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December 4, 2009 Volume # 4  Issue # 45

Special Announcements
CD or DVD Releases
News Flash
Record Label News
House of Blues Radio Hour
Roots Blues Airplay Charts
Blues Festivals
About Us
Coco began his long and storied career in the blues playing drums and(eventually) guitar with the legendary Albert Collins. Shortly thereafter, a chance encounter with John Mayall led to a ten year stint as guitarist with John's Bluesbreakers. After that, Coco struck out on his own, making three groundbreaking records for Blind Pig. The Essential Coco Montoya culls twelve of the most acclaimed tracks from those releases and presents them at a special budget price!
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Chicago blues vocalist Tail Dragger is back with his second live CD/DVD on Delmark. The first My Head Is Bald, Live at Vern's Friendly Tavern (Delmark DE 782 / DVD 1782) was chosen by Living Blues magazine as the Blues DVD of the Year 2005! "It oozes ambience, the atmosphere tangible" - Juke Blues. Tail Dragger is now playing every Saturday night at Rooster's located on Chicago's West Side. Delmark captured this exciting performance on the night of March 21, 2009 featuring Rockin' Johnny and Kevin Shanahan, guitar; Martin Lang, harmonica; Todd Fackler, bass; Rob Lorenz, drums; and special guest Jimmy Dawkins, guitar. CD is 11 songs, 65 minutes; DVD is 12 songs, 75 minutes with Tail Dragger commentary track, 24 bit/48kHz PCM stereo, 5.1 Dolby and DTS.
Click for more

“If blues, soul, and rock can be said to form a triangle, you’ll find Hamilton Loomis right in the center of it”, says Guitar Player Magazine. An apt description, as young Loomis is one of the young artists at the forefront of bringing blues based American music into the 21st century and redefining it for a contemporary audience. Spanning youth and tradition, Loomis bridges the gap between generations of music-lovers both in the U.S. and around the world.
Whereas similar aged acts like Black Keys, Robert Randolph and White Stripes play American rock music with heavy blues influences, Loomis plays the inverse. His is an undeniably blues based artist escalating into what All Music Guide calls “…a mixed bag of modern blues, modern funk, and slick soul.”
Hamilton Loomis’ December 1, 2009 Live In England release captures Loomis masterfully blending his myriad of influences into his live performance, at once forging ahead into hip musical territories while maintaining a strong connection to the blues legends that took him under their wings at a young age.
Within Loomis’ live show and thus the new record, listeners will enjoy funky rhythms, booming horns, powerful yet refined harmonica and Loomis’ soulful vocals coupled with his stellar guitar work. As has been his trademark, it’s another refreshing approach that manages to avoid blues clichés while staying true to the heart of the music.
Touring non-stop since 2001, Loomis has brought his funk-i-fied Texas music to audiences all over the U.S. and the world, recently earning two "Best Artist" awards in England and Wales.
Live In England captures Hamilton Loomis’ deft balance of his blues roots and exciting penchant for experimentation and originality. Loomis has guaranteed his place at the head of the pack of young artists changing the face of modern blues from within.
Click for more

