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Blues News You Can Use!
    This Week...
            ...and Beyond

Seem these last few weeks, blues news has really been popping up, and you will find this week is no different. Welcome to another week of hot news! The exciting item this week is the PREMIER edition of a new feature article,"Kevin Bonner Reviews." We will regularly be sharing these reviews of blues albums written by Kevin Bonner! We know they will be enjoyed by one and all. Also of note this week, is the opening of the International Songwriting Competition's "People's Voice Vote." This is your chance to have have your voice included in the selection of the 2021 ISC People's Voice Winner.

Other articles return this week with information for every type of blues lover. Fans, musicians, and even kids!
First up, local blues band, The Jeff Horton Band, has announced the release of an all originals album. Check out the article below to find out about Jeff, the band, and the new album, "These Blues Are Mine!" Also, new this week is a "Mark Your Calendar" article about the 3rd Annual Fayetteville Jazz Festival. Check it out below to find out more.
Running again this week, are several articles. One highlights the U of A arts integration teaching conference that invited Ozark Blues Society to offer
a presentation. Finally, the article announcing the finalists in the International Songwriting Competition
has been combined with the
People's Voice Voting article. 
With Spring upon us and patio weather becoming more likely, our music calendar will resume next week. Just a submit gigs for an upcoming event, email Sandy (email link below.) All submissions must be received by Thursday evening for inclusion in that week's newsletter. Submissions may be for dates including the approaching weekend and up to one weekend in advance. Please include date, group name, and venue (no posters or flyers with multiple upcoming events.) Submissions may be made by artists, fans, and venues. If you know of an upcoming blues oriented event, please email Sandy for guidelines related to Ozark Blues Society featuring your event in a full news article. And always remember, this is YOUR newsletter! Please send feedback or suggestions our way. You can reach me by email at the address below. We appreciate our readers and want
to see your ideas included! 
~Sandy McCann
Kevin Bonner Reviews
Hello fellow Kitty Cats and Jammer Kids.  It’s your friend Kevin B. here to review the latest release from the one and only Bob Margolin –  the EP Star of Stage and Screens released by the VizzTone label group / BratGirlmedia.
A follow-up to his 2019 award winning all acoustic effort This Guitar and Tonight, the recorded at home Star of Stage and Screens and its six new original songs take swings at Covid-19, isolation and the halt of live performances.  Bob lets his heartache, frustration and need to play take control here.  The result is affecting.  
The organic and unadorned production perfectly fits this EP’s twenty-five minutes of music.  At times claustrophobic, the sound is as important at setting the scene as are the words uttered and notes played.  Just a man, his guitar and his truth. Raw emotion is palpable in these songs.   
The titular opener begins the set by lamenting 2020’s forced distance.  Barbs are aimed at, among other things, bedroom video concerts and the disconnect they engender.  You can feel his disappointment when Bob sings “. . . [a] house party now just means my house.”
Having had the opportunity to play music and chat with Mr. Margolin [some BRUSH WITH GREATNESS moments for me], I adore listening to him speak.  That makes the spoken word intro of the tune “After Party” tickle me greatly.  On this bouncy, shuffling track Bob is looking forward to a time when live shows with crowds are a go and after parties are properly populated, a sentiment I’m sure all of us share.
“Let It Go” is my favorite track on this 6-pack.  Letting us know things will get better, Bob has the words fall reassuringly from his lips like a fatherly pep talk.  Further, as a drummer, even though there are no drums on this tune - or any of them - I just love the ½-straight / ½-swung (yes, I said swung) feel that propels the groove as the song rolls along.   
The closer “March 2020 In Stop Time” takes up where the opener left off, exploring the unwelcome changes the pandemic has made to the live music life.  It also perfectly points fingers in all the right directions, shining light on the some of the heartless wrongs done by those who would take profit from the misery brought on by the coronavirus.  The heavy sighs that close the song are a spot-on reaction to these trying times.
If you are looking for some songs to get the party started, this is probably not going to be the album to get that done.  Though the themes of the music are germinated in bleak soil, they all grow to a point of hope.  But by capturing on tape a Blues master processing today’s previously unimaginable challenges, Star of Stage and Screens is a cathartic release. 
Until next time…
Kevin B.    
Jeff Horton Band
Album Release
"These Blues
             Are All Mine"
The Jeff Horton Band based in Bentonville, Arkansas definitely has
a passion for the Blues! For the last
10 years Jeff and the guys have
done their part in sharing the Blues 
as much as possible.
Now, they’re about to release their first all original album,
“These Blues are all Mine”!
Just like at their live shows, this album features a variety of Blues, from
the traditional to the contemporary there’s definitely something for
everyone that loves the Blues.
Please follow the band on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and on their webpage, THEJEFFHORTONBAND.COM for information about the album and when and where you can catch them live!
Mark Your Calendar
2021 Fayetteville
Jazz Festival
Blues, Jazz and Gospel lovers should mark their calendar to attend the 3rd Annual Fayetteville Jazz Festival.
Read on below for more information!

