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Thanks to all who attended the August 8th event at Bull Falls Brewery.

It was a GREAT turnout for our second annual "Thank You Party."

Great crowd, great brews, great band . . . how could you go wrong?

Blues Doctor News

Who's on First -- July 27, 2016  •  Best Blues Albums of 2015



            Blues Festival Season continues in the Upper Midwest, the U.S. and most of the rest of the World.  Lots and lots of Blues and related events in Wisconsin and area.  Decisions, decisions, decisions!! 

            A NOTE (again) about festivals (ID'd in RED) - remember not all are strictly Blues events.  Some are of general interest located in Wisconsin or North Central Wisconsin, have a Blues element or related music (Americana, R&B, Soul, Funk, etc.) and some just look like a lot of FUN!  Pick one, pick two or more and ENJOY!!

            If you don't see a Blues event/fest you know is coming up in Wisconsin or in one of our neighboring states let me know the name, date/dates and where it's held.  If you have additional info that's NOT available on the web please include all you can.  I'll do my best to get any such into the next edition. 

            As always if life is gettin' ya down the Doc has a cure!  Get out and LISTEN to some LIVE Blues music.  It'll fix ya right up!  Warm ya up too!  Better then penicillin.  There are a WHOLE bunch of opportunities below and in the attachment.


BLUES ALERTS:    The CHRIS O'LEARY BAND will be at the Big Bull Brewery Beer Garden August 8th and MARCIA BALL is scheduled in Minneapolis and Fond du Lac July 27 & 29.  Get the details and see TONS more in the attachment! 

            Festival action??  July 28 the CENTRAL PARK HONKYTONK SESSIONS will be held in Central Park in Madison with the Beth Kille Band, NIKKI HILL BAND and MARCIA BALL starting at 5 PM for FREE!!  BLUES ON THE CHIPPEWA is fast approaching Aug. 5 thru 7 in Durand and the PRAIRIE DOG BLUES FESTIVAL is coming up July 29 & 30 in Prairie du Chien as is the FARGO BLUES FEST in Fargo, NORTH DAKOTA.  See all the details and more festivals in the attachment.          

            Should two weeks pass and you still haven't gotten your copy of "Who's On..." please check either the Great Northern Blues Soc. site or the Madison Blues Soc. web page.  Both generally post the latest edition. 

            If you know any fellow Blues & Blues Rock fans that don't receive "Who's On First" let them know they can drop me a line requesting a copy.  I'll be happy to add them to the distribution list!



            I'm STILL looking for any Blues gigs, festivals and related events that you know about that aren't shown in this or an earlier "Who's On...".  If you have information about an upcoming gig or Blues happening - PLEASE - drop me a line with the who, where, when and other details and I'll consider adding it to the next edition!  If you know of a CHANGE (date, location, artists appearing) in a listed event not shown in the latest edition that will STILL be relevant in the NEXT please let me know as well.  This goes double for Blues/Blues Rock bands in or not shown in "Who's On..."!



            SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS RECORDS ACQUIRES ARHOOLIE:  Smithsonian has picked up the catalogue of Arhoolie Records from funder Chris Strachwitz & his partner.  This includes over 350 albums released since 1960.  This means the catalogue will continue to be available to music fans.

            LOCAL FAVORITES LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS RECORD NEW ALBUM:  Lil' Ed and his band have finished recording 16 songs for a new album to be released in September.  The album has yet to be named.

            BLUES ROCK LEGEND LONNIE MACK PASSES:  One of the first true guitar hero's of Rock and Blues Rock has joined the big Gig above.  Lonnie Mack died April 21st at the age of 74 from natural causes.  Mack has been laid to rest near where he grew up in Aurora, Indiana.  A personal favorite of mine he will be missed.

            BENEFIT FOR TWEED FUNK'S "SMOKEY" HOLMAN PLANNED:  "Smokey" is the bands front man and has been diagnosed with multiple Myeloma cancer and in August will undergo a stem cell transplant.  To help pay the medical bills Anodyne Coffee in Milwaukee will host a benefit with doors opening at 5 PM August 24th and music starting at 6 PM.

