Crossroads Selected for 2014 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Blues Foundation Affiliates!!!
Crossroads Blues Society was notified that they were selected for the 2014 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Blues Foundation Affiliates! President Steve Jones stated, "To be seriously considered for such an award is an honor and our selection for this award is truly humbling. I am elated that we have been selected and thank the many people who have made this possible since Crossroads began their efforts in 1994!" Summarized from the Blues Foundation’s web site: “Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the Keeping the
Blues Alive (KBA) Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Blues world. The Blues Foundation will present the 2014 KBA Awards during a recognition lunch Friday, January 24, 2014, at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The KBA ceremony will be part of the International Blues Challenge (IBC) weekend of events. Unlike the Blues Music Awards, the award recognizing the past year's best in recordings and performance voted on by thousands of The Blues Foundation's members, the KBAs are awarded to non -performers strictly on the basis of merit by a select panel of Blues professionals. Noted educator, author, journalist, and KBA Chairman Art Tipaldi notes "The KBA may be awarded for the recipient's work in the past year but most often reflects a lifetime of work; we don't view the recipient as the winner of
a 'best of the year' category. Consistent with this philosophy, the committee generally refrains from awarding the KBA to an individual or organization more than once. Rather, we select a new deserving winner each year, except in rare cases when a significant period of time has elapsed since the first award." Crossroads has been working at this since 1994; for 20 years the blues have had great stewards here in the Northern Illinois area. The group was incorporated in 1994 and held a festival in Lanark in 1995. They hosted many shows and benefits in Freeport and published a newsletter that continues today. In 2000, the group became centered in Rockford and in 2002 they began their focus on Blues in the Schools. Crossroads is proud to be recognized for the body of work that they have accomplished to help keep the blues alive and they thank the Blues Foundation for this honor!
9th Annual Christmas Party & BITS What a show! Not only did Bobby Messano live up to expectations if not exceed but so did our entire event! Bobby Messano and Steve Geller were joined by local drummer Daxx Nielsen for a great performance at our 9th Annual Christmas party at the Adriatic. Jimy Sohns, the lead singer from the classic rock band Shadows of Knight also took the stage for a few songs, in-
cluding his great 1966 hit “Gloria” which sold over 8 million copies. Joining Bobby and Jimy was Daxx Neilsen’s Dad. Some of you may have heard of him– Rick Nielsen!!! Yes, the sarcastic and humorous guitar wizard from Cheap Trick arrived dressed like he was going to or coming from a polar expedition. After shedding the heavy layers, he shredded one of Bobby’s
Keeping the Blues Alive 20 Years of Crossroads Achievements 20 years of publishing our newsletter which is now in full color with each edition read by over 500 people Two annual major blues festivals with fantastic lineups of talent 122 Blues in the Schools programs for 38,000 students since May 2002 Over 100 live blues shows in clubs and public venues that were open to the public Dedicated on-line presence: Music Review blog with over 700 reviews since 2007 News blog with all Club activities Strong Facebook presence Web site with BITS info and links to our other sites 2 Festival sites/blogs Inside this issue:
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News 1-4,9,11,15-17 Music Reviews 5-16 Playlist 17 Membership Application 18 Upcoming Events 18
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter
Some Information on Crossroads Blues Society History Here is a short history and some facts about Crossroads Blues Society. Crossroads began in Lanark, IL, in April 1994. Bylaws were reviewed and approved in the fall, the first election was held January 12, 1995 and then the Crossroads year shifted to a September election cycle, so the Crossroads fiscal years is pretty much October through September. Membership rose quickly to 65 in July 1994 and then topped 100 in early 1995. In being awarded the Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Affiliates for 2014, I though it important that the folks who helped make this all possible be recognized. These are all the officers and board members of Crossroads who have helped to keep the blues alive since 1994: President Steve Jones 2012 to Present Mark Thompson 2000 to 2012 Bob Loether 1998 to 2000 Craig Lang 1994 to1998 Vice President Karl Dahln 2005 to Present Gary Neu 2004 to 2005 Monica Mhyre 2002 to 2004 Ike Gulbrantson 2000 to 2002 David Stine 1998 to 2000 Liz Sarber 1994 to 1998 Secretary Bonnie Fox 2011 to Present Steve Jones 2006 to 2011 Pat Ippen 2002 to 2006 Jackie Gulbrantson 2000 to 2002 Mark Thompson 1998 to 2000 Ann Marks 1995 to 1998 Melanie Miller-Wahlen 1995 Kathleen Webster 1994 Treasurer Terry Keller 2013 to Present Al McNary 1998 to 2013 Pat Ippen 1997 to 1998 Amy Simmons 1995 to 1997 Greg Tripp 1995 Liz Sarber 1994 Board Members Rick Davis 2009 to Present Dennis Barker 2010 to Present Bob Haendler 2011 to Present Ken Pearson 2013 to Present Bill Graw 2013 to Present Rich Gordon 1998 to 2011 & 2012 to 2013 Terry Keller 2012 to 2013 Joe Poluyanskis 2004 to 2012 Steve Jones 2004 to 2006 & 2011 to 2012 David Stine 2009 to 2011 Rick Hein 2004 to 2010
Bob Levis 2005 to 2008 Allison Johnson 2006 to 2009 Sam Barmore 2000 to 2002 & 2003 to 2005 Dan Klefstad 2000 to 2004 Gary Neu 2003 to 2004 Gloria Hyaitt 2000 to 2004 Monica Mhyre 2003 Tom Dinwiddie 2002 to 2003 Ted Ippen 1997 to 1998 & 2000 to 2002 Jacquelyn Jones 1997 to 2000 Rose Lilies 1998 to 2000 Melanie Miller-Wahlen 1998 to 2000 Robert Garcia 1996 to 1998 Al McNary 1996 to 1998 Bob Loether 1995 to 1997 Brad Koerner 1996 to 1997 Gary Spaulding 1995 to 1996 Tracy Jones 1995 to 1996 Frank Whalen 1995 to 1996 Ann Marks 1995 Harvey Wilhelms 1995 Warren Winter 1995 This list contains 44 different individuals who have served Crossroads. They and the countless other volunteers deserve recognition for a job well done! Craig and Liz were the people who got things started and began the groundswell of blues lovers that we continue to fan and nurture today. Crossroads has conducted 7 festivals in our history, the first one being in Lanark. The Down the Road Blues Festival was initially held on July 30, 1994 and then again on July 29, 1995. Patrick Hazell was featured at both events. The initial event drew over 400 people. It was cancelled in 1996 and the Society focused on work with the Mississippi Valley Blues Society and festival, On The Waterfront and the Lyran Park Blues events along with local shows throughout the area. Interest perhaps waned a bit here and there, but 15 years later, Crossroads began the Byron Crossroads Blues Festival, held annually since August 28, 2010 in Byron. On June 22, 2013, the Inaugural Field of Blues Festival was held at Rockford Aviators Stadium in Loves Park. The recent festivals have had between 700 and 2500 attendees and will continue in 2014. Blues in the Schools began in May 2002 with Fruteland Jackson performing at Carlson Elementary, Ellis Arts Academy and West Middle School. It has continued
for the past 11 and a half years and has been the spark for the Rockford based club for over a decade. Blues in the Schools wrapped up in December for 2013 and we have now done 123 programs which have been presented to 67 schools and facilities in 13 school districts, two private schools and one private facility. 27 artists with 3 backing bands have provided support to our programs and almost 40,000 students. Topping the list are Hawkeye Herman with 19 programs, Fruteland Jackson with 17, Eric Noden with 15, Ann Rabson with 12 ,Westside Andy Linderman with 10 and Bryan Lee and the Blues Power Band with 9 school performances. Our first Blues Challenge was held on October 13, 2013 at the Adriatic Bar with Alex Wilson winning and going to represent Crossroads at the 2014 International Blues Challenge. I have no idea exactly how many, but I can account for well over 100 shows in clubs and other venues Crossroads has sponsored and promoted in the Rockford and Northern Illinois area. Crossroads has produced a newsletter since the club began in 1994. Published in black and white from 1994 to 2007 and in full color since 2007, the newsletter is now distributed to our 150 members and close to 400 others, including artists, venues, record companies and other industry people. Published in hardcopy and electronically in PDF format, the newsletter now ranges from 12 pages in hard copy to as many as 24 pages electronically. Many great music reviews were included and since 2007 over 700 have also been published on line. Crossroads maintains a detailed news blog on line along with a music review blog. A blog for each of the two festivals and our long time website (minimal content but linked to our other blogs) are also maintained in addition to our Facebook page. A MySpace page also exists but is no longer updated. Our membership is over 150 members. With our fests, BITS, newsletter and all our other activities, Crossroads is strong and remains a great presence in the blues world working to keep the blues alive! Steve Jones President
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter
Al McNary Benefit and Donations Net $4,000 The benefit for Al McNary was held on Sunday November 11th at the American Legion Post on Alpine Road in Rockford. Over 125 people attended and donations
here and from prior sources topped $4,000 to help Al with his medical and other expenses as he recovers from his stroke. Silent Auction items, a 50-50 raffle and donations were plentiful as folks came out to support their friend in need. Performers who came out in support are pictured top to bottom, left to right: Scott Bradbury, Jimmy Voegeli, Barstool Bob Levis, Dave Weld, Monica Mhyre, Ron Holm, Frank Bandy and the man of the hour Al McNary speaking to and thanking the crowd. See page 14 for more photos (Dennis â€œLinkâ€? Leary, Don Collins and 13 year old Justin Gates).
Thanks to all who contributed and donated to this great cause and to each of the performers for their efforts!.
