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Great Northern Blues Society is happy to announce they're bringing in one of the best blues bands in the country for a free concert at Bull Falls Brewery on East Thomas Street in Wausau, WI.

6:00 PM

The Chris O'Leary Band will be performing for three hours, free of charge.

Just our way of saying "thank you" to members, volunteers, and corporate sponsors. Without YOU we couldn't continue doing what we do.

Blues Doctor News

Who's on First -- July 13, 2016  •  Best Blues Albums of 2015



            The Music Gods are GOOD!!  It's Blues Festival Season in the Upper Midwest as well as the whole country!  OK - plus most of the rest of the World.  Lots and lots of Blues and related events in Wisconsin and area.  STILL 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 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 on it 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 things 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.


BLUES ALERTS:  July 11 Rockin' Johnny Burgin & Aki Kumar guest with the Dave Potter Trio at Boundaries in Beloit.  You can also catch them July 12 at the Ital. Comm. Cent. in Milwaukee.  July 18 the BEL AIRS are at the Ital. Comm. Center in Milwaukee and BRYAN LEE plays there July 19th.  GEORGE THOROGOOD is at the Minnesota Zoo July 20 and in Oshkosh at the Leach Auditorium July 21.  TAB BENOIT comes to Racine's Route 20 Outhouse July 16.  See many more on the attachment!

            Festival action??  BASTILLE DAYS runs July 14 - 17.  Acts of interest to Blues fans include REV. RAVEN w/WESTSIDE ANDY, DWAYNE DOPSIE, THE BEL AIRS plus the ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD and lots more!!  July 28 theCENTRAL PARK HONKYTONK SESSIONS are held in Central Park in Madison with the Beth Kille Band, NIKKI HILL BAND and MARCIA BALL starting at 5 PM for FREE!!

            Further away the SIOUX FALLS JAZZ FESTIVAL may interest some of you on July 14 - 16 featuring JANIVA MAGNESS,TAB BENOIT, CHUBBY CARRIER, KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD, COCO MONTOYA and  STEEPWATER!  If you'd rather travel to IOWA - try BBQ, LOO & BLUES TOO in Waterloo with DR. DUKE TUMATOE and the RUSTY WRIGHT BAND to name a few.


            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 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 GUY took 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 forBATTLE 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.



            Performers in Blues, Gospel, R&B and Soul born between July 10th & July 23 include Barrel-house Chuck 7/10, Buster Benton July 19, George Clinton 7/22, Willie Cobbs July 15, Dion DiMucci 7/18, Jody Edwards (Butter Beans of Butter Beans & Susie) July 23, BLIND BOY FULLER 7/10, Peppermint Harris July 17, "Screaming" Jay Hawkins 7/18, Chuck Jackson (Del-Vikings) July 22, "Millie" Jackson 7/15, BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON July 11, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson 7/15, Floyd Jones July 21, Little Freddie King 7/19, Denise LaSalle July 16, Sammy Lawhorn 7/12, Howard "Guitar" Luedtke July 20, LONNIE MACK 7/18, Martha Reeves July 18, Jerekus Singleton 7/11, MAVIS STAPLES July 18, Claude & Clifford Trenier 7/14, Washboard Sam July 15, Casey Bill Weldon 7/10, Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams July 13 and Smokey Wilson 7/11.   

            I ask ALL 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 RECORDINGSedited 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 4 and has Albert Castiglia's latest BIG DOGSTILL in first, the Alexis P. Sutter Band's ALL FOR LOVING YOU moving to 2nd, Moreland & Arbuckle's PROMISED LAND OR BUST 3rd, LOVE WINS AGAIN from Janiva Magness moving from 6th to 4th and Shaun Murphy's IT WON'T STOP RAINING charging from 17th last week to #5.  

            The rest of the current Top Ten Blues albums are from Royal Southern Brotherhood, Baptist Town, the Mike Eldred Trio, William Bell, Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne and the Tedeschi Trucks Band for Let Me Get By.   

            The July 4th Top Five Blues songs include a song done by Tony Joe White, Curtis Salgado's "Unknown", "Rolling On" from Peter Wolf, "Livin' In A World" by Alexis P. Suter and another unknown tune by the Bridget Kelly Band.  They must have a problem with their web site.

            In Blues on the Wisconsin June 19th Roots Music chart Tweed Funk's COME TOGETHER remains  #1 and the Jimmy'sHOT DISH returns to the chart at #7.  The remaining recordings of the leading Wisconsin recordings represent other genres.     

            The Living Blues Magazine Radio chart comes out every month covering the PREVIOUS month.  The most recent was totaled July 1st reflecting JUNE plays with Tinsley Ellis's RED CLAY SOUL at #1. Big Jan Atkinson & Bob Corritore's joint effortHOUSE 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.  You MAY still want to travel but there's action in the state.   WISCONSIN events that may interest you coming up in the next few weeks include BASTILLE DAYS in Milwaukee July 14 - 17, the SIOUX FALLS JAZZ FESTIVAL July 14 to 16, BBQ, LOO & BLUES TOO! in Waterloo, IOWA, the LAID BACK FESTIVAL on Northerly Island in Chicago, IL July 16 and PORT FISH DAY July 16 in Port Washington to name a few.  Get all the details in the attachment plus more events!

            Many fests have posting their 2016 dates and in many 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. 



            Musical or Blues happenings coming up in the near future in or around Wausau or within a reasonable drive (about a 100 miles) you can choose from Cadillac Pete & the Heat July 30 in Stevens Point at JOE BUCHER'S BLUES FEST, 20 Watt Tombstone 7/15 at the Polack Inn in Wausau, the Dave Steffen Band July 12 at Pullman's in Appleton, the Charles Walker Band July 16 at Malarkey's Pub in Wausau, Bobby Evans Band July 30 at the EAA Convention in Oshkosh, Paul Filipowicz July 14 at the Ten O One Club in Green Bay, Howard Luedtke & Blue Max July 16 at Wausau's Great Dane, the Pumps July 17 at the Sand Bar in Lake Wissota and Donnie Pick & the Road Band July 16 at the Rock Island Resort in Merrill.  See these and more in the attachment.   



            Among BLUES or other special music further afield you may be interested in are the ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD July 10 at SPACE in Evanston, IL, TAB BENOIT July 15 at the Cabooze in Minneapolis, MN, ROCKIN' JOHNNY BURGIN & AKI KUMAR July 12 at the Ital. Comm. Center, RICK ESTRIN & THE NIGHTCATS July 15 at Famous Dave's in Minneapolis, MN PLUS AKI KUMAR & ROCKIN' JOHNNY BURGINSTEELY DAN & STEVE WINWOOD at the BMO Harris Pavilion in Milwaukee July 16 and TAB BENOIT at the Route 20 Outhouse in Racine 7/16.  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