June 27, 2008
Vol 3 Issue 24

CD or DVD Releases
News Flash
House of Blues Radio Hour
About Us


Music has been Robin Rogers' consuming passion ever since her days as a teenage street singer. Possessing a deeply expressive and soulful voice and an infectious enthusiasm for the blues, Robin and her band have developed a devoted and growing following. Her Blind Pig debut, Treat Me Right, fulfills the promise of her previous two releases, revealing an accomplished artist of rare polish and originality. It features perhaps her most powerful composition, "Color-Blind Angel", a moving account of the life and death of white civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo. "Color-Blind Angel" won second place in the blues category of the 2007 International Songwriters Competition.

This CD showcases Robin's stylistic variety and passionate vocal intensity, from the rolling R&B title track to the jazzy "Nobody Stay" to the soulful groove of Nobody's Gonna Hurt You. Blind Pig Records is truly proud to welcome Robin to its roster.

Release date: June 24, 2008



Bonnie Bramlett looks you straight in the eye. Then she lays it out.

"I don't do 'famous,'" she says, her voice as wise and true as a Saturday night slow-drag or a Sunday morning sermon. "I don't have an entourage. I don't ride in limos. I don't call cars. It takes a lot of work to be famous..."

And here she leans back, her eyes dancing playfully. "...and I'm just a lazy girl."

Laughter follows, as infectious and beckoning as the rhythm in her speech. Even so, it only hints at how Bramlett communicates through songs - and that case is made clear on "Beautiful", the latest and certainly one of the greatest albums this peerless singer has ever tracked.

Bramlett has followed just about every path through the landscape of American music. Go back beyond her previous release, the title-says-it-all Roots, Blues & Jazz, back through the phenomenon of Delaney & Bonnie, whose electrifying shows inspired Eric Clapton to give up his superstar spotlight and woodshed as a member of their band, earlier even than her apprenticeship as the only white Ikette ever welcomed into the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, all the way to the days when she used to sneak as a teen from her steel-town neighborhood into black blues bars of St. Louis, to hear and then to sing with the likes of Little Milton and Albert King.

All of these experiences come together on Beautiful, an album that's elegant in its simplicity and profound in its depth. It was recorded with the best of the Muscle Shoals rhythm section joined by roots-rock veterans, members of Little Richard's and Delbert McClinton's bands, and others gathered by Johnny Sandlin, whose artist-centric productions defined the Southern rock movement.

After more than 40 years in the public eye, apprenticeships as a backup singer to giants of the blues, collaborations with the greatest stars in rock & roll, appearances as an actress on the small and silver screens, and above all a lifetime marked sometimes by controversy but never marred by compromise, Bramlett ties her story into one Beautiful package, with a message that says all an artist can hope to say about his or her work.

"I'm not making blues records," she sums up. "I'm not making jazz records. I don't fit into a slot. I never have. I don't think about how many records I can sell; that's somebody else's job. For me, the question is bigger: Will I be proud for my kids, or my great-grandkids someday, to hear this? You can't unring that bell, baby. That's why all I can do is to make Bonnie Bramlett records, the best I can."

And then she leans back, her smile warmed by the ironies of experience and informed by the knowledge that, with Beautiful, she has accomplished that mission, after all.



Amos Garrett, if truth be told, has been part of the roots music scene for well over 40 years, and right now he's enjoying the fruits of his labor. Laid back, and with a sense of humor so dry that one could light matches on his pants, he is marking a new level of independence and has released what his fellow musicians are already calling the best record of his long career.

"Get Way Back: A Tribute to Percy Mayfield" is a collection of songs by one of the very best - if lesser-known - songwriters in American roots music history. And Garrett, in his wonderfully contrary way, found some of the very best tunes by the man who was called "The Poet Laureate of the Blues but did not include the man's most-covered songs, "Hit the Road Jack" and "Please Send Me Someone To Love.""Well," Garrett explained, "those songs have been sung before."

Get Way Back, for once, puts the emphasis on Garrett's deep, supple voice, with his trademark guitar style perfectly complementing the lyrics, but more understated than usual. And the songs - many of them deep, dark and full of foreboding - make for a remarkably satisfying listening experience.

