No images?  Click Here to view on website

Issue 7-38, September 19, 2013

Scroll or Page Down! For news, photos, reviews, links & MUCH MORE in this issue!

Cover photo by Bob Kieser © 2013 Blues Blast Magazine

Links to more great content on our website:  Reviews    Links   Photos    Videos     Blues Radio     Blues Shows    Advertise for FREE!     Past Issues

 In This Issue

Mark Thompson has our feature interview with Sugaray Rayford. Tim Richards has photos from the Traverse City Area Blues Fest. Steve Jones has photos from The Paramount Blues Festival.

We have 5 music reviews for you! James "Skyy Dobro" Walker reviews a new release by Charles “Big Daddy” Stallings. Rhys Williams reviews a new CD from Tommy Keys. John Mitchell reviews a new release from Tommy Z. Marty Gunther reviews the new CD from Big Joe Shelton. Mark Thompson reviews a new album from Sugaray Rayford. We have the latest in Blues Society news from around the globe. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!

 From The Editor's Desk

Hey Blues Fans,

This weekend there is a great little festival in Tulsa , Oklahoma called Hound Dog Blues. This festival has an extensive lineup of local regional and national acts including Kentucky Gentlemen, Dylan Whitney, Kris Lager, Soul Fry, Anthony Rosano & the Conqueroos, Jennifer Marriott Band, Trampled Under Foot, David Dover Band, Albert Castiglia and Tab Benoit on Saturday and Kristen Hemphill/Chloe Johns, Tullie Brae, Beacon Drive, Casssie Taylor. Texas 99, Nikki Hill, Amy Lee and Second Line, Samantha Fish, Wanda Watson Band and Reba Russell Band on Sunday.

The festival is being held in Chandler Park 6500 West 21st Street in Tulsa and features on site camping. For more information and to get your tickets now, visit their website at or click on their ad below in this issue!

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music! 

Bob Kieser

 Blues Wanderings

We had lots of Blues right in our backyard last weekend. The Blues Brews and BBQ's festival in Pekin, IL was sponsored by the River City Blues Society and featured lots of Blues Rock music provided by Matt Curry Band, Jimmy Warren and Chris Duarte.

We will have more photos of all the fun at that great event in an upcoming issue.

We also made it out to catch a set by Blues Blast Music Award Nominee Albert Castiglia playing at the Alamo in Springfield, IL for Blue Monday sponsored by the Illinois Central Blues Club.

Albert will be attending the 2013 Blues Blast Music Award Ceremonies at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago on October 31st along with 23 of the best artists in Blues music today. For more info and tickets to this great event, CLICK HERE. 

Blues Blast Magazine is offering a fall advertising special. This special pricing will be our lowest pricing of the 2013-2014 season.

This 6-week combo rate of only $350 affordably adds significant impact to your Blues advertising and promotion campaign. It is a great way to kick up the visibility of your new album release, Blues event or music product around the globe!

Blues Blast Magazine is a great way to promote the Blues. More than 26,000 Blues fans read our magazine each week. They are located in all 50 states and in more than 90 countries. We get more than 2,000,000 (That's TWO MILLION) hits and more than 45,000 visitors a month on our website. 

Normal 2013 - 2014 ad rates are $90 per issue for Blues Blast magazine ads and $100 per month for website ads. BUT, for a limited time, you can advertise in six issues of Blues Blast Magazine and on our website for a month and a half for only $350. This is a $690 value! To get this special rate simply reserve and pay for your ad space by December 15, 2013. Ads can be booked to run anytime between now and September 30, 2014 for your 2014 Blues festival, album release or other music related product.

With this special rate, your ad can viewed more than 220,000 times by our readers who want to know about your Blues events and music! Reserve your space today! Space is limited and will be sold on a first come first served basis.

Ads must be reserved and paid for by December 15, 2013. To get more information email or call 309 267-4425 today! Other ad packages, single ads, short run ads or long term bulk rates available too. Call today for an ad plan that fits your needs.

Tickets for the 2013 Blues Blast Music Awards are on sale now! 

The 2013 Blues Blast Music Awards will be held at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago on October 31st.  Tickets are $35. To get your tickets now, CLICK HERE

Artists appearing include 

 Featured Blues Interview - Sugaray Rayford  

We have all heard stories about talented musicians who never achieve wide recognition because they are content to stay home and play local gigs. Other skilled musicians hit the road and travel thousands of miles every year trying to earn a living. Then there are the few that by some twist of fate or sheer luck manage to grab the attention of a wider audience and get their fifteen minutes of fame.

What is quite rare is the musician who is in a successful band that has “made it” to some degree, yet ultimately finds that is not enough to satisfy their spirit. Singer Caron “Sugaray” Rayford has dealt with those feelings several times in his life. Early in his musical career, he was the lead singer for a San Diego-based R&B band called the Urban Gypsies.

“They were a great group of people,” Rayford explains, “but after six years I was missing the gospel and blues feel. Blues is the one music that is closest to gospel. I was only allowed to play gospel. The way I raised was that you do gospel or you do blues –but you can’t do both. But in the area I grew up in, you couldn’t help but get exposed to the blues. With either one you are talking about the spirits and I believe in the spirits. You don’t want to alienate the spirits. When I got old enough to make the decision for myself, I knew I wanted to do blues because, like gospel, it was true, from the heart and the soul, whether it was happy or sad. That’s where I knew I wanted to be.”

Born in Tyler, TX, Rayford and his two brothers were raised in Dallas by their mother, who battled cancer for several years before passing in 1983. Sometimes he would go back to Tyler to stay with his grandmother, Ora Crawford. “I loved my mother but my grandmother was more my mother. I spent most of my life with her. I am one of the few people that were raised in the city and in the country. I grew up singing gospel in a Pentecostal Holiness Church. By the time I turned eighteen, I knew there wasn’t very much in Tyler for me, so I joined the Marine Corps”.

He spent ten years with the Marines, traveling to Japan and other spots far from Tyler. “It seemed like wherever I went I always ended up back in California. So when I got out, I decided to stay.” Rayford left the Corps shortly after the birth of his son. “I never really had a father, so I always wanted to be the best father I could be for my son”. He went into the security business, eventually starting his own company. Juggling the demands of being a parent and a business owner plus the stint as a Marine kept Rayford away from performing music for eighteen years.

It took an ugly incident to rekindle Rayford’s musical interest. “I was working security at a club in southern California and got into it with a group of white supremacists. They ended up running me over twice with their car. My girlfriend at the time – now my wife – told me I needed to make a decision to stop doing the bouncer/bodyguard work or she was leaving.”

