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August 27, 2010 Volume # 5  Issue #34

Special Announcements
CD or DVD Releases
News Flash
Record Label News
Blues Society News
House of Blues Radio Hour
Roots Blues Airplay Charts
Blues Festivals
About Us
Winner's Annouced
Trinidaddio Blues Festival in conjunction with The Blues Festival Guide held a contest a few weeks back...hundreds of you entered (thank you readers!).  Following are the lucky winners:
Angela Sepulveda
Angela won 2 Preferred Tickets to The 12th Annual Trinidaddio Blues Fest (August 28th, 2010) featuring Blues great Bettye LaVette; a two nights stay in Trinidad Colorado at the La Quinta Inn and Suites, two rounds of golf with cart at the Trinidad Municipal Golf Course, two steak dinners at Black Jack's Saloon & Steakhouse, two Bettye LaVetteCDs and two Trinidaddio t-shirts.
Linda Lamberson
Emma Bohn
Cindy Compton
Annie Brisson
John Roy
Bill Lanier
Ken McCart
These lucky winners will be the recipient of the latest CD INTERPRETATIONS: THE BRITISH ROCK SONGBOOK from Blues/Soul legend Bettye LeVette, courtesy of Bettye's record label Anti- Records
Ernie Mayhorn
Keith Archer
Ann Coine
Ken Price
Karen Freeman
These lucky winners will receive a Trinidaddio Blues Festival T-shirt.
Congratulations to all....and don't miss our current contest....see below, just pass the JW Jones CD.
Harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite’s life reads like a classic blues song: born in Mississippi, raised in Memphis and schooled on the South Side of Chicago. A groundbreaking recording artist since the 1960s, Musselwhite continues to create trailblazing music while remaining firmly rooted in the blues. His worldly-wise vocals, rich, melodic harmonica playing and deep country blues guitar work flawlessly accompany his often autobiographical and always memorable original songs.
he Well is the first full-band recording in Musselwhite’s long career for which he wrote or co-wrote every track on the album, and it is the most personal and the emotionally deepest cycle of songs he has ever created. The Well was recorded at Los Angeles’ legendary Sunset Sound with guitarist Dave Gonzales (Paladins, Hacienda Brothers), bassist John Bazz (The Blasters) and drummer Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits, Mavis Staples), and was produced by Chris Goldsmith (Ruthie Foster, Grammy-winning Blind Boys of Alabama). The revealing, autobiographical songs recall specific events and places in Musselwhite’s amazingly colorful life. His conversational vocals and masterful harmonica work are perfectly matched with the stories he tells and the near-telepathic musicianship behind him. Simply put, The Well is Charlie Musselwhite at his very best.
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All you need is love - as well as a deep respect and gratitude for family, friends and mentors, as one of the world's legendary guitarists releases a new collection of blues, jazz and soul-soaked instrumentals.
"Spread the Love" consists of 14 instrumental tracks, soaked through with energy, passion,drive, serious grooves - and the deepest respect for his mentors and affection for  his huge extended family, which include thousands of fans around the world.
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JW-Jones is a seasoned veteran at an age when many artists are just getting started. Midnight Memphis Sun is his sixth release – his debut came out while the Ottawa-based guitar slinger was a mere 18-years old.

Jones travels in esteemed company indeed. His last project featured guests Little Charlie Baty and Junior Watson; this time out he’s managed to snag Charlie Musselwhite, who contributes harmonica to three tracks, with the great Hubert Sumlin (long-time guitarist for Howlin’ Wolf), appearing on three tunes as well. And the bulk of the recording took place at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, hallowed ground to those who revere rock ‘n’ roll (home to the earliest recordings of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, Sun is arguably the place where it all started).

Jones enlists the aid of award-winning author Tim Wynne-Jones (no relation) on a handful of compositions here, with the result songs one can think about as well as feel. And he’s got two top-notch outfits backing him up – his own band (bassist Martin Regimbald and drummer Jeff Asselin) on five tracks, with the stellar rhythm section of Larry Taylor (bass) and Richard Innes (drums) appearing on seven. Jesse Whitely, who helped with horn arrangements, is on organ and piano throughout, while the horn section itself, featured on three tracks, hails from JW’s hometown.
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Enter this contest and win!

