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August 28, 2009           

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Hey Blues Fans,

If you have not yet voted for your favorite Blues artists in the 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards, time is getting short. The voting ends at midnight on Monday, August 31st.

Vote totals for many of the artists will be very close in spite of the more than 3,000 votes so far.

Don't miss your chance to push your favorite artist over the top.

Join the Blues fun and vote today!

Is is FREE and easy. CLICK HERE to vote now. (Tell all your Blues friends to vote too!)

Blues Wanderings

We made it out to hear Blues Blast Music Award nominees Kilborn Alley Blues Band this week. They played lots of tunes from their soon to be released CD to a capacity crowd on a Monday night.


We also caught a set by Chicago Bluesman Vernon Ray Harrington. Vernon had his brother playing bass and Chicago hired gun Willie "The Touch" Hayes on Drums. They played many of the tunes on Vernon's recently released CD, "West Side Blues" for a crowd of 60 Blues lovers from the River City Blues Society.


In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from South Side Cindy & The Slip Tones.  Michael Packer reviews a new CD by Front Street Blues Band. George "Blues Fin Tuna" Fish reviews a new CD by The California Honeydrops.

Our Blues video of the week is a clip by BBMA nominee Dave Gross.

Blues Blast Music Awards Tickets

On Sale August 31st

Advanced tickets are only $25 and will go on sale on our website Monday August 31st.

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 of tickets available for Awards show on October 29th.

Those with advanced tickets will be let in first and get the best seats.  So get your tickets early and get there for a great show that will include Eden BrentKenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Chris James & Patrick Rynn w/ Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross for a gala celebration of the best in Blues music today.

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 include free tickets, great reserved seating, Blues memorabilia and Blues advertising . There are a limited number of packages available on a first come, first served basis so inquire NOW!  For complete information CLICK HERE.

 Blues Video of the Week

Dave Gross - I'm Leavin' Baby
Live at the 2007 Montreal Jazz Festival

This week we feature Blues Blast Music Award nominee Dave Gross performing at the 2007 Montreal Jazz Fest. Dave is one of the best young guitar players on the scene today. He is nominated for the Sean Costello Rising Star Award. His playing is truly unique. This video is from more than 2 years ago. Since then Dave has released 2 CD's on the Vizztone label and gets better every time we see him.

The Sean Costello Rising Star Award is for up and coming artists whom you may not have heard of yet.  If you haven't heard Dave yet you can hear him at the Blues Blast Music Awards on October 29th at Buddy Guy's Legends.

Check out this video and if you like what you hear you still have time to vote for him. To vote now CLICK HERE.

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


For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 3

South Side Cindy & The Slip-Tones - This Time

Sour Wine Records

10 songs; 40:52 minutes; Splendid

Style: Blues-Rock; R&B; Pop; Torch

I am still lobbying for a DVD release from South Side Cindy & The Slip-Tones! From the signature vibrato in Cindy’s powerful vocals to the harmonies with band mate Wendy Gossett to the expert musicianship and song craftsmanship of the band, one can “feel” the energy of their live shows on this CD. But, one can not “see” their dressed up stylish stage show, dancing, facial expressions, sweat, and instrument playing that are the trademarks of a SSC & TS-T live showcase. One could hire them to play at a wedding, if he / she doesn’t mind completely upstaging the bride and groom!

“This Time” is the band’s fourth CD in four years, and, according to their website, “This project was born in the joy of writing and making music” and attracted some friends as guest musicians and a co-song writer. All ten tracks are originals credited to, variously, Cindy Youngren and Steve Youngren (also on guitars), various band members, all band members, and a friend. Eric Johnson returns on bass propelling the engine room with Dan Diefendorf on drums, and Jim Donahue is back on keyboards.