            Scheduled guests include Marvelous Mac, Timothy Charles & the Blind Fiction, GREG KOCH, TWEED FUNK, SHONN HINTON, THE BLUES DISCIPLES with Spec. guest REV. RAVEN!  Suggested Donation is $15.              


Memphis will be rockin' from January 31st to February 4th of 2017 with the 33rd IBC!  If you're a Blues fan and have never attended - give HARD consideration to taking this event in next year.  Acts from all over the World playing venues up and down Beale Street!  One great big tasty dose of the Blues!      

           2016 BLUES MUSIC AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNED:  Earlier in May the International Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 2016 Blues Music Awards.  Sad to say although Wisconsin's own CASH BOX KINGS were nominated in THREE categories - Blues Album of the Year, Band of the Year plus Traditional Blues Album - they didn't win.

            Among the winners were DUKE ROBILLARD for Acoustic Album of the year, DOUG MACLEOD for Acoustic Artist, BUDDY GUYtook Blues Album honors and VICTOR WAINWRIGHT & THE WILD ROOTS won Best Blues Band.

            Best New Artist Album was taken by MR. SIPP for THE MISSISSIPPI BLUES CHILD and BUDDY GUY won again for Contemporary Blues Album.  SHEMEKIA COPELAND was awarded Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the year while this year's Contemporary Blues Male Artist is JOE LOUIS WALKER.  WALTER TROUT took home Rock Blues Album of the year for BATTLE SCARS.  The Soul Blues Album for 2016 is THIS TIME FOR REAL by BILLY PRICE & OTIS CLAY.  The winning Traditional Blues Album is DESCENDANTS OF HILL COUNTRY by the CEDRIC BURNSIDE PRO-JECT.  For the REMAINING winners go to

            NOMINATIONS FOR LIVING BLUES AWARDS ANNOUNCED & VOTING OPEN:  If you want a voice you BETTER VOTE QUICK!!  Fans have ONLY until JULY 15 to cast a ballot in Living Blues Reader's pole.  Nominations are now open for Male Blues Artists of the year, Female Blues Artist of the year, Most Outstanding Blues Singer, Musician (guitar), Musician (harp), Musician (keyboard), Best Live Performer, Best NEW Blues Album, Best Reissue Recording, Best Blues DVD and Best Blues book of 2015.  In a LOCAL note Smokey from Tweed Funk has been nominated in the Most Outstanding Blues Singer category!!  Barrelhouse Chuck who plays in Wisconsin fairly often has been nominated for Keyboards.  Area favorite Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials are up for Best Live Performer.  To SEE ALL nominees & to cast YOUR vote go to!  

           BLUES HALL OF FAME:  Is open to the public down in Memphis, TN and recently the museum extended its hours to SEVEN days 10 AM to 5 PM Monday thru Saturday and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday.

Costs are $10 for adults and $8 for students ages 13 to 18.  Take it in if you're there or plan to.



            Musicians who perform or performed Blues, Gospel, R&B and Soul born between July 24th & August 14th include MIKE BLOOMFIELD 7/28, Henry Brown 7/25, Charlie Christian July 29, George Clinton 7/22, Willie "Popsy" Dixon 7/26, BUDDY GUY July 30, MICK JAGGER July 26, JUNIOR KIMBROUGH July 28, Roy Milton 7/31, Gene Philips 7/25, Ikey Robinson 7/28, Roy Rogers July 28, Otis Taylor July 30, Aaron Williams 7/24, LOUIS ARMSTRONG August 4, Lynn August 8/7, Gladys Bentley 8/12, Walter Brown sometime in August, Willie Brown 8/6, Albert Castiglia Aug. 12, Sam Collins 8/11, ROBERT CRAY Aug. 1, Billy Flynn Aug. 11, Denny Freeman 8/7, Roy Gaines 8/12, Lem Johnson 8/6, Trudy Lynn Aug. 9, MAGIC SLIM Aug. 7, PERCY MAYFIELD Aug. 12, Pat MacDonald Aug. 6, Jimmy McCracklin 8/13, Willie Nix 8/6, Big Walter Price Aug 2, SON SEALS Aug. 13, Robert Shaw 8/9, Howard Tate 8/14, Joe Tex 8/8, Mose Vinson Aug. 7, Mercy Dee Walton 8/3, Baby Boy Warren Aug. 13 and JIMMY WITHERSPOON born Aug. 8.   

