Greetings from your Editor...
March Celebrates Women...
March 8 is International Women's Day, a global day created to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. The first International Women's Day event was in 1911. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday. This day celebrate's women's successes and reminds us of inequities that still need to be remedied. In the USA, the whole month of March is designated as Women's History Month.
The 1920s were truly a time of shifting expectations for women. The suffrage movement and World War I also challenged Victorian gender roles. Early women in blues really told it like it was... icons for independence, they paved a way that they may never had even dreamed of and challenged both conventional music, domestic violence, socially expected gender and work roles, racism and more.
"Southern trees bear a strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root..." (Billie Holliday "Strange Fruit")
Women also project a positive reinforcement that comes from within:
"'It's in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breast, The grace of my style... I'm a woman – Phenomenal woman." (Ruthie Foster "Phenomenal Woman" a poem by Maya Angelo)
Read more on the subject of women impacting through music in this issue.
Birthdays of Note: Mar 6 Walter "Furry" Lewis (1893), Walter Trout (1951), Mar 9 Georgia White (1903), Lloyd Price (1933), Mar 10 Dave Alexander aka Omar Shariff (1938), Ronnie Earl (1953), Mar 12 Jesse Fuller (1896), Leonard Chess (1912), Bill Payne (1949 Little Feat co-founder), Mar 13 Otis "Lightnin' Slim" Hicks (1913).
Your ever-grateful editor,
Special Advertising Opportunities
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Send us fave photos with the Annual BFG Magazine
Here's Karen Mcfarland of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society (MVBS) at the 2014 IBC's in Memphis, TN. The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, which is put on by the MVBS, received the 2014 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) for the US Blues Festival of The Year.
Photo: Willette Romious
(CORRECTION: Last week's great photo of Debbie Davies was taken by Robbie Z)
Email your fave photos plus caption & credit to:
You can enjoy the magazine in digital format! Click on cover at right for our online digital version!
Want a hard copy? Check with your local blues society or look for one at a blues festival or find order information here
J.J. Thames :: TELL YOU WHAT I KNOW
The torch has been passed like a joyous beacon leading to the rewards of deep soul. Mississippi Blues Diva, J.J. Thames possesses stunning looks and a gorgeous voice as a magnificent instrument to extol spiritual and earthly desires. Schooled in classical music, jazz and the blues, she delivers music life affirming as a heartbeat. On Tell You What I Know
, she cover and 10 heart-stirring originals by Thames and others are rocked by David Hyde (bass), Vince Barranco (drums), Sam Brady (producer, keyboards) and Celeb Armstrong (guitar) with guests Grady Champion (executive producer, harmonica), guitarists Eddie Cotton, Doug Frank and Danny Scallions, Richard Beverly (trumpet), Todd Bobo (tenor sax) and Mike Weidick (trombone). Read all about it here
Polly O'Keary, award-winning and world-touring bass player, vocalist and songwriter, is back in the northwest with a brand album titled Compass
.Polly has had a long career in blues and brings 25 years of experience to the project.
She was first named Washington Blues Society Female Vocalist of the Year in 2004, and has won it twice more since then, as well as many other awards and nominations. Her first and second albums were well-reviewed, and the second was named Album of the Year by the WBS, and Polly was named Songwriter of the Year. But when Polly and her drummer and partner Tommy Cook got a chance to take rhythm section duties for northwest legend Too Slim and the Taildraggers, the two toured internationally, covering a great deal of the United States and Canada, as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Read all about it here...
Buddy Guy, Michael McDonald & Irma Thomas Headline 20th Tampa Bay Blues Festival
The Tampa Bay Blues Festival
returns to the sunny shores of Tampa Bay on April 11, 12, & 13, 2014. This festival will be our 20th year anniversary and we have a spectacular line up of blues talent – Michael McDonald, Buddy Guy, Irma Thomas, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Tommy Castro, James Hunter, Coco Montoya, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Shemekia Copeland and others round out three great days of "Blues by the Bay."
We have advance purchase discount VIP packages with front stage seating, free drinks and food and a large shade tent. The festival also features a Kick-Off Party on Thursday night and two After-Shows at the historic Palladium Theater on Friday and Saturday following the shows.
Women in Blues still tell it like it is...
March is Women's History Month and March 8 is International Women's Day
. The focus overall is to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
"Between 1923 and 1945, women blues singers in particular offered a powerful alternative to the narrow mainstream image of women as domesticated wives and mothers, creating a new feminism that drew on the fight for women’s rights in the voting booth and the work- place that took place between 1913 and 1919, and prefiguring the later women’s movement of the 1960s and ’70s." (PBS Classroom)
Early female blues artists like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith sang about taboo subjects that weren't talked about in public. "The 1920's and 1930's saw domestic violence at an all time high," says Transcending Silence.
