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February 13, 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    Audio Interviews    Photos    Videos     Blues Radio     Blues Shows near YOU!    Advertise for FREE!     The Blues Blast Archives

Hey Blues Fans,

Hang on to your hats folks, this is the most BLUES packed edition of the Blues Blast EVER!

It's the middle of the winter here in our freezing Central Illinois home base and so easy to get the Blues. So last week we were off again in search for some blazing hot Blues to warm us up. We found it! The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue featuring the Tommy Castro Band made a stop in Bloomington, Illinois at the New Lafayette Club.  

The show featured Tommy and his band with special guests Deanna Bogart, harp player Magic Dick (from the J. Geils Band) and Ronnie Baker Brooks. Of course this group of pros put on a spectacular show. (See show review below by Rob Paullin) Four hours of smoking Blues! CLICK HERE for pictures of the Rhythm & Blues Revue fun. But be sure to read on as that is only the SMALL part of the story!


 Streaming Blues Link of the Week


Those of us who were fortunate enough to be at the New Lafayette Club were blown away by the bands second set.

Tommy invited a couple young players up to play and the highlight was when 12 year old guitar player Matthew Curry brought down the house by teaching the old pros how it was done playing a smoking version of Albert Collins’ “You Talk Too Much”. Matt had the crowd on their feet screaming! 

How hot is this kid??? Well in addition to blowing away the band, the fans and the press, his playing blew the electrical circuits in the whole town of Bloomington!

NO, we are NOT exaggerating!

Don't believe it??? We are pleased to have video to prove every word about this 12 year old guitar wizard.  (Thanks to Kevin Gall for the GREAT footage!)



Matthew is finishing up a CD now. A few cuts have already made it to the airwaves via WGLT's Blues Doctor, Delta Frank. We heard a couple of the cuts and man it is going to be something! We'll have a review as soon as it is finished. Meantime check out this video!   Check out our other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE

Reviews?  Man we got your Blues content this week!

Page down for some GREAT reviews. First Rob Paullin reviews the The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue show and also sends a review of the new CD by Sean Costello, We Can Get Together. Judy Burgess and James Walker review Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat – Live at Blue Monday and James Walker also reviews the new CD by Monkey Beat, Tijuana Bible.

Ben Cox reviews the BMA nominated CD by Nick Moss & the Flip Tops, Play It Til Tomorrow and our Chicago editor Lordy reviews a new band he finally "discovered" called J.B. Ritchie Power Blues playing at Harlem Avenue Lounge. Don't wear out your page down button!

Festivals seeking Blues performers!

22nd Annual Washington Street Jazz & Blues Festival - June 28, 2008 - Springfield, IL

The Springfield Area Arts Council  (Springfield, IL) announces the date of the 22nd Annual Washington Street Jazz & Blues Festival will be June 28, 2008. The event  will feature six bands on two stages. Proceeds from the event benefit the programs and services of the Springfield Area Arts Council and provide matching grant funds for the Community Arts Access program which re-grants to local arts and social service organizations with arts programming.

The Deadline for Jazz or Blues band submissions is February 22, 2008. Entries should include a demo CD or cassette tape and bio information. Bands that performed last year (2007) are not eligible. Submit entries to the Springfield Area Arts Council, 420 South Sixth Street, Springfield, IL 62701. For more information contact Penny Wollan-Kriel, Assistant Director, 217-753-3519.

The 13th Annual Cape Fear Blues Festival - July 25th- 27th, 2008 - Wilmington NC

Southeastern North Carolina’s premier blues event,  The 13th Annual Cape Fear Blues Festival is seeking blues acts to submit press/promo kits for booking consideration. The event is held on the historic riverfront of Wilmington NC. Events include the Festival concert, Blues Cruise, workshops, and various nightly club shows.

Our stage is open to any regional styling or flavor of the blues. Traditional, contemporary, electric, acoustic, and solo acts are welcome. You are encouraged to ship a CD, bio, photo, and related materials immediately – deadline for submissions is Feb. 28. Links to electronic press kits (epk’s) are okay, but a ‘hard copy’ kit is mandatory. Visit  for shipping info and additional details.