By the time the last song (and title track) was almost finished playing, my wife called from the other room, “Who are we listening to?” That is always a sign that she likes the CD, and trust me, she fussily does not like them all. Featuring saxophone opening and two solos courtesy of guest Dave Parkinson, “This Time” swells instrumentally and vocally with power and wrenching emotion as Cindy portrays a broken protagonist pleading with a remote lover, “This time, I need you to pick me up...carry me through!” As she hits the word “time,” Wendy Gossett joins for head turning harmony. I’ll be playing this one on my radio show this week without fail.

The CD opens with “Light The Fire,” which is an apropos introduction for this diverse collection that is guaranteed party material.

Track two, “Black Little Heart,” opens with Steve Youngren’s voodoo sounding, shimmering lead guitar soon followed by more twin vocal harmonies from Cindy and Wendy. It also contains some shimmering organ by Jim Donahue with one layer that tricked my wife and I both into thinking the phone was ringing in the other room.

As haunting as track two is, the repeated title lyrics of track three’s “January Rain” is authentic enough to give cold chills.

Track four, “Dreams and Games” adds congas by guest Bill Duncan trading opening licks with Steve on acoustic guitar.

Track five is eighteen seconds of unexpected fun. It is the sounds of a party with a vinyl record skipping at the end of side one. Finally Cindy says, “Hey, somebody turn that record over, will ya!” Just don't do an absent-minded-flash-back and turn the “CD” over, you Baby Boomers, when you hear it.

Check the lyrics on “You Are My Friend” for a frank and realistic but fun assessment of what real friends are like. There’re also great guitar licks and cascading piano.

“On Your Own” is my second favorite cut full of complex Spanish rhythms and an upbeat, true full band approach topped by Cindy’s charging vocals and Wendy’s faithful harmony. Steve throws down his fiercest guitar solo mid song accented by Duncan’s congas.

While a little light on Blues content, there is much here to like, not the least being South Side Cindy’s ability to project herself into song roles where she exudes standout emotions like an actress. Each CD brings the band more attention. Maybe “This Time” they will break out to the attention they deserve (and then consider making a DVD- hint hint).

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

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Tab Benoit  Kenny Neal Band  Ronnie Baker Brooks  Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam  Kelley Hunt 
Reba Russell Band  The Underground Blues Division  The Cate Brothers  Josh Garrett & the Bottomline 
Steve Smith and the Sneakers  Stewart Mann and the Statesboro Revue  Shae

For tickets and complete information:

 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.

Windy City Blues Society - Chicago, IL

The Windy City Blues Society presents the Chicago Blues Challenge ( Round 2) September 10, 2009 8:00 pm at Rosas’ s Lounge, 3420 W Armitage, Chicago. Illinois. $7 admission. For more info visit

West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, W.V.

The West Virginia Blues Society will hold its Third Annual Blues Competition at noon on October 3, 2009 at Christopher's Banquet Center, 104 Van Kirk Dr., 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 in Memphis, Tennessee.

8 competition slots will be filled by regional blues acts from all over West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and other states. This is the onlyBlues Talent Competition in West Virginia recognized by the Blues Foundation.

The first-place winner of Blues Competition will receive $750 dollars in cash and WVBS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in early 2010. The second place winner will receive $200 in cash and third-place winner will receive $100 in cash.

Complete information, application & rules are available online at . Deadline for application submission is September 1, 2009. For more information contact Competition Director, Jack Rice at 304-389-1438 or e-mail:

The Arkansas River Blues Society - Little Rock, Arkansas

The Arkansas River Blues Society presents a monthly Blues jam at Juanita’s, 1300 Main Street, Little Rock, Arkansas the first Tuesday of every month. The next jam will be September 1, 2009, at 8 pm. The jam will feature a different house band each month. G - Funk The Tree Trunk will be our house band. You can check this band out on our myspace site. Admission is $5 for the public and $3 for members of ARBS. Participating musicians are FREE and this is an open jam. For more information contact Babs at 501-920-7783 or check out

Friends Of The Blues Shows - Kankakee IL

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

Tuesday, Sept 22 The Insomniacs, 7 p.m., Kankakee Elks Country Club, 2283 Bittersweet Drive , St. Anne IL 60964 (815) 937-1228. 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

