|August 29, 2008
Volume 3 Issue 32
JJ GREY & MOFRO : : ORANGE BLOSSOMS
Like Florida’s state flower, the orange blossom, musician JJ Grey’s songs are fascinating, beautiful, and complex. Both are products of the same ground: the rich, fertile and ancient soil of the Sunshine State. Born and raised just outside of Jacksonville, Florida, Grey comes from a long tradition of Southern musical storytellers and, like the best of the great Southern writers, he fills his songs with details that are at once vivid and personal, political and universal. His multi-textured music overflows with dynamic rhythms and thought-provoking lyrics. From raw funk to deep soul, blues and rock, JJ and his band Mofro deliver devastating live and recorded performances. Debuting in 2001 with BLACKWATER, following up in 2004 with LOCHLOOSA (both albums reissued by Alligator in 2007), Grey steadily built an intensely loyal following. In 2007, with his first Alligator release, COUNTRY GHETTO, Grey reached an even larger audience, doubling both his album sales and his concert attendance. Now, with his new album, ORANGE BLOSSOMS, JJ Grey takes another giant step forward.
CARLOS DEL JUNCO : : STEADY MOVIN'
Carlos del Junco is one of the world’s finest harmonica players. Carlos has won the Maple Blues Award for Harmonica Player of the Year four times—including last year, and he is a Gold medal winner at the Hohner Harmonica championships in Germany. He has also been nominated for a Canadian JUNO Award for Blues Album of the Year.
Playing a ten hole diatonic harmonica, Carlos has developed the unique ability to play chromatically by using a recently developed "overblow" technique taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy.
Carlos is one of the few pioneers of this overblow method, bringing musical credibility to what has still been considered by many in the music industry - a fringe folk instrument.
On Steady Movin',the remarkable guitar work of Kevin Breit, one of the most sought-after session players in Canada and now in the U.S. (thanks in large part to his work with Norah Jones and Cassandra Wilson) adds texture to the collection.
Carlos has toured Canada regularly since 1996 and tours often in Germany and the United States. He has played all the major jazz, blues, and folk festivals across Canada.
JACKIE GREENE : : GIVING UP THE GHOST
Whether performing country-blues or roots-rock, Jackie Greene has the voice, talent and confidence of a performer beyond his years — a singer whose sound seems achingly intimate, surprisingly energetic and unburdened by adherence to genre.
As a composer and multi-instrumentalist, as well as a recent addition to the all-star collective Phil Lesh & Friends, Greene invited several of his bandmates to contribute to Giving Up the Ghost. Effortlessly wandering through blues, rock, soul and even a hybrid Greene calls "disco-gospel," the new record makes the songwriter increasingly difficult to pigeonhole.
Discussing the release of Giving Up the Ghost, his fifth album and first on 429 Records, Jackie Greene hesitates to spell things out too much.“Could we leave some questions unanswered?” he asks. “So people can make up their own minds about things?”
Many people have already made up their minds about Jackie Greene, the Americana phenom from Sacramento who made his first album only six years ago and has steadily built up a passionate following among both rank-and-file fans and some of the biggest names in music. Tours with a who’s-who of American roots music - Buddy Guy, Elvis Costello, Susan Tedeschi, Willie Nelson, B.B. King and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott among them – and performances everywhere from the Newport Folk Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival to Bonnaroo, have meant that Greene was recognized quickly by those who know talent, and who saw something rare and promising in him. Their early enthusiasm has only grown with each new album.
Dubbed “The Prince of Americana” by the New York Times, Greene is steeped in country, blues, jazz, rock and folk traditions, defying easy categorization.
Enter this contest and win! |
Working on the next contest - keep watching for our announcement.
SWEET MAN IS GONE: NEW BLUES MYSTERY BY PEGGY EHRHART|
“Would you miss me if I was gone?” Jimmy says, looking at me so intently that I shiver.
“Yeah,” I say, when the shiver passes. “I would. I really would.”
Blues-singer Maxx Maxwell is smart, talented, and gorgeous--at least since she had her nose fixed, went blonde, and bought a push-up bra. Her band, Maxximum Blues, is really taking off, thanks to the talents of guitarist Jimmy Nashville.
But then Jimmy plunges to his death from his ninth-floor window. The cops say it was suicide, but Maxx decides to investigate on her own. Her quest reveals a surprising number of people who had reason to kill Jimmy, and the reader is kept guessing until the final pages.
Here’s what Mark Coggins, award-winning mystery writer and creator of August Riordan, the bass-playing detective, had to say about "Sweet Man Is Gone":
“In an evocative, stripped-down writing style, Ehrhart drops us smack dab in the middle of the New York indie music scene and Maxx's struggle to solve the mystery surrounding the death of a bandmate, never sparing the grit, humor and hand-to-mouth nature of this intriguing world she clearly knows firsthand. A satisfying debut that reads as much like memoir as a work of fiction--so effective is Ehrhart's voice and narrative skill.”
