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July 2, 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,

Don't miss this weeks Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, IA.  With 28 Bands and 3 days of Sun & Blues Fun you can't go wrong for a $15 a day admission price. The bands include 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, and the Holmes Brothers.

The Blues Blast will certainly be there so please stop by and say hello at our booth just outside the "Tent" Stage at the Adler Auditorium. Sign up to win a free Blues Blast T-Shirt. We will have complete coverage of all the Blues fun in the next issue.

Reviews This Week - Bob Kieser provides coverage of a great fest last week in Urbana, IL. Bluesman Gary Eckhart sends in a story of his past experiences at the upcoming Prairie Dog Blues Fest in Wisconsin. James Walker sends us a review of a new CD by Back Door Slam and Rob Paullin reviews a new CD by Jackie Payne Steve Edmonson Band All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN

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  presents

Janis Joplin's Original Band


Friday July 11th at WHITEY'S BAR and BILLIARDS in Burlington Iowa

With Special Guests

The Jefferson County Green Band

Door Opens at 8:00pm - Tickets are $8.00

For more information call 319-470-2082 or Whitey's at 319-752-3635

 Live Blues Review

Urbana Blues Brew and BBQs June 28th, 2008, Urbana Illinois

Review by Bob Kieser

Speaking of Blues FUN!....., Last Saturdays Blues Brew and BBQ in Urbana, IL was a real fun one.  Five major Blues acts were performing including opener Kilborn Alley Blues Band. The band put on a great set including several songs from their current CD, Tear Chicago Down.


The weather was great and the beer was cold as the crowd began arriving. Harmonica Player Joe Asselin and the band were joined by guest Deak Harp and their harmonica duet was really HOT!

Next up was Studebaker John and the Hawk for a power trio of heavy Blues. Later in the set Studebaker switched from guitar to harp and the crowd got to see a third amazing demonstration of how a tin sandwich is supposed to be played.


The third band was Blues heavyweight, Bernard Allison. Bernard follows in the tradition of his father Luther Allison and puts on a fiery guitar picking demonstration that is always way over the top. He wowed the crowd with his tongue attack!

Bernard brought some fresh faces in his band including a new guitar player and a sax player who doubled on congas and percussion. The band was tight and the set prepared us for another BIG Blues name in the fourth set!


This festival just kept getting better and better. The fest was produced by Fluid Events and if this is a sample of how they produce shows, they are gonna be a huge success as next up was Tab Benoit. Tab as usual played his heart out getting all the crowd fired up with his Louisiana style Blues. They were dancing in the aisles!


Most folks would agree that the first four acts for this fest gave then a huge value for their entertainment dollar ($20  admission). But the Fluid Event folks weren't done yet! The finale for this great fest was none other than Chicago Bluesman Lonnie Brooks himself!  And to make matters even better, Lonnie had his youngest son Wayne Baker Brooks playing with him. Wayne has been making quite a name for himself over the last couple years and the crowd really enjoyed the back and forth leads between Lonnie and Wayne.


If you have ever been to a Lonnie Brooks show you know he WILL get close to his audience by taking a stroll with his guitar into the crowd. And there are always a few surprises when he does. This night, Lonnie appeared in the crowd with fellow musician Tab Benoit playing his guitar. But that was just a warm up for the final fireworks that were to come! Next thing you know, Lonnie is back on stage with Tab and both of them are playing the same guitar at the same time. And if that we not enough, suddenly Bernard Allison appears on stage and he and Wayne are both playing the same guitar too! WOW! What a show.


This was all quite the show and the set ended with a rousing version of Sweet Home Chicago as the entire cast of guitar legends did a bunny hop rumba line off the stage as the crowd enthusiastically sang along. Then Lonnie came back for a encore following a rousing standing ovation by an adoring crowd. He sat down and played a couple more songs. It was also reported by a group Blues of friends that the show continued an hour or so later at the Esquire Lounge in Urbana where Tab, Wayne, and Lonnie’s bass player showed up after the show. Wayne didn’t play, but a kid who was one of Lonnie’s helpers came along a did a real good job of playing guitar while Tab played drums. They were there until 3 am.