“So I sold the company, gave it all up and went through a big lawsuit with those guys, then bought an avocado ranch, built a house, settled down and made a life for myself. And I started playing r&b.” Rayford often wore sharp suits with matching shoes, hat, and sometimes even sported a cane at the Urban Gypsies shows. People often commented that he dressed as sweet as sugar, which lead to the Sugaray tag

So when his heart told him it was time to sing the blues, Rayford struggled a bit. “I needed something deeper that spoke to my soul. R&B seemed to be regressing, getting more into pop. I saw it as a losing proposition. The hardest part for me was that you feel like you are betraying people that you worked really hard with for so long. There comes a point where you have to make decisions for yourself. The decision for me was that it was time to move on. I knew blues was something I could do until the day they bury me in the coffin.”

It took a while for Rayford to connect with the blues music community. “I was sitting around getting depressed because I wasn’t performing. My wife, being the person that she is, started looking up a bunch of different blues jams. I had never done jams except for one they used to have at a club called The Alley in Carlsbad, CA on Wednesday nights that was across the street from a club that I worked as a bouncer. When things were slow, I’d go over to hear Ronnie Lane & the Texas Twisters. I’d sit in on occasion but I didn’t really know the songs, just the feel. But I’d have a good time.’ ‘

The bass player gave me a paperback book that had the music and lyrics for 12,000 blues songs. I took it home and started learning the songs and started going to jams with my little book. My wife and I started buying blues CDs that we would listen to in the car out in parking lots for 10-15 times so I could get the song down. Then I go in to the jam and sing the 2-3 songs that I knew. It just made my soul feel good. One night I met the drummer for Aunt Kizzy’s Boyz. One thing lead to another and they invited me to do a show with them at a jazz festival. That went well and the next thing I knew I was in the band as the lead singer.”

Doing over 200 shows a year; Aunt Kizzy’s Boyz released several CDs and garnered plenty of notice, including a second place finish at the 2006 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Rayford was the band’s secret weapon with his expressive vocals and dynamic stage personality. “I was very grateful to them – and still am. We played all over the world for ten years. I put a long time in on the stage and in the car. We had done a lot of different things and about 2 ½ years ago, I decided that I had outgrown the situation. I literally had to sit down and look at my goals and ask the band what their goals were. The goals did not line up any more.”

This decision was made in the midst of the severe economic downturn several years ago. Rayford was forced to sell his ranch and his wife left private practice to take a job at Cedar Sinai, prompting the couple to move to Los Angeles. “I was doing shows once in a while with Aunt Kizzy’s Boyz just to get my ya-yas out. But now I was depressed because I didn’t know anyone in LA.”

So once again the singer started hitting different jams, meeting people and impressing listeners with his strong voice. One club, Cozy’s, had a long-running jam and the owners quickly offered Rayford the opportunity to run the show. “I didn’t want to step anybody’s toes because music can be very political. “Running the jam was probably the best thing that happened to me because I met so many musicians from so many forms of music. It propelled up in the ranks of the music industry. I started meeting the rock guys like Slash and Al Kooper. I had no idea that they all wanted to play blues. It was a great experience for me to run with some of the elite guys. It was a free jam and I only had one rule. You could play whatever you want as long as it’s the blues!” It wasn’t uncommon for movie stars like Jim Carrey to make an appearance. Rayford is still kicking himself for not buying the club when he had a chance – and the funds to do it.

During the first year of running the jam, Rayford stayed busy writing songs. His wife and other fans kept encouraging him to make a recording under his name. “I knew that if I was going to move to the next level, I needed a vehicle - an album. But I wanted it to be me because I like all different kinds of blues – Chicago, Memphis Stax blues. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed.” It took another year of writing and planning before he was ready to tackle the project.

Drawing on his friends from the jam, Rayford had plenty of world-class musicians who offered their services for free. “Al Kooper sent me a disc with seventeen songs on it and told me I could record any of the songs that I wanted to. He gets thousands of dollars per song and he just gave me seventeen of them. I am very proud of the disc. I think there was something there for everyone It is honest and genuine to the person I was at that time.”

That disc, Blind Alley, received wide-spread critical acclaim and accomplished the goal of raising the singer’s profile. While the style changes from track to track, Rayford’s expressive vocals connect time and again, which isn’t surprising when you hear who his favorite blues singers are. “Little Milton, Jonny Taylor, Son House and Bobby “Blue” Bland – they are the epitome of blues singing. I call Little Milton an unsung hero because he didn’t get the same recognition as Albert or Freddie King or Albert Collins. People who are deep into the blues know about him.”

The jam at Cozy’s came to end after the owner got married and moved to Florida. Unable to manage a cash business long-distance, he soon sold the club. The new owners waited three months before they closed it for remodeling, turning the space into a micro-brewery and ending nineteen years of Los Angeles blues history. “It was sad but by that time I was so busy that I was having trouble running the jam. Had I know that was going to happen a few years before when I had money, I would have bought the club. I have a dream of owning a true blues supper club sometime.”

One night singer/guitarist Kal David, a good friend of Rayford’s, called to ask Sugaray to join him for some fun at a local jam. He ends up on stage with an older English gentleman on harmonica, who Rayford soon discovers is none other than John Mayall. “ I didn’t know it but Randy Chortkoff from Delta Grooves Records was there watching the whole time. There were some movements that had already happened with the Mannish Boys with Johnny Dyer deciding to stop touring and Bobby Jones leaving the band. It might be luck, or being prepared but I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. Randy saw me in the right light. A couple of days later he called to ask me if I wanted to sing with the Mannish Boys.”

Three days later, Rayford had learned fifteen songs and found himself fronting the band in front of 70,000 people at a festival in Spain. Then he was an integral part of the sessions that lead to the Double Dynamite recording that has been nominated for numerous awards including two Blues Blast Music Awards for Traditional Blues Album and Blues Band of the Year in addition to garnering the Blues Music Award from the Blues Foundation for Traditional Blues Album of the Year. Rayford’s impact was so immediate that he was told recently that the band will now be billed as the Mannish Boys featuring Sugaray Rayford.

“That’s another blessing. Things just keep going up and up. My goal is to become one of the greatest blues singers of all time. That may be a bit lofty but that is my goal. I’m still a semi-young man and have a while to do this. A lot of the older blues singers have moved on and I am hitting my stride. I came along at the right time.”

Sugaray covers the Son House song, “Death Letter” on each of his last two recording projects. “It has always been a very personal song for me. My grandmother passed away two years ago and my mother passed away when she did, it reminds me of those two women, especially my grandmother. The words are not just words to me. They are real snapshots of life. I would not be here if it wasn’t for my grandmother.”

