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Blues Doctor News

Who's on First -- May 4, 2016  •  Best Blues Albums of 2015



            It's cooled off again but the trees are budding out and lots of flowers are popping up.  Spring does eventually come - even to Wisconsin!  If the somewhat cooler weather is 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:  The Silver Dome Ballroom in Neillsville is hosting a Folk-Blues, Rockabilly event April 30th.  Featured are SPIDER JOHN KOERNER plus CHARLIE PARR as well as the Ditchrunners from Stevens Point doing "Honky-Tonkin' Gypsy Gutter Grass" and The Gaston Curse out of Marshfield.  No advance sales - tickets run $15 each.  FREE camping available on site.  Doors open at 5 PM with music starting at 8 and running until after midnight.

            In other Blues highlights the RIDES play the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee May 3rd.  WALTER TROUT will be at Shank Hall in Milwaukee with T-Man Latz May 4.  The NICK MOSS BAND follows Trout into Shank Hall May 7.  JOE BONAMASSA does the Widener Center in Green Bay May 12 and Madison's Orpheum Theater May 13th.  TOMMY EMMANUEL plays Wausau's Grand Theater May 12th.


ENTERTAINMENT ALERT:  The Blues on the Chippewa folks have scheduled BEATLES ON THE CHIPPEWA as a fund raiser for the organization May 1st in Durand.  Over 40 musicians will perform their take on a favorite Fab Four tune from 2 PM to around 9 at the Corral Bar and the Riverside Grill along Main Street.  This one's FREE!!


            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" send me their E-Mail address or better yet 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 aCHANGE (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 WITH 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 will release their NEW album titled COME TOGETHER April 29th and are looking forward to upcoming release parties as well as their other dates.  Send out a prayer for Smokey and his band mates. 

            2016 INDUCTEES TO THE BLUES HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCED:   Coming up May 4th of this year FIVE new & legendary Blues performers, two additional folks instrumental in the creation of the music, 5 single recordings, 1 album and one book will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

            The performers to be inducted are Elvin Bishop, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, John Mayall and the Memphis Jug Band.  Non-performers recognized by the Blues Foundation for their contributions to the art form are Tommy Couch, Sr. & Wolf Stephenson - joint partners in Malaco Records.  Over the years Malaco recorded Little Milton, Z.Z. Hill, Dorothy Moore, Denise LaSalle and many more.

            Single recordings to be honored are 1920's "Crazy Blues" by Mamie Smith, Jimmy Rogers "That's All Right" from Chess in 1950, "I Wish You Would" done by Billy Boy Arnold in 1955, Charles Brown's take on Johnny Moore's "Merry Christmas Baby" pressed by Exclusive in 1947 and Leroy Carr/Scrapper Blackwell's "Blues Before Sunrise" recorded on Vocalion in 1934.  The classic album is Blues In The Mississippi Night first released by Nixa in 1957 from field recordings made by Alan Lomax of Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim and Sonny Boy Williamson I in the late 40's.  It's a gem.

            The book to be honored is Jeff Todd Titon's EARLY DOWNHOME BLUES: A MUSICAL AND CULTURAL ANALYSIS.  The work is said by some to be one of the most important analytical studies of the Blues to appear so far.

            The ceremony will be held in May at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown in Memphis, TN the night before the 37th Blues Music Awards.       


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 MUSIC AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNED:  The International Blues Foundation has announced the nominees for the 2016 Blues Music Awards.  There are way TOO many to list here but you can see ALL the nominees in ALL categories at

            I'm happy to point out that Wisconsin's own CASH BOX KINGS have been nominated in THREE categories - Blues Album of the Year, Band of the Year plus Traditional Blues Album.  Although he's not from Wisconsin an artist that performs fairly often in Wisconsin venues - BARRELHOUSE CHUCK - has been nominated for Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year.  Good Luck to both artists/group above PLUS ALL artists and bands nominated.

            If you're already a member of the Blues Foundation you should receive a ballot just before Christmas.  Should you not be but would like to vote - you're gonna have to join!!  Money well spent.

           BLUES HALL OF FAME:  Is 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.



