March 21, 2008
Vol 3 Issue 11

CD or DVD Releases
News Flash
Record Label News
Blues Artists on the Rise
Festival News
Blues Society News
Roots Blues Airplay Charts
About Us

The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue : : COMMAND PERFORMANCE
For years the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise has set the standard as the world’s only fully charted blues cruise which sets sail annually to such exotic locals as the Eastern Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera. In addition to the virtual blues festival at sea, the nightly Pro Jams have become a staple and much talked about experience for would be sea goers. Out of this nightly ritual was born the inspired beginnings of what has now become the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue. This dynamic collaboration of talent features the Tommy Castro Band along with an all-star lineup that includes pianist, saxophonist, singer/songwriter Deanna Bogart, Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of legendary bluesman Lonnie Brooks, and Magic Dick, who is best known for his many years as harmonica man in the J. Geils Band. This live recording spotlights many of the highlights of their recent performances including the highly regarded Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise founded by blues industry veteran Roger Naber.

Click on button to hear "I FEEL THAT OLD FEELING COMING ON"  

Moreland and Arbuckle : : 1861


 The great state of Kansas is best known for producing “Dorothy” and a bombastic rock band in the 1970s. Until now. Enter Moreland & Arbuckle fresh from the heartland with their hair-raising mix of stomping Mississippi Hill Country, Delta and rural blues. Reaching the finals at the 2005 International Blues Competition in Memphis allowed them to bust out of their regional confines after performing together for only three years, and since then,  the dynamic duo have taken their emotionally searing music around the world.

Rare are the young contemporary blues cats that can convincingly evoke primal country blues without being mere dilettantes. Perhaps Aaron Moreland explains it best when he describes what he and Dustin Arbuckle express as, “Life experiences, emotive musical overtones and rhythms, honest and heartfelt music…raw, stripped down, primal and sincere.”

Click on button to hear Moreland and Arbuckle perform "DIAMOND RING"  


Samuel James
is a performer of singular talent. A master of fingerstyle, slide, banjo, harmonica, and piano, this phenom is not yet out of his twenties. With musical influences ranging from Skip James and Sonny Terry to Gus Cannon and Charley Patton, such understanding of pre-war blues is rarely embodied in the music of one person.

Samuel explains "Pre-war blues is much more intimate for me.....much like a conversation. I'm not really drawn to contemporary blues because its not nearly as engaging." Based on consistent standing ovations at his live shows, Samuel James clearly knows engaging.

Click on button to hear "BIG BLACK BEN" from Samuel James

Enter this contest and win!
Working on the next contest - keep watching for our announcement.

Club Ebony Sold!

INDIANOLA - Mary Shepard says she is going to miss Club Ebony. But after 34 years and two strokes, she says, the time had come to retire from her beloved juke joint.

Shepard, the long-time owner of Indianola's historic Club Ebony, recently sold the venue to blues legend and hometown hero B.B. King.

Club Ebony - or, as it was originally called, the Jones Night Spot - opened in 1943 under the ownership of Johnny Jones. In its 65-year history, the club has played host to a compendium of blues and blues-influenced greats, including Count Basie, James Brown, Ray Charles, Howlin' Wolf and many more.

In an interview with the Delta Democrat Times, Shepard recalled buying the club in 1974, and her more than three decades at its helm.

Shepard said she first leased Club Ebony at the suggestion of her then-husband, Willie Shepard. Willie had recently returned from Vietnam, where he was paralyzed after stepping on a land mine. Shepard said she was hesitant to take over the club, but decided it would help her husband rehabilitate.

“I got to thinking, ‘Well that would be good for him,'” Shepard said. “He loved to play pool. I could bring him to the club, he could be around meeting with people, and laughing with people and talking. I could bring him over in his wheelchair. So then I agreed.”

Shepard says she leased the club for a year and a half from then-owner Ruby Edwards. Then she purchased it outright on Jan. 4, 1974.