This show was one of the best planned and executed events we have ever seen for a first year festival. I got a feeling the Fluid Events folks are going do it even bigger and better next year. Stay Tuned and be there next year!

Riot and his Rhythm Devils

Latest CD Tough Times is available now!


To Purchase this CD CLICK HERE

 Blues Link of the Week

The Blues Blast recently had a great time covering the 25th Chicago Blues Fest.  We were pleased to get to meet some great folks who are HUGE supporters of Chicago Blues. The Chicago Blues Guide is run by contributors who volunteer their time and talent because they love the blues. Like the Blues Brothers, they’re on a “mission from God” to keep the blues alive and well in Sweet Home Chicago…World Capital of the Blues.

Their website has lots of information about Chicago clubs, bands, radio shows, record labels and more. The also promote upcoming shows and provide reviews. Chicago is the one city in the world where you can see Blues seven nights a week, 365 days a year and hear some of the best Blues musicians on the planet. If you are going to visit Chicago, stop by the Chicago Blues Guide website to plan your trip and really see what is going on.  Tell them the Blues Blast sent ya!

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


New CD

Mighty Mighty

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD



 Featured Blues Review (1 of 2)

Back Door Slam - Roll Away

11 songs; 48:44 minutes; Library Quality
Styles: Acoustic ballads, Electric Blues-Rock, Rock

There is truly something special going on here with this band and their debut album. From an April 2 appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to a sold out show at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago to an upcoming September date on “Austin City Limits,” three guys barely in their twenties from the Isle of Man are grabbing attention all over the US and world, well beyond their British home. They are currently on a summer long tour of the US and Canada.

Their debut CD is an impressive set full of attention grabbing, “who-is-that-singing?” vocals by Davy Knowles. With clear, distinct enunciation that is rare, Knowles’ voice is simultaneously fresh and seasoned beyond his age and completely versatile in range and power. The album features moving blues, heads up rockers, and poignant ballads that makes Back Door Slam one of the year’s most interesting arrivals capable of linking all good music across any expanse of time.

Since this is a “Blues” publication, we might as well set the record straight up front: For all the adulations, the truth is BDS will be controversial in the blues community. Clearly BDS is more rock than blues and will be considered by many to not be blues at all.

But, we may just be witnessing the beginning of a blues revival that hasn’t happened since Stevie Ray Vaughan and, before that, the 1960s. Davy Knowles, Adam Jones, and Ross Doyle are well schooled in the blues and are a generation of young lions breathing life into it. To package blues music in a pop shell recorded with reverbs and incredibly lush guitar tones is the reason they will catch on with people, especially young people.

On the other side of the coin, that creates a potential problem. While Back Door Slam creates a whole new audience for the blues, “the blues” will have meanings in the minds of many it never had before. Certain styles can fall off and have less appeal. For example, none of the younger BDS fans will know who Paul Butterfield was, but they can start reading and digging. 

In 1967, I didn’t know who Robert Johnson was either when the Rolling Stones (the hot new band of the day) sang “Love In Vain.”

Back Door Slam are Davy Knowles (acoustic and electric guitars, vocal, mandolin, lap steel), Ross Doyle (drums) and Adam Jones (bass), all brought up on an appetite of everything blues. The result is a sound reminiscent of the blues greats but with a nod to the influential modern music and songwriters they love: Clapton, Knopfler, Mayall, and Mayer. "Roll Away" was recorded at DAM Studios in Douglas, the principal city on the Isle of Man, and produced by Dave Armstrong. All songs are Davy Knowles originals except one cover of a Cream number.

The album opens with “Come Home,” a catchy all-out blues-rocker that is fast becoming a favorite on radio stations across America. This is the track they played on Jimmy Kimmel Live that second-handedly brought them to my attention. Kicking off with a creative bass hook, the song is the complete package for popularity: clicking rhythm in the quiet spaces, harmonious vocal a cappella passages, sweet repeating guitar riffs, all summing up the protagonist’s desire to reunite with his lover.