            Performers in Blues, Gospel, R&B and Soul born between May 1 & the 14th include Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys 5/14, BIG MAYBELLE 5/01, Lester Louis Bihari of Modern Records 5/12, Roy Blumenfeld 5/11, Ada Brown 5/01, Jack Bruce 5/14, Bumble Bee Slim 5/14, Eric Burdon 5/11, Eddie C. Campbell 5/06, GUY DAVIS 5/12, Tyrone Davis 5/04, Grady Gaines 5/14, Marvin Gaye 5/02, Cecil Grant 5/04, Thelma Houston 5/07, ROBERT JOHNSON 5/08, Sharon Jones 5/04, Steve Katz 5/09, Major Lance 5/04, LITTLE WALTER 5/01, Kansas Joe McCoy 5/11, Jimmy McGriff 5/03, BLIND WILLIE MCTELL 5/05, Greg Piccolo 5/10, Ana Popovic 5/13, A.C. Reed 5/09, Butch Trucks 5/11 and Phil Wiggins 5/08. 

            Lift up a glass of whatever and wish each and every one of them a 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 latest Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues albums list was released April 18th and has the Tedeschi Trucks Band LET ME GET BY #1, Janiva Magness' LOVE WINS AGAIN released by Blue Elan at #2, Curtis Salgado's brand new THE BEAUTIFUL LOWDOWN staying at 3rd, Toronzo Cannon's THE CHICAGO WAY still at 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 Guy King, Eric Lindell, Tommy Castro, RB Stone and Buddy Guy.

            The weeks Top Five Blues songs of the same date are "Love Wins Again" from Janiva Magness, "Anyhow" by the Tedeshi Trucks Band, "Born To Play Guitar" done by Buddy Guy, "Common Ground" via Tommy Castro and "Off The Ground" done by the Record Company.

            In Blues on the Wisconsin Roots Music chart of April 18th the Jimmy's HOT DISH remains at third,BRINGIN' IT by Tweed Funk is in 4th and Westside Andy's latest BLUES JUST HAPPEN is in the 6th spot.  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 MARCH, 2016 plays compiled April 1st and has not changed from the last "Who's On..." where Toronzo Cannon's THE CHICAGO WAY was 1st followed by Johnny Rawls TIGER IN A CAGE, 3rd is taken byGOD DON'T NEVER CHANGE: SONGS OF BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON done by various artists, Janiva Magness' latest LOVE WINS AGAIN in 4th and GOLDEN STATE LONE STAR BLUES REVUE performed by the same hold down #5.

            The next five albums in Living Blues top ten that aired in March are from the Magic Sam Blues Band, the James Hunter Six, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Peter Karp and R.B. Stone. 



           Fest action is starting to heat up - at least in the sense of event listings for later in the year.  If you have the bug you'll have to travel for an outdoor event or wait for warmer weather to return to the Upper Midwest.

            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 reason-able drive (about a 100 miles) include Hip Pocket May 6 at the Kress Events Cent. in Green Bay, Cadillac Pete & the Heat May 1 at Renee's Red Rooster in Stevens Point, Bobby Evans Band May 22 at the Flagstone Bar in Appleton, Highway 414 5/8 at the Nickle in Oshkosh, Lil' Rev May 7 at the Portage Co. Cultural Fest in Stevens Point, TOMMY EMMANUELMay 12 at the Grand in Wausau, Michael Murphy & the Mob May 4th at Green Bay's Ten O' Once Club, Tweed Funk doing a CD release May 13 at the Thelma Sadoff Cent. in Fond du Lac, the Charles Walker Band May 6 at Cover 2 in Green Bay, Older Budwiser May 7 at the Intermission in Wausau, Mike Maher Band at Wausau's Great Dane May 6th, Alex Rossi Band May 6 at Malarkey's Pub in Wausau, Chris Brandenburg & the Bluetones May 28 at Classic's Lounge in Shawano, Dale Anderson & the Delta Jets June 26 at Gasoline in Green Bay, 20 Watt Tombstone 5/6 at Wausau's Polack Inn plus Paul Filipowicz May 4 at the Village Green in Green Bay.   



            Among BLUES or other special music further afield you can pick from THE RIDES May 3rd at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, JOE BONAMASSA May 12 at the Widener Center in Green Bay plus May 13 at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, Steve Cohen, Greg Koch and others May 7 at the Chell in Thiensville, WALTER TROUT May 4 at Shank Hall in Milwaukee, Joyann Parker & Sweet Tea May 1 at the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul, MN, JOHN FOGERTY May 22 at the Riverside in Milwaukee, the NICK MOSS BAND May 7 at Shank Hall in Milwaukee and LAMONT CRANSTON BAND May 6 at Wilebski's in St. Paul, MN.  

            For all the 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

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