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Blues Festival Guide

December 23, 2011

Volume 6/Issue 50


Special Announcements

The Bottoms Up Blues Gang : Handle It

Record Label News

Buddy and Hopkins

Roots Blues Airplay Charts

About Us

CD & DVD Releases

News Flash

Blues Society News

House of Blues Radio Hour

Festival Calendar

Special Announcements

CD & DVD Releases

Papa Juke : Out Of The Blues

Papa Juke is blues with a difference, blues with a heritage, blues with an attitude. Their intoxicating and infectious original sound is courageously creative and enticingly danceable. Their heartfelt live performances are both hauntingly memorable and contagiously fun loving. You will go home after one of their shows strangely fulfilled yet still wanting more. Papa Juke is made up of Christine Webb on bass and vocals, Dave " Doc" Dougherty on guitar and vocals, Mad Dog Friedman on harmonica and vocals and Dan "Butter Sauce" Crecco on drums.


Papa Juke is the originator of Juke, a contemporary stew of blues that they serve up hot.


 The recipe for Juke calls for pouring out some soulful blues and then stirring in a spoonful of swing, a fistful of rock, a bucket of boogie, a slice of country, a ladle of Latin, a pinch of reggae, a splash of Cajun and a generous dollop of old school R & B.  Add a big squirt of funk with a dash of jazz and then sprinkle in liberally some hot gospel.  Let it cook for a few hours over a hot jam.  Juke has been known to cure the blues, dismiss a hangover and even bring together long lost lovers.



Click to play


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Gary Allegretto : Many Shades of Blue

Gary Allegretto has been described as one of the classiest acts in the music business today, working only with the best backup musicians and taking the time to craft music noted not only for its quality but for its authenticity.


If someone complains to you that they don't make "real" Blues records anymore - albums that sound like lost classics yet retain the freshness of an individual - play MANY SHADES OF BLUE for them. 


This remarkable recording from renowned singer, songwriter, and harmonica virtuoso Gary Allegretto received GRAMMY Award consideration for Best Contemporary Blues Album. As the title suggests, it's all here: rockin', roots, swampy, greasy, Piedmont and more... delivered with inspired musicianship & engaging, original songs that tell personal stories featuring prominent artists including Ivan Neville, Janiva Magness, John Cephas and Doug MacLeod. See


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The Bottoms Up Blues Gang : Handle It


The Bottoms Up Blues Gang from St. Louis celebrate a decade of playing together with their third release HANDLE IT The album features a perfect patchwork of original music in the band’s eclectic blend of St. Louis Blues and New Orleans Jazz, with instrumentation ranging from guitar and vocals up to a full band with organ and New Orleans horn section. The band, based around a nucleus of guitarist Jeremy Segel-Moss and vocalist Kari Liston, have surrounded themselves with a phenomenal gang of  legendary local musicians to support a wide range of new sounds and influences. The album also includes an outstanding version of “Drown In My Own Tears” recorded with St. Louis’ legendary blues guitarist Bennie Smith, recorded before his death in 2006. 


The Bottom’s Up Blues Gang is known for being a hard-working touring act, performing no less than 225 shows a year across the country.


Currently time is divided with roughly 1/3 spent in St Louis, 1/3 spent in New Orleans, and the rest touring across the country. They’ve opened for acts such as Chuck Berry, Robert Earl Keen, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Robert Randolph, and George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic – in the 10 years they’ve been on the road. Vocalist Kari Liston says, “You don’t work music, you play music. If you’re not having fun doing it, you’re doing something wrong.” 


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News Flash

Happy Holidays































Free BMA Nominated Record For All Blues Festival Guide Readers 

For a very limited time only Greg Nagy is giving away his 2010 BMA Nominated Disc "Walk That Fine Thin Line" for absolutely FREE!



The entire record may be downloaded via a link at his website and takes only a moment. You don't want to miss this wonderful opportunity!  


Three quick and easy steps:

1) Just visit 

2) Click on the yousendit link located in the news section on the front page

3) and then choose "download files to my computer."

It's just that easy! Oh and be sure to tell all your friends about this great giveaway before it ends. 




"...Nagy has the stuff to get noticed beyond the Midwest. There's psychological depth and narrative momentum to his singing, and his blues guitar playing rings true in a personal way, even when in the spirit of Albert King or Jimmy Johnson. In addition, Nagy's songwriting is studded with winning connections to blues, r&b, soul, gospel, jazz, rock, country. The pan-stylistic title track is richer than a creme de cacao..."