Some sad news from our friend Delta Frank of WGLT FM 89.1 in Normal IL

Lightnin' Slims Hick's first harp player of the 50's, the Legendary Schoolboycleve passed away February 5, 2008 at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, CA.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON SCHOOLBOY CLEVE Check:  

 Blues Link of the Week

Every year several of the Illinois Blues societies get together and nominate Blues DJ Delta Frank Black for the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive" award. After attending the KBA awards recently we understand the caliber of people that are getting nominated all over the Blues world.  But we are gonna keep nominating this guy as he is the real deal and we just want someone to notice!

Delta Frank, The Blues Doctor, has had one of the longest running Blues shows on the radio airwaves at WGLT in Bloomington, IL. (25 years and counting) And as many of you know, we have recommended WGLT's 24X7 Live Blues music stream as THE BEST commercial free Blues music stream anywhere. (Click HERE to listen)

In addition to his accomplishments as a DJ, Delta Frank has been membership director of the Blues Blowtorch Society in Bloomington, IL for several years. Frank maintains the BBS website but also has this site which is all his own. Visit and sign up for his Blues mailing list. We get lots of our news from his Blues email updates! CLICK HERE to visit his website.

For more Blues links, CLICK HERE to visit the Links Page

Top Croatian Guitarist

Nebojsa Buhin

 Guitar Language

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Get the Blues word OUT!


With the new year, Blues festival promoters and Blues societies begin work planning a great 2008 Blues season for all. Festival committees are hard at work booking Blues performers, planning their advertising budgets and getting ready to put on the next great Blues show.

For those of you doing the planning for these great Blues events, remember that the Blues Blast &'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 event!

New Blues CD's....

For less than the cost of  one small display ad in your local newspaper, you can advertise your festival, club show, new CD or any Blues product to a VERY targeted Blues audience. We promise great results getting the Blues word out for you.

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! covers Blues all over the US - NOT just in Illinois! also offers paid/sponsored advertising for Festivals and Club Owners, Recording Companies and Performers selling their own music or performances. We can put your Blues advertisement on our homepage at:  either as a sponsored event or as a featured event, product, recording or merchandise.  We get 400,000 hits A MONTH on our website!

Over 10,000 Blues Fans, Musicians, Recording Companies, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Festival Promoters in all 50 states and in 12 countries read our weekly Blues Blast internet magazine. With paid advertising 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


MARCH 19 to MARCH 23rd
Coral Bay Ball Field – Coral Bay

Tab Benoit
Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band
Waylon Thibodeaux
Sean Carney & The Sean Carney Band

For further information contact Steve Simon at 340-693-8120  or go to

6 live Blues shows over 5 days beginning on March 19th and running through March 23rd.

 Featured Blues Reviews 

“The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue”
Tommy Castro, Deanna Bogart, Magic Dick, Ronnie Baker Brooks

Live @ The New Lafayette Club, Bloomington, Illinois  - February 7, 2008

Concert Review by Rob Paullin

The electricity went out in Bloomington last Thursday night, but probably we should blame Ronnie Baker Brooks and 12-year old Matthew Curry instead of the power company, Mother Nature or some wandering squirrel. More on that in a moment…

Until then, it was so hot inside the legendary New Lafayette Club on Route 51 in Bloomington, IL on that cold, icy Thursday night, that perhaps even the snow outside was starting to melt. But then you might expect as much from a revue born two years ago in the Caribbean Sea on the decks of the tropical Blues Cruise.

The standing room only crowd at the Lafayette was treated to nearly four hours of smokin’ hot blues from San Francisco guitar whiz Tommy Castro, Baltimore keyboard master Deanna Bogard, Boston harmonica genius Magic Dick, and Chicago blues legacy Ronnie Baker Brooks, along with Castro’s outstanding backup band--and two surprise guests.

