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Blues Doctor News

Who's on First -- June 29, 2016  •  Best Blues Albums of 2015



            FESTIVAL SEASON is really taking off!  TONS of Blues and related events in Wisconsin and all thru the Midwest.  Decisions, decisions, decisions!!  That's one reason "Who's On..." has been getting longer.  It's also covering more artists then in the past.

            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:  DAVY KNOWLES comes to Malarkey's Pub July 7th!!  July 1 the BEL AIRS are at Harry's Place in Beloit.  LAMONT CRANSTON does the 3 Lakes Cent. for the Arts in (yes) 3 Lakes July 2nd and on the 3rd do a Music in the Park Concert in Manitowish Waters.  July 12 Rockin' Johnny Burgin & Aki Kumar guest with the Dave Potter Trio at Boundaries in Beloit.

            Festival action??  SUMMERFEST starts June 29th running until July 10 except for the 4th in Milwaukee.  LOTS of music of all types.  Blues highlights include ALABAMA SHAKES, BOBBY RUSH, OTIS TAYLOR, THE RECORD COMPANY, BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO plus lots of local Blues talent such as Mojo Perry, Jonny T-Bird & the MP'S, Leroy Airmaster, Alex Wilson Band, the VELVEETATONES, Altered Five, Reverend Raven w/Westside Andy and more!

            GRILLIN' IN GRAFTON happens July 1 & 2 with Blues on the 2nd including the Jimmy's, THE BEL AIRS and TINSLEY ELLIS!  Down in Steven Point the RIVERFRONT RENDEZVOUS is on the same dates with Blues from the Blues Summit Band, ALTERED FIVE BLUES BAND and DEVON ALLMON!  Madison hosts the RED, WHITE & BLUES FEST at the Knuckledown Saloon with the JIMMYS and the CASH BOX KINGS with BILLY FLYNN July 3rd.

            Further away take a look at the KALAMAZOO BLUES FESTIVAL July 7 thru 9th in Kalamazoo, MI,BLISSFEST in Harbor Springs, MI July 8 to 10, HAMBONE MUSIC FESTIVAL in Rochester, MN July 8 & 9,ROCKIN' THE BAY MUSIC FESTIVAL on the same dates in Gladstone, MI and the THUNDER BAY BLUES FESTIVAL in Thunder Bay, Ontario; CANADA July 8 to the 10th!  Check out the attachment for details on the above and even MORE goodies!           

            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 theMISSISSIPPI 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



            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..."!



            Have you always wanted to learn the Mississippi Sax??  Your time has come (IF you already registered!).  There will be a CLASS in Beginning Harmonica at the downtown MATC on Wednesday nights lasting EIGHT weeks starting June 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.  Students DO NOT need to read music.  To register call 608 245-6240.  If you're still interested but HAVE NOT registered contact the person noted for questions below.

            Classes will include single notes, folk songs, hand effects, Blues riffs, bending notes and playing with others.  Handouts & exercises will be provided.  If you have further questions call DeWayne Keyes at608 221-8495 between 11 AM & 11 PM. 



            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.

            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.  Things have improved somewhat and now Joseph "Smokey" Holman will be with the band until the END of July. 

            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 in May the International Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 2016 Blues Music Awards.  Sad to say although Wisconsin's ownCASH 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 MACLEODfor 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 WALKERWALTER 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

            NOMINATIONS FOR LIVING BLUES AWARDS ANNOUNCED & VOTING OPEN:  Blues fans have until July 15 of this year 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 June 26 thru July 9th include Mac Arnold June 30, Spurling Banks 6/28, David "Honeyboy" Edwards June 28, Lee Allen July 2, Dan Aykroyd (Elwood Blues) July 1, Harvey Brooks of Electric Flag July 4, Chicago Bob 7/4, JAMES COTTON July 1, WILLIE DIXON July 1, THOMAS A. DORSEY 7/1, CHAMPION JACK DUPREE poss. 7/4, JACK WHITE of White Stripes July 9, Tiny Grimes 7/7, MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT July 3, Jai Johanny Johanson (Allman Bro's Band) 7/8, Johnnie Johnson July 8, LOUIS JORDAN July 8, SMILEY LEWIS 7/5, JOE LIGGINS July 9, PINETOP PERKINS July 7 and Jeremy Spencer of Fleetwood Mac July 4.   

