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Hey Blues Fans,

We have news of one of the best Blues Festivals on the planet, The Chicago Blues Festival. This years 2009 festival is a week later and a day shorter than in the past few years and will run from Friday June 12th through Sunday June 14th in Grant Park in Chicago, IL.

And of course we have a sneak peek at part of the lineup for you!

On Friday June 12 they will have Trudy Lynn, Charlie Musselwhite, Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Big Bill Morganfield.

On Saturday June 13 they have Lil' Dave Thompson, Travis Haddix, Samuel James, Eden Brent and Bettye LaVette.

On Sunday June 14th you will see Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Johnny Drummer, David 'Honeyboy' Edwards, The Lee Boys and Dom Flemon.

We will keep you updated as more artists are confirmed. Stay tuned as the complete 2009 performance schedule will be announced in April.

Mark your calendars and book your hotels NOW!

Willie King - 3/8/1943 - 3/8/2009

From the Alabama Blues Project  - On Sunday, March 8, 2009, the outstanding Alabama blues musician Willie King passed away near his home in Old Memphis, Alabama, following a massive heart attack.

His career started on a plantation with a one-string, homemade diddly-bo. Six recordings, a DVD, numerous national and international festival performances later, Willie King gained a substantial national and international reputation.

Ever since he first heard a blues musician play at his grandmother's juke joint over sixty years ago, Willie King was consumed by the blues. His life story is about great music, but equally it is about care, interest and concern for the community he grew up in - King's own definition of the "blues life."

The loss of this great blues man will be felt by fans and musicians all over the world who have been touched by his unique juke joint blues and uplifting message of peace, love and social justice.

The funeral is scheduled for Sunday, March 15th, and will be held at the City Hall in Aliceville, Alabama, with viewing the day before at Lavender's Funeral Service, Aliceville. Timing and other details will be posted, when available, at Willie King's web site,

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from Matthew Stubbs. Belinda Foster reviews a new CD from Judy Roderick. Ben Cox reviews a new CD by John Black . Our video of the week is a clip of Piedmont Blues at it's best with John Cephas and Phil Wiggins.  All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!! presents

The Rivoli Theatre - Monmouth, IL

CLICK HERE to Purchase Tickets


 Blues Society News

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

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Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents E. C. Scott at Nan’s Piano Bar Sunday, March 15, 2009. Nan’s Piano Bar in the Freight House complex at Ripley and River Drive in downtown Davenport, IA. The show starts at 7 p.m. For more information Contact: Karen McFarland, (563) 508-6596

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents Bob Dorr and the Blue Band at the Redstone Room Saturday March 28 Davenport, IA ( 129 Main Street). Doors open at 7:30 and the music begins at 8:30 Admission is $10. The show is a fundraiser for the MVBS. For more information Contact: Karen McFarland, (563) 508-6596

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL


Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - March 16 - Kilborn Alley, March 23 - Chris Bell and 100% Blues, Mar 30 - Frank Herrin & Blues Power, Apr 6 - Blues Deacons, Apr 13 - Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Apr 20 - Pleasure Chest, Apr 27 - Nothin' But Trouble

The Connecticut Blues Society - Higganum, CT

The Connecticut Blues Society will have it's annual benefit " Blues Blizzard " on Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ The West Hartford VFW. Five of the areas hottest Blues bands will donate time for the CT. Blues Society. Performing this year from 7PM - 12 are; Crystal Blue Project ( w/young "Hot" guitarist Trey Wilson ), The Kingpins, Mojomatics, Eric Ducoff Band , Gene Donaldson & The Stingrays. There will be plenty of food and drink available. $10 donation or 2 for $15. For info contact 860-292-6112 or e-mail

Monmouth Blues - Monmouth, IL

The hard-driving blues-rock of The Kelly Richey Band will take center stage at the Rivoli Theatre on Friday, March 13th, 2009 at 7:30pm. This pre-Spring show is the first of three scheduled 2009 blues events sponsored by Opening the show will be Galesburg’s own Mike Budde’s Rhythm Circus. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

In addition to the concert, the Kelly Richey Band will be presenting a program to local students in an assembly at the Monmouth High School at 10am. For more information go to or call 309 536-0854

River City Blues Society- Peoria, IL

The River City Blues Society's Wednesday Blues Series in Central, Illinois are early shows each Wednesday at 7:00pm, featuring the best traveling regional and National Blues musicians. The shows feature a budget priced cover charge of $3. The shows are held at the Dragon's Dome, 3401 Griffin Ave in Pekin, IL.