“I love people and I love to perform. I want to entertain people and bring that aspect back to the blues. Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf were great singers and musicians plus great entertainers. People seem to have forgotten about that part.”

Rayford is very excited about his new solo recording that Delta Groove will be releasing on September 17 featuring seven original tunes along with seven covers. “It’s called Dangerous – and it’s deep, deep blues. Kim Wilson is on it, Fred Kaplan plays keyboards. Kid Andersen and Monster Mike Welch are on guitar. I do a duet with Sugar Ray Norcia on a song he wrote called “Two Time Sugar.” Listeners will also get a chance to hear Rayford shouting the blues on some tracks that feature a robust horn section. “ I’m a modern bluesman who grew up in the old blues ways. I worked in the fields and lived in the city – and I just want to tell people the truth.”?

Visit Sugaray's website at

Photos by Bob Kieser © 2013 Blues Blast Magazine

Interviewer Mark Thompson lives in Florida, where he is enjoying life without snow. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Suncoast Blues Society and the past president of the Crossroads Blues Society of Northern Illinois. Music has been a huge part of his life for the past fifty years - just ask his wife!

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

 Free Blues Want Ads

 Blues Musicians - Place YOUR Want Ad Here for FREE

All ads submitted will be used if space allows. If space is limited, ads will be randomly selected to appear.   "workin' Blues performers" ONLY can place Want Ads here for FREE.  Buy or sell equipment , musicians wanted, gigs wanted etc. Limit 120 words. Send your ad submission to   NO Commercial Ads!  

Blues Blast Magazine Seeks Photographer/Reviewer help for King Biscuit Festival

Blues Blast Magazine is looking for a volunteer to cover the Lockwood Stage and The Rising Biscuit stage at the 2013 King Biscuit Festival in Helena Arkansas on October 10, 11 and 12. Must have professional grade camera and experience photographing!

The selected candidate will have their photos and written review published in Blues Blast Magazine. They will be paid for the article after it is published. If you are interested please reply to for more information. Please include your phone number with the reply

Blues Blast Magazine seeks graphic design help

Blues Blast Magazine is looking for affordable graphic designers to work on occasional projects in conjunction with our magazine, our website and our advertisers. Creative design abilities, fast turnaround and attention to detail needed.

For consideration please email us your resume and a link to view your portfolio online to . A background or experience with Blues music is desirable. Please include your phone number with the reply

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 5

Charles “Big Daddy” Stallings - Call Me Big Daddy

Tai Jeria Record Company / B-Town Records

20 tracks; 78:55 minutes; Suggested

Styles: Modern and Traditional Electric Blues, Funk, Soul Blues, Pop-Jazz, Southern Soul, Rhythm and Blues

The Blues world had to take serious note when Baltimore, Maryland’s Charles “Big Daddy” Stallings received a most meaningful honor of being featured in an article in April 2013’s “Living Blues” print magazine, Issue #224. Having been a fan of “Big Daddy” and his witty and devilish sense of humor and party music since 2004, I was tickled for him to be interviewed in depth by a magazine that prides itself on being “The Magazine of the African American Blues Tradition.” Just being featured shouts: This artist’s Blues are Real Deep, Real-Deal, and Real Good! Big Daddy has just issued his fourth CD, and all his albums feature only original songs.

Born on May 8, 1945 in North Carolina, Big Daddy was raised with 10 siblings on a poor working farm near Hobbsville NC. That locale is where he met a cast of characters who have appeared in many songs. Three of his four CDs contain tracks titled, “Hobbsville Blues,” “Hobbsville #2,” and from his latest, “Hobbsville #3, Parts 1, 2 & 3.” Check out Stallings’s story from “Hobbsville #3, Part 1” with the hilarious line from a local character named Emmett, drunk and facing harassment, “…Don’t make me pull my .47 out in here…. [Stallings, narrating above a killer Blues instrumental track, explains] Now, nobody knew what a ‘.47’ was….” Trust me, humorous lyrical surprises await on subjects like drinking, gambling, fighting, shooting, and other adult fun.

An Army veteran who played guitar in Germany while enlisted in 1967, Big Daddy is an accidental recording star, of sorts. He set out in 2001 just to record a CD while he still had chops to leave as a legacy for his grandkids to enjoy. The resulting album, “One Night Lover,” took three years to make while friends told him he was wasting his money, but it was an immediate hit with those who heard it. The title track got regional airplay and some satellite radio and internet play, including international. Another particularly popular song was “4 x 4 Woman” (“She’s 4 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and she weighs 400 pounds!” “She keep your refrigerator full of food/ in case she get in a snacking mood”). Realistically, Charles found that CD distribution for a self-release is always problematic, and putting together a profitable multi-state tour needed outside support, which was absent. Steadily making a good living driving a truck by day, Stallings has made music at night, gigging like all the other bands – catch as catch can.

Containing a surprising 20 tracks, the CD runs close to eighty minutes. Although all four CDs are studio productions, Big Daddy has presented the last three as though one is hearing a Blues-party-live-stage-show. With occasional canned applause, the band members are enthusiastically introduced, “I've got some heavyweight help this time.” Big Daddy gets a full production sound with eight band members and four female vocalists taking leads and harmonizing and by utilizing a mix of horns, bass-drums-percussion, guitar, piano and harp. Joining Big Daddy's vocals and guitar are Joe "E Flat" Thomas - alto sax, Nadine Rae - vocals, "Sweet, Sweet" Debbie Brown - vocals & background vocals, Nova Peele -vocals & background vocals, Deletta Gillespie - background vocals, Anthony "Swamp Dog" Clark - harp, Clarence Ward III - trumpet, flugelhorn & tenor sax, LeRoy "Hit Man" Flowers Jr. - bass, lead and rhythm guitar & background vocals, Gail Parish -bass, Steve Levine -harp, Michael Devilson -drums, Dawoud Said (piano), and "Fooman" Bill Pratt -strings, Rhodes & keyboards.

"Million Dollars" is a slower Blues song that has Charles and Nadine trading vocal jabs, with Charles adding hot guitar leads. Also Bluesy are “Beulah Mae” and the Delta Styled “Young Boy, Young Man” sporting incredible Blues harp from A. Clark. Two Funk tracks are the smile inducing "Boody Pop And Lock" and "Boody Pop And Lock # 2" with spoken, sung, and rapped vocals and cool backup harmony. A surprising Pop-Jazz instrumental is “E. Groove” with wordless vocal doo-wop scatting by Peele and Gillespie. Big Daddy’s best baritone vocals are heard in the Ray Charles inspired and (rare) serious themed “Don’t Cry.”

