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Who's on First -- May 10, 2017  •  Best Blues Albums of 2016



             The Sun is shining on North Central Wisconsin and has for the last couple of days.  So some-where around Wausau folks are in tank tops and shorts.  Maybe flip flops too.  We certainly are Sun worshipers up here.  On the downside I need to mow the lawn.

            This time of year it's especially important that if you don't see a Blues event/fest you know is coming up soon in Wisconsin or in one of our neighboring states PLEASE 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.

            DO NOT HESITATE to send on "Who's on First" to other Blues fans!  That applies to ALL Blues Societies as well.  You all have my FULL permission to share it with all Blues music fans everywhere!! 

            If life (and politics and/or the weather) 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.



            Some major artists are touring in Wisconsin and surrounding states in the next few weeks including ANTHONY GOMES, SCOTT HOLT, the BLASTERS first in St. Paul, MN, then Green Bay and later Detroit, SAMANTHA FISH in Chicago & Milwaukee, JOHNNY RAWLS and NORAH JONES.   In addition GOV'T MULE will play the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee in late May and the State Theater in Minneapolis, COMMANDER CODY in La Crosse May 19 and Minneapolis May 20, SAVOY BROWN comes to Turner Hall June 1st and GEORGE THOROGOOD does shows in Michigan, Illinois and Milwaukee later in May. Check the attachment for where, when and sometimes even how much.

            EARLY WARNING: Blues fans might want to consider visiting Bayfield and the Big Top Chautauqua sometime this Summer.  On August 11 DELBERT MCCLINTON plays the big tent followed by the JOHN BUTLER TRIO on the 17 and TAB BENOIT August 18th.  In addition BONNIE RAITT comes to Bayfield Sept-ember 2nd!

            Do ya need a major Blues fix??  Maybe a festival or multi act event?  Take a look thru "Who's On..." for info about BLUES FESTIVALS coming up this Spring and Summer in the region.  Note that the SUMMER CAMP MUSIC FESTIVAL runs May 26 to 28th in Chillicothe, ILLINOIS.  I've added MORE fests in this edition, added details to some previously listed events and will be adding others in weeks to come as time allows. 

            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..."!



            LONNIE BROOKS PASSES:  A great player with teeth, tongue as well as fingers used by most of his contemporaries Lonnie (born Lee Baker, Jr. in Louisiana) left us April 1st in Chicago, ILLINOIS at the age of 83.  After touring with Clifton Chenier he billed himself as 'Guitar Jr.' when going solo.  Lonnie changed his stage name again to Brooks when he moved to Chicago around 1960 and found that Luther Johnson was using the 'Guitar Junior' moniker.  His sons continue the family tradition of writing, touring and playing great Blues.

            CHUCK BERRY DIES:  Considered by many to be the "Father of Rock & Roll" Chuck joined the big JAM up above March 18th at the age of 90.  Before recording some of the best of early Rock Chuck (born Charles Andrew Edward Berry) he sang & released some Blues.  On his birthday October 18, 2016 Berry announced a new album titled simply Chuck to be released around June of 2017.

            "MR. SUPERHARP" IS GONE:  James Cotton passed March 16.  He was 81.  Cotton played with many of Blues greats as well as Santana, Gregg Allman and the Grateful Dead.  James learned the harmonica from none other than Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) actually moving in with his mentor when James was only nine. 

            2017 BLUES HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED:  The Blues Foundation will be inducting MAVIS STAPLES, MAGIC SLIM, JOHNNY COPELAND, HENRY GRAY, LATIMORE and WILLIE JOHNSON into the Blues Hall of Fame along with one album, five singles, one book and one magazine founder at the 38th Annual Induction Ceremony at the Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts and Education in Memphis, TN on May 10th.  The event kicks off at 5:30 with a reception and the ceremony follows at 6:30 PM.  Tickets are on sale now for $100 per seat at or by calling the foundation at 901 527-2583.

            The Blues Music Awards follow on May 11 starting with a pre-ceremony party at 5:30 PM.  The Award show including a seated dinner and featuring performances by many of the nominees starts at 7 PM.  Tickets and tables can be purchased now for $150 a seat at the above site or phone number.

           CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION FOR WISCONSIN'S PARAMOUNT RECORDS:  Paramount Records was founded in 1917 as the record division of the Wisconsin Chair Company.  Wisconsin Chair made phonograph cabinets first for Edison Records and decided to make its own line plus records to go with them in Grafton, Wisconsin.

            An odd location for a record company - especially one doing a lot of Blues - Paramount recorded many early Blues artists including MA RAINEY, ALBERTA HUNTER, CHARLEY PATTON, IDA COX, BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON, JELLY ROLL MORTON, BLIND BLAKE and many more.  Along with Okeh and what became Columbia records Paramount produced the bulk of early Blues recordings.  July 2 of 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the label.                        

            BLUES HALL OF FAME:  Remains open to the public down in Memphis, TN.  Stop in when you're in the area.  The Hall has  extended its hours to SEVEN days a week from 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. 