Shows scheduled are:  Mar 18 - Chris Bell & 100% Blues, Mar 25 - Sally Weisenburg & The Famous Sidemen, Apr 1 - Reverend Raven & The Chain Smoking Alter Boys, Apr 8 - 3rd Degree Blues Band, Apr 15 - Too Slim & The Tail Draggers, Apr 22 - Damon Fowler Group, April 29 - Bob Dorr & The Blue Band, May 6 Shannon Curfman, May 13 - Scott Ellison, May 20 - Deak Harp, May 27 - The Insomniacs

Advertising Special

Blues Blast advertising rates slashed

(Ads must be reserved by March 31st, 2009)

Blues Blast Magazine would like to remind you that we are a great way to promote the Blues. More than 12,000 Blues fans, Blues society members, festival promoters, record companies, artists and Blues publishers read our Blues Blast magazine each week. They are located in all 50 states and in more than 60 countries. We get more than 800,000 hits and more than 10,000 visitors a month on our website.

If your Blues Society is organizing a Blues Fest we offer cost effective advertising that really "Gets The Blues Word Out"! If you are a Blues performer, we can help promote your new CD. We know times are hard and Blues music is the Music for the times! So for a limited time Blues Blast Magazine is offering  "recession prices" on festival and CD advertising.

Normal 2009 Advertising rates are $30 a week for Blues Blast magazine ads. Website ads are $40 per month for a small ads on the sidebar of the homepage and $55 per month for a larger ad on the main homepage area.

BUT, for a limited time, you can advertise your Blues event or CD in Blues Blast Magazine for less that the cost of a small ad in your local newspaper.  If you reserve and pay for your ad space by March 31st, 2009 we are offering a special combo rate of $100 a month to get both a weekly Blues Blast magazine ad AND a sidebar ad on our website (Minimum of 2 months).

SO for $200 your ad will run in eight issues of the Blues Blast and be on the website for 2 months. Your ad will be seen by THOUSANDS of Blues fans!

Ads can be scheduled for any dates in 2009. Space is limited during some summer festival season times and will be sold on a first come first served basis. To get more information email

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 3

Matthew Stubbs - Soul Bender

VizzTone Label Group

11 songs; Time 37:09; Splendid

Style: Retro Electric Instrumental Blues

According to Blind bluesman Bryan Lee, unsighted musicians actually hear better than sighted ones. Bryan claims that once the distraction of what is “seen” is removed, one is forced to listen more closely, with positive results. Something analogous to that happens here where there are no song lyrics to distract from the pure music. Anyway, a guitar and saxophone can communicate emotion as well as any song lyric.

Yes, Matthew Stubbs is an electric guitarist, but fear not – this is not a Rock-Blues shred fest nor a power chord pop-off. As the title implies, it's a deeply soulful album of varying classic flavors from the 1960s.

To be fair, “Sax” Gordon Beadle should have been given equal billing because he sure has equal playing time in the CD’s mix. Beadle arranged the horn parts, and he and his accompanying players, Tino Barker and Scott Aruda, have plenty of space to complement Stubbs and fill out the sound. Chris Rivelli handles drums and percussion, and bass duties are filled by John Bunszell and Wolf Ginandes.

AND NOW, it’s time to play “Name That Tune, Riff, or Artist!” Grab a friend who knows his music and try to identify all the classic snippets one will hear in the album. For someone born after 1982, Stubbs has absorbed an incredible amount of music that comes out in his playing, almost like sampling. Here he blends it all in original, fresh songs that are full of references.

I’ll not spoil the fun by telling you where they are located, but, among all the samples you’ll hear, listen for “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” “Willie and the Hand Jive,” and the opening guitar riff from Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild.” Typically, you’ll have to listen fast and closely because the snippets are succinct – sort of like how Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown would throw “Pop Goes the Weasel” into the middle of a song. Just as it hit your consciousness, he would move on to passages completely unrelated leaving the listener wondering, “Did I just hear what I think I heard?” Each song has a memorable guitar hook on which Stubbs tastefully expands, never going over the top with unrestrained youthful exuberance.

Some listeners may insist that, instead of a song riff, they hear passages that sound like artists such as Steve Cropper (Booker T and the MGs), Freddie King, Bo Diddley and his patent beat, and The Ventures’ surf sounds.

This CD offers fun for young and old. Know someone born after 1993 who’s interested in guitar? Give them a copy of this CD as an introduction to wonderful sounds played in a classic style and add, “Shred not, young man, shred not!”