Bluesweek shines light on city's musical history
Arthur Williams, coming to St. Louis Bluesweek
If there's any doubt over St. Louis' place in the history of blues music, St. Louis Bluesweek is about to squash it.
Bluesweek, which began Thursday night with a cocktail reception at Union Station and ends Sept. 5 with the Blues Awards at the Old Rock House, is designed to honor blues musicians past and present who hail from the St. Louis region, organizer Mike Kociela says.
"Back from Scott Joplin to Johnnie Johnson to Chuck Berry, so many musicians came out of St. Louis," he says. "There will always be a great argument over what started when, but ragtime started here with Scott Joplin, and we're major influences in blues and jazz, whether we were first or simultaneous."
Although Bluesweek spans two weekends, the heart of the event takes place today and Saturday in front of Peabody Opera House (formerly the Kiel).
A bustling lineup of shows will take place, mostly from all-star bands made up of popular players who will pay tribute to various legends and styles significant to St. Louis. All of the participating musicians are from the area.
A segment on legends will look at people such as Big George Brock, Bobo Davis and Arthur Williams.
"And who better to be the band leader than Marquise Knox to show there are old ones, but there are some good young ones too?" says John May, the St. Louis Blues Society president who booked acts for Bluesweek.
A focus on the blues harmonica will bring attention to St. Louis' interpretation of that instrument.
"It's a cross between the Delta style and the Chicago style," May says.
Also featured will be the KDHX All Star Blues Brunch at the Grizzly Bear on Sunday; a history panel discussion at the Centene Center for the Arts on Tuesday; a harp workshop at Blues City Deli on Wednesday; and a guitar workshop at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups on Thursday.
"This is just the beginning," Kociela says. "This is going to be important in our city in so many ways. We'll bring people from around the world to our city. I can guarantee that."

If you go: St. Louis Bluesweek

When • 5-11:30 p.m. today and 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday
Where • Peabody Opera House steps, 14th and Market streets
How much • Free (donations for the St. Louis Blues Society)
More info •

Rhythm & Roots
Friday, Sept 3-Sunday, Sept 5, 2010
Ninigret Park (Route 1a Old Post Road), Charlestown, RI 
Biggest roots music festival in New England with Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, New Orleans R&B, Tex-Mex, Swing, etc., this year featuring Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Texas Tornados, Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women, Geoff Muldaur & the Texas Sheiks, CJ Chenier, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Little Freddie King, Marcia Ball, Donna the Buffalo, Johnny Nicholas & the Texas All-Stars, Magnolia, Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, Horace Trahan & the New Ossun Express, Red Stick Ramblers, Uncle Earl, Danny Barnes, Occidental Gypsy Jazz Quartet & more. Special Texas-size jam on Saturday night with Texas Tornados, Marcia Ball, Johnny Nicholas & more. 

Features four music stages, two huge dance floors, dance lessons, a wide selection of merchants and food vendors (from Cajun & Creole cuisine to Greek and Asian foods, vegetarian dishes and fresh native seafood along with beer, wine, and other beverages plus an array of New Orleans style pastries, gourmet ice cream, sorbets, and fresh ground coffees including espresso and cappuccino).

Family Tent with musicians and storytellers, and other day long kids’ activities including a Mardi Gras style parade led by a brass band. Dance Pavilion with daytime dance instruction in Cajun & zydeco, evening dances. Intimate music workshops with performers plus the 6th annual Cajun Kids Academy with instruction in traditional fiddle, guitar, accordion, bass and mandolin (advance registration suggested). Also on site: swimming pond, state-of-the-art playground, tennis courts, bike paths, camping & more. Tons of free parking.
Just minutes from beautiful Rhode Island beaches and ocean-front accommodations. 
Critics have been quoted as saying that, “Rhythm & Roots is an incredible experience, a perfectly organized, flawlessly run major destination event that music and dance fans from all over the country will be drawn to...”
Mapquest Directions:  Use 4891 Old Post Road, Charlestown, RI  02813
The festival entrance is directly across from Charlestown Ambulance & Rescue  