Sirius/XM Satellite Radio's Blues Station now Reporting to Roots Music Report
B.B. King's Bluesville, heard 24/7 around the globe on Sirius/XM channel 74 is now reporting their playlist to The Roots Music Report.
Readers of this weekly E-Guide are already familar with our inclusion of the Roots Music Reports' Blues Chart and it's listing of Radio's top 20 most played blues songs.  The entire top 50 list is available weekly at
Since January 2007 when it first debuted in the Blues Festival E-guide, The Blues Chart produced by The Roots Music Report has seen a consistent increase in the number of Blues DJs and stations reporting their playlists; and subsequently has grown in credibility and by many was already considered the authority for ranking album play on Blues Radio. With the addition of B.B. King's Bluesville, the Roots Music Report's # 1 standing for Blues Charts is now indisputable.
The Roots Music Report is the number one independent music chart ezine in the world. They compile radio airplay data reported online from radio station DJ's around the globe that play all forms of roots music, so that each week you can see which independent artists are being played the most, by what stations and where the artists call home.
At the Roots Music Report they strive to help the independent "Indie" and mainstream artists, and have been doing so for over 10 years. Their goal is to provide honest radio airplay data for artists so they will be able to determine whether their promotion tactics are working, and give them the tools to help make their radio promotion campaigns more effective.
B.B. King's Bluesville covers more than 80 years of music, for all lovers of the blues. Featuring the roots to today's blues, it's your down-home destination where artists and fans are equally comfortable. They estimate 1.5 Million listeners per week!  WOW....Well done Bluesville!
SIGN UP--BECOME A ROOTS MUSIC REPORT REPORTING RADIO STATION: DJ’s & Music Directors - Support your local musicians by reporting to Roots Music Report online. Follow the link below, and join B.B. King's Bluesville by reporting your weekly playlists too.

 Christmas Gift Suggestion: A receiver and a subscription to Sirius/XM Satellite Radio would make an awesome Christmas Gift.
Then all the great Blues played on B.B. King's Bluesville station 74 can be enjoyed 24/7.
Click Here to Shop
Do we have one?  You Betcha!

The world’s largest guitar competetion, King of the Blues, hosted by Guitar Center finally found their champion last Thursday. It’s Kirby Kelly! Kelly beat out over 4,000 other guitarists in the opening rounds and competed on Thursday against four other undiscovered guitarists to a sold out crowd at House of Blues in Hollywood. The panel of celebrity judges included Jimmy Vivino of the Tonight Show Band, Elliot Easton of The Cars, Blues Saraceno, and Dweezil Zappa.
Kirby showed his prowess on the guitar with conservatively, yet effectively used slides, an expert competency of the entire fretboard, and a commanding stage presence.
You can watch his performance here

Stacy Brooks was very busy this summer making sure you knew her name and how to spell it, S-T-A-C-Y (Don’t put no “E” in my name, she says).  She explains to her audience in her song, “My name is Stacy”, that she has a diverse background however she spent most of her life in Germany .  Stacy loves to amaze her audience by singing some parts of her songs in German and loves it when people come up and address her in her second language.  You might have experienced her German blues on the Blues Festival circuit this summer at the Mariposa Blues Festival in California , Riverfront Blues Festival in Delaware , Safeway BBQ Battle in Washington DC , Big Lick Blues Festival in Virginia , and the sold out Congressional Blues Festival in Washington DC . 
 In October she traveled to Chicago and had the honor of singing with Blues legends Billy Branch at Rosa’s for his CD release party on Halloween (she was dressed as the Night Nurse/Dr. Feelgood), Guy King at the House of Blues, and Eddie Shaw at The Kingston Mines.  Although, she had so much fun in Chicago , she’s back in DC working on her own highly anticipated CD titled “Love, Peace & The Blues”. Her song, “My name is Stacy” is already in rotation at WPFW 89.3fm in DC. Check out her website and see why she has become such a buzz. 
  Thank you!   Love...Peace & The Blues, the CD is coming! Stacy Brooks

