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Blues Festival Guide

May 11, 2012

Volume 7/Issue  19


Special Announcements

News Flash

Buddy and Hopkins

Roots Blues Airplay Charts   

About Us

CD & DVD Releases

Video Of The Week

The Blues Mobile

Festival Calendar

Special Announcements

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CD & DVD Releases

The Mannish Boys : Double Dynamite

Few blues acts have perfected the tricky maneuver of honoring the storied history of the Blues, while at the same time keeping the music up-to-date, as well as Delta Groove’s The Mannish Boys. It’s a balancing act that they’ve honed over the course of six highly-acclaimed CD releases and countless nights gigging on concert stages around the world. Conceived as an all-star showcase for the cream of the west coast blues crop, The Mannish Boys have stayed true to that vision. They’ve continually evolved through the years, seeking out and spotlighting the talents of true Blues legends in a setting that stays true to the deep roots of genre, providing them with the support required to excite today’s blues audiences.


Their newest release on Delta Groove marks a number of firsts for The Mannish Boys. “Double Dynamite”, as the title suggests, serves up a double dose of The Mannish Boys on a two CD set, allowing them to really stretch out and feature more special guests and sounds than on any of their previous releases. Especially notable is new featured vocalist Sugaray Rayford, a soulful, gospel-inflected singer, originally from Texas, who has been little known outside of his current home base in Southern California until now. Also along for the ride this time, and adding variety and depth in the vocal department, are veterans James “Icepick” Harman, Mike Finnigan (who in the ‘60s played keyboards on Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland” LP, among many other accomplishments in his long career), and Jackie Payne, plus long-time Mannish Boys frontman Finis Tasby. The band’s regular guitarists Kirk Fletcher and Frank Goldwasser also take turns in front of the vocal mic, as does The Mannish Boys harp playing honcho Randy Chortkoff. And as a special treat this time out, Mud Morganfield, oldest son of the undisputed king of Chicago blues, Muddy Waters, also contributes as a guest vocalist, bringing a south side Chicago blues unrivalled by any living vocalist. Other special guests on this amazing release include harmonica aces Rod Piazza, Jason Ricci and Bob Corritore, and guitarists Elvin Bishop, Junior Watson, Nathan James, and Kid Ramos, all backed by the hard-swinging rhythm section of Jimi Bott and Willie J. Campbell, plus an array of other very special musicians.


A virtual blues festival in a single band, all of this variety adds up to a continually surprising, wide-ranging, and most consistently excellent release from The Mannish Boys career so far.


Click to play


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Sauce Boss : Live At The Green Parrot













The inventor of gastronomic boogie woogie. He sings the blues, he cooks the gumbo, he plays the slide, and he makes his own hot sauce. After a lifetime of music, travel and food, over a million miles on the road, over 180,000 bowls of gumbo served for free, tons of hot sauce, and thousands of gigs, the Sauce Boss is a soul shouting picnic of rock and roll brotherhood.


The new CD ,“Live at the Green Parrot”, is definitive Sauce Boss. It’s edgy, slide guitar, rockin blues grooves, with a large serving of fun in the Sauce Boss tradition. These songs come straight out of the life of a true character, adventurer, raconteur, and poet. 


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News Flash

33rd Blues Music Award Winners



 The 33rd Blues Music Awards are in the books after a wonderful evening of community, awards and music. The big winners are Tab Benoit and the Tedeschi-Trucks Band. Tab took home both three awards and Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks combined for five awards. Tab took top honors in Contemporary Male Artist and Album and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. The Tedeschi Trucks Band took Band and Album of the Year Awards, while Susan is the top Contemporary Female Artist and Derek is the Gibson Guitarist of the Year winner. Both Ruthie Foster and Charlie Musselwhite garnered two Blue Music Awards.