Castro opened the show with “A Good Fool is Hard to Find,” a showpiece number that let band members Tom Poole on trumpet, Keith Crossan on sax, bassist Scot Sutherland and drummer Chris Sandoval show their stuff on solo riffs.  He also offered up “My Turn After Awhile” and the Caribbean-ish “Wake Up Call” and a couple of other songs from his many CD’s, before stepping aside.

If there is a problem with four acts teaming up for a review, it’s that nobody gets to really establish themselves—Castro only soloed on five songs in just over a half hour on stage before handing the microphone over to Deanna Bogart, a star writer and vocalist in her own right.   She killed the crowd with songs like “You Got What it Takes” before abandoning her keyboards for her own saxophone solo on “Girl in the Band.”  Castro saxophone player Crossan stepped into the shadows for this one, before surprising and delighting the crowd by pulling a flute out of his sax for a quick solo.

J. Geils Band founding member Magic Dick was next, bringing a bag full of harmonicas to the stage for a too short set that included the jazzy “I’ve Got to Find My Baby” and the radio friendly J. Geils hit “Give It To Me.”

Ronnie Baker Brooks chased Magic Dick off the stage with the rockin’ “Can’t You See What You’ve Done to Me” before pouring some serious soul into the blusy love song, “Give Me Your Love.”  Brooks invoked the memory of his legendary father Lonnie Brooks on “Take Me Wicha,” a blues rocker that saw him wander into the audience to play slide guitar with the beer bottle of surprised fan Dave Long of Bloomington before standing up on a chair to pick out a solo with his teeth.

When he returned to the stage without missing a lick, somehow his guitar had found its way into the hands of 19-year old Bo Coleman of Mackinaw, Illinois, who then shared the guitar—the same guitar—with Brooks as they wrapped up the set.

It was time for a break, and we all needed it after nearly three hours of standing, dancing, singing, cheering and clapping.   And beer….  It also gave us a chance to meet and talk with Castro and his companions, all of whom seem to have an easy, up-close relationship with their fans.

Then it was jam time….

All four headliners returned to the stage along with Castro’s band for “Nasty Habits,” a blues pounder that features some outstanding guitar work from Castro and Brooks.  Bogard followed with “Unchain My Heart,” another opportunity for her to show off both her voice and her keyboard skills.

Then Castro explained to the audience that to keep their tour fresh, they often call the local Blues society in the cities where they play to find an up and coming guest to jam with them for a tune or two.  On this night, in this city, that guest just happened to be 12-year old Matthew Curry of Bloomington, who’s good looks and long blond hair will keep the girls screaming for years to come.

Brooks introduced Curry and explained they always ask what song their guest wants to do with the band.  Brooks told the audience the band knew they had a good one when Curry asked to do Albert Collins’ “You Talk Too Much.”  Curry, Brooks, Castro and the rest of the band then proceeded to suck the electricity out of the grid with a power rendition that even amazed the surprised Castro who could only stand and shake his head as Curry and Brooks traded licks on an extended guitar solo which brought the audience to it’s feet for a standing—and dancing—ovation.

When it was all over, Brooks noted that Collins was surely smiling down on everybody that night.   He then offered some advice to young Curry:  “Keep your nose clean.   Stay in school—it’s still show BUSINESS.  And don’t forget us when you’re rich and famous!”   He should have added, “...and don’t blow out the circuit breakers” because at that exact moment the power failed pretty much city-wide, bringing a too-early end to an electrifying four-hour night of snow-melting blues in downstate Illinois.

When Tommy Castro’s “Legendary Rhythm and Blues Review” comes to your city, get your tickets early or you’ll be shut out.   This one was an amazing bargain at only $20 a ticket, and worth every penny.

Reviewer Rob Paullin is a former Memphis radio guy . Rob has sampled the blues in Venice, Kyiv and Beijing, among other foreign haunts.  He says Berlin is next on his list.

Lightning Strikes Twice - Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat – Live

The Alamo, 5th Ave, Springfield - Blue Monday, January 28, 2008

By Judy Burgess and James Walker

The audience witnessed something enjoyably unique on Monday night, January 28, 2008.  Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat from Texas returned to the Blues Stage at The Alamo in Springfield IL. After their last amazing performance here on January 22, 2007, we expected a lot! And, we got it! We felt like the music completely took over and was in charge.

