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August 21, 2009           

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Hey Blues Fans,

Big news!  The 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards are October 29th at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, Illinois. It is going to be one heck of a show!

Confirmed artists performing at the ceremonies so far include:

Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Chris James & Patrick Rynn w/ Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross.

Tickets are only $25 and will go on sale August 31st, so grab those discount airfares now and come join the fun at the most famous Blues venue in the world. Oh yeah, and if you have not voted you can still join the fun and vote for your favorite Blues artist until August 31st. To vote now CLICK HERE.

Blues Blast Music Awards Sponsorship Opportunities

There are some GREAT sponsorship opportunities available for the 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards. Sponsor packages include free tickets, Blues memorabilia and some significant Blues advertising. There are a limited number of packages available on a first come, first served basis so inquire NOW!

For complete information CLICK HERE.

Blues Wanderings

We made it out to hear Kansas City Blues band Levee Town this week. Levee Town were finalists in the 2007 International Blues Challenge.


They put on quite a show that included some of the songs from their new soon to be released CD. It was some great music so watch for it on their website soon.

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from Candye Kane.  Belinda Foster reviews a new CD by JC Smith Band. Charlotte Montgomery reviews a book called Chicago Blues by David Whiteis.

Our Blues link of the Week is Chicago's own Windy City Blues Society.

 Blues Link of the Week

Windy City Blues Society

Not to be outdone by a great new Los Angles Blues Society recently started on the west coast,  Chicago, Illinois, the Capital of the Blues world, has a new Blues society that just started this year too. There are many Blues performers and fans in Chicago so the Windy City Blues Society is long over due!

Chicago is one of the few places on the planet where you can hear great live Blues music 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And what other Blues society could hold their Blues challenge in a world famous Blues club like Rosa's Lounge?

The Windy City Blues Society is a  501(3)(c) not for profit organization with a mission to preserve, promote, and enhance Blues music and the Blues community; support Blues education, and promote the Chicago area Blues scene including its Blues musicians.

They are connecting all aspects of the Chicago Blues community – artists, labels, Blues clubs, and fans and intend to leverage the Chicago tourism infrastructure to help support the local Blues scene. They are starting a Blues In the Schools program, will be sending local artists to the International Blues Competition, and building their membership.

Unique to this organization is something they call Instant Friends Blues Meet-Ups. They use the internet and social networking to meet with and connect Blues fans in the many Blues venues all over the the Chicago metro area. 

Visit their website to find out more. Tell him the Blues Blast sent ya!

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

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 2

Candye Kane - Superhero

Delta Groove Music, Inc.

15 songs; Time 55:19 minutes; Splendid

Style: Rock and Roll; R&B; Blues

Randy Chortkoff at Delta Groove Music knows an entertaining mix of music, sex, and pop-culture (Wonder Woman superhero variety this album) can be a winning combination. He also knows a real singer with clarity and power when he hears one. After eight earlier CDs on labels such as Antone’s, Sire, Rounder, and Ruf, Los Angeles native Candye Kane has delivered her first for Delta Groove.

She thanks Chortkoff in the liner notes for “trusting and believing” in her. She always knew she had talent, but she was rejected and written off early on by record executives as “absurd and meaningless,” she has honestly revealed. Ain’t that the Blues!

Kane did have a rough start as she became a gang banger at fifteen, and a mother at seventeen. With a face and plus-size body as beautiful as her voice, she earned her first real money posing for trashy magazines. Her first recordings followed in the soulful footsteps of Bessie Smith and Etta James, and they gained her some notoriety for her bawdy originals. Slowly but surely, Kane established herself as a legitimate artist.

In early 2008 she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. With her hard developed strength, she met the situation with “positive thinking and habitual optimism,” and when she attended the 2009 Blues Music Awards in Memphis this May, she was cancer free. Losing seventy-five pounds in the process and surviving the threat to her life gave her inspiration for this album and three particular songs.

The CD features hot guitarist Laura Chavez laying down attention worthy solos with bassist Paul Loranger and Kane's son Evan Caleb on drums deftly handling the rhythm. Beyond that power trio, six guests make brief appearances.

