Now's your chance! Get Listed in the 2021 Blues Festival Guide Annual Magazine
"The Blues Festival Guide is the road map to everything blues!” – Bobby Rush Get your band, record label, festival, event or blues related business listed in the 2021 Blues Festival Guide magazine. Enjoy festival information (both physical and virtual), blues history and lifestyle, industry highlights and editorial content to keep you connected to the blues. Include our annual Blues Festival Guide print magazine in your marketing budget. Find Media Kit here with details.
This award-winning publication is free to the Blues community (distributed throughout U.S and Canada), and features entertaining and educational editorial by top Blues aficionados. Thousands of Blues fans will also read in digital format.
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Photo Moments with the 18th Annual BFG Magazine!
Here's (lt-rt) Tina Rakowski, Shelly Alfaro, Bev Gibson and Jacquelyn Hoppes-Senecal at Le Citron in Oceanside, California, March 2021. Besides digging music, they are active in biking for indigenous justice and the national crisis of stolen sisters.
A Medicine Wheel Ride is happening May 1 at Indian Motorcycle of San Diego, CA to support efforts and to raise awareness about the (Inter)National Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Relatives crisis.
On May 5, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) recognizes the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls (MMIW). Wear red to honor and stand together so these women will never be forgotten and that some MMIW may find justice and their families find peace
Photo courtesy Michele Lundeen
Want your picture here with the Guide.... bring it on!
*SEND US YOUR PIC WITH THE BLUES FESTIVAL GUIDE MAGAZINE! Are you are a BFG client? Reach out to your sales person so they can send you one!
Anyone can also Order one here! Once you receive, have fun, get creative and SNAP A PHOTO of you, your friends, and/or artists, etc. with the BFG magazine and EMAIL photo, caption (120 words or less), URL if applicable, and photo credit to e-Guide editor!
(GREENSBORO, NC) – Piedmont Blues Preservation Society (PBPS) hosts NC Blues Week May 9th-15th, 2021 featuring in-person, live performances and a film screening. The Carolina Soul theme carries through in the artist lineup (PBPS) for the 35th Annual Carolina Blues Festival, held Saturday, May 15th, 2021 at Lebauer Park in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. “Carolina Soul is a reminder of who we are as Carolinians and that the soul of a people united are at the center of everything we do,” said Atiba Berkley, PBPS President.
Johnny Rawls (Purvis, MS) is a soul blues legend — in fact, the term “soul blues” was invented to describe his music. With a career spanning more than 50 years, he’s an internationally recognized, multi-award-winning recording artist, music producer, and songwriter. Johnny is mentioned on two markers along the Mississippi Blues Trail.
Roy Roberts (Greensboro, NC) career began at 14 years old when Solomon Burke took him under his wing after letting him sit in as a bass player and was soon handling the guitar chores behind Burke. Roberts subsequently picked up touring gigs with Eddie Floyd, “Little” Stevie Wonder, Dee Clark, and Otis Redding, while fronting his own band, The Roy Roberts Experience, on the regional club scene.
The Phoebes (RTP, NC) perform a perfect mix of rock and blues and are one of the newest bands in the Southeast, launched into the spotlight by Kingfish reposting their cover of his 2019 Grammy nominated version of the classic, “Hey Joe.”
Darryl Johnson (Marshville, NC) is a bass player, singer, songwriter, composer, and producer. He started with The Original Drifters but is well known for playing with The Neville Brothers, Bob Dylan, and Chairmen of the Board, and has performed and recorded with many more. He’s returned to The Drifters and taking a day off touring to celebrate his roots in Carolina Soul.
Stax Museum Acquires Rare Soul Record Collection
(MEMPHIS, TN) - The Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis has acquired a nationally important collection of rare soul records from Chicago music historian and archivist Bob Abrahamian. The collection includes more than 35,000 singles and albums alongside memorabilia and photography, much of it focused on lesser-known Chicago soul musicians.