Music Moves Presents the Fayetteville Jazz Festival 
Featuring Artists in Residence Alexa Tarantino, Rodney Block, Carmen Bruner, and Jeremy Thomas
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
April 23-25, 2021
For more information, contact:
Chris Teal, Fayetteville Jazz Festival Director, Institute for Creative Music Director (509) 230-0688; or,

Anthony Ball, Music Moves Director, (479) 595-9109
Teaching The Teachers
Blues Integration in Classroom Curriculum
A few weeks ago, Ozark Blues Society's Blues in the Schools program received
a request to partner with the UofA
2021 "ARTful Teaching Conference"
by offering a virtual presentation.
The theme of this year's conference
is "The Art of the Story."
Since many schools and classrooms
are not able to offer full Blues in the Schools events even in non-Covid times, we felt this was an exceptional opportunity to grow our outreach to Arkansas pre-service teachers in support of our effort to Keep the Blues Alive. We quickly agreed to join in this program!

The conference is a month away and planning is underway. We have invited long standing OBS supporter, blues lover, and skilled youth educator, Jules Taylor, to present on our behalf. 

The title of the presentation will be, "Learning Through the Blues
to Tell Our Stories."
The presentation will be for teachers of all grade levels and Jules Shared the goal is to, "Learn about a pure American music form, The Blues and how it can help students tell their own stories. Within the rich layers of The Blues, this workshop will help you find simple techniques to integrate into the classroom. The Blues has a simple structure and rhythm, as well as a history and intention that facilitate a world of emotion and expression”

International Songwriting Competition

“People's Voice” Voting

open now through April 7

This is your chance to be heard by casting a vote for ISC's People's Voice. The song with the most public votes will be the People's Voice winner, which is in addition to and separate from the regular winners selected by International Songwriting Competition’s (ISC) judge panel. Winners will be announced along with all ISC winners by April/May 2021.

Here are the finalists in the International Songwriting Competition "Blues" category:

• "All My Dues Are Paid" (Frank Bey) by Rick Estrin, Christoffer Lund Andersen, Kathy Murray, Frank Bey
• "Are You Ready Now?" (The Jagat) by Davide Pace, Manuel La Malfa
• "Barefoot Among Scarecrows" (Daniel Eriksen)
• "Chain Breaker" (John Nemeth) by John Németh, Jaki Taylor, Matthew Wilson
• "Come And Get This Love" (Avey Grouws Band) by Jennifer Grouws, Chris Avey • "Come and Take It" (John Nemeth)
• "Down To The River" (Zechariah Lloyd)
• "Godless Land" (The Lucky Losers) by Cathy Lemons, Kid Andersen
• "Scotch" Ft. Chelsea D.E. Johnson (Michael Wilford) by Michael Wilford, Joshua Litton, Colleen Lee Eccleston
• "Stand Up And Dance" (Missy Andersen) by Hattie Wilcox, Heine Andersen
• "Surrender"(Clarence Spady)
• "Tear Dust Blues" (Black Cadillac Kings) by Shane Thornton
• "Virginia" (Bad Mama's Blues Band) by Emily Pastuf, Zak Masoud, Jeff Swidowski
• "Weep & Moan" (Vanessa Collier). 

A valid email address must be provided to cast a vote. Please note you may only vote once per day. Also, be sure to like ISC's Facebook page  to stay current on updates.



