BLUES FANS, MUSICIANS, SOCIETIES AND FELLOW MUSIC TRAVELERS:
Had a fantastic time at Wausau's own BIG BULL FALLS BLUES FESTIVAL this last weekend. Doc enjoyed all performances but especially the Jimmy's on Friday with JIM LIBAN - in my opinion the BEST harp player ever to come out of Wisconsin and among the best in the world.
Friday turned out to be a harmonica fans dream with Mississippi fireworks provided by "Barefoot Jimmy" Schwarz of the Blues Disciples, Cadillac Pete gigging with Howard Luedtke & Blue Max and of course Mr. Liban performing with the Jimmy's. There was some fine guitar work as well turned in by "Pauly Walnuts" Stilin of the Blues Disciples, Howard "Guitar" Luedtke with Blue Max and Perry Weber who turned in some nice vocals in addition to his guitar work with the Jimmy's.
Saturday was the BIG guitar day with hot licks offered up by Jimmi Langemo from Jimmi & the Band of Souls, DANIELLE NICOLE Schnebelen's guitar player who was NOT Anders Osborne who played on Danielle's self titled EP, SELWYN BIRCHWOOD, SONNY LANDRETH and one of the King's of hot licks - WALTER TROUT! Doc was especially impressed by Danielle Nicole, young Mr. Birchwood and of course Mr. Trout. I'm still comin' down!
A couple of very pleasant surprises were had by all over in the Beer Tent - and I don't mean the ales and lagers. Older Budwiser Blues Band played the tent on Friday and R.J. Stone with Friends Saturday. Somehow the Doc missed the memo about these musicians playing the fest. Have long been a fan of Older Bud and more recently R.J. Stone's work. If you enjoyed R.J. check out his 2013 release LOOSEN UP! and LONESOME TRAVELER'S BLUES from 2011. Played the heck out of both of them on the radio show! R.J. started his set alone on electric guitar and a racked harp and was later joined by a bass player, the drummer from Jimmi & the Band of Souls plus BOBBY MESSANO! All in all quite a show.
NEW BLUES GIGS & FESTIVALS?
Still 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..."!
BLUES BLAST AWARD VOTING: You can STILL VOTE in the 2015 Blues Blast music awards. Voting is FREE and open to everyone - you don't need to be a subscriber. Nominees and categories are TOO long to list hear but I will pass on that DAN PHELLPS has been nominated for 2015 Best Acoustic Album of the Year. Dan's booked for Great Northern Blues Soc's "Blues Cafe 2016" in March of next year! You can see ALL nominees at www.BluesBlastMagazine.com which is the same location to vote up until September 15th.
MORE WISCONSIN ARTISTS RELEASE NEW ALBUMS: It's been a good year for Wisconsin Blues music and it's getting even better. Recently the Doc's received copies of THREE new CD's from state musicians.
MADISON SLIM has authored his FIRST solo release - Close ... But No Cigar and it kicks! In addition to Slim's harp and vocals - Barrelhouse Chuck, Billy Flynn and Doug Deming and others help out on the recording. WESTSIDE ANDY'S latest is titled Blues Just Happen and is a "Live" recording featuring Billy Flynn and Barrelhouse Chuck just released on the Earrelevant Records label. Lastly but far from least our own REVEREND RAVEN came out with Live At The Big Bull on the Nevermore label. It's made up of "Live" takes at the 2012 Big Bull Falls Blues Festival in Wausau plus 3 cuts laid down at Kochanski's Beer Hall in Milwaukee. In addition to the Rev. your ears are treated to cuts featuring both Benny Rickun and Westside Andy on harp and Big Al Groth on Sax.
NEW JIMMY'S ALBUM COMING SOON: Per young Master Jimmy Voegeli the Jimmy's are working on a NEW album! Tentative title is HOT DISH featuring all original tunes. It WAS available at the Big Bull Falls Fest where the band put on a FINE show! It's currently burnin' up Doc's CD player and he likes it a WHOLE LOT!!
GUY DAVIS SIGNS WITH M.C. RECORDS: Davis is one of America's leading acoustic Blues artists. Per M.C. Records they'll release Davis' latest recording KOKOMO BLUES on September 18 filled with Guy's original tunes plus 3 covers of songs written by Donovan, Bob Dylan and Willie Dixon.
NEW SHEMEKIA COPELAND ALBUM RELEASE DATE SET: As announced previously Ms. Copeland re-signed with Alligator Records. The labels announced that her new album OUTSKIRTS OF LOVE will be released Sept. 11th.
NEW/OLD KENTUCKY HEADHUNTERS W/JOHNNIE JOHNSON RECORDING: Alligator Records released MEET ME IN BLUESLAND June 2nd. The album was recorded in 2003 with Johnson reuniting with brothers Richard & Fred Young and the rest of the Headhunters. For some reason it stayed in the vaults until now. Better late than never? Doc's listened to a few cuts and LIKES IT!!
