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January 14, 2011 Volume # 6  Issue # 2

Special Announcements
CD or DVD Releases
News Flash
House of Blues Radio Hour
Roots Blues Airplay Charts
Blues Festivals
About Us
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NEW YORK, NY – American Home Entertainment has released two special projects from The Todd Wolfe Band: The Todd Wolfe Band Live DVD and a companion live CD.  Both new releases were recorded live under a full moon at McCoole’s Arts Place in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, this summer and showcase The Todd Wolfe Band in all their blues-rockin’ glory, wailing on 11 original songs on the CD that have become fan favorites. The live DVD is over 2 hours and features four songs from the Fehmarn Festival in Germany, (loaded with Special Features).    
Wolfe’s music is rooted in the blues origins of artists such as B.B., Freddy King, Otis Rush, and Buddy Guy, but amped up to 10 and recalls legends Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Leslie West, Peter Green and Rory Gallagher. The new CD/DVD also showcases Wolfe’s songwriting, while true to its influences, carves its own powerful path. With Roger Voss on drums and Suavek Zaniesienko on bass, The Band has developed as a major road band, with constant touring in the past two years throughout the U.S. and Europe.
A talented guitarist/singer/songwriter Todd has opened shows for such artists as Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower and The Neville Brothers.  As Sheryl Crow’s lead guitarist he appeared on stages with Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles Robert Plant/Jimmy Page and Elton John. 
Blues Revue said of The Todd Wolfe Band, “Their sound recalls bands like Gov’t Mule and Cream.” And Hittin’ the Note magazine described the band thusly: “Imagine some power trio mixed into a Texas blues foundation and overlaid with trippy psychedelia – that’s the essence of Wolfe’s music.”
The Todd Wolfe Band is managed by Pam Adams of W Management (212-274-8952/
Radio promotion for the new CD is being handled by Rick Lusher (917-742-0254 /
For more information, visit or
Click on button to hear "Beg Forgiveness"