-Frank-John Hadley 



A delightfully melodic and charismatic musical declaration, 

Walk That Fine Thin Line is Greg Nagy at the top of his game; 

this debut is going to be hard to top."

Mark Uricheck


Feb 2010


"Greg Nagy is a master of pulling glistening, flawless, funky grooves out of his guitar." 

Elmore Magazine  


"....Great record!" 

Brett Fleming 


Memphis, TN  


"...Greg Nagy has put together a complete package as singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, band leader, and fulfills each role with talent and confidence as he walks that fine line of the complete artist. " 

Roger and Margaret White 

Big City Rhythm and Blues  


"...With a voice so natural for the blues and guitar playing that stands amongst the finest anywhere, 

that fine thin line is a mile-wide when it comes to Greg Nagy. Outstanding! Highly recommended!" 

Gregory Johnson 

Cascade Blues Society Portland, OR 


"Best CD of 2009!" 

Tom Holland 

(guitarist for James Cotton) 


"Greg is simply a FEROCIOUS guitar player, who manages to draw from a deep well of influences and inspirations 

without really sounding like anybody else...." 

Jeff Konkel 

Living Blues Producer of The Year 

Owner of Broke and Hungry Records 

2009 BMA Recipient 


"...Greg can play anything he wants to guitar wise, but it's his voice that's heart stopping... On She's My Baby [from Walk That Fine Thin Line] you hear him at his most authentic. 

A little Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel all rolled into one." 

Jeff Paris 

Multi Instrumentalist/Singer/Writer 

Keb Mo, Rod Stewart, and more... 

A&M / PolyGram staff songwriter for 18 years.


Oakland's Legendary Blues District Getting A Walk Of Fame


(Jim Harrington/Oakland Tribune)"Terrible Tom" Bowden remembers when Seventh Street in West Oakland was a true destination for blues fans. The sights and sounds of the district beckoned to him well before he was old enough to actually enter the clubs. "I used to sneak out as a kid and shine shoes," says the 73-year-old blues singer-songwriter, who still lives near Seventh Street. "I met all the stars."


In its heyday -- from the 1930s through the late 1960s -- there was no shortage of A-list performers gracing the famed entertainment district. Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, Etta James and Lowell Fulson were among the stars who performed in such clubs as Slim Jenkins Supper Club and Esther's Orbit Room.


Now, the neighborhood is better known for the sound of gunshots than searing blues guitar riffs. But someday soon, Bowden will be able to take a walk down Memory Lane.


A project more than 20 years in the making will create a Walk of Fame on Seventh Street, on the same blocks that cemented the East Bay's role in blues history.


The project, titled "The Music They Played on 7th Street Oakland Walk of Fame," is targeted to open by late spring, according to Sunny Nguyen, a project manager for the Oakland Redevelopment Agency, who pointed out "it certainly has been a long time coming."


No one understands that better than Ronnie Stewart. As the executive director for the nonprofit Bay Area Blues Society, Stewart has been working on the Walk of Fame since 1990. He's tickled to finally see the finish line. "I don't get any salary from doing this Blues Society," says Stewart, himself an accomplished blues guitarist and bandleader. "I live for people to get recognition."


That acknowledgment will come in the form of 85 plaques embedded into both sides of the sidewalk along Seventh Street, between Henry and Center streets. One of the plaques will serve as a dedication marker; the other 84 will honor individual musicians, club owners and others who helped earn Seventh Street the nickname "Harlem of the West."


A second phase of plaques is expected to center on Seventh and Wood streets, the true heart of the entertainment district, Stewart says. But planning is still in the early stages. The work is part of a $5.1 million project to renovate Seventh Street and the surrounding neighborhood, which has received funding from the Oakland Redevelopment Agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and BART, among other sources.

Details about the plaques' exact size and materials are still being ironed out, and Nguyen expects their construction to happen in the winter. But the toughest decisions already have been made: which musicians to immortalize on the Walk of Fame. The final choices came from the Blues Society. 


Click for more



Musicians Sing the Blues

(DavidHansen/ generally like our music uplifting, but for local musicians sometimes life gets in the way.


Whether it's the piano player at French 75 or the reggae-fueled singer at Mozambique, the glamour of playing night after night takes its toll. Divorce, personal issues and chaotic schedules make the "rock star" life anything but.Perhaps the only salvation for veteran musicians is their original motivation: just stay authentic.


"This business can chew you up and spit you out," said Le Grand Barr, a "fifty-something" piano player who has been playing since he was 7. "It is a challenge; it is an everyday challenge. I've had to constantly reinvent myself. Whereas I'm blessed to still be working, I'm still met with challenges and obstacles."