The night began promptly at 8:30 with an acoustic set by Suhler and bassist Carlton Powell on a flat-top six string. A literal hush fell over the crowd as the music began to take control. The acoustic set ended after two songs due to a technical glitch. But, when Sean Phares took his place at the keyboard, and Jimmy Morgan took his seat at the drums, the music grabbed the audience and didn't let go until almost 11:30 pm.  What a set!! 

The band played two and a half hours with no break. That might be a record.  James Walker said that once he witnessed Tab Benoit play for 100 minutes straight, although his bassist and drummer took a mid set break. Well, move over Tab!

There were times when it seemed the musicians meant for a song to end, and it simply refused, taking on a life of its own. One song melded into the next, without a pause between, and carried the audience on a ride that we wouldn't have wanted to miss. Often when Suhler was changing guitars or adjusting tunings, there could have been a natural pause between two numbers, but he would signal the others to keep a beat going. So, Carlton Powell on bass, Sean Phares on keyboard and accordion, and drummer Jimmy Morgan would play a shuffle or rumbling rhythm until Suhler took command. When there was a rare pause between songs, the musicians would grab a serious gulp of ice water.

Suhler was amazing!  With tons of sonic effects, this was serious power and sound being manipulated and broadcast through our bodies, minds, and souls. Suhler joined the guitar: he did not just pick it and play it – he was the surfer and it was his surfboard. A song takes you on a journey, and we were all just hanging on, mesmerized.

Sean Phares traded his keyboard for an accordion on several occasions as the music took on a Louisiana-Texas border flavor. Jimmy Morgan's rhythm set the beat, subtly changing and leading the band from one song to the next. Suhlar had six guitars racked beside him including a National steel bodied guitar, a Telecaster Thinline with a capo, and several Stratocasters.  The ever-changing guitars of Jim Suhler, the bass line of Carlton Powell, and the keyboard prowess of Sean Phares completed the magic that kept the audience under a spell. Standing ovations and spontaneous applause punctuated the night. The musicians were having as much fun as we were, and that was contagious. The communication between them was obvious. A glance between two would bring on something new, and off we'd go. 

One highlight of the evening was when Jim Suhler moved out into the appreciative audience. At one point, after he had stood on a chair for a few licks, he grabbed a full beer bottle to use as a slide - until it began to splash. Then he chugged what was left and threw the empty bottle behind him!

Suhler wowed with flat-picking, finger picking, and lots of Texas-Blues style slide guitar. Song highlights included Louisiana Red’s “Too Poor To Die” on a National resonator guitar and Monkey Beat’s own feedback laden, heady version of Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” Again, we were treated to a very special night where the audience became part of the music - standing, clapping, whistling and shouting. Don't miss a Blue Monday unless you have to; we were privileged to be at this one!!!

Judy Burgess is the newsletter editor for Springfield’s Illinois Central Blues Club’s News and Reviews.

James Skyy Dobro Walker is a noted Blues writer and Blues Blast contributor. He is also the newsletter editor for Bloomington-Normal’s Blues Blowtorch Society’s newsletter Blues News.  

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Nick Moss & the Flip Tops
Play It Til Tomorrow
Blue Bella Records

