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Blues Festival Guide

January 6, 2012

Volume 7/Issue 1


CD & DVD Releases

The Toughest Girl Alive Stageplay returns to the Moxie Theater!!

Blues Society News

House of Blues Radio Hour

Festival Calendar

News Flash

Record Label News

Buddy and Hopkins

Roots Blues Airplay Charts   Click Here to view the list for the Top 100 Blues Albums of 2011  

About Us

CD & DVD Releases

Roy Treviño

South Texas-based blues guitarist/singer Roy Treviño has just released his debut self-titled CD on Troubadour Records, produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Luther Allison). The new CD was recorded at Church House Studio in Austin, San Jose Studio in Pharr, and Busy at Play Studios in Nashville, and highlights Trevino’s stingingly fluid guitar lines and soulful vocals backed by a stellar cast of musicians.


“Church House has a Neve Melbourne Console as its heart and we got some great sounds out of that and various other vintage gear and mics, all recorded in this old Baptist church in East Austin. We went down to my studio (San Jose Studios) in Pharr, Texas, for overdubs and recorded background vocals at my compadre Johnny Garcia’s (Trisha Yearwood’s and Garth Brooks’ guitarist and musical director) studio in Nashville.”


All the tracks on Roy Treviño are original songs, save for a cover of Bob Marley’s “Lively Up Yourself,”


Click to play


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Paxton Norris : Something's Gotta Give

Powerful Electric Blues Guitar & Soulful Vocals


Paxton Norris and his band deliver an impressive performance, burning every note with a passionate fire that is imposible to ignore! This album offers unbridled blues with the band establishing a tight groove early on, over which the vocals and guitar dance above with stylish rhythmn and often reckless aplomb. 


Produced by  Detroits own Motor City Josh, featuring the scenes hottest players including, Tyler Mac, Josh Ford, Justin Headley, Chris Douglas, Mike Lynch, Cathy Davis, Stacia Ford & Victor Wainwright.


Over 12 years of experience performing more than 250 dates a year touring, Paxton Norris continues to hone his skills at clubs and festivals, bringing his love of blues and soul music to people all over the world. 



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Beverly McClellan : Fear Nothing

Rock ‘n’ Roll is built on a foundation of great vocalists, and Beverly McClellan is quickly becoming its newest cornerstone. NBC-TV’s The Voice introduced her to the world as a singer of stunning power and range with the presence and ability to draw comparisons to Etta James, Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt and Melissa Etheridge, to name just a few of the great torchbearers whose legacies she evokes.


Now McClellan’s debut international release Fear Nothing presents her as a true and original artist — a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and dynamic presence with the ability, authority and desire to carve her own place in music history.


Beverly McClellan is ready to write a new chapter all on her own with Fear Nothing. “I’m just flying by the seat of my soul like I always do,” McClellan says. “I’m so ready to go out on the road and bring these songs to the world in a way I’ve never been able to before. It’s like the title says — I want the people who hear my music to fear nothing, and to feel the love, get inspired, and spread it around.”



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News Flash

Etta James Released From Hospital, Manager Says

(Jan 6, 2012) Etta James' longtime friend and manager says the singer has been released from a Southern California hospital and is back at home with her family.


Lupe De Leon says James was released Thursday afternoon, just a few days after the terminally ill singer's condition improved enough for her to be removed from a breathing machine.


The "At Last" singer had been hospitalized since before Christmas after she experienced difficulty breathing. James has been diagnosed with terminal leukemia, and she is also suffering from dementia.


She has been receiving mostly at-home care.

De Leon says James, who lives east of Los Angeles in Riverside County, is stable and is with her husband and other family members.


You Be the Judge...

The Toughest Girl Alive Stageplay returns to the Moxie Theater!!

(San Diego, CA) Back by popular demand and fresh from the New York Fringe Festival comes MOXIE's hit musical The Toughest Girl Alive starring Candye Kane.



