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September 10, 2009           

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Hey Blues Fans,

There are still a limited number of GREAT seats available for the Blues Blast Music Awards October 29th at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. You could be sitting right in front of the stage to hear performances by Eden BrentKenny 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.

Reserved seats for all the awards show fun are available with our affordable Blues Lover Sponsor packages. CLICK HERE for info.

Blues Wanderings

We made it to the Heart Of America Living History Blues Fest in Des Moines, Iowa to hear Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Ronnie Baker Brooks, EC Scott and several more great artists.

We will have a complete review of the fest with pictures of all the Blues Fun in next weeks issue.

Blues This Weekend

The Greater Ozarks Blues Festival is this weekend in Springfield Missouri. The festival features Tab BenoitKenny Neal Band, Ronnie Baker BrooksDavy Knowles & Back Door SlamKelley Hunt, Reba Russell Band and more.  See their ad below or visit their website at

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from Dave Riley & Bob Corritore.  Gary Weeks reviews a new CD by Jeff Healey. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Barrelhouse Bob Page. Editor Bob Kieser sends photos of the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Festival.

Our Blues video of the week is a clip by the Jeff Healey Band.

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 Video of the Week

The Jeff Healey Blues Band "Live in England"2007

This week we feature the late great Blues guitar player Jeff Healey from a show in England in 2007. We lost this great performer to a rare form of lung cancer in 2008. This is one of the few recording from just months before his passing.

His playing is amazing. His recent posthumous released CD , "Songs From The Road" is reviewed in this issue below.
To see this cool video on our website, click the play button below.


For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.

Deep Blue Innovators Festival

Sat., Oct. 24, 2009

Rivoli Theater - Monmouth, IL

Buy Tickets Here!

Charlie Hayes and Joel Fleming

Joe Price

Bernie Pearl

Shawn Kellerman

Watermelon Slim

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 3

Dave Riley and Bob Corritore - Lucky to Be Living

Blue Witch Records

10 songs; 41:27 minutes; Library Quality - Style: Delta Blues; Mississippi to Chicago Blues

Man: Hey Baby, check me out.
Woman: Ooh, you dressed so fine, and I like the way you walk.
Man: I like your style, too. Let’s me and you go do something.
Woman: Well, maybe. Where’s your car?
Man: Honey, I ain’t got no car.
Woman: What? You must think I’m a fool. See you later, Chump!

The moral of this story: Even “a raggedy ride beats a sharp stride, every single day of the year!”

This made up dialogue is based on, “Automobile,” the last song on Dave Riley and Bob Corritore’s new CD, “Lucky to Be Living.” I have smiled every time I have heard Dave Riley play this song live. Written by his friend Fred James, it was recorded on Riley’s solo CD “Living on Borrowed Time” in 2000, (now hard to find), but this version with Bob Corritore on harmonica and high quality, in-studio recording is the finest. It is typical of the first rate traditional Blues found on the entire CD.

“Lucky to Be Living” is basically a joyous Volume 2 of this duo’s wonderful 2007 release, “Travelin’ the Dirt Road,” which received both BBMA and BMA nominations. Produced by Chicago raised, but now Phoenix-based, Bob Corritore, a prolific, Grammy-nominated producer in addition to club owner and radio host, “Lucky to Be Living” features four original songs by Riley, who handles guitar and vocals. Besides James’ “Automobile,” five other songs were created by the late Jelly Roll Kings Frank Frost and John Weston, Riley’s friends and former band mates. Studio guests are Riley’s son Dave Jr. and Patrick Rynn on bass, Chris James on second guitar, Henry Gray – piano, and Tom Coulson, Eddie Kobek, and Frank Rossi – drums.

“Lucky to Be Living” is a thoroughly enjoyable album of Mississippi to Chicago styled blues – a purist’s delight. The songs feature Riley’s wonderfully gruff and powerful, world-weary voice and an understated but tone-rich guitar style. Corritore matches Riley with experience-inspired harp played over, under, around, and through Riley’s guitar and vocals.