            I ask EACH AND EVERYONE of you to lift up a glass of something and wish ALL of the above a VERY VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Some are gone but their music lives on.  If you'd like to know more about any of the above Google their name - most will show up in Wikipedia, Allmusic, Reverbnation, their own site or somewhere else on the web.

            You can also check many of them out in books such as Robert Santelli's excellent THE BIG BOOK OF BLUES - a biographical encyclopedia, Brian Robertson's LITTLE BLUES BOOK illustrated by R. Crumb, BLUES FOR DUMMIES written by Lonnie Brooks, Cub Koda and Wayne Baker Brooks, THE BLUES - THE EXPERTS GUIDE TO THE BEST BLUES RECORDINGS edited by Michael Eriewine, Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra and Cub Koda or a number of other works about Blues & related artists.



           The most recent Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues albums list came out July 17 and has Albert Castiglia's latest BIG DOG STILL in first, the Tedeschi Trucks Band LET ME GET BY in 2nd, William Bell's THIS IS WHERE I LIVE third, I STILL DO by Eric Clapton moves into 4th and THE CHICAGO WAY is now fifth.   

            The rest of the current Top Ten Blues albums are from Janiva Magness, Allen Toussaint, the Mike Eldred Trio, Moreland & Arbuckle and the Lucky Losers.   

            The July 4th Top Five Blues songs include "Anyhow" from the Tedeschi Trucks Band, a song done by Tony Joe White, Curtis Salgado's "Unknown", "Rolling On" from Peter Wolf and "Off The Ground" by the Record Company.  There must still be a problem with their web site cause Tony Joe White's album doesn't have a song titled "Unknown".

            In Blues on the Wisconsin Roots Music chart of the same date Tweed Funk's COME TOGETHER remains at #1 and the Jimmy's HOT DISH stays at #7.  The remaining recordings come from other genres.     

            The Living Blues Magazine Radio chart comes out every month covering the PREVIOUS month.  The latest was totaled July 1st reflecting JUNE plays has Tinsley Ellis's RED CLAY SOUL at #1. Big Jan Atkinson & Bob Corritore's joint effort HOUSE PARTY AT BIG JON'S is number two, Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne's latest JUMPIN' & BOPPIN' third, the Nick Moss Band's FROM THE ROOT TO THE FRUIT is in 4th and Albert Castiglia's BIG DOG came in at num. five.

            The next five albums in Living Blues top ten of the same date are from Curtis Salgado, Lisa Mann, Moreland & Arbuckle, Big Harp George and William Bell.



           Fest action is REALLY heating up.   Get all the details in the attachment!  Many fests have posting their 2016 dates and in most cases partial or complete bills.  I'll add them if they're not already listed to the attachment over the month or so as well as additional info as it comes in and I have the time.  If you see an event that looks interesting but no or only a few acts are listed look it up on the web. 



            A few Musical or Blues happenings coming up in the near future in or around Wausau or within a reasonable drive (about a 100 miles) that you might want to consider include 20 Watt Tombstone on the 400 Block July 30th, the CHRIS O'LEARY BAND Aug. 8 at the Bull Falls Brewery Beer Garden, Big Mouth & the Power Tool Horns July 29 at Friday on the Fox in Green Bay, MARCIA BALL July 29 in Fond du Lac, Rev. Raven w/Westside Andy July 25 in Green Bay, the Blues Disciples 7/26 at Pullman's in Appleton, the Whiskey Belles July 27 on the 400 Block, Cadillac Pete & the Heat July 30 in Stevens Point at JOE BUCHER'S BLUES FEST, Bobby Evans Band July 30 at the EAA Convention in Oshkosh, Michael Murphy & the Mob July 30 at Classic's in Shawano, the MILE OF MUSIC FESTIVAL Aug. 4 thru 7 in downtown Appleton and Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo 7/29 at the Great Dane.  Get details on these and see even more in the attachment.   