Tickets:  $30-$175

New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival
The State Theatre presents the 4th annual New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival at the Backstage Jazz Club, September 23-26, 2010. It’s an all-star musical lineup in an intimate setting for serious and casual jazz and blues fans alike.
Featured performances during the festival include Sugar Blue (9/23/10 at 8pm); Eddie Palmieri Afro-Caribbean Jazz Septet (9/24/10 at 8pm & 10pm); Maria Muldaur and Her Red Hot Bluesianna Band (9/25/10 at 8pm & 10pm); and violinist Regina Carter (9/26/10 at 11:30am). All four performances take place in the exclusive 230-seat club-style venue on stage, called the Backstage Jazz Club. This on stage venue is custom designed to give patrons an exclusive club-style experience just inches away from the artists.
 The Backstage Jazz Club provides a unique environment for patrons to relax on stage, face the beautiful interior of the magnificently renovated 1921 hall, and experience music from living jazz and blues greats up close and personal. The venue’s entrance and all accommodations are backstage. There will be assigned table and chair seating, as well as light fare, and a fully-stocked bar. The New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival is sponsored by New Millennium Bank and The Karma Foundation.
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An American Icon Story of Recovery and Resurgence
Nashville, TN…August 23, 2010…It was on May 1st and 2nd, 2010 that two days of torrential rain caused floods that devastated Nashville, as well as surrounding communities in what was declared the most devastating floods to the area in 500 years. The water forced thousands from their homes, submerged some of the city's most prestigious landmarks and destroyed the gear of scores of musicians. Along with countless other businesses encompassed in the tragedy of Music City, Gibson Guitar’s Gibson USA plant, the world’s premiere musical instrument manufacturer and leader in music technology, found that it too had been severely impacted by the flood. Gibson USA, the production facility responsible for world renowned instruments such as the Gibson Les Paul Standard and the Gibson SG Standard guitars, was consumed by water. Only after the flood waters had receded was the extent of the damage truly realized. However, the road to recovery would prove to be a relatively quick one in light of the passion and spirit of those behind the Gibson brand.
The Gibson USA plant in the aftermath of the flooding that occurred on May 1st and 2nd, 2010, in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding communities.
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In the days following the Nashville Flood a harsh reality was quickly realized that the road to recovery and resurgence depended on the passion and dedication of the Gibson USA spirited team.
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Scores of musicians lost their instruments in the wake of the Nashville flood. The Gibson Guitar Repair and Restoration shop has spent a lot of time attempting to salvage beloved guitars as seen here restoring Keith Urban’s bassist and guitar player’s guitars.
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Some musicians came by other Gibson facilities to personally to inspect the damage. Seen here are Rickey Medlocke (Blackfoot / Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Gary Rossington's (Lynyrd Skynyrd) checking out flood damaged guitars which were later destroyed to make way for new ones to be produced.
A heartbreaking reality for many guitarists was to find that many of the beautiful creations from Gibson USA were too damaged to be recovered. However since the flood Gibson USA has stepped in with ramped up production and superior artist relations efforts to insure every Gibson player has what they need to perform in the future.
In order to quickly salvage some of the operations conducted at Gibson USA and to get people back to work, various facets of assembly were relocated. The photo above shows of the pickup assembly line that has been moved to the old Gibson Custom shop building. Gibson USA was proud to keep production underway during the rebuild of the plant.
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Only several days after the flood, Gibson USA's Rough Mill, which sits at a higher elevation, was able to get up and running once more.
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By mid-May many machines in Gibson USA were being inspected, temporary duct work was being run, floors were being cleaned and whole areas are being cleared of contaminated materials. New equipment, production facilities and overall production schedules are quick to put Gibson USA in business with stronger opportunities than ever before and a guarantee that all new product being produced from Gibson USA is the finest in every way.
After flood waters had cleared and the floors had been dried, some unique patterns on the floors in the finishing department of Gibson USA were left behind from remnants of paints and stains.  An interesting and creative reminder that the spirit of Gibson USA can never be defeated.
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By early June the task of vacuuming contaminated dusk out was in full swing. Along with more cleaning, wall studs throughout the plant were also being replaced.
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By the beginning of July the main floor of Gibson USA had been cleaned and sanitized, while duct work was being replaced and machinery was being placed, painted and tested.
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Production underway at Gibson USA
Though the Nashville flood was a tragedy of staggering proportion, it has been the perseverance, dedication, and spirit of the Nashville people that has allowed the city to step back onto solid ground. These qualities are reflected in the numerous workers and supporters of the Gibson brand who devoted their time and passion to the recovery efforts, launching a new era with unprecedented determination creativity, innovation and leadership for Gibson USA. The company also insured that no guitars that could have possibly been affected by the flood waters and unstable environment during that time which included high humidity and potential contaminants, would go to market and they were, thus, destroyed. All guitars being produced from the Gibson USA plant are new and unrelated to any instrument affected by the flood disaster.
The continued stories of loyalty, dedication and friendship have emerged throughout this poignant part of Gibson USA history - From the security guard who refused to leave his post until the last possible second to the supplier who drove all night from Chicago to bring critical items to the plant. There’s the human resources manager who drove to the plant through torrential rains to help move items to dry areas and the channel partners around the world who offered their support and assistance. And then there are the Gibson team members who took to the social media platforms to stay in touch and gather information for the successful recovery.
“It’s amazing how connected the employees are with this plant and this company,” said Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. “When workers saw the damage, first came the tears. They wanted to know what happened to ‘their’ plant. They had been hit personally. But no one was hanging his head. Instantly, the focus turned to how Gibson could come back even better than before. Out of the disaster came an opportunity to be bigger, better and stronger. Gibson USA is producing the world’s greatest instruments and will continue to bring our many fans only the finest products.”
In addition to the reopening of Gibson USA, many musicians outside of the Gibson corporate offices found support and aid through the Gibson Foundation. The Music Rising program, initially founded in 2005 by U2’s the Edge, legendary producer Bob Ezrin and Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz expanded its efforts to help the Nashville music community recovery by donating $250,000 for musician’s instrument replacement. Partnering with MusiCares, Music Rising and the Gibson Foundation have already assisted more than 100 musicians in the Nashville area.  In addition, to help the Nashville Symphony children’s music education program, which lost all of its instruments, Music Rising provided $25,000 for the critically acclaimed Instrument Petting Zoo program For more information go to
From the disaster rises a bigger and stronger Gibson USA, producing the most innovative and exceptional instruments in the world. Musicians, fans and consumers can all bet on new models and traditional iconic guitars from the Gibson USA plant, based in Nashville, Tennessee….Music City extraordinaire.
All photo credits, courtesy  of Gibson