What began as a reluctant proprietorship turned into more than three decades shaping the culture of the blues in the Mississippi Delta. Even after Shepard and her husband divorced in 1986, she continued running the club, booking acts such as Willie Clayton, Bobby Rush, Dorothy Moore and B.B. King himself, who traditionally plays a session at Club Ebony after his annual homecoming concert in Indianola's Fletcher Park.

But the life of a club owner can be a hard one, full of late nights and stressful days. Shepard says it got to be too much.

“It's too much pressure,” she said. “It wears you out, you know.”

Shepard suffered a stroke while planning the B.B. King homecoming in 2004. She had another stroke in 2005. She says she has been less active in running the club since then, delegating management responsibilities to friends and family members.

Finally, her family convinced her to step down from the club for good.

“It's very important to them,” said Shepard. “They just want to enjoy me. And they want me to enjoy them. And the grandchildren say that I devoted more time to Club Ebony than I did anything.”

Shepard is planning a farewell event for Sunday, April 6, at 4 p.m. She says Mickey Rogers and the Soul Master Band have already been lined up to play. Other long-time Club Ebony acts are also welcome, Shepard says. Beyond that, she says she doesn't want to have anything to do with booking, promotions, management or any other aspect of running the club.

“I won't be assisting anyone,” Shepard said. “I'll be just coming in like you and enjoying the atmosphere.

“I'm just gonna sit back and try not to shed any tears and try to laugh and be happy,” she added.


Blues Boys Talent wishes to congratulate Ben Prestage on taking 2nd place in the International Blues Challenge!

Born the grandson of a Mississippi sharecropper, Ben Prestage has been soaked in Blues tradition and Mississippi culture since birth. Growing up in the swamps of south central Florida, Prestage began to mix Mississippi Country Blues with his own brand of Florida Swamp Blues. This muddy- water- meets- black- water stew has led him to perform from California to the Carolinas to the Florida Keys, in large festivals, every kind of bar, and sometimes on downtown sidewalks.

Ben's new CD REAL MUSIC is a new sound with an old soul. Funky Americana, Ragtime Guitar, Dark Gospel, Alcohol-Fueled Hill Country Blues, and Florida Swamp music. Fingerstyle Guitar, Slide/Dobro, Tuba/Jug, electric Diddley-Bow, harmonica, and vocals.

To get the complete picture on BEN PRESTAGE and to contact us for bookings go to:

  To hear Ben Prestage, CLICK HERE

BEN PRESTAGE will be appearing at the following Festivals & Events in 2008:

MARCH 2008    SPRING BREAK at Pineapple Willy's Pier Bar   Panama City Beach FL
APRIL 19         Hibiscus Festival    Vero Beach  FL
MAY 23-25      Florida Folk Festival    White Springs  FL
JUNE 21         Cigar Box Guitar Extravaganza    Huntsville  AL 
JULY 3 & 5     Mississippi Valley Blues Festival   Davenport IA
AUGUST 29    Howlin Wolf Memorial Blues Fest   West Point  MS    

(Visit the Ben's myspace for more dates at:

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31st Annual Mississippi Delta Blues & Heritage Festival Poster Contest

Mississippi Action for Community Education (MACE) is accepting entries for the poster design for the 31st Annual Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival to be held on September 20, 2008.  The theme for this year's  festival is: "Rollin'. Goin' Home to da Blues."  The contest is open to all artists of all ages in any country.  Anyone under the age of 18 must have parent to submit their design.

The winning design will be selected by a panel of judges selected from the fields of arts, design and marketing. The winning artist will receive a cash award of $500 and be honored at a media reception to be held in July, 2008.

The poster artwork will be used in all promotional materials for the Festival. MACE will own all rights to the poster art. 

In making its decision, the selection panel will consider the following:
1. How the Festival's 31st theme is depicted in the design.
2. How the Blues and its significance to the community and the world are
3. The overall artistic excellence of the proposed artwork.

Entries must include an artist bio and the proposed poster design.  All entries must be received by April 30, 2008.  Please mail or drop off your entry to:  Mississippi Delta Blues Festival Poster Contest, 119 South Theobald Street, Greenville, MS 38701. For additional information, please contact William Brown at 662-335-3523 or The winnerwill be notified by June 30, 2008.

