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September 3, 2010 

© 2010 Blues Blast Magazine

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Hey Blues Fans,

Otis Rush - 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award!

The Blues Blast Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes significant contributions and a lifetime body of work in the field of Blues music. Past recipients include David "Honeyboy" Edwards and Koko Taylor. This is the only award that the editor gets to choose! This years award goes to Chicago Blues Legend Otis Rush. The Award will be presented at the Blues Blast Music Awards October 28.

Otis is one of the top Chicago Bluesmen of all time! If you know anything at all about bending strings, you know Otis. His singing, stirring guitar playing and original songs have influenced and inspired artists such as Albert King, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Led Zeppelin, Peter Green, Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt and Sean Costello among many others. Otis Rush evolved and the whole genera of Blues guitar evolved with him! He was a contemporary of Blues legends Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters.

Otis has not been performing since a stroke in 2004. He is coming to the awards to accept and we are excited to meet him! This week we feature a few videos we found. These are GREAT examples of his talent and a primer on his work. SCROLL DOWN!

Info on the 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards on October 28th at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago is available HERE.

2009 BBMA winner Robin Rogers hospitalized

From the Bob Corritore Blues Newsletter - "Singer / harmonica player /Blind Pig recording artist Robin Rogers has emerged over the last few years as major player in the blues world. She most recently has been doing some extensive touring with Debbie Davies, and has a forthcoming second CD due out in a couple weeks. Last week, Robin was hospitalized with serious liver problems.

Though she is now out of ICU, and has been transferred to a hospital in Charlotte, NC, she has a very tough set of circumstances as described on her Facebook fan page; "Robin Rogers has had Hepatitis Type C and this condition has attacked her liver and has caused multiple complications. Robin has had to have an emergent intubation (tube to maintain her airway) and sedated to help with her pain and discomfort of being placed on a the ventilator (breathing machine)". Prayers for our sister in the blues"

Robin won the 2009 Blues Blast Music Award for Best Female Artist. Her new CD "Back In The Fire" is scheduled to be released on September 14th, 2010.

Like many musicians and most Blues musicians in general, Robin does not have insurance to the huge costs of this tragic medical emergency. There are plans forming now to have some benefit concerts and The Robin Rogers Medical Trust Fund has been created. For more information and to donate please CLICK HERE

In This Issue

We have six new CD reviews this week! James "Skyy Dobro" Walker reviews a new CD by Walter Trout.  Steve Jones reviews a new CD by Chris Beard.  Mike Lightfoot reviews a new CD from Delmark with Jimmy Dawkins. Sheralyn Graise reviews a new CD by Little Al Thomas.  Ian McKenzie reviews a new CD by Bob Corritore.  George "Blues Fin Tuna" Fish reviews a new CD from an Indianapolis, Indiana artist Rich Hynes. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!

 Featured Blues Videos

Otis Rush Videos and Biography Information

Our 2010 Blues Blast Lifetime Achievement Award honoree is Otis Rush. Simply stated, Otis Rush is the master of Chicago Blues guitar! 

Otis has not performed since he suffered a stroke in 2004. Here are a few videos from the 1960's - 1990's as a primer to refresh your memory.

"I Can't Quit You Babe" 1966

Click images to view videos Otis Rush bios: -  HERE
All Music Guide - HERE
Gibson Guitar - HERE - HERE
Wikipedia - HERE 
Blind Pig Records - HERE

"Crosscut Saw" from 1981

w/ Luther Allison & Eric Clapton "Every Day I Have The Blues". Luther calls Otis his "Idol" 1986

"Double Trouble" 1986 w/ Eric Clapton. Stevie Ray named his band after this Otis Rush song.

"Natural Ball" 1980s

w/ Buddy Guy and Scott Holt on guitars and Willie Hayes on drums 1993

 "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)" 1997 w/ Billy Flynn on guitar and Bob Stroger on bass

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 6

Walter Trout - Common Ground

Provogue Records

12 tracks; 63:04 minutes; Suggested

Style: Blues-Rock

Walter Trout is a monster! People have known that for years, but on the chance a reader is unfamiliar with Trout, let me repeat, he’s a monster. Walter Trout will also raise the disdain of Blues purists quicker than another spam e-mail about properly fitting bra’s. Those who hated Jimi Hendrix for being too loud may not like Trout any better. With sarcastic irony, Trout has sold T-Shirts at concerts that say on the back “Walter Trout: Too Many Notes -- Too loud”.