First Annual Free Polk Street Blues Festival September 25-26th
Steven Restivo Event Services, LLC and The Polk District Merchants Association are pleased to announce the 1st Annual Polk Street Blues Festival. The free two-day festival brings live blues music to Upper Polk Street from Pacific to Union on Saturday and Sunday, September 25-26th.
San Francisco is already known for its love of the blues and Steven Restivo Event Services, LLC produces one of the nation’s largest free Jazz Festivals on Fillmore Street. When the Polk District Merchants Association described their desire to host a Blues Festival, this coincided with a long-time dream of Steven Restivo to produce a Blues Festival, “Since the earlier SF Blues Festival produced by Tom Mazzolini’s ended in 2008, we are excited that we were able to find a way to bring a blues festival back to San Francisco. The forward thinking Polk Street Merchants District Association had the original concept of this festival and we’ve been working on this for months to bring this festival to life.”
The festival will feature two main stages, a merchant marketplace, arts and crafts, gourmet food booths, a large family area, café seating areas, and much more. We expect that this event will have record turnout because it is now the only free blues event in San Francisco.
In addition to live blues from professional musicians, a local child music and art, Yoga and performance and education group, Bird-SF (, will have several of their student musicians playing. These extraordinary kids from 5-10 play an array of instruments from guitar, piano and of course blues guitar. The event should offer something for everyone from the dedicated blues purist, to parents looking for an afternoon of music and light entertainment for the kids, to gourmet food, arts and crafts.
To request accommodations for persons with disabilities or if you have communication needs such as large print, Braille or sign language interpreters, please call 1-800-310-6563 or fax us 415 456-6436 at least three weeks prior to the event. For more information about the event call 800-310-6563 or visit