Randy Newman; 'I have no preferences or expectations'
Jamie Portman, Canwest News Service- People are telling Randy Newman he may well have composed the best film score of his career for Disney's new animated musical, The Princess and the Frog.
They're also telling him to prepare for a bevy of Grammy and Oscar nominations for delivering a range of styles that include jazz, blues, gospel, Dixieland and zydeco, that unique Louisiana musical form fusing French dance melodies with Caribbean music and rhythms.
So how does the 66-year-old Hollywood veteran respond to such hype? As is his nature, with a calm and courteous "thank you" and some quiet, self-deprecating reflections on an assignment that required him to write music for such varied characters as a New Orleans princess (Anika Noni Rose), a neurotic alligator named Louis who wants to be a Dixieland musician (Michael-Leon Wooley) and a wistful firefly named Ray (Jim Cummings) -- as well as such formidable real-life performers as Dr. John and trumpeter Terence Blanchard.
After being nominated for 17 Academy Awards in the course of his career, Newman might be expected to have some thoughts about which numbers might get the nod this time -- but no.
"Oh gee, I'd like to talk about the Academy for about half an hour," he says. But that doesn't mean he'll make predictions about his own fortunes. "I have no idea," he says helplessly. "I like Down in New Orleans quite a bit." That's the introductory number sung by Dr. John as the film swoops over a mythic New Orleans and reveals its characters and their unique world. "And the waltz turned out very well. But I have no preference or expectations."
He's no stranger to Disney animation. Newman won an Oscar for his contribution to Monsters, Inc., and also worked on Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Cars. And if he sounds modest, it may because he knows that animation is very much a collaborative effort.
"I had fairly explicit instructions; that's what I asked for. The type of song is almost suggested by the assignment itself."
For example, Ray the firefly is very much "Cajun country," and that was reflected in the texture of his plaintive ballad, Ma Belle Evangeline. Then, in contrast, there was the charged energy of Dig a Little Deeper, the robust number conjured up for Mama Odie, the 197-year-old Queen of The Bayou (Jenifer Lewis) as she labours to undo the spell that has turned Princess Tiana and her prince into frogs.
In the case of Tiana, as she nears her goal of opening her own restaurant, the mandate was quite simple -- to write a "happy" song. "It's an end-of-show number. Tiana is almost there. Her goal is in sight."
Director Ron Clements was entranced with the song Newman wrote for the film's villain -- a cavorting voodoo wizard named Dr. Facilier (Keith David) who's responsible for turning the film's hero and heroine into frogs. Visually and musically, the song -- Friends on the Other Side -- delivers one of the movie's most striking animated sequences. And, says Clements, it all came out of the need for Newman to supply the music for a card-reading sequence.
Co-director Ron Musker remembers that he and Clements thought they would have to move to explanatory dialogue when the scheming doctor takes up the Tarot cards -- but "Randy actually musicalized the entire thing, and put all the information within the music, which is very, very tricky to do. It wasn't what we were expecting. It was better than we expected."
Newman comes from an illustrious Hollywood musical family. Three uncles -- Alfred, Lionel and Emil -- were all successful film composers, with Alfred achieving a unique immortality by creating the celebrated 20th Century Fox fanfare.
Newman, who has also scored many live-action movies, knows that, ultimately, what he does in a film like The Princess and the Frog is subordinate to the animation -- but he doesn't mind.
"Despite the abilities of the actors, and the voices that they give to the characters, I'm cognizant always of how miraculous it is that human beings are capable of that kind of animation, and it's just such a beautiful-looking thing," he says gruffly. "I had no thought of anything standing alone ... but I'm glad that John Musker, [executive producer] John Lasseter and Ron Clements think that the score served the picture, and I hope that's true."
It's more than true, according to Lasseter, who's also chief creative officer of the Disney and Pixar animation studios. Lasseter recently visited Disneyland, where a new attraction -- Tiana's Showboat Jubilee -- is drawing in crowds and promoting the new movie.
"It's so amazing to hear Randy's songs there," Lasseter says. "It's a Mardi Gras parade that comes out of New Orleans Square and goes to the Mark Twain steamboat, and they use the steamboat as a stage. It's the most perfect setting. Talk about synergy. It's just unbelievable how wonderful it is. And it brought tears to my eyes to hear Randy's songs." And he predicts the songs are in for a long life.
"You're at Disneyland, and you realize how these songs are so perfect for the movie, but also perfect for the longevity of these characters within the Disney parks and the books and the records and the toys ... and it's exciting that this is the beginning of it."