2 Discs
Disc 1 Run Time: 67:09
Disc 2 Run Time: 52:04

“It’s written in the Bible,” Nick Moss historically proclaims on this album of biblical proportions and soon to be of epic status for a band that has hit its full stride. Nick Moss and the Flip Tops first came on the scene at the asking of legendary Jimmy Rogers back in 1999. Since then, with a string of critically acclaimed albums, Moss has become the coveted guitar master of Chicago. After last year’s success and BMA-nominated Live at Chan’s, Moss follows it up with a release far and above any of his work to date (and that’s saying a hell of a lot, because they’re all extremely wonderful) and one of the most anticipated and ground-breaking releases of 2007. Packaged in an unheard of 2 disc set of mostly-all original material, Moss & Co. deliver to the world the Chicago of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Disc 1 delivers Moss and the Tops in their original fashion of the nasty and brutish Chicago sound, with the Freddie King-esque bouncer “Late Night Saint” kicking off the disc to the boiling Jimmy Dawkins’ inspired “Mistakes From the Past.” If I were to close my eyes on “Mistakes,” I and any would be thinking they caught a missing track from Dawkins’ Fast Fingers era. Moss muscles up on several Chicago shuffles and even presents the package-sealer with the instrumental “Grease Fire.” Special guest Eddie Taylor, Jr. adds the knock-out punches on some guest tracks, like the searing first solo on “You Make Me So Angry” and some solid rhythm work a la his father on “Rising Wind.” Not to be denied their just desserts are as billed “The Utility Man” Gerry Hundt who adds some solid guitar, mandolin, and harmonica work sprinkled throughout the disc, the solid rhythm on the skins by Bob Carter and Willie Oshawny who adds some triple threat work on piano, bass, and guitar. Moss even demonstrates some multi-instrumental talent by bringing back the 50’s harmonica-led band sounds with some superb harmonica styling.

Disc 2 isn’t bonus material and its certainly not remastered tracks that are so commonly added to make the buyer want to purchase the CD. No, this second disc is a beast in and of itself. It is not a compliment to Disc 1. It is Nick Moss! This fantastic “Smithsonian Set,” as Nick calls it hearkens to a time when the blues was paving the way for all music that would come after it. It is that late 50s deep Chicago sound harnessed and cradled by the Jimmy Rogers and the Muddy Waters and the Otis Rushs who are the legends and masters that gave us this timeless music. The lyrics speak the hidden truths our society sometimes likes to shelter us from. It births to the world the sorrows and the celebrations of the human spirit. Moss strips away his electric guitar and gives us the acoustic amplified into what may become his landmark to the world. If you aren’t a fan of Moss’ electric work, take a bite out of this one. It is something that both electric and acoustic fans can appreciate, both for nuance and content. This album is worth the price and will never leave your CD player at home or at work. It never tires. It never gets boring. It is a timeless piece of art, that if anyone asked me the question: “What is blues music like today?” I would pick this album out of my collection and tell them that this is it, look no further, and then show them the rest.

Album is available at all major record outlets. Visit Nick on the Internet at: or on MySpace at and his own label Blue Bella Records for his and other fine releases: and

Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat
Tijuana Bible

By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker
16 songs; 71:21 minutes; Library Quality

Tired of this long and cold Midwest winter? Then let’s head to Texas and heat things up – musically, at least. “Texas Blues” is composed of a number of style variations and first occurred in the mid 1920s, featuring acoustic guitar work that mimicked the vocals rather than merely accompanying them. Lyrics relied less on love, unfaithfulness, and heartbreak than other blues forms. After World War II, a fully electric style featured single-string soloing over predominantly horn-driven backing – “Electric” Texas Blues. T-Bone Walker’s Electric Texas Blues represented an uptown sound, but its juke-joint, roadhouse roots became most prominent by the 1970s and 80s, with even more emphasis placed on the lead guitar work and with artists intensely rocking the joint in duos and power trios. The style stays current with performers primarily working in a small combo context sans a horn section.

Texas native Jim Suhler is best known as the lead guitarist for George Thorogood and The Destroyers since 1999. Because of Suhler’s masterful endless-fireworks-approach to slide, lead, and rhythm guitar, he has often been included in “Top Ten Guitarists” lists of various publications. When he is not playing with Thorogood, he tours and records with his own band, Monkey Beat.

Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat have been on the music scene for over fifteen years, and they have built a fan base worldwide through constant touring in both the USA and Europe. The band is well known for its no-holds-barred approach to blues-inspired Rock and Roll and Roots music.