The complete list of 2012 Blues Music Award winners by category are:


Acoustic Album: Conversations in Blue - David Maxwell & Otis Spann


Acoustic Artist: Eric Bibb 


Album: Revelator - Tedeschi Trucks Band 


B.B. King Entertainer: Tab Benoit 


Band: Tedeschi Trucks Band


Best New Artist Debut: Runaway - Samantha Fish 


Contemporary Blues Album: Medicine - Tab Benoit


Contemporary Blues Female Artist: Susan Tedeschi


Contemporary Blues Male Artist: Tab Benoit


DVD: Live at Antone's - Ruthie Foster (Blue Corn)


Gibson Guitar Award: Derek Trucks


Historical Album: Chess Records - Smokestack Lightning/The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960 (Howlin' Wolf)


Instrumentalist-Bass: Biscuit Miller


Instrumentalist-Drums: Chris Layton


Instrumentalist-Harmonica:  Charlie Musselwhite 


Instrumentalist-Horn: Terry Hanck


Instrumentalist-Other: Sonny Rhodes

, lap steel guitar


Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female): Ruthie Foster


Pinetop Perkins Piano Player: Marcia Ball


Rock Blues Album: Dust Bowl - Joe Bonamassa


Song: "The Lord is Waiting, the Devil is Too" - Johnny Sansone


Soul Blues Album: Show You a Good Time Bobby Rush


Soul Blues Female Artist: Denise LaSalle


Soul Blues Male Artist: Curtis Salgado


Traditional Blues Album: Chicago Blues A Living History the (R)evolution Continues - Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson


Traditional Blues Male Artist: Charlie Musselwhite









Tall City Blues Fest, nestled in downtown Midland, TX, will host more than 23 different performers this year! "Located in the heart of West Texas, halfway between Dallas and El Paso on the I-20 corridor, Midland was a perfect void begging for a blues festival", said Lisa Grissom, Producer of this year's Festival.


In it's 2nd year, this Festival showcases award-winning blues acts accompanied by emerging talent across four stages (3 Outdoor + 1 Indoor). The Festival also offers educational clinics, a Zydeco street dance, a Gospel Brunch & Blues Jam, family activity areas, juke joints, midnight jam sessions, interactive hospitality stations, art & memorabilia auctions and food vendors.



This year's headliners are Tommy Castro (Saturday Night) and James 'Boogaloo' Bolden Blues Band (Friday Night). Tommy Castro is a multi-time Blues Music Awards winner and James Bolden, having been B.B. King's Band Leader for 32 years, is also an award-winning performer. Bolden & his band have been voted Best Blues Band by Downbeat Magazine, received a W.C. Handy Award for Best Blues Band of the Year and performed at the White House for five Presidents with B.B King & the Duke Ellington Orchestra.


In addition to the music, this year's Festival will also offer nine different educational clinics, including harmonica 101 & advanced, harmonica for kids, blues bass 101, country blues finger-picking, bottleneck slide, acoustic blues, songwriting and cigar box guitar building. In addition to the clinics, Apple (in conjunction with Best Buy) will be conducting Garage Band and iPhoto demonstrations and the Festival will also host The Real Blues Tour, a multi-media, travelguide performance that showcases the history of blues beginning in the early 1900's.


Tall City Blues Festival is an indoor/outdoor, family-friendly music festival. Our mission is to create an experience like none other that brings award-winning blues & roots music to West Texas and makes people feel enlightened, joy-filled & loved. SAVE THE DATES: July 26-29, 2012!




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(Finis Tasby, Kirk Fletcher, Frank Goldwasser, Randy Chortkoff, Willie J. Campbell, Jimmi Bott)




With Special Guests Jackie Payne, Jason Ricci , Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King, Marco Pandolfi, Paul Size, Kid Ramos



Few blues acts have perfected the tricky maneuver of honoring the storied history of the Blues, while at the same time keeping the music up-to-date, as well as The Mannish Boys. They’ve continually evolved through the years, seeking out and spotlighting the talents of true Blues legends in a setting that stays true to the deep roots of genre, providing them with the support required to excite today’s blues audiences. A virtual blues festival in a single band, all of this variety adds up to a continually surprising, wide-ranging, and most consistently excellent release from The Mannish Boys career so far.




The 23rd Annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26th & 27th, 2012. 2012 promises to continue our tradition of bringing fans a full weekend of nonstop award-winning entertainment, more food choices than you can sample in two days, and activities to keep kids of all ages entertained too.


The The Cajun & Zydeco Stage will feature 9 hours of continuous music each day.† Featured will be international and award winning Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music acts.