Playing with just his hands and no foot pedals for special effects, here is a man whose guitar is as close to an artificial appendage as a wooden leg, He has played his same guitar every day for over thirty five years to the point where it is wired directly to his brain. Here is a man whose emotions are legendary; no one plays (or writes songs) with more heart felt and gut wrenching emotion or intensity. Here is a man whose social conscience, faith, and humanitarianism can charge some of his lyrics to way higher levels than the standard Blues conventions, “love” and “money.”

For example, check out the title track “Common Ground”, which sums up my personal feelings perfectly. “I look all around and what do I see / Pain and anger everywhere / and so much hatred, fear and misery / ...The distance that’s between us grows greater everyday / ... We need to come together, put away our earthly pride / ... If there’s a place where truth can still be found / Lord, lead us to the Common Ground....”

Trout has excelled in meeting my challenge: “Recording artists one and all, try to include at least one relevant topic song (beyond “love and money”) on each new CD.” I issued that under the influence of Australian Bluesman Sugarcane Collins who had told me, “ my opinion, we have an art form lacking edge and lacking relevance. Where are the songs that reflect other current concerns? How often do we need to hear about ‘I love my baby but my baby don’t love me?’ ... that line ... sums up the lyric content of most Blues records.”
For sure, there are some “love and money” songs on Trout’s CD, but more numbers with weight include: “Loaded Gun” sardonically singing, “...Madness and anger fill your soul / ... You find salvation / In a cocked and loaded gun....” Or, try “Excess Baggage’s” message, “When you carry excess baggage / You got to pay the toll.” Another warning is found in “Danger Zone” – “...I’m overwhelmed by the cruelty I see / Intolerance keeps marching on / Just using new technology / ...Some folks will cut you to the bone / They get poisoned by the madness / Here in the Danger Zone....”

Musically, There’s plenty of his patented rip-snorting guitar, but Trout seems tamer than he did, for example, on 2000’s “Live Trout.” The two opening tracks, “May Be a Fool” and “Open Book” begin with acoustic guitars. Trout also adds harmonica to track one. Then, reminding us he is Walter Trout, electric guitar joins the wooden box by song’s end, and we are treated to Trout’s deft string bending. Track two stays more ballad-mellow all the way through.

If you are new to Trout but wanting to go fishing, 2005’s retrospective “Deep Trout” (his greatest hits 1991-1995) would be a good place to start. Personally, I would start with “Live Trout” recorded at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival March 2000. For catching up completely and enjoying a conscience massaging moment or two, “Common Ground” is his essence.

Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at in Kankakee, IL.

To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE 

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

2007 Blewzzy Award Best CD Winner & Blues Blast Magazine Best Song Nominee Release Second CD
Steve Gerard & The National Debonaires
Words Are Like Bullets
Order at  plus CD Baby and iTunes

 Blues Society News

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You can submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or MS Word document format.

The West Virginia Blues Society - Huntington, W.V.

The 4th Annual Appalachian Blues Competition is Oct.2, 2010 at Tomahawks Smokehouse & Saloon Sponsored by the West Virginia Blues Society. Winners in Band, Solo/Duo and Youth Division will move on to the International Blues Challenge In Memphis, Tn. Feb 2011. Entry fee is: $ 50. Cash Prizes will be, 1 St. Place $ 500 Band Winner, 2 nd. Place $200 Band, Solo/Duo Winner $ 200 and $ 100 Youth Division. Rules and App. at  or call, 304-389-1439. Deadline is Sept. 15, 2010.

Alabama Blues Project - Northport, AL

On Thursday, September 16, 2010, Tuscaloosa will have a rare treat when internationally acclaimed, Grammy nominee (and Blues Blast Music Award Nominee) Ruthie Foster will perform at the Bama Theatre 600 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL in a benefit concert for the Alabama Blues Project. For sponsorship and ticket inquiries please call (205) 752-6263 or email Cara Smith at

The Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL

2010 Friends of the Blues shows - September 21, Shawn Pittman, 7 pm , Kankakee Valley Boat Club, October 12, Too Slim & Taildraggers, 7 pm , Kankakee Valley Boat Club, October 26, Perry Weber & DeVilles, 7 pm , Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club. For more info see: 



Paramount Blues Festival 

Friday - September 17
Maple Road, October Soul, Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo, The Jimmys