"Superhero"--"I've always been a fighter when bad times come around. I ain't gonna take it laying down!" This is the anthem that Wonder Woman would have had if she indeed wore a pink headband and pink fishnet stockings, as this CD's cover displays! It's sassy, sultry, loud and lusty, with splashes of saxophone (Jonny Viau) and baritone guitar (Dave Gonzalez). And, you’ll take two steps backward when Candye delivers an ultimatum: "If you can't help me, get out of my way!" What's this superhero's secret weapon? "My big heart!"

"I Put a Hex on You"--The first song on the album that will truly stick in your head. It mentions a famous practitioner, now deceased, of the Voodoo tradition down in New Orleans: "Marie Laveau's my home girl--I put a hex on you!" Cheating lovers beware, or you might find "a needle in a doll that looks like you alone!" If Chavez’s guitar doesn't want to make you get up and tango, absolutely nothing will!

"I'm a Bad, Bad Girl"--A traditional blues number, this is one where Candye tries to show her true colors, but they end up somehow muted. This cover of Gladyces De Jesus does highlight her voice for sure, but it sounds shrill instead of sexy this time.

"Ik Hou Van Je (I Love You)"--Here's an original that’s a peppy love ballad with spot-on renditions of the famous phrase in several different languages! Its ragtime beat, and Candye's sparkly vocals, make this the most underrated and understated hit of the whole CD. The theme here? "The words are universal. And one thing is true. In every corner of the world, we all say, "I love you!" "Ik hou van je; ich liebe dich--it means I love you true!" Whatever language you speak, you'll love this ditty!

"Who's Been Sleeping in my Bed?" was written by Jack Tempchin, author of "Peaceful Easy Feeling," made famous by The Eagles and a favorite writer of Kane's. Remember the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears?” A different type of creature has been sleeping in Candye's bed: "You smell just like perfume and whiskey, so there ain't no way that you can lie..." As Kane pieces together the clues--"sheets all over the floor, the curtains closed in the middle of the day, the lights are turned way down low...," Chavez’s guitar licks are absolutely savage. She doesn't sound like the forgiving type in this song: "you and your brand-new lover are going to be together again..." at the hospital! The "mama bear" will certainly go on the attack!

"Don't Cry for Me, New Jersey" The best line in this song is "your rejection sandwich is one that I can't eat!" The best part of this quirky number is the lyrics, so listen closely and you'll get some chuckles!

"You Need Love" is the Willie Dixon classic which became "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin. Good vocals, good guitar, but not especially memorable.

"I Like 'em Stacked Like That"--Want to know the difference between men and women? Just listen to this vocal duet! On male vocals, guest and harmonica great Mitch Kashmar likes 'em "stacked like that," but Candye prefers "tall and lean, smart and wise. If you're a bookish guy, I'll try you on for size. I like 'em smart and wise!" The fundamental truth is that everyone has a "special type, and no one else will do." Good for laughs and good for dancing, too, as Kid Ramos adds guitar licks!

"Till You Go Too Far"--This is, flat out, the best cover (again, Tempchin) on the whole CD. The guitars entice (Chavez and again, Ramos guesting), Candye's vocals add spices, and the lyrics? They're strictly PG-13, mentioning illegal recreational drugs and a place and time where "all of the love was free!" Blues lovers rejoice: this number has enough traditional elements to keep purists happy, with enough variety and brown-sugar sultriness from Candye to keep things interesting. A bona-fide winner!

"You Can't Stop Me from Loving You" Candye wants to leave her memories somewhere else--"rinse it down the drain, leave it on the bus, hide it in my pocket, tear it up in a thousand pieces and throw it off a pier!" The best part is the Rock and Roll guitar solo in the middle. If it doesn't get you grooving, you're dead!

"Throw it in the Trash Can Love"--This is absolutely the funniest song on the album. Candye thinks she's found the love of her life, but in all actuality, it was "a skid row, hobo, double-saver coupon love--made in China and doomed to fail!" This is the perfect post-breakup song. It's wacky, wild, and absolutely wonderful when you're thinking about a relationship you'd like to "throw in the trash can"!