Grammy Award Winning Zydeco Artist Terrance Simien Performs on New Disney Soundtrack
Lafayette, LA – November 6, 2009 - One of the most talked-about movies debuting this holiday season is Disney’s animated The Princess and the Frog.
For the first time, the Disney princess is African American, and this new adaptation of a classic fairy tale is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans and on the music-filled bayous of Louisiana. This is also the first time Disney will feature on-screen images of zydeco music being performed with the accordion and frottoir (zydeco rubboard), treating audiences the world over to the musical riches of Louisiana.    
Terrance Simien, one of the top talents in zydeco music with a long family history in Louisiana, is a featured performer on The Princess and the Frog soundtrack, due for release on November 23rd. Simien’s energetic accordion lights up the song (written by Randy Newman), “Gonna Take You There.”  An accordion playing firefly named Ray performs the action on screen, beckoning his companion to join him “down the bayou.”
Other artists appearing on the soundtrack include Ne-Yo, Dr. John, and American Idol and Dreamgirls star Anika Noni Rose. Simien spent hours in a Disney recording studio on their Burbank lot In California, recording the track, alongside Newman and Disney animators who recorded his every move.He also contributes accordion to the Disney Theme Park music for their new Princess and the Frog exhibits. 
Terrance is not only a Grammy Award -winning musician, he’s also recognized as an expert about and champion for Creole culture and music. His Zydeco Experience Band tours internationally, including recent tours in Cuba, Brazil and Mali. Simien and his business partner Cynthia led the successful effort in 2007 to add a new Grammy voting category for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album.
His Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco CD garnered awards and acclaim, and he brings his educational programs to thousands of people across the United States and Canada every year. Simien has been featured in several films, including The Big Easy. He has released many recordings over nearly three decades of music making, and is a cultural ambassador for the Louisiana Department of Tourism.
For more information, visit
Note: Terrance Simien is available for interviews. We can provide extensive information about the history of zydeco music.
PRESS CONTACT: Beth Blenz-Clucas, 503-293-9498                                                   

Chicago airport music helps frazzled fliers connect with city
Terminal Tunes plays music by Chicago-area artists and artists on Chicago labels on a loop at the terminals at O'Hare and Midway
Bluesy riffs and jazzy notes offer a soothing counterpoint to the bustle within Chicago's airport terminals. But the hand-picked songs also promote one of Chicago's biggest assets: its music.
A project dubbed Terminal Tunes puts music exclusively by Chicago-area artists, as well as artists on Chicago labels, on a continuous loop through the terminals at O'Hare and Midway airports.
"There's always been music playing in the airports -- but a hodgepodge of whatever anyone had lying around," said Paul Natkin, executive director of the nonprofit Chicago Music Commission, which collaborated with the city's Aviation Department on the project.
The commission is responsible for choosing the tunes but doesn't merely play disc jockey. The project also puts all its playlists online.
So if a particular song grabs hold of a passenger waiting for a flight or while rushing to board a plane, that passenger can go to and learn the name of the song. A searchable database by terminal and date results in pages that present song and album names, images of album covers, time stamps and 30-second audio snippets. Currently, the online system is available for O'Hare.
Natkin credits this innovation to his "favorite computer geek" at the Aviation Department.
The commission is compiling its next batch of about 30 CDs; each batch rotates for about six months, save one month of holiday music. It would also like to expand the program, which kicked off in April 2008, to other transit venues.
The music selections, often instrumental, are intended to introduce a calming aspect to a typically stressful airport scene. But they're widely varied. Current picks represent genres including polka, Latin, blues and alt country.
"We're trying to be as diverse as possible. The whole idea is we're promoting Chicago," Natkin said, noting that a recent University of Chicago study of major cities' music scenes placed Chicago No. 1 for diversity of live music offerings.
"It's shining a spotlight on Chicago music. And it's getting Sones de Mexico guys in the same spotlight as the CSO, which I think is an equally important thing to the city of Chicago," Natkin said. "These guys deserve to be put on a pedestal; they're doing great things for the city."
Natkin, a longtime photographer in the music business, said the selection committee also tries to bypass local musicians who already have wide international exposure with a few exceptions -- one being Buddy Guy.
The blues superstar has given the program his stamp of approval, Natkin said. "Buddy Guy goes through about twice a week. He says how cool it is that you can hear blues in the airport."
Artists might also chance upon their very own songs. In February, Matt Ulery, upright bassist for Eastern Blok, was walking through the airport when he did just that.
"It's nice for us. I mean, it's always good to hear your stuff unexpectedly," he said. "The fact that they play Chicago music in one of the biggest airports in the world is fantastic. I think this is a brilliant idea."
Drawing from Balkan folk music and using jazz to add a modern improvisational twist, Eastern Blok might not be an obvious mainstream radio choice. The band members all live in Logan Square and are working on their third album.
It is local musicians like these whom Natkin hopes to give greater exposure.
"If we could help the guy who makes $10,000 a year to make $13,000 a year, that would be a great thing."

