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18th Annual Blues Cafe

18th Annual Blues Café Lineup

March 11, 2017

Rothschild Pavilion
Rothschild, WI

1 PM Joyanne Parker & Sweet Tea
3 PM Jimmy Nick & Dont' Tell Mama
5 PM Ghost Town Blues Band
7 PM Brandon Santini
9 PM Becky Barksdale
Bing Futch
Acoustic act between main stage acts
Tickets only $20 advance / $25 door
Click here for PDF of this year's event poster
Click on image for PDF
of this year's event poster


18th Annual Blues Cafe

Blues Doctor News

Who's on First -- November 30, 2016  •  Best Blues Albums of 2015



            Another FINE day in the North Land!  Why?  No snow!!  Can't go on much longer but I'll take it when I can get it.   Still no shortage of HOT AIR about the election and what may be coming.

            Yet another bad week for music lovers.  SHARON JONES of the Dap-Kings passed on after battling pancreatic cancer November 18 in Cooperstown, NY.  I loved what she and the band did. 

            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. 

            If life (and politics) (and the weather) are STILL 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.



            Festival action??  Mostly over in our climate until warmer weather and early Spring.  Certainly not a festival but you might want to check the schedule of the CANADIAN PACIFIC HOLIDAY TRAINstarting on page 6 in the attachment.  COLIN JAMES is on board and will play a 30 minute set at most stops in ILLINOIS, MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN and IOWA between Dec. 2 and 14th.  How can ya' pass this up!  Christmas, Steam Train and BLUES!!!               

            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 list!



            I'm ALWAYS 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..."!



            LEON RUSSELL DIES:  Russell passed November 13 at the age of 74.  He played multiple instruments plus writing & playing many types of music including Blues, Blues-Rock and R&B.  Just found out that when he started in the business at age 14 he played in a group he founded that included J.J. CALE - the Starlighters.

            TED HARVEY - HOUND DOG TAYLOR DRUMMER - PASSES:  Ted was 85 years old when he died of natural causes Oct. 6th in his hometown of Chicago.  Ted appeared on all of Taylor's albums as well as touring with his band.  Harvey also played with Big Walter Horton, J.B. Hutto, Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Dawkins and many more.

            BARRELHOUSE CHUCK RECOVERING FROM CANCER:  Chuck like many musicians has a hard time affording much less getting medical insurance.  After fighting cancer he's accumulated some stiff bills.  A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help.  If you'd like to lend a hand go to the following: and look for the one for Barrelhouse Chuck.

            TWEED FUNK'S "SMOKEY" HOLMAN MAKING PROGRESS:  "Smokey" received his stem cell transplant a few weeks ago which hopefully will improve his health.  Looks like he'll be in Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa and then the Milwaukee VA Hospital for a week.  The band hopes to start playing again early in 2017.                  


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!      

           BLUES HALL OF FAME:  Remains open to the public down in Memphis, TN.  The Hall now has  extended its hours to SEVEN days from 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, Soul and other related musical forms  born between Nov. 27 and Dec. 10 follow:

                      GREGG ALLMAN, Joan Armatrading, Blues Boy Willie, Jerry Butler, Blind John Davis, Larry Davis, Blind Roosevelt Graves, Guitar Slim, Lucille Hegamin, JIMI HENDRIX, Smokin' Joe Kubek, Little Jimmy King, LITTLE RICHARD, John-Alex Mason, BROWNIE MC GHEE, ROBERT NIGHTHAWK, Shuggie Otis, Billy Paul, Lou Rawls, Jimmy Smith, "POP" STAPLES, Josh White Jr., JUNIOR WELLS and SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON II (Rice Miller) all entered this World within this same two week period.   

            LIFT up a glass of whatever floats your boat and wish each and everyone above a VERY VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Some may be 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 is dated Nov. 26 and has Colin James BLUE HIGHWAYS still in #1, CAB DRIVING MAN from Mississippi Heat second, Bobby Rush'sPORCUPINE MEAT #3, the Fabulous Thunderbirds STRONG LIKE THAT moving to #4 and Norah JonesDAY BREAKS in fifth.     

            The rest of the current Top Ten Blues albums are from the Bruce Katz Band, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, David Bromberg, Deb Ryder and LIZ MANDEVILLE from Tomah.  Her Grandparents lived in Wausau.   

            This weeks Top Five Blues songs in the Roots Music Report are "Off The Ground" from the Record Company #1, "I'm Still Here" done by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings second, "You Say You Will" by WISCONSIN'S OWN Jimmy's third, "The Last Go Round" from Mississippi Heat 4th and "Rollin" On" by Peter Wolf holds down the #5 spot.  

            In Blues on the Wisconsin Roots Music chart GIMME THE JIMMYS and HOT DISH both by the Jimmy's remained on the chart as does Tweed Funk's COME TOGETHER.  The remaining Wisconsin charted recordings are in other genres.     

            The Living Blues Magazine Radio chart comes out every month covering the PREVIOUS month.  As of Nov. 1st the October plays were totaled and have Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials latest THE BIG SOUND OF LIL' ED #1, Sugar Ray & the Bluetones SEEING IS BELIEVING #2, Bobby Rush's PORCUPINE MEATthird, Duke Robillard & his all-star combo's BLUES FULL CIRCLE fourth and Lurrie Bell's CAN'T SHAKE THIS FEELING still at number five.

            The next five albums in the most recent Living Blues top ten are from Ronnie Earl & the Broad-casters, Mitch Kashmar, Wausau's own LIZ MANDEVILLE, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Big Head Blues Club (Big Head Todd).



           Fest action is just about done until things warm up in our area.  



            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 Hip Pocket December 31st for New Years at Sentry World in Stevens Point, 20 Watt Tombstone 12/09 at Uncle Don's in Gillett, NICK MOSS BAND Dec. 10 at Malarkey's Pub in Wausau, Highway 414 Dec. 10 at the Nickle in Oshkosh, Big Mouth & the Power Tool Horns Dec. 3 at Anduzzi's in Howard, Paul Filipowicz Dec. 17 at Wausau's Intermission, Highway 414 Dec. 3 at the Intermission in Wausau, Lil' Davy Max Band Dec. 2 at O'Marro's Public House in Oshkosh, Howard Luedtke & Blue Max Dec. 10 at the Snout Saloon in Chippewa Falls, Big Dog Murphy & the Mob 12/3 at Banjo's Bar in Waupaca and the Dave Steffen Band Dec. 2 at the Fire House Bar in De Pere.  Get details on these and more in the attachment.   



            Among BLUES or other special music further afield that might capture you're interest are the NICK MOSS BAND Dec. 9 at Shank Hall in Milwaukee, LOS LOBOS Dec. 15 at SPACE in Evanston, IL, BOBBY MESSANO and the Lyran Club in Rockford, IL Dec. 2, DEMETRIA TAYLOR Dec. 10 at the Red Dot in Wauwatosa, DAVINA & THE VAGABONDS Dec. 3 at Famous Dave's in Minneapolis, MN, TORONZO CANNON with JIMMY NICK at SPACE in Evanston, IL Dec. 3, the DUKE ROBILLARD BAND Dec. 6 in Evanston, IL at SPACE and Dec. 8 for the Crossroads Blues Soc. at the Mendedssohn PAC in Rockford, IL.



            If you're looking for a Blues fix on the radio tune into "Blues Friday" starting at 6 PM until 12 AM on Rhinelander's WXPR 91.7 FM and 91.8 in Wausau.  You can also pick it up 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