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter
Christmas Party and BITS continued from page 1
guitars as Jimy sang “Gloria “ and “Got My Mojo Workin’.” It was a superb set of guest appearances. Rick then put on the layers he came in with and departed as it was “too late for a 65 year old to be out!” The crowd was on it’s feet in appreciation as Nielsen and Messano traded licks and as band and they responded to Sohns calls. The place went wild when they finished and again when Rick left.
obscurity. In all, about 75 people came out for the show and Christmas party! Earlier in the day, Messano and Geller performed for over 900 students at West Middle School for 90 minutes. If the upcoming
Christmas holidays did not have the kids already whipped into a frenzy the electrifying BITS program certainly had them on the edges of their seats! It was a super program for the students. Sohns also sat in at the encore at the end for an extended version of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” which was also a great treat for everyone. The party included great fod brought in by members and a few brave souls participated in the LP exchange. Johnny Mathis’ Christmas LP was probably the best find while the rest vied for hoped
On Thursday night, Bobby and Steve visited the bar at Leombruni’s Italian Village as a free extra for us. We passed the bucket for them as they played for over two straight hours. Bobby’s acousit c guitar was on fire and the 30 plus people packed into the bar got a great show to remember.
Crossroads has produced 123 BITS programs for almost 40,000 students since May, 2002.
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter
Music Reviews Black Wind Howlin' Samantha Fish Ruf Records www.rufrecords.de www.samanthafish.com 12 Tracks/54:22 Samantha Fish, the effervescent young singer, songwriter, guitarist, first became known beyond the Kansas City area in 2011 with the release of "Girls With Guitars" on Ruf Records. She soon after released her first Ruf solo CD, "Runaway", for which she was awarded the 2012 Blues Music Awards "Best New Artist Debut". After two years of nearly non-stop touring, Samantha has now released her second solo album, "Black Wind Howlin'", a collection of 12 tunes, 10 written by Fish, one co-written with Mike Zito, and one well chosen cover, that will almost certainly garner even more awards. The CD opens with a fast pace blues rocker, "Miles To Go", a tune borne from endless touring, that sets the scene for the high energy, intense, guitar driven songs that follow. Next is "Kick Around" an upbeat, uplifting tune with some great guitar from producer Mike Zito, just one of the many great tracks on this disc.
previous effort, "just a reckless little runaway, got something to prove", evidence of Samantha's considerable lyrical skills. Next a change of pace with "Lets have Some Fun", a nice, sexy, laid back little blues ditty that stands tall with just Samantha's vocal and a single acoustic guitar-she just keeps getting better. A couple of killer blues rockers, "Heartbreaker" (a Fish original, no relation to the Zeppelin tune of the same name) and "Foolin Me", both well done tunes, are followed by the title track "Black Wind Howlin'", a solid blues effort with some smoking guitar that rocks from start to finish. The surprise closer, "Last September" is a straight up country song that features the fiddle of Bo Thomas. A nice way to end a collection of upbeat, guitar driven blues rock tunes, the change of pace demonstrates the versatility and depth of Ms. Fish. "Black Wind Howlin'" is highly recommended. Reviewed by Dennis Barker P.S. While touring, Samantha is joined by two excellent sidemen, Go Go Ray on drums and Christopher Alexander on bass. A live performance by the Samantha Fish Band is highly recommended.
"Go To Hell", a good tune co-written with Zito, is a powerful male vs female duet between Fish and guest vocalist Paul Thorn. Track four, "Sucker Born", features dirty slide wah guitar from Fish, and some great wailin harp work from "Jumpin Johnny Sansone". Next comes "Over You", one of the lighter tracks, a slow ballad with nice guitar complimenting Samantha's voice.
Remembering O.V. Johnny Rawls Catfood Records www.johnnyrawlsblues.com www.catfoodrecords.com 10 tracks/34:45
The only non Fish penned song on the disc, "Whos' Been Talkin'", written by Chester Burnett, aka "howlin' Wolf", is another of the many highlights on this CD. With excellent guitar from Fish and more heavy harp from Jumpin Johnny Sansone, this great cover of a classic blues tune is sure to please fans everywhere.
If there is anyone qualified to do a tribute to the legendary soul singer O.V. Wright, It would be singer Johnny Rawls. He played guitar in Wright’s band and eventually became the musical director. The two men were friends and it was Rawls who was with Wright when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1980.
On a CD full of great cuts #7, "Lay It Down", may possibly be the best of them all with a driving beat, superb dirty-grungy guitar, lyrics that paint great mental images of "just another Saturday night", and a super vocal performance from Samantha. It also has a clever lyrical reference to a
Backing up Rawls are the usual suspects from the Catfood band featuring Producer Bob Trenchard on bass, Johnny McGhee on guitar, Dan Ferguson on keyboards, and Richy Puga on drums & percussion. The horn section consists of Andy Roman
on sax, Mike Middleton on trumpet, and Robert Claiborne on trombone. The opening track, “Into Something (I Can’t Shake Loose)”, starts things off with a surprise. The first voice you hear belongs to Chicago soul legend Otis Clay. He trades gritty lead vocals with Rawls as the pair bemoan being in the clutches of a love that leaves them helpless, framed by the potent backing from the band. Clay appears on another Wright classic, “Nickel and a Nail”, his distinctive voice full of heartache compared to Rawl’s earthy charm. Rawls brought in noted engineer Jim Gaines to remix three songs that appeared on his prior three CD releases. “Eight Men, Four Women” gets a dramatic reading from Rawls with the Iveys – Arlen, Jessica and Jillian – adding sweet backing harmonies. A strong rhythm guitar line and blaring horns on “Ace of Spades” draw an energized performance from Rawls before he stares deep into the well of despair on “Blind, Crippled and Crazy”. Rawls gives one of his strongest performances on “Poor Boy”, a lesser-known tune from early in Wright’s career. “Precious, Precious” is a ballad with an irresistible lilt. The band swaggers through “Don’t Let My Baby Ride”, giving Rawls the chance to show his seductive side. Clay returns on the lone original song, “Blaze of Glory”. Both singers offer robust promises to stay true to the music right up to their last breath. Recently, Rawls received two nominations for prestigious Blues Music Awards, one for Soul Blues Male Artist and the other for this recording in the Soul Blues Album category. Here’s hoping that his project will encourage listeners to check out the O.V. Wright legacy. It is a truly fitting tribute, done with much love and respect. Reviewed by Mark Thompson
Page 6 Barrelhouse Stomp Chris James and Patrick Rynn Earwig Music Company www.chrisjamesandpatrickrynn.com 12 tracks Partners in the blues for over 20 years, guitarist/vocalist Chris James and bassist Patrick Rynn wear their love for traditional Chicago Blues on their sleeve. After all, the duo first teamed up in the Windy City, and went on to back local harp player/ band leader Rob Stone in his blues band, the C-Notes, before going off as a duet. All three ex-Chicagoans have since relocated to Southern California. They may have left the snow and cold behind, but they took the city’s music with them. This is Chris and Patrick’s third Earwig release and, like the first two, it is an outstanding album! In order to avoid remaking the same type of CD repeatedly, the songwriting partners have changed a few things in the studio this time. In keeping with the title theme they have added some spectacular piano players in this “barrelhouse” effort, and it comes from three different acclaimed artists: Henry Gray (still feisty at age 88), Aaron Moore (who just passed away on Nov. 27, 2013 at age 95) and, for over half the tracks, David Maxwell who has won awards for his Otis Spann-worthy piano work. The result is a fantastic album that will win them many new fans while extending their relationship with existing fans. Also appearing on tenor saxophone are a trio of superb horn men: Eddie Shaw, Johnny Viau and Norbert W. Johnson. Willie Hayes does most of the drumming; Eddie Kobek also appears on three tracks and the inimitable Wilie “Big Eyes” Smith also appears on a couple of cuts. Chris’ and Patrick’s buddy Rob Stone appears on harp for a couple of tracks and Jody Williams adds his guitar on four songs. Stone also helped out in penning seven of the tracks with the featured duo. James sings on all cuts (except of course the instrumentals) and plays lead on most tracks and adds harp on another. Rynn is the bassist for all of the cuts. The opening cut features Stone on harp and Maxwell on the piano. “Goodbye, Later for You” grabs the listener and gets the dance party started. It is quite the swinging number with some wicked guitar work by James, and Maxwell’s piano adds a great layer of bounce and fun. Stone’s harp is also solid and James vocal s really sold me (as they always do). “Just Another Kick in the Teeth” follows and all three