The Blues Stage will feature the 7th Annual Delta Groove All-Star Blues Revue in addition to world class Blues & Roots acts both Saturday and Sunday. 


Both stages feature lots of viewing space plus large dance floors. In addition, this family friendly event has a giant kids area featuring bouncers, rock walls, specialty acts, crafts and talent shows.† There are also food booths and many crafts and merchandise booths.


Tickets available now at:




Bogalusa hosts Blues and Heritage Festival


( Bogalusa, La  The Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival (BBHF) has tagged the blazing hot Tab Benoit as its inaugural year headliner on Saturday, Sept. 29.  The complete lineup includes acclaimed representatives from throughout the region and across the blues music spectrum.


Taking the main stage with Tab Benoit for the 2012 BBHF will be Kenny Neal, Luther Kent, Homemade Jamz, Carolyn Wonderland, Wes Lee and Big Daddy O.


The festival will kick off with a tribute to native son and music legend Professor Longhair, so there’s no telling what other special guests might show up for the September 29 event in Cassidy Park.


South Louisiana’s Benoit is on fire. The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame musician has nearly a dozen Blues Music Awards with multiple current nominations, three Grammy nominations and a long list of other awards, his music is featured on numerous television shows, and his Voice of the Wetlands initiative is making the importance of coastal preservation memorable by giving the message a rhythm and a beat.


According to BBHF chair Malinda White, Benoit plans to bring some of his VOW band to Bogalusa.


By the time they get to the stage, it will be well warmed up.

Kenny Neal, another Louisiana Music Hall of Famer with many performance and songwriting awards under his belt, is known as a modern swamp-blues master.


The son of singer and blues harmonica master, Raful Neal, was born in New Orleans, raised in Baton Rouge and grew up steeped in the live music of his father and family friends like Buddy Guy.


The multi-instrumentalist plays guitar, bass, trumpet, piano and harmonica, all to the accompaniment of a voice described as “gruff before its time.” His sound is deep-rooted and soulful, with heartbreaking blues relieved by uplifting, swamp-based funk.


Big Easy native Luther Kent, yet another Hall of Famer and the voice of New Orleans tourism, is widely noted for his commanding soulful singing voice that provides a rich and powerful grounding force for a surrounding big horn sound.

Kent was the lead singer for Blood, Sweat and Tears during world tours from 1974 into 1976. After that, he helped form Luther Kent and Trick Bag, a band so hot that artists like B.B. King, Jimmy Page, Greg Allman, Etta James, Joe Cocker, Dr. John, Wilson Pickett and many others stopped by to sit in during visits to New Orleans.


Kent’s attraction hasn’t waned and he’ll bring it to Bogalusa.

Homemade Jamz can’t boast that depth and range of experience, but that’s OK. The Perry siblings, from Tupelo, Miss., are still in their teens. But that didn’t keep blues great B.B. King from saying he believes “they’ve got a great future ahead.”


The trio made music history as the youngest blues band to land a record deal in 2007 when the kids’ ages ranged from nine to 16. Since then, they’ve played throughout the U.S. and in Europe, and won awards and competitions all along the way.

Though the band might not have the experience to have lived them, they can perform the Delta blues. Two of them even do it on homemade instruments, a guitar and bass fashioned from automobile parts.


Carolyn Wonderland, an Austin, Texas-based singer, songwriter and musician who lived out of her van for a while, does know just what the blues feel like, and she likes to mix that sound with country, swing, zydeco, gospel, soul and whatever else might come through.


Also a multi-instrumentalist and multiple-award winner, Wonderland is reportedly one of music legend Bob Dylan’s favorites


The Texas representative to the BBHF is noted for her throaty, near contralto voice, her powerful originality and a social conscience that should fit in nicely with Benoit’s VOW.

Local audiences are already familiar with Hattiesburg, Miss., bluesman Wes Lee, who proved that his own emotions run deep and that he can pass them on to the crowd during the first big BBHF fundraiser just before Mardi Gras.


Lee, who is noted for his soulful songs, “brilliant songwriting,” and for making personal connections with his audiences, was such a hit at the February event that he earned a ticket back for the big show.


The musician who has said, “I didn’t choose to play the blues, the blues chose me,” was also chosen by the BBHF to be among its first year main stage performers.


