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Blues Doctor News

Who's on First -- October 19, 2016  •  Best Blues Albums of 2015



            The Doc has returned to the good Ol' U.S.A.!  It was fun but (other than politics) I'm happy to be home.  Which reminds me - VOTE - it's every citizens responsibility.  You may not like some of the choices but pick someone. 

            Blues Festival Season is basically done in the Upper Midwest.  There are a few events coming up in the cooler months and are ID'd in RED as in the past. 

            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.



            Festival action??  Mostly over in our neck of the woods BUT you might want to mark your calendar for Nov. 3, 4 & 5 and the WINTER BLUES FEST at the Door County Auditorium in Fish Creek.  Also take a look at the second TAMARACK REUNION Nov. 25 at Anodyne Coffee in Milwaukee featuring a big bunch of Wisconsin Blues royalty.  Details on both 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 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..."!



            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.

            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.

            BRUCE IGLAUER OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS GETS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:  At the September Blues Blast Music Awards Bruce received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Blues Blast at the Fluid Events Center in Champaign, ILLINOIS.  The dude REALLY had it comin'!!

            9TH ANNUAL BLUES BLAST MUSIC AWARDS:  September 23rd much of the Blues world gathered for the 2016 Blues Blast Awards in Champaign, IL.  In addition to Iglauer HENRY GRAY & BARRELHOUSE CHUCK also received Lifetime Achievement Awards.  In Albums VICTOR WAINWRIGHT took home the award for Contemporary Blues, BOB MARGOLIN got Traditional,CURTIS SALGADO won in Soul Blues, WALTER TROUT in Rock Blues and GUY DAVIS for Acoustic Blues Album of the Year.  Close to home REVEREND RAVEN & THE CHAIN SMOKIN' ALTAR BOYS took the Live Blues Recording Award for "LIVE AT THE BIG BULL"!

            BOBBY RUSH went home with Historic Recording for "CHICKEN HEADS: A 50 YEAR HISTORY OF BOBBY RUSH".  New Artist Debut Album was taken by DANIELLE NICOLE while Blue Band of the Year went to area favorite LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALSSHEMEKIA COPELAND was awarded Female Blues Artist of the Year, BOB MARGOLIN scored again for Male Blues Artist of the Year and AMANDA FISH received the Sean Costello Rising Star Award.  Congrats to each and every one that was nominated or won.

            LOCAL FAVORITES LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS NEW ALBUM IS OUT:  Lil' Ed and his band finished recording 16 songs for a new album named THE BIG SOUND OF LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS.  It's now available at local record stores and via the internet.

            TWEED FUNK'S "SMOKEY" HOLMAN MAKING PROGRESS:  "Smokey" received his stem cell transplant a few days ago which hopefully will improve his health.  Looks like he'll be in Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa for another week and then the Milwaukee VA Hospital for a week.                  


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:  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, Soul and other musical forms related to Blues born between Oct. 16 and Oct. 29 include CHUCK BERRY, ELVIN BISHOP, Graham Bond, Boogie Woogie Red, Hadda Brooks, Boozoo Chavis, Bootsy Collins, Jimmy Dawkins, Sugar Pie De Santo, Detroit Junior, Mark Ford, Carol Fran, Dizzy Gillespie, PETER GREEN, Jerry Henry, Clarence Holliman, MAHALIA JACKSON, Willie Mabon, Doug Newby, Robert Petway, Piano Red, Coco Robicheaux, Doctor Ross, Corky Siegel, Speckled Red, Johnnie "Geechie" Temple, SONNY TERRY, Henry "Mule" Townsend, Leslie West and BIG JOE WILLIAMS.   

            SO let's ALL lift up a glass of whatever floats your boat and wish each and everyone above aVERY 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 came out Oct. 15 and has Deb Ryder's GRIT GREASE & TEARS at #1, STRONG LIKE THAT from the Fabulous Thunderbirds second, Bobby Rush's PORCUPINE MEAT third, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials THE BIG SOUND OF LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS at #4 and Colin James BLUE HIGHWAYS fifth.   