horn players are there to help make a statement while Williams takes the guitar lead and Maxwell is on piano. The horn work is great, Maxwell tinkles the keys sweetly and Williams picks out a great solo. Rynn provides a cool bass solo while the sax players fill in, and then it’s Shaws’ turn to impress. Big Bill Broonzy’s “I Feel So Good” is next; Smith is on drums here with Viau offering up some really dirty horn work. Moore is featured on the keys and he stridently fills in well. James vocals are emphatic and grab at you to listen for more. Nice work! “Messin’ With White Lightnin’” is a sweet little an instrumental with Maxwell filling in around James’ distinctively impressive guitar; he also offers up a poignant piano solo. Hayes gives the cymbals a real workout as he keeps up a frenetic beat as the boy’s blast out a great barrelhouse cut. I loved this track- it really gets the juices flowing! On “Before It’s Too Late” we have Moore’s other piano effort and Smith’s other appearance on drums. James again offers up convincing vocals as Moore is emphatic on his piano work to help make the point- the piano solo here is top notch! Slide guitar, the dual horns of Viau and Johnson, and Henry Gray beating out the piano line make “A Fact is a Fact” a track that is hot as hell. James burns up the strings and the band is in full swing here. James adds some harp for us on “It Can Always Be Worse” where he tells us how we can always find someone far less blessed than we are. Straight up blues, a very fun cut. On “I’m Gonna Stop Foolin’ Myself” we have James telling us he needs a switch in relationships. The two horns and Maxwell’s piano drive this one nicely as do James’ vocals and guitar. “Vicksburg Blues” is a great old cut which features Eddie Shaw, Rob Stone and Jody Williams. Slow blues with real depth and effect here- another winner! “Bobby’s Rock” brings Henry Gray back for this Elmore James instrumental. The guitar is featured with the horns and piano in support. Chris unleashes the slide about a minute into this and it is a thing of beauty. While this is a guitar centered piece, the horns and piano really keep up with James and make it special! The band swings with “Take It Easy” as they pay homage to Pinetop Perkins. Maxwell lays it all out on piano as they swing through this in a wild but controlled manner. The piano gets all the big solos and they are very sweetly done. The album concludes with “Last Call Woogie”; Henry Gray is featured on this new cut that sends us off in style. James screams and growls and
he and Gray trade off solos. Another great little cut! What are my favorites here? Everything! This is a beautiful mix of covers and new music and I enjoyed it all from top to bottom. James and Rynn know their stuff and are totally in synch. The supporting cast they have assembled works well with them and vice versa- they all checked their egos at the door and worked in total synch. I truly enjoyed this CD and would rank it near the top for blues albums for 2013. I’m a sucker for great piano in my blues and Aaron Moore, Henry Gray, and David Maxwell deliver the goods as do James and Rynn and the rest of the cast here. Most highly recommended!!! Reviewed by Steve Jones That’s When The Blues Begins Ruff Kutt Blues Band Vizztone Records www.ruffkuttblues.com 14 Tracks When I first saw this CD, I thought it may be a European blues band, but when I saw Anson Funderburgh’s name on it I got very excited. His Texas blues playing recently resurfaced with Eric Lindell. I saw them in New Orleans during Jazzfest. Vocalist Finis Tasby, combines with Anson and Zac Harmon on guitar and James Goode on bass to lead this ensemble. They play Texas blues, which has a special place in blues lovers hearts. Goode wrote or co-wrote the entire CD. He is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. So on to the music! The opening cut is “Deep Elam Blues”. Gives a slow churning groove of blues. Some tasty guitar licks support Finnes Tasby’s vocals. “Blues In My Blood” follows with a bit more funky groove. I liked the lyrics, and the overall feel of the song. Song 3 is “Don’t It Make You Cry” continues with good vocals by Tasby. It remains in a slow Texas groove. The next cut “Oh Woman” has some nice sax support by Ron Jones, including a great solo. “Down So Low” switches to Zac Harmon on vocals. This is another slow groovy tune that hit on all cylinders. Finnis Tasby comes back to vocals on “Bare Foot Blues” picks up the beat. Nice guitar work by both Harmon and Anson. Gentleman John Street supports it with some nice keyboards. Zac Harmon does
January-February 2014 the remaining vocals except for track 13. “Blues Ain’t A Color” is up next. It is a mid-tempo soulful song, with nice keyboard support. “That’s When The Blues Begins” gets back to some soulful blues, with a hint of gospel harmonies, a nice touch by the band. Up next is a New Orleans influenced intro this uptempod song “That Woman Gives Me Fever”. Track 9 is “I’m Over You Woman” This song is fine, but not great. “Going To Bluesville” is a soft rocking hard peace. It has a nice tempo jam, and is likely at on stage. Zac Harmon gives a gritty vocal on “Touched By Her Flame”. It is a solid more down home tune. Finis Tasby returns to vocals for the last time on the CD on “Let’s Dance” with great guitar and sax work here. I can see people grinding it out on the dance floors of Texas to this tune. The closing cut is “When A Bluesman Goes To Heaven”. I really like this. Great reference to past Texas bluesmen who would be in the heaven blues band. Good vocals by Zac Harmon. This one is sure to be a crowd favorite. Overall a fine CD has been made. I love to see Anson back. The only sad for the future is the Finis Tasby had a big stroke post this recording. We all wish him luck in his recovery. This is one to buy! Reviewed by Mark Nelson Sing and Never Get Tired The Sojourners Little Pig Records www.thesojourners.ca 12 tracks This is the Sojourners third album and it fully maintains the high standards these gentlemen have set in producing their music. Filled with Gospel and blues songs depicting the social injustice of our society and times, this album travels where few traditional Gospel albums tread. Mixing new songs with great works from the Staple Singers, the Dixie Hummingbirds, Sista Rosetta Tharpe, Nina Simone and Stephen Stills, it hearkens back to the 1960’s yet it is also is modern and timely. The Sojourners are Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders and new member Khari McClelland. The sound is definitely more bluesy and raw, with both angry emotions and hope depicted in their songs. With every listen I became more and more enthralled with this great CD.
Page 7 They open with Pops Staples “Don’t Knock” and Paul Pigat’s lead and rhythm guitar intro tell us from the start that this album might be a bit edgier. The beautiful harmonies come right into the mix and the trio grabs the listener and make them listen to their forthright testifying. Steve Marriner blows some mean harp to set the tone for “Christian’s Automobile,” a Dixie Hummingbirds classic from 1957. This interpretation is bluesier and more urbane than the original and they do the song justice. Still’s “For What It’s Worth” follows and by this point we feel are firmly entrenched into the 1960’s movements. Marriners’ harp again plays a big role along with the vocals– well done! The Gospel traditional “Ezekial” follows and the harmonies are again exceptional. Michael Van Eyes piano introduces “Milky White Way” as the boys slow the pace down and praise the Lord sweetly. “Dressed for Heaven” is a fellow Canadian Brandon Isaak song; Brandon is a member of the Twisters who, like the Sojourners, are Vancouver-based. It’s a sweet up tempo Gospel cut. The Staples’ “Why Am I Treated So Bad” is a minor key and down tempo song that brings things down from the frenetic pace for a few moments. More well –done harmonies here. “Hiding Place” is an original by Marcus; the tempo remains down and mood is darker here. Marcus tells us in the lyrics that he does find respite in the Lord’s arms. The traditional “This Train” brings things back up with some rousing vocals and guitar and the same is true of the next traditional cut, “Welcome Table.” These guys can hold their own with any Gospel group! Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” gets covered next. Pigat again adds two throwback guitar lines that round things out nicely with the spectacular vocals. They close acapella with “I Ain’t Got No Home” using hand claps as percussion. Woody Guthrie’s folk classic is a great addition to the set and is a nice way to close out a fantastic album. Also appearing are Rob Becker on bass and Geoff Hicks on drums. Produced by Paul Pigat of the band Cousin Harley, the Sojourners demonstrate their craft with even more emotion and edge. I think the album is a huge success and great follow on to their super 2010 release. If you like Gospel with a bluesy and updated flair this will really be a treat for you. These guys are a wonderful trio of harmonizing vocalists who deliver power and emotion with each line. Highly recommended! Reviewed by Steve Jones
Angels & Clowns Nuno Mindeliis Shining Stone Records www.nunomindelis.com 13 tracks The guitar great Nuno Mindelis is a fixture in the Brazilian music scene and with this first US release his music is now readily available to listeners here. Although Portuguese is his first language, his lyrics and vocals are solidly Americanized. Born in Angola, his family fled to Brazil when he was 17 and the civil war took everything they had. He released his first two CD’s with Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughn’s inimitable back ups and has released several more. He was named top guitar player at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2001 and was named one of Brazils 30 top guitarists by their edition of Rolling Stone magazine. After learning all this, the bar was set pretty high for me and Nuno did not disappoint me. Backed by Duke Robillard’s Mark Teixiera on drums, Brad Hallen on bass and Bruce Bears on keys, this is a solid and enjoyable album. Duke makes a guest appearance as does vocalist Sonny Crownover. He penned 9 of the songs with a little lyrical help from fellow songwriters Stephen Barry and Mike Bowden . The opening song is a good hook– “It’s All About Love” feature Sonny backing Nuno with Duke on rhythm guitar (and one solo). His Portuguese accent adds a neat and mysterious flavor to his vocals, and his guitar work is impeccable (here a Gibson SG, but a couple of Telecasters in most of the other tracks). It’s a sweet musical ride and sets the tone for a fine album. Duke is also backing on “It’s Only a Dream” which is a swinging and driving track with a vibrant and up front guitar sound. The pace slows for the title track, a thoughtful and interesting ballad. He shows he can do traditional Chicago blues in tracks like “Blues in My Cabin,” with a big and rousing guitar lead. There are also two sweet instrumentals here, the first being a nice slow blues “Tom Plaisir” which has him “singing” with his guitar. He concludes with a swinging jazzy track, Jazz Breakfast at Lakewest” that is a rapid fire course in Brazilian jazz. This quite well done and it is worth picking up and listening. Mr. Mundelis is a great guitar player and musician whom I would enjoy seeing and listening to live! Reviewed by Steve Jones