I have been reviewing CDs for fifteen years, and trust me, nobody writes lyrics, generates more fun, and creates music like Charles “Big Daddy” Stallings! While All musicians are unique, Charles “Big Daddy” Stallings is more unique that most. That is a good thing! The editors at “Living Blues” know it, and you should too.

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 Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at in Kankakee, IL.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 5

Tommy Keys – Devils Den

LPF Records

Self release

11 songs - 46 minute

Singer/songwriter/pianist Tommy Keys may hail from Long Island, but you wouldn’t know it from his new CD, Devils Den. From the first bass notes of the eponymous opening track (written about a seedy political watering hole) to the final cymbal smash of closer “Mess Around”, the steamy rhythms of New Orleans pervade the album like a thick gumbo.

Singing in a husky bourbon-soaked voice, Keys has clearly absorbed the influences of Louisiana masters like Professor Longhair and Allen Toussaint. His rolling, rhythmic piano playing is placed front and foremost in all the songs, and rightfully so. He has an enviably light, playful touch in his right hand, with an abundance of melodic ideas. And for those who enjoy the rambunctious barrelhouse piano of Memphis Slim and Roosevelt Sykes, Keys’ pounding left hand rhythm style will be particularly enjoyable.

Keys approaches every song in a slightly different way. “Life Is Too Short”, one of two Donna Malerba compositions on the album, features Keys singing, backed only by his piano, but he sets down such a bouncing groove that at times it sounds like a full band is backing him up. By contrast, “Down and Dirty” is an upbeat boogie-woogie number that does feature a full band and it swings hard enough to wake the dead.

A number of different musicians are featured, including Frank Celenza, Tony Fucci and Miranda Gatewood on bass, Ken “The Rocket” Korb and Bob Oven on harp, Al Henneborn, Sony Rock and Mario Staiano on drums, Bill Marino, John Puglisi and John Whelan on guitars, and Franny Mae and Sweet Suzi Smith on backing vocals. But the album never sounds disjointed as a result. Even the three “live” songs (recorded at Helsinki Hudson in New York and The Long Island Blues Warehouse radio show) fit perfectly into the overall timbre of the CD.

The backing of the musicians is uniformly excellent, with noteworthy guitar solos from John Whelan and Bill Marino especially (the latter in particular on “You Don’t Deserve A Thing”, one of five originals written by Keys). There are also four great cover versions, from Little Walter, Blind Willie McTell, Ahmet Ertegun, and Mike Schermer/Maria Muldaur. Of the cover versions, only McTell’s “Statesboro Blues” is perhaps over-covered (due no doubt to the stunning slide guitar versions by Taj Mahal and The Allman Brothers). In Keys’ hands, however, the song becomes one of the highlights of the album, slowed down to almost funereal pace, with sympathetic support from Bob Owens on harp and with a cracking guitar solo from Whelan.

The final song, a cover of Ray Charles’ “Mess Around” is a frantic barrelhouse workhouse, again highlighting some magnificent piano from Keys. The band was presumably exhausted after recording that version. Certainly, any audience member who danced to it would be.

This album is warmly recommended for anyone who enjoys the rhythms and grooves of New Orleans blues piano. It is well-written, well-played and well-produced. It is also particularly enjoyable with a glass or two of bourbon to hand..

Reviewer Rhys Williams plays blues guitar in Cambridge, England. He has never been to New Orleans, but he has visited old Orleans, situated on the Loire River in central France. He suspects the music is much, much better in the Big Easy.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 5

Tommy Z - Sometimes

Self Release 2013

10 tracks; 53 minutes

Tommy Z comes from Western NY and Sometimes appears to be his second album. The style is at the heavy end of the spectrum with a mix of originals and classic blues. Tommy’s regular rhythm section is Damone Jackson on drums and Jerry Livingston on bass though bass duties are picked up by two other players on some tracks. Horns are added to four tracks, organ to most. There are three instrumentals, two of which bookend the CD. Opener “Roger That” is a rocker with lots of aggressive riffing and use of the wah-wah and was too frenetic for my taste. Closer “Tommy’z Boogie” is also fast-paced with lots of bouncy guitar. I preferred “Snooty Funk” which certainly lived up to its title.

The three covers are all placed together after the opening track and all are well done. “200 Pounds Of Heavenly Joy” must be one of the most over-worked tunes in the Willie Dixon canon but this version is great, the horns providing a double riff with the guitar. Tommy’s voice works fine and his guitar playing here is also excellent, a real foot-tapper. The horns also enhance Johnny Guitar Watson’s “Gangster Of Love” in another outstanding cover. Here in the UK Clapton and Cray’s “Old Love” is used as a centrepiece for a number of blues rock bands. Here string and piano accompaniment surround Tommy’s guitar as he cuts across the familiar melody with some strong soloing.

“Livin’ In A Blue State” is a strong song with a naggingly catchy guitar riff at its centre, the protagonist having been laid off, hence the blue state of the title. “So Tired Of Being Lonely” is a slow blues on which the horns return to cushion Tommy’s anguished guitar which goes over the top at times. “Sometimes” is another slower tune with the horns playing strongly behind Tommy’s vocal and “I Got Your Back” opens with some beefy guitar licks in a mid-paced blues-rock tune.

Overall I found this CD a mixed bag with some strong performances and some disappointments. I definitely preferred the tracks with the horns and admired Tommy’s cover versions!

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He is looking forward to a trip to Chicago in October to attend this year’s Blues Blast Awards.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 4 of 5

Big Joe Shelton – I’d Never Let Her Down

ALT 45 Records

11 songs – 43 minutes

Big Joe Shelton is a no-holds-barred triple threat when it comes to singing, songwriting and harmonica playing, so much so that he’s already honored on a marker along the Mississippi Blues Trail in an area that’s produced two first-generation superstars – Bukka White and Big Joe Williams – along with the legendary Howlin’ Wolf. He and his band, the Black Prairie Blues Ambassadors, received a Blues Music Awards nomination for Song Of The Year for the title tune on their 2012 CD, “The Older I Get The Better I Was,” and they follow it up with this one, “I’d Never Let Her Down.”

Growing up about halfway between Birmingham, Ala., and the major music hub of Greenville, Miss., Joe cut his teeth, listening to the blues on the street corners of Columbus, Miss., as well as at picnics and minstrel shows, while singing in church and school choirs. Williams befriended him as a young man, when he was learning to play harmonica and guitar. He’s also shared the stage with Furry Lewis, Son Thomas, Fenton Robinson and Junior Kimbrough, as well as 2007 BMA Best New Artist honoree Slick Ballinger. Now a veteran of 40 years on the road and a stint in Chicago in the ‘70s, Shelton credits Big Joe for the sensibilities he displays in the music today. He’s paying his training forward through a deep involvement in the Howlin’ Wolf Blues Society’s blues-in-the-schools program and the Mississippi Arts Commission when not touring through the Southeastern U.S. or Europe.