Most musicians start out with big dreams, and when that doesn't materialize, the wreckage is ongoing.


"I was a young father at 21, so of course my daughter was affected," said Barr, who is currently separated from his second wife. "Unfortunately, there's a lot of selfishness involved when you're young because you're thinking about your career and not necessarily about the responsibilities of being in a relationship, of being in a family."


Another local musician agrees. Nick Hernandez is the 45-year-old lead singer of Common Sense and also divorced — largely because of the music lifestyle.


"It makes it tough to have a regular life," he said. "All your friends are on a different schedule than you. You miss every holiday because you're playing every holiday. You miss every Fourth of July for 15 years. You miss every New Year's."


Hernandez started Common Sense in college. With some early success — a record deal, TV commercials and national tour — he lived the fast life for several years.


"I think that's what made it so tough on my wife," he said. "We were young. We really didn't know how to deal with problems like that. I was kind of immature."


Now, Hernandez wishes he had learned a few things earlier, like balance.


"What's really going on in your life is nothing like what people think is going on in your life," he said. "People make everything up. As far as a local musician who struggles like a regular person in this economy, that's kind of what I relate to."


The local music scene has changed, according to Barr, who also plays at Savannah Chop House in Laguna Niguel. He cites cutthroat pricing as a serious challenge.


Barr admits to being at a crossroads with his music, wondering if it's time to expand into other things, like writing music for films.


"We don't value what I do for a living anymore. Music is not important anymore. And that's really sad," Barr said. "When a disc jockey can command more than I can command at a private event for a night, something is wrong with that picture.


"I have nothing against deejays — everyone serves a purpose — but you can't compare my years of practicing, my skill set, my knowledge of music theory, with a deejay. You can't compare the two."


Barr, who plays everything from Frank Sinatra to Top 40, has to be well-versed in a range of musical styles.


"It's every man for himself nowadays," he said. "In this business, 10% is talent; the rest is business. You have to market yourself."


Both musicians, however, still love what they do, despite the frustrations and heartaches.


"There is no formula to make this work," Barr said. "It's tough. You can't treat it lightly. You can't look at it as a passing fancy. If you're trying to make a living at this, you better think long and hard, because there is a compromise.


"Can it work? Absolutely. I think anybody who plays music and can make a living at it should feel blessed and privileged."


Hernandez agrees, admitting that he's matured as a musician. 


"You get to be your own boss," he said. "You get to express your feelings if you're a songwriter without being looked down upon. It's like therapy.


"As a musician, I never lose the dream. My dream with music is to help people have a better life. I mean, it really is."


So at their expense, musicians sing. The crooner in the corner at the local bar is singing the blues for a reason.


They struggle every night of the week so that we can have better mood music.


They can't help but sacrifice for others. It's what they do, and most would not be happy doing anything else.


They are the unsung singers.


DAVID HANSEN is a writer and Laguna Beach resident.





Blue Christmas For Kids Raises Funds For Sacramento Children’s Home

People came for the music and because Sunday’s musical feast at Folsom’s Powerhouse Pub was a charity event. At $15 per ticket, with six bands lined up to cover a spectrum of blues music, and all ticket proceeds benefiting the 147 year old Sacramento Children's Home, there was no better place to be. 


The Randy Carey Band opened the show at 1:50 p.m. and their rocking country blues sound had people dancing early on. They opened with “Born Under a Bad Sign,” sung by Carey, who also penned several of the songs, including “Blue Boy Blues,” their next to last song. The band’s rendition of “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues” had feet tapping and bodies swaying in seats and on the dance floor that was in use for five hours Sunday.


“They really deserve your help,” said Carey, speaking of the children at the Sacramento Children’s Home, the event’s beneficiary.


Carey also reminded the audience that it was going to be a great day of music, a promise fulfilled by his band and the five that followed.


 Click for the rest




Mural Honors Blues Legend


Mural recognized blues guitar legend T-Bone Walker painted by local artist Brad Attaway.



Linden pays tribute to blues guitar legend T-Bone Walker with a mural painted in his honor by local artist Brad Attaway.


The mural commissioned by Linden Economic Development Corporation was finished ahead of schedule and in time for holiday travelers to take notice. 


Aaron Thibeaux Walker was born May 28, 1910, in the Bear Creek Community near Linden. Walker cut his first record in 1929. In 1947, he produced "Stormy Monday" for which he will always be remembered. Walker died in 1975 at the age of 65.


For the past six years the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest has been celebrated in Linden in June to honor this native son who became an icon in the world of music. This celebration of The Blues brings music lovers together in this birthplace of musical giants. 