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter
Page 8 Sweet Potato Pie The Charles Burton Blues Band Self produced www.charlesburton.com 13 Tracks From San Diego to Los Angeles or Honolulu to Tokyo, the Charles Burton Band has covered it all. Labeled as San Diego's World Blues Ambassador, Charles Burton has played blues, country, rock, and roots music for forty years plus. Born in Los Angeles in 1958, he started playing guitar at the age of six playing in country bands in the 1970s. In the 1980s he played in Honolulu, Tokyo in the 1990s, and most recently in Fresno California. In 1995 he was a headliner along with Hosea Leavy at the Fresno Blues Festival. More recently, in 2009, he won San Diego's International Blues Challenge finals. 2009 was a good year for Charles as he also took first place in San Diego's King of the Blues competition. He sites his influences as legends like Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton, Albert King, Freddie King, and B.B. King. One strong influence that he points out, was the exposure to music from foreign cultures, such as Japan, Thailand, and the Persian Gulf during his military career. Reviewing his own work, he makes the statement "I draw my influences from all forms, types, styles, genres, and concepts of music." He compares his own vocals to Johnny Winter, the "growl-master" himself, which is a fair assessment after listening to Sweet Potato Pie. He describes his blues as "heavy on guitar, smooth vocals, and barbecue grease." His fifth album Sweet Potato Pie is a collection of 13 lively, self penned blues tunes. He opens with "Shake It," a tune where he unloads with vigor and passion, rocking the house with his high energy guitar. With the dynamic guitar solos and the powerful harmonica of Karl Cabbage, it sets the tone for the whole album. He follows up with the steady drivin' shuffle "Double Up" and the tasty road house number "Drivin' Home," featuring Chill Boy on shared vocals and lead guitar. Burton really shifts gears on the instrumental "New York Jump," a jump blues-rockabilly-jazz flavored tune that would raise the eyebrows of Brian Setzer. Pack your bags for Beale Street and a road trip to the IBC as you head down highway 55 "Goin' To Memphis." Burton leads into a series of fiery guitar solos as he bends notes with ease throughout the powerful instrumental "Crackdown." The ballad "Livin' Without You" starts out as a
slow, soulful tune with long piercing guitar solos combined with Burton's vocals. The title track "Sweet Potato Pie" gives you that New Orleans beat with a slice of slide guitar delivered by Charles Burton. "New Boogie" combines Slim Harpo's "Hip Shake" with John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen'" to create a superb tune bound to please all blues fans. "Used To Love That Woman" brings back the talented Karl Cabbage on harmonica, blended with the versatile guitar solos of Burton. You are sure to enjoy the shuffle "Brown Paper Bag" and the slide guitar solos of Charles Burton. "Your Number" adds that West Coast sound paralleled to the blues group The 44s. The Charles Burton Band completes the album with a backstreet alley jazz tune "Drop A Dime." After listening to Sweet Potato Pie, I think you will agree that The Charles Burton Band is one of the best West Coast blues bands performing today. This is the type of band you could assume would deliver a stellar live performance! Reviewed by Rick Davis Infernal Piano Plot… Hatched! The Claudettes Yellow Dog Records www.theclaudettes.com www.yellowdogrecords.com 13 tracks/39:32 Once the house band for Claudette’s Bar in Oglesby, IL, the Claudettes now tour the Midwest through the generosity of former owner Claudette, who continues to fund and support the band despite losing her lease. Group might be a misnomer – The Claudettes are actually an instrumental duo with Johnny Iguana on piano and Michael Caskey on drums. You may remember Iguana for his work with Junior Wells as well as his contributions to the two award-winning volumes of the Chicago Blues: A Living History project. Caskey also works with Eastern Blok, a jazz world fusion group based in Chicago. The duo went into the studio and hit it just like they would at one of their live shows. Iguana’s rolling piano playing is a delight on the opener, “Stumbling Home Satisfied”. His playing becomes more forceful at the start of “Big Sucker Punch” before shifting into a red-hot boogie breakdown. “Hammer & Tickle” gives Iguana plenty of space to demonstrate his keyboard dexterity. Another Iguana original, “Tide Pool”,
finds him putting a fresh spin on the boogie-woogie style, throwing a passage with classical overtones. After that, the disc starts to lose momentum as the limitations of the piano/drums line-up sans vocals begin to crop up. Iguana tries to spice things up with frantic tracks like the title song or “Motorhome” that venture well beyond the blues traditions. “Serenading the Clean-up Crew” has the appropriate late-night feel alluded to in the title with Iguana improvising delightful runs with his right hand while laying down a solid bass line with his left hand. They establish a stately rhythm on “Tremblin’ Blues” that honors the song’s composer, Little Brother Montgomery. But “Land of Precisely Three Dances” and “Chin-Up Tango” would be challenging to navigate for all but the most accomplished dancers. The disc closes with “Do You See It Too?”, an impressionistic number that lacks any connection to the blues world. While it helps illustrate the breadth of Iguana’s keyboard skills, it contains none of the visceral punch of tracks from earlier in the disc. There is some great stuff here but once The Claudettes try to broaden their scope, the results are less satisfying. But listening to the disc, you can’t help but think the Claudettes would be a great band to catch live. Maybe that it is what really matters. Reviewed by Mark Thompson Magic Honey Cyril Neville Ruf Records www.cyrilneville.net www.rufrecords.de 12 tracks/54:12 Few musicians have embodied the spirit of New Orleans music as long a Cyril Neville. While brother Art redefined funk with the Meters, Aaron captured our hearts with his soaring voice and Charles kept us from forgetting the city’s jazz heritage, Cyril laid down percussive rhythms on several classic Meter recordings before branching off with his own group, Soul Machine. When the Meters disbanded, the four brothers coalesced into the Neville Brothers Band, gaining international fame for music that mixed all of their individual strengths into one potent package. Hurricane Katrina scattered the brothers across the country. Cyril found a likeminded spirit in Tab Benoit and joined the Voices of the Wetlands band, where his
commitment to social activism fit right in. Next, he formed the blues/rock super group, Royal Southern Brotherhood, with guitarists Devon Allman and Mike Zito. No matter what project he is involved in, Neville’s contributions always come wrapped up in the fiery intensity of a man who wants to right the wrongs of the world. You can hear that intensity on tracks like “Still Going Down Today”, which tackles the issue of equality, and “Money and Oil”, a guitar-driven rant about big business with Mike Zito sitting in on guitar and Norman Caesar on keyboards. The funky backbeat created by “Mean Willie Green on drums and Carl Dufrene on bass serve as a counterpoint to Neville’s indictment about the plight of the common man on “Invisible”. As he does throughout the disc, guitarist Cranston Clements fires off blistering guitar runs that help drive the point home. Zito is back for a rousing cover of the Rush classic, “Working Man” as Neville reaffirms his concern for those still struggling to get by. Walter Trout makes an appearance on “Running Water”, a sturdy rocker he cowrote with Neville. “Swamp Funk” is a rollicking tribute to the music from Louisiana, where the sounds of the swamp mixed with the intricate melodies of the big city. Neville gets the help from the reigning kings of the New Orleans keyboard style – Allen Toussaint on piano and Dr. John on organ. “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” does a slow burn until Cranston unleashes several gut-busting solos that send the track into Led Zeppelin territory.
(2 tracks added) issued in 1977 by Blind Pig Records. It was recorded live at the Blind Pig club in Ann Arbor, Michigan April, 1977. Sykes influenced most every piano player to follow him. The recording is solo piano.
Hope and Anchor English Pub Monthly Saturday Blues Starting in January 2014, Crossroads has worked out an agreement with the Hope and Anchor English Pub in Loves Park, IL, to host a monthly blues night one Saturday a month. Generally on the 2nd Saturday of each month (with some exceptions), we will help the Hope and Anchor bring great blues act to the Rockford Area. Here is the current schedule: January 11 The Jimmy's February 15 The Alex Wilson Band March 8 Bobby Messano April 12 Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys with Westside Andy May 10 Tweed Funk June 14 Aaron Williams and the Hoo Doo July 12 Joel Patterson with Jim Liban
“Magic Honey” is a swirling musical gumbo seasoned with a strong dose of New Orleans funk as Neville brags about the special love he gets from his “queen bee”. He transforms the lighter, Caribbean-style rhythm on “Another Man” into a brooding admonishment of a cheating woman. Neville drives the message home with gusto on “Blues is the Truth”, then closes the disc with an elastic reggae rhythm on “Slow Motion”, celebrating love, sun and water.
Admission to these shows is free! The Pub offers a great selection of beers and traditional pub fare. Showtime for each show will be 8 PM. This is an exciting idea for Crossroads and Blues Fans so please mark your calendars and come out and support live music!
Cyril Neville is at the top of his game throughout this recording. He is in command through all of the shifting musical styles and line-up of special guests. Whether he is raising his voice against injustice or simply relating the facts of life, Neville makes you listen – and care. It’s not all blues but it certainly is damn fine music that comes highly recommended!