Shelton’s distinctive baritone voice is shaded by whiskey-soaked overtones, and he frequently ventures into a true Southern growl, somewhere between the Wolf and Omar Kent Dykes. His harp stylings add depth to his vocal delivery. His songs are generally little tongue-in-cheek masterpieces of wordplay. He and the Ambassadors – Ben Ferrell (guitar), Ed Swan (bass) and Bob Damm (percussion) are a tight, soulful quartet. They’re aided by Doug Thomas (saxophone), Susan Alcorn Lobato (pedal steel guitar), Bobby Shannon and David Reese (keyboards).

Available online through CDBaby or Amazon, the new CD kicks off with the uptempo, guitar- and horn-driven “Frog’s Hair,” a tongue-in-cheek romp in which Shelton introduces himself to the audience, warning the listener that “when you see me comin’/Better hold on to your chick/Because I’m fine as frog’s hair/And twice as slick.” The title cut – “I’ll Never Let Her Down” – follows, with Shelton vocalizing against a horn line about how his lover can always count on him – but not in the way you imagine. In this tune, he’s blessed because she expects nothing of him. He never lets her down by getting up at noon, being lazy, not working and gaining weight. Takes the lead on harmonica for “How Good Love Could Be,” a long-overdue love song for a sensational companion.

The mood turns dead serious for “Stop The Hating,” an anthem for making peace between the races delivered atop an island rhythm: “Why is this world a segregated place/When we all belong to the human race? If it ain’t/It ought to be a sin/People hatin’ people/For the color of their skin.” Amen!

The tempo slows for “Laugh Out Loud,” a slow blues, in which Shelton describes wiping out the memories of an online love affair from his Facebook page, but insists he’ll keep the photos the lady sent pictured in her lingerie, a move that doesn’t make him feel very proud. Then he announces he’s found another love in far-off Ukraine. “Little Willie” is a musical extension of the classic, “Willie And The Hand Jive,” this time themed about a young country boy who discovers his path in life as a blues guitarist after a musician stops at his door. Pedal steel comes to the fore for the country-tinged “Catfish Ed,” which sings the praises of a honky-tonk musician who loved to fish.

“Pity Party” offers advice about what to do after a relationship goes bad. Shelton recommends inviting no one but yourself and let the tears start to fall. “Strong Addiction” is a harp-driven shuffle and the substance of his desire is love, which plays into the next tune, “Riding With The Wind,” in which his lover appears to be pushing him away. The disc concludes with “Leaving Yo Behind,” a threat to leave himself unless attitudes change: “You right/I’m left/I’m gone.”

Another straight-ahead powerhouse collection of originals straight from the roadhouses Big Joe calls home. The music’s fine, and the songs are special.

Reviewer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. His first experience with live music came at the feet of the first generation of blues legends at the Newport Folk Festivals in the 1960s. A former member of the Chicago blues community, he’s a professional journalist and blues harmonica player who co-founded the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working bands in South Florida.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 5 of 5

Sugaray Rayford - Dangerous

Delta Groove Music, Inc.

14 tracks/67:48

In a June posting on Facebook, Randy Chortkoff, owner of Delta Groove Music, mentioned being in the final stages of mixing the tracks for an upcoming release and added, “…by far the best album I’ve produced to date.” His ringing endorsement was directed at the label’s first solo effort from singer Caron “Sugaray” Rayford, who garnered acclaim for his contributions to the award-winning Mannish Boys Double Dynamite project. Chortkoff was so impressed by Rayford’s talent that he made the decision to give the singer featured billing in the group.

Many artists would fade into the woodwork while recording with top-rank blues veterans like Kim Wilson, Sugar Ray Norcia, Monster Mike Welch, Kid Andersen, Anthony Geraci and Fred Kaplan on keyboards, Willie J. Campbell and Bill Stuve on bass with Jimi Bott on drums. Rayford sounds right at home; his mighty voice riding any rhythm the all-star aggregation throws at him. He never overplays his hand, proving to be equally adept at rendering a downhome blues or letting his voice ring out on an up-tempo barnburner.

“Country Boy” bursts out of the gate with Rayford’s dynamic vocal commanding your attention. Taking his time on Pee Wee Crayton’s “When It Rains It Pours”, Rayford generates a slow-burning heat that contrasts nicely with Franck Goldwasser’s fluid guitar picking. One of Rayford’s originals, “Stuck for a Buck”, has him taking a bemused look at his precarious financial status with Rob Dziubla doubling on tenor and baritone sax plus Mark Pender on trumpet. Norcia joins the host for a duet on “Two Times Sugar” as the duo slides effortlessly through a celebration of their good lovin’ ways.

Chortkoff penned two of the highlights. “Goin’ Back to Texas” gives Rayford the chance to slow the pace while waxing nostalgic over the land where he grew up. Kim Wilson’s harp echoes the singer’s every move and Goldwasser adds to the country-inflected feel with some biting slide guitar. Wilson’s harmonica mastery is on full display on “Surrendered”, establishing the moody atmosphere while Rayford utilizes a gritty edge with his meticulous phrasing to testify to power of the human spirit.

The enormous depth of the singer’s voice is showcased on “Depression Blues” and Junior Parker’s “In the Dark”, capturing your attention over the combined weight of the horns and Andersen’s distinctive fretwork. On the latter cut, Chortkoff gives listeners a taste of his reed-bending skills. Another Rayford original, “Need a Little More Time”, has a stripped-down acoustic arrangement with Goldwasser on a National Steel guitar supporting the singer as he pleads for some relief from life’s pressures.

The tougher side of Rayford’s nature comes out on “I’m Dangerous” and “I Might Do Somethin’ Crazy”, the second cut a Wolf-like primal declaration of warning ignited by Andersen’s scorching licks. “Keep Her Home” sports a raging boogie beat with Big Pete on harmonica. Rayford finishes with “Preaching Blues”, a song from Son House. His forceful interpretation, over Goldwasser’s dancing slide guitar runs, highlights one last time the power of his voice in addition to his uncanny ability to capture the emotional heart of each song.

One listen to this recording makes it clear that Chortkoff wasn’t indulging in some form hyperbole with his praise for Dangerous. This disc is full of scintillating performances, particularly from the big man pictured on the cover. It took a while for Sugaray to get to this point in his career. It was time well spent as he is in full command of his voice, delivering one stirring moment after another on a disc that will undoubtedly receive plenty of attention come awards time. Highly recommended!