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

Illinois Central Blues Club’s Third Annual Blues Challenge takes place in conjunction with the Old Capitol Blues & Barbeque in Springfield, IL starting at noon on Saturday August 29th, 2009. The Challenge Stage will feature three solo/duo acts - Reverend Robert, Jake Shane and Mason Baran, Robert Sampson, and nine band acts -  B-1 Blues Bombers, Tombstone Bullet, Soul Kitchen, Cabin Fever, Pleasure Chest, The Mojo Cats, Eric Guitar Davis & the Troublemakers, Blue City and The Texas Groove Blues Band making for six hours of great blues music. The  Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Stage kicks off at 3:00pm and features The Modern Sounds, Carl "Sonny" Leyland, Black Diamond Heavies, Junior Watson, Toni Lynn Washington and Big James and the Chicago Playboys. For more info contact Mark R. Edmiston at 217-679-0721 or  or Charlotte A. Montgomery at .

BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 coverAugust 31 Todd Wolf Blues Band

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 3

Front Street Blues Band – Blues Promised Land

No Cover Productions

The Front Street Blues Band were the overall band champions of the Detroit Blues Society and represented Detroit in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis 2007.

Their new CD called 'Blues Promised Land', starts with the title cut 'Blues Promised Land' which is a swinging jump blues with some great piano from guest piano player Tommy Piskor. 'Lose That Woman' is a funky piece with a nice solo from guitarist Cliff McClanahan, who also is the writer of the next song 'Shuffle Off To Buffalo', a really fun song, my favorite and should get plenty of airplay.

They bring it down on the slow blues 'Heartbreaker' featuring some soulful harmonica by Brian Smith. Pianist Tommy Piskor is absolutely brilliant on 'She's Too Much'. I hope they are thinking of adding him to the band. 'Since My Baby Left Me' and 'Hit By The Blues' are standard blues feel. The band is back in the jump groove which I like because they excel in this format with 'Pay Some Attention'. The rest of the album features 1-4-5 blues with 'Hanging Around' being a stand out track. Good lyrics.

The Front Street Blues Band can swing.The musicianship is excellent. The rhythm section of Greg Manning (drums) and Tracy Garneau (bass) are tight and exciting to listen to. The only draw back for me on this CD was the vocals. They kind of talk them not sing them but the funny thing it works on their jump blues selections. I would like to hear a cd of all jump style blues with a horn section. I think it would be great!

All and all this CD is a good listen and I expect we will be hearing more from the champions of Detroit.....And in this corner..... The Front Street Blues Band!

Reviewer Michael Packer  is a singer-guitarist from NYC who fronts his own band "The Michael Packer Blues Band". He has been performing for over 40 years and has recorded on major labels Atlantic and RCA. 

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 3

The California Honeydrops - Soul Tub!

TubTone Records

12 tracks - Total time: 45:00

The California Honeydrops, who hail from Oakland, California, have in Soul Tub! a good-feeling romp through 12 original songs that are styled in traditional African American blues, jazz, R&B, soul and gospel from the 1920s through the 1960s. Further, the California Honeydrops produce a uniquely-theirs sound that joins the contemporary flair of drums and vocal choruses with their particular choice of combining these with the old-time instruments of washtub bass, jug and washboard. As the biracial Honeydrops write in the CD notes, their music as well as this choice of instruments “is rooted in the African American Musical Tradition. Most of the musicians, singers, and everyday people who created this tradition have never been credited or compensated for their contributions. As musicians and music-lovers we are all indebted to their work, and ‘Soul Tub!’ is our way of paying tribute to this legacy.” [Bold lettering in original.]