The Original Honeydripper Roosevelt Sykes Blind Pig Records http://www.blindpigrecords.com 14 Tracks
Reviewed by Mark Thompson
The Hope and Anchor is at 5040 N. Second Street Loves Park, IL 61111
Roosevelt Sykes has always been a favorite blues piano player of mine. This CD is a reissue/upgrade to the original LP
The rollicking set opens with the traditional “Cow Cow Blues” written by Cow Cow Davenport. Sykes pays homage to one of the best originals here. He follows with “Drivin’ Wheel” one of his old time classics. I really enjoyed the traditional “Honeysuckle Rose”, both the playing and the singing. His fingers really dance on the keyboard. Sykes spent time in New Orleans, and I imagine that is where the classic “St. James Infirmary” was added to his repo tire. Track five “I Like What You Did” seemed to be well received, and is a Sykes original. Sykes acknowledges one of the masters with a rousing “What’d I Say” from Ray Charles. Ray had covered the great “Night Time Is The Right Time” written by Sykes and Leroy Carr, so there is a connection here. Up next is “I’m A Nut” a frolicking humorous track written by Sykes. This track is followed by ”Running The Boogie”. Sykes really shows his chops here as he dashes up and down the keyboard. The show slows down with the ballad “Too Smart Too Soon” . Sykes reaches back to Fats Waller for the oft recorded “Viper”. It includes some fine piano playing by Sykes. The final 4 cuts are Sykes originals. “Don’t Talk Me To Death” continues the fine boogie woogie piano. “Early Morning Blues” slows it down a bit, with some fine shouting vocals as well as slow blues piano. “Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone” reaches back to a jazzy type piano playing. The set closes with his 1924 classic “Dirty Mother For You”. Sykes introduces is with references to it maybe being dirty, or raunchy. There is some suggestiveness for sure. The crowd appreciated the overall et. Sykes played from all eras, and shows his talent to sing, play and write. This is cornerstone blues piano for all blues lovers to enjoy. Thank you Blind Pig for cleaning it up and bring this set back to the spotlight. Reviewed by Mark Nelson
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter
Page 10 All Frequencies MonkeyJunk Stony Plain Recording Co. Ltd. monkeyjunkband.com 10 Tracks Since their inception five years ago, the Ottawa, Canada trio MonkeyJunk has developed a substantial fan base in Canada, the United States, and Europe as a result of their extensive touring over the five year span of time. The group's name was spawned from the statement made by Son House when he said "I'm talking about the blues, I ain't talking 'bout no monkeyjunk." In just a short period of time the group has captured four major Canadian Blues awards: 2012 Juno Award winner – Blues Album of the Year, 20082013 – 15 Maple Blues Awards, 2010 Canadian Independent Music Award – Blues Album of the Year, 2010 Blues Music Award (USA) – Best New Artist Debut, which is a major accomplishment. Labeled as "The Sultans of Swamp R&B," MonkeyJunk has firm roots stemming from the 50s Louisiana blues labeled as "Swamp Blues," laid-back, slow tempo, and usually a more rhythmic variation of Louisiana blues. With its origins taken from New Orleans blues, Cajun music, Creole music, country blues, Louisiana blues, and zydeco, it became popular with artists like Lightnin' Slim, Slim Harpo, Lazy Lester, Silas Hogan, Lonesome Sundown, and piano player Katie Webster just to name a few. Covering these early swamp blues artists, especially Slim Harpo were musicians from British invasion bands, including the Rolling Stones, The Kinks and the Yardbirds. When questioned about the music of MonkeyJunk and whether it is considered blues, guitarist Tony Diteodoro of MonkeyJunk replied with "We could play the blues until the cows come home, "With that being said, I grew up wanting to be Jimmy Page. My blues roots came by way of listening to British bands and finding out who they were listening to." MonkeyJunk is part of the new wave of swamp blues, joining forces with groups like C.C. Adcock, The Bluebirds, and Smokehouse. All Frequncies, the third release from MonkeyJunk, is a collection of original music with the exception of the Bobby Charles tune "Why Are People Like That"? They cover this tune by putting their own signature on this it, making it their own interpretation of the original version. The opening tune "You Make A Mess" sounds like a blast from the past with the strong guitar leads using a wah-wah pedal, and the distant harmonica in the background. The greatest swamp blues influence can
be heard in the song "Right From Wrong." "Je Nah Say Kwah" adds a Cajun recipe to the collection. That same raw sound that is characteristic of Moreland and Arbuckle seems to be a common thread also heard in MonkeyJunk's tune "Sirens In The Night." They return to that Louisiana swamp blues, combined with some Texas soul on the tune "Yearnin' For Yesterday." "Once Had Wings" has an early Delta blues sound with Steve Marriner echoing a voice of forlorn throughout the song. "What I Got To Give" has a commonality to the swamp blues slide guitar of Sonny Landreth. That deep swamp blues guitar groove sets the tone for the MonkeyJunk tune "Say What?," also typical of C.C. Adcock's opening track "Couchemal" on his 1994 release. All Frequencies concludes with "Swank," a funky instrumental jam that could match Steve Marriner with Booker T. Jones on keyboards. The new wave of swamp blues is both innovative and captivating. MonkeyJunk has done a superlative job of tapping into several genres to create a sound of there own. This seems to be the new direction of swamp blues for some time to come. Reviewed by Rick Davis Down On My Luck Shawn Holt and The Teardrops Blind Pig Records www.shawnholtandtheteardrops.com 12 Tracks The "Magic Man," Magic Slim (Morris Holt) has recently passed the torch to his son Shawn Holt. On February 21, 2013 the blues world lost the legendary Magic Slim, one of Chicago's finest blues artists. Who better to follow his blues legacy than his son Shawn Holt who started playing the blues at the age of 17, going on tour with Magic Slim and his brother Nick Holt. Being a part of a musically talented family, Shawn took advantage of his talent and formed his own band, opening for his dad. Magic Slim and The Teardrops has been nominated for the WC Handy "Blues Band of the Year" award more times than any blues band in existence, more specifically eight out of the last ten years. It is evidence of what it takes to become a member of Magic Slim's band, The Teardrops, according to Slim's standards. This was the year for Shawn to step up to the microphone as the leader of The Teardrops on an east coast tour, opening for Johnny Winter in Phoenixville Pennsylvania. Two hours after Slim was admitted to the hospital, Shawn
Holt and The Teardrops delivered a performance that earned them a standing ovation much to the pleasure of the promoter. Upon the request of Johnny Winter, Shawn finished the tour, emerging as the new leader of The Teardrops and as the opening act for Winter. If you enjoyed the powerful, hard driving band of Magic Slim and The Teardrops for the last 35 years, you will be pleased to know that The Teardrops live on with Shawn showing the same energy delivered by his dad. Their debut album, Daddy Told Me, captures the essence of Chicago blues with their all-star cast of Shawn on lead guitar and vocals, Levi William also on guitar and vocals, Brian "B.J." Jones on drums and vocals, and Christopher Biedron on bass. On their new album, you can tell Shawn has revamped the band in order to maintain that strong musicality and at the same time take the band in a new direction. They open with the Buster Brown, Clarence Lewis, Morgan Robinson shuffle "Fannie Mae," with Shawn using his deep booming voice and high powered lead guitar solos. Other cover songs included are "Down In Virginia" by Jimmy Reed, "Get Your Business Straight," written by Gwen Collins for Albert Collins, Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me," with John Primer, a former Teardrop taking the lead vocals and adding guitar solos, and the Amos Blackmore (Junior Wells) tune "Little By Little." As a tribute, they also cover two of Magic Slim's tunes "Buddy Buddy Friend," with John Primer again making a guest appearance, and "Please Don't Dog Me." He pulls out all the stops on his guitar solos for "Get Your Business Straight," showing just how electrifying he can be on guitar. He also includes five originals on the new album with the title track "Daddy Told Me," delivering an almost a Texas style guitar sound. "Hold You Again" is a slower, soulful tune. "Mean Little Woman" is hard drivin' shuffle with very strong guitar riffs and trace of funk. "Love Got Me Walking" is that fat, raw guitar style, reminiscent of his father’s. The last original shuffle "You Done Me Wrong" reminds me of a Jimmy Reed style blues tune with vocals matching those of Chicago's own Lonnie Brooks. Daddy Told Me is a perfect sampler of oldschool Chicago style blues with straight forward, in your face blues, accented with a pulsating rhythm section. With that smooth transition from generation to generation, The Teardrops still remain "the last real Chicago blues band." Reviewed by Rick Davis
CBS Notices Date Set for 2014 Field of Blues Festival
The Frontier League Baseball schedule has been announced for 2014 and the date requested for the Second Annual Field of Blues Festival has been confirmed. The festival will be held on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at Rockford Aviators Stadium in Loves Park! We will once again be working with the Aviators staff to utilize their great venue to hold our second event in their stadium. Already committed to the festival are: The Alex Wilson Band Linda Valori with Luca Giordano and the Barstool Bob Blues Band Doug Deming and Dennis Gruenling with the Jewel Tones We have two other bands we are talking to but have not finalized our agreements with them so we can’t yet tell you who they are, but they are super blues bands! Stay tuned for more news about the festival!
Crossroads Address Change
Our post office box and address have changed. Please note our new address:
Crossroads Blues Society Post Office Box 840 Byron, IL 61010 Special General Membership Meeting January 11th We will have a Special General Membership meeting to approve a membership cost change just prior to the start of the January 11th 8 PM show with the Jimmys at the Hope at Anchor at 7:45 PM. The cost of printing is pretty high and postage keeps increasing so we have decided that membership for those who receive the 12 page mailed newsletter will have to increase $5 per year. For those who receive the longer email PDF version our dues will remain the same. The increase for paper newsletter members goes into effect upon renewal. Paper newsletter members can switch to the email version if they desire.