Please visit our website,, for official contest rules and to download the application form.


[paid advertisement]


If the one and only B.B. King was this impressed with Homemade Jamz, it speaks volumes about the talent and soul of this young band that will perform at the Bluebonnet Blues & Fine Arts Festival in Texas this month. “In my 82 years I have never seen something musically so remarkable,” B.B. King says, in a video as he sits watching Homemade Jamz perform. “I can’t believe this.” (Watch it at Homemade Jamz was also featured on a CBS News segment in December 2007. You can view it at


The moment with B.B. King, captured in a performance in Tunica, Mississippi is a glimpse into this amazing band, which consists of the Perry siblings — Ryan, 15, Kyle, 13 and Taya, 9. King told lead guitarist and vocalist, Ryan Perry “I wish I could have played like you when I was your age.” Homemade Jamz is among the 63 performers at 8 venues during the Bluebonnet Blues & Fine Arts Festival in Marble Falls, Texas on March 28-30.


Another festival highlight will be Whitey Johnson, the alter ego of Gary Nicholson, a prolific songwriter, performer and producer whose songs have been recorded by Chuck Berry, Lynyrd Skynrd, Johnny Cash and blues greats B.B. King, Etta James, James Cotton and Junior Wells. He won a Grammy as producer of Delbert McClinton’s Nothing Personal in 2001. His latest credits are three songs on the new Buddy Guy record (one recorded with Eric Clapton) and a cut on the new Willie Nelson CD, Moment of Forever, which Nicholson co-wrote with Guy Clark.


Art lovers will definitely want to peruse the Sculpture on Main Exhibit, with more than 30 outdoor, three-dimensional works of art right in the middle of the Historic Main Street festival action. You can take a virtual tour at and read a description of the exhibit.


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A Symposium on the Legacy of Blues & Gospel Music

Dominican University (located just minutes from the Chicago Loop) hosts the Blues and the Spirit Symposium, emphasizing the heritage of African-American Chicago and exploring the shared roots of Blues and Gospel.

  • Panels and presentations with Timuel Black, Portia Maultsby, Horace Maxile, Paul Garon, Sterling Plumpp, Gayle Dean Wardlow, Barry Dolins, Jim O’Neal, Marie Dixon, Bob Davis, Bob Koester, Fernando Jones, Bob Marovich, David Whiteis, Scott Barretta, Salim Muwakkil, Sandra Pointer-Jones, Suzanne Flandreau, Bob Riesman, Stephanie Shonekan, Morris Phibbs, Bob Jones, Billy Boy Arnold, Stan Mosley and others

  • Blues Workshop with Billy Branch and Gospel Workshop with James Abbington
  • Multimedia Presentations, Raeburn Flerlage Photography and Outsider Art Exhibits
  • Musical Appearances by Larry Taylor, James Wheeler and Bob Stroger
  • Bronzeville Tour with a stop at the Blues Heaven Foundation, located in the former Chess Records
  • Chicago Blues Club Crawl
  • Otis Clay and Sharon Lewis in Concert      CLICK HERE to see schedule and registration information

Thursday, May 22 - Saturday, May 24, 2008


Phone: (708) 524-6050

Boo Hanks to Get a New Home with the Help of Friends
Boo Hanks is 80 years old and is living in a 1950s trailer with no running water and rotting wiring. The trailer is heated with a kerosene heater, which is not very safe. Music Maker Relief Founjdation has become great friends with Boo, and we don't think that he should have to live in such conditions. The Music Maker Relief Foundation is partnering up with the Jazz Foundation of America to buy Boo a new trailer. The Jazz Foundation has offered half of the money, and we are providing the rest. Donations are still being accepted by Music Maker to help offset the cost of Boo's new home.

Find out more about the Jazz Foundation of America.

Find out more about the Music Maker Relief Foundation


(From the Blues Foundation) There are still plenty of good seats left for the 2008 Blues Music Awards on May 8.  As of now, over 70 of the nominees have confirmed their attendance and we expect a few more will be letting us know in the weeks ahead as their schedules firm up.