Reviewer Mark Thompson lives in Florida, where he is enjoying life without snow. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Suncoast Blues Society and the past president of the Crossroads Blues Society of Northern Illinois. Music has been a huge part of his life for the past fifty years - just ask his wife!

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Live Blues Review 1 of 2 - Traverse City Area Blues Festival

Traverse City Area Blues Festival Buckley, Mi.

Zuni Worldwide Entertainment and the Southside Festival Site combined their efforts last year for the first Traverse City Area Blues Festival which was a one day affair. This year they’ve chosen to expand to two days of blues, BBQ and sunshine. I like it when I return to a venue and can see they‘ve tried to make improvements and in this case succeeded. Gone were the woodchips that covered everything and in its place was plush grass. Better traffic flow and a nicer spot for the vendors and expanded seating. The weather couldn’t have been better, highs in the 80’s and plenty of sunshine on hand along with a crowd ready for some hot blues.


With a first class concert stage, the festival jumped into action with local northern Michigan band Hipps-N-Ricco. Hipps (Charlie Witthoeft) and Ricco (Eric Jaqua) put you in the mind of many duos like Lightin’ Malcolm and Cedric Burnside, the Black Key and etc. Instead of a full drum kit, Charlie plays Footdrums which is a bass and snare. Recently Farmer Musical Instruments gave him an endorsement deal. Well deserved if you ask me.

East Bay Blues is also a local band fronted by singer, songwriter, guitarist and harpist Chris Cooke. They’ve been through many changes in their ten year existence with both players and music. Now they have combined blues, with rock, world beat and just a touch of country. Backed by Dan “Lumpy” Jones on guitar, Chris Pico on drums, Sam Eickenroth on bass and a couple of female backing vocalist. The band lead the crowd on a musical journey through its catalog of music, most that were originals.

The Brewz Brothers were, obviously, a Blues Brothers tribute duo that used the East Bay Blues band plus a couple of more horns for their set. Arriving in vintage jail uniforms the guys covered all the hits from the original band. Entertaining but honestly I could have done without them. But I do like the fact that the festival is supporting local music.


(from Left to right: Harper – Angelo Santelli – David Zwolinski – Derek Johnson

Transplanted Australian now living in Michigan, Harper and Midwest Kind brought his unique styling’s to the stage next and this being the first time in a while that I’d seen him, I was curious about his new band and they were outstanding. Angelo Santelli is a slide wizard and adds a whole new dimension to Harpers music. With Derek Johnson (bass, vocals) and David Zwolinski (drums, vocals) providing a solid platform for Harper to expand from, the young band pushed Harper to be a better player himself. Newly added harmonies were the icing on the cake and just made the time fly by as Harper pulled out his didgeridoo and gave a few songs his unrivaled twist.


Closing out the evening was Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Backed by the rhythm section of Chris Layton and Tony Franklin on drums and bass and way to the side of the stage mostly in the dark was keyboardist Riley Osbourn. For as long as I can remember Kenny has shared the stage with singer Noah Hunt and while Kenny himself is singing more harmonies, Noah is the driving force behind the vocals. Pulling songs from Ledbetter Heights to How I Go, Shepherd left the crowd wanting.

Saturday was kicked off by Milwaukee based Tweed Funk who brought with them the sweet soul sound that they are so well known for. Pulling songs from they’re CD’s Love Is and Bringin’ It, they band wasted no time setting a blistering pace for the day. Backing the expressive vocals of Joseph “ Smokey” Holman were JD Optekar on guitar, Eric Madunic on bass, Nick Lang on drums and the horn section of Kevin Klemme and Jon Lovas on trumpet and sax.


Back from the lineup last year was The Chicago Blues All-Stars, fronted by “Killer” Ray Allison and Daniel “Chicago Slim” Ivankovich. Along with them were a couple of Ray’s friends on bass and drums and singer Anji Brooks. They interwove originals with covers and had no problem keeping the crowd up and dancing.


We went from Chicago blues to the Motor City R&B with the Detroit diva Thornetta Davis. Long a fixture on the music scene, Thornetta has a list of credentials that there isn’t enough room here to print them all and she shows no signs of ever slowing down. My only problem was she didn’t sing my favorite song, Damn Your Eyes. Love the way she does that.


Heading back to the windy city, Big James and the Chicago Playboys brought some funk to the party and that my friends, got everybody up to dance. Fronted by Big James Montgomery, the trombone extravaganza began with the first note and never even thought about slowing down. It was and always is a party.


Based out of Saginaw, Michigan, Larry McCray has been one of the state’s favorite “sons of the blues”. Backed by brother Steve McCray on drums and bassist Kerry Clark, the trio powered through a lot of classic McCray tunes before bringing Thornetta Davis out for a couple of tasty duets. Can it get any better?


Well, yes! Trampled Under Foot headlined the event on Saturday and played a lot of their new CD Badlands. With powerhouse vocalist Danielle Schnbelen along with brother Nick on guitar and vocals and brother Kris on drums and vocals, the trio captivated the audience with song after song. It was a fitting ending to a great weekend of music, BBQ and seeing old friends and making new.

I was happy see that the festival, instead of riding on its laurels, strived to better itself in all ways, better music, improvements to the grounds and a highly trained staff who went out of their way to accommodate everybody and anybody. They even invited the West Michigan Blues Society to join the fun. Considering that there was also the Kalamazoo Blues Festival and Blissfest going on the same weekend, the crowd was good and enthusiastic. I can only see this festival continuing to grow and get better every year.

Photos and Commentary by Tim Richards © 2013 .

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Live Blues Review 2 of 2 - Paramount Blues Fest

The Grafton Blues Association has been holding the Paramount Blues Festival for eight years now. With a Friday night and all-day Saturday format, they have a solid value with 14 bands appearing over two days along with a harp workshop. Lime Kiln Park is a cool location and is a nice place to hold a festival. Friday evening featured a half dozen local acts, headlined by Milwaukee’s Charles Walker Band. Also appearing were Michael Ammons & The Waterstreet Hotshots, Jonny Tbird & the Mps, Blind Dog Hopkins, and Donnie Pick & the Road Band. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it up there for Friday evening.

My plan for the 8th annual Paramount Blues Festival was easy. Leave home at ten AM, arrive at noon, set up the Crossroads tent and listen to some great music. As I passed the north side of Milwaukee, the sky began to leak. When I got to Lime Kiln Park, it rained pretty damn hard. It finally let up so the tent was quickly popped up and our Crossroads paraphernalia was set out. Then the skies really let loose. Pack it all up and cover it all up and sit out the thunderstorm. A huge cell was all that was left of the front, and it happened to be centered on Grafton. It finally passed, the sun came out and it warmed up considerably as the folks came out of their cars and carved out their spots to await the music. It was now after 2:30 PM.

