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Hey Blues Fans,
In this issue James Walker reviews a new CD from Glenn Patrik. Brian Holland reviews a new CD by Sean Costello. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Jenni Muldaur and also a CD by Dennis Jones.
Our Blues video of the week is a clip of Sonny Boy Williamson playing solo. You don't want to miss this one!
Our "Blues Basics" series returns this week with a primer on Blues music from a great web resource. All this and MUCH more. SCROLL DOWN!
Blues Video of the Week
In this video we get to see the legendary Sonny Boy Williamson do an entire song solo, just him and his tin sandwich. This video is a lesson in what classic Blues harmonica is all about.
Here you get to see his famous trick of putting the harp IN his mouth and playing with no hands! WOW!
Born Alex "Rice" Miller, his performing and recording career is legend. Although his actual birth date is often a matter of dispute, his gravestone shows his birth date as March 11, 1908. He played with everyone from Robert Johnson, Robert Nighthawk, Robert Jr. Lockwood, and Elmore James and even with rock legends Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Robbie Robertson near the end of his career. He died in 1965 but his influence lives on today as harmonica players such as Rick Estrin can often be seen performing the no hands playing style in tribute to Sonny Boy.
All Music Guide has a detailed biography of Sonny Boy. They also have links to listen to samples of many of his songs there. CLICK HERE to see the the bio on their website.
To see this cool video on our website, click the play button below or click the photo above.
There is also a great website devoted to Sonny Boy at www.sonnyboy.com. There is a wealth of information about Sonny Boy's life there as well as a second version of this same song in an entirely different clip. Click Here to see that version.
For other videos on our website CLICK HERE.
Deep Blue Innovators Festival
Sat., Oct. 24, 2009
Rivoli Theater - Monmouth, IL
Featured Blues Review 1 of 4
Glenn Patrik - Nuthin’ But a Thang
11 songs; 52:54 minutes; Meritable
Style: Modern Electric Blues
With a straight razor stuffed in his boot and a guitar slung across his back, this journeyman guitarist, Glenn Patrik, has journeyed his way across America and the globe from gigs to jams to an appearance at the W.C. Handy Awards (now known as Blues Music Awards). Along the way he has played with a pantheon of Blues greats from Mississippi to Bankok, from L.A. to N.Y.C. and all points in between.
In search of musicians of whom he had only heard, Patrik says, "I’ve spent the last forty somethin’ years tryin’ to show up early, look sharp, and deliver the guitar/vocal sound that the boss was lookin’ for." Now, the singer, songwriter and guitarist is the boss, having just released his second independent CD on Shakehouse Records.
The Las Vegas resident has spent over four decades Bluesing since performing his very first show at age eight for a crowd of 3,000 people in his hometown of Kansas City, Kansas. Says his website, "Glenn Patrik brings a lifetime of struggle and soul, joy and pain and hard-driving blues playing to" ten originals of the eleven tracks on "Nuthin' But A Thang!"
There may not be any new ground broken here, but at least Glenn Patrik and his band know what the Blues are and don’t take the all-too-frequent detour down a "Rock" road. His Blues pedigree becomes evident from the first enjoyable notes of track one, "Don’t Call Me Daddy." The band swings up-tempo: bass and drums popping and the organ holds the bottom while Patrik expertly plays a few bars of Blue notes on guitar. Then the lyrics: "I can’t finance your life, and you know I ain’t lookin’ for a wife ... Don’t Call Me Daddy!" Yeah, baby; that’s the Blues.
Patrik’s partners are Ron Anaman - bass/vocals, Rusty Hall - keyboards, Thomas "Freight Train" Walker - drums/vocals. Additional assistance is provided by Pat Rizzo - saxophone on one number, Wayne Smith - bass on four cuts, and Nancy Franklin and Joseph Planett add vocals.
Track two slows the tempo slightly and features both a piano solo and a bass solo mid song while Patrik croons to his lover reaffirming words of his affection in "Don’tcha Know."
