The FREE Internet Magazine - All news BLUES!

Past Issues

January 14, 2010           

© 2007 - 2010

Latest news, photos, reviews, 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,

Blues Blast Magazine is in Los Angeles this week covering Blues on the West Coast. In next weeks issue we will bring you coverage of the National Association of Music Merchandisers (NAMM) convention in Anaheim and a few pics of Blues shows we found in the great state of California.

Next week we are headed to Memphis to cover the International Blues Challenge. Look for Blues Blast Magazine to send you updates on the finalists and the winners as they happen. Stay Tuned.

Blues Wanderings

We made it out to hear Australian Bluesman Harper this week.  Harper gets lots of press because he is the only artists using an aboriginal folk instrument called the Didgeridoo as part of his Blues music .

Harper is also a great singer and harmonica player. Unfortunately he does not always get as much credit for these skills.  But don't let the novelty of the Didgeridoo fool you. He is a GREAT Blues artist. Check him out if you get the chance!

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from Eric Bibb.  We welcome new reviewer Paul Schuytema who send us a review of a new CD by David Maxwell & Louisiana Red . Sheralyn Graise reviews a new CD from Richard Ray Farrell.  Ian McKenzie reviews a new CD by Luther Allison. We also welcome new reviewer Chuck Gomez who send us a review of a new CD by Sugar Blue. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 5

Eric Bibb - Booker's Guitar

Telarc Blues

15 songs; 49:27 minutes; Library Quality

Styles: Acoustic Blues; Delta Blues; Folk and Country Blues

Is it too early in 2010 to select my pick for Acoustic Blues Album of the Year?

I do not really expect any Acoustic Blues CDs to come along that are any better. 58 year old Eric Bibb is more than just a solo acoustic performer as can be seen across his sixteen previous CDs – some with bands and guests like Bonnie Raitt. But, here he has created a masterpiece as he “document(s) [his] connection to the Delta blues tradition."

The CD’s music is so different from the rowdy full band shuffles I usually hear that it caused me to wonder how best to listen. This is quiet but powerful, soul stirring material telling stories and celebrating human emotions and experiences. Using headphones should enhance the appreciation, and under no circumstances should you listen with another person who is trying to converse through the music!

The half-spoken, half-sung title track (and inspiration for the entire CD) was recorded in London using a 1934 vintage Resophonic National steel-body guitar that had belonged to Delta Blues legend Booker White. Opening the song, and as Bibb’s rich baritone voice sings “Booker’s guitar rings like a bell...,” he plucks strings extracting ringing, bright tones that can only come from those type of guitars.
Booker White - an older cousin to B.B. King - was a Delta Blues singer and slide guitarist who made the bulk of his recordings between 1930 and 1940 but was rediscovered during the folk-blues revival of the early 1960s. Keenly aware of White, Bibb had followed his career from his earliest recordings to the time when he was rediscovered.

The remaining 14 tracks, although recorded in rural Ohio on Bibb's own guitars, sprang from the same well of inspiration. "Once I had written “Booker’s Guitar,” I really wanted to make a complete statement and document my connection to the Delta Blues tradition," says Bibb. “I felt like this guitar finding its way to me was a signal that I had journeyed far enough to be able to make an honest tribute to the music of my heroes."

The next best track is “Tell Riley” – one I saw Bibb perform live at the 2006 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. Here, Bibb pretends to be Booker White talking to his wife. He tells her that he has to go to Chicago to record more records (“Gonna sing my songs till my throat gets sore”). In the song, Booker tells his wife that, while he is gone, if his cousin Riley B. King (B.B. King) comes by needing a place to sleep that, “he’s welcome to stay.” Then, he prophetically says, “Mark my words, he’s gonna be big someday.” Accompanied only by Grant Dermody on understated harmonica, Bibb also cleverly works some of White’s personal history into the song, particularly about his stint in prison on Parchman Farm. Bibb told the MVBF audience that he has played the song for B.B. King, and that, not surprisingly, King was touched and honored by the song.

“Turning Pages” may well become the anthem of reading teachers and librarians across the nation. In a bouncy number, again accompanied by Dermody’s harp, Bibb extols the virtues of reading and gives personal testimony, “I love a good book... I read standing up, sittin’ down, in a tub, on a plane / I been turnin’ pages since I first met Dick and Jane.”

How should death by drowning be handled as a subject? In “Flood Water,” Bibb and Dermody create an absolutely delicate reverence about a 1927 flood using a duet with guitar and chromatic harmonica as mouth organ.

