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June 26, 2008           

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

Hey Blues Fans,

There is another great little Blues festival coming your way this weekend. The Bear Creek Blues Fest in Slater, MO is the "Little Town w/the Big Sound" this Saturday as they bring you Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials, Mike Zito, Lew Jetton & 61 South and much more. See their ad below.

MVBS Festival Moving Downtown due to the Iowa Flood!

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society in Davenport, Iowa has announced it’s taking the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, July 3 – 5, to the streets of downtown Davenport, Iowa. The festival is being relocated from its “home location” in LeClaire Park  due to the Flood of 2008. The festival will take place along 2nd Street in downtown Davenport, and will utilize the Adler Theater for a portion of the festivities. As planned, all 28 bands scheduled will appear as well as the Blues Skool and Blues workshops this great fest always brings.(See complete details of their lineup below)

Reviews This Week - Speaking of Blues Fests, we finish our complete coverage of the 25th Annual Chicago Blues Fest in this issue including the last 2 days of this historic 4 day event. Also we have pictures from the after Fest Pub Crawl put on by Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine and the Koko Taylor Foundation. Also in this issue James Walkers review of a new CD by the Gas House Gorillas. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN

Click image above to visit our website for tickets and more info!

28 Bands - 3 days of Sun & Blues Fun

Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Kal David, The Kinsey Report, Elvin Bishop, Ben Prestage, Steve James and Del Rey, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Otis Taylor and the Black Banjo Project, Little Bobby and the Storm, Phil Guy, Teresa James, Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, Koko Taylor, Kent Burnside & New Generation, Paul Geremiah, Big Pete Pearson & Rhythm Room Allstars, Great Black Music Ensemble, Billy Boy Arnold with Jody Williams, Iowa Blues Challenge Winner, Alexis P Suter, John Nemeth with Junior Watson, Denise LaSalle, Tinsley Ellis, Boo Hanks, Doug MacLeod, Marie Knight, Big George Brock, The Holmes Brothers

To see the complete schedule CLICK HERE

 Live Blues Review

25th Chicago Blues Festival - Chicago, IL (Part 2)

June 7th & 8th, 2008

Day Three

The Chicago Blues fest saga continues...

On Saturday the festival was another history making day!  Only 26 acts to cover this day. We started out by hearing Shorty Mack, Guy Davis, Charlie Hayes Family Band and Chick Rogers.

We also got to see the Otis Taylor's Black Banjo Project, Bumble Bee Bob, PG man and the Juke Joint Duo

Then we listened to Steve Arvey, T-Model Ford, Guitar Red, John Hammond and more.

Then it was off to the Main Stage to catch the days headliners Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials, Barbara Lynn, Theodus Ealy and zydeco legend, Buckwheat Zydeco.

Day Four

By day four of the Chicago Blues Fest, we knew we had heard more Blues legends than many folks get to see in their entire lives but we weren't even close to being done! After a slow Sunday morning start, (After all we were out on the Pub Crawl with Koko Taylor until 3:00am Saturday night,.. See story below!) we headed over to Grant Park for another great Blues day. But Mother Nature had a bad case of the Blues and  threw us a major thunderstorm in downtown Chicago to start the day off. Grant Park was actually closed for the first couple hours of the Fest but after 2:00pm, things started up again.

We got to see Davell Crawford, John Boutte, Charles Wilson and Filisko and Noden before heading off to the main stage for the final headliners of the fest.

And what a grand finale awaited us. The main stage started off with  Karen Carroll along with Charlie Love and special guest Lurrie Bell

Magic Slim was a last minute replacement for Bobby Parker and Little Willie Littlefield capped off the show before the "Blues Royalty" graced the stage for the final performance.

The last performer was none other than B. B. King himself and it was obvious that this was what everyone was waiting for. The crowd in Petrillo Music shell and the grounds outside swelled to an amazing mass of thousands of Blues fans. The crush in the photo pit was like nothing we have ever seen.  B. B. gave them what they came for with a show that started out with his great band.

Then B. B. took the stage and you could hear a pin drop! The side stage area swelled with Blues legends who also came to see the King  too. Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks, Koko Taylor, Ronnie Baker Brooks and even the young British Blue sensations Back Door Slam could be seen paying their respects to the Blues King from the wings of the stage.