Owen Tufts, alias Big Daddy O, rounds out the list.

“O” started out singing in his family’s barbershop quartet as a child in New Orleans, and when he got older, he took to the streets of the French Quarter with his guitar.


Now towering 6 and a half feet tall and sturdy, Big Daddy O is known for the beauty of his voice, the comfort he instills in his audiences and his undeniable talent.


Blues lovers who don’t own any of his critically acclaimed CDs are still almost certainly familiar with his music. Radio stations around the world love Big Daddy, who ranked above Eric Clapton one year on Dan Aykroyd’s House of Blues Radio Network.


The BBHF will also feature some up-and-coming talent on its second, Heritage, stage where winners of contests around the region will vie in a Young Guns competition.

For more information on the festival, check out the event’s website,



Village People Singer Wins a Legal Battle in Fight to Reclaim Song Rights



(  In a court ruling with significant implications for the music industry, a California judge has dismissed a suit by two song publishing companies aimed at preventing Victor Willis, former lead singer of the 1970s disco group the Village People, from exercising his right to reclaim ownership of “YMCA” and other hit songs he wrote.


 Early last year, Mr. Willis invoked a provision of copyright law called “termination rights,” which gives recording artists and songwriters the ability to reacquire and administer their work themselves after 35 years have elapsed. The song publishers, Scorpio Music and Can’t Stop Productions, countered by arguing that Mr. Willis had no legal standing to take that or any other action because he had “no right, title or interest in the copyright” to the songs.


On Monday, Chief Judge Barry T. Moskowitz of Federal District Court in Los Angeles rejected the song publishers’ claim that Mr. Willis was not eligible to reclaim his share of ownership of “YMCA,” whose lyrics he wrote, and 32 other songs recorded by the Village People. The companies had initially argued that Mr. Willis had merely created “works for hire” while, in essence, an employee of the company that managed the group. They also claimed he could not reclaim his share of the song because a majority of the other copyright holders had not agreed, the issue that the judge’s ruling addressed.


“The purpose of the act was to ‘safeguard authors against unremunerative transfers’ and address ‘the unequal bargaining position of authors, resulting in part from the impossibility of determining a work’s value until it has been exploited,’ ” Judge Moskowitz wrote in his 10-page ruling. “Under plaintiffs’ interpretation, it would be more difficult to terminate an individual grant than it would be to make it in the first place.”


The termination rights provision was included in a revision of copyright law that went into effect in 1978, meaning that recording artists and songwriters can in 2013 begin to regain ownership of work whose control they signed away early in their careers, when they had little bargaining power. As a result, artists like Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, the Eagles and other big names from the 1970s will soon be eligible to reclaim ownership of recordings that have sold millions of copies and made millions of dollars for song publishers and the four major record companies. Sales of recorded music have dropped by more than half since 2000.


Stewart L. Levy, a lawyer for the publishing companies, wrote in an e-mail Tuesday: “It should be noted at the outset that the court decision is not a ‘big victory’ for Mr. Willis,” because it “did not determine the extent of Mr. Willis’s interests in the various compositions.”


“We predict when such a determination is made there will be little change from the current status that exists today,” he said. “The case, in short, is far from over.”


In some ways, Mr. Willis and the Village People make for an unlikely test of the termination rights provision. Unlike many of the rock and soul bands of that era, the campy, gaudily costumed Village People did not come together organically, but were assembled by producers and managers, with each member assigned a specific role. Onstage, Mr. Willis usually dressed as a police or naval officer, with his band mates appearing in Indian headdresses, a sailor’s uniform or as a motorcyclist in black leather.


“This is the first case that’s interpreting the statute that deals with termination rights,” Brian D. Caplan, Mr. Willis’s lawyer, said in a telephone interview. “The significance of the ruling is that one author who gives a grant to a publishing company has the right to recapture the copyright interest he created 35 years ago regardless of what other co-authors do or don’t do, and that the author gets back that which he created regardless of the income stream he agreed to over 35 years ago.”