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20 years after rocker's crash, music, memories still echo
Guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan's death in a helicopter accident shocked area fans
JSOnline - He wasn't the headliner, but some say Stevie Ray Vaughan stole the show that night 20 years ago. His wailing Stratocaster and Texas brand of blues had people on their feet.
It would be the guitarist's last performance. At age 35 and with his career peaking, Vaughan was killed when the helicopter carrying him from Alpine Valley Music Theatre crashed on takeoff in the fog.
Death came instantly early that morning of Aug. 27, 1990, yet it would be nearly six hours before the wreckage was located on the side of a 150-foot ski hill at the adjoining Alpine Valley Resort.
The nearly 40,000 people who witnessed the show made their way home on foggy highways without knowing what had happened. The earliest reports said Eric Clapton, who had top billing, might have been on board the helicopter. Finally, the truth was known. It was Vaughan along with three members of Clapton's entourage and the pilot. All were dead.
"We waited and waited for the news to break. Finally, they tell us it was Stevie Ray. We walked in a haze for the rest of the day like it was one of our friends," said Tad Laszewski, who was at the concert with three friends.
Anyone who attended that last show remembers the encore and an electrifying performance of "Sweet Home Chicago" by Clapton, Vaughan, his brother Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray.
"After the encore performance of all those great musicians, they started to wave and leave stage left. The last to leave the stage was Stevie Ray. He was always known for his Texas black rimmed hat, which he never took off. Before exiting, he removed it, waved it to the crowd and disappeared into darkness," said Laszewski, who lived in Milwaukee then and in Virginia now.
"All I remember was the passion, the energy of his performance. At one point, he played his guitar while it was on the ground. Awesome!" said Erik Jappinen, a history teacher from Oconomowoc. He still has a giant poster of Vaughan on his classroom wall.
"Stevie Ray was incredibly sharp in his playing that night, resonating even subtle notes that in past years may have been lost in the blur of his soloing," said Bill Arnold of Milwaukee, who attended the show with friends. "He was off drugs and alcohol, and it definitely showed. He still had that all-out Hendrix-esque demeanor, but now there was a crisp and clean edge to his playing."
"When SRV began getting standing ovations during every solo, I was blown away," said Bill Bartkowski of Wauwatosa.
Donna Ramazzini was catering director at Alpine at the time. She had no idea she was feeding Vaughan his last meal of steak tenderloin and double-baked potatoes. She met with him earlier in her trailer.
"I had to go through his entire menu to make sure that none of the ancient Chinese herbs he was taking in his tea would have any reaction with his food. Everything was fine. He shook my hand, and he had a great show," the Bay View woman said.
John Bezak of Mukwonago knew the security crew that night. "When the concert was over we walked out the back way and right past where the helicopters were parked. It was an extremely humid night with heavy fog rolling in. The copters were drenched in dew. The doors were open and as we walked by I looked inside and could see that the windows were soaked. Unfortunately, the next thing I said became quite prophetic. I looked at my friend and said, 'How can anybody see where they are going?' " he remembers.
News accounts from the time say Vaughan was looking around at which copter to board. Pilot Jeffrey Brown said, "There's room over here." It was about 12:45 a.m., the Monday morning after two sold-out shows that weekend at Alpine Valley near East Troy.
Four helicopters in all took off near the theater, heading for Midway Airport in Chicago. The other three arrived safely. A search for the missing Bell JetRanger began, but it wasn't until about 6:30 a.m. that it was found three-fourths of the way up the northeast side of the manmade ski hill. Debris was scattered over 150 feet. There was no fire.
Killed along with Vaughan were Brown; Clapton's bodyguard Nigel Browne; Clapton's agent Robert Brooks; and a tour manager, Colin Smythe.
More than two years later, the National Transportation Safety Board announced its findings that pilot error caused the crash. The helicopter had risen only about 100 feet off the ground and traveled 3,000 feet before hitting the hill. Mechanical failure was ruled out, but darkness, fog, haze and rising terrain contributed to the crash, the board found.
Ramazzini said she remembers hearing a boom and feeling her trailer shake. Most fans were blissfully unaware.
"Following the show, we decided to wait out the fog and were among the last few to leave the parking lot. We had no idea there was a helicopter crash. You weren't able to hear it happen," Laszewski said.
The bodies were taken to Lakeland Hospital in Elkhorn. Clapton returned to Wisconsin later in the day to help make positive identifications. Vaughan was buried in Dallas four days later. Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder were there to sing "Amazing Grace."
Lawsuits were filed against Omniflight Helicopters Inc. by the victims' families, including Vaughan's, and settlements were reached. Alpine Valley management said at the time there were no plans to stop using helicopters to transport entertainers in and out.
Milwaukee area record stores reported that all of Vaughan's music quickly sold out. He and his band, Double Trouble, had performed here previously half a dozen times, including Summerfest in 1984 and 1986, the Oriental Theatre in 1985, State Fair in 1987, and Alpine Valley and the Milwaukee Auditorium both in 1989.
Diane Semmerling, now the office manager at Alpine Valley Resort, was employed there at the time of the crash. She said no plaque ever was erected to mark the spot. The resort tries to discourage blues pilgrims from venturing up there.
"As far as I know, no one comes with flowers anymore," Semmerling said. "There was a time when people did, but that seems to have passed."

Pazman’ reflects on his Saturday final Super Session at Memphis Smoke
ROYAL OAK — For more than a decade, Pazman’s SuperSessions have brought live blues music to fans at Memphis Smoke. With the popular downtown Royal Oak nightclub at the corner of 11 Mile Road and Main Street set to close after its final show Sept. 11, this Saturday’s Supersession will be the last one at the venue.
That has Supersession host Mark “Pazman” Pasman feeling a “deep sadness.”
“It’s a great place to play and has been a pivotal corner of the blues scene in Detroit for many years,” said Pazman, a professional musician and longtime host of the “Motor City Blues Project” show heard from 9 p.m. to midnight Sundays on WCSX (94.7 FM). “It just feels like another major blow to a (blues music) scene that doesn’t need any.”
This Saturday’s SuperSession will be extra special, with appearances planned by many of Detroit’s top blues musicians, including Bobby Murray, Josh Boyd, Nikki James, and members of Brothers Groove, Grievous Angel and the Broken Arrow Blues Band. Many more unannounced guests are sure to make an appearance.
Over the years, nearly all of Detroit’s top blues players have performed at the SuperSessions. Pazman, who grew up in Oak Park and was a classmate of Marshall Crenshaw at Berkley High School, said musicians enjoy jamming during the loosely organized shows. It’s a nice break from structured bands and allows them to play with different musicians and learn new songs, Pazman said.
“They just come to play and it ends up being more like what we got in this to do, which is to hang out, play with some friends, have a good time, chase a few ladies, and just enjoy the music,” Pazman said. “That’s what a SuperSession is all about.”
Memphis Smoke joins a long list of clubs — the Soup Kitchen, the Attic Bar, George & Harry’s, Moby Dick’s, Fifth Avenue, to name a few — that used to host live blues music but are now shuttered or have undergone a format change.
With its great sightlines, excellent sound system, premier location and Southern-style food, Memphis Smoke was one of metro Detroit’s best venues for live blues music. That’s one of the reasons Saturday’s jam will be bittersweet.  Pazman promises the final SuperSession will be one to remember.
“It’s gonna be a humdinger,” he said.