Tijuana Bible is the fifth and newest CD by the Dallas guitar hero and his fiery veteran band: bassist/vocalist Carlton Powell, keyboardist Shawn Phares, and drummer Jimmy Morgan. Produced by Jim Suhler and Tom Hambridge, the album guests are Jimmy Hall (vocals on “Po’ Lightnin’”), Elvin Bishop, Joe Bonamassa (lead guitar on “Deep Water Lullaby”), and Buddy Leach (saxophones on “Border Rock” and “Years of Tears”). Tijuana Bible features 16 songs, thirteen Suhler or Suhler/Hambridge originals and covers of Elvin Bishop’s “Drunken Hearted Boy” (with Elvin on slide guitar), Rory Gallagher’s “I Could've Had Religion” (with Cheryl Arena on harmonica), and AC/DC’s “Up To My Neck In You.”

Title wise (and with an example shown on the front and back CD cover), “The Tijuana Bible” is a name for an old-time pornographic comic book, typically starring famous politicians, film stars, or sports heroes. No one's really sure where they originated, but Tijuana, with its creative approach to all things entertaining, is certainly a good guess.

The first number is the title track with the opening guitar instantly defining the Electric Texas Blues sound. From a devoted study of Texas mythology, Suhler evidently realized the metaphorical value of a lyrical ode to such an art form. It's the sort of attitude and approach that defines Suhler’s work: witty, literate, and cerebral lyrics presented in groove-basted Texas rocking blues with incendiary slide guitar.

Every track is a snow-melting standout, and there is plenty of value with over 70 minutes of music and only one song longer than six minutes. While purchasing this CD, add one more, Live at Blue Cat Blues, recorded with Alan Haynes and featuring Suhler’s live signature cover songs: Louisiana Red’s “Too Poor To Die” plus Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced.”

James “Skyy Dobro” Walker  is a noted Blues writer and Blues Blast contributor

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Sean Costello - We Can Get Together

Delta Groove Productions

From the first lick of the guitar on the first track of Sean Costello’s fifth album, We Can Get Together, you know why this Philadelphia native is a past Memphis Blues Society Winner. But with this new disk, Costello shows an increasing maturity not only as a singer/guitarist, but also as a song writer.   Indeed, nine of the eleven cuts on We Can Get Together are Costello originals, some with co-writer credits to his band mates and others.

One might expect expert bluesmanship from a performer from Philadelphia, except Costello is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, not Philadelphia, Mississippi.   He immigrated south to Atlanta at age nine and picked up his first guitar shortly thereafter.  While most of his high school classmates were trying to get dates with members of the opposite sex, he had formed a band and was trying to get dates in clubs around Hotlanta.  Costello had cut his first disk by age 17 and added three more in intervening years before We Can get Together.

He cites B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Pinetop Perkins as major musical influences, having jammed with them and others, along with touring and recording with Susan Tedeschi before going it alone.  The disk shows strong influence from Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Eric Clapton and even ZZ Top. 

Here are some highlights:

“Anytime You Want” is a good guitar screamer that is a groovin’ mixture of rock and roll and blues.  Costello’s guitar moves into tremolo mode for “Same Old Game,” which also sports some catchy lyrics.  “Can’t Let Go” features a breezy sound that belies the hope that she will come back.

Costello’s “Told Me a Lie” has a Beatles psychedelic era feel to it while a staccato style guitar riff is featured throughout the otherwise darkly-flavored “Hard Luck Woman.” 

“How in the Devil” will delight ZZ Top fans with it’s rocking blues riffs and Texas boogie lyrics.  Some classy organ work sets the pitiful mood for “Have You No Shame,” a song about a guy who chances on his baby under the streetlight in the arms of another.

The traditional “Going Home” is the bluest song on the disk, which is seasoned further by a strong pinch of gospel.  Eric Clapton fans will feel right at home with “All This Time,” an anthem to a guy trying to reel in the girl of his dreams.

The urgent sounding flavor of “Feel Like I Ain’t Got a Home” sings of the desire to slow down--and settle down--with somebody to love before it’s too late.  Costello concludes with another traditional blues number, “Little Birds.”