The California Honeydrops are: Lech Wierzynski, lead vocals, guitar and trumpet; Nansamba Ssensalo, who alternates with Benjamin Malamet on drums and washtub bass, does choral vocals, and plays jug and washboard, while Malamet also sings choral vocals and adds additional percussion; and Chris Burns, who fills out the sound with solid playing of traditional blues, boogie and R&B piano from the 1930s through the mid-1950s up to gospel-inflected 1960s soul. Wierzynski’s guitar is the same way, as he adds appropriate licks from 1930s blues through mid-1950s blues and R&B, and also gives a taste of New Orleans and swing jazz with his trumpet playing.

The 12 all-original tracks capture the band’s loving embrace of African American music with songs written in various styles that range chronologically from the classic jazz and jug band sounds of the 1920s in track 6, “Honeydrops Theme,” to the 1960s soul of track 4, “All You Got To Do.” Eight of the original songs were written by Wierzynski himself, while the three songs that talk about the Honeydrops themselves and their choice of bass were written by Wierzynski in collaboration with Benjamin Malamet and Chris Burns, and track 9, “Help Me Now,” was written together by all the band numbers. The washtub bass, dubbed specifically the Soul Tub, is enthusiastically celebrated on two tracks that feature guest vocalist Danielle Taylor, track 3, “Soul Tub,” and track 12, “Soul Tub (Reprise).” “Honeydrops Theme” tells of the band’s origins as street corner performers, and brings their story up to now. (These are the three tracks by Wierzynski, Malamet and Burns.)

Three of the songs take us back to that cusp in time when blues and R&B gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll: track 1, a New Orleans R&B number, “Miss Louise,” which is reminiscent of the classic Crescent City sound of Fats Domino; and tracks 9 and 10, which take us to mid-1950s R&B and blues respectively with the impassioned, James Brown-like crying of “Help Me Now,” and the more traditional blues of “All Night Long,” both reminding this reviewer of the Midnighters with Hank Ballard and the other 1950s black R&B groups. Traditional slow blues is carried on in track 2’s “Rain” and track 7’s “In My Dreams,” while track 5, “”Bye Bye Baby, I’m Gone,” is a rockin’ traditional piano boogie. “Squeezy Breezy” is swing-derived jazz-blues, and track 11, “Cry For Me,” is musically and thematically straightforward African American gospel, except done much differently—the Honeydrops sing unaccompanied except for drums and percussion, while joining in instrumentally are the R&B-riffing tenor saxes of guest musicians Johnny Bones and Yanos Lustig in counterpoint to Lech Wierzynski’s jazz trumpet.

Chris Burns and Lech Wierzynski, as the melody-carriers of the group with their ever-present piano and vocals respectively, are much more than just copiers of the African American sounds they convey. Obviously showing great affection and devotion to the original music, they are both masterfully versatile re-creators of these sounds, soul feeling and all. Burns can play the traditional piano of the masters, as well as create the admixture of gospel and R&B that characterizes his solo on “All You Got To Do,” while Wierzynski can give us the impassioned, crying soul vocals of “All You Got To Do” and “Help Me Now” with utter conviction, yet just as masterfully sing in a more traditional, less histrionic, blues vein on “Rain,” “In My Dreams” and “All Night Long,” and boogie with a lilt on “Bye Bye Baby, I’m Gone.”

All this gives Soul Tub! with its unusual bass approach both a contemporary as well as a jug band feel. No wonder Maria Muldaur, herself a noted re-creator of classic African American sounds with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in the 1960s, praised this CD. Soul Tub! is a tubful of soul all the way.

Reviewer George "Blues Fin Tuna" Fish lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of blues legends Yank Rachell and Leroy Carr, and writes a regular music column, “Blues and More” for the online Bloomington (IN) Alternative. He’s also published in the regional Indiana blues and alternative presses as well as Living Blues and Blues Access, and wrote the notes for Yank Rachell’s Delmark album, Chicago Style. He has also published on blues and pop music for the left-wing press as well, and has appeared in Against the Current and Socialism and Democracy, as well as the online Political Affairs and MRZine.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.