Playing Jan 5-15 at MOXIE Theatre. This is the 99.9% true story of an ex-gang member, un-wed teen mother, rockabilly, punk rock, plus-sized, ex-adult film star, cancer surviving, multi-award-winning, bisexual, blues phenomenon, Candye Kane. Adapted and directed by Javier Velasco

Playing Jan 5-15, 2012 

Thurs-Sat @ 8pm and Sundays @ 2pm


Tickets & More info


Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival : Panama


World-Class Jazz & Blues On The Slopes Of Volcan Baru, March 1-4, 2012


The beautiful Chiriqui Highlands have long been one of Panama’s most favorite vacation and retirement spots, and the jewel of Chiriqui province is beautiful Boquete, home of about 15,000 including some 1500 retired expats from all over the world. Located at an elevation of 3000ft it is also the home of some of the best coffees in the world. The cool, crisp mountain air, delicious fresh mountain water, an abundant nature with lots of flowers, flamboyantly flowering trees and hundreds of species of birds plus the closeness to two oceans have attracted visitors from all over the world.The natural beauty of Boquete is the perfect setting to stimulate the creative talents and artistic abilities of those who live here as well as those who come for a visit. So it is no surprise that this small town hosts a lively art and music scene which culminates in the annual Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival.




Right from the start in 2007 the Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival has been the biggest music event in the province of Chiriqui. The 2012 edition will also be the first ever festival in Panama to showcase first-class international Blues acts in addition to notable Panamanian and Latin American artists featuring Jazz and Latin American music styles.


Our vision is to firmly place Boquete on the national and international map of Jazz and Blues events that are not to be missed. 



Our mission is to promote the musical arts and tourism in the Chiriqui highlands and beyond by attracting growing numbers of Panamanian as well as international music-aficionados to this beautiful area.


Our dedication is to support musical education at schools in the Boquete area. To this end 30% of the festival proceeds will be used to buy musical instruments and improve musical education in schools. Remaining funds will be saved for future festivals.


The festival venue

We've booked a truly unique venue for the open-air festival! It's a replica of an ancient Greek amphitheatre with a capacity of 500 seats situated in the lush tropical surroundings of Boquete's beautiful "Valle Escondido" (the hidden valley), an upscale residential resort & spa community. Excellent acoustics and unobstructed views of the stage from all seats are assured! 


Jazz & Blues Festival and so much more!

We'd LOVE to see you at our festival but there is so much more to see and do while you're here! Having traveled so far to get here you'll certainly won't want to miss the abundance of exciting places and adventures Panama has to offer.  



Click here for more info 

Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival 






The song Big Bad Girl says she was six feet one with three inch heels. That was Kay Kay, the big woman with the big voice who could bring the crowd to its feet cheering. The music of Kay Kay and the Rays was a fusion of soul, funk and blues. The lyrics were often social commentary. They played top venues like House of Blues in Boston, Humphrey’s By The Bay in San Diego, Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco and Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago.



The 2003 performance of the band at the WC Handy Festival was broadcast as an hour long program on PBS stations across the country. Easter weekend 2004, Kay Kay and the Rays played at the five day, sold out East Coast Blues and Roots Festival in Australia as part of a tour there.


The Australian weekly music publication Inpress wrote: "The best of the Fest was a photo finish between Dr. John, Kay Kay and the Rays and Solomon Burke. Kay Kay can sing in the true tradition of black female vocalists and is a cross between Koko and Aretha. The Rays were wild and smokin’ and included a dynamo sax player."













Family tragedies caused the band to break up a few months later after tours to Florida and California. Kay Kay has since suffered a stroke so there will be no more music from the group. The music on this album reminds us that Kay Kay and the Rays really were a "seamless blend of soul and funk" as they were described by Blues Revue.



Nebraska Blues Festival Ends 

  South Loup River Blues Festival 

  Ends 18 Year Run







WC Clark performs at a past 

South Loup River Blues Festival


( - A recent decision will have more than musicians singing the blues in Arnold this year.


After 18 years of entertaining people from around the world, the South Loup River Blues Festival has been cancelled. Dave Birnie, founder, said organizers decided to end the event on a high note - before it became too much of a financial burden.


"It was borderline," said Birnie. "It wasn't for business, but the past couple of years had us digging in our pockets. If you lose money a couple of years, that's OK. But, if we were to lose money for five years that would be a problem."


The festival began in 1993 as the South Loup River Rock and Blues Festival. At the time, Birnie was the manager of radio stations KCNI-AM and KBBN-FM in Broken Bow.


"I happened to be a blues fan, and I wanted to do something just for the fun of it that was blues-oriented," said Birnie. "The station owners at the time gave me permission to use the station as the vehicle to drive it. The title came about because we were afraid that people wouldn't come if only blues was offered. We were proved wrong." 