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14th Anniversary of Blues by the Bay
September 4 & 5th, come celebrate the 14th Anniversary of Blues by the Bay in beautiful Eureka, California at picturesque Halvorsen Park, located on Humboldt Bay. The incredible view from this bayside park will be the backdrop for a spectacular line up of world premier blues musicians. Food and beverage, art and craft vendors, and micro-brew beers from many local breweries will be available.
Seating is first come first serve. Bring your blanket or low-back beach chair. Gates open at 9:30 AM on Saturday and 8:45 AM on Sunday with music starting at 10:30 AM on Saturday and 9:15 AM on Sunday. The festival ends by 7 PM each day so you still have time in the sun to explore Eureka’s wonderful Victorian buildings or the great Humboldt County coast line and redwood trees. So get the family together and come experience Blues by the Bay!

Music That Rises Above the City’s Roar
NEW York is a ceaseless cacophony of screeches, rumbles and honks, an improvisational score of stilted, urban jazz. Some call it noise. We drown it out with our iPods, become inured to sleeping and working under it and eventually tune the city out. But New York is also filled with veritable sidewalk symphonies: free, live concerts in public places that attract their own devoted groupies.
Free Music in New York CityThere are well-publicized performances in parks by the likes of the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera; there are some 100 sanctioned subway buskers selected through a competitive process that rivals “American Idol,” including the Meetles, a Beatles tribute band, and others who perform New Orleans jazz, Chicago blues, Finnish a capella, classical punk cello and Native American nose flute. And then there are lesser-known performances, some hidden in plain sight.
Much of the music is professional and planned; other performers are spontaneous and sporadic. Here are a few things worth pausing and pulling out those earbuds to hear.
Washington Square Park, Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.
A philosophical objection to passing the hat makes this less like a performance and more like an open jam, with concentric circles of musicians, singing fans and passers-by (video cameras in hand) tapping their feet. A popular cover of a song like "Bad Moon Rising" turns the collective into something of a happening, with toddlers furiously dancing, neighboring musicians jumping in and rows of smiling people feeling the love.
You can find them near the park's main fountain by looking for the "UMO Music" hat on the head of Joe Budnick, a 55-year-old guitarist, who has been organizing the event for 30 years (in colder weather, the group, loosely affiliated as Underground Music Online, plays at the Shades of Green pub near Union Square).
Lunchtime Concerts  
180 Maiden Lane, Tuesdays, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Juilliard students and alumni perform year-round in the large glass atrium of this office building near South Street Seaport. Of the three dozen people who sat in the rows of chairs and tables around the stage during a spring performance of Beethoven and Chopin by a piano student, Alice Gi-Young Hwang, a few read magazines, some dozed, but most listened attentively, sipping drinks from the lobby shop. 802 Broadway, Wednesdays in summer, Tuesdays through Fridays after Labor Day, 12:20 to 12:50 p.m.
In the hours after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Patrick Allen, the organist at Grace Church near Union Square, decided to play for the people gathering in the church's pews, filling the silence with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach because, as Mr. Allen put it, "it was clear that this music was the medicine and food needed by those coming through the doors." Nearly nine years later, the Bach at Noon series continues — peaceful, meditative revivals that draw a modest number of listeners. 
Drum Circles
Central Park, Sundays from 4:30 p.m.
The percussive posse that gathers close to the Beethoven statue at the northern end of the Mall in Central Park includes professionals who performed in the 2007 film "The Visitor," but also welcomes newcomers and is tolerant of children who freely pound on their African djembes.
One recent Sunday, a crowd began forming even as the group warmed up, entranced as the steady, rapid beat riffed into new patterns. 
Prospect Park, Sundays from 2 p.m.
A semicircle of grass inside the entrance at Parkside Avenue has been designated Drummer's Grove for the musicians who have been gathering there for 40 years. A typical jam began with Cuban conga drums, bongos and djembes sustaining a beat that charmed a singer, a harmonica player and a barefoot belly dancer to join in. "There's something about the drums that speaks  to you, that heals you," said Carmen Parrilla, a musician wearing a traditional African print and a gele head wrap. "It's a release of all that tension that builds up during the week." 
160 Broadway, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Perhaps the most surprising place to hear free music in public is at a McDonald's restaurant in the financial district. Above the front door, in a space not much larger than the baby grand piano perched there, three musicians rotate at the keys. One busy lunch hour, the house was packed with patrons downing Big Macs and fries to the cabaret stylings of ÖMichiyo Fisher, who has also played Carnegie Hall.