Being from Kansas City practically requires a cover of the classic song. Here, Patrik and crew lay down their own arrangement. It doesn’t really improve on the original, but it seems to set up the listener for the blistering guitar opening of track 4’s deep Blues, "The Bossman."
After a couple of missteps in the middle of the CD, the set closes strong with the last two numbers. "Last Night" is a grooving, intricate instrumental with accompanying live party sounds (like quiet chatter and a cocktail shaker). Hall’s organ gets deft workout leads while Patrik plays chords, then they switch mid-song.
For my money, "Other Side of Town" is the real winner of the set. Kicking off with some BB King sounding guitar, the mid-tempo song is replete with full band and background vocals. I will be playing this one on my radio show this week!
After 40 years on the Blues journey, Patrik has reached another milestone. His CD come across as joyful and fun loving, and if you are not having any fun on the highway, then you are missing the trip.
Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Thursdays from 7 - 8 pm and Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL
To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Blues Want Ads
NEW to the Blues? Sometimes it is hard for those new to the Blues to explore this journey called the Blues! Our Blues Basics spotlight introduces (or reminds experienced Blues fans) about a Blues artist, resource or subject worth knowing about.
This week we highlight a great Blues resource. Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia website were anyone can share information and knowledge about a subject. They have a huge amount of information about the Blues.
Want to know where Blues music came from, it's there. Want to know about what makes Blues lyrics special? It's there. Want to know about 12 Bar Blues forms or what notes in a music scale are actually "blue" notes? It's there. Everything from the early Delta musicians to today's Chicago Blues musicians and much more. CLICK HERE to check it out now.
You can also search their website for information on specific artists. For example, want to find out more about Sonny Boy Williamson? Click Here to see what they have.
It is a fantastic resource. Enjoy!
2009 Blues Blast Music Awards
Tickets On Sale NOW
Advanced tickets are only $25 and available now on our website. CLICK HERE to get yours now before they sell out.
This is a great show featuring some of the best Blues talent on the planet including Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Curtis Salgado, Matthew Skollar, Carlos Johnson Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross.
Join us for a gala celebration of the best in Blues music today! Buddy Guy's Legends is the most famous Blues Club in the entire world. But it is a Blues club and not a huge arena so there will be a limited number of tickets available for the show on October 29th. All this for the low price or $25. Get your tickets before they sell out, CLICK HERE!
Those with advanced tickets will be let in first and get the best seats. So get your tickets early and get there for
HOW TO GET THE BEST SEATS!! - You can get advanced tickets with great reserved seating by becoming a sponsor of the awards. Several packages and sponsor levels are available. It is a great way to advertise your Blues organization or product and see a GREAT show too. Sponsor packages start as low as $250 and are available until they sell out. (Packages are available to individuals too. You do NOT have to be an organization to be a sponsor!)
Sponsor packages include tickets with great reserved seating, Blues memorabilia (Can you say "goodie bag"?) and some Blues advertising and promotion. There are a limited number of packages available on a first come, first served basis so inquire NOW! For complete information CLICK HERE.
Blues Society News
Please submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or Word format ONLY.
Windy City Blues Society - Chicago, IL
The Chicago Blues Challenge Solo/Duo Competition will be held at 7:00pm Sunday, October 4th, 2009 at Harlem Avenue Lounge at 3701 Harlem Avenue in Berwyn, Illinois. The competitors are Dan Phelps, Country Boy, Matt Hendricks, Diamond Jim Greene, “Mississippi” Gabe Carter, Donna Herula, Nigel Mack and Charles Mack & Skibo. Admission is only $5 (no additional discounts- hey, it’s 8 acts for $5!) Don’t miss this one! For more info visit http://windycityblues.org/
Le Relatant Blues Society - Montreal, Canada
Quebec pianist and arthritis sufferer Claire Thériault will be competing in the 26th edition of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The Eastern division of the Arthritis Society is proud to join forces with La société de blues Le Relatant, a Quebec blues society, to support Claire along with Quebec City singer/songwriter and guitar player Denis Viel. Female blues pianists are a rare breed in the province of Quebec, and Claire Thériault is one of their most remarkable exponents. She will certainly prove to be an inspiration to people with severe diseases, as well as to those of us who are in good health.