            Among BLUES or other special music further afield you may be interested in the Jimmy's at the Boerner Botanical Gardens July 38,MARCIA BALL July 27 in Minneapolis, the CENTRAL PARK HONKY TONK SESSIONS in Madison featuring NIKKI HILL and MARCIA BALLRONNIE BAKER BROOKS July 29 in St. Paul, MN, the BILLY FLYNN Band 7/30 in Oconomowoc and BOBBY MESSANO July 30 in Minneapolis.

            Festivals of interest include PRAIRIE DOG BLUES FESTIVAL in Prairie du Chien July 29 & 30, the FARGO BLUES FEST on the same dates in Fargo, ND, FREELAND BLUES FESTIVAL July 30 in Freeland, ILLINOIS, BLUES, BREWS & BRATS STREET FEST also on the 30th in Waterville, OHIO, the ATWOOD FESTIVAL 7/30 & 31 in Madison, the WISCONSIN STATE FAIR in West Allis Aug. 4 thru 14, KATY GUILLEN & THE GIRLS Aug 5th in Milwaukee and GRACE POTTER also on the 5th in Milwaukee.  Find EVEN MORE Top artists playing the state and area in "Who's On...".



            If you're looking for a Blues fix on the radio and are South of Wausau tune in every Saturday to "Blues Cafe" with Papa Joe starting at 3 until 7 PM on WWSP's 89.9 FM out of Stevens Point.  Also "Blues Friday" starting at 6 PM until 12 AM on Rhinelander's WXPR 91.7 FM and 91.8 in Wausau.  You can get BOTH on the World wide web as well NO matter where ya live!



Yours in the Blues;


Blues Doctor

Click here for PDF of this year's event posterThank you!

We want to thank everyone that attended this year's Blues Café on March 12, 2016. It was a definite success, and that would not happen without your support -- it is appreciated. 

Also, a heartfelt thank you to almost 100 volunteers that help make the event so special. Without you, we'd be sunk. 

We felt that all five bands were great, and if there are varying opinions out there we would sincerely appreciate any feedback that you want to offer. Favorite band? Any other acts that you'd like to see at future shows? Things that could be done better? We'd like to hear it all.

Keep in mind that we also count on society memberships. Every $10 goes toward the support of our society, and is vital in our continuing effort to spread the gospel of the blues!

Once again, thanks to all for attending!

Mike "Mr. T" Tatro
GNBS President

Thought we'd share a few comments about the show . . .


Thank you, thank you, thank you!! To the GNBS crew for that AMAZING show yesterday! The 2016 Blues Cafe was beyond compare! BEST CAFE EVER!! It was a showcase of the finest talent out there! The high energy of AWATH and Left Lane Cruiser, followed by the laid-back Ray Fuller and soulful Lionel Young, capped off by the guitar ripping Albert Cummings...brilliant! When I first saw the lineup I was giddy with anticipation and it was certainly NOT a disappointment! Kudos to whomever put that lineup together! I can only think that this genius was also responsible for the lineup for BBF in August...quite possibly the flush toilet and sliced bread as well! Well done and THANKS again! It was a terrific show! -- Shawn from Wausau

BEST BLUES CAFE EVER! -- Derek from Wausau 

Great job on the event. LOVE THE SIGN ON THE STAGE. I know I mentioned it to you. But, to me, it added a lot. -- Peter from Grafton

Great show! -- Mitch  

2016 Blues Cafe Blues Festival, Wausau WI! What a great crowd of dancers we had on this spring loaded floor! Put this festival on your 2017 must attend list! -– Sherri from Columbus, Ohio 

Thanks it was an incredible night of great music and all the bands were great, especially Aaron Williams and Albert Cummings. -- Stephanie Howell

As someone who has been involved in the live entertainment industry for 30+ years, I want to applaud you for stepping away from the 'norm' with blues shows, merely hiring a band to bring their PA in for your event. Too many organizations cut corners and go the cheap route. It's obvious that you care about the presentation of the music. -- Stuart



The Great Northern Blues Society meets every second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm, (in the back room) at Loppnow's Bar, 1502 N. Third Street in Wausau.
All members are invited and encouraged to attend.
Email us for more information or with any questions.

2016 Blues Café Sponsors

Compass Insurance

Wells Fargo

Sconni's Alehouse & Eatery

Jerry's Music of Wausau


City Grill



Blues Foundation Affiliate