Robert Plant was at the Mississippi Blues Trail Marker dedication honoring W.C. Handy and the town of Tutwiler. Robert Plant talks about how the blues of Sonny Boy Williamson affected his life and career. Click for the video

Ronnie Baker Brooks gets the crowd going at Heritage Music BluesFest.
WHEELING - Bruce Wheeler probably never thought having the blues would earn him national recognition.
The annual Heritage Music BluesFest created by Wheeler has been honored by The Blues Foundation with the "Keeping the Blues Alive Award."
Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the award to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Blues world. The awards are given to non-performers strictly on the basis of merit by a select panel of "Blues professionals."
Wheeler said the timing of his recognition is appropriate, as the Heritage Music BluesFest is entering its 10th year of existence. Wheeler is proud of the work he's done in the event, which is now being recognized as one of the best in the country.
"I am incredibly honored," Wheeler said. "There are more than 500 blues festivals every year around the country, and to be honored as the KBA winner is pretty incredible. It's for my work with the festival over the last 10 years, which is pretty cool."
Each year, thousands of Blues lovers travel to Wheeling's Heritage Port for the Heritage Music BluesFest. Last year, there were attendees from 25 states and four foreign countries.
The event began in 2001 when Wheeler envisioned a blues music festival in the newly constructed Heritage Port on the bank of the Ohio River in Wheeling.The festival features two stages - a main stage with Blues Music Award winners and a second stage for up-and-coming and local and regional artists from West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
The Blues Foundation Executive Director Jay Sieleman commended Wheeler for his work in the festival. He also said the Heritage Port may the most beautiful site at which a blues festival is held in this country. Sieleman said what may set the Heritage Music BluesFest apart from other events is Wheeler's knack for putting together a concert lineup. "Bruce has a great feel for not just name artists, but for those who are hot and up and coming," he said. "It's a beautiful setting where there's great hospitality and one of the best lineups around the country and in the world. It's quite something to see some of the world's best musicians with barges floating down the Ohio River in the background. There are some great sites, but that is one of the best."
Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron commended Wheeler for his efforts in the Heritage Music BluesFest. He said he is pleased the event attracts so many people from outside the area to Wheeling. Herron said he hopes more Wheeling and Ohio Valley residents turn out for the Heritage Music BluesFest next year.
"Bruce has worked very hard over the years to create a first-class event for the city," Herron said. "It's outstanding, and I hope the festival continues to grow. It already draws a lot of people from outside the area who look forward to it each year, and I hope it continues to draw more and more Wheeling people as well."
Wheeler also makes his work with the Heritage Music BluesFest a family matter. During the event his wife, Phyllis Sigal, and daughter Amanda, 23, work at the festival's main gate. His son, Leland, 21, serves as the main stage manager.
Wheeler has nearly finalized the lineup for the 2010 edition of the Heritage Music BluesFest. He said it will again feature "old school blues," contemporary blues and the "up and comers."
Wheeler believes you shouldn't mess with a good thing. "There's no reason to change what I've been doing for 10 years if it's being recognized as a good thing," he said.