When legal counsel advised forming a separate organization because of the potential for liability issues, a handful of Birnie's friends joined him in creating South Loup Blues, Incorporated.


"Then, it became more of a personal project," said Birnie. "We grew rapidly the first three to five years. We learned about rain insurance, liability insurance, and the need for increased law enforcement. One of the highlights to us was that we didn't have any fatalities or major injuries of any kind."


Musicians, some of whom had toured internationally, began performing on the ball field in Old Mill Park every second Friday and Saturday in July. They included Jimmy Thackery, Tab Benoit, Matt "Guitar" Murphy and Coco Montoya among others. Jason Davis from Arkansas played every year except the first.


"He came as a young kid, and then recent years, brought his wife and little girl," said Birnie. "He said, 'If you don't let me come back, I'll camp across the river and play there.' There wasn't any artist that didn't ask to come back."


The festival drew in visitors from across the U.S. and Europe. Wayne Phipps of Berthoud, Colo., attended four times.


"I grew up not too far from there, so it was a good chance to go back and run into some people I knew," he said. "It was nicely run in an intimate setting with good bands. I'm very saddened by the news that they're not going to do it again. It's going to be missed."


Attendance peaked the fifth year with more than 2,500 people. After that, it averaged 1,800 to 2,000. Because there are only two motels in Arnold, many people chose to camp.


"Camping got bigger as time went on because of patrols," said Birnie. "People realized leaving wasn't a good idea if they had any alcohol in their systems. If it hadn't been for the camping, we wouldn't have lasted as long as we did."


Becky Dailey, Arnold Chamber of Commerce president, said all the businesses were packed during the festival. Restaurants and gas stations were among those that profited.


"I hate to see it end because it brought a lot of people to town - a lot of people who don't usually visit Arnold," she said. "But, I understand where they're coming from. To put on an event like that takes a lot of manpower and a lot of work. I guess all good things come to an end. Hopefully we can find another event to bring people to town."



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Peter Frampton’s long-lost guitar was recently discovered after its disappearance in a plane crash 32 years ago. In 1980, a cargo plane carrying Frampton’s equipment for an upcoming show in Panama crashed, supposedly destroying all of the instruments on board including Frampton’s cherished 1954 Gibson Les Paul. Thanks to the unyielding work of two dedicated fans, one in Holland and one on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, as well as the CEO of the Curaçao Tourist Board, Frampton was reunited with the guitar in an emotional meeting last month in Nashville, TN.


The Curaçao Tourist Board helped acquire the guitar from an individual after hearing news that they may indeed have a lead on the long lost and beloved guitar. Together in Nashville, TN at the Gibson Custom Shop, with experts from Gibson Guitar and Peter Frampton, the team confirmed it was the original guitar long missing from Frampton’s collection.


Frampton’s custom guitar was given to him in 1970 by a man named Mark Mariana when Humble Pie played at the Fillmore West. Frampton borrowed Mariana’s guitar for the show and afterward tried to buy it from him, “But to my surprise he said he couldn't sell it to me—he wanted to give it to me!” he notes.


Frampton played the guitar exclusively on Humble Pie’s Rock On and Rocking the Fillmore albums. The guitar also appeared on a number of sessions for other artists including George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, and John Entwistle. Most notably, Frampton played the guitar on the electrifying Frampton Comes Alive!, one of the top-selling live records of all time.


Frampton is ecstatic to have the guitar back in his hands once again. “I am still in a state of shock, first off, that the guitar even exists let alone, that it has been returned to me. I know I have my guitar back, but I will never forget the lives that were lost in this crash. I am so thankful for the efforts of those who made this possible…And, now that it is back I am going insure it for 2 million dollars and it’s never going out of my sight again! It was always my #1 guitar and it will be reinstated there as soon as possible -- some minor repairs are needed. And, I just can’t wait to get Mark Mariana on the phone.”