“While his obsession with discovering and coveting impossibly rare records was typical of many high-end collectors, his dedication to telling the stories of the men and women behind these sweet soul records, and the kindness he showed to these unjustly obscure cultural heroes, was something special,” journalist Jake Austin said in a statement. “His record collection is worth a great deal of money, but the work he did documenting Chicago R&B and giving its practitioners the reverence and dignity they deserved was priceless.”
According to the Director of Collections and Exhibitions Raka Nandi, the museum is in the process of “studying why and how Bob Abrahamian amassed such a vast collection and how he became such a public, outspoken advocate of these artists. The museum will eventually display highlights of the collection as part of the exhibit offerings, and will also make the archive available to researchers and scholars.
Abrahamian started his collecting in the Nineties, which turned into a lifelong project of documenting the less-known soul and R&B artists of Sixties Chicago. Abrahamian died at the age of 35 in 2014.
Delbert McClinton has had plenty of time to reflect on his 63-year music career during this pandemic. For the first time in six decades, he has been off the road and off stage for more than a year.
“Here I sit, 80 years old, in the middle of a pandemic. This is not how I envisioned playing out my final years as an entertainer. Music has been my total being for my whole life,” he admits. “I had been considering finishing this year with a modest number of shows. But the more I thought about it, and the more obstacles that have been placed in front of me, the less my heart was in it.”
“I don't want to get up in front of audiences who might be the cause of my incapacity or death just because I want to play music. I don't want to listen to anyone who won't wear a mask or get a vaccine. We all have different values and they are inarguable.”
He continues, “I have had a decent career, and I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I would. With that in mind, this is a good time to retire.”
Delbert adds that this is a good time to close out his career, with a Grammy win (2020 Best Traditional Blues), a great album (Tall, Dark & Handsome: Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers), the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award, and the best band and crew with whom he has ever had the pleasure of sharing a stage (Self-Made Men + Dana).
“I’m leaving the stage with no regrets. I’ve done all that I set out to do and more. Retirement will allow me to enjoy my family and travel a bit as it becomes safer. It's been a great ride,” he adds, as he looks forward to the next chapter.
30th Annual Washington Blues Society “Best of the Blues Awards” Winners
(SEATTLE, WA) - The Washington Blues Society 30th annual “Best of the Blues Awards” were presented online April 18th and featured video performances and live award presenters.
Highlights among the award recipients were "The Real Lady A," who received the Blues Female Vocalist award and her second consecutive Blues Performer award, KNKX "All Blues" host John Kessler received his 8th Blues DJ award, and the Stacy Jones Band received the top honors in the Blues Band category for the 4th year in a row; the Keeping The Blues Alive award was presented to The Winthrop Music Association. Much loved vocalist and keyboardist, the late Jimmy Holden was awarded the Blues Piano, Lifetime Achievement award and inducted into the Washington Blues Society "Blues Hall of Fame," posthumously.
Here’s a partial list of the winners:
- Mark DuFresne Male Vocalist Award Joel Astley - Blues Female Vocalist Lady A
- Electric Blues Guitar Rafael Tranquilino - Slide Blues Guitar Rod Cook
- Blues Bass Tim Scott - Chris Leighton Blues Drummer Award Tommy Cook
- Blues Horn Mike Marinig - Paul Green Blues Harmonica Award Joel Astley
- Blues Piano/Keyboard Jimmy Holden - Acoustic Blues Guitar Brian Butler
- Blues Instrumentalist – Other Leanne Trevalyan
- Blues Performer Lady A - Blues Songwriter Joel Astley
- Washington Blues Recording Mad Bojo - “Mad Bojo” - Blues DJ John Kessler
- Blues Writer Rick J Bowen - Blues Club Madison Avenue Pub
- Blues Graphic Winthrop R&B Virtual Festival Poster 2020 (by Sean Donovan of Gator Boy Graphics)
- Blues Photograph Dan Hill photo of Cook, Engelhart & Feist (Jan SSBA Newsletter)
- Keeping the Blues Alive Award Winthrop Music Association
- Lifetime Achievement Award Jimmy Holden
- Blues Hall of Fame – Individual Jimmy Holden
- Blues Jam Unbound Blues Jam at Madison Ave Pub …See all at the WBS
Independent Artists, Producers and Venues Streaming with HowLive.TV
HowLive, leading live event streaming platform, has announced “Producer,” a new product that enables artists, producers and venues to stream using the HowLive built in features to sell tickets, bundles, merch, accept donations, sponsor placement and open up new revenue channels.