Why is Sean Costello so good?  And why is We Can Get Together so good?  Two reasons:  One, he recognizes and salutes his influences and stays true to them.  Two, while recognizing these influences he also recognizes—as he puts it—“I’ll never play the old blues better than the people who invented it…so I need to make my own statement.”

Two beer bottles up for this one!

Reviewer Rob Paullin realizes he cannot just steal the “Two Thumbs Up” line from the movie review guys, so he’ll simply adapt it to his own world…! 

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.


Reverend Raven

New CD


Rev Raven- Guitar, Vocals
Benny Rickun- Harmonica
P.T. Pedersen - Bass guitar
Spencer Panosh - Drums

To hear some song samples or purchase this CD now - CLICK HERE


 Chicago Blues Update

Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy

Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)

J.B. Ritchie Power Blues at Harlem Avenue Lounge

For as often as I am in Harlem Avenue Lounge, and as often as J.B. Ritchie has performed there, we have never crossed paths.  I am truly embarrassed to say that I never made a special effort because of a false notion I had.  For whatever reason, I thought J.B. Ritchie Power Blues meant bluesy rock and roll, or SRV covers.  I like bluesy rock and roll and I love the only original SRV but I always chose another gig.  Do I have egg on my face or what?  Listen to some of the set list.  Help Me, Killing Floor, Give Me Back My Wig, Hi Heel Sneakers, Shake Your Money Maker, Hush Hush, and many more sounded great, and not one SRV cover. 

Power Blues is a power trio for sure.  J.B. Ritchie is a singer, songwriter, slide and guitar player.  The bass was handled by Frank Bandy and the drums by Kenosha Wisconsin’s Bobby Humes.  The rigs were sparse but the sound was full and powerful blues.  J.B. said he started getting worried about bringing out his ’57 Tele, so he made his own.  Both the regular guitar and the open G slide guitar carried the J.B. Ritchie moniker. 

J.B. filled the Harlem Avenue Lounge with his own fan base, which now includes me.  He played one of his own tunes about seeing a dentist in the morning, and I was one of the few people in the crowd who didn’t know it, but everybody including me enjoyed it.  Actually I enjoyed every single song.  Did I mention Bob Dylan’s Highway 61, or John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom, Rock Me Baby or Muddy’s She’s Nineteen Years Old? 

Don’t make the same mistake I made.  When this band comes around, get out and enjoy them.  Just do the math.  At Harlem Avenue Lounge, the cover is only $6 for three sets of music.  That works out to about $2 per set or 20 cents per song!  Compare that to a juke box.  Not to mention that this is live, in person energy that is never ever captured exactly on a recording.


 CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at

To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE

If you know of a Chicago Blues event or news, please send it to


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Kilborn Alley Blues Band

New CD
"Tear Chicago Down"

Nominated for
"Best Contemporary Blues CD"
by the Blues Foundation

"From the opening chords and boogie beat
of the first track you know you’re in for
 some deep blues!"

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(To read the full review of this CD CLICK HERE.)


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Top 100 CD's list for the last 9 months in Real Blues Magazine

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“solid blues.. good shuffles.. good harp tone.. vocals have a lot of personality…the whole band plays with a lot of verve and good energy..” Bruce Iglauer Alligator Records and Artist Management

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

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River City Blues Society - Peoria, IL

MICHAEL “HAWKEYE” HERMAN BRINGS THE BLUES TO PEORIA, ILLINOIS! - Hawkeye Herman brings his award-winning Blues in the Schools program to Glen Oak Primary School on February 25th, followed by a public performance at the Waterhouse, 619 Water Street, Suite B, in Peoria, IL.

One of America’s finest acoustic guitarists and music educators will bring the blues to Glen Oak Primary School on Monday, February 25, 2008, followed by a public performance at the Waterhouse to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria. Nationally-acclaimed blues musician Michael “Hawkeye” Herman has over 40 years of performance experience. As a music educator, Hawkeye has taken his love of blues music to students of all ages, from pre-school to university campuses, through his award-winning Blues in the Schools program, which he initiated in 1980.