West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, W.V.
The West Virginia Blues Society will hold its Third Annual Blues Competition at noon on October 3, 2009 at Christopher's Banquet Center, 104 Van Kirk Dr., Fairmont, WV . Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts will compete for cash prizes and WVBS sponsorship to the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.
8 competition slots will be filled by regional blues acts from all over West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and other states. This is the only Blues Talent Competition in West Virginia recognized by the Blues Foundation.
The first-place winner of Blues Competition will receive $750 dollars in cash and WVBS sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in early 2010. The second place winner will receive $200 in cash and third-place winner will receive $100 in cash.
Friends Of The Blues Shows - Kankakee IL
The Friends of the Blues 2009 Blues concert Series upcoming shows:
Tuesday, Oct 13, Too Slim & The Taildraggers, 7 p.m. , Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL 60915. (815) 936-1649. Tuesday, Oct 20, Paul Rishell & Anne Raines 7 p.m. , Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N Kinzie Ave (Route 50), Bradley IL 60915. (815) 936-1649
The Boston Blues Society - Boston, MA
2009 BOSTON BLUES CHALLENGE - The Boston Blues Society will hold this year’s Blues Challenge at 8 p.m. Nov. 1, 8, and 15 at Johnny D’s Uptown, 17 Holland St., (Davis Square) Somerville, Mass. The first two sessions will be semi-finals of four bands per night; with the finals, consisting of the winning two bands from each semi-final, competing on Nov. 15. The winner will be sponsored by the Boston Blues Society at the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January.
To enter, send a music sample (CD or MP3) and a $75 entrance fee (check or Paypal) to: firstname.lastname@example.org ; or to Boston Blues Society, PO Box 386, Maynard, MA 01754.
Bands from all over New England may compete. The deadline for entries is Oct. 11. The semi-finalists will be announced Oct. 19.
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
Saturday, October 3, 2009, the Illinois Central Blues Club and the Knights of Columbus Council 4179 bring you FOOD FOR BLUES, a special live outdoor blues fest to help feed the community.
The event will be held from 3:00 PM until 10:00 PM at the Lake Springfield Knights of Columbus Hall, 141 N. Lakewood Drive, Chatham. Featured blues artists include the 2009 winner of the ICBC Blues Challenge, Eric "Guitar" Davis and the Troublemakers, and Chicago great, Vernon Herrington and the Atomic Blues Band.
Eric "Guitar" Davis and the Troublemakers take the outdoor stage at 3:30 PM. Eric began playing with Chicago greats at the age of 10, and with his band the Troublemakers, was voted the best New Regional Act of 2009 for the Midwest states. Vernon Herrington and the Atomic Blues Band headline the show at 6:00 PM. Vernon first started playing at the age of 11 and was mentored by some of Chicago’s greatest blues artists. After working for decades as a sideman to many well known established blues artists, in 2008 he released West Side Blues.
Admission to the concert is a non-perishable food item. Cash donations are also accepted. All food items and money collected will be donated to the Holy Family Food Pantry. Seating is limited, so the public is encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Food & beverages available for purchase at the show. No coolers allowed.
BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - Oct 5 - Scottyboy Daniel Blues Band, Oct 12 - The Blues Deacons, Oct 19 - Andrew "Jr Boy" Jones, Oct 16 - Dan Sanchez & the Kings of Pleasure
Featured Blues Review 2 of 4
Sean Costello - Sean's Blues - A Memorial Retrospective
Run Time: 75:29
"Sean's Blues" was released on Sept. 29, 2009. The twenty song retrospect spans 1996 thru 2002, beginning when Sean Costello was just 17 years old. It includes three tracks from "Call The Cops" (1996), three from "Cuttin' In" (2000), two from "Moanin' For Mollasses" (2001), and twelve released for the first time, making it a must have for fans and collectors alike.