Saturday - September 18
Eric Noden & Joe Filisko, Leroy Airmaster w/ guests Greg Koch & Jim Liban, Robert Allen Jr & the Zootsuits with Cadillac Pete. Grana Louise, Dennis Jones, Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials, Zac Harmon

Festival Website:

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 6

Chris Beard - Who I Am & What I Do

Electro Glide Records

12 tracks

Chris Beard is a great guitar player who sings well and produced a “big” sounding CD here. Fans of Ronnie Baker Brooks will eat this CD up. The production, songs and style of this CD hearken to the sound Ronnie gives his CDs; he even wrote or helped write four of the songs. Big, driving beats with guitars layered on the bass line with familiar riffs from softer ballads through the funky, rocking stuff.

The Syl Johnson’s “Gotta Find My Baby is a wailing good time. He picks and bends some mean stuff here on his guitar. His straight up blues like this, “Tied Up, Down and Twisted”, “The Blues is My Livin’” and others are delivered with precision and soul– these are my favorite tracks.

The title track is a soft and mellow ballad. Beard offers up a few slow cuts. He pulls off the slow stuff fairly well, but sounds better on the “bigger cuts” where his guitar and vocals are predominant. The vocals are a little sing song sounding here and there on some tracks, but that is not a huge problem overall.

Beard also ventures out into funky stuff that is more “out there” (as does Ronnie Brooks) and pulls it off well, but his money stuff to me is straight blues. He’s got a great tone when he plays them and his vocals seem most comfortable when he got the blues.

This is a nice CD with a lot of new stuff and some good covers. The CD is well-produced and the sound is clean and balanced. Beard’s fans will love it and blues fans in general will appreciate his style and sound!.

Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 6

Jimmy Dawkins presents The Leric Story


Think of Chicago Blues, and it's quite obvious who springs to mind. Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, take your pick from many. However, the mainstay of any blues scene are the bars and clubs featuring the many artists who never managed to break out of their local circuit, nor have attained the recognition they deserve.

So when I received this CD, it came as quite a shock to hear some wonderful singers and some fine musicians who I'd never heard of before. Credit must be given to Jimmy Dawkins who launched Leric records with the prime intention of recording these artists enabling them to attain some airplay, the possibility of getting reviewed in the music press and having some product to sell. Some 25-30 years later, these recordings are at last being made available again, but sadly any recognition will come to late to be of benefit to the artists.

The first two tracks are taken up by Little Johnny Christian. The first track, "New Life" is an up tempo blues number featuring some terrific soulful singing, but with guitar, saxophone, keyboards and harmonica all featuring, the instrumentation becomes very cluttered. In fact it could have done with less and allowed one or possibly two instruments to take the lead. Saying that, I would have liked to have seen this performed live. It was probably an awesome sight.

"Luv Sumbody" leans very much to the soul side of the blues. In fact, Johnny's vocals shift blues to soul and back with the greatest of ease. The highlight of this track is the Sax solo from Kreen .

Tail dragger is next with two numbers. A man with a distinct and authentic Chicago blues voice, Tail Dragger was reputedly the natural successor to Howlin Wolf. So ezee is a standard Chicago blues work out. It features plenty of tasteful harmonica and piano. "My Head Is Bald" has a distinctive lyric over another standard blues number and although both tracks are basic they seem to be perfect for Tail Draggers excellent vocals.

Queen Sylvia Embry makes an appearance with two tracks. A bass player with a gospel influenced voice, Sylvia at least recorded for the Razor and Alligator labels, but sadly joins the ranks of those who didn't quite make it. "I Know I Ain't Number One" is a number which shows the power of her vocal range and again is a number which would have been sounded great live. "Too Bad Baby" is a 12 bar blues number which again would have been in it's element in a live setting.

Vance Kelly weighs in with three numbers. "Use What You Got" is very reminiscent of Hoochie Coochie Man. "The Jam" is a very funky instrumental which once again features some fine sax playing from Kreen. "Why You Hurt Me So Bad" is a mid tempo number underpinned once again by some fine sax and guitar playing. Vance's vocals are superb . All three numbers are previously unreleased and if there are any more Vance Kelly numbers in Leric's vaults we could be in for a fine album.

Nora Jean Bruso provides two tracks. "Untrue Love" is probably the best track on the album. A fabulous vocal with some fine piano, again this is number that would really stand out in a live environment. Unfortunately, "Oh My Love" really doesn't belong on this album. Whilst the vocals are superb, the track is a ballad probably more suited to the late night soul programme format.