My favorite song is track 4, “Gotta Leave.” A blues number that has a slow, single note picked guitar opening, it builds in intensity and heartache. Showing off some pretty good song-writing, Knowles wails, “Ooh, you must have got me CAWN-fused with some other man... / Tell me: how can I trust you when you can’t trust your self?” Knowles’ killer mid-song guitar solo talks without words to the listener, perfectly explaining the protagonist’s anguish as he must leave a disloyal partner.

Track 5 is a Celtic-folk acoustic number, the likes of which separate Back Door Slam from mere guitar slingers. Instead of more sonic assault, here is a thoughtful and sad dedication to Richard Brookes and Brian Garvey, a rhythm guitarist who was one of the founding members of the band killed in a 2004 car crash. “Too Good For Me” is another acoustic song while “Too Late” combines acoustic and electric.

“Heavy on My Mind,” track 2, is full bodied and amplified rock which, following track 1, suggests that is all you get – until tracks 4 and 5. “Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me” becomes a catchy sing-a-long phrase by the second listen. “Outside Woman Blues,” the only cover on the album, recapitulates the boys as the power trio Cream. “Takes A Real Man” showcases more guitar hero fretwork and is also presented in an alternate version as a bonus, track 11.

The title track, “Roll Away,” is an acoustic folk-bluesy number addressing a dilemma of living in such a desirable but off-the-beaten-path locale as the Isle of Man. Knowles sings, “I’ve got to Roll away/Maybe I’ll return to this island some day.”

In interviews the boys talk about performing live as an overwhelming desire. The rest of the world is the better for it when the boys left the island and brought their music to us. Check them out yourself or just keep your ear to the ground, and you’ll hear that Back Door Slam!

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.


CLICK HERE to see all the Nominees!

Voting by YOU the Blues Blast Subscribers Begins July 14th, 2008


Willie Big Eyes Smith

New CD

Born In Arkansas

CLICK HERE  to Purchase this CD

 Streaming Blues Link of the Week

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Bernard Allison "Mary Had a Little Lamb
Duff's Rooftop - Peoria, IL December 13, 1986

We feel fortunate that we got to see a great Chicago Bluesman Bernard Allison last weekend. While many folks have only recently heard of Bernard as his fame grows, he has been around on the Blues scene for quite awhile. This video link is a 1986 clip of Bernard playing in a little club in Peoria, IL (Bernard's hometown)  with Blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Club was a place called Duffy's Rooftop and was owned by the first president of the River City Blues Society in Peoria, IL

Check out other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE

 Other IMPORTANT News   Help Save the music! CLICK HERE to Keep Blues Radio Alive!

The Code Blue Band

Tight at Midnight

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

CLICK HERE to buy the CD





 Featured Blues Review (2 of 2)

Jackie Payne Steve Edmonson Band - Overnight Sensation

I liked Overnight Sensation from the first time I listened to the disk, but I was not particularly excited by anything I heard. I listened a second time, a few days later, and liked it even more. Then I read the liner notes and discovered that nine of the 13 songs are originals, and excellent originals, at that. With headphones I began to hear better how the various instruments blended together. Now I’m excited about the latest offering from the San Francisco Bay area sextet, The Jackie Payne Steve Edmonson Band.

The disk is an excellent combination of solid musicianship led by the guitar work of Edmonson; interesting lyrics written mostly by Payne; tight backup work from saxophone virtuoso Carl Green; Lech Wierzynski puffing away on trumpet; Bill Singletary on bass and percussion from Nick Otis, plus some guest musicians and backing vocals.

Payne and Edmonson have played together in California for the better part of a decade, but both trace their roots back to traditional blues haunts in the south and Midwest. Payne began his musical career as a teenager in Atlanta and worked with Albert Collins and Johnny Otis, among others, before settling down in San Fran. Edmonson grew up on the road with his traveling folk music father Travis Edmonson before joining forces with the likes of Buddy Miles, Van Morrison and James Cotton. Together they bring years of musical tradition to their new release.