The National Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences has announced their nominations for the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards.
The Blues nominations are in Field 13 - Under American Roots. Here are the nominees:
Best Traditional Blues Album (Vocal or Instrumental.) - Category 66
A Stranger Here - Ramblin' Jack Elliott [ANTI]
Blue Again - The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band Featuring Rick Vito [429 Records]
Rough & Tough - John Hammond [Chesky Records]
Stomp! The Blues Tonight - Duke Robillard [Stony Plain Records]
Chicago Blues: A Living History (Various Artists) [Raisin' Music]
Best Contemporary Blues Album (Vocal or Instrumental.) - Category 67
This Time - The Robert Cray Band [Nozzle Records/Vanguard]
The Truth According To Ruthie Foster - Ruthie Foster [Blue Corn Music]
Live: Hope At The Hideout - Mavis Staples [ANTI]
Back To The River - Susan Tedeschi [Verve Forecast]
Already Free - The Derek Trucks Band [Victor Records]
The 52nd GRAMMY Awards will take center stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 31, 2010, and will be broadcast on CBS Television Network.
Click for the complete list of nominees.

Everyone joins in at a Raising the Blues event. In just its first year, the local nonprofit Raising the Blues has won two prestigious awards and helped over 500 children cope with medical hardships through a one-of-a-kind music therapy program.
"We focus on the blues," said Ruth Atherton, the group's founder and executive director. "It's actually a wonderful format for kids. It comes from who we are as Americans, and it represents our strength and ability to heal."
Atherton and her team of volunteers and professional musicians visit children's hospitals and other venues, leading workshops and playing concerts to help children get through what can often be a traumatic period of hospitalization and treatment.
"[Music therapy] can lower children's blood pressure," Atherton said.
She speaks from personal experience. Her 3-year-old son Natan worked with a music therapist at Children's Hospital Boston about a year and a half ago, when he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.
"After four days [in the hospital] the music therapist walked in with her guitar, and it was the first time that my son didn't cry [upon seeing hospital personnel]," Atherton said. "He sat right up and looked at her and said, 'Where's the pick?'"
In addition to the hospital visits, Raising the Blues also led a workshop last summer at Camp Sunshine, a facility in Maine that serves children with serious illnesses and their families. The group helped campers make 24 cigar box guitars, among other activities.
"[The kids] were incredible," she said.
National foundations have taken notice. The American Music Therapy Association presented its Advocate of Music Therapy Award to Raising the Blues last month at a ceremony in San Diego.
And the National Association of Music Makers (NAMM) Foundation awarded the group a $10,000 grant in May. NAMM spokeswoman Kymberly Drake said in an e-mail that Raising the Blues is bringing joy to local youth.
"The NAMM Foundation believes that everyone benefits from expressing themselves through music and the young people touched by this program benefit from the very expressive genre of the Blues," Drake said.