BLUES HALL OF FAME: Is now open to the public down in Memphis, TN. 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.
SNOW BIRD BLUES FANS: Are you thinking of taking a break from Wisconsin's Winter Blues? Are you a Blues fan? Both?? Missed signing up for the Blues Cruise? Then you might consider joining Jimmy Voegeli and the Jimmy's in JAMAICA this coming February (ya I know Summer just starting but ya gotta plan ahead!).
The Jimmy's along with Westside Andy will be playing the Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort in Jamaica Feb. 6 thru the 13th, 2016. The package includes round trip airfare from Chicago to Montego Bay, 7 nights lodging at Jewel Runaway Bay Resort including white sand beaches, crystal clear Caribbean waters, all meals, snacks, wine, beer, cocktails, restocked (daily) in room mini-bar, 3 pools with swim-up service, water park, private CHAMPIANSHIP 18 hole golf course, free WiFi, entertainment, fitness center & trainer, glass bottom boat rides, 7 restaurants and the Doc's fingers are going numb from typing! Just say there a LOT included. Oh ya - you get TWO (2) performances by the Jimmy's featuring WESTSIDE ANDY
Interested? Contact Middleton Travel at 800 688-8785 or www.middletontravel.com and tell 'em Jimmy sent ya! That might get you some goodies. Telling 'em the Doc sent you will get you NADA!
PAUL FILIPOWICZ PLANING NEW RECORDING: Stellar Wisconsin guitarist, singer/song writer, band leader and award winner Paul Filipowicz is working on a new recording planned for this summer. Per Paul it'll be a LIVE album scheduled to be recorded July 25th at Madison's Knuckle Down Saloon. Mark your calendar & join Paul and his band at the Knuckle Down in July supplying cheers, yelling, clapping and other joyful sound effects!
TORONZO CANNON SIGNS WITH ALLIGATOR: Chicago born artist Cannon recently signed on with the Alligator Label. Together they plan on a NEW album due early in 2016.
BLUES RADIO CHARTS:
The latest Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues albums chart dated August 13th has Sonny Landreth's latest BOUND BY THE BLUES at #1, Buddy Guy's new BORN TO PLAY GUITAR second, Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters FATHER'S DAY jumping into the chart in third, Albert Cummings latest SOMEONE LIKE YOU in 4th up from 6th last week and John Ginty's NO FILTER in the 5th spot.
Releases from Slam Allen, Charles Wilson, Samantha Fish, the Kentucky Headhunters and Charlie Musselwhite complete this weeks Roots Music Report Top Ten Album chart.
The Top Five songs per the Roots Music Report for this week are Rob Ickes "Unknown", "Battlegrounds" from John Ginty, "The Hgh Side" by Sonny Landreth, "2 Steps To A Lie" done by Charles Wilson and "Show Me" done by Samantha Fish.
The Wisconsin Roots Music chart of the same date shows NO BLUES albums. John McCutcheon is on top with a folk release - JOE HILL'S LAST WILL from the Appalsong label.
The Living Blues Magazine Radio chart is done once every month covering the PREVIOUS month. The latest chart covers JULY plays compiled August 1st shows Ronnie Earl & the Broad-casters FATHER'S DAY #1, Henry Gray & Bob Corritore's SESSIONS VOL. 1: BLUES WON'T LET ME TAKE MY REST second, the Bey Paule Band's NOT GOIN' AWAY in third, the Kentucky Headhunters w/Johnny Johnson's MEET ME IN BLUSIANA at #4 and James Harman's BONETIME issued by Electro-Fi moving to 5th place.
The Remaining five albums in the top ten aired in July are from recordings from Omar Coleman, the Cash Box Kings, Charlie Musselwhite, Victor Wainwright & the Wildroots and Sonny Landreth.
Things are starting to wind down as far as Midwest Summer festivals go. However there's still some good ones coming up. Not too far from North Central Wisconsin on Aug. 28 thru 30 is the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival in the wilderness state park of the same name in the U.P and the Crossroads Blues Festival in Rockford Aug. 29. Check out the attached for the bills and other details on both.