Peggy Ehrhart is a former college English teacher who took up blues guitar in midlife. One thing led to another and eventually she formed her own band. The musical details in Sweet Man Is Gone are drawn from real life--as are the stresses and strains within Maxx’s band.
If you like the blues and a good mystery, check out "Sweet Man Is Gone".
Visit Peggy Ehrhart on the web at www.PeggyEhrhart.com.
THE DEEP ROOTS OF LUTHER DICKINSON|
FROM GIBSON .COM
Shoveling up huge scoops of Delta clay and hill country dirt is guitarist Luther Dickinson’s specialty. By the time he and his brother Cody started their North Mississippi All Stars in 1996, Dickinson had “been engulfed by playing in the hill country blues tradition for so long I just didn’t know how to write a rock and roll song anymore,” said Dickinson.
But he hasn’t forgotten how to play ’em. Dickinson’s latest gig is as lead guitarist for The Black Crowes ― a band synonymous with meat-and-potatoes rock and roll. And he blasts scalding riffs and licks, including his trademark kaleidoscopic slide, all over the Crowes’ new Warpaint and throughout the shows on their current tour.
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IAMA ACCEPTING ENTRIES|
The 5th Annual International Acoustic Music Awards is now accepting
entries. IAMA promotes excellence in Acoustic Music Performance and
Artistry. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and
web exposure through this competition. Participating sponsors include
D'Addario Strings, New Music Weekly, Loggins Promotion, AirplayAccess.com,
Sonicbids.com, Acoustic Cafe Radio Show and XM Satellite Radio.
IAMA is open to all independent artists and labels. Unlike other music
industry competitions, IAMA focuses on developing new markets for Acoustic
artists, labels and with or without CD releases. Past year's winners
include Charlie Dore (UK), Randy Kohrs & The Lites (USA), Craig Bickhardt
Win prizes in 8 different categories: Folk/Americana/Roots,
AAA/Alternative, Instrumental, Open, Bluegrass, Best Male Artist, Best
Female Artist, Best Group/Duo. There will also be an Overall Grand Prize
winner awarded to the top winner worth over US$11,000, which includes
radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and Canada. Winning
songs will be heard on radio! Winners and runner-ups will be featured on
our CD compilation. Also, we feature up to 10 different artists get
featured and promoted on IAMA website every month, which provides a
review, ratings, CD information and more (see details below). The sooner,
you enter, the sooner you get featured!
Judging is based on excellence in music performance,
songwriting/composition/song choice, Music Production and originality.
(Please note that IAMA is a different competition from USA Songwriting
All entries must be postmarked by November 10 or earlier. Ways to enter:
** For the regular entry form, please go to:
** Or enter online here to get the FREE Sonicbids subscription worth $18
here, *FREE EARLY ENTRY BONUS: First 1,000 entrants will each receive a
FREE subscription to Sonicbids worth $18.00 (first 1,000 entrants, must
be entered by Oct 31st or earlier, so hurry!) :
FOR MORE INFO:http://www.songwriting.net
BLUES FOUNDATION LOOKING FOR HISTORY|
|Looking for IBC History
In conjunction with the upcoming 25th International Blues Challenge
, The Blues Foundation is trying to fill some holes in what they know of its history. They do not have any information about the 1985, 1987
contests and only the name of the winner for the 1984
competitions. If there is someone in out there that might know something from back in the day, please contact email@example.com
HOW MUCH FOR THE LITTLE GIRLS?|
Associated Press -August 25, 2008:
Politicians are known for lame jokes. But when Otis “Bullman” Hensley tried a generations-old Appalachian jest on a woman and two girls at the grocery store, the family thought it was downright criminal.
The ordeal began last week when Hensley’s wife sent him to a local grocery store to buy ground beef. While there, Hensley encountered a woman with her two nieces, ages 11 and 13. “I offered to trade her a fattening hog for those girls,” Hensley said. “I meant it as a joke. I’ve said it a million times. Most people get a kick out of it.”
The woman didn’t laugh. Instead, the family obtained a warrant for Hensley’s arrest from the local prosecutor, claiming the comment was intended to entice the children into illegal sexual activity.
Prosecutor J.D. Smith asked the judge to dismiss the charge, saying both sides want to put the matter behind them.
In Kentucky, citizens can obtain arrest warrants simply by filing a complaint with local prosecutors.
ROBERT JOHNSON SITE AN EYESORE|
Mary Saaka has been frustrated about an overgrown vacant lot on Young Street near her home in Greenwood’s Baptist Town. The lot, once the location of a juke joint where the late bluesman Robert Johnson reportedly played his last gig, is covered in trash and waist-high grass. Saaka said the city has let her down in policing the location.“It’s an eyesore to the community. It’s a haven for rats, mice and snakes,” she said.