John Primer


Nominated for 2009 Blues Blast Music Award

Best Traditional Blues Recording

To Purchase the new CD CLICK HERE

To Read the CD review CLICK HERE

Vote for John Primer in the 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards

John is also Nominated for

Best Male Blues Artist

To vote now 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 Internet Marketing Manager Needed

Why are we advertising in a Blues publication? Because of our passion for the Blues! We seek an experienced webmaster with a passion for the Blues! We don't just need a web master. This opportunity is for someone who understands the potential of the Blues music market and has experience promoting music on a local or regional level.

Please send digital resumes before September 15th,2009 to the email address of

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

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

2009 Blues Blast Music Awards Voting Is Open

The Blues Blast Music Awards recognize the best Blues performers and their music. Our nominators included Radio stations, Blues DJ's, Blues Bloggers, Blues Critics, Journalists, Festival Promoters, Managers, Musicians and Blues Societies. They have nominated the BEST in Blues Music today.  To vote now CLICK HERE.

BE AN INFORMED VOTER - If you are not familiar with all of the 2009 nominees,  GLT Blues Radio 24/7 has a created a "listening page" where you can sample the music of the nominees BEFORE you vote. To check out the website and begin listening to these great artists now, CLICK HERE    Voting continues until August 31st. Details of the Awards show on October 29th, 2009 at Buddy Guy's Legends coming soon.

Best Contemporary Blues Recording

" At Least I’m Not With You” The Insomniacs

"Love Me Tonight" John Nemeth

“Live at Chan’s Vol 2” Nick Moss

"Clean Getaway" Curtis Salgado

"What Love Will Do" Janiva Magness

"Never going Back" Shemekia Copeland

Best Blues Band

Nick Moss and The Flip Tops

Lil Ed And The Blues Imperials

Kilborn Alley Blues Band

Mannish Boys

The Insomniacs

Watermelon Slim and The Workers

Best Traditional Blues Recording

"Chicago Blues: A Living History" Various Artists

"Sweeheart Like You" Guy Davis

"All Original" John Primer

"Lowdown Feelin" Mannish Boys

"Blues Attack" Shirley Johnson

"One Kind Favor" BB King

Best Male Blues Artist

John Primer

Bobby Jones

Nick Moss

Lurrie Bell

John Nemeth

Elvin Bishop

Best Blues Song

“Bad Year Blues” Albert Castiglia

"At Least I'm Not With You" - The Insomniacs

"Mr. Coffee" Chris James & Patrick Rynn

"20 Years of B.B. King" Curtis Salgado

"Let Life Flow" Kenny Neal

"See That My Grave is Kept Clean" BB King

Best Female Blues Artist

Shirley Johnson

Robin Rogers

Diunna Greenleaf

Shemekia Copeland

Eden Brent

Janiva Magness

Best New Artist Debut

"Stop And Think About It" Chris James & Patrick Rynn

"White Sugar" Joanne Shaw Taylor

"Austin To Chicago" Dave Herrero

"2 Man Wrecking Crew" Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm

"Livin It" Guy King

"Mississippi Number One" Eden Brent

Sean Costello Rising Star Award

Eden Brent

Kilborn Alley Blues Band

Joanne Shaw Taylor

Albert Castiglia

Dave Gross

Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm

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:

or click a state to see Blues shows by State

Alabama  Alaska  Arizona  Arkansas  California  Colorado  Connecticut  Delaware  D.C.  Florida  Georgia 
Hawaii  Idaho  Illinois  Indiana  Iowa  Kansas  Kentucky  Louisiana  Maine  Maryland  Massachusetts  Michigan  Minnesota  Mississippi  Missouri  Montana  Nebraska  Nevada  New Hampshire  New Jersey
New Mexico  New York  North Carolina  North Dakota  Ohio  Oklahoma  Oregon  Pennsylvania  Rhode Island  South Carolina  South Dakota   Tennessee  Texas  Utah  Vermont  Virginia  Washington  West Virginia  Wisconsin  Wyoming   Other

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

The is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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