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Friday, June 17th
7:00-8:00 pm – The Leman Quartet
8:30-10:00 pm – Bird Dog Blues Band
Saturday, June 18th
2:30-4:00 pm – Left Wing Bourbon Band
4:30-6:00 pm – The Jimmys
6:30-8:00 pm – Brent Johnson and the Call Up
8:30-10:00 pm – Nick Moss Band

Critters and Blues will be held Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Central Wisconsin Convention and Expo Center in Rothschild Wisconsin.

The event features activities for all ages including: a visit from some of the furry friends from New Life Pet Adoption Center, face painting, children's games, and the night capping off with great Blues music from some of Wisconsin top Blues and Blues/Rock bands.

All money raised from the event will go directly to fund the New Life Pet Adoption Center. More Information about the center is available here.
The Critters Event
Starting at Noon we will have family friendly events including some furry friends from New Life, face painting, childrens games, an accoustic performance from J-Me Baptist and more. This event is free. Donations will be accepted.

The Blues Event
Starting at 5:00 PM, join us for 3 amazing Blues bands. Bands include Something Less Damaged, Whiskey Train, and Bobby Blues Tortured Soul Band.‚Äč Charge for this event is $10 at the door.


Blues Doctor News

Who's on First -- May 18, 2016  •  Best Blues Albums of 2015



       You'll find that this edition is rather LONG!  That's cause' we're getting into FESTIVAL SEASON and I've added a whole bunch MORE to this edition.  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 event name, date/dates and where it's held. 

            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 some opportunities below and in the attachment.


BLUES ALERTS:  JOHN FOGERTY will be at the Riverside in Milwaukee May 22nd at 8 PM.  The FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS play SPACE in Evanston, IL the same night and R&B & Soul great ARETHA FRANKLIN comes to Milwaukee's Riverside June 3.

            If you need a FESTIVAL that's not TOO far away take a look at the bill for Madison's WORLD'S LARGEST BRAT FEST May 27th thru 30th.  Another possibility is BUCKY'S BLUESFEST & CRAWFISH BOIL at Bucky's Pub in Okauchee.  You'll find details in the attached.


            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!



            And GREAT NEWS it is!!  The Mississippi Valley Blues Soc. (MVBS) just announced that the MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL is returning in 2016 on July 1st & 2nd for its 31st year!  It's held on a fantastic site - Le Claire Park - on the Mississippi River in downtown Davenport, IOWA.

            Unfortunately MVBS had to cancel the fest in 2015 due to lack of sponsorship.  NOTE - YOU can help bring this one back!  MVBS is seeking corporate & individual sponsors and will be setting up a Go-Fund-Me campaign soon.  To donate and for more information check their web site at



            ALWAYS looking for any Blues gigs, festivals and related events that you know about that you don't see in the latest "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..."!



            TWEED FUNK'S "SMOKEY" HOLMAN DIAGNOSED W/ MULTIPLE MYELOMA:  "Smokey" is the bands front man and he's started treatment with chemotherapy and later this Summer will undergo a stem cell transplant.  This has caused the band to CANCELL all engagements between July 15 and October 15 of this year.

            On a happier note the band released their NEW album titled COME TOGETHER in late April and are looking forward to upcoming release parties as well as their other dates.  Send out a prayer for Smokey and his band mates.              


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 this month 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 in any.

            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   

           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.



            Among performers in Blues, Gospel, R&B and Soul born between May 15 and the 28th are Wisconsin's own Robert Allen Jr May 21, Little Willie Anderson May 21, Slick Ballinger May 26, Dud Bascomb May 16, Jimmy Blythe May 20, J.C. Burris 5/15, Jaybird Coleman May 20, Roger Earl of Foghat 5/16, Dusty Hill 5/19, TAJ MAHAL May 17, Sara Martin on the 18th, "Papa" Charlie McCoy the 26th, Junior Parker 5/27, MAMIE SMITH May 26, Dave Specter 5/21, JIMMY THACKERY on the 19th, BIG JOE TURNER 5/18, Hilton Valentine of the Animals 5/21, T-BONE WALKER May 28, Lee "Shot" Williams on the 21st and Billy Wright also on the 21st. 

            So let's lift up a glass of whatever and wish each and every one of them 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 some-where 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 latest Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues albums list appeared May 8th with Curtis Salgado's brand new THE BEAUTIFUL LOWDOWN moving to 1st, the Tedeschi Trucks Band's LET ME GET BY 2nd, LOVE WINS AGAIN from Janiva Magness in third, Eric Lindell'sMATTERS OF THE HEART moved to 4th and GIVE IT BACK TO YOU by the Record Company holding on to 5th.  