Lawyers for the song publishers eventually withdrew their claim that Mr. Willis had created a “work for hire,” so that issue remains to be formally adjudicated. But Judge Moskowitz was emphatic that circumstances exist in which musical creators, meaning both songwriters and recording artists, are entitled to “recapture” their interest in a musical work after 35 years even if their original contract precluded them from doing so.


In Mr. Willis’s case, that means he regains partial ownership not just of “YMCA” but also of other hits, like “In the Navy” and “Go West,” that have been used in films, games, television, ring tones and public performances, generating millions of dollars in royalties. The song publishers had argued that Mr. Willis was entitled only to a royalty rate of 12 to 20 percent in perpetuity because that was what he agreed to in the 1970s.


“I’m extremely pleased with the court’s determination,” Mr. Willis said in a written statement issued Tuesday. “And I look forward to controlling my copyright interests in 2013, as the law provides.”






Blues and a Little Piece of Heaven Join for a Good Cause

Take a beautiful, sunny afternoon, and mix it with a picturesque setting nestled in California’s Santa Susana Mountains next to a gorgeous Spanish-style villa. Complete this scenario with a sprawling grass lawn filled with smiling faces on blankets and chairs, outlined with variety of food and fine craft booths and a huge concert stage as the centerpiece. It’s almost like a movie set… a super cool movie that you can’t believe you’re a part of. Picturesque is putting it lightly and it was filled with friendly, downhome folks and blues you can’t resist. This was the scene of Michael John’s 7th Simi Valley Blues Festival, April 28, set at Hummingbird Nest Ranch and it delivered the goods!



Michael John and his band, The Bottomline kicked off the event in style and had the folks up on their feet right off. They were followed by more regional favorites, The Delgado Brothers featuring Sherry Pruitt. Their set was energizing, funky, rockin’ and testifying and Pruitt was a ball of blues with Gospel fervor. A standout was her new original, “Amazing.” She looked like a blossoming flower with her arms outstretched in her bright orange outfit.



Walter Trout then rocked the fans as he only can, elevating the temperature with his electrifying guitar attack. He and his tight band and the crowd were getting down. Trout called up Curtis Salgado for a number (who was backstage writing sets) while I had the pleasure of talking with Salgado’s drummer, Brian Foxworth. Foxworth is the nephew of singer Linda Hornbuckle and played with her for years and with the No Delay Band before joining Curtis. I was familiar with Hornbuckle’s work and her rhythm section and I knew we were in for a solid, “funksational” treat.



Curtis grabbed a hold of us with his soul-drenched vocals that soared across our sprawling “blues set.” He rocked and rolled us and took us to church and I’m sure we all got “Born All Over.” This man moves me! The bassist also added some fine, testifying backup vocals as did Foxworth. Tony Stead added his soul-inspired keyboard magic throughout. Dig it!




Tommy Castro was up next and tore the place up as the sun got lower and splashed colors across our little oasis. Castro’s band was pared down to a 4-pc. It was nice to see original bassist Randy Macdonald back with him. Tommy’s blues is contagious and satisfying and you can effortlessly fall under his spell! And check this out… Johnny Rivers showed up and Tommy invited him onstage to play a couple of songs including River’s hit, “Memphis.” That was too cool!



Throughout all this we made efforts to stop and say “hi” to friends at the L.A. Blues Society Booth and Gloria Cacho at the Bluesaholics booth among others. Michael John told us that this year’s crowd set a record and he was so excited because that meant they had raised a ton for their charities. This is fine blues event and a worthwhile cause in a simply beautiful setting. See you next year!




 Story and pictures by Blue Festival Guide Editor Michelle Lundeen




Brick City Blues Festival May 12!!!!! / Ocala, Florida





Not everyone can sing the blues




( NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- I had a musician friend of mine who is a blues musician ( he won’t play any other style of music no matter how much you pay him) send me this memo. It is adorable and so true. Musicians and non-musicians will laugh and enjoy. My wife Ann is an excellent vocalist. She has performed with me in concert all over the world. I kid her all the time about not being able to “sing the blues.”

She is well educated, comes from a good upper class family, doesn’t have any real bad habits, is happily married (to me), has a wonderful and successful career, is respected by everyone in the community and has three Bichon Frise that adore her. She is a wonderful song stylist, but without any of the qualities described below, is not capable of singing the blues. It takes a certain kind. I am not a blues singer. I am a song stylist ,but I too have had none of the qualities listed below to qualify me as a blues singers.