Mahindra Blues Festival Is Back With Global Superstars on February 11 and 12


Buddy Guy with special guest Robert Randolph, Taj Mahal Trio, John Lee Hooker Jr, Ana Popovic and Soulmate to perform in second edition of Asia's biggest Blues Festival



MUMBAI, 5 JANUARY 2012:The Mahindra Group today announced the launch of the second season of the prestigious Mahindra Blues Festival, giving lovers of Blues music another opportunity totreat themselves to some of the very best in global Blues at Asia's largest and finest blues event. Artists that include five-time Grammy winner Buddy Guy with special guest Robert Randolph, Taj Mahal Trio, John Lee Hooker Jr, Ana Popovic, and the will entertain crowds with their soulful performances, insightful workshops, and enlightening talks at the festival on 11 and 12 February 2012 in the historic Mehboob Studios in Bandra, Mumbai.



The weekend festival will give Indians a fantastic chance to witness a number of international Blues superstars, many of whom are considered to be among the best in the world, and top home-grown talent in the form of Soulmate.


Speaking about the festival, Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, "Our presence in various international markets helps us in transplanting local performing arts to other geographies thereby connecting communities around the world. The Mahindra Blues Festival - now an annual event and in its second year - is one such endeavour that seeks to promote a genre that has yet to receive the recognition it deserves in India and around the world."


With a brand new line-up, multiple concerts and sessions with the artists, and an iconic venue designed to create a fantastic Blues-like atmosphere, the festival promises to be one to look forward to. Chicago Blues veteran and multi-Grammy winner Buddy Guy, a definitive Blues artiste and a key influence on popular rock and Blues artistes like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan will be on his second visit to perform at the festival, and will also feature special guest and funk legend Robert Randolph who was included by the Rolling Stones Magazine in its list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time. The line-up also includes two-time Grammy nominee John Lee Hooker Jr., and award-winning Serbian blues guitarist and singer Ana Popovi?. Grammy winner and nine-time nominee Henry Saint Clair Fredericks's well-known blues outfit, Taj Mahal Trio will join these artistes.


The choice of Mumbai as the venue for the Mahindra Blues Festival  is fitting as not only is it where the Mahindra Group is headquartered, but also because it's a truly international city. In its first season, the festival made an instant connect with the citizens of Mumbai - who experience exaggerated amounts of struggle, strife and success and take all this on with a smile on their face and a song on their lips!


 The tickets to the Mahindra Blues Festival will be available shortly.  More information regarding the festival is available on the official website. The Mahindra Blues Festival is promoted and produced by Oranjuice Entertainment.



Robert Johnson Marker Knocked Down


GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi Blues Trail marker honoring bluesman Robert Johnson has been damaged.

Greenwood attorney Floyd Melton III tells the Greenwood Commonwealth that he discovered the broken marker on Christmas Eve.


Melton says its post was toppled over, and the sign, which weighs close to 90 pounds, broke off its base upon impact. The marker was located near Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

Melton says he took the sign portion to the office of Allan Hammons, whose company helped to develop the blues marker. Hammons says he doubts the sign can be repaired and replacing it will cost $2,500 to $3,000.


Johnson recorded only 29 songs but his work went on to be performed by countless blues and rock musicians since. He died at the age of 27 in 1938.




Video of the Week

 In his own words and "own own" music, Lightnin' Hopkins reveals the inspiration for his blues. In Les Blank's film ( he sings, jives, ponders. He boogies at an outdoor barbeque and a black rodeo, and takes you with him on a homecoming visit to his boyhood home of Centerville, Texas.




Click for video 




3 Days of Miss. Blues Marathon Mania






Runners head up North State Street near Duling Street in Jackson at the start of the 2nd Annual Mississippi Blues Marathon in 2009. / File photo by Chris Todd/The Clarion-Ledger



Expos, Blues Crawl keep city on the run


( feet and a blues beat - both factor into the fifth annual Mississippi Blues Marathon Saturday in Jackson.


The race's steady growth has perhaps been a little slower than initially anticipated because of the economy, race director John Noblin said. But entries hit this year's 2,500 cap with almost a week to spare.


Folks hear about the big marathons - Boston, New York, the Rock'n'roll Marathon Series - but most are much smaller. "Most marathons number in the hundreds, not the thousands," Noblin said. "So, we're real pleased with where we are, but we'd like to continue to grow.


"I think the race could reach 5,000 comfortably with the course that we have and the support we get from the city and the county."


The marathon and half-marathon will start and end downtown, but will take in much more of Jackson in-between, as well as during the days beforehand and the evening after.

About 2,500 runners representing 45 states, the District of Columbia and 10 countries will hit the streets for the marathon. They'll also hit Mississippi's capital city, bringing a lot of business with them, to hotels, restaurants and, with the Blues Crawl, music venues.