Fowler's guitar work has been compared to Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck, while his slide guitar has a hint of the late Duane Allman. He can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, but it's his lyrical work on lap steel and Dobro that makes him stand out among the legions of guitar heroes.
On Devil Got His Way, Damon fulfills the tremendous potential that his acclaimed Blind Pig debut, Sugar Shack, promised. His remarkable songwriting skills and vocal expressiveness are maturing, and his instrumental voice, by turns incendiary and deeply lyrical, is even stronger. Damon and his band have been touring extensively since the release of Sugar Shack, and there is quite a buzz already about this release.
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Healing through blues dancing
Blues dancers come together at the Polish Hall in SF every Monday evening. - The blues can be sexy ... sultry ... deeply emotional. Lyrics that cut right to the bone. Instrumentals that cry out from the soul. You can listen to it ... feel it. Or you can move to it and become part of the music. Some people say dancing to the blues is transformative, tapping into something we can’t usually find.
That’s what Lindsey Lee Keel went searching for. Here’s her story.
*     *     *
LINDSEY LEE KEEL: Blues music was once called “the devil’s music.” Despite its past demonic associations, blues has saved me. And it’s saved other people too.
It’s Monday night in the mission district of San Francisco. We’re at a place called the Polish Club. It’s not a bar; it’s a community center that tonight, and every Monday night, is a dance hall.
People have come out for blues music yes, but more to the point, they’re here to dance.
It’s really warm, the windows have begun to fog. The lighting is dim, and couples are dancing, some really close, some slowly, arms around necks, heads on shoulders or foreheads pressed together. Some stand back from each other with goofy grins moving their hips, spinning someone or being spun. The secret is that though it might look like it, these dancers are not in love with each other. Some may not even know the name of the person they’re dancing with. Others see each other out dancing a few times a week. These, like me, are devout blues dancers. We need it.
When I say that blues dancing has saved me I’m being completely serious. Blues saved me from a really unhealthy relationship. It was the kind of manipulative situation that made the world feel like it was shrinking during every conflict, like I was sliding slowly into the darkness of a muddy hole. When I discovered blues dancing it was like discovering I had been living in two dimensions.
Other dancers feel this way too. Here’s Cat Hughes.
CAT HUGHES: It’s falling in love, that’s what it is. It’s crazy. Every dance is like a love affair. You’re falling in love, for three minutes – with the music, with your partner, with your connection. And it can be dangerous, because you’re falling in love like a million times a night, and it can really screw with your emotions but it can also be amazing if you understand what it’s about.
For Krystal Wanberg it was the beginning of life.
KRYSTAL WANBERG: It’s like I had been waiting to live, like I had been waiting to grow into my body and then waiting to do something with it once, once I had it.
Back when she was first starting, Krystal remembers telling a prominent dancer in the scene how nervous she was.
WANBERG: And he was like, “Okay, just play along with me.” And I’m like, “Okay.” And he’s like, “Pretend that I am your one true love.” And I kinda gave him this weird look, and he’s like “Wait, wait, wait – I am your one true love, and I have been called off to war and I am leaving tomorrow, you may never see me again.” He’s like, “Dance with me, like that.” I was just like, “Ah.” And it was just the most incredibly connected dance. I was completely, completely done, like, I was a blues dancer after that, it was done.
The connection that Krystal felt is what blues dancers are constantly seeking.
WANBERG: It forces you to learn to communicate with other people.
Communicate in a non-verbal way. When you learn how to physically listen to your partner and your own body while dancing, it tends to carry over into other parts of your life.
WANBERG: It’s like a self-improvement process. Yeah, you have to grow some confidence.
Before I discovered blues dancing, I had been so uncertain of myself, of my life. But as I continued to dance, the air changed around me. My hips, had discovered a hidden freedom of movement. The space around my body made room for the confidence that was growing inside me.
Within three weeks of blues dancing, I decided to leave my boyfriend. 
Many dancers talk about “before” blues and “after” blues. Vhary Leggat had a problem with alcohol. She struggled with a negative body image. She sometimes felt suicidal. But after blues…
VHARY LEGGAT: I have become more connected to my body. You can’t go to a dance and say, “I don’t want to be reminded that my body exists,” because that’s what dancing is.
Many dancers like Vhary feel changed by blues dancing.
LEGGAT: My release from fear and sadness started with getting sober and ended with learning to dance, and that because of those two things, I am awake and I am healing. I’m no longer the person that I was.
When you’re obsessed with something that you feel has changed your life, you want to share it with everyone. I have convinced baristas to ditch their coffee shop tunes for blues, and to come out from behind the counter and dance with me, right there. I have slow danced with strangers under late night gas station lights and made the clerk curious enough to breech his own sense of safety, unlock the security doors, and join in. I’m telling you, blues dancing makes you do crazy things.
We don’t have a neon sign that says “Blues Saves” shining like a guiding light for the wayward, and we won’t show up at your door and hand you pamphlets about how your road to a better life begins at the church of blues, but we want to, we really want to.
Lindsey Lee Keel is a student reporter at Mills College in Oakland.

Etta James battling dementia, leukemia
Sad news: Singer Etta James, 72, is gravely ill, diagnosed with dementia and undergoing treatment for leukemia.
The Press-Enterprise in Riverside County, Calif., reports that James' condition came to light in court documents as part of a civil case in Riverside County Superior Court in which Artis Mills, her husband of 41 years, is seeking control of more than $1 million of James' money.
AP reports that Beverly Hills physician Elaine James, who isn't related, says in court documents that the singer cannot sign her name and she needs help with feeding, dressing and hygiene.
James has not performed on stage since early 2010 and caused a stir in 2009 when she voiced her displeasure about not being chosen to sing at President Barack Obama's inauguration. Beyonce Knowles, who played James in a 2008 film, sang At Last instead.
A hearing is planned for Friday. James' son, Donto James, wrote in a court declaration that he does not object to money being released for her health care. But he is asking that it be overseen by a third party, "to avoid present and future family conflict and discrepancies."