On the morning of February 25th, Hawkeye will perform a one-hour concert for the children at Glen Oak Primary School in an assembly format. He will introduce students to the roots of American blues music and the influence it has had on contemporary music and popular culture. He will then spend the afternoon at the school providing kindergarten through third-grade students with a “hands-on” experience: making and playing their own instruments.

"My mission is to let young folks know that the blues is an important aspect of American music history, influencing other styles of music in the past, right up to the present," Hawkeye states. "Blues is the real deal, the story of the human experience, and that will always hold a place in the hearts and minds of the people. I'm trying to ensure, through my educational programs and workshops, that future generations are aware of their own rich musical heritage.”

At 7:00 pm that evening, Hawkeye will showcase his dynamic performance style at the Waterhouse, located at 619 Water Street, Suite B, in Peoria. This event is open to the public and kicks off at 6:00 pm with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Minimum donation for the evening concert is $10.00, with all proceeds to be donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria. Hawkeye has also agreed to donate one-third of the sales of his merchandise to the Boys and Girls Clubs.

These events are sponsored by The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria, Howard and Howard Attorneys, P.C., and the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School. For more information on Michael “Hawkeye” Herman, visit .

NOTE: The media is invited to attend the performance at Glen Oak School.


For more information: Janice Parker(309) 676.2941  or Eric Pilat (309) 633.7883 


The Grafton Blues Association  - Grafton, WI

The Grafton Blues Association will host it’s annual Blues in the Schools and Scholarship fundraiser with the Legends of Chicago Blues!
Pinetop Perkins - Hubert Sumlin – Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Bob Stroger will take the stage on March 29, 2008 at Circle B Recreation Center in Cedarburg Wisconsin. More information is available on our website 

The Columbus Blues Alliance - Columbus Ohio

The 13th Annual Traditional Acoustic Blues Festival, Saturday February 23, 2008 featuring Honeyboy Edwards, Moreland & Arbuckle, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Cliff Starbuck & Colin John, Sonny Moorman, and more  Live acoustic music from 3pm – Midnight  Go to our website for all the information!

Illinois Central Blues Club Springfield, IL
 TWO Calls for Volunteers

As part of the Illinois Central Club's Blues in the Schools Progrm, a free program is being offered Sunday, February 24, 2008 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm in the Michael J. Howlett Building Auditorium, located in the Capitol Complex in Springfield, IL.  We will need volunteers to work this event as  greeters and merchandise sellers. The event features live performances by: Pleasure Chest Blues Band with Special Guest Robert Sampson, Recent Finalist at the 2008 Blues Foundation International Blues Festival, Frank Parker, and others.

Also Another Call For Volunteers for  March 8 - Illinois Central Blues Club 22nd Birthday will be celebrated March 8 at Capital City Bar and Grill's "City Nights" in Springfield, IL beginning at 7:30. Volunteers are needed to work the door from 7-11. Shifts will be 1 1/2 hours, and there will be 2 people on each shift.  Headliner for the show is "Mississippi Heat" from Chicago' Please call Volunteer Coordinator Maria Ferraro at 452-0171 (home) or 622-5015 (cell), or replay email Maria Ferraro at  or Judy Burgess at .

Blue Mondays

Presented by the  Illinois Central Blues Club at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover  -  Feb 18 - The Sofa Kings - Feb 25 - The Todd Wolfe Blues Project - guitarist for Sheryl Crow 1993-1998.

Kilborn Alley and David "Honeyboy" Edwards

Finally, Thursday February 28 The Kilborn Alley Blues Band is hosting 2008 Grammy Winner for "Best Traditional Blues Album," David "Honey" Edwards, at Block's Brewery, 237 N. Main St., Decatur,IL.  The show will begin at 8 pm, with Honeyboy performing the first two sets, and then being available to meet people while Kilborn Alley plays the last set.

Tickets are $20.00, and will be available in advance on the internet. Look for a follow-up announcement in the next few days giving details for purchasing tickets. Blocks Brewery is a wonderful casual dining bar in downtown Decatur. There is a large municipal parking lot directly across the street. Seating is limited, so buy your ticket in advance.

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