"Three days after the race is the gubernatorial inauguration. ... It's going to be a nice January for the city of Jackson," said John Sewell, director of corporate communications for marathon presenting sponsor Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

It's also a boost for Mississippi's foothold on the blues, with some runners likely planning side trips to tap even more of the state's signature sound.


"I honestly have to believe that the two people coming from Italy to run 13 miles through Jackson, most likely, are probably going to be heading up Highway 49 sometime after the race to go to the Delta," Sewell said. "They've got to be here because of the blues. And that's what we want.


"To draw runners from Germany and Italy and Taiwan - they're not coming because Jackson has awesome streets. They're coming because they're blues fans."

For non-runners, it's a chance to cheer on the athletes and their often emotional accomplishments, as well as bask in the blues.


There's also the Blues Expo at the Jackson Convention Complex Friday with live music, speakers and vendors from around the country. Even for runners not signed up for the marathon, it's a great time to shop for running gear at discounted prices, Sewell said.


Over the past four years, the marathon has donated $40,000 to the Mississippi Blues Commission. This year, proceeds will be designated for the commission's Musicians Benevolent Fund, which helps blues musicians who fall on hard times.

The course starts in downtown and takes in Fondren, northeast Jackson, Belhaven, the Metro Parkway to Jackson State University and a finish up Capitol Street to the Old Capitol. No streets will be closed so drivers should be respectful of course marshals and cautious about competitors.


Live music will pepper the course and liven up the finish line.

Non-runners can join in some run-around fun Saturday night. The Blues Crawl covers eight clubs with a single wristband ($10 for the general public, on sale at the Expo or at participating clubs). The Fondren Trolley will run 7 p.m. to midnight, cycling among downtown hotels and clubs.




Record Label News

Bonnie Raitt Preps 1st Album In 7 Years For April

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Bonnie Raitt is releasing a new album in 2012, her first in seven years.



"Slipstream," out April 10, follows a long break from studio work for the Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member. She lost her parents, her brother and her best friend.

"I hadn't stopped moving in a very long time so I really wanted to take a total break and not concentrate on making a new record or what I was going to do next," Raitt said. "So that was really valuable because I waited until I was really ready to come back."


"Slipstream" is the 62-year-old slide guitarist's first album since 2005's "Souls Alike" and will be the first release on her own record label, Redwing Records. The 12-track album will feature four songs recorded with producer Joe Henry and his musicians, which she describes as experimental. The remainder of the album is self-produced with her touring band.

She says she's thrilled with the resulting eclectic mix of blues, rock and soul that even includes a dash of reggae and Celtic sounds. She covers Bob Dylan's "Million Miles" and "Standing in the Doorway," and Loudon Wainwright III's "You Can't Fail Me Now" as well.


"It's just a new batch of great songs," Raitt said.


Click for more

Blues Society News

Detroit Blues Society

The Anti-Freeze Blues Festival


Friday, January 6, 7:00 pm

Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward AveFerndaleMI, $20 


Doors for the benefit for the Detroit Blues Society featuring JAMES MONTGOMERY with Jim McCarty & Friends open at 7 p.m.


The 18th annual Anti-Freeze Blues Festival kicks off with a very special homecoming from one of the hottest harp players on the planet, James Montgomery. Besides fronting his own band, James has been the band leader for Johnny Winter for many years. James has also played with a who’s who of top notch bluesmen (and women) including: B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Jr. Wells, James Cotton, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman and Laverne Baker. Backing James for the show will be Jim McCarty and Friends. Be sure to get here early as Laith Al-Saadi, Pazman’s Super Session (featuring Jeanne & The Dreams) & The Difficulties round out the evening.


Night two of the festival features a modern take on some good old down home spun blues goodness with Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. The Reverend and his band will be digging out tunes from their latest CD, “Peyton On Patton”, which is a tribute to the legendary blues guitarist Charlie Patton. Thornetta Davis ( Detroit ’s own blues diva), Johnnie Bassett and The Rattlesnake Shake (a Peter Green/Fleetwood Mac tribute) kick off the show. The Anti-Freeze Blues Festival is a benefit for the Detroit Blues Society!    




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


Click Here to view the list for the

Top 100 Blues Albums of 2011


Festival Calendar

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



List your festival with us for






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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.

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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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