From deep solemnity to unbridled joy, Bibb and Dermody couldn’t be happier building a “New Home” across the county line, “upon a high hill where the view is so fine,” and he will “leave this shack behind.”

“One Soul to Save” is a Gospel number minus the usual swelling organ and mighty chorus, but this message coming from one man and his guitar has no less impact.

“Blues is a woman walking out the door thinkin’ she will never return,” Bibb sings in “Rocking Chair.” But, oh, the happiness that comes from tender love when his wayward lover unexpectedly returns for good. He invites her to not explain a thing, “Come sit on the porch... don’t say a word; Baby, just rock.”

This CD is simply a “must have” for fans of Acoustic Blues and deep Blues. In the end, Booker's Guitar - mystical and powerful - is the instrument that connects Eric Bibb to another era. At the same time, it connects the blues of another era to the human experiences of today.

Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine 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.

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 5

David Maxwell & Louisiana Red - You Got To Move

Bluemax Records

VizzTone Label Group

 7 songs (9 tracks); 46:48 minutes

Some days, there’s nothing better than rough and raw. David Maxwell and Louisiana Red’s “You Got To Move” is raw, old school blues at its stripped down, paint peeling best. Recoded in a single day back in 2007, this disc features Red on a distorted slide guitar and vocals with Maxwell playing the 88s.

All songs on this short disc (just over 45 minutes) are originals, but they harken back to the deep blues approach of borrowing on what has come before. You’ll hear familiar licks from Elmore James and Johnny Shines... snippets of lyrics that have graced hundreds of songs, but the old and new is woven together with a deep, genuine feel for the music. This CD is sans bass player, sans drummer and it’s all the better for it. The duet approach serves to showcase both players’ skills, and above all, restraint.

The pair play off of each other brilliantly, whipping into full-on jams that’ll have you swearing you hear another three musicians on the disc to such subtly where a slight, slid-into note is held quietly with vibrato so gentle that you can almost see it. Is the performance perfect? Not at all. At times, Maxwell and Red seem to get their shoelaces tied together and will stumble for a measure or two, but it only seems to enhance the genuine spontaneous feel of this disc.

There are other times, however, when Maxwell’s pure piano work seems to be so perfectly in sync with Red’s slide that you think they must be drawing from some collective consciousness. The disc starts with the long and deep “Get Your Hands Off My Woman,” which perfectly sets the stage for the rest of the tracks. The lyrics are fresh, yet familiar, and we get introduced to the bank-and-forth play between Maxwell’s keys and Red’s strings.

Other stand outs include the title track, “You Got to Move” and the quirky and playful “New Jersey Women.” Red manages to mix up the tempos and rhythms to keep the duet from sounding like they are treading over the same territory. The true highlight of this disc is the rich musical tapestry that is created by such simple instrumental approaches. There are no effects, compressors or reverb here to tweak the sounds - just a straightforward piano and a slightly overdriven electric slide guitar.  It’s through this simplicity of tone that we see their true musicianship shine through.

If you are looking for an intimate old-school blues experience, unfettered with gizmos or gimmicks, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more raw, personal and pleasurable disc than You Got To Move.

Reviewer Paul Schuytema is a lifelong blues enthusiast who grew up in Chi-town. He cut his blues teeth at shows by Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. He now lives in the cornfields and puts on the Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival every fall.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

 Blues Want Ads

 Blues Musicians Place Your Want Ad here for FREE

"workin Blues folks" ONLY can place Want Ads here for FREE.  NO Commercial Ads! 

Buy or sell equipment , musicians wanted, gigs wanted, help wanted, information wanted etc. Limit 100 words. 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

Drummer Seeks Band

Steve Parrish / drummer available for road work with professional blues group. Equipment, attitude and chops are at peak performance. Playing since 1966. Audio/video promo available.
Lexington, KY 859 537 5423 or

Magazine Seeks Summer Festival Reviewers

Blues Blast Magazine is looking for a few good men (Or Women)! Over the 2010 summer season we are looking for folks who attend Blues Festivals and take good photos for festival reviews.  If you attend multiple Blues Festivals or Blues shows and could volunteer to send us 500 to 1000 word reviews and a few good photos, please reply to .

Reviewers are needed for the Southwest and Texas area, the Florida and Gulf area, the Eastern coast area and also on the European, Asian and Australian continents. A short sample of your writing, a sample photo and info on your Blues background would be helpful. Please include your phone number with the reply.