The State of Mississippi is working on adding a few special guests and we will update you as we get confirmations. 

The table seating is sold out, but the $75 theater seats that remain are very close to the stage and have the added advantage of elevation.  Think of an arena concert, but in an arena for 1500, not 15,000.  You know in those settings, the seats on the side are often better than the floor seats.  Trust us, there are no bad seats.

You can purchase tickets at

Nominees Confirmed to Attend  
Ann Rabson
Bettye LaVette
Big George Brock
Big James Montgomery
Bob Corritore & Dave Riley
Bob Margolin
Bob Stroger
Bobby Rush
Bruce Katz
Bryan Lee
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones
Candye Kane
Darrell Nulisch
David Maxwell
Deanna Bogart
Debbie Davies
Denise LaSalle
Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy
Doug James
Doug MacLeod
Duke Robillard
Eugene Bridges
Fiona Boyes
Fruteland Jackson
Gina Sicilia
Henry Butler
Hubert Sumlin
Jackie Payne
James Blood Ulmer
Janiva Magness
Jeff Turmes
Jimi Bott
Jimmy "Duck" Holmes
John Nemeth
Johnny Sansone
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Kid Ramos (Mannish Boys)
Kilborn Alley Blues Band
Kim Wilson
Lurrie Bell
Magic Slim & The Teardrops
Mannish Boys
Mary Flower
Mem Shannon
Nappy Brown
Nick Moss & The Flip Tops
Nora Jean Bruso
Omar Dykes
Phillip Walker
Pinetop Perkins
Robb Stupka
Root Doctor
Ruthie Foster
Sam Lay
Sharrie Williams
Steve Calif
Sugar Blue
Tad Robinson
Teresa James
The Insomniacs
The Soul of John Black
Tommy Castro
Watermelon Slim & the Workers

In addition, the winners of the 2008 International Blues Challenge, Trampled Under Foot and Lionel Young will be performing.

Its confirmed... Candye Kane has a neuroendocrine tumor, which is very good news. because it is less aggressive than other pancreatic cancers... but it is still cancer.

She will have surgery during the first or second week of May. Which means all her May - June shows on the east coast of the US have been cancelled.  Candye hopes to resume touring in July.

Her last performances before the surgery will be at the Blues Music Awards ceremony on May 8th, and the Delta Groove Revue at Ground Zero Blues Club on May 9th.

The Jackie Payne/Steve Edmonson Band just got back from recording their second release for the Delta Groove label in Los Angeles.  The new CD, tentatively titled, OVERNIGHT SENSATION features nine original compositions and four covers.  While some of the songs are straight Blues, much of the new CD is Southern Soul in the Stax/Hi Records tradition.  There are even a couple of tunes that are more in the Gospel vein.

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Ron Hacker and the Hacksaws:From:San Francisco

"The first time I got the blues, I mean really got the blues, was in 1956. A friend and I got caught breaking into parking meters. I was eleven - he was twelve. Off we went to the juvenile center. The counselors in the center were young Afro-Americans in their twenties and they loved their music, like young dudes do. In '56 their music was Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Jimmy Reed. I fell in love with the music and it's been a part of my life since then. As I've gotten older I've tried to concentrate more on playing the Blues than living them."
After teaching himself to play guitar, Ron met the late Yank Rachell, famous partner of Sleepy John Estes. Yank trained Ron on the finer points of Delta Blues, and they became life-long friends in the process.

The actor Peter Coyote helped Ron get his first gig in San Francisco at a neighborhood coffee shop. It wasn't long before Ron put together the Hacksaws and was tearing it up in clubs all over the Bay Area.

Since then, Ron has played every major festival in Northern California, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the San Francisco Blues Festival and the Marin County Blues Festival. Ron has also toured extensively in Europe playing major festivals in France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and Norway.


Ron has put out five albums which include "No Pretty Songs", "Bar Stool Blues", "I Got Tattooed", "Backdoor Man", and "Burnin". A guest appearance on the new Tom Waits CD "Orphans", as well as a "Live in Holland" CD.