            The rest of the current Top Ten recordings are by Toronzo Cannon, Guy King, Moreland & Arbuckle, Mavis Staples and Buddy Guy.

            The weeks Top Five Blues songs from the same report are "Unknown" by Curtis Salgado,  "Anyhow" by the Tedeshi Trucks Band, "Born To Play Guitar" done by Buddy Guy, "Off The Ground" done by the Record Company and "Love Wins Again" done by Janiva Magness.

            In Blues on the Wisconsin Roots Music chart of May 8th Tweed Funk's COME TOGETHER is #1 the Jimmy's HOT DISH remains at third, LOVE IS and earlier effort by Tweed Funk is 5th while Tweed Funk's FIRST NAME LUCKY takes 7th place, Westside Andy's latestBLUES JUST HAPPEN is #8, Altered Five Band's CRYIN' MERCY is 9th and ANOTHER Tweed Funk release BRINGIN' IT is 10th.  As in past reports the rest of the Wisconsin chart is made up of releases in other genres.     

            The Living Blues Magazine Radio chart comes out every month covering the PREVIOUS month.  So the most recent reflects APRIL, 2016 plays compiled May 1st and has Curtis Salgado's THE BEAUTIFUL LOWDOWN #1, LOVE WINS AGAIN by Janiva Magness 2nd, Toronzo Cannon's THE CHICAGO WAY third, the GOLDEN STATE LONE STAR BLUES REVUE performed by the same 4th and Guy King's TRUTHon the Delmark label fifth.

            The next five albums in Living Blues top ten that aired in March are BLUES FOR BIG WALTERGOD DON"T NEVER CHANGE: SONGS OF BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON, Bonamassa's BLUES OF DESPERATION, Johnny Rawls TIGER IN A CAGE and Corey Dennison'sCOREY DENNISON BAND



           Fest action is starting to heat up - at least in the sense of event listings for later this year.  If you have the bug RIGHT NOW you'll have to travel for an outdoor event or wait a bit for warmer weather to return to the Upper Midwest.  There are a few coming up in later in May.

            The earliest WISCONSIN fest isn't strictly a Blues event but has a number of Blues, Funk and related forms done by a variety of artists.  Check out the WORLD'S GREATEST BRAT FEST coming May 27 - 30 to Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.  Also take a look at BUCKY'S BLUESFEST & CRAWFISH BOIL in Okauchee May 27 thru 31.

            Many fests have posting their 2016 dates and in some cases partial or complete bills.  I'll add them to the attachment over the next few months as information comes in.  Put in a bunch more over the last few weeks.



            Musical or Blues happenings coming up in the near future in or around Wausau or within a reasonable drive (about a 100 miles) we have the Bobby Evans Band May 22 at the Flagstone Bar in Appleton, Chris Brandenburg & the Bluetones May 28 at Classic's Lounge in Shawano, Dale Anderson & the Delta Jets June 26 at Gasoline in Green Bay, the Blues Disciples May 18 at Village Green Golf Course in Green Bay, Hip Pocket June 3 on Wausau's 400 Block, Mike Murphy & the Mob 5/18 at Green Bay's Ten O' One Club, Donnie Pick May 21 at Classic's in Shawano and the Pumps 5/29 at the Sand Bar on Lake Wissota near Chippewa Falls.   



            Among BLUES or other special music further afield you can pick from JOHN FOGERTY May 22 at the Riverside in Milwaukee, JOHNNY RAWLS June 3 at the Knuckle Down in Madison, Alex Wilson Band at Buddy Guy's in Chicago May 21, ARETHA FRANKLIN 6/3 at Milwaukee's Riverside Theater, Reverend Raven w/Westside Andy 5/19 at St. Paul, MN's Minnesota Music Cafe, for Funk FISHBONE June 1 at Shank Hall in Milwaukee, JONNY LANG May 19 at Bloomington, IL's Center for the Performing Arts, NICK MOSS & GUY KING bands May 20 at SPACE in Evanston, IL, the BRIDGET KELLY BAND with Steve Cohen on harp June 1 at the Up & Under in Milwaukee, LAMONT CRANSTON 5/21 at the Narrows in Navarre, MN, FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS May 22 at SPACE in Evanston, IL, EDDY "THE CHIEF" CLEARWATER May 27 at Buddy Guy's in Chicago and BRANDON SANTINI in Madison at the Knuckle Down also on May 27.  

            For all details on the above and much more - see the attachment.



            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



2016 Blues Café Sponsors

Compass Insurance

Wells Fargo

Sconni's Alehouse & Eatery

Jerry's Music of Wausau


City Grill



Blues Foundation Affiliate