Is shipping out to Afghanistan
On April 17th, the world famous BLUZAPALOOZA celebrity concert tour will be making Blues history again when it ships out to Afghanistan to entertain our troops at war.
Starring BLUZAPALOOZA veterens Shemekia Copeland and Moreland & Arbuckle, this 14 day tour will take the Blues to  Krygyzstan, Afghanistan and Qatar with most of the time being spent at forward operating bases within the war zone of Afghanistan.
"It is an honor to be able to bring the Blues to our men and woman in and woman who have made so many sacrifices to keep us safe at home.  We will be giving them a show that they will never forget and that will remind them how much they are loved and prayed for by all of us," said BLUZAPALOOZA co-founder and co-producer Steve Simon.
"Entertaining our troops in the middle of a war zone is the most inspiring work we have ever done.  Our troops make me so very proud to be an American," stated John Hahn, co-founder and co-producer of BLUZAPALOOZA.
BLUZAPALOOZA is sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment, Telarc Records, Alligator Records, NorthernBlues Records, Yellow Dog Records, Ruf Records, XM Sirius Radio's Bluesville, Blues Revue and Steve & Jeff Simon Presents.
For additional information contact Steve Simon at

Aretha Franklin says her health is 'superb'
DETROIT (KABC) -- A month after undergoing surgery, music legend Aretha Franklin says her health is "superb."
On Wednesday's installment of "The Wendy Williams Show," Franklin told the host that she was relaxing at a casino hotel in her hometown and hopes to start traveling soon.
She says she has two more weeks of down time as she continues her recovery. Also, Franklin vowed to reschedule the concert dates she missed.
Also during the interview, Franklin hinted that she was dating someone.
The reason for the singer's Dec. 2 surgery was not disclosed.

Richmond, Ca. Once a Mecca for the Blues
Photo courtesy George Livingston Jr.
In the post-WWII era the city was host to a vibrant music scene, punctuated by the Blues clubs and restaurants that dotted its working class communities.
Soul icon James Brown and Blues guitar legend B.B. King were among the towering talents that swung through Richmond to play gigs.
But, by the 1970s, joblessness, crime and de-industrialization had sapped energy from the city's nightlife.
It was only a matter of time before the economic slump dimmed the bright signs that once drew patrons to hotspots on Cutting Boulevard, MacDonald Avenue and in North Richmond.
Few of the structures remain, and those that do bear little resemblance to how they looked in those glory days.
To get a sense of the city's musical history, it may be best to talk with those who lived it.
"You couldn't find any better entertainment, not just in Richmond, but in the entire Bay Area," said Joe Fisher, a local businessman who frequented the clubs in the 1960s.
Fisher reminisced while strolling down a now-dormant North Richmond block that was once studded with night spots. "You could come here, to Minnie Lou's, and just feel very important, a part of something great."
To watch a short video exploring Richmond's Blues heritage, visit 

Roots & Blues Showcase Presented by Blind Raccoon
Thursday, February 3 & Friday, February 4, 2011
Rum Boogie & King’s Palace, Beale Street, Memphis
Eleven acts are participating in the 4th annual Roots & Blues showcase taking place Thursday, February 3 and Friday, February 4, coinciding with the 2011 International Blues Challenge (IBC). Hosted by Blind Raccoon, a Memphis-based music marketing firm specializing in blues & roots publicity and radio promotion, the showcase has expanded to two days due to client demand. Performers include Paul Thorn and Joe Pitts from the region, Phil Gates from Los Angeles and Kirsten Thien based in New York City. Many are past participants in the International Blues Challenge and two acts, Grand Marquis and the Jason King Band, are competing in this year’s IBC.
“Since 2008, Blind Raccoon has been presenting this showcase to provide an opportunity for our clients to perform in front of many blues and roots music industry professionals here in town for IBC,” says Betsie Brown, president of the company. “We’re delighted that this year our headline for Thursday is Paul Thorn, who has received much acclaim for his 2010 release, Pimps & Preachers.”
The showcase is co-presented by Saint Blues Guitars and Charley Burch, Memphis-based music producer. At the showcase there will be a raffle to win a Saint Blues Bluesmaster IV guitar and various autographed albums with the net proceeds benefitting MusiCares. The Masters of Ceremonies are James "The Blues Hound" Nagel, KPFT, Houston and Brett Fleming, WEVL, Memphis.