Southeast Iowa's fledgling music festival, Simply The Blues, has called it quits.
STB promoter Matt Eimer announced last week that Simple Man Enterprises LLC would no longer produce the festival, which began in 2004 and took place at the C. E. Richards Rodeo Arena in Fort Madison.
Eimer said rising costs and unrising attendance were the main reasons for his decision. The festival's gate could not rise above the 1,500 per year gate of the past three years.
"We kind of plateaued," Eimer said.
Eimer kept the fest's boutique persona intact during its six-year run by refusing to boilerplate it.
"We do not want to turn this into a 'parking lot' event," Eimer said. "Asking any more from our sponsors and friends would not be fair to them."
Eimer started the fest because someone asked him what it was he'd like to do but has never done.
"I said I'd love to promote music and musicians."
He's happy with the way his dream manifested but knows it could have lived on if not for a few factors that keep attendance down.
"If this was Des Moines or a bigger city, it would be different," he said.
Eimer said one problem was that, although blues aficionados knew the acts he was booking, most of the public didn't. STB couldn't afford marquee players like Robert Cray and Bonnie Raitt. The little festival brought in the kind of niche players Cray and Raitt go see on their nights off -- James Cotton, Rory Block, Slick Ballinger and people like that.
"We've had great talent over the last six years," Eimer said. They had three Grammy winners in Cotton, Sugar Blue and Honeyboy Edwards.
American music legend Leon Redbone doesn't do festivals, but he showed up for STB last year because he heard it wasn't like other festivals.
The first act booked into STB was Willy Kent, a 10-time Blues Award winner.
"Jim French has been a part of the festival from the beginning," Eimer said of the local harmonica man. "One of the first bands we had was the Mudcats."
Eimer checked into booking everyone -- Raitt included -- but pricing prevented fulfillment.
"We didn't have the budget to bring in those kind of people, but we brought in the best people we could," he said.
Speculation was that had the fest been at a better time weather-wise than middle May -- say, Mother's Day weekend or the Fourth of July -- it would have had bigger crowds.
"I don't believe that for a minute," Eimer said. "The problem is that you're competing with everybody. Booking agents loved it." "Yeah, the weather was bad at times but ..."
Jason Ricci closed 2008 during a thunderstorm so violent the fairgrounds looked like Lake Pontchartrain, with muddy rivers flowing into the shelter where Ricci's band played.
Eimer laughed when asked if he lost money.
"Come on, man, does anybody make money in blues?"
Longtime music promoter and club owner David Hazell said times are getting tough for small festivals.
"Promotion of blues music is a difficult enterprise," Hazell pointed out. "The Quincy blues festival just announced they're folding in 2010, too."
Simply The Blues wasn't just a weekend of eclectic music: STB raised more than $17,000 for charity and offered unique events such as the Simply The Blues trains from Chicago and Kansas City and free harmonica workshops for kids. STB also sponsored music at the Main Street Bar-B-Q contest in Fort Madison and supported the Blues in Schools program.
"We feel that this has not been a waste of our time or our sponsors' and friends' time and support," Eimer said.
Eimer pointed out that Keokuk's blues festival, Rollin' on the River, has been holding on for 21 years.
"I'd love for our people and sponsors to support them," he said.
Eimer urged southeast Iowa blues fans to keep the music alive at local venues.