Being flexible and creative, Peter and Kris Raymond and the rest of the Grafton Blues Association shortened up some of the sets, hurried the band change outs and got everyone in. It was after 10 PM when things finished up, but even that was an amazing testimony to their creativity and flexibility.

The Co-Dependents started the day with a short set. A good blues duo, they gave it their all as we were getting set back up. As I began to stroll up to get some shots, they finished and left the stage. Next up were the Blues Disciples. Featuring Barefoot Jimmy on vocals, Harp the Colonel on bass and vocals, Paul Stilin on guitar and Jake Cohen on the drums, they, too, did a very short set to help warm up the crowd. They are another excellent local act who put on a great show.

Kevin Purcell & the Nightburners were up next. They made the finals in the 2013 IBCs and their performance told us why- high energy, entertaining and just a lot of fun! They are a mix of Chicago blues and a country fried southern rock and really put on a show. Purcell fronts the band and writes the songs. Tony “The Stcik” Root on bass, Andy “Anj” Ohlrich on the violin, Don Laferty on lead guitar, Pete Kruse on drums and Bill LeClair on keys make for a rich and full sound. The keyboard plays add a Chicago flair, the violin adds a distinctly Southern flavor and the rest of the band just rocks out!

In the 1980s, Leroy Airmaster was one “the” blues bands in southeastern Wisconsin. Reformed over the years and once again in 2010, they continue to perform a blend of blues, rock and. Headed up by the outstanding Steve Cohen on harmonica and vocals, the put on a very short but exciting set. Bill Stone on guitar and original drummer Vodie Rhinehart and bassist Kurt Koenig, the band is a super and dynamic group. We were busy tending to business and failed to get some shots, but that was not because these guys were not great! Cohen is an amazing harp player and the crowd was just eating up his hot licks.


One of my favorite acts in the blues world anywhere are Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys. Led by Rik Raven on guitar and vocals, they are one of the most entertaining and solid acts out there. P.T. Pedersen on bass, Bobby Lee Sellers on drums, Danny Moore on keys and former harp player Benny Rickun returned to support the effort. Benny was great on harp and the Rev had the crowd eating out of his hand with his smooth and swinging style. Danny’s keyboard work was really good, too, and their solid backline never missed a beat. Rik is a suave and cool act and the name of his band just forces the unchurched to come out. After a few licks, you are ready to join his congregation!

The Jim Liban Combo was Liban on harp and vocals, Perry Weber on guitar, Jim Schutte on drums and Kurt Koenig on bass. Liban is the ultimate harp player. He was a national figuremany years ago but then shifted gears and stayed near home to tend to his ailing wife. He is one of the best harp players in the world, bar none and just a great guy, too! What a set! P.T. Pederson filled in on the last few songs as Kurt had to leave due for other commitments to the late start. Also joining them were Alex Wilson on guitar and Milwaukee Slim on vocals to end their set.

Janiva Magness was next. So let’s skip all the awards she (and the next act) are nominated for and talk about the music! She came on after her band had significantly warmed the crowd up for her, not that she needed any help warming things up. Clad in one of her signature short dresses and high heels, Janiva gave a sultry and emotional performance that even surpassed her sexy looks! Janiva delivered an assortment of songs, many from her latest Alligator album Stronger for It, including the three she wrote. She also fell back on some of the songs that got here to where she is, mixing it up and giving the crowd a delightful show! The post-show autograph line went on for an hour or more after her set, which shows how well her set was appreciated. Zach Zunis was outstanding on guitar- he could front any band and be a success on his own. Jim Alfredson on keys was also exceptional and had the crowd enthralled on his own, too.


By the time John Nemeth started his set we were probably past the point where the day was to have ended. The crowd stayed around and Nemeth delivered a superb set of blues and soul tunes! Nemeth is also a multi award nominee and winner, and this set showed us why. His recent Live Blues and Live Soul albums were hugely successful and he did a great mix of those cuts for Grafton. He can croon, he can growl, and he can deliver the goods and shows why he is so much of a fixture year after year on awareds nights. A.C. Myles on guitar and Tommy Folen on are a huge part of this great act. The show went on late but most of the good sized crowd stayed till the end and got to see an hear a fantastic show!

Maple Road and Tweed Funkwere the after party bands, but I had to leave and make way to help run a Sunday picnic so I had to miss them. Harp master Joe Filisko also conducted a workshop in the midst of the early downpour which cuased several of us to miss it, but talking to Joe and attendees afterwards it appears that he did his normally stellar job teaching people in a mere single session how to play a little blues harp!

Kudos to the Grafton Blues Association for another great event and weathering out the bad weather once again! They got it all in and gave the attendees what they paid for and even more. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2014! !

Photos and Commentary by Steve Jones.

For other reviews and interviews on our website  CLICK HERE

 Blues Society News

 Send your Blues Society's BIG news or Press Release about your not-for-profit event with the subject line "Blues Society News" to:

Maximum of 175 words in a Text or MS Word document format.

Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society - Santa Clarita, CA

Join us for a really fun afternoon with 5 of Southern California's best Blues Bands and help us pick the Winner to compete in the upcoming 30th Annual "International Blues Challenge" in Memphis, Tenn. on January 21 - 25, 2014. So far, we've have 3 Bands end up in the IBC "Top 10". This year's competition will be held Saturday, Oct. 5th from 1:30pm - 6:00pm at Sagebrush Cantina, 23527 Calabasas Rd., Calabasas, CA , 91302.

Master of Ceremonies - "TJ Sullivan", our 2 time Solo Winner.
Opening set: - "Two Guys Named Mo", 2012 Duo Winner.
Competing Bands: "Mikey Mo Band", "BullFish", "Chris Banta Blues Band", "Toni Dodd & Southbound Blues" - SCVBS 2003 and 2012 Band Winner and "Fortune".

$12 - Advance Ticket on sale at:
$15 - Adults at Door
$12 - All Blues Society Members showing membership card
$8 - Kids 12 & Under

Free parking on street and adjacent parking centers and paid parking behind Sagebrush. Come hungry, the food and drinks are delicious.