Smithsonian music exhibit on 5-state tour
ASBURY PARK, N.J. — The Smithsonian hears America singing, playing instruments and telling its history through music. 
The Washington cultural institution's New Harmonies program will feature this musical history with a traveling exhibit in five states — Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio and South Carolina. Communities in those states will host performances and other events in conjunction with the exhibit.
The program, which is part of the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street project, showcases some of America's "richest stories," says Carol Harsh, director of Main Street.
"There's a lot of fine music in this country; you kind of take it for granted," says South Carolina's John Fowler, an Appalachian storyteller, musician and radio host. "New Harmonies is a great snapshot."
Venues in the five states include libraries, historical societies and performance spaces in towns, rural areas and small cities, with the first programs scheduled for Asbury Park, N.J. The sites host the New Harmonies traveling exhibit while developing unique, local spinoffs and promoting already-well-established programs. "Connecting the national story with their own personal experience is pretty profound," says Harsh.
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Include your band or business in the celebration of our 10,000th Friend on our Facebook site: Blues Festival Guide
In just under one year, we have almost reached 10,000 friends and we want to celebrate by giving that lucky person that signs up as #10,000 a goody bag full of blues-related gifts.
We are going to continue this Promotion for six months including asking blues-related trivia questions and awarding the winner a prize.
Steph Bravo is our Social Network Editor. She will be letting all 10,000 blues friends about you and your product. Free advertising for you!
Steph will make an exciting display/promo on our Facebook announcing the winner and repost it often so it remains on top so that your brand is seen again and again.
To participate, please send up to six units (CD, t-shirt, poster etc.) to:
RBA Publishing Inc/Blues Festival Guide
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Also, please send your logo to Stephanie as a jpeg attachment and let her know what you are shipping so she can match up your logo with your product.

Attention I.B.C. Musicians

Candye Kane puts her life on stage
Photo by Kevin M. Connors
Toughest Girl Alive" traces musician’s hard-knock past and redemption; previews began Thursday at Moxie Theater
GeorgeVarga/ - The darkest and most disturbing moments in Shakespeare’s plays and Wagner’s operas almost seem like cotton candy TV sitcom fodder compared to the real-life travails San Diego blues vocal dynamo Candye Kane experienced growing up.
While her parents-to-be were on their honeymoon in Las Vegas, Kane’s father was arrested for embezzlement. He was serving time at Chino State Prison when she was born. Her mother’s side of the family suffered from alcoholism and mental illness — Kane’s grandmother and maternal aunt both spent time in psychiatric hospitals — and Kane was just 9 when her mother taught her to shoplift.
It was a prelude to even worse things to follow.
Kane joined a gang in East Los Angeles, where she grew up. She became an unwed mother at 17, a year before she started working in the pornography industry (she said she was raped during her first nude modeling job). Then came bouts of intravenous drug use, during which time she’d leave her young son with her mother. (“Even though my mom was dysfunctional,” Kane said, “she was less dysfunctional than I was at the time.”)
These harrowing travails — and Kane’s successful struggle to rise above them — inspired her autobiographical musical, “The Toughest Girl Alive” (which is also the title of one of her 10 solo albums). It remains to be seen if the play will find Kane demonstrating her uniquely hard-hitting, no-hands piano playing approach.
The play began previews on Thursday, Jan. 13, and opens a three-week run Saturday at Moxie Theatre. Adapted and directed from Kane’s memoirs by San Diego Ballet co-director Javier Velasco, it features 25 of her songs and her touring band (which includes her oldest son Evan, now 30, on drums).
“I definitely wasn’t just a victim,” Kane said. “There were a lot of decisions in my life I made of my own volition. I put myself in bad situations and paid the price.”
As harrowing as Kane’s early life was, her tale is ultimately one of tenacity and redemption in the face of dizzying odds (most recently, the nine-hour surgery she underwent in 2008 for pancreatic cancer).
“We didn’t homogenize it for any audience, although children are obviously discouraged from attending,” said Kane, a bisexual, divorced mother of two adult sons, who credits her move to San Diego in the late 1980s for helping to turn her life around.
“This musical has every dark aspect of who I am and where I came from. It was tough to write because I’m a positive person who uses self-affirmation every day, so it was a challenge. But that’s what humanizes it all. It’s not fiction, it’s real. This happened — and I’m still here.”
Kane's tenacity in the face of such formidable challenges appealed to Moxie Theater, the women-led San Diego theater company, that has won acclaim for its bold vision and daring productions.
"Moxie is thrilled to be producing the world premiere of a show that truly fulfills our mission to create more diverse and honest images of women for our culture," said Moxie Artistic Director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg.
"There are few women who have lived a life as rich and diverse as Candye's or who are as open and honest about how they've lived their lives. We believe the most thrilling part of her story is that she tells it without shame or regret and we at Moxie say: 'Hell yeah' to that! We feel honored to know her and excited to share her story with our audience."
Noted for her sometimes bawdy and irreverent performing persona, Kane cuts a bigger-than-life figure, on stage and off. “The Toughest Girl Alive” wisely offers some comic relief among the way.
“There’s an element of humor in much of my story,” she said. “The way I survived the darker elements of my life was by taking a lot of things with a grain of salt. After all, not everybody’s mom teaches them to shoplift!”
Candye Kane started her musical career as a twangy country roots singer, before she discovered the blues and had a musical epiphany. Here are three of the artists she cites as major influences:
Memphis Minnie: Born Lizzie Douglas in Louisiana on June 3, 1897, she got her start playing in circuses. A robust singer and guitarist, she achieved success in a male-dominated blues world, and her late-1920s song “Bumble Bee” (recorded with her first husband, Kansas Joe McCoy) provided the template for Muddy Waters’ classic “Honey Bee.” Minnie died Aug. 6, 1973.
Kane: “Not only was she a great female guitar player at a time when there weren’t very many, but she wrote a lot of songs about street-walking and prostitution, and was rumored to have participated in those activities at different times in her life, so that was an inspiration for me.”
Big Maybelle: Born Mabel Louise Smith in May 1924, this big-voiced singer was an early member of the Sweethearts of Rhythm, the pioneering, all-women jazz band. Her solo career ignited in the 1950s, thanks to such classic songs as “The Gabbin’ Blues,” “Way Back Home,” “Candy” and “Whole Lotta Shakin Goin’ On” (which preceded Jerry Lee Lewis’ hit version).
Kane: “She embraced her large-sized body and had a sense of humor about it. She wasn’t afraid to be a sexual being, even though she was much larger than most women in those days. She and Memphis Minnie were popular during a very conservative, Victorian era, and I found that to be very inspirational.”
Ruby Presnell: The lead singer of veteran San Diego band Ruby Blue, she sings blues, jazz, R&B and funk with infectious verve. The current edition of Ruby Blue teams her with three San Diego jazz mainstays, bassist Rob Thorsen, guitarist Bob Boss and drummer Richard Sellers.
Kane: "I saw Ruby sing music that I thought was reservedfor African-Americans. She was so pretty and, as the daughter of Harve Presnell, the actor, it can be assumed by some that she grew up leading a life of privilege. When Isaw her perform the first time -- this poised, attractive blonde -- I realized that maybe (singing the blues) was more based on honesty and soul than on race."