TUSKEGEE -- Hank Wil­liams, Elvis Presley, Jim­mie Rodgers, Mahalia Jack­son, Pete Seeger, B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe -- the list could go on and on.
They are enduring icons of American music, and Alabama is paying tribute to them and other stars throughout Decem­ber. Their contributions are be­ing spotlighted at a unique Tus­kegee facility thanks to the Smithsonian Institution Travel­ing Exhibition Service and the Alabama Humanities Founda­tion. The Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Cen­ter is rapidly becoming one of the most popular tourist spots in Alabama.
The "New Harmonies: Cele­brating American Roots Music" exhibit, on the second floor of the former bank building, is a delight for those interested in learning more about those who became stars in their chosen musical fields.
America truly is a melting pot nation, and a tour of the ex­hibit should underscore the fact that immigrants brought their musical heritage as well as their scientific talents to our country.
Jazz and the blues are our creations, but much of the mu­sic we might call our own really originated in Africa, Europe and Latin America. We just re­fined it.
Just as we warmed to the Beatles and made the British group our own in 1964, the rest of the music-loving world couldn't get enough of Ameri­can musicians who broke the mold -- performers such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Wa­ters, Bo Diddley, Little Walter, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Charlie Par­ker.
What makes the Tuskegee exhibition so special is its inter­pretive feature. Instead of watching dust collect on some of the wood panels, visitors can push a button and actually hear the voices of Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, two women who be­came blues legends during the early decades of the 20th centu­ry.
Their hit songs aren't much more than snippets, but it's enough to get a taste of just how great they were during their heyday.
Care to hear some Zydeco? All it'll take is the push of anoth­er button for some authentic Ca­jun music from Louisiana.
How about some Klezmer music? Eastern European Jews brought that type of music with them, and it was a showstopper in the Broadway and movie ver­sions of "Fiddler on the Roof." It's available on the tour, too.
The exhibit has more than just the sound of music. It also has the instruments used to make "a joyful noise." "We've got a guitar just like the kind ordered from Sears Roebuck catalogs years ago," said T.C. Coley, who divides his time between the multicultural center, where he is the execu­tive director, and the Tallapoosa County Courthouse, where he is a commissioner.
Ask Coley what some of the homemade instruments are and he'll gladly demonstrate by pick­ing up a set of spoons and slap­ping them against his legs. An­other device is made out of plywood and metal and requires a vivid imagination on just what it does.
Coley and Deborah Gray, who manages the center, are tour guides as well as officials. Most of all, they are music lovers who must feel as though they've been let loose in a candy store. While others pound on their computer keyboards or fix leaky plumbing, they've got a whole month to browse through an amazing exhibit, pluck guitar strings and listen to tunes per­formed by musicians whose skills resulted in worldwide rep­utations.
Those who find history bor­ing won't fall asleep as they ex­amine an amazing collection of musical lore dating back to the 19th century. In addition to the names and background of musi­cians, it also includes Native American music.
And, let us not forget that Tuskegee is the home of Lionel Richie. He and the Commodores had a string of hits before he branched out on his own and struck gold again as a solo act.
Once the "New Harmonies" tour is over, there's much more to see on the ground floor of the multicultural center, including details about the infamous Tus­kegee syphilis experiment. Co­ley, Gray and volunteers will be happy to lead guided tours.
With schools about to take a couple of weeks off for the Christmas break, December is a great time to take the kids to Tuskegee for a memorable tour of American musical history.


American musical icon and bandleader Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. and his band Buckwheat Zydeco (who are celebrating their 30th anniversary together) received a Grammy Award nomination for their Alligator Records debut CD, LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN. The CD was produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin and features guests Warren Haynes, Sonny Landreth, JJ Grey, Trombone Shorty, and Berlin. Awards will be announced on January 31, 2010 in Los Angeles.
Since its release on May 5, LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN has received some of the best reviews of the year for a roots/blues album. USA Today says the CD is "a zydeco trailblazer with a soulful bayou-steeped set of originals and covers." Living Blues adds, "Buckwheat Zydeco returns with a new release on famed Chicago blues label Alligator Records, and the results are stunning." Blues Revue continues, saying the album "is as steeped in blues as in the joyous Louisiana soul at the heart of this outstanding, wonderfully diverse set." Chris Morris, writing in, which named LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN an "Album Of The Week," called it "a vastly entertaining and appealingly diverse package."
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A gentleman named Johnny Otis has a birthday later this month. Now in his eighties, he was born of Greek immigrants, but identified as black his entire life. He gave the world the hit “Willie and the Hand Jive,” and discovered many talents, including Etta James. He has been an artist, deejay, promoter, and band leader. Elwood takes you through his incredible life, with a rare interview conducted this fall at his home in southern California. You will hear his music, plus Etta James, Charles Brown, Big Joe Turner, Wynonie Harris, and more. There is new music from singer songwriter Chris Smither: TIME STANDS STILL. And Ruf Records has given us five copies of hot British newcomer Dani Wilde’s “Heal My Blues.” They can be yours. Be sure to vote for the best CDs of 2009. See the winners in January, and the names of those lucky listeners who will get free copies of their own.

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Sean Carney's Blues For A Cure
Friday-Saturday, December 11-12, 2009

Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Southen Pines Blues & BBQ
Friday-Saturday, December 11-12, 2009

Perry, Florida, U.S.
Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival
Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chicago, IL, U.S.
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