Page 11 Also, our bylaws require that bylaw changes be voted on during a general membership meetings. The Board votes on that, but for transparency sake the Bylaws can only be changed at a General Membership Meeting, so that order of business will occur, too. A copy of the old and new By Laws will be emailed out and will be available for review at the meeting. No major changes are coming, we are just aligning them to how we actually have been doing business for about the last 14 years. Juke Joint Chapel Charlie Musselwhite Henrietta Records www.charliemusselwhite.com 12 tracks Stripped down, basic blues delivered live by one of the top harp players in the world. What is not to like here? Charlie is joined by Matt Stubbs on guitar, June Core on drums and with Mike Phillips playing bass an the four provide us some great blues done up right. They open with a quintet of traditional blues songs that get the crowd whipped into a frenzy Eddie Taylor’s “Bad Boy,” Shakey Jake’ “Roll Your Money Maker,” Ton Joe White’s “As the Crow Flies,” Billy Boy Arnold’s “Gone Too Long” and Little Walter’s “It Aint Right” start us on a path of exciting blues. Charlie growls out on the opening track and lays down some heavy harp. But Stubbs big guitar solo is also right up there. He again is huge on “Money Maker,” another solid solo. Musselwhite and Stubbs trade solos beautifully back and forth on “Crow Flies,” taking us on a wild ride. The Billy Boy Arnold cut is also sweet and then they go for another wild ride on “It Ain’t Right”- wow! The next five tracks are all Musselwhite songs. “Strange Land” throbs as Charlie lays out grit on vocals and then dirties it up some more on harp. Stubbs is more than ample in support, too. “Blues Overtook Me” takes it down a notch or so in tempo and Musselwhite blows some mean harp for us. “River Hip Mama” is a rollicking good time. Matthew trades off the solo from Charlie and it’s another hot cut to enjoy. “Blues Why Do You Worry Me?” follows and is another solid effort across the board. “Feel It In Your Heart” concludes the Musselwhite songs and Charlie croons to us about the feeling of music. The band switches gears with “I’m Going Home;” Charlie howls out the vocals and then blows out a nice harp solo. Stubbs
takes an extended solo and delivers the goods, too. Done in a syncopated “forro” style, it’s cool. They conclude with the somber Duke Pearson song “Christo Redentor.” I think the most ardent atheist might convert after Charlie’s ardent harp work here in this instrumental where Charlie’s harp testifies to a greater power. Inspired by the statue overlooking the Rio De Janiero harbor, Charlie’s signature song is so well done here that it made the hair on my arms stand up. I repeat, what is there here not to like? Absolutely nothing! This is a great effort. I could say more, but let it suffice to say you need to get this CD. I close with some of Charlie’s words, “The blues sounded like how I felt growing up. Too many people think of the blues as sad, but I think many of these tunes will immediately dispel that notion, as they are fun, dancing tunes that lift your spirits. I often tell people that the blues is your buddy in good times and your comforter in bad times. It empowers you to keep going. It is secular spiritual music, the gospel blues. It’s music from the heart instead of the head.” Amen, Charlie. Reviewed by Steve Jones Big Snark Snarky Dave & The Prickly Bluesman Smuffy Pie Music www.snarkydave.com 9 tracks/37:14 The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "snarky" as: 1. Crotchety, snappish. 2. Sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner. Snarky Dave Brenton's motto is "I won't write a song without a worthwhile message." so it took him over a year to get the album just the way he wanted it to be. A talented songwriter, guitarist and vocalist from Delaware, Snarky Dave sings about everyday things the ordinary Joe can relate to laced with "snarcasm". All the tracks are original creations born on his rare collection of hand-crafted Bob Taylor guitars. Top notch accompanists by the Prickly Bluesmen and tenor and bass sax by Jay Heath round out the mix. The tracks I like best are "Mother and I", a tearjerker about a boy in a broken home, "Bitchin", a man's lament about his wife doing just that and "Caucoustic Blues" with its acoustic guitar, bass sax and lyrics about economic and relationship downturns. Definitely an interesting listen. Reviewed by Diane Mandell
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter
Page 12 My Street Ursula Ricks Severn Records Inc. www.ursularicks.com www.severnrecords.com 10 tracks/40:32 Once you hear this recording, you will be scratching your head and trying to figure out how someone this talented could fly below the radar for so long. When she wraps her husky voice around one of her eight original tunes, you know that she is singing from the heart about the trials and tribulations of her life. Over the funky accompaniment on the title track, Ricks reflects on escaping the dark, menacing aspects of modern living. The organ-drenched, bluesy arrangement on “Due” keeps the focus on the singer’s nuanced plea for her place at the table. “Right Now” is a frank declaration for freedom of all kinds with guest Monster Mike Welch adding emphasis with his taut guitar licks. Ricks exposes the hurting side of her nature on the polished ballad “Make Me Blue” while “Sweet Tenderness” radiates with the joy that love can bring, complemented by a six piece horn section under the direction of Willie Henderson. Kim Wilson blows some mean harp on “Tobacco Road”, another original with Ricks’ smoky voice a perfect match for the slow-burning rhythm supplied by Steve Gomes on bass and Robb Stupka on drums. Johnny Moeller’s guitar and Kevin Anker’s keyboards are featured on “The New Trend” but Ricks grabs your attention with a soaring vocal that brings all of her withheld passion surging to the surface. The lyrics to “What You Judge” utilize a few too many clichéd phrases but the singer’s earnest delivery carries the day. The thumping bass line on Bobby Rush’s “Mary Jane” elicits a promise from Ricks to leave the evil weed alone but by the end of the track, you still have doubts about her sincerity. The other cover is a glorious rendition of the Curtis Mayfield anthem, “Just a Little Bit of Love”, complete with backing vocals from Caleb Green and Christal Rheams as well as a four piece string section and Mark Meralla on percussion. Ursula Ricks has spent more than twenty years honing her voice and her songwriting skills for an opportunity to share her talent with the world. This one is her coming-out party and she definitely makes the most of it. This one is well worth checking out! Reviewed by Mark Thompson
Ain’t No More Love in This House Lou Pride Severn Records Inc. www.loupride.com www.severnrecords.com 11 tracks/53:51 Chicago native Lou Pride passed away shortly after completing the tracks for what is now his final recording. While Pride never achieved the level of stardom that other singers of his generation achieved, he was a masterful singer adept at expressing the emotional heart of whatever he touched. The title track is a Pride original, one of four on the disc. He cries out with heartbreaking intensity over the break-up of his family, his lamentations reaching the upper register of his vocal range. “She Boom Boom Me” is a tough blues celebrating the good loving of a Mississippi woman featuring the horn section of Kenny Rittenhouse and Liesl Whitaker on trumpet & flugelhorn, Morgan Price on tenor sax, and Reginald Cyntje on trombone. Caleb Green joins Pride for a touching duet on the ballad, “We Can Do What We Want” while “Love Come Got Me” finds the singer sharing his joy, cushioned by lush chords from Benji Porecki on organ. The twin guitars of Johnny Moeller and Earl Wilson set up a grittier sound on “I Didn’t Take Your Woman” as Pride makes it clear in no uncertain terms that he is not responsible for another man’s pain. “I Gotta Move on Up” harks back to the days of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions as Pride delivers another splendid lead vocal. An outstanding guitarist that is seldom heard from, Rusty Zinn, makes an appearance on “Never” and Pride’s immaculate phrasing is supported by backing vocals from Christal Rheams, Paige Martin, and Daryl Duff. The rhythm section of Steve Gomes on bass, Robb Stupka on drums, and Mark Merella on percussion establish a slinky groove for Pride’s emotionally-charged vocal on “Key to the World”. One of Pride’s favorite songs, “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast”, describes how the love for a child holds a relationship together. A fervent cover of Mick Hucknall and Simply Red’s hit “Holding Back the Years” is a fitting closing number. Pride’s weathered voice chronicles a man assessing the mistakes of his life while expressing a determination to continue to live on. And that is exactly what Pride did. Staring down his own mortality, he found the
strength to deliver a string of stirring performances that make this project a fitting career summation. Add in the well-crafted arrangements and you have a disc sure to please fans of modern soul music. Lou Pride was one of the best – he will be missed. Reviewed by Mark Thompson Hush Your Fuss! Dave Riley & Bob Corritore Vizztone Label Group www.bobcorritore.com 12 tracks The third collaboration between Dave Riley and Bob Corritore continues down the path of the first two, giving us some more of the best traditional blues around! Dave Riley is authentic, gritty and down home; a Hattiesburg, Mississippi native who is a real Delta bluesman. Corritore is the ultimate Chicago harp master. Together they exude real blues done in with feeling in an evocative style. Brother Dave “Yahni” Riley, Jr. is on bass, Brian Fahey is on drums and Gloria Bailey plays organ on “Mississippi Po Boy.” All new stuff and written almost exclusively by the featured duo, the sound is real and convincing blues. The duo open acoustically with the title track, a sweet little number with just the two of them strumming, blowing some harp and testifying to us. Short and sweet, but a great start to a fun CD. “Baby Please Come Home” has Riley hollering for his gal as Corritore keeps pace in response on harp, a cool slow blues as is “Go Ahead and Blame Me” which is even dirtier and grittier. “Oil Sill Blues” also goes that route, giving us a Mississippi bluesman’s take on the BP debacle. “Hard Headed Woman” is a romping good time. “Mississippi Po Boy” is a slow and ballady blues chronicling parts of Riley’s life as does “Home In Chicago.” The organ does add a good backdrop to the former and the latter shuffles sweetly. A couple of tracks go a little tongue in cheek and are fun- “No Cussin’” and “Laughin’ Blues” are lighter and offer us a bit of humor. This is a good set of tunes done up nicely. I loved their first effort, thoroughly enjoyed the second and now with a third they have a trio of super albums under their belts! Recommended for all traditional blues lovers!!! Reviewed by Steve Jones
January-February 2014 The Rock House Sessions Sean Chambers Blue Heat Records www.seanchambers.com 11 tracks/48:03 For his fifth release, local guitar hero Sean Chambers decided not to use his regular band, opting to use a group of veteran musicians including Reese Wynans on keyboards, Tommy McDonald on bass, and Tom Hambridge on drums. Wynans also produced the sessions. The disc opens with swirling guitar chords from Chambers and guest Bob Britt before the rhythm section kicks in with a piledriving beat on “World on Fire”, with Chambers’ mean guitar licks playing off T J Klay’s harp. Gary Nicholson’s “Healing Ground” has Rob McNelley sitting in on guitar but Chambers commands your attention with a strong singing and some deft guitar playing. The simmering groove on “Come to Poppa” gets a jolt from the horn section – Steve Herman on trumpet and Jim Hoke on saxophone – plus Etta Britt on backing vocals. Chambers switches gears to give a memorable reading of Gary Moore’s “Holding On”. His measured; touching vocal captures perfectly the yearning in the lyrics. “Just for the Thrill” sports another tight groove as Chambers expounds on taking a chance against his better judgment over Klay’s wailing harp. Hambridge co-wrote “Money in a Minute”, giving Chambers the chance to issue a warning about a gold-digging woman. The guitarist fires off some blistering runs on a super-charged “Choo Choo Mama”, written by the late Alvin Lee for Ten Years After. The song loses some of its steam due to an aimless harp solo from Klay but ends with a final flourish from Chambers’ guitar. Wynans helped Chambers write “Meant to Be”, a soulful ballad that features some soaring, majestic guitar from the leader. “Your Love is My Disease” is another guitar-centered original over a muscular funk vamp. Chambers creates layers of emotional depth on another highlight, “It Hurts to See You Go”. His chilling portrayal of lost love is punctuated by blast from the horns, Wynans’ on organ and his own razor-sharp guitar work. It is the kind of music learned from his five year tenure with the late, great Hubert Sumlin. This may be the strongest release yet for