Produced by Garrett himself, and recorded in Toronto and Calgary, the record features long-time collaborators Ron Casat on keys, and sax player Dave Babcock, who also arranged the quietly effective horn parts, which feature trumpet player Alistair Elliott. Bucky Berger on drums and bassist Victor Bateman are also veterans of Amos' band, which he long ago christened the Eh! Team. Ken Whiteley, whose Toronto studio was used for some of the recording, plays piano.

The new CD? "Percy's songs, when I was introduced to them in the early '70s, really set my direction. I've recorded some of his songs before, but this brand new collection is my tribute to a giant songwriter. Sharing these songs is very special to me."- Amos


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Jon Justice was born in the Chicago-land area in 1982. His first formal music experiences came as a teenager, touring nationally with Bluegrass and Gospel groups. Now residing in Cincinnati, OH, Justice has set sail with his rock solid touring band to support his sophomore release, "The Rebound."

Justice was recently cited as Best of Cincinnati 2008 - Blues Singer/Slinger by City Beat Magazine and also won the Cincinnati Blues Challenge, representing the Queen City at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis earlier this year. He also appeared in a Bootsy Collins' (James Brown, Parliament Funk, George Clinton) video, "Bengal Rock", late last year.

His new release, The Rebound, (Independent, May 27, 2008), is jam-packed full of original swamp-driven blues anthems, searing slide guitar, and sweet soul ballads Justice is becoming known for. The Rebound evokes influences from 50's blues icons, 60's soul kings, and 70's funk titans. However, at the end of the day, 14 tracks and 70 something minutes later, this album is all Jon Justice!

The Rebound, named for a girlfriend's friend's nickname for him, takes on a grittier, more organic approach than his debut, "Forget About Time". With lyrically honest, intimate songs that recall private moments shared between individuals, snippets of political commentary, and a band from hell (actually Cincinnati), The Rebound is a blues/soul force to be reckoned with.

"Write what you know, play what you feel." Justice says. "I don't know any other way."

In support of The Rebound, Justice and his band will be touring extensively this summer. Traveling west to California and south to Cocoa Beach, FL and Austin, TX with many stops in between. To find Jon Justice in a city near you, please visit www.jonjustice.com

"These guys will go someplace, if there's any justice in the world." - Watermelon Slim, 2008 Blues Music Award winner

"The kid can flat-out play!" - Buddy Guy

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Review by Cathleen Chance Vecchiato

The limited edition recording "Live and Direct" was recorded by Taj Mahal and the International Rhythm Band in 1979 using the audiophile direct-to-disc recording method by Crystal Clear Records. I hadn't seen Taj in 29 years since the time of the recording in Marin County, CA. He still wears his traditional hat, but his craft has grown with each decade. A recent performance in Vancouver, BC proved just that. Accompanied by two long-term band members drummer Kester Smit, and Bill Rich on bass, who were in the Marin County studio all those years ago, the three artists demonstrated that the best are those who don't quit.

Taj, whose given name is Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, is in his 60s now, but age is irrelevant when it comes to world-class musicians. His voice, a bit raspier with time, however, enhances every song. At this age, not only do his vocals dip effortlessly into a baritone, but he moves better than most 20 year old women with lower-back tattoos.

Knowing your audience is the gift of a great performer. When he sang "Fannie Mae" a bluesy ballad about a 17-year-old girl, he assured us not to expect lecherous lyrics. "Girls, you don't get in the game until your 35, he said, adding, "And wait 'till you're 50!" which drew whoops and hollers of approval. His comment was followed by a projection that the women in the audience would ask what Taj had for breakfast and could their men have the same thing. Taj makes you love growing older.

Artists who can not only perform but interact with their audience make for a great show. And Taj knows how to appeal to an audience, asking the Canadian fans if they'd like to hear a little Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian joke). His poetic lyrics "You shine like Klondike gold" refer to another Canadian gem as did his reference to hockey (yes, Canadians are pretty laid back, but try going to a hockey game and it feels more like the Boston Tea Party).