“The Toughest Girl Alive: An Autobiographical Musical by Candye Kane”
When: 8 p.m. Thurdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24 only, 8 p.m.; through Feb. 6
Where: Moxie Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego
Tickets: Previews ( Friday), $20; Opening night (Saturday) $40; Thursday and Sunday matinees, $22; Fridays and Saturdays, $25; $5 off general admission for seniors, students and military. Attendance is for “mature audiences only.”
Phone: (858) 598-7620            

Early-Bird Advertising Special!
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Joe Bonamassa:
Joe Bonamassa is back with a terrific new CD, Black Rock. He hunkers with Elwood to talk about his life in the blues rock arena, the joys and struggles of DIY, and his love of British blues, BB King, and Otis Rush. The music of Led Zeppelin will make an appearance, along with a song from Joe’s new band experiment, Black Country Communion. And this week's Blues Breaker? A great one from the daughter of soulman Johnnie Taylor, Tasha Taylor.
 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
Chicago Blues Weekend
January 14-16
Chicago, IL, U.S.
Clarksdale Film Festival
January 27-30
Clarksdale, Mississippi, U.S.
Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts
January 28
San Francisco, CA, U.S.
Pakkasukko Blues & Jazz
January 28-30
Kemi, Lappland, Finland
12th Annual KNON Blues Fest
January 29-30

Dallas, Texas, U.S.
International Blues Challenge
February 1-5
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Marchwood Blues Picnic
February 5
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival
February 11-13
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
Roslyn Winter Blues Festival
February 18-19
Roslyn, WA, U.S.
The 3rd Annual Ship-less Blues Cruise
February 18-20
Boulder, Colorado, U.S.
Calgary Mid-Winter Blues Festival
February 21-26

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Saskatoon Blues Festival
February 24-27
Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Phuket International Blues Rock Festival
February 25-26
Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand
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.

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