Blues great Tinsley Ellis once noted that Sean Costello was "The most gifted young blues guitarist on the scene ... a triple threat on guitar, vocals, and as a songwriter." The truth is blatant in these songs, all of which could arouse the perception of any great blues performer, living or dead, as to the legitimacy of this kid from Atlanta. Both his voice and his guitar playing were seasoned and practiced, revealing a deep passion and adoration for the music from a roots perspective. These are timeless blues songs, definitive and classic in style and sound, carried out in a passionate and exhilarating manner that's all Sean Costello. Listening to the music herein, it's easy to comprehend the sad reality that a great performer left this earth on April 15, 2008, just one day prior to his 29th birthday, from an accidental drug overdose.
Though the album consists primarily of long-established blues covers, the Costello compositions fit in effortlessly with the best. It opens with an enthusiastic Costello original, "Take Me Back", from "Call The Cops". The fast paced strut is followed by Sonny Boy Williamson's acoustic blues "Sail On". As different as these two songs are, they alert the listener to the genuine diversity that ensues throughout the album.
From the slick vocal aptitude and jump vibe of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Mellow Chick Swing", the sweet guitar distortion in Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues" (Susan Tedeschi on vocals), to the funky swagger of J. B. Lenoir's "Mojo Boogie", Sean displays an absolute working awareness for the music's excitement and charm.
The invigorating live recording of Johnny Guitar Watson's "Motor Head Baby" is a live experience paradigm, the ideal example of his charismatic stage show. Obviously a huge Otis Rush fan, he does his own thing with "Double Trouble", "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)", and "It Takes Time". "Lovin' Machine", "Treat Me Baby", "Your Love Is Amazing", and "You Don't Know What Love Is" are just a few examples of the quality previously unreleased tracks on the CD.
Though Sean left this world at too young an age, the silver lining is the awesome songs he left behind. "Sean's Blues" is the best blues compilation to be released in quite a while. A portion of the CD sales are to be contributed to the Sean Costello Memorial Fund For Bi-Polar Research.
Reviewer Brian Holland is a music journalist who resides in Massachusetts. www.briandholland.com
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Group Rate Hotel Rooms for the Blues Blast Music Awards
Blues Blast Magazine has put together an affordable group rate for hotel accommodations for the Blues Blast Music Awards October 29th at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. The Travelodge at 65 Harrison Street is just a block from Buddy Guys and rooms for the weekend are just $99 plus tax each night for either 2 doubles or a king size bed.
To get this great rate call group coordinator Darren Andrews at 312-376-1481 and mention the Blues Blast Music Awards. The rate is available from 10-28-09 to 11-2-09 so come for the show and stay the weekend in Chicago to visit some of the many other great Chicago Blues clubs while you are there. For complete hotel info CLICK HERE
The lineup for the awards show includes Kenny Neal, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Shirley Johnson, Albert Castiglia, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skollar, Carlos Johnson Eden Brent, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom, Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Bob Corritore, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Robin Rogers, The Insomniacs, Dave Herrero, Guy King, and Dave Gross. Advanced tickets for the show are only $25 and available now on our website. CLICK HERE to get yours now before they sell out.
Featured Blues Review 3 of 4
Jenni Muldaur - Dearest Darlin’
It should be no surprise that the daughter of Geoff and Maria Muldaur is an accomplished singer in her own right, having worked with the likes of Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithful and Todd Rundgren. It’s been seventeen years since the release of her first solo recording and Jenni Muldaur returns with a vengeance. She has selected a batch of songs that span the decades with many tracks having a strong R&B influence. Her sassy voice has a higher pitch to it that at times make Muldaur sound like a young girl. But in the next breath, she can shake the rafters with her powerful singing.