Born in 1949 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Riley brings real-deal experiences to his art: picking cotton, Chicago habitation near Maxwell Street, combat duty in Vietnam, working as a Joliet prison guard in the “tombs” segregation unit of death row, and alcohol and substance abuse and recovery.

Three of Riley’s experiences provide the title and title track for the CD, “Lucky to Be Living.” Riley is telling the truth when he sings that he is “lucky to be living” as he has been “shot with a pistol and had his neck broke twice” (near fatal car wrecks).

In addition to the two above mentioned songs, other standouts are the piano laced romp, “Let’s Get Together,” the virtuosic harmonica on “The Things You Do,” and the slow Blues trip through ugly history, “Sharecropper Blues.”

This CD and its predecessor reveal that Riley and Corritore’s formula of knowledge, experience, mischievous fun, and respect for the deep roots and traditional Blues music is a winning one. Their power and zeal is now loved internationally, turning them a hot commodity. A visit to tour schedules on their websites reveals gigs in Spain, France, Switzerland, California, Southern States, and the upcoming Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival (formerly King Biscuit) in Helena, October 9 -10.

They’re “Lucky to Be Living,” and we’re lucky to be listening.

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.

Blues Blast Music Awards Tickets

On Sale NOW

Advanced tickets are only $25 and available now on our website. CLICK HERE to get yours now before they sell out.

Buddy Guy's Legends is the most famous Blues Club in the entire world. But it is a Blues club and not a huge arena so there will be a limited number of of tickets available for Awards show on October 29th.

Those with advanced tickets will be let in first and get the best seats.  So get your tickets early and get there for a great show featuring some of the best Blues talent on the planet including Eden BrentKenny 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. Join us for a gala celebration of the best in Blues music today.

HOW TO GET THE BEST SEATS!! - You can get advanced tickets with great reserved seating by becoming a sponsor of the awards. Several packages and sponsor levels are available. It is a great way to advertise your Blues organization or product and see a GREAT show too.

Sponsor packages include free tickets, great reserved seating, Blues memorabilia (Can you say "goodie bag"?) and some Blues advertising and promotion. There are a limited number of packages available on a first come, first served basis so inquire NOW!  For complete information CLICK HERE.

 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.

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:

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 coverSeptember 14 - Curtis Salgado

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 3

Jeff Healey - Songs From The Road

Ruf Records

More then a year after his passing, the music of the late Jeff Healey continues to be immortalized. His estate is jumping on the bandwagon of pillaging the vaults and releasing studio or live material that the world has never heard.

Not that this is a crime. Those who never got a chance to see Jeff perform will find "Songs From The Road" a nice mixture of classic rock, dusty blues and just good time fun.

There's a hot barrelhouse feel to Robert Johnson's "Stop Breaking Down" which takes flight with whaling harmonica and Jeff's fret board stabs. Though "Angel Eyes" was a big hit for him over twenty years ago, this live recording showcases the tune not straying far from the original blueprint.

His willingness to relinquish his vocals to other band members is a nice gesture. But it sometimes doesn't do too much for the song. Whoever was trying to sound like John Lennon in a rushed "Come Together" should have left well alone. The song rocks but with less a booster in its packet. Guitarist Randy Bachman from the three chord wonder band BTO proves he has a grasp of the blues when he spars with Jeff in the Willie Dixon warhouse "Hoochie Cootchie Man" that becomes a sweet jam of jellyroll under a cushion of harp swells. Air guitar fanatics will bob their heads to Bachman and Healey's six string gymnastics.

There's a nod to the psychedelic rockers Cream with a passable rendition of "White Room." While Dave Murphy doesn't floor a listener like Greg Allman with his vocals on "Whipping Post," his organ playing is almost a shoo-in for the grooves in the Fillmore East vinyl recording. Even Woodstock flower power gets aired in the unveiling of Graham Nash' golden oldie "Teach Your Children." You can hear the crowd sing-alongs in the George Harrison nugget of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Healey's lead bends just howl like a pack of banshees on the Coast of Wales.

If Songs From The Road is the last word of Jeff's music, then it's not too bad of a way to go. But it's hard to ignore a cash cow when it's waiting to be milked.