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 5

Richard Ray Farrell and The Spanish Band - Camino de Sanlucar

Blue Beet

Camino de Sanlucar was recorded live in Seville Spain and mixed in the US. Farrell busked and worked his way across Europe after graduating high school in Niagara Falls, New York. He paid his dues in subways and beer halls, playing solo, in bands, and backing Delta legends along the way. Each of the musicians in The Spanish Band has been playing blues, rock, jazz, flamenco, and combinations of the above. Raimundo Amador, an innovator in modern flamenco and in flamenco/blues fusion is a special guest, appearing on three tracks.

The CD has liner notes in Spanish and in English. It is interesting to note that the English is not a translation of the Spanish. The Spanish liner notes provide very brief information on the artists and give descriptions of each track. The English liner notes provide more detail on the musicians and no information on the tracks. Perhaps there was a thought that listeners in Spain knew the musicians but were not familiar with the songs and that Americans would not be familiar with the musicians but would know the songs. Perhaps.

As with anyone not born into a regional blues tradition, Farrell displays an eclectic mix of blues styles. “Crazy Over You”, written by Farrell, is a barrelhouse rock in the vein of Jerry Lee Lewis. “Look Whatcha Done” was written by Magic Sam. There is a good guitar solo and ends with a great interplay between guitar and piano. This version has a slight Texas twang.

“Never Make Your Move Too Soon” features a slide guitar and a New Orleans style piano solo. “Jump Back Baby” is the first track featuring Raimundo Amador. It has a fast Chicago style rhythm. My favorite line is, “the way you treat me baby is worse than doin’ time.”

“Shuckin’”, written by Farrell is a rocking piano boogie instrumental with good guitar licks. It is actually my favorite on this CD. “As The Years Go Passing By” is a true blues standard. There is a nice piano intro and ends with Amador’s guitar solo.

“Down In Virginia” is another foot stomping barrelhouse rocker with Farrell doing double duty on guitar and harmonica. “Everybody’s Gotta Change” is a blistering upbeat tune heavy on percussion with organ and guitar. “Cryin’ Won’t Help You” starts on a strong Delta style 4/4 groove and goes on from there.

“Pretty Baby” is another track with a Texas twang. On this song Farrell voice sounds rather strained. “The Thrill Is Gone” is a little smoother and jazzier than the well known BB King version. It works. The title track, “Camino de Sanlucar” is an instrumental with a Delta/Piedmont fusion feel.

Overall, Camino de Sanlucar is a good CD. The energy from recording live shines through in the mix. If Richard Ray Farrell and the Spanish Band appears on a blues festival marquee in your area I would recommend that you check them out.

Reviewer Sheralyn Graise graduated from the University of Akron a while back. A former Social Services professional, she is now pursuing other interests such as music history, writing, and photography. She has been a member of the Blues Foundation since 2001.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

 Blues Society News

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

You can submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or MS Word document format.

Arkansas River Blues Society - Little Rock, AR

The Arkansas River Blues Society presents Willie P with Joe Marks & NTO, Tuesday, 1-19-2010 at Juanita’s, 1300 Main Street, Little Rock, AR. The show starts at 9 p.m. $10 Cover

Blues Kids of America  - Chicago, IL

Blues Kids of America is offering a free Professional Development Workshop Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 3:30PM at Columbia College Chicago Music Center, 1014 S. Michigan Avenue Chicago IL 60605. The session "Use the Blues to Improve Literacy & Help Close the Achievement Gap: Music as a Second Language" is designed for Teachers, Administrators and LSC staff. Participants do not have to be musically inclined and can earn CPDUs

The Workshop is hosted by Fernando Jones, Columbia College Chicago, Blues Ensemble Director and Illinois State Board of Education Professional Development Provider. The workshop is designed to engage administrators and teachers (pre-K through university), by demonstrating how to improve literacy, attendance, discipline and academic success using America’s root music, the Blues.

Some participants will receive harmonicas and classroom resources. Jones is also a “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” recipient in education. For further information go to  or confirm your reservation by contacting Fernando at  or (312) 369-3229

 Crossroads Blues Society - Rockford, IL

Crossroads Blues Society and Big Cities Lounge present Kim Wilson Thursday, February 11, starting at 8 pm at Big Cities Lounge, 905 E. State St., Rockford, Illinois . The band will include Billy Flynn on guitar and Barrelhouse Chuck on keyboards.  Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The other two past shows were sold-out, so don't wait - get your tickets now at Big Cities - or by contacting Mark Thompson at

Wichita Blues Society - Wichita, KS

The Wichita Blues Society presents the 12th Annual Blues Ball Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at the Cotillion , 11120 West Kellogg Street in Wichita. The event features the Blues Masters of Wichita including Berry Harris, Ray Drew, Henry Walker, Rudy Love, D.D. Dunn and Mr. Lee with Big Clyde Sheely and Rib Bone (Beau Jarvis, Shawn Kail and Jeff Stidham) on the backline. The WBS Blues Challenge Winners Rachelle Coba and Jimmie Lewin & The Kingtones will open the show.

Doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm. Tickets $12 in advance at Select-a-seat, $15 at the door. WBS members pay $12 at the door. For more information visit   

The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society - Marietta, Ohio

The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society will hold its 18th Annual Blues Competition on February 19 and 20, 2010, at the historic Lafayette Hotel in Marietta, Ohio. Blues Bands and Solo/Dou blues acts will compete for cash prizes and BJFMS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis.

 More information: contact Steve Wells at 304.295.4323 or

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. Jan 18 - The Groove Daddies, Jan 25 - Lil Dave Thompson

 Featured Blues Review 4 of 5

Luther Allison - Songs From The Road

CD+DVD for the price of one! Vinyl-Look.

Ruf Records

Not yet available in Canada and the USA (Feb 9, 2010)

CD Tracks available for MP3 download on

It’s a strange thing how European blues enthusiasts have repeatedly been at the forefront of re-introducing America and Americans to their own musical roots. First the so called ‘British Invasion’, more years I go than I care to remember, which brought the names of the likes of Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry to attention, and more recently the stalwart work of European entrepreneurs and record producers, ranging from the Black and White label in Holland, through the re-mastered vintage archive built by Document Records in Scotland, to the leading edge work of Thomas Ruf (pronounced Roof) in Germany. It is Thomas Ruf who here has ‘done it again’.

Luther Allison was a long-time friend of Thomas Ruf and according to some sources was the inspiration for the establishment of Ruf Records. The liner notes for this CD/DVD clearly suggest that Ruf loved both the man and his music. Luther Allison was born in Widener, Arkansas and moved with his family when he was twelve years old, to Chicago, Illinois. A self-taught guitarist it was not long before he became absorbed in the Windy City blues scene. By the end of the ‘50s and into the early ’60 was working the club scene and earning his spurs as a singer and axe man. Then, following some releases on the Delmark label and appearances at US festivals, in 1977, Allison decamped to Europe where he remained for fifteen years.

Thomas Ruf was Allison’s manager and in 1994 – according to some sources with much encouragement from the latter – Ruf started his Ruf Records label. In 1994 Allison, with encouragement from Buce Iglaur, Allison signed for Alligator Record and had great success with recordings, tour and nominations for music awards.

Allison was known for his fiery axe work and for lengthy guitar solos and crowd walking with his Gibson Les Paul. Unfortunately in 1997, five days before his 58th birthday Allison died of Cancer. This CD/DVD was recorded in Montreal by the Canadian Television at a 4th July event, just few days before he was diagnosed with his to be terminal illness.

The music on these disks is just sensational. Luther standouts like "Cherry Red Wine", his 1996 Song of the Year; "Serious"; "Will It Ever Change"; and "Move From The Hood", his personal call to social activism; as well as a lengthy slide propelled version of "It Hurts Me Too" and, as they say, much, much more. He was well known for doing very long sets (not too much of that about these days) and once said, “I tell the people, ‘You've paid for the first 90 minutes. Anything after that, consider that I'm paying for it.’" This gig was, for Allison, a short one, only 80 minutes long, and it has been edited in the DVD version to 50 mins for Canadian TV. You get what must be nearly all of it on the CD.

That expectation of freedom to do what he wanted gave Allison a spontaneity that is all too often missing from some contemporary performances.

Get this one folks! You will never regret it and thanks to Mr Ruf for bringing it to us.

Ian McKenzie lives in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South a monthly flier providing news, reviews, a gig guide and all kinds of other good stuff, for people living and going to gigs along the south coast of England. Ian is also a blues performer and has a webcast regular blues radio show on PhonicFM  in Exeter (Wednesdays - 1pm Eastern/ 12 noon Central).