            Musicians who perform or performed Blues, Gospel, R&B, Soul and other related musical forms born between May 7 and May 20th that I've found dates for include:  Dan Auerbach, Dud Bascomb, Lester Bihari (Modern Records), Roy Blumenfeld, Jimmy Blythe, Jack Bruce, Bumble Bee Slim, Eric Burdon, J.C. Burris, Jaybird Coleman, Jed Davenport, Guy Davis, Roger Earl, Grady Gaines, Dusty Hill, Thelma Houston, Larry Johnson, ROBERT JOHNSON, Kansas City Red, Steve Katz, Donald Kinsey, Sterling Magee (Satan of Satan & Adam), TAJ MAHAL, BOB MARGOLIN, Sara Martin, Kansan Joe McCoy, Greg Piccolo, Ana Popovic, A.C. Reed, L.C. Robinson, JIMMY THACKERY, Butch Trucks, BIG JOE TURNER and Phil Wiggins. 

            Lets LIFT up a glass of whatever floats your boat and wish each and every one of the artists above a VERY, 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 LATEST Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues albums list is from May 6th and has Samantha Fish's CHILLS & FEVER at #1, Coco Montoya's HARD TRUTH 2nd, John Mayall's TALK ABOUT THAT still in 3rd, Sean Chambers TROUBLE & WHISKEY at number 4 and Southern Avenue's self titled album at #5.     

            The rest of this weeks Top Ten Blues albums are from Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo', the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Elvin Bishop, Big Bill Morganfield and Hurricane Ruth.   

            This weeks Top Five Blues songs from the same Roots Music Report are "The Devil Must Be Laughing" by John Mayall, "Don't Know What It Means" recorded by the Tedeschi Trucks Band, "Off The Ground" from the Record Company, "I Can Tell" done by Janiva Magness and "Don't Leave Me Here" performed by Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo'.  

            Blues on the Wisconsin Roots Music chart shows only LIVE FROM TRANSYLVANIA done by the Jimmy's at number 8.  The seven remaining albums are in different genres.                

            The Living Blues Magazine Radio chart comes out every month covering plays from the PREVIOUS month so.  The May 1st report reflecting April plays shows Coco Montoya's HARD TRUTH in first, Monster Mike Welch & Mike Ledbetter's RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME in 2nd, John Primer & Bob Corritore's AIN'T NOTHING YOU CAN DO third, Samantha Fish's latest CHILLS & FEVER 4th and Elvin Bishop's ELVIN BISHOP'S BIG FUN TRIO dropping to fifth.

            The next five albums for March plays were done by Eric Bibb, Billy Flynn, Mr. Sipp, Adrianna Marie & Her Roomful Of All Stars and Sean Chambers.



            Festival action is in the Upper Midwest is reaching FEVER pitch!  Check out the bill for BIG BULL FALLS BLUES FESTIVAL in the attachment plus the COMPLETE bill for the PRAIRIE DOG FEST and what's known about both the  FARGO BLUES FESTIVAL and BAYFRONT plus a number of other returning events.  I've added more festivals since the last edition and will put in additional ones in future editions.     



            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 are Cadillac Pete & Howard Luedtke May 14 in Nekoosa, Hip Pocket June 16 at Wausau's Bull Falls Brewery, Chris Brandenburg & the Bluetones June 24 at Classics Lounge in Shawano, Howard Luedtke & Blue Max May 13 in Chip-pewa Falls, Left Wing Bourbon May 11 in Chippewa Falls, "Big Dog" Murphy & the Mob May 12 in Appleton, Bobby Evans July 7 in Appleton, Donnie Pick May 12 in Wausau and Big Mouth & the Power Tool Horns May 20 in Green Bay.  Get details on these and LOTS more in the attachment.   



            Among BLUES or related music further afield of interest to Blues fans are THE BLASTERS May 9 in St. Paul, MN. and May 11 in Green Bay, RHIANNON GIBBONS June 13 at Turner Hall in Milwau-kee, SAVOY BROWN June 1 at Turner Hall in Milwaukee, COMMANDER CODY May 19 in La Cross and Minneapolis 5/20, SAMANTHA FISH May 11 at Chicago's City Winery and May 12 at Shank Hall in Milwaukee, SHEMEKIA COPELAND May 24 in Minneapolis, CORKEY SIEGEL'S CHAM-BER BLUES May 13 in Milwaukee, FUNKY TOWN - a tribute to R&B artists May 15 - 18 in Milwaukee,  GOV'T MULE May 25 in Minneapolis and the 26 in Milwaukee, SCOTT HOLT May 19 in Chicago, NORAH JONES June 2 in Milwaukee,  GOV'T MULE May 26 in Milwaukee, JOHNNY RAWLS June 1 in Springfield, IL, GEORGE THOROGOOD May 26 in MICHIGAN, 5/29 in ILLINOIS and May 30 at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, SCOTT HOLT May 19 at Buddy Guy's in Chicago and JOHN NEMETH April 28 at Famous Dave's in Minneapolis   



            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;


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