Artists and venues are now the center of the virtual music experience and have full control with the HowLive platform. Deliver with confidence a front row seat with amazing 1080 video, hi fidelity and scalability to millions of viewers globally.
“Artists and venues use their existing camera gear or a variety of all-in-one solutions from HowLive” said, Gino Padua, CEO. “Rich features, our flexible pricing model, and production support keeps the process simple, removes risks and lowers costs compared to other approaches.”
As venues begin opening with limited capacity, HowLive streaming solutions can be implemented quickly to generate incremental revenue and remove geographic boundaries for live performance events.
HowLive has streamed 500+ live events across all musical genres and now is serving up live Blues weekly at HowLive.TV. Check out live events from artists such as Fantastic Negrito, Alvon Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, Tommy Castro, Chris Cain, Terrie Odabi and many more.
Head on over to Howlive.tv to check out upcoming events. To learn more about how to live stream your next event contact Howlive.
CD, Single & DVD Releases
Bill Toms & Hard Rain :: KEEP MOVIN’ ON
Pittsburgh’s Bill Toms and his band Hard Rain have, over the years, made it their mission to pay homage to America’s rich musical traditions, mixing some of the nation’s most beloved genres with a good dose of hope, faith and inclusion.... but it’s safe to say that recently, this has been a bigger challenge than usual. A global pandemic resulting in forced isolation will make creative people either wilt or thrive: In 2020, Toms and Hard Rain did the latter, overcoming the chill of physical separation and creating their 10th studio album, Keep Movin’ On, which will be released April 30 on Terraplane.
The new music, heralded as a “beautiful message of healing and hope” and a “sublime step forward” for Toms by the Philadelphia Inquirer, was produced by music legend, Rick Witkowski. It features contributions from The Soulville Horns, as well as award-winning instrumentalist/producer, Will Kimbrough, on a graceful blend of rock, soul, and rhythm & blues.
Like most collaborative efforts in 2020, the album is a product of distance, which of course provided an unprecedented hurdle in terms of capturing and honing Toms’ original songwriting vision, especially when considering such pandemic-unfriendly musical elements as wind instruments.
Parts and tracks for each song came in far and wide, ranging from Nashville all the way to Italy (where Toms’ European bass player lives). Ultimately, the well-traveled history and ease the musicians have with each other managed to circumvent the isolated circumstances, resulting in a seamlessly warm groove throughout the set.
Sneak peek at the upcoming 2021 Blues Festival Guide
Things are looking up in 2021! We can’t wait to get back to the live music scene, and we know you feel the same. The Blues Festival Guide team has been putting together the 2021 issue to bring you the latest happenings on the festival circuit and in our blues community. Click image above to order!! Here’s a sneak peek into the cool editorial we're working on as well!