Walker is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. 


Linden Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Russell Wright said the LEDC board recently commissioned Attaway to paint the mural honoring Walker as part of its efforts to market Linden’s music heritage.The mural is painted in black and white on three separate boards attached to the back side of the Linden Volunteer Fire Department building.


Attaway said it is painted in a “posterized” style using black, white and three shades of gray. 


Attaway is a local artist who has been painting for the past 40 years and has done numerous signs, graphics and murals. He said public art is his favorite thing to do.


“It is something that everyone can enjoy,” Attaway said.


He has also painted the Music City Plaza mural, the primrose on the front of Texana Bank, the murals in Veterans Plaza in Atlanta and three murals in Hughes Springs. He is currently painting a mural in Jefferson. He also did all the interior painting of the Music City Texas Theater including the backdrop and faux marble columns. Attaway said he was excited about painting the T-Bone Walker mural. 


“Hopefully it will become a part of the fabric of Linden like the Music City mural,” Attaway said.






Videos of the Week - Holiday Edition





















Charles Brown is credited with the beginnings of rock 'n roll Christmas music for his original 1947 recording of "Merry Christmas Baby" with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers. While there are earlier blues Christmas tunes, Brown's further work in the Christmas genre carried through into the Fifties and Sixties when new originals and novelties began to sweep the pop, rock and country charts. Click below to hear "Santa's Blues"


                          Click for video





  John Lee Hooker - Blues for Christmas



 Click for video







 Sheryl Crow & Eric Clapton


 Merry Christmas Baby


Click for video



Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Temptations


Click for video 



Santa Claus Is Back In Town (Blues Jam) Elvis Presley 


Click for video




Happy Holidays From Stevie Ray Vaughan 


 Click for video




Lynyrd Skynyrd - Santa's Messin' With The Kid


Click for video 





Record Label News



Chicago-based Electro Glide Records, Inc. is happy to

announce the release of their first compilation CD entitled The Blues, An Evolution on. This release showcases four similar, but distinctive artists: Big Dog Mercer, Danny Baron, Brandon Santini and Tom Holland. All of these artists

have extraordinary song writing skills. 


Electro Glide Records, Inc. is an independent record label that is committed to support and nourish the musician and his art. 


For more information:







Blues Society News

Buddy and Hopkins

Did you know that I do Custom Comic Strips and Comic Pages as gifts?

House of Blues Radio Hour











More on our radio and video streams can be found here.


For a list of stations where you can find House of Blues Radio


Click Here 

Roots Blues Airplay Charts

Festival Calendar

To view our entire calendar of more than 500 festivals, click here!



List your festival with us for






More Info

Legendary Rhythm & 

Blues Cruise #18

Ft. Lauderdale, FL to San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Virgin Islands & Philipsburg, St. Maarten, AN on the Holland America ms Nieuw Amsterdam

More Info

Winter Blues Weekend


January 6-7, 2012

Ellicottville, NY, U.S.

More Info

Luckenbach TX, Blues Festival


January 28, 2012

Luckenbach, TX, U.S.

More Info

 22nd Annual


Blues Bash


February 10-21

Charleston, SC, U.S.

More Info

Phuket International

Blues Rock Festival


February 24-25

Phuket, Phuket,


More Info

23 Annual Riverwalk

Blues & Music Festival


February 18-19

Fort Lauderdale,

Florida, U.S.

More Info

Boquete Jazz

& Blues Festival


March 1-4


Chiriqui, Panama

More Info



April 5-9

Byron Bay,

New South Wales,


More Info

Cairns Blues


Saturday, May 12

Cairns, Queensland,


More Info

River & Brews

Blues Fest


June 8-9

Red River,

New Mexico, U.S.

More Info



Saturday, June 30


Northern Territory,


More Info



Saturday, Jul 7


Massachusetts, U.S.

More Info

Your Festival


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profitable exposure.

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About Us

RBA Publishing Inc is based in Reno, NV with a satellite office in Beverly Hills, Florida. We are woman owned and operated.


We produce the annual Blues Festival Guide magazine (now approaching our 10th year), the top-ranking website:, and this weekly blues newsletter: The Blues Festival E-Guide with approximately 28,000 weekly subscribers.


We look forward to your suggestions, critiques and questions!


Reach the E-Guide editor, Gordon Bulcock,


Contact our home office to find out how to advertise on this newsletter 775-337-8626.


Information - both editorial and advertising - in the Blues Festival E-Guide - is believed to be correct but not guaranteed - so check it carefully before you attend any event or send money for anything. We do not write the news... just report it.

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