Most of their songs dealt primarily with domestic and sexual abuse; the physical or mental abuse at the hands of their lovers.
To this day even contemporary blues woman Shemekia Copeland highlights domestic abuse in her recent song, "Ain't Gonna Be Your Tattoo:" Just what I said wrong, is anybody's guess. But the bruise on my face was as blue as my dress..."
Gender roles were also challenged by women in early blues as more and more women joined the workforce. Toughness was just one of the ways to gain equality. They raised consciousness on many levels.
Soul/Blues queen Aretha Franklin's anthem still rings loud and clear: "
R-E-S-P-E-C-T ...Find out what it means to me"
Discover more by clicking links in this article or do search on your own
11th Annual Juke Joint Festival & Events April 10-13
The 2014 edition of the Juke Joint Festival (and related events) to be held April 10-13 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, will be dedicated to all of the late, great Delta blues performers / supporters who have passed away during the past year -- including Arthniece "Gas Man" Jones, Willie "Rip" Butler and James "T-Model" Ford. RIP. Juke Joint Festival is "half blues festival, half small-town fair and all about the Delta." It celebrates our past AND living history by presenting over 100 blues acts during the course of the weekend -- most of them Mississippi or Southern, many in their 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s! This is the real-deal Mississippi blues festival that you've read about. It is like no other in the world. Read entire story here
Billy Branch Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Blind Pig recording artist Billy Branch
was presented the Little Walter Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony during the 33rd Chicago Music Awards that took place in the Windy City on February 23, 2014.
The award was presented by the Little Walter Foundation
, which was created to preserve and extend the legacy of blues harmonica icon Marion Walter Jacobs. Its mission is to ensure that Little Walter be remembered for his mastery of and impact on the blues, and that his contributions continue to influence musicians both present and future through educational programs, activities and performances that bridge the gap between today's music listeners and music history.
Hop over the Pacific for Byron Bay Bluesfest – Easter 2014
What were your New Year’s resolutions this year? Travel more? See live music? Meet new people? Down Under Answer has the solution to mark them all off right now!
Australia’s premier blues and roots festival is gearing up to celebrate its 25th birthday, April 17–21 and all the stops have been pulled out to throw a spectacular five-day party that you will never forget! With an incredible lineup featuring some of the world’s biggest names in blues, roots, soul, gospel, R&B and rock giving more than 200 amazing performances across seven stages. Do not miss this chance to experience the 25th anniversary Bluesfest.
#23 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise Great Lineup
+ Remaining Cabins are on Sale Now... go for it!
Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #23 Mexican Riviera • Oct. 4~11, 2014
Roundtrip from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas & Mazatlan
Limited Cabins still available!
In order to select a stateroom for the #23 Mexican Riviera cruise you will need to have your user name and password to access our reservation system. If you forgot your user name/password Just click to reset
. Unsure or need help? Please email Bluesin@BluesCruise.com.
LEGENDARY RHYTHM & BLUES CRUISE
313 Lawrence Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
For reservations & info see:
More Than A Cruise... More Than A Festival... More Than You Can Imagine!
Plan for the 35th Blues Music Awards
The 35th Blues Music Awards will be presented Thursday May 8, 2014 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Major funding is provided by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission. The 35th Blues Music Awards will be sponsored also by BMI, Catfood Records, Eagle Rock Entertainment, FedEx, First Tennessee Foundation, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Read all about it here
Mar 8-9 Radio Show: Joe Louis Walker
This week, Elwood brings Joe Louis Walker into the Bluesmobile, fresh on the heels of being inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Joe's latest release, Hornet's Nest
, will be played, along with some of Joe’s influences coming up in San Francisco: Santana, Grateful Dead and Electric Flag. Also, some other folks Joe Louis Walker admires: Magic Slim and Bobby Blue Bland Blues.
Hall-of-Famer Joe Louis Walker.
Next time in the BluesMobile.
For a list of stations where you can find BluesMobile Radio Click Here
Ruthie Foster Live :: PHENOMENAL WOMAN
Roots Blues Airplay Charts
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March 8th 2014
Des Moines, Iowa USA
March 8th 2014
Phoenix, Arizona USA
March 14th-15th 2014
Bonita Springs, Florida USA
March 14th-15th 2014
Marietta, Ohio USA
March 20th-22nd 2014
Hafan Y Mor, North Wales
March 28th-30th 2014
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho USA
Friday - Saturday
March 28th-29th, 2014
San Felipe, Baja, Mexico
April 3rd-5th 2014
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA
Thursday - Sunday
April 10th - 13th 2014
Clarksdale, Mississippi USA
April 11th-13th 2014
Tampa Bay, Florida USA
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Information both editorial and advertising in the Blues Festival E-Guide is believed to be correct but not guaranteed. Double check info carefully before you attend any event or send money for anything. We do not write the news... we just report it.