Keeping the Blues Alive During a PandemicBy Irene Johnson
As we are all too aware, the Covid-19 pandemic halted live events and severely hindered the making of music. In this feature, the Blues Festival Guide explores the innovative solutions musicians have come up with to reach their fans, maintain their careers and keep the blues alive. What’s Cookin’with Larry Garner
You may be familiar with Baton Rouge bluesman Larry Garner’s songwriting and sound, but what about his cooking? Find out how he soothed his craving for chargrilled oysters during the pandemic – without the grill. Garner’s “Oven Oysters” will have you crankin’ some blues as you lay on the hot sauce. The Lore of the TrainBy Michele Lundeen
What's the blues connection? The lore and fascination with trains has been with us for nearly 200 years. Trains and their winding tracks harken back to another time, reminding us of life’s trials, survival, wanderlust, love, humor or even urgency and have been inspiration for many blues songs. Explore the connection! Blues Against Hunger Society
The Blues Against Hunger Society is dedicated to ending hunger while supporting, promoting and preserving the blues. Its food drive events – which include tours, festivals, seasonal musicals and community Jamborees – have fed thousands in the last decade throughout Baja California, So California and AZ. Living Legend: Miss Lavelle WhiteBy Pam Cosel
Miss Lavelle White is a living legend of the blues. The Texas-based singer-songwriter’s career dates back to the 1950s, and she still captivates audiences on stage at the age of 91. Learn more in this feature how Miss Lavelle has impacted the blues over the last 70 years. The Blues Foundation Welcomes New Leadership
Patricia Wilson Aden became the new President and CEO of The Blues Foundation in October 2020. The Blues Festival Guide was able to catch up with Patty about her first few months at The Blues Foundation, meeting the challenges of the pandemic and what’s on the horizon looking forward. Ladies Sing & Play the BluesBy Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
The Reverend is back to share his blues wisdom – this time, about some of the great ladies of the blues. Join him in worship of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Big Maybelle Smith, Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, Memphis Minnie, Camille Howard, Julia Lee, Ella Mae Morse, and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. ...And more!
Which Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise Hits Your Groove?
Our Artists & Headliners Stay & Play, They Don’t Hit & Run!!
LRBC#35 Southern Caribbean: Oct. 24~31, 2021 From Ft. Lauderdale, Fl To Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba & Half Moon Cay (Bahamas Private Island) On Holland America’s Ms Eurodam. Cabins & Info HERE
LRBC #36 Eastern Caribbean: Jan. 29~Feb. 5, 2022 From Ft. Lauderdale, Fl To Tortola, St. Thomas & Turks And Caicos On Holland America’s New Flagship Ms Rotterdam. Cabins & Info HERE
Visit Reservations Or Call (816) 753-7979 To Reserve Your Cabin!
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LEGENDARY RHYTHM & BLUES CRUISE 313 Lawrence St., Kansas City, MO | (816) 753-7979 | BluesCruise.com
- More Than A Cruise… More Than A Festival… More Than You Can Imagine! -
Chasing The Blues Podcast is Back!
Tom the Suit Forst is Chasing The Blues!
We're back for our 3rd season! We've produced over 100+ shows to date with more to come! Look for upcoming show announcements and special giveaways! This will be an amazing year for festivals and we will be talking to many of the top acts as well as with the people behind the scenes who bring you the music.
Join the over 10,000 fans who get the inside story and the behind-the-scenes information that make the Blues come alive.
"Hard times ain't nothing that music won't help heal..."
Birthdays upcoming of note: April 29-Big Jay McNeely (1927-2018), Otis Rush (1935), Frankie Lee (1941), April 30-Rev. Gary Davis (1896-1972), Mabel Scott (1915-2000), Frankie Lee Sims (1917-1970), Jimmie Lee Robinson (1931-2002); May 1-Big Maybelle Smith (1924-1972), Little Walter Jacobs (1930-1968), Ada Brown (1890-1950), Carlton Armstrong; May 3-Homesick James (1914), James Brown (1933 ); May 5-Blind Willie McTell (1901), Johnnie Taylor (1934-2000); May 8-Joe Bonamassa (1977), Robert Johnson (1911-1938); May 9-Bob Margolin (1949), A.C. Reed (1926–2004); May 10-Ted Bogan (1909-1990), Larry Williams (1935-1980); May 11-Kansas Joe McCoy (1905–1950); May 12-Barbara Dane (1927), Guy Davis (1952); May 13 Stevie Wonder (1950), Ana Popovic (1976)
Just in Case:April 29, is"International Dance Day"... well, that's a no-brainer! May 1st is "Beer Pong Day." Since 2006 the 1st Saturday of every May it's a thang! News to me, but could be even more entertaining while getting down with the blues. Well, here ya go... "National Lost Sock Memorial Day," celebrated annually on May 9, honors all the socks that are no longer with us. This is just funny and sad all the way around! HA!