Bio: Hailing from a small New England town, Matthew Stubbs is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the premier Blues guitarists. Whether performing with his own band or as a sideman, the 25 year old always delivers.

In 2003, The Matthew Stubbs Band won first place in the Boston Blues Society’s “Blues Challenge.” He followed that success with a third place finish at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The exposure was immense, and Stubbs soon joined many of today’s blues greats on stage. Stubbs did time with John Nemeth and also spent a year and a half touring North America with Janiva Magness.

Currently, Matthew Stubbs is performing with The Charlie Musselwhite Band. Stubbs can also be found doing select tours/shows with Lynwood Slim, Junior Watson, Sax Gordon, Brian Templeton and many other top acts.

Stubbs has earned a reputation for his ability to write catchy instrumentals. As found in this debut album, the songs which he composes are a cocktail of Memphis Soul, Blues, R&B, Surf, Rock n’ Roll and Groove, all perfectly mixed together. His real knack is being able to blend all of these styles with economy and simplicity like he was born in 1950.

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

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Its "MOJO MADNESS" At WGLT In Normal, Illinois The Whole Month Of March !!! 89.1 & 103.5, And On The Web At Just Click On "Listen"

Listen to GLT Blues every weekend in March for MOJO MADNESS! It's your chance to win tickets to the Illinois Blues Festival in Peoria on Labor Day weekend as you call GLT to vote for your favorite blues artists. Here's the deal:

We've seeded and bracketed 32 great blues artists from yesterday and today for a blues tournament we're calling "MOJO MADNESS." MOJO MADNESS is just like the NCAA Basketball tournament every March, except YOU decide the winner of each round with your phone votes. If you're the 89th voter in a particular match, you'll win tickets to the Illinois Blues Festival in Peoria Labor Day weekend, or tickets to see Bonnie Raitt at the Peoria Civic Center. You may call to vote as often as you like, but you can only win once during the tournament. Every person who wins concert tickets by being the 89th voter qualifies for the Grand Prize: A Black Cat Bone ... that is, an iPod with songs from all 32 artists who made it into the 2009 MOJO MADNESS bracket.

Look at and download your own MOJO MADNESS bracket so you can keep track of the winners, as well as the date and times of each MOJO MADNESS match. Here's the link to the bracket:

The first "match' this week is Friday night from 8pm - 9pm, featuring Albert Collins vs Katie Webster . Call with your vote beginning at 8pm. Listen Live and YOU decide the winner of each round with your phone votes. To vote call 309 438-8910 Here are the matchups for this weekend:

This weeks matches

  • Fri March 13 (8:00pm) Albert Collins vs Katie Webster

  • Sat March 14 (1:00pm) Big Momma Thorton vs Big James

  • Sat March 14 (3:00pm) Howlin Wolf vs Johnny Winter

  • Sat March 14 (5:00pm) Pinetop Perkins vs Otis Rush

  • Sat March 14 (7:00pm) Stevie Ray Vaughan vs Big Time Sarah

  • Sat March 14 (9:00pm) Eric Clapton vs Elmore James

  • Sun March 15 (1:00pm) Etta James vs Bryan Lee

  • Sun March 15 (3:00pm) Albert King vs Roomful of Blues

Week One Winners

  • BB King vs. Little Walter = BB King

  • Bo Diddley vs. Tab Benoit = Bo Diddley

  • Muddy Waters vs. Marcia Ball = Muddy Waters

  • Ray Charles vs. Luther Allison = Luther Allison

  • Buddy Guy vs. Sue Foley = Buddy Guy

  • Freddie King vs. Magic Slim = Freddie King

  • John Lee Hooker vs. Nick Moss = John Lee Hooker

For more info, go to  To tune in to GLT Blues Radio 24/7 and Play MOJO MADNESS simply CLICK HERE 

 Blues Video of the Week

John Cephas and Phil Wiggins

Richmond Blues

Last week we passed on the sad news of the death of Piedmont Blues guitarist John Cephas.

We had the pleasure of hearing him live a few times. If you never got the chance to hear him or  wonder what real Piedmont Blues sounded like, you want to check out this video.

John Cephas was the best Piedmont Blues guitarist of our generation and Phil Wiggins harmonica playing was the perfect compliment to his incredible guitar playing.

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


For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.