Taj has a lengthy fondness for this country north of the 49th parallel and had once hoped to attend McGill University in Montreal; instead, he completed his post-secondary studies in his home state of Massachusetts.

His first instrument was the piano, and he gave us a sampling of his keyboard work as well as banjo and guitar. An eclectic musician, Taj has crossed into several genres, including work with brasileiro Jorge Ben, whose song, co-written by Taj appears on the "Live and Direct" recording.

After the show, I was accompanied downstairs by my 10 year old, who carried one of Blind Boy Ricky McKinnie's irreplaceable drum sticks. Joining Taj and his band members was a reunion for me, having been the cheerleader cueing the live audience during the Crystal Clear Records production 29 years ago.

"That was the best album I ever made!" Taj said enthusiastically, affirming that the producer Ed Wodenjak, was a true visionary. Although the compliment is well deserved, Taj, perhaps, is a visionary as well.

Pictured: Elvin Bishop, Koko Taylor, John Nemeth

A park right next to the Mississippi River, bounded on the other side by railroad tracks and Highway 61 is the beautiful setting for the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, Iowa.This year marks the 24th annual Festival, complete with two stages (one a historic Bandshell), 28 acts over three days during the 4th of July holiday, free workshops, BlueSKool for kids, and a photo/film exhibit. One of the longest running blues festivals in the nation, the IH Mississippi Valley BluesFest is the only major blues festival entirely produced by an all-volunteer organization, the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. This year's lineup includes something for everyone: a tribute to the roots of the blues with the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Otis Taylor's Black Banjo Project featuring Guy Davis; headliners Koko Taylor and Elvin Bishop; guitar slingers Jimmy Thackery and Tinsley Ellis; soul and gospel with John Nemeth featuring Junior Watson, Alexis P. Suter, Marie Knight, and the Holmes Brothers; and the RiverRoad Lifetime Achievement Award given to headliners Denise LaSalle and Billy Boy Arnold; plus many more, including up-and-coming acts and Blues Music Award nominees. Come join us next to the Mississippi River July 3-5 in Davenport, Iowa! mvbs.org/fest/


On June 2nd, we lost a true music legend. Bo Diddley is one of the key figures in the transition from Blues to Rock and Roll; the "Bo Diddley Beat" is a staple of rock and roll musicians everywhere. His songs have been covered by countless artists and are still known to this day. Join Elwood this week when we pay tribute to the memory and legacy of Bo Diddley, on the House of Blues Radio Hour.

visit www.TheBluesMobile.com
for times and stations in your area

Rhythm Blues & All That Jaz
Thursday-Saturday, June 26-28, 2008
Lewisburg, West Virginia, U.S.
Kalottjazz & Bikes Festival
Thursday-Sunday, June 26-29, 2008
Tornio, Finland, and Haparanda, Sweden
JazzAscona - New Orleans & Classic Jazz
Thursday-Sunday, June 26-7/6, 2008
Ascona, Switzerland
Montreal International Jazz Festival
Thursday-Sunday, June 26-7/6, 2008
Montreal, QC, Canada
Hambone Blues Jam
Friday-Saturday, June 27-28, 2008
Albert Lea/Austin, Minnesota, U.S.
Kansas City Kansas Street Blues Festival
Friday-Saturday, June 27-28, 2008
Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.
Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival

Friday, June 27, 2008
Charleston, West Virginia, U.S.

Friday-Saturday, June 27-28, 2008
Saratoga Springs, New York, U.S.
Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest
Friday-Saturday, June 27-28, 2008
Washington, Missouri, U.S.
Missouriunt Helena Music Festival
Friday-Saturday, June 27-28, 2008
Helena, Montana, U.S.
Alpena Blues Festival
Friday-Sunday, June 27-29, 2008
Alpena, Michigan, U.S.
JamBaLoosa Music And Arts Festival
Thursday-Sunday, June 27-29, 2008
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Monterey Bay Blues Festival
Friday-Sunday, June 27-29, 2008
Seaside, California, U.S.
Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival
Friday-Sunday, June 27-29, 2008
Laytonville, California, 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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