"I'm Gonna Be Just Fine"--Unfortunately, the vibes I got from this a cappella ballad were weird, creepy, and off-putting. Maybe if she'd added some soft guitar, this ballad about growing older and having "grandbabies on my knee. I love them, and they love me!" would have been gorgeous.

This is a great album, but her 2005 “White Trash Girl” had more heavy hitters.

NOTE: Review by James “Skyy Dobro” Walker with guest song critiques by Skyy’s daughter, Amy, age 29

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,

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Tab Benoit  Kenny Neal Band  Ronnie Baker Brooks  Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam  Kelley Hunt 
Reba Russell Band  The Underground Blues Division  The Cate Brothers  Josh Garrett & the Bottomline 
Steve Smith and the Sneakers  Stewart Mann and the Statesboro Revue  Shae

For tickets and complete information:

 Blues Society News

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

Please submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or Word format ONLY.

Windy City Blues Society - Chicago, IL

The Windy City Blues Society presents the Chicago Blues Challenge ( Round 2) September 10, 2009 8:00 pm at Rosas’ s Lounge, 3420 W Armitage, Chicago. Illinois. $7 admission. For more info visit

West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, W.V.

The West Virginia Blues Society will hold its Third Annual Blues Competition at noon on October 3, 2009 at Christopher's Banquet Center, 104 Van Kirk Dr., Fairmont, WV . Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts will compete for cash prizes and WVBS sponsorship to the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.

8 competition slots will be filled by regional blues acts from all over West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and other states. This is the onlyBlues Talent Competition in West Virginia recognized by the Blues Foundation.

The first-place winner of Blues Competition will receive $750 dollars in cash and WVBS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in early 2010. The second place winner will receive $200 in cash and third-place winner will receive $100 in cash.

Complete information, application & rules are available online at . Deadline for application submission is September 1, 2009. For more information contact Competition Director, Jack Rice at 304-389-1438 or e-mail:

River City Blues Society- Peoria, IL

The River City Blues Society's Wednesday Blues Series features the best traveling regional and National Blues musicians each Wednesday at 7:00pm. The shows are held at the Dragon's Dome, 3401 Griffin Ave in Pekin, IL. Admission is $4. Shows scheduled are:  August 19th - Vernon Ray Harrington

The Arkansas River Blues Society - Little Rock, Arkansas

The Arkansas River Blues Society presents a monthly Blues jam at Juanita’s, 1300 Main Street, Little Rock, Arkansas the first Tuesday of every month. The next jam will be September 1, 2009, at 8 pm. The jam will feature a different house band each month. G - Funk The Tree Trunk will be our house band. You can check this band out on our myspace site. Admission is $5 for the public and $3 for members of ARBS. Participating musicians are FREE and this is an open jam. For more information contact Babs at 501-920-7783 or check out

Friends Of The Blues Shows - Kankakee IL

The Friends of the Blues 2009 Blues concert Series upcoming shows:

Tuesday, Sept 22 The Insomniacs, 7 p.m., Kankakee Elks Country Club, 2283 Bittersweet Drive , St. Anne IL 60964 (815) 937-1228. Tuesday, Oct 13, Too Slim & The Taildraggers, 7 p.m. , Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL 60915. (815) 936-1649. Tuesday, Oct 20, Paul Rishell & Anne Raines 7 p.m. , Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL 60915. (815) 936-1649

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 coverAugust 24th Todd Wolf Blues Band, August 31 Kilborn Alley

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 2

JC Smith Band - Defining Cool;

Cozmik Records

12 Tracks 53 min 23 sec

Style: Chicago and West Coast Blues Funk and Jump Blues  Rating: Meritable

You’ll want to dust off at least a couple of your five senses to appreciate the JC Smith Band’s “Defining Cool” release because unless you’re also familiar with their live on-stage performance, you might miss out on the total blues fun(k) package they have to offer by virtue of just listening to this CD alone. So in addition to listening, add some ‘sight’, a little hip shaking, and you’ve got a show. Go to their website and view the YouTube footage to see where I’m coming from. From son of a bluesman to DJ, JC also sports the accolade of Best Dressed Bluesman by the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame for being so ‘ghetto fabulous’.