New CD

'Le Blues Hot'


CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD

To read a review of this CD, CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 3

Judy Roderick & The Forbears with Special Guest Mac “Dr John” Rebennack - “When I’m Gone”

Dexofon Records

12 Tracks; 45 minutes 11 seconds; Reference Quality

Style: Folk Revival Vintage Jazz-Country Blues

Judy Roderick 1942-1992

Who would have thought that a young folksy 19 year old Caucasian teenager from Boulder, Colorado via Wyandotte, Michigan could hold her own with the early 1960’s female African American Blues pioneers, much less land Columbia and Vanguard deals with titles like Ain’t Nothing But the Blues and Woman Blue, all by the early age of 21?

You should probably sit with that opening, just for a minute. Maybe go back and read it a second time, to understand what an amazing contribution this less-recognized female blues and folk singer-songwriter made during a time when music was a critical vehicle for youth to communicate the social, political and philosophical sentiments of our nation. Think “Bob Dylan” if you must, who was born in 1941 only 1 year before Judy. And think ‘1964 Newport Folk Festival’, renowned for introducing Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Johnny Cash and Howlin’ Wolf were there too where this ‘60’s blues revival was being rediscovered from its ‘40’s Delta heyday. Yes, that’s the company she was keeping.

Fast track from there to the UK to the Today Show in NYC and lots of performances in between, “When I’m Gone” is the 1982 remastered and rereleased recording of Roderick and her band the Forbears consisting of Washboard Chaz Leary, Don Debacker, Tim Martin and Dexter Payne. Her long time partner, band mate and collaborator, Dexter, deserves major kudos for bringing her back to life for those of us too young or less fortunate to have heard her prior to her much-to-early demise in 1992. Special guest Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack and some great horn players help create a disc that gives us a yearning to go back 40 years ago to a talent said to have inspired the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Joni Baez and Janice Joplin.

Track 1 is a Roderick/Ashford original, Gone To Memphis. This retro-rocking funky county blues tune has Judy sliding all over the pitch of the notes in a powerfully effortless way while the players have fun laying down a whacky blues pocket. Track 2 appropriately falls in place with the cover I’m So Glad, an Ernest “Little Son Joe” Lawlers tune you’ve all probably heard through Memphis Minnie. I LOVE Judy’s folk country blues version with the horns integrating a jazzy Vaudeville touch.

Want a little West Coast a-go-go surf rock lift with a Joplin punch? Listen to Queen of the Street. Sing it Judy! Judy’s tender delivery of Surprises in Track 4—with its slow emoting old timey country-gospel feel—is one that even Johnny & June Cash could appreciate in a Kris Kristofferson song writing way. The enhancement of the horn section with Forrest Means, Chris Lege and Fly McLard and topped off with Dr John’s keys make this one quite heart-wrenching.

There’s great horn arrangements and keys embellishing title Track 5’s When I’m Gone. Playful sassy dialog exchanges back and forth between the horn section and Judy’s sultry vocal delivery with an occasional wallop of male harmony. Ironically, the words Judy sings, “please don’t talk about me when I’m gone” are almost my invitation to be doing just that as I type this!

Track 6 is ragtime post-depression fun—Live in Love (Always) originally by W Walker and G Sullivan. Judy’s rendition is convincing as she shouts Live In Love! Live in Love! at the song’s end. If you like a vintage scratchy not-slicked-up-studio version old school sound, you’ll love this one. All the instrumentals held their own when the ball got tossed their way. The song compelled me to go out on the streets and shout something with a smile, or celebrate something, like when saints come marching in!

Track 7, Your Eyes Remind Me, has a nice harp introduction that leads into a country heart breaking ditty; who hasn’t ‘been there’ where Judy was when she wrote this song? Track 8 (American) Money Blues, is one of my favorite, with the grooving bass start, the psychedelic rock style opening rift, followed by a jazzy intro to what turns into a blues-rock Judy-belted-ballad, about the woes of money blues. Judy nails the blues vibe in this one. History apparently does repeat itself since we still seem to be having us some American Money Blues! I’d love to see this one hit the current XM radio satellite waves.

Our horns and keys come back with Judy and band mates all doing some serious blues struttin’ on Track 9’s Denver to Dallas. “Daddy used to be a rollin’ stone, mama was the kind to keep her man at home’. Track 10 is a wonderfully moving jazz rendition of Dream of You that made me want to be solo sipping Woodford Reserve on the rocks in some obscure dark corner of a smoky off-the-beaten-path jazz joint. It also made me wonder if Amy Winehouse had taken some lessons from the history pages of Judy Roderick.