We've Got You Covered with Live Streams & Online Concerts
Blues Festival Guide Magazine Media Platforms Feature Live Streams, Online Concerts & more
Our platforms are a portal for live stream and online concert events.
As fast as an online event is announced, the Blues Festival Guide team makes the announcement and link go live in a special section on the top-ranking Blues Festival Guide Website, as well as on our social media platforms (Facebook with 195,000 followers, and Instagram @bluesfestguide with 8,900+ followers). This service is provided for free to the artist as well as the viewer.
Even though most music festivals and clubs are still on lockdown across the globe, there is new music and live concerts via live stream, both local and international, that can be watched from the safety of your couch on your own TV, computer or phone.
With almost 20 years of experience delivering blues music and blues music news around the world, Publisher Kaati Gaffney says, “We are experienced digital marketers specializing in live music events. During this time of pandemic, while festivals and events are virtual, it is our pleasure to provide this service.” ...Find more about BFG or to contact us to share your events
To view entire calendar of festivals & Live Streams, click here!
To ensure that your festival also appears here in the e-Guide Festival Calender EMAIL
Not all upcoming blues festivals/events are listed here at certain times of the year due to space constraints. Unless highlighted, festivals are no longer inked due to increasing spam For a complete list and links see our comprehensive website.
NOTE: Highlighted/Linked events are paid "Featured" ads. For complete list & links go to our website Festival page! ______________________
*CORONAVIRUS UPSETS: Please click through the festival links on our site for current updates
15th Clarksdale Caravan Music Fest
Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA
Greater Prescott Valley Blues Festival May-22-2021
Prescott Valley, Arizona, USA
Mifflinburg Spring Flight & Blues Party May-22-2021, Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, USA
3rd Red's Old-Timers Blues Fest
Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA
Black Hills Blues Stomp and Swamp Romp Jun-04-2021 - Jun-06-2021
Sturgis, South Dakota, USA
Virtual 42nd Blues Music Awards
Memphis, Tennessee USA
31st Billtown Blues Festival Jun-11-2021 - Jun-13-2021, Hughesville, Pennsylvania, USA
Flagstaff Blues and Brews Jun-11-2021 - Jun-12-2021
Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
For festival-event links please go to our website _______________________
Sierre Blues Festival Jun-12-2021
Bentonia Blues Fest Jun-14-2021 - Jun-19-2021
Bentonia, Mississippi, USA
Alpine Country Blues Festival Jun-18-2021 - Jun-19-2021
Alpine, Arizona, USA
Northwoods Blues Festival Jun-18-2021 - Jun-19-2021
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, USA
Blues On The Fox Jun-18-2021 - Jun-19-2021
Aurora, Illinois, USA
Cleethorpes Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival Jun-19-2021
Cleethorpes, United Kingdom
20th Greenwood Blues Cruise Jul-08-2021 - Jul-10-2021, Greenwood, South Carolina, USA
Briggs Farm Blues Festival Jul-08-2021 - Jul-10-2021
Nescopeck, Pennsylvania, USA
Please stay safe and optimistic!
We are thinking of you and wishing you good health!
RBA Publishing/Blues Festival Guide
P.O. Box 920, Arcata, CA 95518 Call 707-630-3304
RBA Publishing, Inc. in business since 1993, is a boutique blues-specific PR and marketing firm based on the West Coast. We help musicians, festivals, labels and music-related brands. Our digital campaigns target fans, industry and influencers. We are masterful at email marketing, social media, fan acquisition and long-term marketing plans. Our media services are supported by people who understand and love the blues genre. Publishers of annual the Blues Festival Guide magazine, our top-ranking website, and e-Guide newsletter with approx 30,000 weekly subscribers, we have been blues industry leaders for over 18 years. Please contact us at 707-630 3304 or EMAIL to findout how we can help you!
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 do CD/DVD reviews nor write the news... we just share and report it. We also welcome your e-Guide suggestions, critiques and questions. You can reach our E-Guide editor, Michele Lundeen (pictured) via EMAIL.