Nashville, TN, March 7, 2021 – ISC is very pleased to announce the 2020 finalists. A total of 324 finalists have been selected from more than 26,000 entries representing 158 countries throughout the world. ISC is the world’s largest international songwriting competition and is designed to discover and promote professional and amateur songwriters who excel in the art of songwriting. ISC recognizes songwriters in all genres of contemporary music and gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes, including an overall Grand Prize of $25,000 in cash plus additional prizes.
Winners will be selected by a panel of iconic recording artists and high-profile industry executives. Click here for a complete list of judges. Winners will be announced in late April or early May as soon as the judges have completed the judging process.
ISC is sponsored by: Arturia; Audeze; Celebrity Access; Eventric; Fano Guitars; Fender Guitars; Gig Salad; iZotope; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musicians Institute; Play MPE; PreSonus; SongU; Sweetwater; and TuneCore.
For more information about ISC, please email Candace Avery at or call 615-251-4441.
Share Blues History
with your Grandchildren

Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson's Journey        to the Stars

From the Amazon page: "Willie Johnson was born in 1897, and from the beginning he loved to sing--and play his cigar box guitar. But his childhood was interrupted when he lost his mother and his sight. How does a blind boy make his way in the world? Fortunately for Willie, the music saved him and brought him back into the light. His powerful voice, combined with the wailing of his slide guitar, moved people. Willie made a name for himself performing on street corners all over Texas. And one day he hit it big when he got a record deal and his songs were played on the radio. Then in 1977, his song--"Dark Was the Night"--was chosen to light up the darkness when it was launched into space on the Voyager I space probe's famous Golden Record. His immortal song was selected for the way it expresses the loneliness humans all feel, while reminding us we're not alone."
You can buy the book HERE: "Dark Was The Night"
Support Options
For Local Artists
Please check this section of the newsletter weekly for ideas of how to support local musicians and venues. Information may be submitted by all readers, though if reporting for your favorite musician or venue, please confirm the accuracy of the information you are providing.
All submissions will remain posted with new entries being added to the top of the list each week and will run until the music calendar relaunches.

Buddy Shute and the Motivators  
Even among the restrictions we have been able to get some gigs in. The feedback on our latest CD, "Bar-B-Que" has kept us happy and looking past canceled gigs and shuttered venues. We have been receiving feedback on our album BAR-B-QUE from all over the globe... Russia, France, the Netherlands, an island off the coast of Africa as well as national radio shows.As bad as things are we do have a lot to give Thanks for.
Buddy notes there is another option for everyone to stay connected and to keep Bluesin'! Ron Sumner is making use of the empty Eureka Springs Auditorium by streaming concerts. The Motivators were live Dec. 3rd which is available for viewing anytime after on youtube under LiveAtTheAud
"Bar-B-Que" is the latest album from Northwest
Arkansas' own Buddy Shute and the Motivators. Fourteen Tracks and a lot of love. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Chris Moore at East Hall Recording Studio in Fayetteville. The incredible Rachel Fields lends her vocals to a couple of tracks, and the song "I Been Changed" (aka "Angels in Heaven") was beautifully enhanced by the voices of Rachel, Ashtyn Barbaree, Dawn Cate-Bonner, Janna Falkner-Perry, Ashley Keylor, Kendra Kirklin and Sarah Loethen. Fronted by Buddy Shute (vocals, guitar), the Motivators are: Brenda Baskin (vocals), Mark McGee (harmonica), Steve Baskin (bass, vocals), and Randy Reese (drums). Keith Hubbard was named an honorary Motivator, and his distinctive keyboard playing can be heard throughout. 

