" channels a little bit of Koko Taylor and following that Carroll gives us "Hound Dog" in true Big Mama Thornton style, but both songs are delivered with somewhat of a Tia Carroll twist.

She continues strong with her single, "2 Drink Minimum" and then turns in a great cover of "Matchbox". At this point, the CD totally switches gears when Carroll covers Delbert McClinton’s "Giving it Up for Your Love". It really is a contrast to the first five tunes. It’s not at all bad, but I prefer her take on the blues than to a more of a "pop country" tune. She does approach this song from an R&B perspective. Then Carroll goes off to the heavy blues rock world with "Pay Attention", featuring a big, fuzzy guitar line along with Carroll’s vocals.

Tia is back to the blues world in "If I Didn’t Know" and then gets quite deeply soulful in "Had Your Love"; included in this track is some nice, un-credited saxophone punctuating her lyrics. She closes with another R&B number "No Good 4 Me" where she delivers another strong performance. I might have sequenced a few of the tracks differently, but all in all Carroll delivers ten strong performances and showcases her instrument.

In 2007 Ms. Carroll was nominated as "Best Traditional Blues Woman" by the Jus Blues Music Foundation. She was awarded "Female Blues Vocalist Of The Year" by the West Coast Blues Hall Of Fame in the same year. I listened to a lot of her other live stuff on line and believe me in saying we’ll be hearing a lot more from her soon!

Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Live Blues Calendar

 YOU can submit your Blues performances for FREE at:


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

CLICK HERE - for the Latest Complete Blues Calendar on our website at:

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Performance dates submitted by Musicians, Clubs, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.

The is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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