So who is the JC Smith band? While many Bay Area Blues Society members and fans know, East Coast blues supporters may not. As the 2006 winner of the Bay Area Blues Society West Coast Blues Band of the Year winner, they join the list of other notable West Coast talents the likes of John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, and Lowell Fulson. That’s a nice crowd to be associated with.

What you get with Defining Cool is the JC Smith’s band own personal spin on some well known classic and cool Chicago style blues tunes with all the sex appeal of jazz and jump blues you’d expect from the Bay Area, to boot . Track 1 original “Rite on Time” lets us know the band has every intention of giving you what you expect and more: Mid-Meets-West Coast guitar, keyboard and horn talent (and the band’s bass and percussion provide the just-right driving rhythm). Ok, and don’t forget: I’m partial to bands with trumpets and sax. But in case you’re not, don’t think you won’t get yours—JC’s got it going on with his guitar rifts and soulful vocal delivery.

From Track 3’s Ray Charles tune “A Fool For You”, Track 11 Jimmy Smith’s “All Day Long”, and JC Smith Band original 3 tracks of danceable slide and horn vintage-knows-no-geographic-lines or time and concluding with Muddy’s Mississippi Delta “Satisfied” Track 12 (which took me back to Issaquena County MS), I think you’ll enjoy the energy that exudes off this disc. And I have to give a shout out to the band for including Track 6 “Lonesome Blues/Duke’s Blues” because I love me some Robillard….

And just for fun, let me mention that this six piece party band likes the cosmic alignment that brought together one Scorpio and Aries with two Virgos and Libras. Well, they noted it on their disc jacket so maybe I’m suppose to as well? Hey, I read my horoscope daily while listening to the blues, don’t you? Enjoy!

Reviewer Belinda Foster is a Columnist and Contributing Writer for Greenville SC Magazine “Industry Mag” and 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.

 Blues Book Review

Chicago Blues - David Whiteis

"Vignettes from both on and off the stage about the personalities of the Chicago blues scene today A descriptive tour through the places and personalities of the Chicago Blues scene, past and present."

Blues lovers owe it to themselves to read the Chicago Blues Portraits and Stories by David Whiteis, who won the 2001 Blues Foundation's Keeping the Blues Alive Award for achievement in journalism. This 344 page book is also a great achievement. He has done his research well, and with the help of the University of Illinois, and many others, he has been able to breathe new life into old Chicago blues musicians. But he doesn't stop with the older blues musicians; he also provides a glimpse into today's blues marketplace. Mr. Whiteis has been associated with the Chicago blues scene for more than a quarter century, and has used his insider knowledge to access artists, archives, and venues to bring you a well-rounded look at the Chicago Blues.

The book chronicles not only the Chicago blues music, but also the musician's personal and career hardships. One chapter chronicles the dramatic life of Lurrie Bell and the loss he and Susan Greenbery suffered when their children died. A chapter on Willie Dixon speaks to the seriousness in which he approached his relationship with Billy Branch, and how he helped to shape his future. Chapters on Sunnyland Slim and Big Walter Horton will also be favorites for blues lovers wanting a glimpse into their personal lives and careers. The book touches on the lives of artists like Junior Wells, Bonnie Lee, Sharon Lewis, Cicero Blake, Harmonica Khan, and Little Scotty (to name a few), as well as a great read on venues where the music was being presented. The book provides insight to the underbelly of these venues. One chapter recounts "the fish market murders" where the feud between Boston Blackie and vocalist James "Tail Dragger" Jones, who played with Sunnyland Slim, erupted into the murder of Blackie. Jones only served two years for the murder and then jumped back into the music scene.

Book reviews would never mention the index; however, this is no ordinary index. This extensive index lists musicians, venues, record labels, radio stations, and song titles. Just reading the index gives you a great picture of just how all encompassing this book is for the Chicago blues history.

If you love the blues, you will love this historical look at the evolution of these artist's careers and their impact on the Chicago blues scene. This book is available for $20 at book stores, and on-line through the University of Illinois Press or

Review by Charlotte A. Montgomery

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.