The Institute at Palm Key (Ridgeland, SC) will be holding the Jasper's Blues on the Marsh Blues Festival Saturday, March 29, 2008. The event is free, with proceeds benefiting The Institute at Palm Key educational programs.  The lineup includes Cool John Ferguson, Chocolate Thunder, Mac Arnold, Drink Small, Tradition Speaks Blues, Toscha Comeaux, Jimmy D Ward, and Calvin Newborn.

A special features of the festival is called "Dine with the Musicians". It takes place on Friday, March 28 for Dinner or Sunday, March 30th for Brunch (reservations required) Call 843-726-3277.


On March 29 the Grafton Blues Association (Grafton, Wisconsin) will welcome Pinetop Perkins,Hubert Sumlin, Willie Smith and Bob Stroger to the area. This is our benefit show to support their Blues in the Schools and Scholarship programs. Visit our website for more details

The Sacramento Blues Society (Sacrmento, California) will be presenting two blues shows. The first is April 13th "Bustin' out Blues Blast!!", and on April 26th "Blues in the Schools Benefit Show".  For complete details visit their website
The Detroit Blues Society (Detroit, Michigan) is offering, ON EBAY, a package of 10 tickets for Bob Weir and Ratdog at the Royal Oak Music Theater in Royal Oak, Michigan on Friday March 28, 2008. These tickets are worth $35 each - $350 total. The auction winner will receive:

1) Letter confirming that you are the guests of the Detroit Blues Society and hav 10 passes waiting for you at will-call.
2) Donation letter from the Detroit Blues Society for your purchase.

Click Here for a link

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St. John Blues Festival

Wednesday-Sunday, March 19-23, 2008
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Hotline: 340-693-8120

9th Annual Spring Harmonica Festival

Saturday, March 22, 2008
La Mesa, California, U.S.
Hotline: none

South Beach Blues Festival

Thursday-Sunday, March 27-30, 2008
Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
Hotline: 786-499-6179

KUFOBU presents Danny Bryant´s RedEye Band + Traditional Bluesduo

Friday, March 28, 2008
Burgau, Austria, U.S.
Hotline: +43681/10439641
Blues Fest at Jackpot Junction

Friday-Saturday, March 28-29, 2008
Morton, Minnesota, U.S.
Hotline: 800-WIN-CASH
Bluebonnet Blues Fine Arts Festival

Friday-Saturday, March 28-29, 2008
Marble Falls, Texas, U.S.
Hotline: 800-864-5175

Blue's on the Marsh

Friday-Sunday, March 28-30, 2008

Ridgeland, South Carolina, U.S.
Hotline: 843-726-3277

Playing with Fire Winter Series

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Hotline: 402-990-4211

Blues 'N March

Saturday, March 29, 2008
Blasdell, New York, U.S.
Hotline: none

Cook Island Jazz & Blues Festival

Saturday-Sunday, March 29-30, 2008

Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Hotline: 006495766719

Devonshire Blues Music Event

Sunday, March 30, 2008
Old Tallangatta, Victoria, Australia
Hotline: 61 2 6071 33 93

Djurs Bluesland

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hornslet, Denmark
Hotline: +4586152400

Bierbeek Blues'd Up

Saturday, April 5, 2008
Bierbeek, Belgium
Hotline: 0032498165018

Springing The Blues

Friday-Sunday, April 4-6, 2008
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.

For years, the Blues Festival Guide Magazine received numerous requests for updates on festivals via email, and on January 10, 2006, the Marketing Director of the Blues Festival Guide magazine, Nancy Edwards partnered with the magazine (RBA Publishing) and published the first emailed issue of the E-Guide E-Newsletter.

The E-Guide is a wonderful resource for everyone interested in Blues! You can expect to see the E-Guide in your inbox weekly. Please email the editor with any questions at

To reach thousands of blues enthusiasts, click here to learn how to advertise in this Blues Festival E-Guide E-Newsletter.
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