Check out the following :


1. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you
 stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town.

2. The blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it.
 Then find something that rhymes -- sort of: "Got a good woman with the
 meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like an ugly lady and she weigh 500 pound."


3. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, and broken-down trucks. Blues
 don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or sport utility vehicles.


4. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running.


5. Blues can take place in New York City, but not in Hawaii or any place
 in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just
 clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the
 best places to have the Blues.

6. Breaking your leg cause you were skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chomping on it is.

7. You can't have “no” blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster. Now you got the blues 


8. Good places for the blues: a) highway b) jailhouse c) empty bed d).
 bottom of a whiskey glass

 Bad places for the Blues: a) Nordstrom's b.) Gallery openings c). Ivy League Institutions d). golf courses 


9. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger
 Woods can sing the blues. Obama can’t. 


10. If you ask for water and your darlin' gives you gasoline, it's the Blues.
 Other acceptable Blues beverages are: a). cheap wine b). whiskey or
 bourbon c). muddy water d) nasty black coffee

 The following are NOT Blues beverages: a) Perrier b) Chardonnay c).Snapple d). Slim Fast or Gatorade.


11. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broken down cot.
 You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while getting liposuction.

12. Some blues names for women: a). Sadie b). Big Mama c). Bessie d). Fat River Dumpling. 


13. Some blues names for men: a.) Joe b).Willie c). Little Willie d) Big Willie 


14.Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.


15. Don't care how tragic your life -- if you own a computer, a DVD or Surround Sound you cannot sing the blues. 


16. People with the Blues eat barbecue, corn bread, beans, and their last meal. 


17. Good blues instruments: guitar, slide trombone, saxophone, and harmonica.


18. Bad blues instruments: everything else, especially the oboe, French Horn, and Cello. 


19. You got the blues if you have lumbago or a bad back. You don't have the blues if you have a mental disorder ending in "syndrome."


20. Blues jobs include working on the railroad, picking cotton, musician, or just got fired.


21. Blues animals include the junkyard dog and mule (not donkey).


22. Blues animals do not include Bichon Frises, French Puddles, Afghans or Chihuahuas.


What do you think? Can you qualify as a blues singer. 


A Legend Lives, on Film: “Pigpen... A Blues Singer”


A new feature film about the life of Grateful Dead founding member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, "Pigpen…a blues singer," is in the works honoring a talent that remains forever in the hearts of many and is sure to delight blues fans and deadheads alike.

A new feature film about the life of Grateful Dead founding member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, "Pigpen…a blues singer," is in the works. Producers Terry Allen Fraser and Diana Raquel Sainz are embarking on a feature film about the music and life of Ron “Pigpen” McKernan. This biopic about the American blues legend and co-founder of the Grateful Dead follows the life Pigpen from his start as a young blues musician to his time as the Grateful Dead’s front man and is sure to delight blues fans and deadheads alike.


At an early age, Pigpen taught himself the harmonica, keyboards, and guitar, developing what would become a ground breaking and unique talent that would change rock music forever. Bringing the blues to a young new audience, Pigpen was heavily influenced by the styles and sounds of the friends he collected along the way: Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Vince Guaraldi, Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker and many others. He also became the front man for one of the most popular, controversial, and prolific bands of all time... the Grateful Dead.


On the heels of their first film, “The Encore of Tony Duran,” a Fred Sayeg Film, Fraser and Sainz consider this project a labor of love. Fraser developed the original story for “Tony Duran” and served as Co-Producer. Sainz was project coordinator, Director of Publicity and Media Relations. The film received awards at each festival it entered including the Jury Award/Best Feature Film at the Las Vegas International Film Festival, and Best Feature Film at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, among others.


A longtime Grateful Dead fan, Fraser started seeing shows in the mid-seventies at the Winterland in San Francisco. Like many “next generation” Deadheads, he was intrigued by the folklore from the “Good Ole Grateful Dead” days with Pigpen. Fascinated by the edge and rebellion Pigpen brought to the Grateful Dead’s music, look, and spirit, the filmmaker strove to find out more about the man. What he uncovered was the story of a short but incredible life. Pigpen was a man full of heart, love, and laughter, a beautiful soul uninterested in racial or class divides, the trappings of fame, or in living anyone else’s idea of a conventional life. He always valued the chance to play for a few close friends over fame and celebrity.