Eden Brent: Carefree Blues With Mississippi Flavor
Eden Brent's Ain't Got No Troubles comes out in September.(Photo-Julia Bailey)
NPR.COM - Pianist Eden Brent is from Greenville, Miss., the great-granddaughter of a legendary towboat captain. As a teenager, she began an apprenticeship with Delta piano player Abie "Boogaloo" Ames, which turned into a partnership lasting 16 years. She says their pairing, although unlikely, had a profound effect on her musical development.
"He was an older African-American man; I was a younger white woman," she tells Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon. "I was from a more affluent family, and he was sort of from the other side of the tracks. To look at us, we seem opposites, and yet music forged this beautiful partnership that lasted until the end of his life. In fact, it lasts to this day."
Brent began piano lessons at age 5 and later went on to study music theory at the University of North Texas.
"The academic education that I achieved and the practical education from Boogaloo work so brilliantly together," she says. "It is so clear to me, in retrospect, that one without the other would not nearly have been as effective."
Brent was recently honored for her skills on the keys in May, when she won a Blues Music Award for Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year. Next month, she'll release a new album, titled Ain't Got No Troubles, which she recorded in New Orleans in an effort to try something new.
"For this project, I kind of just wanted to get out of my element a little, so I went downstream this time and wound up in New Orleans," she says. "It made it different and fresh."
A Song Interpreter
As more of a live entertainer, Brent says she sees recording as a new adventure. Despite the title track's somber lyrics, Ain't Got No Troubles has a lot of happiness to it. Brent says the juxtaposition was deliberate.
"It's that whole feeling about New Orleans, where there's loads of sadness, but also loads of joy," she says. "The blues is that way to me."
Brent says that while she admires classical pianists like Rachmaninoff and Liszt, she doesn't have that kind of discipline.
"I make a lot of mistakes. There's even mistakes on this new record, and every time I hear them, I'm delighted," she says with a laugh. "There's something lackadaisical about it. More carefree. And it's the freedom, I think, I enjoy — not having to be married to the score on the page."
Ain't Got No Troubles features songs written by Brent, but she's not a prolific writer. She says she's still discovering songs from 80 years ago, and can just as easily express herself with someone else's songs.
"I've referred to myself as a song interpreter," Brent says. "I don't like to rehash something that somebody else has done. ... The joy in it to me is to revel in what they have accomplished with their own tune and then to make it mine and new and fresh again."
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Just Announced! Ol' school real deal Chicago Blues throwdown "Wolf vs. Muddy" - Tail Dragger and Willie Buck with special guests!
Delmark CD release party for Willie Buck's fantastic new CD of his rare '82 LP with the Aces and John Primer- The Life I Love and a celebration for Tail Dragger whose Delmark DVD with Rockin'
Johnny and Jimmy Dawkins, Live at Rooster's Palace, just won the 2010 Living Blues Critics Award for best DVD of the year!
Saturday September 11, 2010 - Live at Rosa's Lounge
Two of the best Chicago blues singers/entertainers in one night! This special event should not be missed if you want to experience
traditional Chicago blues at its most authentic! 
ROSA'S LOUNGE - 3420 W. Armitage, Chicago - Phone: 773.342.0452 
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Thomas Yearsley, longtime bass player of The Paladins was hit by a train on the evening of Aug 16th while trying to save his dog from the same. He was Life-Flighted away to Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA. He suffered a broken leg and other injuries, unfortunately his dog Swango didn't survive.
Thomas  is a member of BLUSD, a record producer, a member of our Blues In the Schools program, and the former husband of Candye Kane
The biggest portion of the costs will be the Life-Flight trip, a 3-day hospital stay, and the work that he will lose for the next few weeks. Like most musicians Thomas is without insurance. Please help out with a donation if you can. Any amount will help.
Thomas and The Paladins toured for around 20 years playing the biggest blues & rockabilly festivals in the world and were the backing band for many heavy-hitters like Barbara Lynn, Katie Webster, Charlie Musselwhite, Hollywood Fats, and countless others.
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The San Diego Music Foundation presents the 20th annual San Diego Music Awards, on Sunday, September 12, starting at 7pm. The show returns to the beautiful outdoor setting of Humphreys by the Bay, and is once again a benefit for Taylor Guitars for Schools.
Live performers at SDMA 2010 include Miss Erika Davies, Maren Parusel, The Night Marchers, Transfer, The Nervous Wreckords, Jimmy Powers and New Mexico (formely Apes of Wrath). The show will feature a special Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to San Diego's own Iron Butterfly.
For more information and tickets for the 20th annual San Diego Music Awards:
*Editors note: Blues Festival Guide Magazine Editor Michelle Lundeen has been nominated for "Best Blues" in this years compitition. Congratulations Michelle and good luck.
The voting for this years awards has been extended till August 30. You still have time to vote for your favorites. Click here

