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September 25, 2009           

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Sam Carr

Hey Blues Fans,

We lost another Blues legend this week with the passing of Bluesman Sam Carr.  Funeral services will be held this Saturday, September 26, 2009, 11am at the Century Funeral Home, 506 Ashton Ave., Clarksdale, MS.

Sam was a perennial figure in the Delta Blues and was regarded as one of the greatest Blues drummers of all time. We saw him every year we attended the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival (King Biscuit Festival). The last two years he has played with Dave Riley and was scheduled for another repeat at this years fest.

The beloved Mississippi blues drummer and band leader was 83. He was the son of guitarist/vocalist Robert Nighthawk and was well known from his longtime association with Frank Frost & The Jelly Roll Kings. His talent was recognized nearly every year with a nomination for a Blues Music Award. He had struggled with health issues over the last few years, and recently lost his longtime wife Doris, which forced him to live in a nursing facility. The Arkansas Blues and Heritage festival is in two weeks and it just won't seem the same without him!

Blues Wanderings

We made it out to hear some great West Coast Blues this week. The Insomniacs played at Blue Monday for the Illinois Central Blues Club to a packed house. They played a blistering 2 hour first set that featured most of the songs from their latest CD "At Least I'm Not With You". The CD and the title cut are both nominated for Blues Blast Music Awards. The Band is also nominated as Best Blues Band and it was easy to see why. These guys are one GREAT Blues machine!

Group Rate Hotel for the Blues Blast Music Awards

Blues Blast Magazine has put together an affordable group rate for hotel accommodations for the Blues Blast Music Awards October 29th at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. The Travelodge at 65 Harrison Street is just a block from Buddy Guys and rooms for the weekend are just $99 plus tax each night for either 2 doubles or a king size bed.

To get this great rate call group coordinator Darren Andrews at 312-376-1481 and mention the Blues Blast Music Awards. The rate is available from 10-28-09 to 11-2-09 so come for the show and stay the weekend in Chicago to visit some of the many other great Chicago Blues clubs while you are there. For complete hotel info CLICK HERE

The lineup for the awards show includes Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip TopsLurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skoller, Carlos Johnson  Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross. The event promises a great Blues show in the most famous Blues club on the planet. All this for the low price or $25. Get your tickets before they sell out, CLICK HERE!

In this issue - Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from Ricky Gene Hall & The Goods. Steve Jones reviews a new CD by Dave Keller.  Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Chris English.

Our Blues video of the week is Bukka White. Our Streaming Blues Music link of the week is a 24/7 Blues stream that is simply the BEST one we have ever heard.

 Blues Video of the Week

Bukka White
Poor Boy Long Way from Home

This is real roots music! This video shows Bukka singing and playing lapstyle on his National guitar with an unusual pencil like slide. 

Bukka was born Booker T. Washington White in Houston, Mississippi in 1906. He began playing guitar in Clarksdale MS at the age of 14. (He lied about his age to get in the juke joints.)

He has a real Blues story. An acoustic Bluesman who recorded originally for RCA Victor in 1930, he later went to Chicago and recorded for Lester Melrose. He got into some trouble when he shot a man and did prison time at Parchman Farm. While in prison one of his songs "Shake 'Em on Down" became a hit.

He was a model prisoner and when released 3 years later did many more recordings.  Some of his most memorable tunes were "Good Gin Blues," "Bukka's Jitterbug Swing," "Aberdeen, Mississippi Blues," and "Fixin' to Die Blues,". He disappeared to a life working in a factory in Memphis in the 1940's and 1950's.

Bob Dylan had a hit in 1961 with "Fixin' to Die Blues,". Everyone figured Bukka was dead until he was rediscovered by guitarist John Fahey in 1963. Fahey sent a letter addressed  "Bukka White (Old Blues Singer), c/o General Delivery, Aberdeen, Mississippi." One of White's relatives was working in the Post Office in Aberdeen, and forwarded the letter to Bukka. He was easily persuaded to resume performing.

His second career in the Blues was in the midst of the folk revival in the 1960's and he was popular in coffeehouses and festivals all through the 1960's and until his death in 1977.

All Music Guide has a detailed biography of Bukka White. They also have links to listen to samples of many of his songs there. CLICK HERE to see the the bio on their website.

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


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

Ricky Gene Hall & The Goods - Bam

Yard Dawg Records

12 songs; 45:15 minutes; Meritable

Style: Southern Blues-Rock

“Don’t let your mouth write checks that your rear-end can’t cash!” Those are the words said to me whenever I would get a little too big for my britches. You may have heard something similar; after all, it is a universal theme. Kentucky born, now Ohio resident Ricky Gene Hall is well knowledgeable about the concept as humorously expressed in the title track to his second CD on Yard Dawg Records:

“When I was just a school boy out on the school playground / The schoolyard bully liked to push everyone around / One day I got the nerve, and the words fell from my mouth / Now it’s hard to speak with my two teeth knocked out / (Chorus)BAM! I was in it, and it hardly took a minute for things to take a sudden turn of the worse / I know I won’t forget it, and it’s high time I admit it / At times I know this mouth of mine is surely sometimes cursed / Silence is golden; talk is cheap / Your mouth can make a promise that you can’t keep!”