It was a fitting end to a historic Blues festival that featured more than one hundred of the best Blues performers on the planet. We headed back to the hotel to begin working on the 3000 plus photos we took over four days. And 3 weeks later we are still processing this historic trove of great photos. We promise to have the best ones up on the website soon. Stay tuned!

Riot and his Rhythm Devils

Latest CD Tough Times is available now!


To Purchase this CD CLICK HERE


New CD

Mighty Mighty

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD



 Featured Blues Review

The Gas House Gorillas
Five Gorillas Walk Into A Bar...
Self Release

14 songs; 43:40 minutes; Meritable

Styles: Rockabilly, Rock and Roll, Jazz, Jump Blues

How is album cover art related to the music contained in the CD? No simple answer to that one is there? When the cover is a cartoon of a rowdy bar scene with patrons ranging from passed-out-on-the-bar to gorgeous hunk with admiring babes to a jumping lunatic in a straight-jacket, well.... you just know this has got to be a fun album. Fun – especially with a name like The Gas House Gorillas.

Based in Brooklyn, New York City, GHG is Rick Fink (vocals), Dan Hickey (drums), Hiro Suzuki (big Gretsch guitar), Crusher Carmean (aluminum chrome upright bass), Tim Veeder (Sax). With a killer voice, Rick Fink (after successfully fronting rock bands for years) found his true calling when he formed the Gas House Gorillas. His song writing skills and boundless high energy blur the lines that separate Jump Blues, Rock, and Swing, creating a mixture of American music.

Their main website reveals the origin of their name, “As Bugs Bunny fans may recall, the Gas House Gorillas were the team of Brooklyn mugs the ‘wascally wabbit’ was up against in the 1946 classic ‘Baseball Bugs.’”

Both of their websites emphasize their live shows, “At a Gas House Gorillas' show the crowd plays just as important a role as the musicians on stage. Whether singing along, cutting a rug, or adding their two cents to the between song banter, this kind of interaction is what makes a Gorillas' show great.” Many songs on this, their second album try to capture some of that performed-live-donnybrook.

The CD kicks off with Wynonie Harris’s “All She Wants To do Is Rock,” and it is sung just as suggestively as the hucklebucking original. Saxophone leading the way, balls out vocals, background vocal accents, mid song solos by sax and smoking guitar, bass popping, drums kicking – simply put it is Rock and Roll heaven.

The second number is a complete change. Original tune “Queen of the Night” is a jazz inflected stunner. While the guitar and bass flow, the real showcase is Tim Veeder’s creative sax floating over, under, around and through the vocals.

“Where Did Harlem Go?” is a 1:33 minute upbeat rip replete with scat, whistle, some vocals through a harp mic, and a bass/drum rhythm show. The fun is pumping now.

“Kidney Stew” is a great smooth-groove cover of Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson blues. “Memories Of You” slows the pace for dancers looking for a tight embrace. Blending pop with a gentle swing, the song is reminiscent of classic songs of early rock and roll. Hiro Suzuki gets an amazing organ-like sound from his guitar.

For 80 seconds, you may think you have blown your speaker woofers as “Everyone Says I Love You” plays. Sounding like a wavering-speed 78 rpm record, Fink sings a 1920s-esque, Betty Boop sounding humorous love parody ala Groucho Marx. It immediately gives way to wild bass string popping on “Nine Lives.” Hold on because this Rockabilly snapper is completely over the top in the vein of the best Stray Cats energy explosion of vocals, guitar, and, in this case, saxophone.

The closing number, “Burglar in the House of Love,” leaves us rocking with more of the instantly likeable singing of clever lyrics, great guitar, sax and rhythm that make this album a fun trip to retro-ville 50s – 60s Rock and Roll where most baby-boomer blues fans began. Only one thing left to do, see these guys live!

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

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

 2008 BLUES BLAST MUSIC AWARDS - Coming soon!

We are pleased to announce the 2008 Blues Blast Music awards coming to you on July 1, 2008. We will be sending out a special issue with the eight categories and the five nominees for each. YOU, the readers will decide the winners by your voting online at our website.

Only Blues Blast readers can vote on this one so if you get the Blues Blast in your email, you can vote. If you have your friends sign up for the Blues Blast, they can vote too! Looks for this great new award series and VOTE for your favorite artist for FREE!!