Page 13 Sean Chambers. Expect to see it on some of the best-of-the year lists, particularly in the Blues-Rock category. It is definitely worth checking out! Reviewed by Mark Thompson Two fer one...another review of Sean Chambers! We must have had a mix up, but why not see what both of our reviewers thought? The Rock House Sessions Sean Chambers Blues Heat Records www.seanchambers.com 11 Tracks Guitarist Sean Chambers is well known for his blazing guitar influenced by Jimi and Stevie. For his 5th outing, he goes about his business in a bit different way. This disc was recorded in Nashville with a rookie producer Reese Wynams. Reese is no novice to the music world having been on the ground for the birth of the Allman Brothers Band and playing keys with Stevie Ray Vaughn. He has done a lot of session work on both country (Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood) and blues (Buddy Guy and John Mayall). The disc has 3 originals and 8 covers. The guitar jumps off on the opener “World On Fire” with strong vocals by Sean and a strong Texas feel. It was written by Rick Vito. The strong start continues on the next cut ” Since I’ve Been Down”. This rocker has strong organ from Wynams giving a bit of a Deep Purple organ riff touch. The 3rd cut ‘Healing Ground”, if a rocker also with some tasty harp and vocals. A song for the radio could be “Meant To Be”. The song slows down and the riffs are controlled. A strong cut from this CD, though not really blues. Some funkier riffs get added to the oft recorded “Come to Poppa”. Some good horns work here and a nice groove for the song make this a pleasant, but not a blues cut. “Your Love Is My Disease” keeps the funk coming. It is a Chambers original, and what we expect from him. Up next is a cut from Gary Moore called “Holding On”. It is a slow paced cut with some R&B groove. On track 8, “Just For The Thrill” heads back to Texas roots for a driving roadhouse feel. It’s got a some blues in it! Sean comes out blistering on the next cut “Money In A Minute”. This is a strong blues/rock cut that will get played on stations that love that strain of blues. For
track 10 Sean slides back to Memphis and maybe a bit of BB for a soulful track. Crisp guitar work and strong vocals make this an enjoyable cut. The CD closes with a tribute to Alvin Lee and Ten Years After with a strong version of “Choo Choo Mama”. There is more harp on this than the TYA version, but Sean does not stray far from the original. It is a strong closer and I am sure he will rip this one up in concert. I thought this might be a bit more of a new direction for Sean. There is a bit of change, but still strong rock and blues/ rock riffs. Vocals are a bit better at times. Though not a straight blues CD, if you like a more rock oriented blues, and guitar work this will please. Reviewed by Mark Nelson Right Here Right Now Dave Keyes Keyesland Records www.davekeyes.com 10 tracks/48:03 This album is New York native Dave Keyes' 5th solo release. The album features all original tracks by this superb keyboardist, accordionist and vocalist who has played the NYC music scene for over 20 years. Keyes is also joined by a host of talented guest guitarists in addition to the foundation laid down by The Dave Keyes Band. Keyes, a winner of the 2000 Blues Foundation's International Blues Competition, has performed regularly with Popa Chubby (one of the guest guitarists on the album along with Dave Fields, Woody Mann and Jeff Pevar) and worked with the late Odetta and Lou Rawls, Marie Knight, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Pam Tillis, and Gladys Knight to name a few. Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame on 9/25/11 as "Master Blues Artist from New York", Keyes was a conductor for over 600 productions of the Broadway show "Smokey Joe's Cafe". Keyes and The Dave Keyes Band was the house band for the NBC variety morning show "The Ainsley Harriott Show". The album is a diverse mix of boogie, ballads, rock, blues and more and should have something to appeal to most any listener. Every time I listened to the album, my list of favorite tracks grew and I can honestly say there isn't a bad track to be found. ENJOY! Reviewed by Diane Mandell
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter
Page 14 Friend Billy Thompson Soul Stew Records Billythompsonmusic.com Soulstewrecords.com 13 songs/5708 Soul Stew Records presents, Friend, from Billy Thompson. It is a well orchestrated 13 song Blues CD and I really enjoyed listening to it and reviewing it! Opening with “Soldier of Misfortune,” a funky blues rocker, Thompson demonstrates not only his vocal ability but also his unique arranging talent and hot guitar riffs. Backed by Chris Dominicion on keys, Gene Monroe on bass, Jonathan Greenburg on trumpet, Ian Charlton on sax, Tom Tierney on sax and Eric Selby on drums, Thompson really lays out nice guitar riffs on top of all that and makes this a really rockin’ track. “Garden” has a contemporary Latin rhythm and Thompson really demonstrates a mastery of slide guitar along with some solid vocals. “Backing” provides us a \nice look at Mr. Bill Payne on keys. “Interlude” is a gripping blues ballad featuring some of the best vocal work on this CD. Thompson brings us some skillful guitar while Mike Finnegan adds warm organ to this track; it is blended together like cream in your coffee. Listen for the masterfully delivered but expertly contained guitar solo. “Farmer Kenny” is a nice little swing track with a cool lope on the bottom by Chris Brown. Ron Holloway and Wes Lanich (keys) add a lot of texture to this track as Thompson showcases his vocal skills. On the title track “Friend,” Mike Peed (keys) and James East (bass) join Thompson for a rather straight forward song. Nice melody and hook, the kind of song that will grow on you with every time you take a listen. “Half A Man” is a soulful ballad with complimentary guitars riffs. Thompson's vocals are quite notable as he reaffirms he's a vocalist first and an instrumentalist second. “Many Faces” is a light funk bop with great horns that push it along. You will find it hard to sit still as Ron Holloway whips out some hot sax, that's right, I said it, hot sax! Not to mention nice vocal backing from Dani Grays and Xzantiny Grant. “Satisfied” brings dis-
tinct Creole flavor that's driven by Selby's hot drumming and Bill Payne on keys. Sweetly infused slide work adds a nice quality but it's really the beat, the keys, and strong vocals that bring it all together. “Then I, My Love” is a smoldering blues ballad that features Mike Finnigan's organ work as Thompson adds brilliant fretwork to compliment his vocals. “Ain't But One” is a New Orleans full throttle funky march again featuring Finnigan but with Kenny Gradney on bass. Thompson once again showcases his excellent guitars riffs and fills making this yet another good track. On Bill Withers' “Ain't No Sunshine” Thompson claims creative freedom as he presents his version of this timeless classic as Peed blends his colorful piano
sounds perfectly. Bassist Dave Curtis and percussionist Danny Campbell bring their best also. Completing the release is “While The World's Winding Down,” a great blues boogie that once again showcases Thompson's vocals and background guitar work. Finnigan on organ, Gene Monroe on bass, and Selby bringing the rhythm consistently strong add just the right touch to this boogie. I really enjoyed this release and would highly recommend it! Reviewed by Bill Graw
January-February 2014 Butter on My Rolls Sheba Beck "The Mississippi Queen" Independent Label Shebablue @bellsouth.net www.sheba.cc 13 tracks/64:24 Sheba "The Mississippi Queen" Beck (born Martha Booker) and her twin sister Mary were born in the heart of the delta, Sunflower, Mississippi in a family of sharecroppers. While Mary followed in her father's footsteps singing gospel, Sheba learned to sing the blues while working in the cotton fields and in church. Singing the blues helped Sheba to get through the long, painful days of a sharecropper's life. When Sheba was 12, the family moved to Homestead, Florida on a migrant workers' bus to pick tomatoes, beans and limes and pursue a better life. Later, the family moved to Miami. Years later, Sheba moved to New York City and formed the band, "The Swingers" with musician Freddie Nelson where they performed in various clubs. While playing in NYC, Sheba fell in love with Billie Holiday's music. After 15 years, Sheba left the group, returned to Miami and teamed up with keyboardist, Yosiah Israel, playing mostly jazz numbers. Yosiah convinced Sheba to return to her roots and sing blues which she had not done since she left Mississippi because she was ashamed of the way black people were treated in Mississippi even though she believed the heart of the blues lay there. Blues influences included BB King, Koko Taylor, Jimmie Reed, Elvis, Etta James, Tina Turner, Aretha, and Big Mama Thornton. She broke up with Yosiah and toured the Florida Keys and the Mississippi delta with a band called "The Rhythm Kings" for the next five years. After that venture dissolved, Sheba performed solo and with various bands. She now has her own band, "The Soul Kings" and recently produced this album of 13 original songs.
Page 15 tight, Sheba's vocals adapting and handling each song with ease. The lyrics are fine story-telling. My favorite track is "Blues of My Soul" where Sheba recollects her memories of picking cotton. I also especially liked "Hey Girlfriend", "Can't Help Lovin My Man", and "Good Good Lovin". I enjoyed the album and bet you will too. Reviewed by Diane Mandell Hands On The Wheel Brad Wilson Blues Boulevard Records www.bradwilsonlive.com www.bluesboulevard.net 14 tracks/54:54
Closed As of January 1, 2014, the Adriatic Live Music Bar is closed. We hope this is only temporary. The building is scheduled to undergo major renovations in 2014. The current lease runs thru April and the owners want the bar and the music to anchor the corner. Letâ€™s hope this all gets done quickly as this has been the successor to Big Cities as Rockfordâ€™s home of the blues.
Hailing from California, this is guitaristvocalist-songwriter Brad Wilson's 16th album and all 14 tracks are original. Wilson plays over 100 shows a year and has been featured in Thunder Press Magazine and Vintage Guitar Magazine. He has opened for Cheap Trick, .38 Special, Walter Trout, Derek Trucks, Lynwood Slim, Michael Burks, Sonny Rhodes, Coco Montoya, and Roy Rogers and The Delta Kings, among others. As Don and Sheryl Crow wrote in their music blog, "'Hands On The Wheel' is perfect for your next road trip, either with the top down, or if you are so inclined, astride your Harley." The album is a mix of smokin' hot electric rock-blues and gritty vocals. Wilson's guitar is energetic and masterfully played and accompanied by other accomplished musicians. I needed to listen to the album twice before I really appreciated it as it was more electric rock than I had originally expected. But my second listen found me thoroughly enjoying each track. My favorite tracks are "Blues Magic" reminiscent of Santana, the title track "Hands On The Wheel", and "My One Desire". Give it two listens and see if you don't enjoy it too.