Facebook Invitation: or visit

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

The Illinois Central Blues Club presents "Blue Monday" every Monday night for the last 25 years - BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:00pm $3 cover. September 23rd - Rich Fabec Band, October 7th - Nigel Mack & The Blues Attack, October 14th - Jason Elmore and HooDoo Witch, October 21st - R.J. Mischo, October 28th - The Blues Deacons. More info available at  

Piedmont Blues Preservation Society - Greensboro, NC

The Piedmont Blues Preservation Society announces it's Blues Challenge Competitions for Band and Solo/Duo performers. The events will occur September 29, 2013 for Solo/Duo Acts and on October 6, 2013 for the Band Competition. Both events will be held at the historic Flatiron bar in downtown Greensboro. The top three finalists in each competition win cash prizes and the top winner in each competition advances to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, January 21 - 25, 2014.

Information and entry forms can be found at:

DC Blues Society - Washington, D.C.

Cheer for your favorite band at the D.C. Blues Society's Battle of the Bands. This annual event takes place on Saturday, October 12, 7 PM – Midnight at American Legion Post No. 268, 11225 Fern Street, Wheaton, MD 20902. The winner will represent the DC Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge (IBC), January 21- 25, 2014 in Memphis, TN and at various local events. Purchase Advance Tickets & Save! DCBS Members: $10 advance/$12 door / Non-Members: $13 advance/$15 door.

Save the Date! Saturday, November 2, 2013, 6:00 - 11:30 PM, it’s the 6th Annual College Park Blues Festival at Ritchie Coliseum, across from University of Maryland, Route 1, College Park, MD 20740. Support this fundraiser and help send the DCBS Battle of the Bands winner to the IBC. More info at or call 301-322-480

Crossroads Blues Society - Rockford, IL

Crossroads Blues Society just successfully finished up their 4th Annual Byron Crossroads Blues Festival and now it's time for Blues in the Schools and other events!

Gerry Hundt and Ronnie Shellist will visit two Rockford area schools and then perform at the Just Goods Listening Room in Rockford on Wednesday September 25th at 7 PM. Then on October 2nd, Bryan Lee and the Blues Power Band wil be in two schools in Byron, IL and then will perform at 7 PM at Carlyle Brewing Company in Rockford. On October 28th they have Hawkeye Herman visiting two Rockford area schools and then he will also be at the Just Goods Listening Room at 7 PM on that date.

Bobby Messano returns to Rockford on Wednesday, September 11th at Marys Place on Madison Street in Rockford. Cover charge is $7 and the band starts at 7 PM. Bobby had a great set in Byron and his new CD debuted at #21 on the Living Blues charts!

And then it's time for the post-festival volunteer recognition party on Sunday, September 22nd. Weird. Eclectic. Blues. Rock. Country. Cowboy. From down under to Byron just for you! Australia's #1 blues and roots band and it's free for volunteers and only $5 for everyone else. So come on back to Byron on Sunday, September 22nd at 3 PM at the American Legion on Union St. for this great show and a thank you to our volunteers. 50-50 raffle, door prizes, and more! The Packers are on at noon and all should be done except the crying by then and the Bears won't make anyone suffer until 7:30 PM so there is lot of time for great music and fun!

Lastly, Crossroads is hosting their own blues challenge on Sunday, October 13th at the Adriatic Live Music Bar on 323 W Jefferson St in Rockford. Time is TBD as the number of bands is still not certain. To find out about the event, go to

Blues Society of Central PA – Harrisburg, PA

The Blues Society of Central PA proudly presents a night of ”Women of the Blues” on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at Champions Sports Bar 300 N. Second St, Highspire, PA. from 7 PM – midnight featuring The Ann Kerstetter Band, Miss T & The Mosquitoes and our headliner act , The Deanna Bogart Band. Admission is $15.00 Watch for info at 

The West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, W.V

The West Virginia Blues Society will hold its 7th Annual Blues Competition on October 19, 2013 at Pullman Plaza Hotel, Grande Ballroom, Huntington, WV. Bands, solo/duo and a youth division blues acts will compete for cash prizes and WVBS sponsorship to the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge held in Memphis, Tennessee January 2014.

The West Virginia Blues Society will have 18 competition slots filled by regional blues acts from all over West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and other states. If your band has the Mojo this could be your ticket to Memphis for the Big Show.
The first-place winner of Blues Competition will receive $750 dollars in cash and WVBS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2014. The second place winner will receive $250 in cash. The Youth act will receive $100.
Complete information, application & rules are available online at Deadline for application submission is October 1, 2013. For more information contact Competition Director, Jack Rice at 304-389-1438 or e-mail:

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society - Champaign, IL

Monday, September 23, PCBS presents Jiggy & the Source at Louie's Dixie Kitchen & BBQ, 1104 N. Cunningham Drive, Urbana, IL. For more info visit

Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL

Now in their seventh season, The Friends of the Blues present 7 pm early shows: Thur, Sept 19, Reverend Raven and Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, Kankakee Valley Boat Club, Thur, Oct 3, Too Slim and The Taildraggers – “It’s Everybody’s Birthday Party” - Kankakee Valley Boat Club, Tues, Oct 22, Kilborn Alley Blues Band - - Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen's Clu. b, Thur, Nov 7, Terry Quiett Band - Crazy Beaver Grub & Pub, 510 S. Oak St., Chebanse IL 60922 Tues, Dec 10, the return of the Ori Naftaly Band from Israel! - Kankakee Valley Boat Club sponsored by Mr. Vacuum, Bradley IL  More information: or

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

Alabama  Alaska  Arizona  Arkansas  California  Colorado  Connecticut  Delaware  D.C.  Florida  Georgia 
Hawaii  Idaho  Illinois  Indiana  Iowa  Kansas  Kentucky  Louisiana  Maine  Maryland  Massachusetts  Michigan  Minnesota  Mississippi  Missouri  Montana  Nebraska  Nevada  New Hampshire  New Jersey
New Mexico  New York  North Carolina  North Dakota  Ohio  Oklahoma  Oregon  Pennsylvania  Rhode Island  South Carolina  South Dakota   Tennessee  Texas  Utah  Vermont  Virginia  Washington  West Virginia  Wisconsin  Wyoming   Other Countries
Performance dates submitted by Musicians, Clubs, Blues Societies and Blues festivals. is not responsible for errors or omissions.

 Advertise With Blues Blast Magazine

Get the Blues word OUT!

Festivals - Blues Blast Magazine &'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 Blues 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!

Blues Blast Magazine covers Blues all over!

We also offer 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 55,000 visitors and 3,000,000 hits A MONTH on our website! More than 26,000 Blues Fans, Musicians, Recording Companies, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Festival Promoters in all 50 states and in more than 90 countries read the Blues Blast magazine each week. You can feature your event or product in the largest FREE internet Blues magazine delivered right to your inbox each week.

Contact us Today at

Visit our website at:

P.O. Box 721 Pekin, Illinois 61555     © 2013 Blues Blast Magazine 309 267-4425'