            The rest of the current Top Ten Blues albums are from Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch, Albert Castiglia, Liz Mandeville and Vaneese Thomas.   

            This weeks Top Five Blues songs per Roots Music are "Ain't Gonna Be Easy" by Deb Ryder, "Off The Ground" from the Record Company, one of songs from Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials new album, "Panic Mode" also by Deb Ryder and "Where There's Smoke There's Fire" done by the Royal Southern Brotherhood.

            In Blues on the Wisconsin Roots Music chart of the same date Tweed Funk's COME TOGETHER remains at #1 plus GIMME THE JIMMYS and HOT DISH both from the Jimmy's made this weeks chart.  The remaining recordings are from other genres.     

            The Living Blues Magazine Radio chart comes out every month covering the PREVIOUS month.  The latest was totaled October 1st reflecting SEPTEMBER plays and shows Bobby Rush'sPORCUPINE MEAT at #1, STRONG LIKE THAT by the Fabulous Thunderbirds second, THE BIG SOUND OF LIL' ED released by Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials third, Ronnie Earl & the BroadcastersMAXWELL STREET fourth and Lurrie Bell's CAN'T SHAKE THIS FEELING at number five.

            The next five albums in the latest Living Blues top ten are from Vaneese Thomas, Duke Robillard & His All Star Combo, Nancy Wright and Michael Burks.



           Fest action is just about done in our area.  However Nov. 3, 4 & 5  there's the WINTER BLUES FEST at the Door County Auditorium in Fish Creek with a film plus performances by BOOKER T. JONES STAX REVUE and the MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS plus CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE.  Get all the details in the attachment!  Most fests have posting their 2016 dates and at least partial or complete bills.  I'll add 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 the DELTA DUO (Howard Luedtke & Cadillac Pete) Oct. 28 at the Elbow Room in Stevens Point, 20 Watt Tombstone 10/28 at Green Bay Fear in Green Bay, Paul Filipowicz 10/22 at Oshkosh's Park Ave. Bar, Cadillac Pete & the Heat Oct. 21 at Partners in Stevens Point, Hip Pocket December 31st for New Years at Sentry World in Stevens Point, Mojo Blues Band Nov. 12 at the Snout Saloon in Chippewa Falls, Mojo Perry 10/22 at Classics in Shawano, Charles Walker Band 10/21 at Malarkey's in Wausau and Robert Allen Jr. Oct. 21 at the Intermission Bar in Wausau.  Get details on these and more in the attachment.   



            Among BLUES or other special music further afield that might capture you're interest are Davina & the Vagabonds at Famous Dave's Oct. 21, ELVIN BISHOP w/CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE & BOB WELSH Oct. 21 in Springfield, IL, DAVY KNOWLES 10/21 at SPACE in Evanston, IL, TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND Nov. 12 at the Riverside in Milwaukee, Mike Wheeler at the Red Dot in Wauwatosa 10/22 or LEO KOTTKE at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee.

            Some other possibilities are JOAN BAEZ at the Pabst in Milwaukee Oct. 23, Eric Lindell Oct. 27 at SPACE in Evanston, IL, LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS Nov. 12 at the Knuckle Down in Madison, SAMANTHA FISH Oct. 28 with Aaron Williams opening at the Route 20 Outhouse in Racine, Liz Mandeville 10/29 at the Skokie Theater in Skokie, IL, AMOS LEE also Oct. 29 but at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, MAGIC DICK with Shun Ng and the Slide Brothers Oct. 30 at SPACE in Evanston, IL, Eric Johnson acoustic at the back room of Colectivo Coffee in Milwaukee Nov. 4, Seth Walker at Wauwatosa's Red Dot Nov. 9 and the BIG HEAD TODD BLUES CLUB at the Northern Lights Theater in Milwaukee Nov. 5.



            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