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Elwood delves deep into soul on the Radio Hour, with Sharon Jones, the dynamic singer for 21st century soul band the Dap-Kings. She shares the ups and downs of becoming a soul diva, including an amazing stint as a prison guard. The new Dap-Kings CD, I LEARNED THE HARD WAY, will be played. And some Amy Winehouse (the Dap-Kings were all over her Grammy-winning album Back to Black). Plus Sharon shares some influences with us - including James Brown, and his mentor, Bobby Byrd.We close the show with new music from acoustic blues duo Mike Stevens and Matt Andersen. And there is a chance for five of you to win KEEPIN’ON, the latest from Florida bluesman Robert Castiglia (Junior Wells’ guitar player). There are also free tickets for Tim Horton’s Southside Shuffle in Ontario, with Dr. Hook, Downchild, Elvin Bishop, Johnny Winter. Go to our contest page to register.
For a list of stations where you can find House of Blues Radio

Click on festival name to click through to festival website.
Over 500 festivals are listed on the website
Bean Blossom Blues, Brews, & BBQ
August 26-28, 2010

Bean Blossom, Indiana, U.S.
August 26-29, 2010

Sierre, Valais, Switzerland
The Foothills Blues & Arts Festival
August 27-28, 2010

Pomeroy, Ohio, U.S.
Mendocino Acoustic Blues Workshop
August 27-28, 2010

Mendocino, California, U.S.
Ozarks Music Fest
August 27-28, 2010

Springfield, Missouri, U.S.
(Ge)Varenwinkel Blues & Roots Festival
August 27-28, 2010

Herselt, Antwerp, Belgium
Saint Louis Bluesweek Festival
August 27-28, 2010

St. Louis, Missouri , U.S.
The Vermont Blues Festival
August 27-29, 2010

West Dover, Vermont, U.S.
21st Great British R&B Festival
August 27-30, 2010

Colne, Lancashire, United Kingdom
Trinidaddio Blues Fest XII
August 28, 2010

Trinidad, Colorado
2nd Annual Blues, Brews & BBQs
August 28, 2010

Napa, CA, U.S.
Byron Crossroads Blues Festival
August 28, 2010

Byron, IL, U.S.
Fargo Blues Festival
August 30-31, 2010

Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.
Howlin Wolf Memorial Blues Festival
September 3, 2010

West Point, Mississippi, U.S.
Budweiser Illinois Blues Festival
September 3-4, 2010

Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
Summertime Blues Festival
September 3-4, 2010

Freeport, TX, U.S.
Soulard Blues Cruise
September 3-4, 2010

St. Louis, MO, U.S.
Rendezvous Rhythm & Blues Festival
September 3-5, 2010

Oroville, Washington, U.S.
Beaumont Bluesfestival
September 3-5, 2010

Beaumont, Alberta, Canada
Harvest Time Blues Festival
September 3-5, 2010

Monaghan Town, ulster, Ireland
Rhythm & Roots
September 3-5, 2010

Charlestown, Rhode Island, U.S.
Dusk Til Dawn Blues Festival
September 3-5, 2010
Rentiesville, Oklahoma, U.S.
Snowy Range Music Festival
September 3-5, 2010

Laramie, Wyoming, U.S.
The Mayor's Blues Ball
September 3-5, 2010

Medicine Park, Oklahoma, U.S.
Delaware River Bluesfest
September 4, 2010

Stockton, NJ, U.S.
Zydeco Louisiana Blues Festival
September 4, 2010

Manor,TX, U.S.
Vancouver Island Blues Bash
September 3-6, 2010

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
4th Annual Blues For Food Fest
September 4, 2010

Seattle, WA, U.S.
Bedford Blues & BBQ festival
September 4-5, 2010
Bedford, Texas, U.S.
RBA Publishing Inc is based in Reno, NV with a satellite office in Beverly Hills, Florida. We produce the annual Blues Festival Guide magazine (now in its 7th year), the top-ranking website:, and this weekly blues newsletter: The Blues Festival E-Guide with approximately 20,000 weekly subscribers. We look forward to your suggestions, critiques, questions, etc.

Reach the E-Guide editor, Gordon Bulcock,

or contact our home office at 775-337-8626,

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