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Tim “ To o Slim” l angford Talking Ab ou t Jazz Alley: An Inter v ie w An Evening with Hugh L aurie
On the C over : Tim “ To o Slim” L ang ford and Duf f y Bishop Photo by Kathy Rankin
nner of Music & Art Co ls a va L s ti e F
The Swinomish Blues Revue
Duffy Bishop & Chris Carlson
with guest Suze Sims Nick Vigarino - guitar/dobro/vocals Terry Nelson - piano/organ Chris Leighton - drums/perc Rob Moitoza - bass Raven - Saxaphone
Sunday, July 29th 3pm-10pm
$20 for all day & night This is an all ages event 15 and under free
Classical/Jazz Guitarist - Rich Rorex w/Jazz Explosion
Blues Art by Dennis Hacker, Phil Chesnut & Willow
1st Place Award Winning BBQ by BBQ Schacht Spirits by Washington Sips
A series of events co-sponsored by The Washington Blues Society combining blues, jazz, food and art at Maple Hall in downtown LaConner
For more info call 360-387-0374 or visit www.laconnerchamber.com
In This Issue...
Letter from the President Tim “Too Slim” Langford CD Review: Broken Halo Burn Blue Seattle Blues Cruise Preview LouieFest Preview
7 8 10 12 14 15
Let’s Raise the Roof Blues Update: North Idaho Talking about Jazz Alley Mount Baker Preview Untapped Preview Dry Side Blues
16 17 18 20 21 22
CD Reviews Welcome Back, Mr. Superharp Passing the Torch Living Blues Awards Ballot Blues on the Radio Dial Jam Guide
24 25 26 27 28 29
Letter from the Editor
After a cool and crisp June-uary, July eases us into the Summertime Blues with the Salish Point Blues Festival in Polson, MT, the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland (my personal favorite), the Vancouver Island Musicfest, in Comox Valley, BC and the Beacon Hill Blues Festival in Ashland, OR. The Great Northwest loves it’s Blues, baby. This month your going to notice some changes to the Bluesletter for starters, it’s bigger. And by a lot. From thirty-two to forty pages in a single bound. And believe it or not we still barely have room for all of the amazing articles, photos and write-ups that came our way this month. I can barely believe it. So, I’m going to keep this short and sweet to make room for everyone else: Go listen to the blues, dance to the blues and share the blues with others. Until next time, Jesse Phillips, Editor Washington Blues Society Bluesletter
By Eric Steiner
I wanted to apologize for a factual inaccuracy in Robert Horn’s otherwise excellent piece on the award-winning Blind Pig recording artist John Nemeth in the May Bluesletter. In “Boise Boy Conquers the World,” the nationally-renown blues label that discovered John Nemeth was Blind Pig Records, and all of us at the Bluesletter apologize to co-founder Edward Chmelewski and Keeping the Blues Alive Award-winning publicist Debra Regur for this oversight. This month, John plays Lincoln City’s Roadhouse 101 on the 20th, Seattle’s Highway 99 Blues Club on the 22nd, the Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival on the 23rd. On the 23rd, he’s in Portland at Duff ’s Garage, at Embers Brew House in Joseph, Oregon and then John returns to his native Boise at the Idaho Botanical Garden on the 26th. His last USA stop before a six-day residency at Edmonton’s Blues On Whyte will be the Rock Cut Blues Festival on the 28th. Since May, we’ve added additional fact-checking and proofreading volunteers so that we accurately cover the blues. Please send any corrections or similar oversights directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrating 23 Years of Blues
July 2012 Bluesletter
Vol. XXIV, Number VII
Publisher Editor & Art Director Secretary Calendar Advertising Printer Washington Blues Society Jesse Phillips (email@example.com) Rocky Nelson Maridel Fliss (firstname.lastname@example.org) Malcolm Kennedy (email@example.com) Pacific Publishing Company www.pacificpublishingcompany.com
1989 - 2012
Venue Guide Talent Guide Summertime Blues: Festival List June Blues Bash Calendar An Evening with Hugh Laurie
29 30 31 32 36 38
Contributing Writers: Robert Horn, Eric Steiner, Malcolm Kennedy, Jerry Peterson, Jesse Phillips, Dave Rubin, Nicole Maloney, Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro, Roberta Doupe’, Zab, Rick J. Bowen, Mary Hilts and John Millner Contributing Photographers: Jerry Peterson, Eric Steiner, Kathy Rankin, Tom Hunnewell, Sarah Alston, Donovan Allen, Cholo Willsin and Zab Cover Photo:
Tim “Too Slim” Duffy, Photo by Kathy Rankin
TooSlimDuffy photo by Kathy Rankin Oregon blues photographer Kathy Rankin has captured some of the world’s finest blues talent for Live Blues World.com and the Blindman Blues Forum, and has produced a number of video recordings for the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland. She’s a big fan of the Rolling Stones and bluesmen like Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Joe Bonamassa, and this month’s cover of Tim “Too Slim” Langford and Duffy Bishop is her first color Bluesletter cover!
The Bluesletter welcomes stories and photos from WBS members! Features, columns and reviews are due by the 10th of each month in the following formats: plain text or Microsoft Word. Graphics must be in high-res 300 dpi .pdf, jpg, or .tiff formats. We encourage submissions. If a submitter intends to retain the rights to material (e.g., photos, videos, lyrics, textual matter) submitted for publication in the Bluesletter, or the WaBlues.org website, he or she must so state at the time of submission; otherwise, submitter’s rights to the material will be transferred to WBS, upon publication. We reserve the right to edit all content. The Bluesletter is the official monthly publication of the Washington Blues Society. The WBS is not responsible for the views and opinions expressed in The Bluesletter by any individual. © WBS 2012 The Washington Blues Society is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote, preserve, and advance the culture and tradition of blues music as an art form. Annual membership is $25 for individuals, $35 for couples, and $40 for overseas memberships. The Washington Blues Society is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization and donations are tax-deductible. The Washington Blues Society is affiliated with The Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.
Washington Blues Society P.O. Box 70604 - Seattle, WA 98127 www.wablues.org
August 2012 DEADLINES:
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Proud Recipient of a 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive Award from The Blues Foundation President Vice President Secretary Treasurer (Acting) Editor Music Membership Education Volunteers Merchandise Advertising Downtown Seattle West Seattle Eastside Northern WA Penninsula South Sound Central WA Eastern WA Ballard Lopez Island Middle East com Webmaster Web Hosting WBS Logo 2012 Officers Eric Steiner Tony Frederickson Rocky Nelson Chad Creamer Jesse Phillips 2012 Directors Vacant Michelle Burge Roy Brown Rhea Rolfe Tony Frederickson Malcolm Kennedy firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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2012 Street Team Tim & Michelle Burge firstname.lastname@example.org Rev. Deb Engelhardt email@example.com Vacant Lloyd Peterson firstname.lastname@example.org Dan Wilson email@example.com Smoke firstname.lastname@example.org Stephen J. Lefebvre email@example.com Cindy Dyer firstname.lastname@example.org Vacant Carolyn & Dean Jacobsen email@example.com “Rock Khan” rocknafghanistan@gmail. Special Thanks The Sheriff firstname.lastname@example.org Adhost www.adhost.com Phil Chesnut email@example.com
THANK YOU FOR READING THE BLUESLETTER AND SUPPORTING LIVE BLUES IN THE EVERGREEN STATE!
ATTENTION BLUES MUSICIANS: WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LATEST CD REVIEWED IN THE BLUESLETTER? GOT A BLUES CD FOR US?
Need help in getting the word about your music? We’d like to help. While we cannot predict when or if a review will land in the pages of the Bluesletter, we’d like to encourage musicians to consider the Washington Blues Society a resource. If you would like your CD reviewed by one of our reviewers, please send two copies (one for the reviewer and one for our monthly CD giveaways at the Blues Bash) to the following address: Washington Blues Society ATTN: CD Reviews PO Box 70604 Seattle, WA 98027
Bubba Jackson enjoys the Bluesletter - Photo by Cholo Willsin
Hi Blues Fans! I was amazed at how our Western Wa s h i n g t o n blues community supported three events supporting nonprofit causes on a single Sunday on the 10th of last month. In one day, blues fans enjoyed a fundraiser for the Passing the Torch blues scholarship initiative at the Red Crane restaurant in Shoreline, a barn dance at Snohomish County’s Craven farms benefiting Futurewise (formerly the 1000 Friends of Washington), and the 2013 International Blues Challenge semi-final at the Oxford Saloon and Eatery in downtown Snohomish.
I have to admit that I was more than just a little skeptical when I looked at the blues calendar for that sunny Sunday in June. However, word spread quickly that each event was successful. Roy Brown, Zab and Jon Scherrer raised enough scholarship funds to help three students attend the Country Blues Workshop at Centrum next month. I saw Kevin Sutton of The WIRED! Band at the Oxford after the Futurewise barn dance, he said that “it was really cool; there were a lot of people there and lots of kids dancing. It was an old-fashioned barn dance and it was a great time.” This year’s International Blues Challenge at the Oxford Saloon covered its costs and added a little bit more to our fund that will send a solo duo act and band to the 2013 national competition in Memphis. By the time these words land in the pages of the Bluesletter, blues festival season will hit its stride. We have some of the finest blues festivals in the world attracting the genre’s top talent: please get a Blues Festival Guide at our merchandise booth and plan the rest of your summer! Until next month, go see some live blues! Eric Steiner, President Washington Blues Society Member, Board of Directors, The Blues Foundation
Photos by Tom Hunnewell
Tim “Too Slim” Langford
By Dave Rubin
The blues at its inception following the Civil War was a solitary art form. One man with his banjo, harmonica or guitar expressing his deepest feelings as virtually the only way to make sense of the world. In time blues musicians banded together to expand the parameters, and amplification and electronic effects later on would provide additional means of producing music of lasting cultural value. As a side project after some 26 years of rattling the frets and audience expectations with his house rocking Taildraggers, singer/ multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Tim “Too
gathered, people stand, raising their voice, best they can.” A trip to the Delta via the primal blues of Muddy Waters in “You Hide It Well” provides Langford with another opportunity to display his graceful solo dobro slide chops that could have been recorded in a jook joint in 1938 in Greenwood, Mississippi. Turning to a more personal topic, he sings with unforced, authentic blues cadences to address the denial of alcohol abuse in an acquaintance who “hides it well.” The gentle and lyrical “Princeville Serenade” provides a brief
but I have but one regret. I wished she’d been the first girl that I met” while tickling the frets suggestively. Warming to the enticing topic at hand, Langford bravely admits his weakness for a hoochie mama in “Dollar Girl.” Over sensuous, syncopated rhythm guitar, along with bass and drums and two slippery lead solos, he spins the fantasy promised by a “play-for-pay” lady even as the irony of his lyric, “I’ve got a wad of dollar bills, I think you really like me” seems to escape him in a story as old as dirt.
Slim” Langford has turned the evolution upside down with a stunning, innovative solo album. Consisting of acoustic guitar, dobro, tenor ukulele and harmonica, along with electric bass and programmed drums, the result is a major musical statement from a virtuoso electric slide master. It is rendered all the more powerful by his intimate vocals, personal lyrics, spare, dramatic arrangements and a gorgeous, resonant sound. Broken Halo contains 11 timeless and original countrified blues tracks. “La Llorona,” translated from the Spanish as “The Weeping Woman,” sets the haunting tone for the contemplative and sometimes scathing look Langford casts at the world around him that follows across the disk. The minor key dobro instrumental with a “Spanish tinge” featuring “crying,” mournful slide guitar could keep company alongside Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark is the Night, Cold is the Ground.” It derives its title from an ancient Hispanic legend about a woman who drowns her children in order to be with the man she loves, but when he ultimately rejects her, she commits suicide and is prevented from entering the gates of heaven, instead being forced to wander the earth searching for her lost children. On “Three Chords” Langford continues the somber mood with guitar and overdubbed ukulele rhythm and melancholy lead while creatively using the allusion of “three chords to make them weep, three chords to make them think” as a way of representing the relatively short amount of time available to make one’s case about love and life. An insistently pulsing boogie blues riff drives “Shaking a Cup” as Langford intones his impassioned plea for the plight of the homeless, made all the more effective by his hushed, understated delivery. He employs overdubbed rhythm and lead guitars punctuated by snaky harmonica fills to accompany his social views that perhaps include a reference to the “Occupy” movement with, “People are
instrumental interlude highlighted by expertly strummed ukulele with a sweet, melancholy and memorable overdubbed slide melody on the uke. A striking, dynamic change occurs with the chilling “40 Watt Bulb” that illuminates what it means to be a struggling, down and out musician in the rawest “street language” and most devastating terms. Intensified by his ominous, slithery slide guitar and harmonica, Langford appropriately growls, “In a crack hotel and it’s 20 below…Warm my hands over a 40 watt bulb…The heat don’t work and they don’t give a shit…The blues don’t get no bluer than this…try to clear my head but my brain’s all numb, the jukebox in my plays I wanna go home”” in a voice that would give Tom Waits the heebie jeebies. The title track is a jaunty blues rocker with a dark undercurrent fleshed out by the addition of bass and drums. Langford supplies the harmony to his lead vocal about a man who loves a fallen woman that he justifies with, “She’s got a broken halo but she’s still just an angel to me” and “I think she’s crazy but I like her that way, she’s from the land of misfit toys.” As he does throughout, he proves his extraordinary touch on the strings by being just as dexterous and fluid on the acoustic guitar as the electric. The laconic and insouciant “North Dakota Girl” with the full “band” treatment acknowledges the arrangement of “Hoochie Coochie Man” with a wry tale regarding his choice of female companionship. After lamenting that, “I’ve been unlucky in love…picked all the wrong girls my mama didn’t like” he reveals her matriarchal wisdom with, “My mama said, ‘Son, let me give you some advice, listen what I say, and you will have a better life.’” He then continues relating her wise counsel in the uplifting chorus with, “Find yourself a North Dakota girl…she be so nice and sweet…and love you all night long.” However, he drops the hammer in the next verse with, “…I met a North Dakota girl…so I married that woman,
Langford “walks the blues” in “Long Tail Black Cat” with the kind of genuine, down home feel that cannot be bought or sold. Rising to his natural blues voice that is thick and smooth as warm molasses, he spectacularly accompanies a yarn about bad luck with slide on the solo dobro, sounding uncannily like two guitarists, while contributing a classic “black cat” song to the blues canon. Closing out his emotional tour de force set, “Gracie” is an elegiac tribute to his beloved grandmother. As heartbreaking as “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” with a similar harmonic flow and slide dobro melody, it sounds too believable to not be autobiographical. Langford begins with, “Gracie died in ’71, took 40 years to write this song” as he goes on to repeat the wistful vocal hook, “I wish I knew her better… but I was just a kid and I didn’t care much about what old people did.” In a moving commentary on mortality and loss, he delivers a lyrical knockout punch by describing his grandfather’s passing followed by, “Now they’re together for eternity and I guess someday they get to see me. And I’ll introduce them to the girl I love, after she comes lookin’ for me.” It is the rare artist who can lay bare his soul without seeming self-indulgent or becoming maudlin. Tim Langford not only avoids both pitfalls, but has created a musical masterwork that reaches the listener on every level, including emotionally, physically and spiritually. In an era of rampant cynicism it offers the perfect antidote with hope, humor, moral clarity and plain great music to chase the blues away. – Dave Rubin President’s Note: The Bluesletter is fortunate to have Dave Rubin contribute the longest CD review ever written in the Bluesletter. Dave Rubin is a 2005 recipient of a Keeping the Blues Alive Award in the Journalism category. For more information, please visit his blog at http://doctorbluesman.wordpress.com/ 9
Too Slim and The Taildraggers have some major shows this July, and I’d like to highly recommend each one. Nobody, especially Bluesletter readers, should miss a chance to catch this band this month! Years ago, I interviewed Tim “Too Slim” Langford for the cover article of the October 2003 Bluesletter. The title of the article was “Too Slim Reaching the Next Level.” Tim talked about his background growing up with some experience with numerous genres of music. He told about playing jazz and country, an album called El Rancho Grunge as well as playing blues. He was influenced by everyone from The Beattles to ZZ Top, Robert Cray and The Allman Brothers. Since that article was published I would say that this band has reached another level. Perhaps more importantly, the band is not done climbing.
July Preview: Tim “Too Slim
His 2011 CD, Shiver, was nominated for Blues Music Award in the Rock Blues Album category, and it is a great CD to say the least. This was one of the greatest blues CDs of 2011, and the songs were astounding. If you sometimes dance to blues, you will definitely dance to this CD even if you listen to it in your car. Just explain to the traffic cop what made you do it, and play some of it for him or her (and they will likely dance next to your car!). Tim’s vocals are unique, and his guitar playing is great, too. My favorite on Shiver is “In Your Corner,” where the guitar forces the listeners to move their feet. There are also a few guest appearances on this CD, and they will blow you away, including Curtis Salgado singing “Everybody’s Got Something.” There is also Duffy Bishop, The Texas Horns (regulars at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival know who they are), and others. This CD is from an accomplished bluesman who has received a great deal of well-deserved recognition; clearly, his decades in the blues forged a career that that did not come out of nowhere. His Seattle area band includes Polly O’Keary on bass and Tommy Cook on drums. This July, the band has some high profile gigs including the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland and the Winthrop Blues Festival. This year’s Winthrop festival marks “Too Slim’s” Silver Anniversary, and if you need additional information on how “Too Slim” helped create and sustain this outstanding blues festival, please revisit the great preview article in the June 2012 Bluesletter! If you have not seen them perform live you owe it to yourself to do that. and two other blues societies. The band has won multiple awards from Readers’ Polls and Blues Societies for Best Band and Best Album. “Too Slim” has won multiple awards, ranging from Best Guitarist and Best Slide Guitarist to Best Songwriter. The Inland Empire Blues Society, The Cascade Blues Association, and the Washington Blues Society have provided this man and his band a trophy case of honors earned for a reason. It is not the trophy case but the music itself that makes this a great band. Check out any CD from “Too Slim” and The Taildraggers and you will understand that. His live shows are more impressive than his CDs, though. There is a good reason many have considered Too Slim and The Taildraggers as the “House Band” at the Winthrop Blues Festival. Even if “Too Slim” went on stage at four in the afternoon, this was the band that got the crowd on their feet first to get them dancing till they dropped. I’m convinced that they will get the crowd dancing in Winthrop again this year, for sure. “Too Slim” and the Taildraggers will perform in Portland at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival on Wednesday, July 4th before thousands of blues fans. Later this month, the band will return to Winthrop on July 20th through the 22nd. This year has got to be very special with the crowd experiencing the songs that the blues world, thanks in part to a Blues Music Award nod, are enjoying. It will be great to see the crowd move to songs on the CD like “Can’t Dress It Up,” “Daddies Bones,” and “Inside of Me”. These songs will be around for a long time, and will be discovered by new fans of
In addition to Shiver, there is a newer CD just released in June (but not publically released at the Bluesletter’s deadline dash) that Tim described to me as something like “Steve Earle meets Lightning Hopkins,” and it’s a bluesy acoustic CD with touches of dobro and ukulele. As always, “Too Slim’s” vocals shine on the new CD alongside some creative fretwork. “Too Slim’s” 2009 release, Free Your Mind, and reached #5 on the Billboard Top Blues Album Chart that year. His 2007 CD, Fortune Teller, charted #9 on that same national chart, and one year later, Fortune Teller was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album in the Blues Blast Music Awards in Chicago. Too Slim and the Taildraggers have received Muddy Awards from the Cascade Blues Association for Best Regional Act 11 times (yes that’s right, Best Regional Act eleven times). It is also now in the Hall of Fame of the Cascade Blues Association
“Too Slim” and the Taildraggers. In addition to playing at the biggest blues festivals in the Pacific Northwest, the band has some other important gigs lined up this summer here in the Evergreen State: on Friday, July 27th, Wenatchee’s Ohm Gardens Fundraising Benefit features “ Too Slim” and the Taildraggers, on the following weekend, play at Ocean Shores’ Sun and Surf Motorcycle Rally. Shiver has been called a masterpiece by many reviewers nationally, but it is not the first great CD from “Too Slim.” I have been consistently impressed with his Swingin’ in the Underworld from 1988, followed King Size Trouble Makers in 2000, Goin’ Public in 2002, Tales of Sin and Redemption in 2003, and, of course, his last three releases. “Too Slim” and I talked about “reaching for the next level” in these pages nine years ago.
by other blues giants in the region and artists like Peter Dammann, Curtis Salgado, and Duffy Bishop often collaborate with “Too Slim” and the Taildraggers in the studio and on stage. Genius loves company, and the company “Too Slim” keeps reveals the level of genius he (and his bandmates) have reached. Far from being a local or regional band, “Too Slim” and the Taildraggers belong to the world: that’s just yet another important reason to see this band live this month. “Too Slim” and The Taildraggers play not just in the Pacific Northwest, not just in the United States, but in Europe as well. I would expect that they will be getting a lot more attention due in part to the Blues Music Award nomination. If you are lucky Tim’s wife Nancy will bring a few jars of Essie’s South American Style Sauce, and you should buy a year supply.
m” Langford & the Taildraggers!
Shiver is taking “Too Slim” and the Taildraggers higher levels in the national blues scene. It has been said that “it takes 20 years to become an overnight success,” and Tim Langford has earned his well-deserved national reputation through persistence, hard work, and creativity. When listening to his work, from Goin’ Public and Tales of Sin and Redemption to Shiver, some things become clear to me. One of them is the variety of things that Tim Langford can do with an authentic feel for the music. He can do the down home finger pickin’ from the back porch, Robert Johnson style, and he can do the rockin’ out “Big Barn Boogie” type of song that always make people party at Winthrop. His songwriting, vocals, guitar prowess on acoustic, electric or slide, all do what they are intended to do I was once told that if you like a band, it’s probably because you like the band’s rhythm section. I remember when I asked Chris Thomas King what makes a good rhythm section and he said “They have to have the same pulse.” I interviewed Polly O’Keary for an article on rhythm sections a while back and her discussion of how she does what she does was deeper than other conversations I had on the topic. Her partner, Tommy Cook, is the other half of this rhythm section and she talked at length about how she and Tommy work at their craft and their discussions of music all week long. She has also won BB Awards for Best Female Vocalist and Best Songwriter. It says something about Tim Langford to have such talent in his band and still be the main singer and songwriter. He is greatly respected
By Robert Horn Photos by Kathy Rankin
Tim and Nancy like the product and sell it. In fact, they liked the product so much, they bought the company! When you buy a bottle at Winthrop, use it to flavor anything you have in the campground that can use some spice.
Burn Blue : Happy Sad Music
By Nicole C. Maloney
Muddy Waters once said that “Saturday night is your big night. Everybody used to fry up fish and have one hell of a time. Find me playing till sunrise for 50 cents and a sandwich and be glad of it. And they really liked the low-down blues.” From blues dancing in the streets, to late night house parties, the blues scene in Seattle has been making its way through many neighborhoods in our very talented city for decades now. Since May of 2007, a tiny blues community exploded at Waid’s Resturant and Lounge on Capitol Hill. You may have come across the term “Blues Dancing” in a bar, pub or at your local hang out. When you hear the term “Blues Dancing,” you may start to think of scenes in the movies Dirty Dancing or Flash Dance. There are some similar aspects, yes, but it’s much, much more than that. I’d like to introduce Bluesletter readers to a great blues dancing community. It’s called “Burn Blue.” I hope that we’ll recruit Washington Blues Society members for our events, and I hope that “Burn Blue” dancers will celebrate the blues with the Washington Blues Society on the second Tuesday of every month at Shoreline’s Red Crane restaurant. Working together, we’ll help fill dancefloors, and along the way, make new friends. Perhaps more importantly, we will have, to quote McKinley Morganfield’s friend Willie Dixon, a “wang-dang doodle” of a good time. Yes, we most definitely will. Artists such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Buddy
Guy, Nina Simone, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson all have something in common: the blues. Bessie Smith’s (1895- 1937) story of the blues was indeed a tragic one. She was mostly described as rude, violent and crude. However, she was one of the most influential blues singers in the 1920’s. She would sing anything from down-hearted blues to vaudeville style songs, and her life ended tragically and unjustly as she got rear-ended by a truck. The accident smashed her ribs, and she was taken to a ‘whites-only’ hospital, and because of the color of her skin, she was turned away. At the time in America, social injustice was pervasive. If you listen nto songs from artists like Bessie Smith closely, you’ll hear their stories in their songs. I learned about this story in a great book about blues women from author Buzzy Jackson, Bad Women Feeling Good, and recommend this book highly. Many of us love the music that reaches down into our core and makes you want to bust a move. As a blues dancer, you connect with what the artist is belting. You connect with their struggles in their voice. For a moment you take a step and you enter their lives and exit your own and forget how lousy your day may have been, how you were stuck in traffic for hours, but magic happens: through the blues dancing experience: you remember what your purpose in life is again. Blues dancing is like that. Simply magical. I went around the dance scene with my laptop, and asked a few of my fellow blues dancers what is it about this scene that makes you keep
coming back. Many of us crave connection while we sit in our cubicles of our day jobs, and we hope for a better day. But, if we take a step on the dancefloor, a swivel and a breath, we can remember that we’re a part of something bigger than our daily routine. From group hugs to bear hugs, you can’t help but wonder why these people are so accepting to be around. However, they may even break your heart a little. I asked Karissa Lightsmith why she keeps coming back to blues dancing events. “Blues is about the passion,” she said. It’s got a real rawness to it, and how real the music is. It’s about connecting to other humans as we express together.” Karissa has been working with “Burn Blue” since it began, and she truly puts her heart and soul into the blues dancing community. Meanwhile, I asked a close friend of hers, DJ Emily Smith, the same question. “It’s sexy,” said Emily. “It’s really intimate. I would say I like the way that it feels. To be intimate with a stranger on the dancefloor for three minutes is exhilarating.” Emily has been a blues DJ, instructor and DJ coach for the past couple of years, I asked her about blues music. “As a DJ, it’s all about the passion,” she said. “It’s also about the song; not just the dance, but the feel of the beat is passionate. The soul of it all.” Mike Stumbous, a dancer and a writer, claims
Photos by Sarah Alston
2012 La Conner Festival of Music & Arts
The La Conner Festivals of Music & Art is a series of events combining an extraordinary mix of blues, jazz, classical, food, art, and spirits, at Maple Hall, 104 Commercial, in downtown La Conner on Sunday afternoon, July 29th from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The Swinomish Blues Revue is the host band for the events. This host band boasts a world class line-up of award winning bluesmen including Nick Vigarino on guitar, dobro andvocals, Terry Nelson on piano and organ, Chris Leighton on drums and percussion, and Rob Moitoza on bass and vocals with rotating special guest performers throughout the festival. Special guest vocalist for this event will be the legendary Duffy Bishop. This multi talented, award winning diva has shared the stage with Bonnie Raitt, Lou Rawls, John Lee Hooker, Bobby Blue Bland, Ruth Brown, and many others. Duffy will be joined by her husband, music director and guitarist extraordinaire Chris Carlson and her long time side man and Raven on saxophone. Performances will include an appearance by 2012 Washington Blues Society “BB Award” Female Vocalist winner Suze Sims, classical and jazz guitarist Rich Rorex, Jazz Explosion, and Nick Vigarino. The festival will also display blues art by Dennis Hacker, Phil Chestnut, and Willow Stone. An array of smoked delights will be provided by 1st place national BBQ champion Mike Schacht of the BBQ Schacht, and Washington Sips will be pouring wine. . This is an all-ages event co-sponsored by the Washington Blues Society. Admission is $20, and all youth 15 and under are free. For more information, please call (360) 387-0374 or visit www.laconnerchamber.com.
that there are a lot of reasons he comes back and a few of them is for the connection and intimacy. “There’s a unique closeness that I can get out of partner dancing that doesn’t involve a set of steps,” said Mike. I know many people that would agree with Mike. Blues dancing gets you out of that box we put ourselves in daily, and it reminds you that you can live a life of passion, grace and swivels. JoAnn Cooker, a DJ and a dance instructor says that “It’s not about blues that makes me keep wanting more, it’s about the partner and the music that makes me keep going back and getting that connection.” Sitting in the corner of the room, Thomas Stitch said “It’s the three minute love affair; the rapport, the connection. The conversation between two people. The challenge. Dancing is so many things, and it transcends the mind, the heart, and the soul”
Karissa, Emily, Mike, Joann and Thomas share a passion that fuels “Burn Blue” and the blues dancing community in the Pacific Northwest. There are many, many natural intersections between “Burn Blue” and the Washington Blues Society. This introduction is but a first step. Since each organization shares a common bond with a music that touches the heart, there’s simply no reason that we can’t work together to promote blues music and blues dancing in our blues community. This is a true win-win for “Burn Blue” and the Washington Blues Society. While you’re sitting at home on Facebook, check out /www.burnblue.org/. Magic is happening in this little venue, connections are being made outside of our cubicles and our computers, and perhaps the most important thing of all: hope is found in a simple dance step. Join us - The Washington Blues Society will always be welcome at “Burn Blue!”
Seattle Blues Cruise Experience Blues Music in Seattle! Preview: A New and Exciting Way to
The Randy Oxford Band will set sail with the 2012 Seattle Blues Cruise on Friday, July 27th from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM with the Argosy Cruise Line at the Seattle Waterfront. The Seattle Blues Cruise promises to be one of the summer’s great blues parties with a first-class band and the first-class Argosy Cruise Lines! The Seattle Blues Cruise may be just what the doctor ordered to close out a long, hot July summer in Seattle. . Those who have been on an evening sunset Argosy Cruise know just how beautiful it can be: imagine the magic made by Argosy Cruise lines and the blues together on the water. Combine that with an energized and road-tested International Blues Challenge band just back in town from their east coast tour, along with plenty of hors d’oeuvres, dancing, and two no-host bars and you have all of the ingredients for a very special and memorable Seattle blues night on the water. The promoters of this inaugural Seattle Blues Cruise hope to sail quarterly if this month’s maiden voyage is successful. Working together, we can build a successful blues cruise in the Pacific Northwest. Come on out and show your support for this kind of entertainment, and help turn the Seattle Blues Cruise into a regular event on the calendar of the Pacific Northwest blues community. Seattle is on the national map as an authentic blues destination with winners like The Wired Band’s first place finish and Norris & Nicely’s semi-final achievement at this year’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, why not add another unique way to experience the blues courtesy of the outstanding support from one of the nation’s premiere boutique cruise lines, Argosy Cruises? The 2012 Seattle Blues Cruise is a truly historic opportunity to experience live blues music on the water with the Randy Oxford Band, an International Blues Challenge competitor and Best Self-Produced CD finalist. This sunset cruise will create a renewed sense of community that brings blues fans together with a music that touches our hearts. More info and tickets can be found at www.seattlebluescruise. com – and for more information, please call (253) 973-9024.
LouieFest, the tribute event to the rock classic “Louie, Louie” made famous by Tacoma’s Fabulous Wailers, will take over LeMay – America’s Car Museum, July 28-29, with music and all things classic rock, including cars, live acts and vendors. LouieFest is a marathon American music festival featuring 40 bands that will rock the house with blues, rock and acoustic/ Americana. Founded in 2003, LouieFest showcases new and established bands from around the region and is a fundraiser for the Wailers Performing Arts Foundation supporting youth music education. Tickets are $20 per day ($15 in advance) or two-day passes are:$30 ($25 in advance) through http://www.lemaymuseum. org. Tickets to LouieFest include admission to the museum. Visit http://www.louiefest.com. If you would like to volunteer at LouieFest please contact Merri Sutton, www.louiefest.com (253) 381-8374
Let’s “Raise the Roof!”
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro, Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
An Open Letter to Blues Societies:
Before I begin, I want to thank Bluesletter editor Jesse Phillips for the opportunity to introduce something very special in the Washington Blues Society Bluesletter. This open letter is from me personally. I was not asked by anyone at the Blues Foundation to send it. However, I do have their permission and blessing to do so. In May of this year, I attended the Blues Music Awards in Memphis. During these festivities, I became very interested in the Blues Foundation’s “Raise the Roof ” campaign. Basically, it’s all about raising money so that the organization can proceed with its plans to create a Blues Hall Of Fame. I love the idea and think it’s one that is long overdue. I also love the idea of the blues community making this a project of our own and raising the roof ourselves. However, it’s going to take a lot of support and a lot of money.
One of the pledge options is for a person, or an organization, to donate just $200 a year for a five year period. In recognition of that pledge, when the building is complete, the donors will have their name displayed in the building. How cool is that? Your blues society will forever be acknowledged in the Blues Hall Of Fame. Personally, I think it’s a no brainer - especially for blues societies. C’mon... $200 a year comes to less than $4 a week. For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, that’s probably a fancy drink at Starbucks, or other adult beverage of your choice. If you have weekly or monthly jams or meetings, just ask everyone to throw in a buck and it’s done. The money can be sent in annually, semi-annually, quarterly or however the heck you want to send it. The important thing is to send it. How else are we, as a blues community, going to “Raise the Roof?”
I do hope you’ll give this opportunity some very serious consideration. By the way, as I mentioned earlier, the pledge may be made by an individual as well. On that thought, feel free to forward this Bluesletter to friends and family so that we all can help “Raise the Roof ” within the limits of our own charitable giving. I also think that it’s worth noting that each member of the Board of Directors, including Washington Blues Society President Eric Steiner, has signed a pledge to help “Raise the Roof.” Please see Eric at the next Blues Bash for a pledge card and the details will remain between you and the Blues Foundation. If you can afford $16.67 a month for five years, you will be recognized in the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. How cool is that? Editor’s Note: Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro’s www. Mary4Music.com is a 2011 “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award Recipient in the Internet category
Blues Update: North Idaho
By Roberta Doupe’
This has been an exciting Spring and Summer for the blues in North Idaho. First up was Roberson & Flores performing March 16th at the Brick wall in St. Maries, gateway to the St. Joe River. St. Maries is home to award winning slide guitarist Ray Roberson. The quaint coffee/ brew house was “full to the brim” for the crowdpleasing performance. Miah Flores’ soft, smooth percussion featuring his use of hand drums. was a great accompaniment to Ray’s acoustic guitar and slide guitar work. Miah’s wife even paired with Miah to sing a song in honor of their anniversary. It was a truly, down home, foot tapping, good blues time. . Next, the Coeur d’ Alene Resort in the beautiful town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, hosted their annual blues festival on Lake Coeur d’ Alene, This festival was named Best Blues Event 2011 by the Inland Empire Blues Society. The event has already been written and raved about, so not to be redundant, I will just say “WOW”! This was even better than last year, hmmm, and maybe another award in the future? Next on the schedule was The Taxman Blues Show at Bobbi’s famous Rez Bar in Plummer,
Idaho. This all-star show was over the top. The Inland Empire Blues Society-award winning performers included Cary Fly, of the Cary Fly Band (Musician’s Choice Award 2011); Bobby Patterson, of the Fat Tones (Best Blues Guitarist 2011); and Robb Boatsman, of RampageLive (Best Male Blues Performer 2011). The lineup was so appealing with these three, great guitarists and vocalists, that Michal Hays, (Mikey), an award winning drummer, couldn’t resist the opportunity. He had the night off from playing with the Sammy Eubanks Band, and thought this sounded like too much fun. So, he packed up his drums and headed to the “Rez,” to accompany the dynamic trio and be the “icing on the cake.” Cary and Bobby alternated between playing lead guitar and bass guitar for the first two sets, performing some of each of their own original songs. They also showed, their prowess on both types of guitars on some familiar covers. Robb had a prior engagement, so he joined the group on the third and fourth sets. Then they added a fifth, which the audience ate up. It seemed that Cary, Bobby, Robb, and Mikey were having such an enjoyable time themselves,
that they would have kept right on playing all night, if they could have..Having three of the greatest guitarists and one fantastic drummer, and all four vocals, was superb. They had the place steaming to the boiling point. All in all, North Idaho, rocks with “blazing hot blues. Historic Wallace, Idaho will be hosting their first annual blues festival this summer on July 13th and 14th. Another soon to be award winning event in the future, according to my crystal ball. . Thanks again to promoter Craig Heimbigner for jumping in to help make this another Inland Northwest “must attend” blues event. Any of you on the West Side of the Evergreen State who travel to Eastern Washington should cross over into Idaho and check out -these blues supporting, beautiful and historic towns and establishments. You will be sure to enjoy your visit in North Idaho!
Last month, I had the opportunity to visit with Rachael Millikan, Jazz Alley’s publicist. I wanted to learn a little bit more about the venue, and see if the Washington Blues Society and Jazz Alley could work more closely together in a mutually-supportive way. One of my fondest musical memories at this Sixth Avenue club involves my late father and one of his favorite vibraphone players, Lionel Hampton. Ten years ago, I was writing for Cosmik Debris magazine, and while my dad was in a wheelchair and aphasic, he always like to see live music. Especially jazz. When he could talk, he regaled me with stories from the 1940s and 1950s seeing Ornette Coleman, Tony Bennett, members of the Rat Pack, and Hamp. During the Korean War, he saw Lionel Hampton’s band at a USO show, and Lionel Hampton’s LPs were a staple in our musical library on the far South Side of Chicago. After the show, I wheeled Dad into the Green Room. Hamp sat down next to my dad and I asked Mr. Hampton about that show in support of the troops five decades earlier. “Oh, man,” Hamp laughed. “Wasn’t that a time? I just love to play, man. Love to play. Thank you for seeing me again.” After Hamp signed a CD cover, mom talked about their recent trip to Reno and how they loved to play the slots. Lionel lit up and smiled. He lifted his arm up as if he were playing a “one-armed bandit” slot machine and then waved his finger at my dad: “You go on and play those slots, now.” I put the Telarc CD, Lionel Hampton and the Golden Men of Jazz: Live at the Blue Note, in the CD player and Dad hummed “Flyin’ Home” all the way home. R achael Millikan and I had a rambling conversation in the busy Jazz Alley offices, and I learned a lot about the venue, its support of live music, and a new discount for cardcarrying Washington Blues Society members. I also learned that I have been missing out on some really cool shows ‘cause I’m not an “Alley Cat.” Well, I hope that Bluesletter readers will consider becoming “Alley Cats” thanks to Rachael’s work behind the scenes at 2033 6th Avenue in Seattle. Jazz Alley hosts a number of jazz and blues artists throughout the year, and this month, the calendar kicks off on the 3rd with a free show from the Monterey Jazz Festival County All-Star Big Band and Vocal Ensemble. While the show is complimentary, reservations are required. This month also features the English guitar wizards Acoustic Alchemy, the blue eyed
soul of James Hunter with Jesse Dee, soul man Kenny Lattimore, jazz vocalist Steve Tyrell, the John Pizzarelli Quartet, and Alligator Recording Artist James “Super Harp” Cotton from 19th to the 22nd. “Super Harp” is touring in support of last year’s Alligator CD, Giant, and he’s got a dream-team of a blues band with Darrell Nulisch on vocals, Tom Holland on guitar and vocals, Noel Neal on bass and vocals, and Jerry Porter on drums.
my Mom would have gladly rented) and then I could sing, too. I loved to sing and so cajoled the band teacher and the choir teacher to let me split the hour. The choir teacher went ballistic one day with me coming in at the agreed upon time as I “ruined” the groove of things. Well, that didn’t settle well for me, so I dumped choir and stuck with flute. Believe it or not, I played all the way through 4 years of college and my instructor was amazing. She was 1st chair in the Baltimore Symphony. Truth WBS: I’d like to start off with a couple of be told, I’ve never been a flute fan. So no, I personal questions. How did you get into the don’t play today and wish I had taken piano so business of music promotion? I could sing along and be groovy. 12 years of bands (including marching band) along with RM: I have an English Literature degree 4 years of classical training and really, I just from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and every wanted to jam. Now I sing whenever I feel position I’ve held since graduation found me inspired including in the office most days :-). writing their marketing/promotional materials. I’ve always loved music, though never thought WBS: What do you like best about booking I’d land in a music career in this capacity. Every live entertainment at Jazz Alley? day I’m happy about the bottom line which is spreading the gospel about good music be it RM: I don’t actually book the music. My jazz, blues, world music, R&B, and occasional title is Publicist so I’m technically the person swing shows. It’s rewarding at the end of the who handles publicizing shows. When you see day to know that I’ve done all I can within my the bands on TV or hear them doing live in hours at work to support musicians and of studio’s on the airwaves or maybe catch the latest course, support live music, by bringing folks write up in area print publications, that’s all to Jazz Alley. me. I spend the day writing press releases and knocking on press doors requesting coverage “pitching.” In addition, I am responsible for our website, social media, advertising, marketing, large parties, special events and general office management. Yes, I answer the phones here in the office and record our voicemail too! WBS: I remember the club in a small, longish room in the University District, but I’m dating myself. I used to have to crane my neck to see the performers. Your new location has great sightlines. Not a bad seat in the house upstairs or downstairs. RM: We’ve done our very best to design the room so each spot has a good sightline and quality sound. Everybody has their favorite spots of course. The room is in a U shape and many say it’s the most “intimate” room on the West Cost to see the high caliber of artists we host. Personally, I like to be on the left side of the room or on the balcony. People often think the balcony is too far away from the stage, but the view and sound is awesome and if you stacked cars in a row, I bet it’s no more than three car lengths to the stage. WBS: Long-time Jazz Alley host Rob Perry retired last year. Please tell me about Jazz Alley without “Mr. Jazz Alley.” RM: While we all miss Rob, he certainly deserves to retire! He still comes to shows and can be found sipping wine at the back
Do you play an instrument or sing?
RM: Well, I wanted to play piano and the 4th grade teacher said since you don’t have a piano at home, you should play flute. She sold me on the ease of travel and small case. While she thought she was doing me a favor, a better teacher would have suggested a keyboard (which
with Rachael Millikan
of the bar enjoying a gig, instead of working it. With all the hustle and bustle of setting up, seating folks, managing the flow of the room, the staff, the artists… well, let’s just say, he’s delighted to really catch a set as a member of the Jazz Alley audience these days. He was the legendary host with the most, a congenial and focused master of ceremonies. It’s rare for a club to have employees with such tenure and Jazz Alley is recognized for just that. Our new manager Bernie Spring has tall boots to fill and with a solid career in the restaurant industry and passion for music, and he is doing an excellent job! WBS: L e t m e b r i n g u p a d i f f i c u l t subject. Some of our readers may think that Jazz Alley is out of their price range. I tell blues fans on a budget to order off the excellent appetizer menu and look for specially-priced shows. RM: Jazz Alley works really, really hard to keep prices affordable. We have no extra fees, the price you see on our website is the price you will pay. Prices are specifically driven by the cost of the band. So, when a ticket price is higher, it’s because the band cost us more. Mr. Dimitiriou has worked very hard to make live music and enjoying our room affordable and quite frankly, if you compare our prices to other venues and other festivals, we are very reasonable. Because for most shows, people make a reservation in advance. At the end of the show, the price of the tickets is added to any food and beverage ordered, and it might appear to be “expensive.” We offer a number of discounts for students, seniors and the military. It’s on our web site at www.jazzalley.com. We have “subscriber specials” for those who sign up for our weekly “Alley Cats” email updates at www.jazzalley. com/maillist.asp. We also never resell your email address: it’s used to promote live music and subscribers can get opportunities like Freddy Cole at 50% off. We also run specials and ticket giveaways on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and of course, work with area media for ticket giveaways as well. Eric, I am very pleased to report that Jazz Alley will offer $5 off the cover charge for Washington Blues Society card holders for most shows beginning at 9:30 PM on Fridays. We are excited to extend this discount to blues society members, but please check with the reservations desk when making any reservation. I also know that the Washington Blues Society prides itself on providing opportunities for families. We do, too. For most shows, children under the age of 12 are free. Before I forget, we always have free parking across the street.
RM: We have two chefs, Ralph Putnam and Vincent Rivera, who work together on menu creations in conjunction with the owner. We utilize feedback from staff as well as customers in attempt to please everyone. In addition, we strive to support local organic farmers, fishermen, and food producers. We use non genetically-modified organism (nonGMO) ingredients as much as possible. We are also keenly aware of dietary restrictions and food allergies, and therefore have included vegetarian, gluten-free, and non-dairy items on our menu.
WBS: Evening Magazine views have voted Jazz Alley as “Best Jazz Club in Western Washington” a number of times. To what do you attribute that recognition?
RM: Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley has earned it’s spot as the Best Jazz Club in Western Washington year after year due to a combination of things. It’s really a blend of the caliber of artists we host weekly, the quality of customer service we provide consistently, the ambience and intimacy of the room, the delicious menu items, the hands-on involvement of the owner and the fact that we’ve been doing this a long time. As the nation’s third longest running dinner club of our type, I believe Seattleites are lucky to have such a room. I take inbound calls all day and not a day goes by that someone doesn’t say, “I’m flying in for the show. Jazz Alley’s the best room in the nation if not the world.” In fact, I can quote Al Dimeola who told me it’s his “favorite” room to play and the “best” in the world for its size.
by Eric Steiner
WBS: Wow. I am impressed. I didn’t know about the “Alley Cats.” I’ve been missing out. Let me switch gears away from the music and toward the kitchen. I am consistently impressed with your venue’s menu. It’s one of the most diverse nightclub menus I’ve ever read. The Portuguese Seafood Stew was sublime. Please tell me a little about your chef.
What a “long, strange trip it’s been”. From simple beginnings in 1995 at the River’s Edge Christmas Tree Farm with a meager 100 people in attendance, to 2000 fans and a world-class venue at the Deming Log Show Fairgrounds, the Mount Baker R&B Festival has grown into a world-class event. After celebrating 10 years at the tree farm, it became clear that it was time to move. The tree farm was “magical” in that it framed the stage in an intimate crown of cedar and fir trees. The fact that it lacked camping and parking (parking was a half-mile down the road at the local high school) made it impossible to attract enough people to bring “marquee” talent and generate the revenue to pay for it. Not that we didn’t have talent. We were lucky enough to have had Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Margolin, “Magic Slim”, Dave Hole, Walter Trout, Chris Duarte, Big Jack Johnson, Nappy Brown, Robben Ford, David Lindley and the best local and regional talent in the Northwest In this case, “bigger had to be better”. We needed more space for camping and parking in order to entice that bigger market. After many discussions with the Loggers, permission was finally given to move the event. Forty years of history before our arrival created a few scheduling issues and caused us to have to “share” the grounds for a couple of years with regular renters. For the past four years, we’ve had “sole” control of the grounds. It’s hard to imagine a better site for a festival. The grounds have it all: 180 acres of pristine mowed grass, an indoor facility with stage that accommodates 1500 people for jams, RV hookups, ample water and power and a dump station. Best of all, “no dirt”! The heart and soul of the Mount Baker festival has to be the 40-50 loyal volunteers who tend the grounds and insure fan safety. These determined people take their role seriously, many coming a week before the event and stay days after.
They embrace the grounds with a passion, leaving it better than we found it before the festival. Without their efforts, this event could not take place. Once we had grounds, facilities and staff in place, the stage was set to bring in bigger names to attract locals as well as our loyal blues festival fans. Year one at the Log Show Grounds saw Bernard Allison, Walter Trout & the Radicals, Chris Duarte and Wide Mouth Mason. The festival was well received and the Canadians began coming down. This market, with 6 million people thirty minutes to the North, was too valuable to ignore. With continuing support from the Washington Blues Society, other festivals (namely Winthrop R&B and Sunbanks) and Canadian support from the White Rock Blues Society, we were well on our way to becoming a significant international blues event. Once established as a force in the blues community, we have been able to create one memorable event after another. Many outstanding performers have graced our stage in the past few years such as: Jeff Healey, Johnny Winter, Canned Heat, Ana Popovic, Shane Dwight, Matt Schofield, Janiva Magness, Rick Estrin, Commander Cody and others. The 2012 lineup for the 17th annual Mount Baker R&B Festival, August 3rd-5th, continues with another International collection of fine performers Hot Tuna, Oli Brown, Dana Fuchs, Guitar Shorty, Hamilton Loomis, Harper & the Midwest Kind, the Kirby Sewell Band, The Fat Tones, Rafael Tranquilino, Redhouse, The Chris Edger Band, Bobby Holland and the Breadline, Jasmine Green, and Jumpin’ Josh and Felicia. It may be the “vibe” of the Mount Baker that highlights the event. It has a relaxed, homespun atmosphere unique unto itself. The grounds have everything you need to feel at home: food and crafts vendors, a beer garden hosted by the Washington Blues Society, free showers and
camping, autographed guitar raffles Saturday and Sunday with proceeds to Bikers Fighting cancer, and even a Gospel Hour on Sunday hosted by Reverend Deb Englehardt. Because of the aforementioned musicians, volunteers, supporters and fans, the Washington Blues Society Board voted to nominated the Mount Baker Rhythm and Blues Festival for a Keeping the Blues Alive Award in 2013. This is indeed an honor shared by many. Most festivals honored by this nomination are not only much larger, they are usually held in much bigger markets. Last year, Tedd Todd won the Keeping the Blues Alive Award for his years of dedication as a blues DJ in the commercial radio category. The results will be revealed in February of 2013 at the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards luncheon during International Blues Challenge week and we’ll be there! Mount Baker Rhythm and Blues Festival Tickets are available in Bellingham at Avalon Music (360) 676-9573, in Burlington at Hugo Helmer Music (360)757-0270, and online at www. bakerblues.com.
Festival Review: 2012 UnTapped Blues
Untapped started at three in the afternoon on Friday, May 11th, in the Clover Island Inn Parking lot in Kennewick before I arrived, and that is when the semi-final competition started for the 2013 International Blues Challenge began. Then, at seven o’clock, Roberson Beese, and Flores played for 90 minutes, followed by the Lionel Young Band. It was getting pretty cool, so things moved indoors at the Clover Island Inn and the Kenny James Miller performed shortly before eleven. Then the Vaughn Jensen Open Jam started at just after midnight... although I could hear the band three floors above me, I was asleep in record time! Saturday at Noon, lots of food and other merchandise booths were available with a wide variety of tasty comestibles. The beer and wine vendors were in full swing and lots of great opoportunities for new and exotic beers. Yum! Washington Blues Society Treasurer Chad Creamer and I kept comparing the various brands and brewing styles. We both had several favorites that we had to go back to check on to make sure that their quality control was consistent. I’m glad to report that the brewer’s quality control did not falter! The weather could not have been more perfect for an outdoor event. Did I mention the great food? The aroma was wafting all over the festival grounds, and it kept making me hungry and I ate way too much, but it was good! The Millionaires Club opened the music portion of the festival and kicked things off with a bang. I really dug the upright bass player’s paint job! These fellas were raw and ready for action. I rather thought that they were more rockabilly than blues, but since they were so good, it really didn’t matter much to me. At 1:30, Mia Vermillion took the stage with Rod Cook & Toast backing her up. What a nice treat! I always like to hear Toast, and with Mia providing the vocals, it was a good match for a great festival. Back in Beer Barn #2 they had a stage set up and at 2:15, The Coyote Kings held court while folks wandered around in the barn checking out what beverage they wanted to taste next. There is no doubt as to why they are so popular in the East side of the mountains. They certainly have talent and they flaunt it. At 4:30, The Forty Fours took the main stage and really blew the crowd away as an unexpected treat! I heard lots of great comments about this band, so we should keep our eyes and ears open for when they show up in our neighborhood, because they were really sharp! The crowd had them do a couple of encores, so the timeline for the rest of the day went off kilter! That’s how good they were. Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne sauntered onto
the stage about 6:30 and showed us what true blues showmanship is all about. What a great performer, looking sharp in his bright blue suit with sparkles all over it. He is a nice photo opportunity for those camera buffs! Not only that, but this “Blues Boss” is a true blue Bluesman! His band consisted of local talent, and I recognized Scotty Harris and Lissa Ramaglia who did a stellar job backing him up. After the “Blues Boss,” Tommy Castro and The Painkillers were up next. They did a high energy show which is what I expected of him. His band was tight, they had some new material and they went at it like a stick after snakes! No mercy was shown by them here. The crowd got the classic Tommy Castro “treatment.” To wrap up the festival, the Sammy Eubanks Band came on like a thunderstorm. In fact, last year, the weather turned bad just as he stepped on stage to start his performance, and the rain fell so hard, and the wind was so bad that they had to evacuate the stage! This year, although the skies were clear and the weather absolutely perfect, as a joke related to last year, Sammy started his set wearing a 50 gallon plastic garbage bag with arm & head holes cut in it. He finally removed it and got the crowd pumped up to his music and made up for missing his performance last year. Another great way to end the festival!
Dry Side Blues
By Jerry Peterson, Vice President
July 2012 brings changes to the Dry Side blues scene: the big blues event on the second Saturday in July has moved east along I-90 from Ritzville to Wallace, Idaho, but still features top Spokane-area acts in a small town setting. Sammy Eubanks will warm things up with an outdoor set on Friday, July 13th, followed by Laffin’ Bones and the Kenny James Miller Band in downtown bars. Saturday will feature The Pat Coast Band, Hoodoo Udu, The Fat Tones, Nick Vigarino, Curtis Salgado and Too Slim on the main stage, followed by and all-star jam hosted by Sammy Eubanks. I remind you Dry Siders that I-90 goes from those twin stadiums on Elliot Bay right through downtown Wallace… It will be great to see the Pat Coast Band on the main stage, right where they belong. Pat’s a Post Falls, Idaho-based singer, songwriter, guitar master and bandleader and he’ll be joined by Keith Lewis on keyboards and vocals, Kevin Jones on bass and Mark Doelman on
Inland Empire Blues Society
saxophone. Bill Bancroft, Pat’s drummer for the past 20 years, decided to semi-retire from the music scene, and was recently replaced by Brian Mahoney. Brian watched Kevin closely for the stops, and rocked his way through Pat’s originals, including “Walkin’ and Talkin,” “Outside Looking In,” and Don’t Touch My Guitar,” as well as covers of Neville Brothers, Cab Calloway and Ray Charles blues classics at Daley’s Cheap Shots on May 12th. Check out the Pat Coast Band on Facebook, and listen to some of his music at www.reverbnation.com/ patcoastband. I mentioned Bakin’ Phat in the June Bluesletter, and I wasn’t kidding; these guys are the hottest new blues band in town. Now a quartet with the addition of drummer Ken Danielson, the group includes Dennis Higgins on guitar, Dave (DA) Allen on harmonica, saxophone and vocals, and Eric Lindstrom on bass. The band tells me that their combined experience: close to 120 years of paid gigs between them! This experience and talent got them the closing set at Spokane’s Artfest on June 1st. With songs including “Caledonia”, “Messin’ With the Kid”, “Got My Brand On You”, “Mojo Hand”, “I’m a Business Man”, “Shake Her Bootie” and “We Got the Blues – And Gave It to You”, the dancers made sure that the grass in front of the stage won’t need mowing again this summer. I recorded several of their songs, and am working on getting them posted. Go to BakinPhat (no spaces) on Facebook to hear their music, and visit with Dennis Higgins on Facebook for bookings. We welcomed Washington Blues Society Vice President Tony Fredrickson to the Dry Side for
the International Blues Challenge semi-finals at Daley’s Cheap Shots on May 27th, where two local bands and two solo/duo acts competed for the chance to represent the Evergreen State at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. We enjoyed 25-minute sets by Sammy Eubanks, the Kenny James Miller Band, Ray Roberson and Jeff Aker. We will be well represented by Sammy Eubanks in the band category and Ray Roberson in the solo/duo competition during the finals in Snohomish in August. Sammy has a new blues song that he will debut at the finals. I have been sworn to secrecy and can’t reveal any details, but pay close attention when daddy gets his blues hat on… Sunday nights are good for blues in Spokane, especially if you know where to look. Lately, right after co-hosting “Blues Now and Then” from 6 to 8 pm at kyrs.org, I have been walking across West Main Street in downtown Spokane to Zola, where live music is featured seven nights a week. For the past few months, the Longnecks, featuring Pete “Slim” Johnson on guitar and vocals, Armando Arguello on bass and Travis Hurley on drums have been providing Dry Siders with some classic Sunday evening blues, warming up with songs including “T-Bone Shuffle”, “Sweet Home Chicago” and “G-Thang” prior to letting loose with some red-hot, up-tempo original blues. Go to www. myspace.com/thelongnecks to get a taste of what the Longnecks have in store for you. Until next month, please remember that there’s always some great blues over here on the Dry Side of the Evergreen State.
The Longnecks, L to R Pete Johnson Travis Hurley Armando Arguello
Dennis Higgins and Dave Allen
Pat Mahoney and Pat Coast
Dennis Higgins and Dave Allen
New Blues that you can Use
Kenny Neal Hooked On Your Love Blind Pig Records www.blindpigrecords.com
Grady Champion Shanachie Days GSM Music
The new release, Shanachie Days, from 2010 International Blues Challenge winner and 2012 Blues Music Award nominee Grady Champion will no doubt please his fans and earn him some new ones. Champion is a real deal Mississippi blues man who is on a one man crusade to carry the torch of the blues to the world. This retrospective from his days with Shanachie Entertainment is a “best of ” collection of hard driving blues, funky soul and roots rock, all of which feature Champion’s smoky vocals, master harmonica skills and poignant songwriting. Critics may say that Champion is merely recycling standard song forms with his own lyrics, but they miss the point that his mission is to keep this unique American art form alive and kicking. Make no mistake Champion isn’t singing about the same old blues when he makes a call out for world peace on the grooving “Brother, Brother,” and attacks racial profiling head on with “Policeman Blues,” and gun violence on the south bay styled strut “Children of the Corn.” Then he dares anyone not to get up and dance to the horn driven Memphis style burner “Love Is My Middle Name.” The Chicago shuffle “Nothing I Can Do,” featuring guitar legend Duke Robillard, is also an added treat to the set. The album closes with Champion’s signature number “My Rooster Is King,” which is basically a remake of “Wang Dang Doodle,” but the groove is so infectious I imagine Willie Dixon and Koko Taylor would totally approve. – Rick J. Bowen
The Stacey Jones Band Live & Untapped www.stacyjonesband.com
This new CD features eleven songs recorded live and released June 1, 2012 by the BB Award winning Stacey Jones and her band. That should be all you need to know to go and get this CD. The Best Female Vocalist of 2012 and the Best New Band of 2009 keep lifting their fans higher. This band is good enough, and with so many great songs that you may not hear your favorite one of theirs on a particular night, but you will find new favorites while you waited. Stacy’s performance of “Do It Again” at the BB Awards a few years ago was one of my favorite three minutes listening to live music. This CD has some great ones her fans may have heard: like “Heavy Water,” “Back Again,” and “Glory Bound.” She does some blues classics that she has made her own also. A couple good examples of that is Higher and Higher, and I’d Rather Go Blind. Some of the other songs here that knocked me out were “Miss You,” “Waiting On Love” and “The T-Bone Shuffle.” The opening harmonica riffs on “The T-Bone Shuffle” come from this pro who has been playing the harmonica since she was very young. You will hear some good vocals from guitar player Jeff Menteer on this one, too. If you have not heard this band perform “Heavy Water,” you have to attend a live show and get a taste of that—Stacy shows why she has won a BB award for vocals on this song. This is a band that is still on the rise and will lift itself higher and higher via the songwriting, vocals, piano, guitar, and harmonica of the one woman band (Stacy) which has another band on stage with her at all times (the band named after her). The band includes Tom Jones who is not only Stacy’s dad but her bass player and producer. It also includes Jeff Menteer who is a great guitar player, and Rick Bowen who is not only a powerful drummer but a passionate singer as well. -Robert Horn
Sweet Claudette That Man’s Got To Go Blue Skunk Music www.blueskunkmusic.com
Baton Rouge multi instrumentalist Kenny Neal’s 2010 Blind Pig Records release Hooked On Your Love is the follow up to his highly acclaimed 2008 comeback CD Let Life Flow, the title track of which was the 2009 Blues Music Award Song of the Year. Over the years Kenny put out a series of well received releases for Alligator and Telarc, and he’s a member of Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, and multi-Grammy nominee. Neal plays blues harp, lead, rhythm and slide guitar on this CD and also can play keys and Also featured on Hooked On Your Love are Kenny’s son Kenny Neal Jr. on percussion, brother Darnell on bass, brother Fredrick keys, and nephew Tyree on guitar and synthesizer. Vashti Jackson and Lucky Peterson join in, too! Some of my favorite tracks include the horn driven “Voodoo Mama” which also features some well placed slide guitar, “Old Friends” features melodic harmonica, while “Down In Swamp” is, well, swampy, with a pulsing rhythm and bluesy harp. Also of note is the soul chestnut “Blind, Crippled and Crazy.” Kenny Neal and family keep putting out music worth hearing and Hooked On Your Love is a prime example. -Malcolm Kennedy
Detroit’s Sweet Claudette serves up some excellent horn driven rhythm and blues with a decidedly funky edge on That Man’s Got To Go. The players are Howard Glazer and Dan DeKuyper on rocking fiery guitars, polished horns by Marty Montgomery on sax and Alonzo “Big Al” Haralson on trumpet and flugelhorn and the engine room of Todd MacIntosh on bass and Claudette’s husband Greg Manning on the drum kit. Claudette starts off strongly with “Best Damn Loving.” I also enjoyed title track which is a blues shuffle. “Don’t Talk That Yak To Me” features some tastefully subdued slide guitar and a sweet sax solo. Nine of the 10 cuts are originals and the one cover the blues classic “Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness” is a standout. Claudette rounds things up with the saucy “Meet Me” where she sings ‘meet me with your black drawers’ and Howard’s solo sizzles as does Big Al. -Malcolm Kennedy
Make sure you check them out at wablues.org for all the Blues you can use.
Welcome Back to Jazz Alley
By Malcolm “Yard Dog” Kennedy
James Cotton was born on July 1st, 1935 in Tunica, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers who farmed cotton. Given a harmonica at age six as a Christmas gift from his mother Hattie, James quickly mastered the train and chicken sounds his mother had taught him. Hearing Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) on KFFA radio’s King Biscuit Time changed his world, as the young Cotton put his ear up to the radio to hear some of the sounds a blues harp could make. This mesmerized him; it ultimately changed the world of the blues forever. I have read divergent versions about Cotton’s early years. His parents died when he was nine, and his Uncle took him to Memphis to be raised and tutored on the blues harp by Sonny Boy. Young James traveled there alone. I also read that this never happened. Whatever really transpired, Cotton made it 30 miles southwest to West Helena, Arkanas on U.S. Highway 49 northeast of Clarksdale, Mississippi. In his teens, James caught the ear of Sonny Boy and played on his radio show. When Sonny Boy left for Milwaukee, he left his band in the hands of the 17 year old Cotton. This was short lived as the young man could not hold this group of seasoned veterans together. He made a name for himself gigging around Memphis, West Memphis and West Helena busking, playing in dozens of juke joints. He played with Howlin’ Wolf, toured regionally, and in 1952, also got his own daily radio show sponsored by Hart Bread on West Memphis’KWEM. In 1953, Cotton recorded a few sides for Sun Records with Sam Phillips in his pre-Elvis days: “Hold Me In Your Arms,” “Oh Baby” and “Straighten Up Baby.” While these three didn’t catch on, his cover of Roosevelt Sykes “Cotton Crop Blues” got noticed. Phillips was impressed by Cotton’s playing on some Howlin’ Wolf sessions and it is Wolf ’s band with Pat Hare on guitar backing Cotton on these first sides. In 1954, Muddy Waters was passing through Memphis and needed harp player after the abrupt departure of Junior Wells, and Muddy hired Cotton. Playing in Muddy’s band meant playing Little Walter licks – as Little Walter filled the harp chair before Wells. The Chess brothers wanted to keep the chart success achieved when Muddy paired with Little Walter on harp and insisted
on using Jacobs in the studio on most of Muddy’s records through 1958. Despite the brothers’ insistence, Cotton did start waxing some sides for Muddy a year earlier, Cotton joined Muddy’s band on the now legendary “Live in Newport” concert from the Muddy Waters Band in 1960. Cotton arranged and introduced Muddy to one of his signature tunes played at the Newport, “Got My Mojo Working.” While in Waters’ band, Cotton was more than a sideman; he took charge during the opening numbers before “Star Time,” the time when Muddy elegantly strode up to the bandstand.
aptly named, Grammy nominated and Blues Foundation Blues Music Award nominated, 2010 Alligator Records release Giant has received rave reviews. Also of mention is a 2007 release by Sony Breakin’ It Up & Breakin’ It Down culled from three concerts supporting Muddy’s Hard Again, Muddy, Cotton and Winter share the vocal duties backed by Bob Margolin, Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes“ Smith and Charles Calmese.
In 1965, The James Cotton Quartet featuring Otis Spann on piano, James Madison on guitar and S.P. Leary on drums recorded a five song set for Vanguard including “The Blues Keep Falling” aka Black Night “Rocket 88,” and “Love Me Or Leave Me” which were then released on the now classic Chicago/The Blues/Today Vol. 2 which also featured five tracks by the Otis Rush Band and four tracks by Homesick James & His Dusters . After 12 years in the Muddy Waters Band, Cotton set out on his own as the leader of the James Cotton Band. Vanguard recorded Cut You Loose! in 1967, and his. These sides are also presented together on James Cotton Best of the Vanguard Years. In addition to critically acclaimed released n Buddah and Verve in the 70s, Cotton reunited with Waters for the 1977 Grammy Award winning release on Blue Sky, Hard Again. Alligator Records released High Compression seven years later, which featured a tune that has become synonymous with James Cotton, “Superharp.” Alligator also featured Cotton on 1990’s Contemporary Blues Album Handy Award winning Harp Attack alongside Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Billy Branch. Blind Pig Records released the Grammy Award nominated Take Me Back in 1988 with Cotton backed by Sammy Lawhorn and John Primer on guitar, Pinetop Perkins on piano, Sam Lay on drums and Bob Anderson on bass for a set of classic covers that include Little Walter’s “My Babe,” Wolf ’s “Killing Floor” and Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I Do” among others. In 1994 Cotton underwent throat surgery and radiation treatment for throat cancer which robbed him of his voice; however Cotton has continued to record. In 1999 he was included on Telarc’s Superharps along with Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Branch and Sugar Ray Norcia and his very
James Cotton has been nominated for numerous prestigious awards with Grammy nominations for Alligator’s 1984 Live From Chicago Mr. Superharp Himself, the afore mentioned Take Me Back, Verve’s 1994 Living The Blues and Alligator’s 2010 Giant and is the recipient of the Best Traditional Blues Album Grammy Award for his 1996 Verve Records release Deep In The Blues. Cotton has been nominated for nine Handy/Blues Music Awards including three times each for Traditional Male Artist and Harmonica and once for Album of the Year most recently two in 2011 for Best Harmonica and Traditional Artist of the Year and was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame in 2006 alongside Bobby Rush, Paul Butterfield and Roy Milton. Cotton also has been recognized of his sheer power behind the harp. I have read of Cotton having blown apart, collapsed the tops of and having sucked the reeds out of harps with his formidable lung power while performing James Cotton was also in his prime when rock & roll was exploding. Cotton played some of the classic rock venues, like the Filmore East in New York City and San Francisco’s Filmore West, and all points in between sharing the stage with many of the top acts in both rock and blues of the time. He toured with Janis Joplin, Blood Sweat & Tears, and his early records coincided with those early LPs from the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Junior Wells and Charlie Musselwhite. With more than 25 releases, his first sides recorded 59 years ago and 60+ years performing professionally, James Cotton is a blues treasure. The hard blowing Mr. Superharp returns to Seattle’s Jazz Alley July 19-22, and I strongly recommend that all Bluesletter readers experience power of James Cotton live. At Jazz Alley!
Early this year Roy Brown, education director of the Washington Blues Society (WBS), hit Centrum Arts and Creative Education up for a scholarship to its Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival workshop to gift a young artist from Seattle Teen Music. Centrum afforded the tuition and WBS leveraged fundraising for the room and board portion of a week at the workshop. ‘Passing the Torch’ was kindled. Late last year, Richard Russell, founder of Seattle Secret Music invited Centrum’s Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival to organize a Seattle Secret Music concert at Seattle’s Triple Door. Acoustic Blues Festival Artistic Director (and a phenomenal blues pianist), Daryl Davis, flew out from the east coast for the May 17, 2012 event. Daryl was joined by a few of this upcoming year’s acoustic blues faculty who live in the Pacific Northwest along with a few outstanding past participants.
Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival – Seattle Secret Music – Triple Door
blues tunes, each leading a song and backing each other up. All three consider Centrum’s Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival workshop an annual pilgrimage and can attest to the value of a week spent under the tutelage of acoustic blues masters.
‘Passing the Torch’ Washington Blues Society – Seattle Teen Music - Centrum’s Port
By Mary Hilts
Photos by Zab
Following Son Jack Jr., local Seattle secret Orville Johnson joined Ricardo & Friends, Garey Shelton and Michael Dupille for a set of original music that set the house on fire with rich soulful blues. Between songs Ricardo preached the quality of life and value of playing music together, advocating it’s never too late to start. Or ville Johnson, a longtime member of Centrum’s blues faculty remained on stage and was joined by fellow Centrum blues faculty members John Miller and Grant Dermody. The three have been playing together for close to ten years after they were on staff at Centrum together. They simply dazed the room with their extraordinary performance. When Mary Flower stepped on stage, with eight albums under her belt, and unassuming vocals that compliment her sheer mastery of the Piedmont blues guitar style, the audience was again blown away, or stunned might be a more appropriate word. What a talent. Mary will be on staff as faculty at this year’s acoustic blues workshop. The evening closed with the phenomenal Daryl Davis at the keyboard. From backstage you could hear the audience moan with amazement
while Daryl’s hands flew across the keys as he walked them through a medley musically outlining some history of the blues. Half way through his set, Daryl was joined by past acoustic blues workshop participants Kitty King on bass, sharing an original song she wrote after a week at the workshop and blues singer Sonja Lee who swayed the room with her sultry vocals and presence. When the final curtain was drawn, the audience were so moved many stayed, waiting to greet the performers and share their thrills at having witnessed a truly remarkable evening together. The torch was lit that night. One audience member spontaneously gifted Centrum a full scholarship for a deserving student to attend the workshop this year and the momentum continues. A par tnership was forged b etween the Washington Blues Society, Seattle Teem Music and Centrum to continue working together to foster youth education in acoustic country blues. A blues that’s roots are in the deep regions of the south, the Delta, and the Mississippi Hill Country as well as the Piedmont regions of the east coast. A kind of blues that speaks to the very soul, that rings through an acoustic guitar, an old upright piano or a sultry voice and resonates deep of the human experience. A blues that is part of our national heritage, a part of history we hope will remain a part of our culture as we ‘Pass the Torch’ to the next generation of artists.
When this upcoming event was mentioned to Roy Brown, his wheels immediately starting turning and he proposed “a youth solo act open the show to showcase Centrum’s commitment to youth education in the arts.” The search began and young Nolan Garret was found. The audience was moved to their feet after Nolan’s performance, shouting out praises to the young bluesman, as were the other performers backstage. Next up at the showcase were local blues favorites Son Jack Jr. and Michael Wilde joined by Jim Dilanni, who performed a rousing set of
It’s time to vote in the 2012 Living Blues Awards. If you have a paper copy of the latest Living Blues magazine in print, please turn to page 71 to see the ballot; or, you can go to www.LivingBlues.com and vote for your favorites today. Living Blues had a record number of votes last year—please vote for your favorite nominees. Vote today! And while you are there, don’t forget to check out the new digital edition of Living Blues. It’s free, downloadable, and available for all your mobile devices. Despite this strong digital presence, Living Blues will always remain a print magazine, but the digital edition allows the magazine to expand and reach a whole new audience. Share it with a friend and turn a new reader on to Living Blues. All ballots must be received by July 10, 2012. Instructions: Vote for one choice only in each category. In the categories for recordings, only albums with a 2011 release date are eligible. All ballots must have valid contact details. Only one ballot per person is allowed. Blues Artist of the Year (Male) Keb Mo Robert Cray Buddy Guy Tab Benoit Johnny Rawls Blues Artist of the Year (Female) Marcia Ball Tracy Nelson Ruthie Foster Sharon Lewis Rory Block Most Outstanding Blues Singer Mavis Staples Buddy Guy Sharon Jones Tail Dragger Gregg Allman Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar) Robert Cray Lil’ Buck Sinegal Lurrie Bell Duke Robillard Marquise Knox Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica) Billy Branch Sugar Blue Bob Corritore Harmonica Hinds Rod Piazza Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard) Eden Brent Marcia Ball Henry Gray Pinetop Perkins Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne Best Live Performer Shemekia Copeland Tail Dragger Big James and the Chicago Playboys Bobby Rush Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials Best Blues Album of 2011 (New Recordings) Johnny Rawls: Memphis Still Got Soul - Catfood Records Gregg Allman: Low Country Blues - Rounder Records Chicago Blues: A Living History: The (R)evolution Continues - Raisin’ Music Keb Mo: The Reflection - Yolabelle International Marquise Knox: Here I Am - APO Little Joe Ayers: Backatchya - Devil Down Records Etta James: The Dreamer - Verve Chick Willis: Let the Blues Speak For Itself - Benevolent Blues Marcia Ball: Roadside Attractions - Alligator Tracy Nelson: Victim of the Blues - Delta Groove Best Blues Album of 2011 (Reissue Recordings) Various Artists : Hear Me Howling! - Arhoolie Records Ray Charles: Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles - Concord Records Howlin’ Wolf: Smokestack Lightnin’: The Complete Chess Masters 1951 to 1960 - Geffen/Hip-O Syl Johnson: The Complete Mythology - Numero Group Junior Wells: Hoodoo Man Blues- Delmark Records Best Blues DVD of 2011 Various Artists: Maxwell Street Blues - Facets Video Ruthie Foster: Live At Antones - Blue Corn Music Guy Davis: Guitar Artistry of Guy Davis: Teller of Tales - Vestapol Video
Living Blues Awards Reader’s Ballot 2012
Blues on the Radio Dial
PLEASE SEND ANY RADIO UPDATES TO CALENDAR@WABLUES.ORG
KUGS 89.3FM Bellingham: Highway 61 8:00AM - 10:00AM www.kugs.org - DJ, Chalkie McStevenson KAOS 89.3FM Olympia: “Blues On Rye” 1:00PM - 3:00PM www.kaosradio.org - DJ, Val Vaughn Northwest Convergence Zone Online Radio: NWCZradio.com: Dave Samson’s BluesShow 7:00pm - 10:00PM
KPLU 88.5FM Tacoma: All Blues 6:00PM - 12:00AM www.kplu.org - DJ, John Kessler KAOS 89.3FM Olympia: “Blues For Breakfast” 8:00AM - 10:00AM www.kaosradio.org - DJ, Jerry Drummond KSER 90.7FM Everett: Audio Indigo 7:00PM - 9:00 PM www.kser.org - DJ, Robin K KPBX 91.1FM Spokane: Blues Kitchen 10:00PM - 12:00AM www.kpbx.org - DJ, Tina Bjorklund KZPH 106.7FM Wenatachee: The Blues 11:00PM - 12:00AM www.therock1067.com - DJ, Dave Keefe KSER 90.7FM Everett: Blues Odessey 9:00PM - 11:00pM www.kser.org - DJ, Leslie Fleury KEXP 90.3 Seattle Preaching the Blues with Johny Horn Sunday Mornings 9am to Noon KYRS 92.3 FM, KYRS.org Blues Now and Then 6-8 PM. DJ, Patrick Henry and Jumpin’ Jerry. KPLU 88.5FM Tacoma: All Blues 6:00PM - 12:00AM www.kplu.org - DJ, John Kessler KWCW 90.5FM Walla Walla: Blues Therapy 7:00PM - 9:00PM www.kwcw.net - DJ, “Biggdaddy” Ray Hansen and Armand “The Doctor” Parada KKZX 98.9FM Spokane: Blowtorch Blues 7:00PM - 10:00PM www.kkzx.com - DJ, Ted Todd Brion Foster. KSER 90.7FM Everett: The Juke Joint 1:00PM - 3:00PM www.kser.org - DJ, Jon Noe
KBCS 91.3FM Bellevue: Eh Toi! 11:00PM - 1:00AM www.kbcs.fm - DJ, DJ Marte’
KEXP 90.3FM Seattle: The Roadhouse 6:00PM to 9:00PM www.kexp.org - DJ, Greg Vandy KSVR 91.7FM Mount Vernon: “The Blue Boulevard” 8:00PM - 10:00PM firstname.lastname@example.org - DJ, Jackson Stewart KSVR 91.7FM Mount Vernon: “The Blues Note with Janice” 10:00PM - 12:00AM email@example.com - DJ, Janice Gage
KSER 90.7FM Everett: Clancy’s Bar and Grill 8:30PM - 10:30PM www.kser.org - DJ, Clancy Dunigan KSER 90.7FM Everett: The Blueshouse 10:30PM - 12:30AM www.kser.org - DJ, Jonathan “Oogie” Richards
KEXP 90.3FM Seattle: Shack The Shack 6:00PM - 9:00PM www.kexp.org - DJ, Leon Berman
Washington Blues Society
Alki Tavern: Jam hosted b y Manuel Morais Dawson’s, Tacoma: Tim Hall Band, 7pm Castle’s, Sedro Wolley: Gary B’s Church of the Blues, 6-10pm Eastlake Zoo Tavern: Eastlake Zoo Social Club & Jam featuring the Seattle Houserockers, 7pm Evelyn’s Tavern, Clear Lake: Gary B’s Church of the Blues 6 – 10pm Lighthouse, Des Moines: Northpoint Tacoma: Loose Gravel & the Quarry, 7pm Raging River: Tommy Wall Silver Dollar: Big Nasty, 8pm Two Twelve, Kirkland: hosted by HeatherBBlues, 7pm
Caffe Mela, Wenatchee, 7pm (first Mon. of the month) 88 Keys, Pioneer Square: Star Drums & Lady Keys host Blue Monday Jam, 8pm JR’s Hideway: Malcolm Clark, 8pm Opal Lounge, South Tacoma Way: Tim Hall, 8pm Oxford Saloon: All ages open jam, 7 – 11pm Ten Below: hosted by Underground Blues Jam, every 1st Monday of the month, Wenatchee
Barrel Invitational: hosted by Billy Shew, 8pm Dawson’s, Tacoma: hosted by Shelley & Jho, 8pm J & M Cafe Jam: May 8 & 22 – Tim Turner Pacific Rim Marysville Best Western: Mike Wright & the Blue Sharks, 7 - 11pm Snohomish Spirits & Sports: Sean Denton & friends Summit Pub: Tim Hall & the Realtimes, 7:30pm Wild Buffalo, Bellingham: hosted by Rick Baunach, 6:30 - 9:30pm Yuppie Tavern, Kirkland (Totem Lake), HeatherBBlues Acoustic jam, 8pm
Clearwater Casino – Suquamish (360) 598-6889 Destiny Seafood & Grill – Port Angeles (360) 452-4665 Halftime Saloon – Gig Harbor (253) 853-1456 Junction Tavern – Port Angeles (360) 452-9880 Little Creek Casino – Shelton (360) 427-7711 Seven Cedars Casino – Sequim (360) 683-7777 Siren’s – Port Townsend (360) 379-1100 Upstage – Port Townsend (360) 385-2216
Washington Blues Society
Al Lago, Lake Tapps (253) 863-8636 2 Wheel Blues Club – Tacoma Barnacles Restaurant, Des Moines (206) 878-5000 The Barrel – Burien (206) 244-7390
Tacoma, Burien, Federal Way, etc
CC’s Lounge, Burien (206) 242-0977
Blarney Stone Pub and Restaurant (206) 448-8439 China Harbor Restaurant (206) 286-1688 Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley (206) 441-9729 x210 EMP Liquid Lounge (206) 770-2777 EMP Sky Church (206) 770-2777 Fiddler’s Inn (206) 525-0752 Bellingham, Anacortes, Whidbey Island, etc Grinder’s (206) 542-0627 China Beach – Langley (360) 530-8888 Highliner Pub (206) 283-2233 Just Moe’s – Sedro Woolley (360) 855-2997 Highway 99 Club (206) 382-2171 LaConner Tavern – LaConner (360) 466-9932 J & M Cafe (206) 467-2666 Little Roadside Tavern – Everson (360) 592-5107 Lock & Keel (206) 781-8023 Old Edison Inn – Edison (360) 766-6266 Maple Leaf Grill (206) 523-8449 Rockfish Grill – Anacortes (360) 588-1720 Mr. Villa (206) 517-5660 Stump Bar & Grill – Arlington (360) 653-6774 New Orleans (206) 622-2563 Watertown Pub – Anacortes (360) 293-3587 Paragon (206) 283-4548 Wild Buffalo – Bellingham (360) 312-3684 Pike Place Bar and Grill (206) 624-1365 Viking Bar and Grill – Stanwood (360) 629-9285 The Rimrock Steak House (206) 362-7979 Salmon Bay Eagles (206) 783-7791 St. Clouds (206) 726-1522 Third Place Commons, Lake Forest Park (206) 366-3333 Triangle Tavern (206) 763.0714 Bellevue, Kirkland, etc. Tractor Tavern (206) 789-3599 Central Club – Kirkland (425) 827-8808 Triple Door (206) 838-4333 Crossroads Shopping Center – Bellevue (425) 644-1111 Damans Pub – Redmond Forecasters – Woodinville (425) 483-3212 Ice Harbor Brewing Co - Kennewick (509) 582-5340 Raging River Café & Club – Fall City (425) 222-6669 Time Out Sports Bar – Kirkland (425) 822-8511 BBQ & Blues – Clarkston (509) 758-1227 Vino Bella – Issaquah (425) 391-1424 Breadline Café – Omak (509) 826-5836 Wild Vine Bistro, Bothell (425) 877-1334 Club Crow – Cashmere (509) 782-3001 Wilde Rover – Kirkland (425) 822-8940 CrossRoads Steakhouse – Walla Walla (509) 522-1200 Valhalla Bar & Grill, Kirkland (425) 827 3336 Lakey’s Grill – Pullman (509) 332-6622 Main Street Tavern – Omak (509) 826-2247 Peters Inn – Packwood (360) 494-4000 Pine Springs Resort - Goldendate (509-773-4434 Ram’s Ripple – Moses Lake (509) 765-3942 Rattlesnake Brewery – Richland (509) 783-5747
Capitol Theater/Olympia Film Society – (360) 754-3635 Charlie’s – Olympia (360) 786-8181 Cliff House Restaurant – Tacoma (253) 927-0400 Destination Harley Davidson – Fife (253) 922-3700 Blues Vespers at Immanuel Presbyterian (253) 627-8371 Jazzbones in Tacoma (253) 396-9169 (The) Junction Sports Bar, Centralia (360) 273-7586 Lighthouse – Des Moines (206) 824-4863 Maggie O’Toole’s – Lakewood (253) 584-3278 Magnolia Café – Poulsbo (360) 697-1447 Mint Alehouse – Enumclaw (360) 825-8361 Pat’s Bar & Grill – Kent (253) 852-7287 Pick & Shovel – Wilkeson (360) 829-6574 Riverside Pub, Sumner (253) 863-8369 Silver Dollar Pub – Spanaway (253) 531-4469 The Spar – Tacoma (253) 627-8215 The Swiss – Tacoma (253) 572-2821 Tugboat Annie’s – Olympia (360) 943-1850 Uncle Sam’s Bar & Grill - Spanaway (253) 507-7808 Wurlitzer Manor – Gig Harbor (253) 858-1749 Cascade Tavern – Vancouver (360) 254-0749
Central & Eastern
Red Lion Hotel Wenatchee (Tomasz Cibicki 509-669-8200)
Anchor Pub – Everett (425) 252-2288 Balefire – Everett (425) 374-7248 Bubba’s Roadhouse – Sultan, (360) 793-3950 Canoes Cabaret – Tulalip (888) 272-1111 The Conway Muse in Conway (360) 445-3000 Demetris Woodstone Taverna, Edmonds (425) 744-9999 Diamond Knot Brewery & Alehouse – Mukilteo (425) 355-4488 Engel’s Pub – Edmonds (425) 778-2900 Historic Spar Tree – Granite Falls (360) 691-6888 Madison Pub - Everett (425) 348-7402 Mardini’s – Snohomish (360) 568-8080 Mirkwood & Shire Café – Arlington (360) 403-9020 North Sound:Star Bar, Anacortes (360) 299-2120 ( The) Oxford Saloon – Snohomish (360) 568-3845 Prohibition Grille, Everett (425) 258-6100 Stanwood Hotel & Saloon – Stanwood (360) 629-2888 Stewart’s – Snohomish (360) 568-4684 Timberline Café – Granite Falls (360) 691-7011 Tracey’s Place – Everett (425) 259-0811 Wicked Rack BBQ – Everett (425) 334-3800
(Lynnwood, Everett, Edmonds, etc.):
Tumwater Inn Restaurant and Lounge – Leavenworth (509) 548-4232
Charlies Olympia: Blues Attitude Daman’s Pub, 8 PM Dogghouse Tavern, Mt. Vernon Alan: Hatley Trio, 7pm Eddie’s Trackside Bar & Grill, Monroe: every 1st & 3rd Wed., 8pm Half Time Saloon: Billy Shew & Billy Barner Locker Room, White Center: Michael Johnson & Lynn Sorensen, 8-12pm Madison Pub, Everett: hosted by Unbound w/special guests 7:30pm 4 - Happy Fourth of July 11- Kevin Sutton 18 - Richard Allen & Kevin Sutton 25- Patti Allen, Nick Vigarino & Terry Nelson Salmon Bay Eagles: Broomdust presents Blues of the Past jam (1st Wed.) , 8pm
Bad Albert Invitational w/Annieville Blues CC’s Lounge Burien Club Flight Nightclub w/Cory Wilde, 9pm Conway Pub Dawson’s, Tacoma: Billy Shew, 8 pm O’Callahan’s: Tim Hall, 7pm Oxford Saloon: Invitational Jam w/Steve Ater, 8pm Ruston Inn: Loose Gravel & the Quarry, 8pm
A.H.L. (206) 935-4592 AlleyKattz (425) 273-4172 Annieville Blues (206) 994-9413 Author Unknown (206) 355-5952 Baby Gramps Trio (425) 483-2835 BackGround Noise (425) 931-8084 Back Porch Blues (425) 299-0468 Badd Dog Blues Society (360) 733-7464 Billy Barner (253) 884-6308 Bay Street Blues Band (360) 731-1975 Norm Bellas & the Funkstars (206) 722-6551 Black River Blues (206) 396-1563 Blackstone Players (425) 327-0018 Blues Attitude (360) 701-6490 Blue 55 (206) 216-0554 Blue Healers (206) 440-7867 Blues To Do Monthly (206) 328-0662 Blues Playground (425) 359-3755 Blues Redemption http://www.bluesredemption.com (The) Blues Sheriff (206) 979-0666 Blues to Burn (253) 945-7441 Boneyard Preachers (206) 755-0766/ 206-547-1772 Bill Brown & the Kingbees 206-276-6600 Bump Kitchen (253) 223-4333, (360) 259-1545 Brian Butler Band (206) 361-9625 Charlie Butts & the Filtertips (509) 325-3016 Ellis Carter - 206-935-3188 Malcolm Clark Band (253) 853-7749 Colonel (360) 293-7931 Kimball Conant & the Fugitives (206) 938-6096 Jack Cook & Phantoms of Soul (206) 517-5294 Rod Cook & Toast (206) 878-7910 James Curley Cooke (253)945-7441 Cooke & Green (253) 945-7441 Coyote Blues (360) 420-2535 John Scooch Cugno’s Delta 88 Revival (360) 352-3735 Crossroads Band (206) 935-8985 Daddy Treetops (206) 601-1769 Sean Denton Band (425)387-0620 Double Cookin’ (253) 945-7441 Double Scott’s on the Rocks (206) 418-1180 Julie Duke Band 206-459-0860 Al Earick Band (253) 278-0330 Sammy Eubanks (509) 879-0340 Richard Evans (206) 799-4856 Fat Cat (425) 487-6139 Fat Tones (509) 869-0350 Kim Field & the Mighty Titans of Tone (206) 295-8306 Gary Frazier (206) 851-1169 Free Reign Blues Band (425) 823-3561 Filé Gumbo (425) 788-2776 Nicole Fournier & Her 3 Lb Universe (253) 576-7600 Jimmy Free’s Friends (206) 546-3733 Charlene Grant & the Love Doctors (206) 763-5074 Paul Green (206)795-3694 Dennis “Juxtamuse” Hacker (425) 512-8111 Heather & the Nearly Homeless Blues Band (425)576-5673 Tim Hall Band (253) 857-8652 Curtis Hammond Band (206) 696-6134) Ryan Harder (253) 226-1230 Scotty Harris & Lissa Ramaglia/Bassic Sax (206) 418-1180 Terry Hartness (425) 931-5755 Ron Hendee (425) 280-3994 JD Hobson (206) 235-3234 Hot Rod Blues Revue (206)790-9934 Bobby Holland & the Breadline (425)681-5644 James Howard band (206) 250-7494 David Hudson / Satellite 4 (253) 630-5276 Hungry Dogs (425) 299-6435 Brian Hurst (360) 708-1653 K. G. Jackson & the Shakers (360) 896-4175 Jeff & the Jet City Fliers (206) 469-0363 Junkyard Jane (253) 238-7908 Stacy Jones Band (206) 992-3285 Chester Dennis Jones (253)-797-8937 Harry “The Man” Joynes (360) 871-4438
Washington Blues Society
James King & the Southsiders (206) 715-6511 Virginia Klemens / Jerry Lee Davidson (206) 632-6130 Mick Knight (206) 373-1681 Bruce Koenigsberg / the Fabulous Roof Shakers (425) 766-7253 Kolvane (503) 804-7966 Lady “A” & the Baby Blues Funk Band (425) 518-9100 Brian Lee & the Orbiters www.brianleeorbiters.com Brian Lee Trio (206) 390-2408 Scott E. Lind (206) 789-8002 Little Bill & the Bluenotes (425) 774-7503 Loose Gravel & the Quarry (253) 927-1212 Dana Lupinacci Band (206) 860-4961 Eric Madis & Blue Madness (206) 362 8331 Bill Mattocks Band (206) 601-2615 Albritten McClain & Bridge of Souls (206) 650-8254 Brian “Jelly Belly” McGhee (253) 777-5972 Doug McGrew (206) 679-2655 Mary McPage Band (206) 850-4849 Miles from Chicago (206) 440-8016 Reggie Miles (360) 793-9577 Michal Miller Band (253) 222-2538 Rob Moitoza / House of Reprehensibles (206) 768-2820 Moon Daddy Band (425) 923-9081 Jim Nardo’s Boogie Train Blues Band (360) 779-4300 Keith Nordquist (253) 639-3206 Randy Norris & The Full Degree (425) 239-3876 Randy Norris & Jeff Nicely (425) 239-3876/(425) 359-3755 Randy Oxford Band (253) 973-9024 Robert Patterson (509) 869-0350 Dick Powell Band (425) 742-4108 Bruce Ransom (206) 618-6210 Raven Humphres (425) 306-3752 Red Hot Blues Sisters (206) 940-2589 Mark Riley (206) 313-7849 Gunnar Roads (360) 828-1210 Greg Roberts (206) 473-0659 Roger Rogers Band (206) 255-6427 Maia Santell & House Blend (253) 983-7071 Sciaticats Band (206) 246-3105 Shadow Creek Project (360) 826-4068 Tim Sherman Band (206) 547-1772 Billy Shew Band (253) 514-3637 Doug Skoog (253) 921-7506 Smoke N Blues Allstars (253) 620-5737 Smokin’ Jays (206) 707-2018 Son Jack Jr. (425) 591-3034 Soulshaker Blues Band (360) 4171145 Star Drums & Lady Keys (206) 522-2779 John Stephan Band (206) 244-0498 Chris Stevens’ Surf Monkeys (206) 236-0412 Stickshift Annie Eastwood (206) 522-4935 Alice Stuart & the Formerlys (360) 753-8949 Richard Sysinger (206) 412-8212 Annette Taborn (206) 679-4113 Dudley Taft (206)795-6509 Tahoma Tones (253)851-6559 Ten Second Tom (509) 954-4101 Tone Kings (425) 698-5841 Too Slim & the Taildraggers (425) 891-4487 Leanne Trevalyan (253)238-7908 Tim Turner Band (206) 271-5384 T-Town Aces (206)935-8985 Two Scoops Combo (206) 933-9566 Unbound (425) 258-4477 Uncle Ted Barton (253) 627-0420 Nick Vigarino’s Meantown Blues (360) 387-0374 Tommy Wall (206) 914-9413 Mike Wright & the Blue Sharks (360) 652-0699 / (425) 327-0944 Charles White Revue (425) 327-0018 Mark Whitman Band (206) 697-7739 Michael Wilde (425) 672-3206 / (206) 200-3363 Rusty Williams (206) 282-0877 Hambone Wilson (360) 739-7740 C.D. Woodbury (425) 502-1917 Beth Wulff Band (206) 367-6186, (206) 604-2829
There Ain’t No Cure for the
by John Millner
This is a list of Blues Festivals and other Blues related events that I’ve just finished compiling. The dates listed are for 2012 ONLY and were accurate as of 5/22/2012. All of the web addresses were tested and working on that date also. PLEASE call or e-mail in advance of travel to check for any changes. As impressive as this roster appears, I’m sure that I’ve missed a few. This was meant to cover British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. If you have info on other events in those locations, please email it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Note: Any event with “???” at the end of the listing ARE NOT CONFIRMED. JULY 3 – SALISH POINT BLUES FESTIVAL POLSON, MT Facebook page under Salish Pt. Blues Festival JULY 4 – 8 – 25th. WATERFRONT BLUES FESTIVAL PORTLAND, OR waterfrontbluesfestival.com JULY 6 – 8 – VANCOUVER ISLAND MUSICFEST COMOX VALLEY, BC islandmusicfest.com JULY 7 – BEACON HILL BLUES FESTIVAL ASHLAND, OR ashlandblues.org JULY 13 & 14 – 1st. ANNUAL WALLACE BLUES FESTIVAL WALLACE, ID wallace-id.com/bluesfest JULY 14 – TACOMA OLD TOWN BLUES FESTIVAL TACOMA, WA ??? tacomaoldtownbluesfest.net JULY 14 & 15 – WALLA WALLA SWEET ONION FESTIVAL WALLA WALLA,WA sweetonions.org JULY 20 – NORTH UMPQUA MUSIC FEST ROSEBURG, OR numusicfest.com JULY 19 – 22 – RENDEZVOUS IN THE PARK MOSCOW, ID rendezvousinthepark.com JULY 20 – 22 – 25th. ANNUAL WINTHROP RHYTHM & BLUES FESTIVAL winthropbluesfestival.com JULY 27 & 28 – ROCK CUT BLUES FESTIVAL ORIENT, WA rockcutblues.com JULY 28 – RHYTHM ON THE RIVER GOBLE, OR JULY 28 – KLAMATH BLUES FESTIVAL KLAMATH FALLS, OR klamathblues.org JULY 27 – 29 – JAZZ IN THE VALLEY ELLENSBURG, WA jazzinthevalley.com JULY 29 – AUG 5 – PT. TOWNSEND ACOUSTIC BLUES FESTIVAL PT. TOWNSEND, WA centrum.org/blues JULY 30 – AUG 5 – CALGARY BLUES FESTIVAL CALGARY, ALBERTA calgarybluesfest.com AUG 3 – 5-- MT. BAKER BLUES FESTIVAL DEMING, WA bakerblues.com AUG 4 & 5 – SKY HIGH BLUES FESTIVAL ROCK CREEK, BC skyhighbluesfestival.com AUG 4 & 5 – BIG SKY BLUES FESTIVAL NOXON, MT bigskybluesfestival.com AUG 3 & 4 – WILLAMETTE VALLEY BLUES & BREWS FESTIVAL SPRINGFIELD, OR wvbbf.org AUG 3 & 4 – PINE SPRINGS BACKYARD BLUES BASH GOLDENDALE, WA pinespringsresort.net AUG 9 – 12 – MAGIC CITY BLUES BILLINGS, MT magiccityblues.com AUG 10 & 11 – RIVERFRONT BLUES FESTIVAL LIBBY, MT riverfrontbluesfestival.com AUG 10 & 11 – BRONZE, BLUES & BREWS JOSEPH, OR bronzebluesbrews.com AUG 11 – BRATS , BLUES AND BREWS KLAMATH FALLS, OR sunriserotary.org AUG 11 – BURNABY BLUES FESTIVAL BURNABY, BC burnabyblues.com AUG 10 – 12 – ROCKIN’ THE RIVERS THREE FORKS, MT rockintherivers.com AUG 17 – 19 – HARVEST MOON BLUES FESTIVAL LEBANON, OR harvestmoon2012.com AUG 17 & 18 – ILWACO BLUES & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL ILWACO, WA bluesandseafood.com AUG 18 – A CASE OF THE BLUES & ALL THAT JAZZ YAKIMA, WA yakimagreenway.org AUG 17 – 19 – TASTE OF MUSIC SNOHOMISH, WA tasteofmusic.org AUG 17 – 19 – SALMON ARM ROOTS & BLUES FESTIVAL SALMON ARM, BC rootsandblues.ca AUG 17 – 19 – 20th. ANNUAL SEATTLE HEMP FEST SEATTLE, WA hempfest.org AUG 24 – 26 – EDMONTON BLUES FESTIVAL EDMONTON, ALBERTA bluesinternationalltd.com AUG 25 – POVERTY BAY BLUES & BREWS FEST DES MOINES, WA dmrotary.org/events AUG 29 – SEPT 3 – PIG OUT IN THE PARK SPOKANE, WA spokanepigout.com SEPT 1 – BOTHELL BLUES FESTIVAL BOTHELL, WA bothellbluesfestival.com SEPT 1 & 2 – BEAUMONT BLUES FESTIVAL BEAUMONT, ALBERTA beaumontblues.net SEPT 1 – 3 - VANCOUVER ISLAND BLUES BASH VICTORIA, BC jazzvictoria.ca/blues-bash SEPT 1 – 3 – BUMBERSHOOT SEATTLE, WA. bumbershoot.org SEPT 1 – 6th. ANNUAL BLUES FOR FOOD FEST SEATTLE, WA bluesforfoodfest.org SEPT 7 – 9 – DOCK OF THE BAY BLUES FESTIVAL WESTPORT, WA westportblues.com SEPT 6 – 9 – SUNBANKS BLUES FESTIVAL ELECTRIC CITY, WA sunbanksfestival.com SEPT 15 – LEAVENWORTH BLUES, BREWS & BBQ LEAVENWORTH, WA leavenworthblues.com SEPT 21 – 23 – CHOWDER, BLUES & BREWS FLORENCE, OR florencechamber.com/chamber/chowder-blues-brews
at the Red Crane
By Robert Horn, photos by Eric Steiner I want to just give a short thanks to a couple friends who filled in for me last month writing this column. Susan and Rodney are a couple friends who feel free to say things I wouldn’t make a public statement about myself. Susan tells me she knows what I did at the end of 2003 when people predicted that the Washington Blues Society would go out of existence. I stepped in as President with only one other board member at first, rebuilt the board of directors, expanded the organization and left it with a financial surplus. She says that if anyone else did that they would have a BB Award for Keeping the Blues Alive. Rodney reminds me of how the board hands out some Blue to the Bone BB Awards and since I have never gotten any kind of BB including that one, I have enough material now to start a comedy career with jokes he wrote years ago. He suggested I do stand-up comedy and stop writing here. I will continue writing for The Bluesletter this year, however. The June Blues Bash was fun and interesting to say the least. When I walked in at about 7 PM Ginny Reilly was on stage. She is often teamed up with David Maloney and they have a CD that got a Grammy nomination. She has
a soft voice that reminds me a little of Joni Mitchell. She sang, “Do Your Duty,” “Doodle Lee Doo”, “The Baby Inside Me Blues”, “Cajun Man,” among others. I look forward to hearing her blues CD that is currently in production. There were other female vocalists in the audience when she sang: Vicki Stevens, Mary McPage, Suze Sims, and Lanita DeMars of the Gin Creek Band (a new band with some good YouTube videos online and an International Blues Challenge competitor in Snohomish for the Washington Blues Society) were there. In addition to great female vocalists in the audience there were local bluesmen like Dan O’Bryant in attendance as well. This event always has talent in the audience as well as on the stage. As Tony and Eric got on stage to start handing out CDs, a funny thing happened: the electricity went out. Why did this happen? Was it because someone in the sky didn’t want CDs going out for free? Was it that someone in the sky decided that any long winded talks would not be tolerated? Or was it something else? The staff said that without electricity they could not serve anyone, so everyone had to go outside until electricity returned. When I went outside did I see the clouds part and did I hear a voice came down from the heavens with thundering power saying “This is what happens when the guy who writes the article on the blues bashes goes 12 years without an award” and did all the cars in the parking lot except for mine then get hit by lightning? No, nothing like that happened. When the
electricity returned so did most of the crowd, and the next band got on stage. The next band did bring thunder and lightning and electricity filled the air. The Black River Blues Band is a must see. You got to go catch their act. The band includes Jerry Peterson on guitar and vocals, Harold Wooten on keyboard and vocals, Brian Arthur on bass, and Craig Stetina on drums. The performance of classics like “How Many More Years”, “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Let The Good Times Roll” were amazing with the guitar, keys, vocals, and everything else. They do some original songs as well and perform them well. They are entertainers for sure and sometimes a guitarist is out in the crowd making the entire building a stage. I am so glad I was there to see them perform and think that this is another band to remember thinking about around the time you have a BB Ballot in your hands. There is a wealth of talent around here but don’t forget this band as one to include in the same sentence as the other great ones. This band is solid. I did not see or hear a weak link. The music was still going for some time after this event usually ends and there is a reason for that: this band was asked by the crowd to never stop playing. Check the Bluesletter for gigs by this band. Also remember that the second Tuesday of each month is when to go to 167th and Aurora and attend the monthly blues bash. The event each month is amazing and fun to attend.
July 1 - Sunday Central Club, Kirkland, John Stephan Band, 8:30 pm Old Edison Inn, Edison/Bow: Kimball & the Fugitives w/Stickshift Annie & Dan Duggin, 5:30pm Jazz Alley: Diane Shuur Magnusson Park: NW Lovefest Ayron Jones raising money for Blues in the Schools Taste of Tacoma (Roadhouse Stage): Mia Vermillion Band w/ Special Guest Kevin Sutton, Red Hot Blues Sisters, 4pm July 2 - Monday New Orleans: New Orleans Quintet July 3 - Tuesday New Orleans: Holotradband, 7pm
July 4 - Wednesday HAPPY 4TH OF JULY Y’ALL! Mr. Villa, Lake City: Kimball & the Fugitives w/Stickshift Annie Trio, 7pm New Orleans: Legacy Quartet w/Clarence Acox, 8pm Pike Pl. Bar & Grill, John Stephan Band, 6pm Portland: Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival Renton Family Fourth at Gene Coulon Memorial Park, Renton: Stacy Jones Band, 5:45pm Tacoma Freedom Fair SSBC/IBC,Tacoma: Fabulous Roof Shakers, 3:30 pm Washington Sips (Red, White & Blues Party), La Conner: Mia Vermillion Solo Show, 8pm Woodinville Concert, Brian Butler Blues Band, 3:30pm July 5 - Thursday Bad Albert’s: Bill Chism w/Annie Eastwood, Larry Hill, Tom Brighton, 6pm 88 Keys: Alice Stuart w/the Honey Butter Band, 8pm Highway 99: Timmons Wall band New Orleans: Selbred/Jackson Quintet Portland: Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival Salmon Bay Eagles: All Stars & No Stripes
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July 6 - Friday Highway 99: Mark DuFresne then Mr. Trick & the Dirty Tricks Music Off Main, Sumner’s Heritage Park: Alice Stuart & the Formerlys, 6:30pm New Orleans: Flexicon w/Thomas Marriott Owl ‘n Thistle: Randy Norris & Jeff Nicely, 10pm Oxford Saloon, Snohomish, Brian Lee & the Orbiters Portland: Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival Rockfish Grill: Junkyard Jane
July 12 - Thursday: Bad Albert’s: Bill Chism w/Annie Eastwood, Larry Hill, Tom Brighton, 6pm Highway 99: James King & the Southsiders Kirkland Marina Park Concert, Kirkland: Fabulous Roof Shakers, 7pm Madison Ave Pub, Everett: The CD Woodbury Band, 8pm New Orleans: Selbred/Jackson Quintet Salmon Bay Eagles, John Stephan Band, 8pm July 13 - Friday Clock Tower Ales, the Dalles: Alice Stuart, 7pm Duff ’s Garage, Portland: Stacy Jones Band Highway 99: Red House w/ the original members of The Reputations & Monster Road aka Kathi MacDonald’s band Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park: Fabulous Roof Shakers, 7:30pm Triple Door: Irma Thomas Scotch & Vine, Des Moines: Brian Lee Trio, 8pm Yuppie Tavern: Mary McPage & the Assassins July 14 - Saturday Highway 99: Franco & the Stingers w/special guest Steve Kerin H20, Anacortes: Chris Eger band New Orleans: Brian Lee & the Orbiters Prohibition Grille, Everett: Dana Lupinacci Trio, 8pm Rockfish Grill: the Twisters Salmon Bay Eagles:Jack Cook & the Phantom of Souls Stanwood Hotel: Fabulous Roof Shakers Walla Faces Inn @ the Vineyard, Walla Walla: Alice Stuart, 7pm July 15 - Sunday China Harbor Restaurant: Dance! Brian Lee & the Orbiters Highway 99: Walter Trout Pint Shack, Hood River OR: Alice Stuart, 7pm July 16 - Monday 88 Keys: Blues to Do TV: Kent Senior Center: Norm Bellas, 11am New Orleans: New Orleans Quintet July 17 - Tuesday Jazz Alley: Kenny Lattimore New Orleans: Holotradband, 7pm
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July 7 - Saturday Highway 99: 6th Annual Rockabilly & Hot Rod show H20, Anacortes: Bill Mattocks Band MidTown Grill, Bonney Lake: the CD Woodbury Band Old Edison Inn: Stacy Jones band Olympic Cellars Winery, Pt Angeles: WAGS Fundraiser – w/Alice Stuart, Teri Anne Wilson & the Honey Butter Band, 7pm Oxford Saloon, Snohomish, Brian Lee & the Orbiters Portland: Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival 212 On Central, Kirkland, Mark Bushbeck & Bill Chism, 8pm Skagit River Brewery, Mt. Vernon: Dan Duggin w/Kimball Conant, Larry Hill & Stickshift Annie, 7pm Yuppie Tavern: Astro Cats July 8 - Sunday Bad Albert’s: Bill Chism w/Annie Eastwood, Beth Wulff, Jim Wulff, 6pm Portland: Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival July 9 - Monday New Orleans: New Orleans Quintet Rockfish Grill: Ian McFeron July 10 - Tuesday Music in the Park, Sequim: the Mark Whitman Band, 6pm New Orleans: Holotradband, 7pm July 11 - Wednesday Highway 99: Louisiana House Party featuring File Gumbo Silver Spoon, Redmond: Norm Bellas, 5:30pm New Orleans: Legacy Quartet w/Clarence Acox, 8pm Rockfish Grill: Stilly River Band
July 18 - Wednesday Jazz Alley: Kenny Lattimore Highway 99: John “Scooch & the 88’s Mr. Villa, Lake City: Kimball & the Fugitives w/Stickshift Annie Trio, 7pm New Orleans: Ham Carson Quintet Triple Door, Musicaquarium: Too Slim Solo July 19 - Thursday Bad Albert’s Thursday, Ballard: Bill Chism w/Annie Eastwood, Larry Hill, Tom Brighton, 6pm Highway 99: Hot Rod Holmans Blues band Jazz Alley: James Cotton “Superharp” band New Orleans: Ham Carson Quintet Salmon Bay Eagles: Black River Blues
July 20 - Friday Balefire, Everett: Kimball & the Fugitives w/Stickshift Annie Trio Engels Pub: Alice Stuart & the Formerlys, 7pm Highway 99: Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp band Jazz Alley: James Cotton “Superharp” band New Orleans: Flexicon w/Thomas Marriott Triple Door: School of Rock Summer Camp Rockfish Grill: Eric Madis & Blue Madness Scotch & Vine, Des Moines: Brian Lee Trio, 8pm Winthrop R&B Festival: Too Slim & the Taildraggers Yuppie Tavern: Mac ‘Daddy band
July 21 -Saturday Capital Lake Fair-Bruce Titus Stage, Olympia: Fabulous Roof Shakers Edison, Edison, WA: Mia Vermillion Band, 8:30pm Highway 99: John Nemeth H20, Anacortes: Nick Vigarino Jazz Alley: James Cotton “Superharp” band Rockin’ M BBQ, Everett: Stacy Jones band Sound Harley Davison Navy Bike Show, Marysville: Stacy Jones band, 12pm 212 On Central, Kirkland, Mark Bushbeck & Bill Chism, 8pm Bite of Seattle: Stickshift Annie w/Kimball & the Fugitives, 6:45pm
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July 25 - Wednesday Central Club, Kirkland, Miles From Chicago Highway 99: Rockabilly Night New Orleans: Legacy Quartet w/Clarence Acox, 8pm Pike Place Bar & Grill at the Market: Stickshift Annie w/Kimball & the Fugitives, 6pm July 26 - Thursday Bad Albert’s: Bill Chism w/Annie Eastwood, Larry Hill, Tom Brighton, 6pm Highway 99: Monster Road Salmon Bay Eagles: A.E.K. Safar Blues Style July 29 - Sunday Bellevue 6th Ave St. Fair, Brian Butler solo, 4pm July 30 - Monday 88 Keys: Blues to Do TV New Orleans: New Orleans Quintet July 31- Tuesday New Orleans: Holotradband, 7pm Red Wind Casino, Yelm: Alice Stuart & the Formerlys, 6pm July 27 - Friday Highway 99: Ruby Dee & the Snakehandlers Jazz In the Valley, Ellensburg: Three Guitars Ohm Gardens Fundraising Benefit, Wenatchee: Too Slim & the Taildraggers Renton River Days: Fabulous Roof Shakers, 5:30pm Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park: Alice Stuart & the Formerlys, 7pm Yuppie Tavern: Red House August 1 - Wednesday New Orleans: Legacy Quartet w/Clarence Acox, 8pm Triple Door: Maceo Parker August 2 - Thursday New Orleans: Ham Carson Quintet Salmon Bay Eagles: Bare Roots Triple Door: Maceo Parker August 3 - Friday July 28 - Saturday Bellevue 6th St. Fair: Stickshift Annie w/ Kimball & the Fugitives, 2:30pm Highway 99: Bump Kitchen Jazz In the Valley, Ellensburg: Brian Butler & Paul Green Rock Cut Blues Festival, Kettle Falls WA: Stacy Jones band, 3:30pm Scotch & Vine, Des Moines: Brian Lee Trio, 8pm Slider’s Café, Carnation: Eric & Alika Madis Sun and Surf Motorcycle Rally, Ocean Shores: Too Slim & the Taildraggers August 4 - Saturday Rockfish Grill: Ron Hendee
The Mississippi Blues Trail Marker: The Blues Foundation
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July 23 - Monday New Orleans: New Orleans Quintet July 24 - Tuesday Crossroads Bellevue Farmer’s Market: Eric Madis New Orleans: Holotradband, 7pm
July 22 - Sunday Bite of Seattle, Seattle Center: Teri Anne Wilson, Lisa Mann, Alice Stuart & Vicki Stevens- Mural Stage, 4pm, Roadhouse Stage: Mia Vermillion Band, 5:30pm Jazz Alley: James Cotton “Superharp” Band Winthrop R&B Festival: Too Slim & the Taildraggers
The 154th Mississippi Blues Trail Marker was unveiled recently honoring The Blues Foundation as the world’s premier blues organization. It is located at The Blues Foundation’s office at 421 South Main which is also the future home of the Blues Hall of Fame. Pictured from right, Paul Benjamin, past Board President; Howard Stovall, past Executive Director, Joe Whitmer, Deputy Director, Kevin Kane, Board member; Jay Sieleman, Executive Director; Bill Wax, Board President; Bobby Rush, Blues Hall of Famer; Mark Luttrell, Shelby County Mayor; Joe Savarin, Blues Foundation founder; Jim O’Neal, Blues Marker textwriter; Alex Thomas, Mississippi Blues Trail. The marker is set in a stone and mosaic piano created by Kristi Duckworth, Garden Path Studios. Photo by Donovan Allen
An Evening with:
His fingers reached for the piano, like they had been born to play the blues, and no one in the audience at Benaroya Hall that lovely, cool June evening doubted it for a moment. Playwrite, actor, novelist, voice artist, comedian, musician, recording artist, and director, Cambridge educated Hugh Laurie is best known for his portrayal of the brilliant, ornery character of House in the television show of the same name. But anyone who has seen him touch a piano or pick up a guitar knows instantly where his heart truly lies: the Blues. According to his personal website, Hugh says “I was not born in Alabama in the 1890’s. You may as well know this now. I’ve never eaten grits, cropped a share, or ridden a boxcar. No gypsy woman said anything to my mother when I was born and there’s no hellhound on my trail, as far as I can judge. Let this record show that I am a white, middle-class Englishman, openly trespassing on the music and myth of the American south.” But, Hugh has an old soul, the depth of which is captured in his love of the old southern spirituals, and in every piece of vintage blues that he puts his hand to. And even though Seattle’s own Englishmanturned-Bluesman jokingly says “you can’t play the blues with an English accent,” both he and Hugh Laurie are giving the English Invasion another shot. At Benaroya Hall this month, the stage was set with old lamps, a large careworn carpet, a stand up bass, a gorgeous set of vintage drums and of course, the piano, complete with both
By Jesse Phillips Photos by Sarah Alston
(drums), Kevin Breit (guitars), Vincent Henry (horns), David Piltch (bass), and Patrick Warren (keyboard/accordion), are each on their own accomplished musicians. Every member of the band played multiple instruments, including Hugh himself. Together the music, the atmosphere, the Blues were nearly flawless. The drummer, Jay Bellerose, came very close to stealing the show; while each band member was dressed in his best 1940’s styled suit to suit the mood, Jay came onto the stage with more than just talent and style. He came with attitude. The only way to describe it is this: he danced. Beating those skins to within an inch of their lives every part of him danced as much as it could on his stool. Jay more than played the Blues, it wept from his very being. He was immersed in it. Midway through the performance, the band took a break while Hugh Laurie explained that when he met them, he assumed that all musicians were recovering alcoholics, but that the gentlemen of The Copper Bottom Band were not specifically recovering. So each night they take a moment, raise a glass and drink to the Queen’s health. With songs like Joe Bonamassa’s version of “Jonah and the Whale” and the classic “Summertime,” and even a rendition of “Don’t Deny” with two guitars and the stand up bass, The Copper Bottom Band wound the evening out with two encores; they didn’t want to leave. The Copper Bottom Band, with Hugh Laurie just released their first CD, “Let Them Talk” and if their trip to Benaroya Hall is any indication, it won’t be their last.
a tiny American and a tiny English flag sitting in a whiskey glass on top. The band took the stage to thunderous applause and the roof was raised house party style as Hugh’s lanky frame wandered on behind them. Never has there been such an an assuming artist, a man who acts not merely honored, but grateful to allowed to play the blues with talented musicians, though he could stand next to any of them talent-wise, and stand with pride. “An Evening with Hugh Laurie”, he explained from the stage, “typically consists of a glass of whiskey and an old episode of Law and Order - you know, one of the ones that you’ve seen ten times but still can’t remember whodunit.” But this was so much more. His self-depricating sense of humor set the stage for the evening, when Hugh introduced the Copper Bottom Band and said “Please..listen to them. Watch me, of course, but listen to them.” He then started up the music with his rendition of “Mellow Down Easy,” written by Little Walter. Then Hugh wandered to the piano and eased into “St. James Infirmary,” but only after explaining the history of the song. (According to Hugh, “St. James Infirmary” was taken from an old English folk song about a man who liked to sleep around who eventually ended up in the Infirmary with a sexually transmitted disease.) This is a passion of Hugh Laurie’s: to know more than just the notes. He wants to know who wrote them and why; what inspired the writers and musicians to create such music. The Copper Bottom Band, featuring Jay Bellerose
Non-Profit U.S. Postage Paid Seattle, WA Permit No. 5617
P.O. Box 70604 Seattle, W 98127 A Change Service Requested
The WBS is a proud recipient of a 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive A ward
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