Muldaur gets excellent support throughout the project from a star-studded cast of musicians. The late Sean Costello is on guitar, Brian Jackson on keyboards (Gil Scott Heron), Brad Jones on bass, James Wormworth on drums (Tonight Show Band) and Lenny Pickett on sax (Tower of Power). A variety of guest musicians and backing vocalists make sure that the arrangements are fleshed out and present Muldaur in the best possible manner.
Opening with a couple of mournful shouts, Muldaur digs into “I’ve Got a Feeling”, a tune done by Big Maybelle. Her energetic vocal rides the slinky rhythm, punctuated by horn accents. “I’d Rather Live Like a Hermit” is a jump blues obscurity featuring some of Costello’s fine guitar work.
The title track is a Bo Diddley number done as a duet with Muldaur’s perky singing contrasting nicely with Joseph Arthur’s deeper tone. On “You Got Me Uptight”, Muldaur forceful singing pushes her voice to the point of breaking as Jackson’ keyboard work dances around the arrangement. Her performance on “There’s Another Place That I Can’t Go” perfectly captures the resignation of a lost love.
Many singers have tried to cover James Brown material and failed miserably. Muldaur’s version of “Lost Someone” comes up a bit short as she can’t quite summon enough power to match the razor-sharp accompaniment from the band. She closes the disc with her original tune, “Comatose Town”, a ballad that gets a lilting, upper register vocal that provides a dreamy conclusion to the project.
There is plenty to enjoy on this solid release. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another seventeen years for another release from Jenni Muldaur.
Review courtesy of Crossroads Blues Society.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Nominated for two 2009 Blues Blast Music Award
Best Traditional Blues Recording
Best Male Blues Artist
To Purchase the new CD CLICK HERE
To Read the CD review CLICK HERE
Featured Blues Review 4 of 4
Dennis Jones - Pleasure & Pain
Blue Rock Records
Dennis Jones is being promoted as the heir to the throne of guitar master once occupied by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. On his latest release, he presents a convincing argument that such claims are not mere hype and hyperbole. The all-original program features Jones on guitar & lead vocals backed by Michael Turner on drums and Tony Ruiz on bass guitar.
Jones has an engaging vocal style, which is evident on the opening cut, “Brand New Day”. This hard-hitting shuffle features a horn section of Jimmy Z and Lee Thornburg and a fleet-fingered solo from Jones. “Don’t Worry About Me” veers into a rock mode with a heavy funk beat. Jones turns in a dynamic solo that establishes that he has plenty of skill on the guitar.
One highlight is “Kill the Pain”, featuring a crunching guitar riff that drives this tale of a woman caught in the downward spiral of substance abuse. Jones plays with such intensity that it seems like he is trying to use his guitar to exorcise the demons plaguing the song’s protagonist.
The longest track, “Sunday Morning Rain”, is a ballad with an aching vocal from the leader. Jones lays down an a compelling guitar line over a driving rhythm on “Home Tonight” and burns through the straight-ahead rocker, “Try Not to Lie”. He ventures into the realm of social commentary on “I Want it Yesterday”, complete with another monster guitar riff and a concise, but intense, solo passage. The closing track, a tribute to “Hot Sauce”, gives Jones another opportunity to wring plenty of hot licks out of his guitar.
While Dennis Jones doesn’t offer anything you haven’t heard before, he injects every performance with energy and passion that grabs your attention. There is no question that he is a very talented guitar player. His vocals aren’t forced – he just sings the song and stays away from the vocal gymnastics that victimizes so many performers. This is one of those recordings that you’ll have a hard time taking off your CD or MP3 player.
Review courtesy of Crossroads Blues Society.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.
Live Blues Calendar
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Performance dates submitted by Musicians, Clubs, Blues Societies and Blues festivals.
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