John Primer


Nominated for 2009 Blues Blast Music Award

Best Traditional Blues Recording

To Purchase the new CD CLICK HERE

To Read the CD review CLICK HERE

Vote for John Primer in the 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards

John is also Nominated for

Best Male Blues Artist

To vote now CLICK HERE

 Blues Want Ads

 Blues Musicians Place Your Want Ad here for FREE

"workin Blues performers" ONLY can place Want Ads here for FREE.  NO Commercial Ads! 
Buy or sell equipment , musicians wanted, gigs wanted etc. Limit 100 words.

Blues Internet Marketing Manager Needed

Why are we advertising in a Blues publication? Because of our passion for the Blues! We seek an experienced webmaster with a passion for the Blues! We don't just need a web master. This opportunity is for someone who understands the potential of the Blues music market and has experience promoting music on a local or regional level.

Please send digital resumes before September 15th,2009 to the email address of

Guitarist Looking For Band

Guitarist looking for established touring blues band…40+ years playing experience…toured with Johnny Clyde Copeland before his passing as well as backed his daughter Shemekia before her signing with Alligator…played with or opened for Luther Tucker, Freddy Roulette, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, Elvin Bishop, Norton Buffalo, Eddie King…call at 608-214-7868 lv. Msg…or E-Mail @ keep the blues alive…..

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

2009 Blues Blast Music Awards Voting Is Open

The Blues Blast Music Awards recognize the best Blues performers and their music. Our nominators included Radio stations, Blues DJ's, Blues Bloggers, Blues Critics, Journalists, Festival Promoters, Managers, Musicians and Blues Societies. They have nominated the BEST in Blues Music today.  To vote now CLICK HERE.

BE AN INFORMED VOTER - If you are not familiar with all of the 2009 nominees,  GLT Blues Radio 24/7 has a created a "listening page" where you can sample the music of the nominees BEFORE you vote. To check out the website and begin listening to these great artists now, CLICK HERE    Voting continues until August 31st. Details of the Awards show on October 29th, 2009 at Buddy Guy's Legends coming soon.

Best Contemporary Blues Recording

" At Least I’m Not With You” The Insomniacs

"Love Me Tonight" John Nemeth

“Live at Chan’s Vol 2” Nick Moss

"Clean Getaway" Curtis Salgado

"What Love Will Do" Janiva Magness

"Never going Back" Shemekia Copeland

Best Blues Band

Nick Moss and The Flip Tops

Lil Ed And The Blues Imperials

Kilborn Alley Blues Band

Mannish Boys

The Insomniacs

Watermelon Slim and The Workers

Best Traditional Blues Recording

"Chicago Blues: A Living History" Various Artists

"Sweeheart Like You" Guy Davis

"All Original" John Primer

"Lowdown Feelin" Mannish Boys

"Blues Attack" Shirley Johnson

"One Kind Favor" BB King

Best Male Blues Artist

John Primer

Bobby Jones

Nick Moss

Lurrie Bell

John Nemeth

Elvin Bishop

Best Blues Song

“Bad Year Blues” Albert Castiglia

"At Least I'm Not With You" - The Insomniacs

"Mr. Coffee" Chris James & Patrick Rynn

"20 Years of B.B. King" Curtis Salgado

"Let Life Flow" Kenny Neal

"See That My Grave is Kept Clean" BB King

Best Female Blues Artist

Shirley Johnson

Robin Rogers

Diunna Greenleaf

Shemekia Copeland

Eden Brent

Janiva Magness

Best New Artist Debut

"Stop And Think About It" Chris James & Patrick Rynn

"White Sugar" Joanne Shaw Taylor

"Austin To Chicago" Dave Herrero

"2 Man Wrecking Crew" Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm

"Livin It" Guy King

"Mississippi Number One" Eden Brent

Sean Costello Rising Star Award

Eden Brent

Kilborn Alley Blues Band

Joanne Shaw Taylor

Albert Castiglia

Dave Gross

Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm

Live Blues Calendar

 YOU can submit your Blues performances for FREE at:


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

CLICK HERE - for the Latest Complete Blues Calendar on our website at:

or click a state to see Blues shows by State

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Performance dates submitted by Musicians, Clubs, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.

The is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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