Of particular interest is Sheba's quote on the album, "I give thanks to the men, that brought out the blues in me. Sheba was also quoted in a recent interview as saying, "My hope is that one day the blues will be taught in schools not just during black history month but all year round."
Reviewed by Diane Mandell
The album is a nice mix of blues, jazz, soul and R&B. The instrumentals are
We are scoping out other locations to find a place that we can put on shows on the scale of Trampled Under Foot, Ana Popovic, Walter Trout and others like that that we have sponsored there. We have great leads on bands like Rick Estrin and the Night Cats and Jimmy Thackery, both for Spring 2014, so we need to find a place to host shows where we can put 100-120 people in a nice facility with good sound, lights and sight lines. We also hope that the Adriatic can come back bigger and better than ever!
Page 16 Sweet Revival Gino Matteo Rip Cat Records http://ginomatteo.com 9 tracks/45:59 Hailing from the west coast, Gino Matteo is a singer/songwriter who also shows off his guitar skills on his second full-length recording. Featuring an all-original program, the disc quickly shows that Matteo has plenty to say as he sings about his faith on the opening track, “Here Comes the Lord”, letting the intensity of his beliefs shine through on an intense guitar solo. The following cut, “Pulpit in the Graveyard”, is a fierce rocker with Jade Bennett, Matteo’s wife, joining in on backing vocals. “Coming Clean” finds the singer delivering an angry message to his lover that their relationship is over. Jason Ricci contributes a few blasts on his harmonica. The pace slows on “Take a Chance on Me” with Dave Kelly on the Hammond B-3 making a key contribution. Matteo’s emotionally-charged singing makes this one of the highlights of the disc. At times, his vocals remind you of Warren Haynes. The rhythm section consisting of James Beker on bass and Trevor Monks on drums & percussion lay down a slinky groove on “Grandma Told Me”. Matteo’s atmospheric guitar tones contrast nicely with the soulful vocal. The problem with this project is that there is only one cut that displays any blues influences. “We Can Find a Way” preaches the message of brotherly love, starting out in a funky groove that soon morphs into a full-blown anthem with Matteo spinning off another fiery guitar solo. Joey Delgado on guitar and Tony Nouhan on keyboards help drive the message home while Sherry Pruitt and Steve Delgado add their voices on the chorus. The powerful “Childhood Games”, another I’m-leaving-you song, provides Matteo with another opportunity to lay down solo with a memorable kick. The disc ends on a reflective note with Matteo imploring us to “Listen to Your Mother” and watch for the angels in our lives. Ricci uses his harp to blow some sweet accents for Matteo’s subdued voice. There is plenty of good music here. You just need to be aware that this is a rock album – and that Gino
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter Matteo is a fine musician. Rock/blues fans should definitely check this one out. Reviewed by Mark Thompson Play By the Rules J.T Lauritsen Hunter Records www.jtlauritsen.com 12 tracks/ If you have never heard of singer J.T. Lauritsen, it is understandable even though this is his seventh release. Lauritsen is a native of Norway and it has taken him a while to garner some attention in the USA. This release features seven tracks recorded with his regular backing band for the last twenty years, the Buckshot Hunters. The other five songs were recorded at the famed Ardent Studios in Memphis. There are plenty of guests throughout the disc including Victor Wainwright, Anson Funderburgh, Reba Russell, Larry McCray, and Billy Gibson. Lauritsen is an outstanding singer with a smooth, expressive voice that makes you sit up and take notice. His moving take on William Bell’s “Everyday Will be Like a Holiday” gets the disc off to a strong start. “Play By the Rules” is a hurting ballad with Wainwright on piano, Teresa James on backing vocal and stellar slide guitar from Josh Roberts. Lauritsen’s best performance comes on “I’ll Never Get Over You” as he delivers a heart-wrenching tale with Russell and Debbie Jamison on harmony vocals. On “Next Time”, “Ever Since the World Began”, and “Mathilda”, Lauritsen brings a strong Louisiana flavor to the proceedings with some fine accordion work. He also plays harmonica on a slow-burning runthrough of the Gillian Welch’s, “Valley of Tears”. Gibson joins the leader on “Need My Babe” as the duo engage in some reed-banding on their harps at the end. Funderburgh lights up “Find My Little Girl” with his nimble-fingered guitar work while Wainwright’s dazzling piano runs spark the instrumental “Memphis Boogie”. The disc closes with the band stomping through “The Blues Got Me”. Lauritsen’s robust singing matches the intensity of Greg Gumpel’s nasty guitar tone. It all adds up to one of those recordings that comes out of nowhere to surprise you in a big way. Hopefully this review will entice to go to J. T. Lauritsen’s website and check it out. You need to hear this fine effort! Reviewed by Mark Thompson
Crossroads Blues Society Newsletter
Top Blues Releases November 2013 Sunday Morning Blues WKGL-FM 96.7 The Eagle Rockford, IL Eric Bibb / Jericho Road / Stony Plain Jonn Del Toro Richardson & Sean Carney / Drivin' Me Wild / Del Toro Music Davis Coen / Get Back In / Soundview Trudy Lynn / Royal Oaks Blues Café / Connor Ray Music Trampled Under Foot / Badlands / Telarc The Cash Box Kings / Black Toppin' / Blind Pig Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials / Jump Start / Alligator Rev. Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys / Shake Your Boogie / Nevermore This list submitted to Living Blues Magazine for inclusion in the November 2013 National Radio Chart. This list is compiled from actual radio air play statistics. WKGL-FM broadcasts 2 hours of blues per week.
Rich Gordon Sunday Morning Blues WKGL-FM 96.7 The Eagle 3901 Brendenwood Road Rockford, IL 61107 Crossroads Blues Society Officers and Board Members Contact Info President: Steve Jones Vice-President: Karl Dahlin Secretary: Bonnie Fox Treasurer: Terry Keller Board of Directors: Denny Barker Rick Davis Bob Haendler Ken Pearson Bill Graw
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www.thebluesblast.com The free internet blues magazine!
Trampled Under Foot Trampled Under Foot performed in Rockford for the very first time on Friday, November 22nd at the Adriatic. About 100 people attended this outstanding performance. This great, young band from Kansas City burned up the place with two great sets of music.
rock solid on drums and seems to be a little more staid and stoic as the old man of the group, yet his and the band’s youth is both energizing and exuberant.
Sporting her new shorter hair style, Danielle Schnebelen stole the show with her fantastic vocal performance. Her singing is primordial– one understands that the human voice is the most precious instrument when you hear her sing. However, Brother Nick’s guitars and vocals were right up there, too. Nick did some lap steel and they each did some solo work after the break that was just astounding. Nick was on the drums while playing guitar and singing. Big brother Kris was also
The 2009 IBC winners did not disappoint. Everyone who came to the show was amazed at the talent they displayed. Thanks to Joe Geraghty, Bob Haendler and Steve Jones for helping to back and promote the show along with Dom Sawchuk and the Adriatic. This show was fantastic and based on the crowd’s reaction this was the top single show that Crossroads did in 2013! We hope that TUF returns to our area soon!
Crossroads Blues Society P.O. Box 840 Byron, IL 61010 News Blog with our Latest Info: http://crossroadsbluessociety. blogspot.com/ Music Reviews: http://crossroadsreviews.blogspot.com/ Field of Blues Festival: http://fieldofblues.blogspot.com/
Keeping the Blues Alive Since 1994
Byron Crossroads Blues Festival: http://byroncrossroadsbluesfestival.blogspot.com/ Email us at: email@example.com Also on the web at: www.crossroadsbluessociety.com/
Blues on Local Radio WNIJ - 89.5 FM Friday evenings from 9 PM to midnight with Harold Brown Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4 PM with Patrick Sheehan Saturday evenings from 9 PM to midnight with David James The Eagle - 96.7 FM Sunday Morning Blues 6 AM to 8 AM with Rich Gordon
Blues News and Upcoming Events We were going to do a “Year in Review” issue but we were awarded the 2014 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Blues foundation Affiliates and our focus shifted to that! This is an humbling and amazing honor for us. See pages 1 and 2 for more information. We’ve been busy and remain busy keeping the blues alive. Here is what we have planned for the near term… January 11th. (Saturday) The Jimmy’s at the Hope and Anchor in Loves Park, 8 PM, no cover. Also, we will have a general membership meeting just prior to the start of the show (7:45 PM) to approve a membership cost change. The cost of printing is pretty high and postage keeps increasing so we have decided that membership for those who receive the 12 page mailed newsletter will have to increase $5 per year. For those who receive the longer email PDF version our dues will remain the same. The increase for paper newsletter members goes into effect upon renewal. Paper newsletter members can switch to the
email version if they desire. Also, our bylaws require that bylaw changes be voted on during a general membership meetings, so that order of business will occur, too.
Membership Application www.crossroadsbluesociety.com Yes! I’d love to be a part of the Crossroads Blues Society!
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14th. (Tuesday) BITS at Freeport Middle School/ Carl Sandburg Middle School in Freeport in the AM and Meridian (Stillman Valley) JHS in the PM. After the schools, Glenn Davis and Westside Andy are also at the Hope and Anchor in Loves Park, 5:30 to 8 PM, no cover so come out for a great free show!
More in the works– stay tuned on line and via email for what’s going on!
Crossroads Blues Society Bring this to P.O. Box 840 our next meeting Byron, IL 61010 and get a free CD!
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