Best wishes from Buddy Shute and the Motivators

Facebook: Buddy Shute and the Motivators
Brick Fields
 Famous for Blues Therapy
Rachel shares: I just wanted to update everyone on our upcoming album.
We have completed the recording and are in the mixing and mastering process. The album is a Gospel / Gospel Blues album and will be titled "In The Garden". It features the Blues Therapy Group: Kevin Bonner, Chris Parker, Hunter Judkins, myself, Larry and also Vince Turner who has been filling in since
we lost our dear Hoobie. My children Riley and Sally are also lending their vocals on the record and we have included some special guests including Jason Smith on trombone. The record was recorded at Crisp Studio's
by engineer Darren Crisp in Fayetteville, AR who is also co-producer along
with the band and myself. 
 The album has been a labor of love. Since times are tough everyone has been donating their time. We've
had a few donations which will help
with getting the hard copy printed and distributed and also help with some
of the recording costs.
If anyone would like to support this project they can visit: 
We have released a single from the upcoming album. Here is a link to the video "Take Me To the Riverside"
The date for the broadcast has not been set yet. As of now, we plan to pre-record the event with Jamie Anawaty and Darren Crisp teaming up on the production. 
Once live music begins again, folks can stay updated on our concerts by signing up to our email at and following us on Facebook at: 
We also have two stores on our website one for music merchandise and another for Blues Therapy handmade items such as essential oil blends, Jewelry, tie dyes, bath salts, body butters and more.
Thank you for  your support.
I pray that each of you and your families are all doing okay through this. 
Jimmy Wayne Garrett
A new album from Jimmy Wayne Garrett is out titled Town on the Mountain. It is a collection of original songs written from 2009 until 2019. The album was recorded at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, TN and Easthall Recording Studio in Fayetteville, AR and features The Buffalo Gals (Melissa Carper and Rebecca Patek) and a handful of Nashville based artists. Each track was captured using only acoustic instruments. This album casts a unique contrast to JWG's previous album.
During these challenging times, Jimmy loves to share joy through his music. He suggests "that we should remember Love. A person could be trying to
find the beautiful and good things in life. It’s a short time we have to be alive and most conversations taking place are uninspiring, unintelligent, uneducated, unproductive, close-minded, and permeate from terrible addictions or distractions to say the least. I’d rather pull close to my kinfolk, the arts, and the earth than spend energy on worrying about 'the state of things'".

For more information about Jimmy Wayne Garrett, his schedule, recent interviews, or buy the latest album, visit:
His music may also be found HERE:
Music Calendar 
Please enjoy the following listings comprised of bands, venues, and/or organizations that support Ozark Blues Society. Always check with individual venues for event details and schedule changes.

It has been brought to my attention that many venues are returning to scheduled live music and local community calendars are once again active. Please check back next week for a revival of our weekly calendar just in time to welcome spring as we enter into the patio weather that April ushers in!
Mark Your Calendar 
Please Check Back
In this issue:  3/19/2021
    This Week...             ...and Beyond
Jeff Horton Band Album Release "These Blues              Are All Mine"
Mark Your Calendar 2021 Fayetteville Jazz Festival
Teaching The Teachers Blues Integration in Classroom Curriculum
International Songwriting Competition “People's Voice” Voting
Share Blues History with your Grandchildren
Support Options For Local Artists
On this day in Blues History  March 19
This Week's Quote
Blues Education Supporters
Check Out these regular local radio programs
Get Involved with the Ozark Blues Society

Links You Can Use

On this day
in Blues History
 March 19

Today’s show features music performed
by Jesse Fuller and Clarence “Frogman” Henry
This Week's Quote
"The Blues is celebration,
because when you take sorrow and turn it into music, you transform it."
Odetta Holmes
Blues Education Supporters
Thanks to the following for their support of blues education.

Check Out these regular local radio programs

"The Generic Blues Show" hosted by Paul Kelso airs every Friday night at 9pm on KUAF 91.3FM

Rockin' Hog Radio presents "Sunday Morning Blues" from 8am to 10am every Sunday
Get Involved with the Ozark Blues Society

Annual membership levels begin at $15 and give you so much in return, including meeting new friends while enjoying the best blues artists in the area.  
By being a member of The Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas, you are helping to support the Arts and to preserve the Original American Art Form known as The Blues.
Membership Benefits Include:
Weekly E-newsletter
Opportunities to win tickets to events
VIP seating at events (when available)
Discounts on OBS merchandise
Social networking – meeting other people who also love the blues
Opportunities to volunteer on OBS committees and at events
Ability to attend board meetings and vote on upcoming organizational issues and elections
Visit our Website to renew or join!


Links You
Can Use
Arkansas Music Pavillion
Arkansas Music Works
American Blues News
The Blues Foundation
Block Street Records
Blues For A Cause
Blues Festivals Guide
Blues Guitar News
Crystal Bridges
Downtown Bentonville
Eureka Springs Blues Weekend
Free Weekly
George’s Majestic Lounge
Guitar Center
J L Sound & Lighting Productions
National Blues Museum
North AR Jazz Society
NWA Tunedin
Rockin' Hog Radio
Sherry L Speer Photography
The Founders Room
The Walmart Museum
Tom Mowry Photography


Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas  |  P O Box 2004  |  Bentonville, AR 72712  | 

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