WAUSAU AREA MUSIC:
Musical or Blues happenings coming up in the near future in or around Wausau or within a reasonable drive (about a 100 miles) include ERIC "SCRAPPY" HUGHES all the way from Memphis, TN at the Intermission in Wausau August 20, Cadillac Pete & Howard Luedtke as the Delta Duo Aug. 21 at the Elbow Room in Stevens Point, Bobby Evans Band (outdoors) at the Flagstone in Appleton Aug. 22, Jonny T-Bird Trio 8/20 at the Ten O One Club in Green Bay, Kojo doing Reggae at the Intermission in Wausau August 21st, Mojo Perry at Classics in Shawano Aug. 22, Robert "One Man" Johnson Aug. 29 at Sackettt's Bar in Rhinelander, the Pumps at Wausau's Intermission Bar August 22, Donnie Pick & the Road Band Aug. 21st at the Park Ave. Bar in Oshkosh, Tweed Funk at Gasoline 8/28 in Green Bay, ERIC "SCRAPPY" HUGES in Rhinelander on the WXPR BLUES CRUISE Aug. 22, ERIC HUGHES again at Rock Island in Merrill Aug. 23rd and NATIONAL RECORDING ARTIST Hector Anchondo August 27 at Wausau's Intermission.
EVENTS A BIT FURTHER AWAY:
Among BLUES or other special music further afield music lovers have a lot to choose from including the MADISON RIBBERFEST Aug. 21 & 22 with the LIONEL YOUNG BAND, WALTER "WOLFMAN" WASHINGTON, SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY, KEB' MO' and lots more, CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE at Buddy Guy's in Chicago Aug. 22, ALBERT CASTIGLIA at Rosa's Lounge in Chicago, IL August 22, the Billy Flynn Blues Band with Westside Andy at the Knuckle Down in Madison Aug. 22 and JIM LIBAN with Third Coast Blues Collective Aug. 25 at the Italian Comm. Cent. in Milwaukee You'll find TONS more on the attached pages.
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. Another choice over most of North and North Central Wisconsin is "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. The Blues Doctor
Yours in the music;
A couple of months ago I was sitting with Bobby in his van listening to a couple of advanced tracks from Love & Money. He played me something he called his Led Zeppelin song and another funky tune. These songs sounded great and I was looking forward to hearing the finished CD. I knew it would be a good one. Good one was a huge understatement, this CD is fantastic!
Bobby starts things off with “April Showers,” and he laments (I just saw laments was used in the liner notes, too bad, I have used it for years!) on getting older. It’s a song about losing the expectation that you have of family but it could also be about friends. It is the disappointment of snow in April. You thought things were OK and then they took a painful turn. Disappointment is heart crushing at times! Acoustic guitar and some slide with incredible lyrics kick off this CD in a brilliant way! “Love & Money” just rocks with a little of the same theme but this is what a life partner wants more than family. You get the feeling that Bobby was in love and all she wanted was the money. Pain is pain, luckily that’s one I’ve never felt, maybe because I never had any money?
When I listen to “Seasons” I am reminded that this is the song that Bobby called the Zeppelin tune. Nice strings in the slow intro and then it just kicks you in the head like a Zeppelin song would. The vocals are poignant and it goes back to some acoustic guitar before it rocks out again. The strings stay throughout and it’s an inspiring song. Not sure why it inspires me because I agree with the growing loneliness over the seasons. Here comes the funk with “What I Got” and it is a toe tapper! Bobby sings about all the things he doesn’t have. He has love, a funky song and a scorching guitar solo. That is good enough for me and I am glad he doesn’t have a cat or tats. Hey just my personal preference and yes Bobby, you do have fans! “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright” is what I tell myself every day and I’m not sure that I believe it! Bobby sings it in kind of a not convincing way and it reminds me of a country song that shows the downer side of things. We all need to stay positive but sometimes as we tell ourselves this, we still have doubts. I don’t even know what to say about “Had To Cry Today,” The cover of this Blind Faith song is just out of this world! In my opinion, Bobby makes it his own song. I know he played it when he was with Steve Windwood, but this version was so explosive that it made me love the song even more.
“Boddentown” is a light, bouncy, cheery little instrumental that is guaranteed to lighten your load. The blues rocker “Rollin’ On” is up next and I refer to that song as Bobby’s Deep Purple tune. Booby’s vocals and Freddie Gasparini’s organ playing is what bring that image to mind. “Welcome to My Failed Career” is another picture of a touring musician. Everybody thinks they are living the high life, but they struggle with lack of love and money just like the rest of us, and all while having to deal with outsiders looking to take advantage of them. Blues with a little funk is how I would describe this song.
“Hard Road” is some slide drenched ass kickin’ blues! It is a great ending to a spectacular CD. It is on this song that you can really appreciate that Bobby recorded this with his touring band. The live feeling is really present here. Dave Hollingsworth: Drums and Percussion, Freddie Gasparini: Keyboards and Suavek Zaniesienko on Bass Guitar really lay an incredible back drop to Bobby’s singing and guitar playing!
The bottom line is trust, hope, respect, love & money are all things we must have faith in. The anger, and the not understanding, is part of that - just don’t let it consume you! Let it make some beautiful music. Thank you Bobby Messano!
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