            So EVERYBODY 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 RECORDINGS edited by Michael Eriewine, Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra and Cub Koda or a number of other works about Blues & related artists.



           The newest Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues albums list came out June 19th and has Albert Castiglia's latest BIG DOG remaining in first, Curtis Salgado's THE BEAUTIFUL LOWDOWN is #2, the Royal Southern Brotherhood's THE ROYAL GOSPEL moved to 3rd from # 21, the Alexis P. Suter Band's release ALL FOR LOVING YOU moved into 4th place and LET ME GET BY from the Tedeschi Trucks Band moved to #5.  

            The rest of the current Top Ten recordings are from Janiva Magness, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Lindell, Toronzo Cannon and Moreland & Arbuckle.   

            The June 19th Top Five Blues songs include "Unknown" by Curtis Salgado, "Anyhow" done by the Tedeschi Trucks Band, "Walk It Off" recorded by Toronzo Cannon, "Off The Ground" from the Record Company and "Love Wins Again" by Janiva Magness.

            In Blues on the Wisconsin June 19th Roots Music chart Tweed Funk's COME TOGETHER remains  #1 and the Altered Five Blues Band's GOTTA EARN IT is at #7.  The rest of the leading Wisconsin recordings are from other genres.     

            The Living Blues Magazine Radio chart comes out every month covering the PREVIOUS month.  The most recent was totaled June 1st reflecting MAY, 2016 plays.  That chart has Curtis Salgado's THE BEAUTIFUL LOWDOWN #1, PROMISED LAND OR BUST from Moreland & Arbuckle 2nd, Albert Castiglia's BIG DOG third, the GOLDEN STATE LONE STAR BLUES REVUE performed by the same still in 4th and Guy King's TRUTH on the Delmark label remains in fifth.

            The next five albums in Living Blues top ten that aired in April are Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore's HOUSE PARTY AT BIG JON'SLOVE WINS AGAIN by Janiva Magness, THE CHICAGO WAY from Toronzo Cannon, BLUES FOR BIG WALTER by various artists and VOYAGE by Sugar Blue on the M.C. Records label.



           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 SUMMERFESTstarting June 29 thru July 10 (nothing 7/4) with ALABAMA SHAKES, BOBBY RUSH, OTIS TAYLOR, THE BEL AIRS, BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO and LOTS more including local artists.  If you like the BEL AIRS you can catch them July 2 at GRILLIN' IN GRAFTON along with the JIMMY'S and TINSLEY ELLIS!  Close to home RIVERFRONT RENDEZVOUS goes from July 1 to 3 in Pfiffner Park in Stevens Point featuring Blues by the Blues Summit Band on Sunday, ALTERED FIVE BLUES BAND and DEVAN ALLMAN on Saturday.  See all the details in the attachment plus even more events!

            Many fests have posting their 2016 dates and in most cases partial or complete bills.  I'll add them to the attachment over the next few months 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 include Dale Anderson SOLO June 29 at the Farmer's Market in Green Bay, Cadillac Pete & the Heat July 30 in Stevens Point at JOE BUCHER'S BLUES FEST, 20 Watt Tombstone 7/1 at Xtra 920 in Appleton, Hip Pocket 7/6 in Tomahawk, Rev. Raven w/Westside Andy July 1st doing Music on the Fox in Green Bay, Bobby Evans Band July 30 at the EAA Convention in Oshkosh, the Pumps July 17 at the Sand Bar in Lake Wissota and    .   



            Among BLUES or other special music further afield you may be interested in are the OTIS TAYLOR BAND July 2 at SPACE in Evanston, IL, SAVOY BROWN 7/3 at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IOWA,RAY FULLER & THE BLUES ROCKERS July 8 at Buddy Guy's in Chicago, the KENTUCKY HEADHUNTERS July 9 in Litchfield, MI, ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD July 10 at SPACE in Evanston, IL and TAB BENOIT July 15 at the Cabooze in Minneapolis, MN.  

            For all the details on the above and many more local, regional and national acts - 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;


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