“The world of the Grateful Dead continues to be huge,” Sainz says. “It’s still a strong international community of creative fans and loyal followers. Pigpen was part of the big picture, but met an early and untimely death at the age of 27. We are still in the development stages of this project, but the response, support, and feedback has been overwhelming. With the story transforming into what will entertain and illuminate music fans everywhere, the film will honor a talent that remains forever in the hearts of many – and is unknown to many more.”


Although Fraser and Sainz have someone in mind that they think would cast as a “Perfect Pigpen”, all possibility are endless. They will eventually open casting on social media sites allowing friends, fans, and musicians to send in videos of the “Perfect Pigpen”, someone that has the talent, the looks and can play the blues. “By involving the fans to vote on entries, helps to develop ‘their film,’" Fraser says. “Social media will give the opportunity to someone we may otherwise not know of, it will add a new dimension to casting, and will be exciting for all!”


Currently Pigpen… a blues singer is raising funds to help with the start-up expenses on with donation amounts available as low as $10.00 giving special thanks on their Facebook and Twitter pages to donation amounts giving someone an Executive Producer Credit.

"Pigpen's life and music was developed in a communal spirit, it is our aim to make this film in the the same way."

For more information on Pigpen…a blues singer,



Video Of The Week






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Buddy and Hopkins

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


The Blues Mobile


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Roots Blues Airplay Charts 


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Festival Calendar

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



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Juneau Jazz and Classics


May 4th-19th 2012


Juneau, Alaska, USA

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Fiji 2012 International Jazz And Blues Festival


May 10th-13th 2012

Port Denarau, Fiji Islands

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Gator by the Bay


May 11th-13th 2012

San Diego, California,USA

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UnTapped Blues and Brews Festival

Friday, May 11th 2012 - Sunday, May 12th 2013

Kennewick, Washington, USA


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May 11th-13th 2012

Longview, Texas, USA

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Cairns Blues Festival


May 12th 2012

Cairns, Queensland, Australia


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Stomp The Blues Out of Homelessness, Inc.


May 12th 2012

Springfield, Missouri, USA

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Clarksdale Caravan Music Fest II


May 12th 2012

Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA

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The Reel Blues Fest


May 12th 2012

North Falmouth, Massachuttes, USA

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Crossroads Blues and Heritage Festival


May 12th 2012

Rosedale, Mississippi, USA

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Sunbanks Resort Rhythm & Blues Festival


May 17th-20th 2012

Electric City, Washington, USA

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Horsethief Hideout Blues Festival


May 18th-20th 2012

Invemere, British Columbia, Canada

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Hill Country Harmonica: A North Mississippi Blues Harp Homecoming


May 18th-20th 2012

Waterford, Mississippi, USA

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Charlie West Blues Fest


May 18th-20th 2012

Charleston, W. Virginia, USA

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Boulder Roots & Blues Summit


May 18th-19th 2012

Boulder, Colorado, USA

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BMPAC Spring Blues Festival


May 18th-20th 2012

Los Angeles, California, USA

More Info

Carolina Blues Festival


May 19th 2012

Greensboro, N. Carolina, USA

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Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival


May 19th-20th 2012

Annapolis, Maryland, USA

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Wine, Blues and Brews Festival


May 19th 2012

Escondido, California, USA

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Cane River Music Festival


May 19th 2012

Natchitoches, Louisiana, USA

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Smokin' Blues & BBQ


May 19th-20th 2012

Decatur, Illinois, USA

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Bourbon Street Blues Fest


May 19th 2012

Califon, New Jersey, USA

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Cork & Blues Fest


May 19th 2012

Buena Vista, Virginia, USA

More Info

Doheny Blues Festival


May 19th-20th 2012

Dana Point, California, USA

More Info

West Coast Blues for a Cure


May 20th 2012

San Francisco, California, USA

More Info

Capri Club Blues Festival


May 20th 2012

Oakland, California

More Info

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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