Track 11 Shout Sister Shout (A. Crudup) starts with a gospel upbeat and jazzy horn intro that continues the pace throughout with horns, guitar rifts, ‘shout’ harmony of the boys, Dr John’s keys and Judy slinging her foot-stomping jazz chords of her own.

The disc concludes with Floods of South Dakota and I felt touched yet sad to see it over: “Someday—you’ll build a cabin on the hillside, someday—you’ll find the gold you’re lookin’ for, and maybe someday, in the diamond mines of friendship, you will find someone to share that winding road. For all time, you can count on me and all that’s mine.” Wow, Judy just emotes sincerely from inside her heart on this moving folk ballad.

Judy was truly one of the same Joplin-Dylan-esk folk-blues magnets that major labels were clamoring for in the 60’s; yet she also crossed all genres and has continued to be respected and admired for her works, to this day. I think sometimes it doesn’t matter how savvy a music reviewer you are: trying to actually put into words the description of tracks you listen to on a CD is DIFFICULT at best. How many adjectives and poetic packages can we use before we all sound the same with the same ole boring reads?

I know I’m lengthy here, but my sincere desire is to educate the reader about the person behind the music, as that's where the best music comes from, the people who can sing it, the people who can write it, and the people who can do both. It’s why we like to take blues cruises with the musicians, meet them face to face and attend their live shows—we want to know the person behind the greatness.

Some say Dylan was probably one of the worst singers, and Judy's no Celine or Patsy Cline, BUT both he and she left profound and inerasable marks, nonetheless; and that’s her great tribute to our music history.

From folk, blues, country, rockabilly, rock and roll, gospel to jazz and swing, Judy certainly had a gift of exploring, crafting, expanding and personalizing all musical styles that were born from original true root blues, as illustrated in this disc. I’m so honored to have met her here. Thank you, Dexter, for introducing her to me, and for sharing her again with those who already knew and loved her.

Belinda Foster is a Columnist and Contributing Writer for Greenville SC Magazine “Industry Mag” and was former manager of Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues. She currently books blues-rock-jam musicians and is a devoted promoter and supporter of live blues root music and history, making frequent trips to “The Crossroads” and Clarksdale Mississippi, birthplace of the blues. Her column “The Upstate Blues Report” can be found on line at

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

The Simply The Blues Festival May 8th and 9th 2009 in Fort Madison, IA.

May 8th -Bobby Rush, Sugar Blue, porterdavis, Patrick Hazell and the The Smokin Mojo Kings.

May 9th - Johnny Drummer, Liz Mandeville, Michael Frank, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Harper, The Soul Of John Black, Shannon Curfman, 2009 International Blues Challenge band winner JP Soars And The Red Hots, IBC solo/duet winner Little Joe McLerran, Rich Berry, The Avey Brothers and Brad McCloud and the Case of the Blues. For more information go to

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 3

The Soul of John Black - Black John

Electro Groove Records

Run Time: 51:01

He’s been a session man for everyone from Dr. Dre and Everlast to Bruce Hornsby, Nikka Costa and Miles Davis. John “JB” Bigham is the heart and soul of the neo-soul/funk band The Soul of John Black. On his third release, The Soul of John Black turns on the funky retro grooves and doesn’t let up.

If you are looking for a set of something to get up and bump to, try on this 12-track set here.From the opening number and title track to the ode to 70s female funkster Betty Davis “Betty Jean,” The Soul of John Black brings back the sounds of funky Isley Brothers, the more soulful side of the Ohio Players, Philadelphia Soul, and adding in roots elements a la funky Albert King styled guitar grooves and this one stays in the pocket from start to finish.

Blues fans won’t find much blues here. This one is more of a straight-up folk funk number. However, contemporary and on the fringe blues fans will ultimately recognize Bigham’s tips of the hat in lyrics and guitar playing to past electric blues greats. If your taste falls in line with more Nikka Costa, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, G Love & the Special Sauce, or the funkier sides of Everlast and Sublime; then you might want to pick up this set.

The groove doesn’t stray and there are plenty of danceable tracks here to get this to crossover to the AAA radio format. Bigham has worked with some of the best in any genre, so it’s no doubt that this is a veteran piece of funky goodness..

Reviewed by Ben "the Harpman" Cox. Visit his website Juke Joint Soul

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

The River City Blues Society presents

Wednesday Blues featuring

Chris Bell & 100% Blues

7:00pm March 18th, 2009

The Dragon's Dome
3401 Griffin Ave, Pekin, IL.

To see Map- CLICK HERE

 Admission $3 - One free admission with new Society membership

Live Blues Calendar

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