Here’s a look at what Blues Blast found in Overnight Sensation:
The first cut, an original, is also the title cut, “Overnight Sensation,” and it’s a good one to set the tone. It’s a solid, soulful beginning with horns and guitar about how long and hard the night can be, before you become an overnight sensation. Next is “Can I Hit it Again,” a danceable funk groove original with solid trumpet work, Average White Band guitar strumming, and some cleverly suggestive lyrics. It’s chased by some B.B. King-style guitar work in a song about the one person that can give anybody the blues, “Mother-In-Law Blues.” Next, you’ll hear a hint of Percy Sledge in “Take a Chance on Me,” a blues ballad about trying to close the deal.

Move over Robert Johnson: Chicago may have a new blues anthem with “I Got a Mind to Go to Chicago,” another Payne-Edmonson original that may do for Chicago what Marc Cohn did a few years ago for Memphis. If you know anything about Chicago, you’ll recognize plenty of blues icons and fixtures in this one.

“Uptown Woman, Downtown Man,” is an original big band blues swinger about going out on the town and trying to step up a notch or two while stepping out. It’s followed by “Midnight Friend,” a horn-driven song about saying all the right things to get lucky at closing time. Then, you can almost hear Otis Redding in “Your Good Thing is About to Come to an End,” a lonely soul tear-jerker of a song originally penned by Stax masters Isaac Hayes and the underrated David Porter.

The band switches gears with “No Money, No Honey.” It’s an obvious tribute to capitalism and what a deep well of cabbage can do for you!

Do women change? Apparently so, according to the original, “Bag Full of Doorknobs,” a song that hints suspicion might have at least a little something to do with that change.

The medley, “She’s Lookin’ Good,” and “I’ve Never Found a Girl,” the latter written by two more Stax stars, Eddie Floyd and Booker T. Jones, and with a smooth transition courtesy of a sampling from “Shout,” is a cheerful coupling of two blues love songs. It leads to the instrumental “Bringin’ Me Right Back,” an up ‘til news kind of song featuring writer Edmonson on guitar, Wiersynski on trumpet, and guest musician Gail Deadrick on the B-3.

Tremolo guitar and wailing sax set the tone on the final cut, “Feel Like Going Home,” a cover of a Charlie Rich country cryin’ song that the band makes it’s own thanks to a gospel blues spin laid on by the vocal work of Payne.

Neither Payne nor Edmonson are exactly spring chickens, but they say by blues standards, they’re still pretty young. That “youthful” enthusiasm for their music is evident with Overnight Sensation. Two Anchor Bocks up for Overnight Sensation.

Reviewed By Rob Paullin

 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  - 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

The Prairie Dog Blues Fest Experience

Prairie Dog Blues Festival was my first Blues festival and I was hooked from the get go. Situated on St. Feriole Island in Prairie Du Chien Wisconsin, this little gem has a ton to offer. Todd Yeoman and his right hand lady Sharon work hard all year round to make this one of the finest small ( But Mighty) Blues festival going.

Todd has a uncanny eye for talent, year in and year out he puts out one of the best lineups anywhere. While attending my first year i had the pleasure of seeing Walter Trout and I about had a heart attack. My second year it was Tinsley Ellis and left the festival dazed and amazed. I haven't missed one since. This will be Todd's eleventh go at it and my tenth, still feel bad about missing the first one.

Fridays Lineup of Bobby Byran Band 5:00, Davina and the Vagabonds 7:00, Jason Ricci and New Blood 9:00 and Mr. Trout sounds like a jet taking off. Bernard Allison will be headlining Saturday night, Bernard's living proof that the apple don't fall far from the tree and every year I discover someone new, this festival never fails to expand my horizons, it's one of the things I love the most about it.

From cheese curds to jambalaya there is something for everyone in the food department. T-shirts, sweaters and caps, the best, no ones close. Feel like getting a little exercise in? There is a Co-Ed softball tourney, contact B.J. (319-400-2578) if you want in on that.

 Light beer, dark beer you have a choice. Need a short walk to your bed after drinking your beer, on site camping is available also, no reason not to attend this one, so i will look forward to seeing you all there, catch you at the end of July, 25th and 26th to be exact.

Your Friend in the Blues Business - GARY ECKHART

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)

Lordy will return soon with another Chicago Blues Show review

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    

Up 4 Grabs Band - $300.00  - $300.00

 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

Live Blues Calendar


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!

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! 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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