The property is owned by Howard Ju, a local resident, according to Leflore County tax records. Ju could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
S.C. Perkins, litter control officer for the Greenwood Police Department, is tasked with monitoring property belonging to city residents. First he issues a ticket, and then the matter heads to Municipal Court. Perkins said the city cleaned the lot just a few months ago. Saaka said the lot was cleaned nine or 10 months ago.
Sylvester Hoover, who operated a grocery store across the street from the lot, said in the past he often had the lot cleaned at his own expense since blues fans often visited the site. Since he closed his store in July, he hasn’t done anything to the lot.
Saaka said the situation on the small lot is creating a health hazard for the whole community, not just those who live nearby. It also attracts criminal activity, she said. Betty Stigler, city code enforcement officer, said her office handles property owned by individuals and companies who are located outside the city. Those cases are taken to the City Council as part of the monthly dilapidated housing meeting. At that meeting, the council approves a course of action, either cleaning or removing dilapidated structures. The costs of those operations are then billed to the property owners.
MOST SUNG ABOUT BODY PART/THE EYES HAVE IT.|
Visual artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg analyzed over 10,000 songs to find out which parts of the human body were mentioned the most and broke down the resulting data by genre. The result: An interactive graphic work called "Listen" that correlates musical genres with the body parts they mention the most, as part of their ongoing Fleshmap project. Clicking on each genre brings up a more detailed representation of its chief bodily concerns.
"Listen investigates the relationship between language and the body," reads one sentence of the project's manifesto. "Verbal manifestations of human physicality in music, poetry and religion are distilled to their basic elements." By presenting those elements in such an intuitive way, Viégas and Wattenberg bring data to life graphically, so that it can be grasped in seconds.
So, what do the results tell us? Across all of the categories, the eyes are most frequently mentioned body part (Hall & Oates, "Private Eyes"), with the exceptions of hip hop, which places a firm emphasis on the posterior (Sir Mix a Lot, "Baby Got Back") and blues (Louisiana Red, "Keep Your Hands Off My Woman") and gospel music (The Gospel, "Put Your Hands Together"), which are respectively focused on the keeping off of one's hands and the clapping or raising of one's hands.
As for the genre that talks about body parts the most, hip hop takes the honors with more references than any other genre. Meanwhile, gospel refers to the body the least. There are plenty of other data points to peruse. It's nice to know that 23.64 percent of hip hop songs refer to the behind, while 11.83 percent of rock songs talk about eyes.
Viégas and Wattenberg's work has been displayed at the New York Museum of Modern Art, the London Institute of Contemporary Arts, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The "Listen" project can be viewed free online, or you can order a print of this or any other piece from the Fleshmap series.
CD BABY AND RIGHTSFLOW ENTER PARTNERSHIP|
CD Baby, one of the largest sellers of independent music in the world, and RightsFlow, a one-stop solution for mechanical and Digital Phonorecord Delivery (DPD) licensing and royalty processing for US distributions, have entered into an outsourced licensing partnership. This relationship allows the more than 240,000 artists worldwide that CD Baby distributes in the US to license, account, and pay music publishers for download sales through online retailers including Apple iTunes and other digital download sellers like Amazon MP3, Napster, and Rhapsody.
"Our clients look to us to provide turnkey solutions for mechanical and DPD licensing and royalty payouts for US publishing," states Patrick Sullivan, President and CEO of RightsFlow. "We are glad to be partners with CD Baby and excited to provide this service to the artists they distribute."
With independent digital music sales continuing to grow each quarter, music distributors as well as labels are in need of a simplified solution to license, account, and pay publishing royalties for sales in the US. "Partnering with RightsFlow makes it super easy for us to offer licensing services to our artists," states CD Baby president Brian Felsen. "In fact, artists can pay their mechanical and DPD licenses through this offering, making it both simple and cost-effective and easy for the artist."
RightsFlow offers outsourced music publishing licensing and royalty solutions to both record labels and online music retailers. These services provide a complete end-to-end solution for research and licensing of publishing, clearances, license administration, royalty calculation, and accounting to publishers. RightsFlow's solutions relieve the burden of music licensing and royalty administration through direct experience in developing and running bulk licensing departments.
"Without proper licensing and royalty services, many artists and labels are unable to position content for sale in the United States, particularly those labels based outside the US," stated Ben Cockerham, Vice President of Operations at RightsFlow. "RightsFlow's scalable solutions are designed to directly facilitate increased sales of content through US channels.
SAN DIEGO MUSIC AWARDS|
Voting for the San Diego Music Awards is now open thru Saturday, August 30. Cast your vote for your favorites including Blues Festival Guide Editor Michele Lundeen(the queen of steam).
A respected performer in the San Diego area, this is Michele's 5th nomination in the "Best Blues" category. Online voting is happening now thru Saturday Aug 30 at www.sandiegomusicawards.com . Winners are chosen through online voting ONLY! Look on the Ballot for BEST BLUES.
BLIND PIG SIGNS BIG JAMES!|
Blind Pig Records has announced the signing of Big James & the Chicago Playboys, a brass band that combines blues, soul, R&B and funk into a rollicking, horn-drenched stage party.
The bandleader and trombone player, Big James Montgomery, who also serves as singer, songwriter, and producer for the group, sports a voice as big as his girth. This year he received his second Blues Music Award nomination as “Horn Instrumentalist” and the title track from his last solo effort, Thank God I Got The Blues, will be featured in the upcoming movie "Cleaner", starring Samuel L. Jackson and Eva Mendes.
A three time winner of Living Blues magazine’s Critic’s Choice Award for “Most Outstanding Horn Player,” the Chicago based musician got his start in the blues at age nineteen, when he joined the Little Milton Band. Two years later he signed on with Albert King’s band. After several years he returned to Chicago and eventually wound up with the Chicago Playboys, the house band at the legendary Checkerboard Lounge led by Johnny Christian. When Christian died in 1993, Big James took over the band.
This led in 1996 to a high profile gig backing the legendary Buddy Guy. During his two year stint with Guy, James shared the stage with performers such as Eric Clapton, performed in front of huge audiences at the Chicago Blues Festival, and appeared on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 1998 he left Buddy’s band to play with another legendary Chicago guitarist, Otis Rush, a gig which took him around the country and a tour of Japan.
In 2000 he and saxophonist Charles Kimble made good on a promise they made to the late Johnny Christian to keep the Chicago Playboys alive. They reactivated the group and Big James has been leading them ever since. Plans are for them to begin recording their new CD in November before heading off on a tour of Europe.
Said Big James, "I am very humbled and honored to be a member of the Blind Pig family. It has been a dream of mine since I started playing blues to one day be on a major record label, and to be asked to be a part of a label like Blind Pig Records with its amazing history is truly a dream come true."
NORTHERN BLUES RELEASES SAMPLER
Over 70 minutes of ground-breaking blues!
Includes 2 Unreleased Watermelon Slim tracks.
The new sampler has a ton of great stuff - including tracks of several CDs that haven't been released yet.
Here is a track listing:
1. Watermelon Slim "Blues for Howard"
2. Doug Cox, Salil Bhatt & John Boutte "Make a Better World"
3. Homemade Jamz Blues Band "Penny Waiting on Change"
4. Moreland & Arbuckle "Tell Me Why"
5. Samuel James "Baby Doll"
6. Watermelon Slim "Blue Freightliner" (unreleased track from the No Paid Holidays sessions)
7. Paul Reddick "Breathless Girl"
8. Eddie Turner "Mr. Blues"
9. Carlos del Junco "Diddle It"
10. JW-Jones "Tickets on Yourself"
11. The Twisters "Going, Goin', Gone"
12. Mason Casey "Chesterfield County Jail"
13. Watermelon Slim "Dumpster Blues" (Unreleased track from the upcoming Slim DVD).
14. Zac Harmon "Hattie Mae"
15. Mem Shannon "Phunkville"
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WEST VIRGINIA BLUES SOCIETY|
BLUES SOCIETY WILL CELEBRATE STATE NATIVE
The West Virginia Blues Society will honor the late "Diamond Teeth" Mary McClain at a special Blues Night Out this Sunday, August 31, in Huntington.
The musical event will be held at the V-Club, 741 Sixth Ave. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the music starts at 5 p.m. with C&S Railroad, Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues and other blues bands.
There will be complimentary barbecue on the patio.
Mary McClain was born in Huntington and was one of the most famous entertainers to ever come from the Mountain State - an African-American blues singer referred to as "Queen of the Blues."
She toured with the USO and sang at the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club and at the White House. She shared billings with Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Big Mama Thornton, Ray Charles, Charlie Parker, Nat King Cole, Count Basie and Duke Ellington.
During the 1940s, McClain had diamonds removed from a bracelet and set into her upper and lower front teeth, earning McClain her nickname.
Sunday's event kicks off a fundraising effort by the West Virginia Blues Society toward a permanent highway marker at Huntington's old train station, where McClain's ashes were scattered.
Tickets for the event are $10 and are available at www.etix.com
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LABOR DAY BLUES:
Its labor day once again, time to crack a cold one, throw some grub on the grill, and kick back with some good ol' blues music. Join Elwood Blues
for a feast of food-related blues tunes from Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, The Blues Brothers
and many more, this week, on The House of Blues Radio Hour
for times and stations in your area
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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