“Bam” is what I call “Southern Blues-Rock.” While the music is not “Blues” enough to satisfy purists, it is neither Country enough nor Rock enough for those purists either. It is thankfully blues and roots based, mixing Roots Rock, Blues, Country, and Swamp Funk. Hall sings in an endearing gravel-drawl, wrote nine of the twelve songs, and plays guitar and harmonica that clearly lean on 12-bar influences. Tom Martin on bass and Rocky Evans on drums round out the roadhouse trio.

Similarities to Delbert McClinton can be heard, especially in the likeable vocals on the McClinton/Johnny Neal-penned “Read Me My Rights.” It is a syncopated beat with Hall’s slippery slide guitar underscoring. He also blows some nice harp on this track

A cover of Huey Lewis’ “Bad Is Bad” is a surprise almost as big as Jerry Reed’s “Amos Moses.” Both are at least better than the over reaching “Revelation Radio” which dabbles in Gospel while telling of a preacher with a black belt.

The real strength of the CD is in the original tracks. Hall kicks off the album with some fine Country Rock tunes “Way I Feel” and “Noth’n At All” that define the style. “Real Fine Woman” is perfect for dancing a boozy shuffle with bottle in hand. “This Old Guitar” slows the tempo to showcase a ballad full of metaphor. Blues fans should enjoy the set closer “Blues Leave Me Too,” a slow number with sweet guitar licks.

Fans of the Parnell brothers, Lee Roy and Rob Roy, as well as Delbo and Lew Jetton will welcome Ricky Gene Hall into their club. Indeed, there is plenty here to enjoy, especially for folks who spent the 1970s pleasurably in the Southern Rock camp.

Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Thursdays from 7 - 8 pm and Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and 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.

 Streaming Blues Link of the Week

WGLT - Blues Radio 24/7

GLT Blues Radio 24/7 is one we first introduced to you more than 2 years ago when we began highlighting commercial free Blues streaming across the internet. It is brought to you by pubic radio station WGLT located at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. We have brought you many good "stations" since but this remains the "station" our Blues Blast staff keeps our computers "tuned" to while we work on the magazine. They really play a great selection of contemporary, traditional and classic Blues.

They also have one of the best Blues DJs ever in Delta Frank Black.  Frank is a legend around the globe now that they stream the Blues but he didn't just fall off the cotton bale. Frank has been playing Blues every Friday and Saturday for well more than 20 years at WGLT. Don't miss his show at the new times no Friday 7pm to midnight and Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 4pm.  But no matter when you listen to GLT Blues Radio 24/7 it is THE BEST!  You are on the computer, so to give them a listen now CLICK HERE

Turn your speakers up LOUD and tell them the Blues Blast sent ya!

Check out other great Blues Music Streams 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.

This is a great show featuring some of the best Blues talent on the planet including Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip TopsLurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skollar, Carlos Johnson  Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, 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! 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  tickets available for the 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

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 start as low as $250 and are available until they sell out. (Packages are available to individuals too. You do NOT have to be an organization to be a sponsor!)

Sponsor packages include tickets with 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.

Le Relatant Blues Society - Montreal, Canada

Quebec pianist and arthritis sufferer Claire Thériault will be competing in the 26th edition of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The Eastern division of the Arthritis Society is proud to join forces with La société de blues Le Relatant, a Quebec blues society, to support Claire along with Quebec City singer/songwriter and guitar player Denis Viel. Female blues pianists are a rare breed in the province of Quebec, and Claire Thériault is one of their most remarkable exponents. She will certainly prove to be an inspiration to people with severe diseases, as well as to those of us who are in good health.

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 only Blues 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 available online at For more information contact 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, 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

Saturday, October 3, 2009, the Illinois Central Blues Club and the Knights of Columbus Council 4179  bring you FOOD FOR BLUES, a special live outdoor blues fest to help feed the community.

The event will be held from 3:00 PM until 10:00 PM at the Lake Springfield Knights of Columbus Hall, 141 N. Lakewood Drive, Chatham. Featured blues artists include the 2009 winner of the ICBC Blues Challenge, Eric "Guitar" Davis and the Troublemakers, and Chicago great, Vernon Herrington and the Atomic Blues Band.

Eric "Guitar" Davis and the Troublemakers take the outdoor stage at 3:30 PM. Eric began playing with Chicago greats at the age of 10, and with his band the Troublemakers, was voted the best New Regional Act of 2009 for the Midwest states. Vernon Herrington and the Atomic Blues Band headline the show at 6:00 PM. Vernon first started playing at the age of 11 and was mentored by some of Chicago’s greatest blues artists. After working for decades as a sideman to many well known established blues artists, in 2008 he released West Side Blues.

Admission to the concert is a non-perishable food item. Cash donations are also accepted. All food items and money collected will be donated to the Holy Family Food Pantry. Seating is limited, so the public is encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Food & beverages available for purchase at the show. No coolers allowed.

BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - Sept 28 - Perry Weber & the DeVilles, Oct 5 - Scottyboy Daniel Blues Band, Oct 12 - The Blues Deacons, Oct 19 - Andrew "Jr Boy" Jones, Oct 16 - Dan Sanchez & the Kings of Pleasure

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 3

Dave Keller - Play for Love

Tastee-Tone Records

13 tracks

Vermont. A green and rural state with small and beautiful mountains and serves as a pastoral home to cows, fine dairy products like Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and…the blues??? The blues! Dave Keller lives in the Green Mountain State and brings us a soulful vocal style that lures the listener in for more and he delivers it!

Keller does all the vocals and guitar work, offering up electric, acoustic and National steel guitar on the thirteen original tracks served up here. Dave wrote all the songs except “To the City”, and that one he co-authored with Dylan May. While his guitar work is precise and very good to listen to, it is his voice that first gets the listeners' interests peaked. Ronnie Earl’s latest release features Keller as both singer and songwriter. In this CD I got to see a lot more of Keller and I like what I saw, or more appropriately, heard.

There is a lot of heartfelt music delivered to us on this CD. The title track is a thoughtful song that was written shortly after the birth of his second daughter when his gigs were limited. He played on the couch at home for an audience of two, which he claims helped him remember why he started to play music in the first place. He sings that money and pride may be fine to play for, but it’s more important to play for family, friends and the glory of God by playing (and living) for love.

The one instrumental on the CD, “Gabriella” (named for his guitar), closes it out and shows us how Keller can get deep down into the blues with his favorite, strat-styled guitar. It is from an impromptu jam at the live studio recording session for the CD, and it really grooves. Dave shows us that this Massachusetts transplant to Vermont can be soulful and bluesy with the best of them.

There are a lot of fine songs on this CD. He writes, plays and sings passionately of his love for his wife and kids, but he also can get down and play blues or funk it up in cuts like “Give it a Rest.” He is a talented singer, musician and songwriter and I was very impressed with this CD from top to bottom.

The CD features Jan Schulz on Fender bass, Brett Hoffman on drums and Ira Friedman on Hammond organ and Wurlitzer electric piano. These guys are as talented as the front man and create a balanced and sonically great backdrop to showcase this artist. I liked this CD a lot from the first play and now after several plays I want to hear more from Keller and his band!

Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.



John Primer


Nominated for two 2009 Blues Blast Music Award

Best Traditional Blues Recording

Best Male Blues Artist

To Purchase the new CD CLICK HERE

To Read the CD review CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 3

Chris English - 1-13-07

Lowdown Records

16 tracks/66:15

Recorded at the ESO Art Center in Belle Haven, Virginia, the latest from Chris English documents a live performance that includes a number of well-known blues songs and a handful of original tunes. English is an acoustic performer utilizing a resonator guitar, harmonica and an old Coke crate as a percussion instrument. In addition to playing the music, English also teaches a course in blues music at a college in his Maryland hometown.

Opening with “Statesboro Blues”, English quickly establishes that he is an adept slide guitarist. His warm voice can display a rough edge one minute and then capture a mournful quality as it easily slips into a higher register. At times his singing brought John Hammond to mind. Leroy Carr’s “How Long, How Long Blues” receives a subdued run-through with some nice harp work. English covers two Howlin’ Wolf songs, tearing through “Moanin’ at Midnight” as he trades licks between the guitar and harp – then slowing the pace for a powerful version the lesser-known “No Place to Go”.

On “Can’t be Satisfied”, English maintains a strong rhythmic foundation while picking out intricate lines on his guitar that dance around his vocal. He follows that performance with another Muddy Waters tune, “Louisiana Blues”, that has a powerful vocal in addition to a nice blend fine slide guitar and harp playing. English also includes the obligatory Robert Johnson covers, delivering an intense, rockin’ version of “Ramblin’ On My Mind” that gets a big response from the appreciative audience. His take on “Crossroads” features more strong guitar playing.

English contributes five original compositions that hold up well in comparison to the rest of setlist. “Jesus Was a Bluesman” allows English to mix gospel and folk blues together as he makes a case for Jesus being the greatest bluesman ever. The up-tempo “Southern Fried” gives English a chance to have some fun with the audience shouting out their approval. The biting “Long Island Society Blues” tells the tale of an unfortunate experience English had at a Blues Challenge competition.

Occasionally English tries a bit too hard in his attempts to sing with an “authentic” blues sound. But his guitar playing is stellar throughout the recording and his harmonica provides a nice complement to the guitar without being overdone. The boisterous audience clearly enjoyed the spirited performance from English, who is able to bring life to even the better known songs. Fans of acoustic blues will find plenty to enjoy on this release, which can be purchased at Worth checking out !!!

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

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

September 26th, 2009
Millville, Minnesota

  • Levee Town

  • Lightning Red

  • Brandon Scott Sellner

  • Little Bobby & The Storm

  • Doghouse John

  • Plan B

Advance tickets $15

For tickets or info Contact: Derek at 507 798-1703

or Gary at 507 282-2795

Live Blues Calendar

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