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

 Featured Blues Review 5 of 5

Sugar Blue - Threshold

Beeble Music LLC

11 tunes, easy listening Blues

Going back way too many years, more than I care to mention, I worked with Sugar on some of the very first Chicago Blues Fests the City had to offer. At that time Sugar was the new kid on the block. The modern rendition of Cotton, Wells, Butterfield, Musselwhite, Little Walter and other ‘old school’ legends. Sugar hit the ground running and never looked back. His recordings and association with the Rolling Stones are not only hallmarks in the world of Blues and Rock and Roll recording but helped set the scene for the high energy playing of Rock & Blues with harp from then ‘til now and still going. But that was then and this is the ‘new’ now. Sugar takes on a different direction with his release of Threshold. Quoting, “...because the tunes open new musical territory for us”.

The CD opens with ‘Living Your Love’ an easy pop-ish vocal based tune that takes some time to build up steam but then after several verses here comes Sugar Blues harp and we instantly fall back to the ‘more’ familiar. Vocals, Harp, Vocals, Harp, back and forth and back again. Key changes, modulations, tonal changes what the heck is going on here? It’s a whole new way to do the Blues. Pop Blues. Hip urban melody Blues. ‘Average Guy’ has a smooth cool Blues feel running through the chart. I have to admit it’s a little different but the Harp centers the piece. Strong, cool and Blue, sky blue. It’s a different approach, a different, maybe new style to Blues. A true mix of many things going on from a Manilow sounding vocal foundation to even that Bossa Nova sounding groove.

It takes up to the third track of the CD, ‘Noel News’ to start getting into a more familiar blues territory. Now that’s what I am more at home with, Sugar blowin’ his ass off with his rhythm section putting it down. How big is that cats harmonica? It must be huge ‘cause it has so many notes. And all just the right notes. This pattern of vocals followed by the tunes anchoring with harp goes on until we are once again reminded of 9/11. ‘Stop The War’ says it like it is, stop the war, kill no more. This might be a little heavy for most of us but I have to take my hat off to Sugar for making his statement of the need for peace. This almost has that vague reminiscent scent of past war protest songs of days gone by. Man those were some powerful times and Sugars comment on today's wars is just as powerful.

‘Ramblin’, nice soft and sweet. Short but oh so sweet. The perfect break from the strength of the previous song. ‘Cotton Time’. Now who was just talking about harp masters? Here is Sugar’s tribute to the great James Cotton. This time done with a singing guitar based riff. That “Strat/tubed Marshall amp” sound of cool jazz mixed with the defining vocals w/harp of this CD. Now here we are up to the seventh track before we get to a more Blues standard, ‘Messin’ With The Kid’.

I like the feature of a tight drum line but once again its Sugar and the command of his instrument that steals this show. Now we’re talkin’!

All in all this ain’t your Daddy’s Blues, it ain’t down home Blues and it sure as heck isn’t old school. But old school or new school its good school no matter how you cut it. We don’t always want what we grew up with and this new release by Mr. Sugar Blue delivers a different cut above.

Reviewer Chuck Gomez worked out of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Special Events for over a decade back at the start of the Chicago Blues Fest, plays sax and tours with many leading Blues musicians/Chicago style. He is Columbia College’s special events producer and owns/produces/promotes the Watseka Theatre, Iroquois Performing Arts Center. The Watseka Theatre Blues, BBQ & Arts Fest is the last Saturday of each May, this year May 29th, 2010. Go to: for more information.

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:

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  

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

 Advertise With Blues Blast Magazine

Get the Blues word OUT!

Festivals...  Blues Blast Magazine &'s website are great ways to promote ANY Blues event or product. In fact we believe we just might have THE best Blues advertising vehicle anywhere to promote YOUR Blues event!

Blues CD's... For less than the cost of one small ad in a newspaper, you can advertise your shows, new CD or any Blues product. A great way to get the Blues word out!

Blues fans WANT to know about your Blues event of product. Call Bob at (309) 267-4425 or send an email to for a confidential quote today!

Blues Blast Magazine covers Blues all over!

We also offer effective advertising for Festivals and Club Owners, Recording Companies and Performers. Put your Blues advertisement on our homepage at: either as a sponsored event or as a featured event, product, recording or merchandise.  We get 19,000 visitors and 900,000 hits A MONTH on our website!

More than 14,000 Blues Fans, Musicians, Recording Companies, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Festival Promoters in all 50 states and in 70 countries read the Blues Blast magazine each week. You can feature your event or product in the largest FREE internet Blues magazine delivered right to your inbox each week.

Contact us Today at

Visit our website at:

P.O. Box 721 Pekin, Illinois 61555     © 2007 - 2009

 To be REMOVED from Blues Blast Magazine

 Send an email with Remove Me in the subject line to: