"KEEPING THE BLUES ALIVE...                                           

             ...TILL THE LAST NOTE"           
   .                                                                                                                                                                                           ..                                                                                                                                                                                            .                                              ".                                                                                                                          .



Twin City Blues Review
Interviews....Reviews....CD reviews....Photography (Below)
Covering Blues concerts and festivals


Just a note…….Hangin’ around Fargo for the Blues Fest.....

....I was thrilled to interview a great guitarist “Tommy Castro”. 

   Yes, he truly is smiling all the time because he said he “loves playing, and I want to play well.”   On Saturday night, Tommy Castro & the Painkillers had a stage presence that included his hypnotic screaming voice and stellar fretwork.  Castro’s pals include the equally impressive group of the solid rhythms of Randy McDonald on bass, Bowen Brown on drums, and Mike Emerson on keys.

   It was refreshing to interview Tommy about how he stays in top-shape for his shows and about his new CD set to release in the fall of 2015.  First, Tommy has been working on a new CD, so I was excited to hear about it.  The CD Tommy reported that it “is a bit more like what I used to do, but it is rawer. It’s less produced. It’s like a band playing in a sound room.  The new CD came out as a big production after all with some special guests.  We were trying to get some songs to sound particularly more like modern blues acts; like different kinds of post-production things going on.  Things that they do with the bass and the low end like a couple of songs were going that direction and I like that stuff.  I want to do something with that kind of vibe, so that is what we were shooting for. Ultimately, it is going to sound like me, it’s just a bunch of songs.  And the record is that I have one guitar sound on every song, no pedals, hardly any overdubs.  I have to sing everything.  Except for one slow blues I sang live with the band, just kept that vocal. I am trying something different with every CD. That is what I do….. I get bored if my CDs sound the same. The guys at the Redlands Studios in Redlands, California like it a lot.  We are going to keep this one very simple, stay ahead, me and my guitar sound, one guitar sound on almost everything, same band, 4 guys, I didn’t like to have too many special guests.”


   Secondly, I focused on Tommy’s fitness level and how it helps him play a lot of shows.  He said he does mountain biking and is on a water sport board with an oar where his upper body is used to move across the water in the bay.  He likes to be outdoors. 

He did try the indoor gym, but that is hard to do because he is on the road a lot so he sticks to outdoor sports and works out a lot in the Bay Area.  Also, his voice is a vital part of his success.   When singing how does he keep his voice from injury?  He replied, “I know what I need to do to avoid straining my voice-box. I have been doing this for years and I know what I need to do, and I do drink a lot of water and that helps.”  Also, eating healthy is a vital way to stay in shape.  Tommy eats healthy food a lot and possibly strays a tad, but not too often.  “There is good food out there to eat and I follow that plan usually.” In conclusion, all the “above and beyond tips” to stay in shape for health and wellness and for his shows were amazing. 

    Randy McDonald came into the motor home and said that Tommy had to go.  Someone has to pay attention to the schedule and that day it was bassist Randy.     

So that sums up the interview in about seven minutes….That’s it blue’s folks! Tommy was really cool to me, and really respectful.

Just one more note……Cya!  Peace!

Linda Christen aka Bootsy.

Twin City Blues


Photos By Lon Mickelson

A little blues in Fargo...2014

Friday August 15th was a gorgeous summer day, so off to the 19th Annual Fargo Blues Festival! Weather, music, food, and a “Backstage ticket” what’s not to like? Arrived at Newman Outdoor Field with the second band (Soulmates) playing of six bands for Friday’s event and another six bands for Saturday. I got all the details in place with backstage entry and setup my chair and the excitement began.

First hand, I had the privilege to watch the bands switch between sets. The band members arrived at the backstage gate and prepared for their gig on stage. The band instruments were hauled to the stage with a Fargo limousine (a hay wagon and an old Chevy suburban). The stage production, played a very important part of the concert. They supported and watched the musicians and caught every urgent queue so the bands’ performances were perfect for their blues friends, like me……Hell ya! Microphones were adjusted, electrical cords switched out, and, even a shot of tequila for a thirsty drummer. The assortment of guitars and colors ranged from Fender Strat’s, Les Paul’s, Gibson’s, and even a USA red, white and blue guitar owned by Nick from Trampled Under Foot. The drummers usually brought their own sticks, symbols, and maybe a snare, and played on the production’s house drum set; they just don’t seem to mind that setup at all. The drummers have a unique style when they hold their sticks. It was fun to hear how every drummer ended the songs. Several band members played without a problem, but the Soulmate’s keyboard was out of tune and another band member from “The Laurie Morvan Band”tuned it to the best of his knowledge.

James Armstrong had broken his foot while touring in Spain so he was hopping around in a cast and had to sit when he played. Armstrong played strong. The band members played for the first time with James Armstrong as they were available and ready to go. A good musician can adjust and groove with the best! He is good and he is growing and getting more successful.

Heading the Fest Friday night was Elvin Bishop. I planned to have a sit-down interview with Elvin Bishop but I needed an appointment; I was OK with that. I had a few different questions to ask and will hold them for a different interview in the near future. The festival wrapped up Saturday night with Coco Montoya with his beautiful guitar tone and sound as he strummed and picked his way through other quality originals. Montoya was a hit with the growing blues-rock audience. He also played the Wawa pedal respectively. Sometimes it can be overused and fall into the wrong people. He didn’t play it for every song, he played it sparingly and respectively. I had goose bumps listening.

My respect for blues artists runs deep because of how driven they are. A great two days of music. What a cool, well run event, and a heartfelt “Thank You” to Lon Mickelson at the Fest for his help and hospitality. This fest is a must for guitar lovers everywhere. The guitar players had exciting riffs. Let me tell you it was an honor to be a backstage ticket holder. It was show time like I had never seen before. The best is yet to come!

Linda Christen

Twin City Blues

Photos By Gary Eckhart

For the fifth time since 1985....

the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest “took it to the streets”.

                  July 4th 2014 

When I was there in 2008, the fest was moved adjacent to the Radisson, in downtown Davenport. Apparently, I was one of the few that “liked” the move. There was something for everyone, that year. You could watch the main stage from your chair on the concrete/asphalt street, or lean up against a building for shade. There was a place to hang out on the grass, sit by a fountain, or enjoy the air-conditioned Adler Theater.

In 2014, as in 2013, the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest was forced to move to Second Street, in front of the Figge art gallery. Except for the nostalgia of the Le Claire park setting, I thought the Mississippi Valley Blues Society did a fabulous job, in a short amount of time.

Initially, the blues society wanted to move the festival to Centennial Park, to preserve the “riverfront feel”. When it became apparent that Mother Nature was not going to cooperate, they enlisted plan “C”, and re-located it to the 2013, Second Street site. Being the woosie that I am, I appreciated the option of “indoor plumbing” at the River Music Experience (RME). This building also held the Blues for Kids workshops , downstairs, in the pizza restaurant (formerly coffee/sandwich shop). The lectures and photo exhibit were held upstairs.

The second stage was held in a courtyard adjacent to the RME building, conveniently located just outside the patio of the Woodfire restaurant. Sippi’s restaurant was just outside the gate of the main stage. This gave blues fans food/beverage options, near the music, in addition to the fest vendors. The parking ramp was also adjacent to the festival site.

I know some of the regulars missed being next to the Mississippi River, but when you consider that the Mississippi had migrated just shy of Second Street, technically, the fest was “next to the river”. The River Drive side of the Figge was underwater. There was even a duck mom and her family camped out in a planter next to the Figge.

In Minnesota, the Taste of Minnesota was re-located to Waconia, due to Harriet Island being underwater, but this was nothing compared to Davenport. Walking out to the end of the “bridge to nowhere”, the only indication of where Le Claire Park used to be was the street lamps poking out of the river, and the band shell. One lone car was left to drown in the casino parking lot.

Davenport’s Red, White, and Boom fireworks were canceled, due to the launch site being affected by the flood. This perk of watching the fireworks from Le Claire Park was thus nullified. (You could, however, see other communities’ fireworks from the top of the parking ramp. You did not hear this from me. Kudos to the Davenport Police Department. They are friendly, polite, good-natured ambassadors for the city.)

As usual, the dedicated volunteers of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society did a fabulous job with their festival. They have never canceled the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest in the history of the event. This proves how deserving they are of the KBA award they received.

I realize I am the only one that did not miss huddling under the “one” tree in Le Claire Park, when the temperature and humidity skyrocket. Having said that, this is a great festival, no matter where it is located. Don’t miss it next year. Also, check out the Figge, a great art gallery.

Roz Goldberg

Blues Ambassador

Twin City Blues Review

Minnesota Blues Society

Joe Moss @ Northwoods Blues Festival – 21 Jun 2014

Joe Moss, one of the hardest working blue’s musicians in Chicago, spoke with me prior to his performance on June 21 at the Northwood’s Blues Fest in Spooner, WI.  We briefly discussed his current album titled Manifesto.  When asked about the title Joe described its meaning as a mission statement—a statement of intentions, beliefs, and what is important.

He’s excited to play at the Northwood’s Blues Fest and got the call from the promoter, Jim Downey, after he saw him perform last year at the Prairie Blues Fest in Prairie Du Chien after Watermelon Slim cancelled. 

The Joe Moss’ band currently includes Mike Zabirn, guitar; Dana Thompson, drums, both out of Chicago and Greg Seffner, keyboard from MA. 

Joe was given his passport into the blues world at the age of 15  by Buddy Scott, who noticed Moss at a jam session at Rosa's Blues Lounge on Chicago's west side. Soon, Moss was playing seven nights a week as a member of Buddy's Rib Tip band and he’s been jamming ever since.

Joe’s blues inspirations include Otis Huffington, Albert King, Freddie King, BB King, Al Green & Marvin Gaye to name a few. 

Joe wants his fans to know that he really appreciates them coming out to see live music and listening to his music. When you put energy into the music that energy builds on itself and makes the musical experience come alive!  He loves to play for the higher audience experience.

Support his new album, “Manifesto” and go see him perform live and get energized!

Jan Morrissey-Twin City Blues

Photos by Debbie Murphy-Twin City Blues


Sena Ehrhardt @ Northwoods Blues Festival – 21 Jun 2014

I caught Sena’s performance at the Northwood’s Blues Fest, June 21 and got to spend a few minutes with her after she “rocked” the house with her sultry and gritty vocals. 

Her new album out 9/2/14 “Live My Life” is produced by David Z of Prince fame.  Sena was very complimentary about David Z’s process of recording & producing.  He’s very cool and subtly supported the band resulting in great performances.   The current band includes: Cole Allen, guitar; Paul Peterson, drums; and Rick Russell, bass.  The new album has several special guests:  Bruce McCabe, keyboards/organ who also wrote one of the songs performed; “The Family” Michael Bland on drums, Smokin Joe Kubek, guitar; and Jimmi “PrimeTime” Smith, guitar. 

The album was recorded 4/26/14 – 5/3/14.  Sena describes her current label Blind Pig Records as VERY supportive.  Under the label she is enjoying lots of creative, artistic freedom ranging from song selection and writing to choosing the album photo and art/graphics. 

Sena’s first album with Blind Pig Records was named by  Blues Blast Magazine as “Best New Artist Debut Release” this and several other nominations really opened doors for her career and paved the way for her second album with Blind Pig Records and producer Jim Gaines, “All In” which was voted Living Blues Magazine’s top Blues Albums of 2013.

Sena wants to thank all her fans for their support and the support of live music.  We are honored to perform at these amazing music festivals put together by the promoters and we are lucky to be able to go from city to city doing what we love—Playing Music for You!

Jan Morrissey-Twin City Blues

Photos by Debbie Murphy-Twin City Blues



Howard Luedtke @ Northwoods Blues Festival – 21 Jun 2014

Howard “Guitar” Luedtke and Blue Max, led by the impressive slide guitarist, Howard Luedtke with Deb Klossner (Howard’s wife) on bass and  Mike "Hammer" Johnson on drums has opened the Northwoods Blues Festival since its’ inception 3 years ago. I was unexpectedly assigned the task of interviewing Howard, whose open, friendly and informal manner quickly put my apprehension about this last minute assignment to rest.  When asked his thoughts about the festival, Howard expressed his pleasure with playing at a venue close to his home and that he planned to open for the 2015 Northwoods Blues Festival. He described the festival’s band accommodations as the “best” he’d ever experienced.

Howard was raised by his maternal Grandmother, who consistently provided him with love, nurturing and encouragement. He said he has the unusual ability to recall events from early childhood and went on to describe an incident that occurred when he was just 2 years of age. He said his interest in guitar began while listening to his cousin, who was a year older. Howard’s Grandmother gave him his first guitar on his 11th birthday and from that point on his desire to master the instrument resulted in long hours of practice which he says interfered with school work. Influences include the legendary Travis Wammack, whom he continues to admire for reasons he described in what could very well be an endless list. He shared his excitement when meeting Travis Wammack for the first time last year, when Travis and his wife displayed such warmth and hospitality that Howard and Deb felt as if they’d been “taken into his family”. Howard said he’d been playing in various bands since age 18, his most recent of course being Blue Max, which was formed in 1982. Howard shared that one of his life goals was to open for Johnny Winter, which he has done twice now, both times occurring in Wisconsin during the late 90’s.

Howard and I touched on several other topics during the interview but unfortunately, I am unable to find my notes from that interview! I can only hope that the opportunity will present itself another time, when I am armed with notebook and a recording device…

Val Monson-Twin City Blues

Photos by Debbie Murphy-Twin City Blues


Mojo Lemon Blues Band- Northwoods Blue Festival 2014

Mojo Lemon Blues Band

     Mojo Lemon performed at Northwoods Blues Festival on 21 June 2014. This is Mojo Lemons second year at the festival. They were the first performers out of 4 acts to follow.

     Mojo Lemon is a tight band has been playing together for 14 years. Mojo Lemon, a local Eau Claire Wisconsin band ready to expand their territory.

     Mojo Lemon consider  themselves a hobby band.  The thankful, cheering crowd would agree they are more than a hobby band. Josh states "They play and listen to one another on stage and the sound is always a little different, looking for that edge". Like true artists they never play the same song the same way...they have to feel it!! Famous for the "Melodic Blues" a  sound with a little slice of heaven topped with spicy BBQ sauce, takes one to a higher level of music appreciation. They are passionate about the music.

     Mojo is currently doing mostly cover songs with an artistic change. Putting the Mojo Lemon touch on the songs keeps the music fresh and it is never a job.  Josh states "If I couldn't play I would just go nuts".

     Mojo Lemon have a large number of their own songs in their back pocket and are ready to work more on their expanding catalog. We look forward to much more of their blues in the future.

  Twin City Blues is working on bringing Mojo Lemon to clubs in the Twin Cities Metro area soon.


 Debbie Murphy-Twin City Blues

Photos by Debbie Murphy-Twin City Blues

Rusty Wright Band - Fargo Bluesfest

Saturday August 17th 2013 - 3pm stage time til about 4:10pm
While sitting outside the Fargo Bluesfest doing a little bbqing and listening to the Brandon Sprague Blues Band booming over the festival airwaves I happened to look at a passing van pulling a trailer behind it and thought to myself Well here comes another performer. Sure enough Mr. Rusty Wright was behind the wheel and I watched as he then turned into the backstage entrance to go unload his gear. This was my queue to head inside shortly and see if I could catch Rusty for a few quick words and a photo or two while he was getting his ready for their set.
Heading backstage I found one of my fellow blues associates Mr. Spike Stephen already one step ahead of me conversing nonstop with Rusty next to his trailer of all their gear. At this point I got my camera out knowing Spike would step up and want a photo and of course that set the stage for a photo opportunity of myself and Rusty as well. I shook his hand and introduced myself and told him I along with many others were patiently awaiting to see him and his band perform. I had never seen Rusty before as prior to his scheduled performance at the Smokin' in Steele bbq and blues festival earlier this year Rusty was involved in an automobile accident that for the first time in his touring career caused him to cancel a couple performances while he recovered from his injuries. Rusty stated that things could have been a lot worse and that he was only bruised in the crash and that left him unable to drive a car without being in pain so they decided to cancel a
couple shows while he recovered. After some more conversation and a couple more photos I thanked Rusty for his time at which point he told me to enjoy the show as he was going to kick it up a notch or two.

Back out front a small crowd had already formed in front of the stage in anticipation of the band taking the stage. The Rusty Wright Band taking the stage in Fargo consisted of Rusty Wright playing lead on a Gibson Les Paul Pro Custom, Laurie Wright playing rhythm guitar on a Fender Telecaster, Dennis Bellinger on a Fender Jazz Bass guitar (of Grand Funk Railroad fame), David Brahce on keyboards/backup guitar playing a Hammond P3/Gibson and lastly on drums Peter Haist. With the very first song the crowd was entranced and Rusty did in fact kick it up a notch. The small crowd up front grew larger in size with every passing song. The sound of the band is very unique in that it has a bluesy feel to it hopped up with some southern rock infusion. The entire band originates from various parts of Michigan but together they are definitely solid in their performance while on stage. From the up tempo styling's of Whole Lotta Rosie to Laurie's defining vocals on Manon Fire they never missed a beat. Rusty's take on a  diabolical contraption leads to a unique song about the Alarm Clock Blues.
After their set was over I swung by the merchandise tent to pick up a couple
autographed cd's and again thank Rusty & Laurie for the awesome show and wished them well with the rest of their tour. I look forward to seeing the entire band tearing up the stage and entertaining the crowds again at another venue in the near future. If you have not had the chance to see the Rusty Wright band its time you do.

Partial Set list: Man On Fire, Alarm Clock Blues, Summertime, Last Days of Whitey Malone, Pretty Little Lies, Whole Lotta Rosie and ending out the show was Foot Stompin Music.

ThunderBay Blues Festival 2012 Review (word)
ThunderBay Blues Festival 2012 Review (PDF)
Interview with Liz Mandeville @ Mississippi  Valley Blues Fest 2012 (Word)
Interview with Liz Mandeville @ Mississippi  Valley Blues Fest 2012 (PDF)


2nd Annual RiverBend Blues Festival Review (Word)

Mississippi Valley  Blues Festival 2012 Review 3 days  (Word)
Mississippi Valley  Blues Festival 2012 Review 3 days (PDF)


"Friends of New Orleans" All-Star Jam-Balaya

 at First Avenue in Minneapolis September 1st, 2008

for the republican convention


Thunder Bay Blues Festival  3-5 July 2009

As seen and heard by Kay Rooney: Twin City Blues


   Thunder Bay; What a Festival. 8th Annual. Held on the shores of Lake Superior giving us a gentle breeze to cool off those hot and steamy blues. One of the cleanest, friendliest, and best planned events of the year. Organizers: Bob Halvorsen and Trevor Hurtig both deserve a shout out for the diversity of talent booked. Highlighting Canadian and local talents to play along side some of the best known blues artists like Los Lonely Boys, Robert Cray, and Ronnie Baker Brooks.

   We missed Friday's opener due to the incredible beauty of the North Shore which beckoned like a siren demanded you stop and drink in the beauty of that majestic body of water. Which meant we also missed Nashina proposing to her long time boyfriend on stage. Yes, he accepted. Nashina & the Hackers, The Chain, and Southern Comfort were chosen by popular vote from last March's Blues Showcase to be openers for the festival and get the music rolling.

   After Friday's opener, Rita Chiarelli took the stage. She's been called the "Goddess of Canadian Blues and is an accomplished singer/songwriter and a skilled musician with an arm full of awards to her credit. Whether she was growling or belting out the blues, she rocked us with her three octave raspy voice and in between entertained us with her stories. She knows how to wail and brought the crowd to their feet screaming for more.

   Another highly awarded Canadian from Halifax, Carson Downey brought a different style of powerhouse blues coming on loud and strong. Trading licks with his drummer and playing that fender in new found places such as his shoulder, belly, and...between his legs, finally ending playing with his feet.

   Ending Friday's music was none other than the "Crown Prince of Chicago Blues", Ronnie Baker Brooks. What a master, he came out swinging, interacting with the crowd and in no time everyone was shouting "the blues is all right!". Proving why he has such a devoted fan base with his outstanding vocals and sound qualities, clear and solid. Leaping off the stage and playing nose to nose with a delighted crowd he demonstrated why he is a phenomenal guitarist and singer/songwriter.

   Saturday was a gorgeous day and opening the show was Thunder Bay's own Chrissy Klauss of The Chain. With her strong vocals, she can sing your socks off. No wonder she's a favorite. They featured several songs off their new CD with Robbie Jordine on lead guitar and Chrissy belting them out.

   The only performer to have the  honor of returning to the festival every year is Big Walter Smith. He came out jazzed looking spiffy in a white suit, red hat and shoes and sporting a Canadian tie honoring his hosts and Canada Day. He mesmerized us all not only with some great blues standards and a groovin' horn section, but with his infectious smile and warm personality stating his love for Thunder Bay's people, great location, and fun festival. The show stopper was when they brought out a huge portrait cake and Chrissy returned to the stage to sing Happy 79th Birthday to Big Walter. After that the blues ruled. 

One of the hottest stars of the West Coast blues scene is Shane Dwight who brought his rockin' blues to town. Plays killer guitar, clean all the way through and with great control. He know how to honky tonk and boogie then bring it way down with the sexy slow blues. He's been compared to a young Tommy Castro so keep your eye on this guy as he collects new fans wherever he goes. Me included.

   What do you get when you combine some of the smoothest vocals, stellar harp playing and outstanding song writing? John Nemeth, of course, That voice has so much emotion on everything from retro-modern blues to rockabilly tunes. Add in some of the best harp blowing and you have a crowd pleasing show stopping performer who has been running away with all kinds of awards. Very charismatic and every song is a keeper.

   If you're liking your blues hot and steamy, you need Becky Barksdale to rock your world. She can belt out those blues barefoot while playing with such intensity going from soft crying bends to raunchy riffs that she's been compared to a female SRV. You've never heard I Just Want to Make Love to You until you've heard Becky's sensual version. Sounding slow, hard and sexy all at once, she puts her all into everything she does. Don't miss her if you get a chance to see her. She's unforgettable.

   Roy Rogers simply amazed the crowd with his slide guitar work. Known as one the leading slide guitarists in the world he plays these unique modified guitars that spit out all that incredible sound. He didn't waste any time getting his blues on with some great standards like Robert Johnson's Terrapin Blues and a Big Joe Williams song where we watched his fingers fly on that double neck guitar. On a lot of the songs it was just him playing, sounding rich and full. Great enthusiasm, in fact, he was so good, the crowd wouldn't let him stop...first encore of the festival!

   Davy Knowles followed with his brand of blues rock. Young, humble, and full of energy. Writes most of his music but played some bluesy rock standards from CCR and CSNY. He might be young but he's honed his craft; wicked playing and a voice suited to the blues. Loved his comment to the crowd about never having seen so many lawn chairs in his life. Bet it wont be the last time either.

   The headliner of the festival closed Saturday's show. Los Lonely Boys opened with some blistering guitar and sweet harmonizing vocals that only brothers can do. Playing tunes off Cottonfields and Crossroads, Sacred, and off their self titled CD they pulled out all the stops and gave an incredible show of Texican style blues. In step, forwards, backwards, running at each other. Even Jojo playing that bass on his back, then tossed it to a very surprised someone on the side of the stage. Both Henry and Jojo held their guitars high playing one handed then threw them into the air catching a new chord repeatedly all without missing a beat. Another time both brothers were playing on Henry's Fender. Four hands, one guitar = Dynamite. They ended with Heaven as their encore and every time you thought it was over, they'd break into another shuffle, stretching it out till the crowd was as exhausted as they were. Fantastic show.

   Sunday's opening act was another local favorite Southern Comfort fronted by Dave Johnson. Starting out with some slow blues then picking it up and rocking out. Followed by a little boogie and even a little gospel, it was Sunday morning after all. Good song list as we knew them all, each one a classic.

   At this point Davina and the Vagabonds were supposed to appear, but being held up at the border, The Chain came to the rescue and Chrissy Klauss delighted us once more with her outstanding vocals. Peter, usually on lead guitar, added some nice harp on When Lovin' Ain't Easy, then on to an outstanding emotional I'd Rather Go Blind, next a few of their own compositions and ending with Sunshine Girl.

   Since 2004, Cuba´s most sought after electric guitarist has been leading his own project: the Elmer Ferrer Band, known for their intense, energetic fusion of jazz, blues and rock, Cuban style and now Elmer has made Canada his home. The music was chimey, melodic, sounding like a soft summer breeze which fit the day perfectly. Great control on that guitar and a tight band backing him. From dreamy to funky to Hendrix, wow! Highlighting some tunes off his new CD, No Guitars Allowed, he amazed us with solid playing that was growly and very dimensional. A definite winner.

   Ricky Pacquette might be 18, but sings and plays way beyond his years and he proved it playing on a mess of guitars. Everything starting from a strat to vintage Gibson to a Flying Vee. He treated us to a lot of rock, which nobody minded, I think everybody knew a new guitar hero had arrived.

   Carlos Del Junco, another Cuban who's settled in Canada, has chosen the harmonica as his forte. He opened with a classic blues tune than went non-stop into a jazzy funky jam. He can make that harp sound like birds chirping and sound like a whole band playing when it's just him. Incredible sounds covering ska, polka, Italian wedding and of course the blues. Wrapping it up with a tune about Robert Johnson's untimely death he showed us how you get 12 notes out of a 10 note harmonica. 

   Finally, Davina and the Vagabonds arrived. Sporting her sassy "Nawlin's" style and unique voice it didn't take long to woo the crowd with her singing and piano playing to prove she was worth waiting for. She rolled those expressive eyes and melted hearts, how can anyone resist her? One of the highlights was with her campy and creative voice she matched licks with her horn section on Sneaky Dirty Devil. She not only ended her set with St. James Infirmary but ended with a whole new fan base.

   A nice follow up after Davina was Kenny Neal with his Louisiana background. He came out playing swamp blues on that well used Fender. Multi talented he switches it up to lap steel and throws in a good amount of harp. He can play them blues, slow, sexy, and sweet. Doing some Guitar Slim, Jimmy Reed, and finishing up with his own Let Life Flow which was named song of the year from the CD of the same name which was also named album of the year by Blueswax. I'm hooked, line and sinker. Give me more Kenny.

   Blues of another sort poured from the stage as Philip Sayce shared his style of high energy rock influenced blues. Blistering sweat soaked rifts, playing from one side of the stage to the other, sometimes using the speakers, his mouth, or playing sideways to coax more sound out of that well beat up strat. He's learned well from all he's played with (Jeff Healey, Milissa Etheridge, etc) picking up his own style of soaring notes. Jumping out into the crowd giving everyone a close up of what he does best. Back up on stage harmonizing nicely with his two band mates, Philip finished up with that guitar reaching notes like it's never been heard before.

   Robert Cray was the closing act and he didn't waste any time getting it going. Rich sound and great vocals. He entertained us with an assortment of his hits off Strong Persuader like Smoking Gun and Because Of Me, on to Poor Johnny and some off his new CD. Plucking it up with I Do All The Cooking, (no more chicken in his kitchen) and getting it down and funky. Everything he does is smooth, making it sound so easy. When he came back out for an encore, he didn't disappoint. No less than four songs before the crowd finally let him wrap up the 2009 festival.


I know that the powers that be are already working on next years line up, but believe me, it's going to hard to beat this years festival!

Photos from trip to Clarksdale and Memphis May13

NorthWoods Blues Festival 2013

Smoking In Steele Blues Fest 2013

Ana Popovic @ Famous Daves April 2013

Bluedog @ Battle of Blues Bands Famous Daves April 2013

Big Walter Smith Urn Pictures

Honey Island Swamp Band Famous Daves Apr 2013

Lamont Cranston @ Blues Saloon Apr 2013

Papa John Kolstad/ Rena Haus Mar 2013

Mn Blues Road To Memphis 2013

Trampled Under Foot Apr 2013

Ana Popovic @ Famous Daves Sep 2012

Billy Boy Arnold @ Famous Dave Sep 2012

Gene Lafonde @ Hudson Wi Marina

Rock Bend Folk Fest 2012 in St Peter MN with Debbie Davies

Crankshaft @ 331 Club NE Mpls Sep 2012

Crankshaft in Chicago 30 Sep 2012

New Orleans and Voice Of Wetlands Fest 2012

Clarksdale and King Biscuit Fest 2012

Cranston/ Solberg in Wilson Wi Sep 2012

PaPa Chubby @ Famous Daves Sep 2012

Phil Kitz w/ Bruce McCabe @ Blues Saloon 24 Aug 2012

Last Ride Blues Festival 25 AUG 2012

Last Ride After Party @ Bobby Houles Barn Jook Joint

Bob Talarico Reunion 2012 @ Valley Lounge

Guitar Shorty @ Famous Daves 17 Aug 2012

Big Bull Blues Fest 2012

Bayfront Blues Fest 2012 10-12 Aug

Fargo Blues Fest 2012 Thru Ricks Eyes

Fargo Blues Festival 2012

No Boundaries Blues Festival 2012 in Proctor, Mn and After

Minnesota Blues Society 2012 Annual Picnic

Lisa Wenger w/ Bruce McCabe @ Shaws Bar and Grill  July 2012

Dee Miller's 38th BirthDay in Shorewood July 2012

100s more to be added soon...all originals, not prints

Slim Fatz photoshoot and misc

Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry Photoshoot

Florida 2012

IBC 2012 in Memphis

2011-2012 NewYears @ Ramada with Rev Raven and CSAB// Lamont Cranston

Eddie Shaw and The Wolf Gang @ The Blues Saloon Dec 2011

Mojo Bufford...Celebration Of Life  @ The Blue Saloon Dec 2011

Gene Lafonde and Big Walter Smith @ The Blues Saloon Dec 2011

Papa Chubby @ Famous Daves Dec 2011

Mississippi Heat @ The Blues Saloon Dec 2011

Hamilton Loomis @ Famous Daves Dec 2011

King Biscuit Blues Fest Oct 2011

Bayfront Blues Festival 12-14 Aug 2011

John Mayall 11 Aug 2011 @ Wilebski's Blues Saloon

Dakota Jazz Fest  2011 // Lakefront Blues Fest 2011  on  16 July 2011

Fargo Blues Fest  29-30 Aug 2011

1st Annual Riverbend Blues Festival 2 Jul 2011

Jim Suhler and Monkeybeat @ Wilebski's 1 July 2011

Sam Lay Reflections (Audio)

Gooseberry Falls

Hambone Festival 17-18 Jun 2011

Chicago Blues Fest 2011 Before and After

Smok'n in Steele  - Owatonna Mn 4 June 2011

Charlie West Blues Festival 20-21 May 2011 /Rory Gallagher Tribute NY City

Guitar Shorty Tour/ BMA 2011/ Clarksdale Caravan

Robert Johnsons 100 years Crossroads @ Orchestra Hall

2011 IBC Memphis  Photos, Interviews- Audio and Video

Many MORE pix 2010

Liz Mandeville....Blues on Halstead  Xmas Party, Gig @Ohare, Little Ed@ Blues on Halstead and Liz Mandevilles 29th Birthday

Voice Of The Wetlands Festival 2010 @ SouthDown Plantation in Houma,
Louisiana 8-10 October 2010

King Biscuit Festival 2010 @ Helena,       Arkansas on 7-9 Oct 2010

A walk at the Minnesota Zoo 4Sept 2010

Brandon Sellner Block Party in Plymouth,MN 3 Aug 2010

BuckWheat Zydeco plays in City Park, Red Wing Mn on Saturday, 28August  2010

Scarlet Rivera plays at Music Box Theatre on  September 09, 2010

John Primer plays at Wilebski Blues Saloon Friday, September 03, 2010

Shawn Pittman plays at Wilebski Blues Saloon Friday, September 17, 2010

Nick Moss plays at Wilebski Blues Saloon Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pictures from 17Oct-7Nov2010.... Nora Jean, Eddie Kirkland and more

Kim Buell 29th Birthday Party inWBLake Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tab Benoit plays Ft Dodge Iowa Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shaws Bar and Grill  911 Festival Friday, September 10-11, 2010

Rockbend Festival in St Peter Mn Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lauri Morvan plays Wilebski's temp location Saturday, August 07, 2010

Jimmy Thackery plays last show @ Wilebski's Western and Thomas Saturday, August 14, 2010

Kim Wilson @ Wilebski's Grand Opening Friday, August 20, 2010
New Years Eve 2010-2011 @Ramada
in Bloomington... Everette Smithson//
 Reverend Raven and The Chain Smoking
Alter Boys// Lamont Cranston

13th  Annual Prairie Dog Festival 30-31 July 2010

Liz Mandeville @ House Party in Wisc w/Brothers Curtis

Joe Kubeck and Benois King @ Famous Daves 23 July 2010

Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society Potluck 18 July 2010

Sioux Falls Jazz Fest 2010 16-17 July 2010

Thunder Bay Blues Fest 2010 Day 3 ....11 July 2010

Thunder Bay Blues Fest 2010 Day 2 ....10 July 2010

Thunder Bay Blues Fest 2010 Day 1 ....9 July 2010

4th of July @ Curtis marlatt's annual party

Best Blues singer of upper midwest competition @ Taste of Minnesota

Wilebski Blues Saloon 1st Annual Freedom Fest 3July 2010

Dave Riley and Bob Corritore 2 July 2010 @ Wilebski Blues Saloon

John Lee Hooker Jr @ Wilebski Blues Saloon 23 June 2010

Ron Thompson @ Wilebski Blues Saloon 24 and 25 June 2010

Steve "Boom Boom" @ Wilebski Blues Saloon June 2010

Hambone Festival in Rochester MN June 2010

Guitar Shorty Midwest Tour June 2010

Pipeband Competition @ Farmington , Mn Fairgrounds May 2010

Miki's Heart Benefit @ Gara's Garage St Paul June 2010

Liz Mandeville@ Wilebski Blues Saloon 22 May 2010

Bluegrass Fest Mn Homegrown Kickoff June 2010

Little Ed @ Famous Daves May 2010

Motown Review @ Wilebski's 14 May 2010

Bobby Rush @ Wilebski's 15 May 2010

2010 Blues Music Awards and CatHead Mini Fest /Clarksdale Caravan

Juke Joint Fest 2010 in Clarksdale w/Honey Boy- Robin Rogers

Curtis Blake and Greazy Gravy @ Wilebski Blues Saloon

Hambone Fund raiser in Albert Lea

Kent Burnside @ Palmers 10 April 2010

Willy Murphy @ Wilebskis Blues Saloon Monday Night Blues

Nora Jean @ Wilebski Blues Saloon 2 Apr 2010

John Primer @ Wilebski Blues Saloon 10 Apr 2010

Walter Trout @ Famous Dave 9 Apr 2010

Nora Jean @ MMC 4 Apr 2010 1st set of pix

Nora Jean @ MMC 4 Apr 2010 2nd set of pix

The Rock 19 Mar 2010 Battle of the bands

Super Chikan @ Palmers(West Bank) 16 Mar 2010

John Mooney@ Wilebski Blues Saloon 12 Mar 2010

Hye Pockets Benefit @ Famous Daves 28 Feb @ 2010

Jimmy Dawkins @ Wilebski's Blues Saloon 27 Feb 2010

Central Iowa Winter Blues Fest 2010 @ Marriott DT Des Moines

IBC 2010 The Ride

Syl Johnson @Wilebski's Blues Saloon 19 Feb 2010

Fargo Winter Blues Fest 2010 @ Playmakers 13 Feb 2010

HUD @ Washington Square White bear Lake

Eddie Shaw and The Wolfgang @ Wilebski's Blues Saloon 12 Feb 2010

Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat @ Wilebski's Blues Saloon 15 Jan 2010

Going Out Of Town Fundraiser for Brandon Scott Sellner Band

Little Ed and The Imperials on 14 Nov 2009 @ Famous Daves

Mojo Buford’s Surprise 80th Birthday Party on Sunday, November 8, 2009 @ Dean’s Tavern

Shannon Curfman and Tinsley Ellis Halloween 2009 @ Famous Daves

Tour of Guitar Shorty Memphis, Clarksdale, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Minneapolis

Eclipse Bar in Raytown, MO with Trampled Under Foot and special guest Hubert (Guitar Shorty)

Jimmy Carpenter and Friends  @ Old Point Bar in Algiers, LA

Kamp Katrina

Rebirth Brass Band @ Lafayette Square on 15 Oct 2009

Upper 9th Ward PIX(Check out videos at bottom of this page)

Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Jimmy Carpenter

@ DBA ON Frenchmen St. in New Orleans Wed 14 Oct 2009

Kamp Katrina Now /Lowwer 9th WardPIX(Check out videos at bottom of this page)

West Bank Mike and Jimmy Carpenter @ Old Point Bar in Algiers, Louisiana on 13 Oct 09

Voice of the Wetlands Festival  in Houma La. @ Southdown Plantation on Sun 11 Oct 2009

Voice of the Wetlands Festival  in Houma La. @ Southdown Plantation on Sat 10 Oct 2009

 Redds/ Pre-Biscuit @ GZBC/ King Biscuit 8-9 Oct 2009/ After Hours

Hambone Jam  6 Oct  2009

Little Bobby and Cotton 6 Oct 2009

Sun night @ Club Ebony in Indianola on 4 Oct 2009

Sat night@ Ground Zero on 3 Oct 2009

Autumn and Blues Festival @ 930 Blues Club Jackson, MS 0n 2 Oct 2009

Little Bobby @ Redds and GZBC on 1 Oct 2009

Mark Massey and then LaLa's Birthday Bash @ Ground Zero Clarksdale on 30 Sep 09

Harmonica Blowout @ Whiskey Junction on 27 Sep 2009

1st Annual Cycle Path Blues Festival @ Millville, MN on 26 Sep 2009

Paulie T's 60th Birthday Bash @ MN Music Cafe on 20 Sep 2009

TreeFrog Festival 2009 @ Faribault MN. on 19 Sep 2009

Boom Boom Steve V & The Knockouts CD release @ AppleWood Burnsville 18 Sep 2009

Bryan Lee @ Shaws Bar and Grill 17 Sep 2009

Shaws  Bar and Grill 911 Festival on 11 Sep 2009

Living History Blues @ West Des Moines on 5-6 Sep 2009

Rochester Blues and BBQ @ Peace Plaza on 22 Aug 2009

After Hours @ Big Bull Falls Blues Festival Wausau Day 2 on 15 Aug 2009

Day 2 @ Big Bull Falls Blues Festival Wausau on 15 Aug 2009

Day 1 @ Big Bull Falls Blues Festival Wausau on 14 Aug 2009

BayFront Blues festival Day3... 9Aug 2009

BayFront Blues festival Day 2... 8 Aug 2009

BayFront Blues festival Day 1... 7 Aug 2009

Guitar Shorty @ BluesMore Mansion   July 2009

Guitar Shorty @ Blues On Grand  July 2009

Hamilton Loomis @ Famous Daves July 2009

Little Brian and Zydeco Travelers@ Blues on Grand //Rib America 2009 Des Moines

Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society Picnic  12 July 2009

Bicycle, Blues and BBQ @ Clear Lake, Iowa 11 July 2009

Little Bobby @ Famous Daves 9 July 2009

Thunder Bay Blues Festival @ Thunder Bay Ontario 3 and 4 July 2009

Thunder Bay Blues Festival @ Thunder Bay Ontario 5 July 2009

The Hambone Blues Festival @ Hayward Minn 26-27 June 2009

Big Walter Smith @ Central Park in Roseville, Mn June 2009

Allen Toussaint @ St Paul Jazz Fest 19 Jun 2009

Santiago Upper Mississippi Shakedown 2009

Famous Daves BBQ and Blues 13 June 2009

Gladstone Blues Fest Gladstone Mizz June 2009

Smok'n in Steele Owatonna, Mn May 2009

RockFest Maximized 50th BD Party May 2009

Damon Fowler and Brat Fest Madison May 2009

Memphis in May, Clarksdale, New Orleans May 2009

Brandon Scott Sellner @ Famous Daves spring2009

Big Daddy 4 Play @Spasso's Minnetonka, Mn 14Mar 2009

Big Daddy 4 Play @Redstone Minnetonka, Mn 12-13Mar 2009

Big Daddy 4 Play W/ Shalo Lee @ Redstone 6 Mar 2009

The SwampKings on St Patty's Day 2009

Big Daddy 4 Play @ Redstone 5 Mar 2009 

Big Daddy 4 Play @ Spassos on various nights

Davina and The Vagabonds @ Dakota Steak in Burnsville Feb 2009

Big Daddy 4 Play @ Baggans on various nights Feb 2009 

 IBC kickoff @Ground Zero Blues Club (Clarksdale)  International Blues Challenge 2009 on Beale Street

Hamilton Loomis @ Famous Daves 30 Jan 2009

Big Daddys BBQ and Blues @ Baggans Grand Opening  28 Jan 2009

Big Daddy 4 Play @ Centerfields Tuesday Blues 27 Jan 2009

Road to Memphis fund raiser @ Whiskey Junction 25 Jan 2009

1st Annual St Paul Winter Carnival @ Roy Wilkens 23 Jan  2009

Davina and The Vagabonds road to Memphis @ Jitters 18 Jan 2009

Big daddy 4 Play @ Spasso's Minnetonka, MN 15 Jan 2009

 Brandon Scott Sellner @ Famous Daves w/Big Daddy New Years Day 2009

Little Ed @ Famous Daves on New Years Eve 08-09 W/ special guests Big Daddy Cade

Corey Stevens and Paulie T @ Famous Daves 19 Dec 2008

Big Daddy @ Piggy's in LaCrosse Wi. 12 Dec 2008

Bev's Jook Joint Annual 2008 Christmas party 6 Dec 2008

Big Daddy @ Famous Daves Tom Petty Tribute 5 Dec 2008

Smok'n Joe & Bnois King @ Famous Daves 15 Nov 2008

Nick Moss @ Famous Daves 14 Nov 2008

Tinsley Ellis @ Famous Daves 8 Nov 2008

Chubby Carrier @ Famous Daves 25 Oct 2008

Blues Harp BlowOut @ Cabooze    21 Oct 2008 W/Kim Wilson

Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society Hall of Fame awards

Joe Moss @ Famous Daves 17 Oct 2008

Shackup Inn/ Redds/ Ground Zero Blues 7-10 Oct 2008

Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival 9 Oct 2008 ONLY

Voice of  the Wetlands Festival 10-12 Oct 2008

Tab Benoit @ Cabooze Sep 2008

The Road To Memphis 2008

Garden of the Gods @ Colorado Springs, Colorado  7 Sep 2008

Ron Thompson & His Resistors @ Belvedere Blues  2008  

Ron Thompson @ Outlook Hotel Boulder, CO 5Sept2008

Tommy Castro Band @ Murphy's Lounge Omaha, NE 4 Sep 2008

Friends of New Orleans Benefit @ 1st Ave  Minneapolis /Republican Convention Monday 1 Sep  2008

Friends of New Orleans @ 1st Ave Minneapolis / Republican Convention Sunday 31 August 2008

Hamilton Loomis @ Famous Daves 2008

Ron Thompson@Famous Daves // 7 Clans 2008

Fargo Blues Festival 2008

Bayfront Blues Festival 2008

Michael Burks @ Famous Daves 31 July 2008

E Smithson @  Bloomington Parks 31 July 2008

Big Walter smith@ Bloomington Parks 31 July 2008

Bamfest Music Festival 2008... Day 2

Bamfest Music Festival 2008... Day 1

Hambone Jam 2008

ThunderBay Blues Festival 2008

Prairie Dog Festival 2008

Rib America...Des Moines 2008

Local Blues

Performers in the blues style range from primitive, one-chord Delta players to big bands to country music to rock and roll to classical music.

Early country blues

Early Urban Blues

Pre-World War II jazz blues



Postwar jazz blues

Kansas City blues

Later styles

Chicago/Detroit Blues

Modern blues (post 1950s)

Blues in conventional pop music

Blues in country music

See also: rockabilly

Blues influence in classical music

Blues in contemporary rock and pop music

Blues from Europe

Blues from Latin America

See also

External links

















Jug band - Classic female blues - Country blues - Delta blues - Electric blues - Jump blues - Piano blues - Fife and drum blues

Jazz blues - Blues-rock - Soul blues- Punk blues

British blues - Chicago blues - Detroit blues - Kansas City blues - Louisiana blues - Memphis blues - Piedmont blues - St. Louis blues - Swamp blues - Texas blues - West Coast blues


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