Review by Gary “Wingman” Weeks. 

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

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 3

Barrelhouse Bob Page - Smokin’ 88’s

Hottrax Records

17 tracks/63:08

Bob Page is a piano player with influences that run from Fats Waller and Albert Ammons to Otis Spann. His latest independent release features his rock-steady keyboard work surrounded by a supporting cast of seventeen different musicians including four guitarists, two bass players, four drummers and seven horn players. The cd booklet supplies a handy chart that simplifies figuring out who is playing on which track. Page maintains continuity in the overall sound despite the rotating musical support. He also handles all of the lead vocals with a smooth voice that is easy to listen to but lacks the range and power needed to hold your attention through all seven=teen tracks. Page also composed all seventeen songs.

Highlights include “Double Barrel Boogie”, with Page tearing up the keyboard with his right hand over a strong rhythm from his left hand, and “I Must Be Crazy”, which includes a brief duel between Pete Collins on clarinet and Roger “Hurricane” Wilson on guitar. Page turns in a convincing vocal on “Hangover Blues” and shows he is a master of the barrelhouse piano style. A horn section of Barney Balch on trombone, Collins on clarinet and Dick Creedon on coronet spark the good-time jazz tune “I Got a Lesson for You”, with Page adding some piano runs in the stride style.

The majority of the setlist is comprised of tracks with medium and up-tempo rhythms. On “Lonesome”, Page slows the pace, backed by Bill Burke on bass and Butch Cooper on drums. He punctuates his mournful singing with some runs on the upper register of the piano. A couple of tracks, like “Too Many People on my Farm”, suffer from lightweight lyrics and arrangements too similar to stronger tracks on the disc.

Page has put together a solid release that makes it clear that he is well versed in the blues piano tradition. With the number of musicians involved, it had to be difficult maintain the focus throughout the recording process. Page certainly delivers plenty of tasty piano and provides enough variety to keep your interest from start to finish. Fans of blues piano should give Barrelhouse Bob a listen.

Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

2009 Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Photos

The 2009 Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Fest was Saturday, August 29th in the blocked off streets in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. The event featured a BBQ contest, many commercial BBQ vendors offering some great food, The Illinois Central Blues Club (ICBC) band and solo/duo Blues Challenge featuring 12 Illinois bands and solo/duo acts and six national touring Blues acts on the main stage.


The Blues Challenge got started at Noon and Robert Sampson won a spot to compete in the solo/duo competition at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next January. Robert competed in the solo/duo competition in Memphis in 2008 and was one of the finalists that year. Last year he competed in the band competition in Memphis as part of the band Pleasure Chest.


Next the band competition kicked off with Eric "Guitar Davis & the Troublemakers winning the honors to represent ICBC in the band division next January.


At 3:00pm the main festival stage kicked off with a great Chicago band called Modern Sounds. The were followed by Carl "Sonny" Leyland, a fantastic piano player from California.


Next up was a Nashville duet called the Black Diamond Heavies. They were followed by a set from Californian Junior Watson who later served as the backing band, along with the drummer and bass player from Modern Sounds and "Sonny" Leyland for Boston, MA Blues singer Toni Lynn Washington.


Headliner to cap off the night was Big James and The Chicago Playboys. Photos from the event are below.

Illinois Central Blues Challenge


Solo/Duo Competition

Reverend Robert

Photo by Charlotte Montgomery


Jake Shane & Manson Baran


Robert Sampson
(Winner Solo Duo Competition)


Band Competition

B-1 Blues Bombers


Tombstone Bullet


Soul Kitchen


Cabin Fever


Pleasure Chest


The Mojo Cats


Eric "Guitar" Davis & The Troublemakers
(Winner Band Competition)


Blue City


Texas Groove Blues Band


Main Festival Performers


The Modern Sounds


Carl "Sonny" Leyland


Black Diamond Heavies


Junior Watson


Toni Lynn Washington


Big James & The Chicago Playboys

All Photos by Bob Kieser except where noted.

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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

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Live Blues Calendar

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