Willie Big Eyes Smith

New CD

Born In Arkansas

CLICK HERE  to Purchase this CD

The Code Blue Band

Tight at Midnight

Intensely energetic R&B, funk, and rockin' Blues

CLICK HERE to buy the CD





 Live Blues Review

Chicago Pub Crawl
On the Bus with Koko Taylor -

June 7, 2008

After a great day Saturday at the 25th Chicago Blues Fest our Blues Blast staff decided to tag along for a Bus tour sponsored by Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine and Koko Taylor's Blues Celebrity foundation.

We were on a very nice bus that took us out for dinner and some Blues music with the Queen of Blues herself, Koko Taylor. First we headed to Captain Hard Times for dinner and a show by a young band from Indiana, C4 Rock & Blues Review.

That was followed by a set by Fernando Jones and his Columbia College Blues Ensemble. Koko was obviously enjoying everyone's company and posed for photos and danced with everyone.

Then we got back on the Bus for a ride to a unique Chicago club called the Rocking Horse Cowboy and Cowgirls Social Club. This club was interesting! Have you ever been to a Black club where everyone is dressed in cowboy hats and boots while Blues musicians entertain in the background? NO, well you should visit this club which is owned by Koko's husband. The regulars at the bar made us feel VERY welcome coming right up and introducing themselves and asking everyone to get out on the dance floor.

We then took the bus to one of the more well known South Side Blues clubs, Lees Unleaded where we had a final round and nearly got Koko to join Bluesman Johnny Drummer for one course of a song.

But really folks it was VERY LATE! It was amazing to see Koko having fun and actually staying in the clubs with us until 3:00am. After a long day at the fest and this great bus tour, the driver took us by each of our hotels and we said goodbye to Koko and headed to our hotel rooms for a short nights sleep before the last day of the Chicago Blues Fest!


11th Annual Briggs Farm Blues Festival
July 11 & 12, 2008
Nescopeck, Pennsylvania, USA
Camping On Site

Nora Jean Bruso, Big George Brock, Johnny Rawls, Lonnie Shields, Clarence Spady, Bobby Kyle, Colin John & Michael Hill, Kelly Richey Sarah Ayers Band, Donovan Roberts, Mickey Jr. Acoustic Blues Revue Mark Armstrong, Bret Alexander   570-379-2003

 Blues Society News

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

Max of 125 words, Text or Word file ONLY.

Illinois Central Blues Club Springfield, IL

ICBC BLUES CHALLENGE CALL FOR ENTRIES - The Illinois Central Blues Club will be conducting the Second Annual Blues Challenge during the Old Capitol Blues & Barbeque, August 23, 2008 beginning at noon. The winner of the challenge will receive $1,000 in travel monies to represent the Club at the Blues Foundation International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN during the first weekend in February 2009. Bands interested in competing in the Challenge should go to the Illinois Central Blues Club’s website at for contest rules and forms, or contact or call 217-622-0340. At least one member of the band must be a member of the Illinois Central Blues Club. A Solo/Duo competition is slated to take place at a later date. Applicants must submit photos, band biography, a cassette tape or CD of the band’s music. Quality of recording/picture is not considered in selecting and only the first 3 songs will be considered. Entries must be accompanied by a $10 entry fee. Entry fee will be returned if your band is not selected to compete in the August 23rd competition. ENTRIES MUST BE POSTMARKED BY JULY 25, 2008

Blue Mondays- Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover  - June 30 Levee Town from Kansas City, July 7 - Black Magic Johnson, July 14 - Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat s, July 21 - The Damon Fowler Group, July 28 - Bill Evans & N Da Groove, August 4 - John Nemeth, August 11 - Steve the Harp Blues Band, August 18 - Springfield Shaky, August 25 - Peter Karp


11th Annual Prairie Dog Blues Fest

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bobby Bryan Band   Davina & the Vagabonds
Jason Ricci & New Blood
Walter Trout & the Radicals    Moreland & Arbuckle

Saturday, July 26, 2007

The Bourbon Brothers   Charles Walker Band
Nick Moss & the Flip Tops  Kilborn Alley Blues Band
The Groove Hogs  Bernard Allison    Brandon Scott Sellner


Festival Website

The only Blues festival held on an island in the middle of the Mississippi River!

 Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin on St. Feriole Island

17th Annual

Pocono Blues Festival

July 25 - 27, 2008

Big Boulder Ski Area
Lake Harmony, PA

Root Doctor, Teeny Tucker, Lil' Dave Thompson, Joey Gilmore, The Kinsey Report, Sharrie Williams, Michael Burks, Nappy Brown, Kenny Neal, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Jimmy McCracklinMichael Roach, Johnny Mars, Byther Smith, The Holmes Brothers, Lurrie Bell, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Bobby Rush, Eric Bibb, Geno Delafose

Festival Website Click Here

 Chicago Blues Update

Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy

Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)

Biscuit Miller at Harlem Avenue Lounge

Biscuit is back! After several years of touring with Anthony Gomes, Biscuit Miller put a band back together and is poised for prime time. Biscuit & The Mix took the stage at Harlem Avenue Lounge on this fun night, while I commandeered the most Northwest barstool. I first met Biscuit in an earlier pre-Gomes incarnation of the band at The Slippery Noodle in Indy. I sometimes take good music as a given, but even then his showmanship and charisma were memorable. Now years later, his smile is amped up a few more watts and his energy level is at buzz level. So enough about the smiling stick of dynamite playing the bass, how about the band? Paxton Norris, Biscuits frequent partner is joined by another great young player Jordan Lunardini (I love that name). Paxton, Jordan and Biscuit reside in some Eastern suburbs of Chicago (Michigan and Indiana). These two young fret masters have set up their rigs and their playing to provide two distinct, but complimentary guitar voices. Given their turn, each comes up with interesting song supporting parts. Myron’s in the house. Veteran drummer Myron Robinson, with too much energy of his own, manages to keep this troupe very tight and on the one. Paxton Norris, Jordan Lunardini, Myron Robinson and Biscuit Miller all sing well, in solo or harmony. To close the final set, each showcased their instrumental talent and left the stage in turn. This left Biscuit alone for a final entertaining bass blessing.

Biscuit & the Mix are now on the road for a busy tour covering many of our United States. They are booked as late as February 2009 when they will join the Chubby Carrier Party Cruise. If you have the opportunity, check them out. If the venue allows, bring your camera and send in a copy of your best Biscuit picture. The man is so photogenic that it’s difficult to get a bad picture of him. Peace

CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at

To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE

Hey Blues Fans!

I am a freelance web designer and a big fan of the Blues as well. I make Blues band websites, artist/solo/duo sites, and professional Myspace layouts.  One of my 2007 customers was which is now one of the internet's largest Blues communities. 

 Can you believe the website only cost $400.00?  

I don't talk your ear off about different programming languages or features.  I focus on the best possible website for you and your website visitors.  Most websites packages are around $250.00 and starter sites are $199.00. If you are in need of a new website, a re-design of an existing site, or a professional myspace presence, please contact me at 309-642-9052 or at:  - Nate Kieser

 - Special BLUES Offer! -

I definitely realize it's the Blues, so while running this ad for the next few weeks, I am offering working Blues musicians a complete website design AND a professional Myspace layout, BOTH for $400.00.  My portfolio is located at:

Recent Customer Websites - $250.00 - $250.00    

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 Blues Want Ads

 Place Your Blues Musician Want Ad here for FREE

Guitar for Sale

Custom Made Double F-Hole, Double Bound Ash (nice'n light) Thinline Telecaster w/PAF Pickups, Maple Neck w/Rosewood fretboard & Medium Frets & Gibson Style Inlays; Finished in deep Blue Stain w/Clear Lacquer finish. This is not a Fender-Small, independent shop custom built w/USA made quality components. Sounds great, plays great, feels great w/great response. This is a one of a kind eyecatcher; need money to finish my CD. Comes w/gig bag. Can email pics-outside Boston, Ma. $750.00 or best offer

Left Handed Guitar for Sale

Guitar for sale. LEFT-HANDED, blonde, 1996 Epiphone Joe Pass model. (This guitar is no longer available from Epiphone.) Improved with Gibson P94 pickups, black pickguard, black knobs--think ES 350. Girlie decal and a new set of flatwound 11's. Set up and ready to swing. Original pus, pickguard, knobs, and hard case included. $600 firm. Rockford, IL. (815) 874-5983.

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

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

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Festivals... 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 Blue event!

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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 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 400,000 hits A MONTH on our website!

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