Big Mojo Elem is next up with "Special Kind Of Love". The one time bassist with Freddie King with a voice similar to that of J B Lenoir shows why he was very popular on the Chicago blues scene. This track is previously unreleased and like Vance Kelly, it will be interesting to see how much material is still about.

Little Johnny Christian is back with another two numbers, "Ain't Gonna Worry About Tomorrow" starts with a lovely organ intro which blends very well with the brass section. Unlike the opening cut the soloing is better structured allowing the song to breathe. "I Gotta Sad Feeling" really swings with the brass instruments really prominent.

I know absolutely nothing about Sister Margo and Healing Center Choir, except to say that "My God Is Real" and "Peace Be Still" show what a fine gospel singer she is.

This has been a fascinating CD to review. A mini-documentary of a local music scene some 25-30 years ago and the possibility of more to come. For those bands who never got beyond the local club circuit, getting the chance to record an album must have been a fantastic opportunity. With advancements in digital technology, for many bands who perform at club level and don't get beyond the local circuit, recording an album has become a lot easier and a lot cheaper. Artists like these rarely got that chance. As Dave Whiteis succinctly wrote in the sleeve notes. It reminds us, yet again, that the best music is often found off the beaten track, away from the spotlights, on what the late Johnnie Taylor so memorably called "the soul side of town".

Reviewer Mike Lightfoot is House DJ at the New Crawdaddy Blues Club, Billericay, Essex UK, and is also a contributor to Blues in Britain magazine

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 4 of 6

Little Al Thomas & The Deep Down Fools - Not My Warden

13 Tracks

Little Al Thomas is one of those rare older bluesmen that was actually born and raised in Chicago. His first recording, at the age of 69, was Southside Story with the Crazy House Band. It became an instant classic-in Chicago. In 2000, he and the band appeared at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland. As a result, they released a second CD, In The House.

Meanwhile, guitarist, songwriter John Edelmann of the Crazy House Band formed a new band, The Deep Down Fools with Mart Binder on drums, Rob Waters on organ and ad hoc Eddie Galchick also from Crazy house, and Mike Scharf, both on bass.

Together again Little Al Thomas and John Edelmann have a new CD as Little Al Thomas featuring The Deep Down Fools titled Not My Warden. There are two covers, otherwise the songs are written by Edelmann or one of Edelmann’s band mates in one incarnation or another. The lyrics are humorous and clever for the most part, especially, “I’m Gonna Buy A Politician,” and the title track, “Not My Warden.”

Most of the tracks feature a great interplay between the organ and guitar regardless of whether the song is instrumental, particularly on “Ready Freddie”-instrumental and “Anger Heats My House”-vocal. “Not My Warden” also features organ. “Old Time Used To Be” has funny lyrics and a catchy chorus.

I have the CD, Too Long In Exile, by Van Morrison which contains “Big Time Operators.” Considering the title of the CD and the lyrics of this particular track, I always considered the song to be highly autobiographical. Therefore it’s curious that the song would ever be covered by someone else. I suppose those big time operators have more that one artist in their sites. “West Side Wind” is the second instrumental but it has a bit of a country twang to it. “Coronado,” the last track, also instrumental, is a smooth Wes Montgomery like number.

Overall, the lyrics tell real stories, Little Al’s voice is gruff when it needs to be, and the band it tight..

Reviewer Sheralyn Graise graduated from the University of Akron a while back. A former Social Services professional, she is now pursuing other interests such as music history, writing, and photography. She has been a member of the Blues Foundation since 2001.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Review 5 of 6

Bob Corritore and Friends - Harmonica Blues

Delta Groove Music

Fifteen tracks: 61mins

The folks in Phoenix Arizona really ought to have a Bob Corritore day to celebrate the life and works of a man in their city who has done more for the blues in recent years than any one man could reasonably be expected to do!

As a harmonica player Bob has supported and played played with practically every top class blues musician you can think of. He has a back catalogue that anybody could be proud of and not surprisingly he wants to show it off. This CD is a selection of 16 tracks featuring his work with people like Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Louisiana Red, Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, and, as they say, of many, many more.

You could write a good deal about every track on this CD but I shall be selective. For me, the outstanding track is "Baby Don’t You Tear My Clothes", the old Smokey Hogg number, if only because of the wonderful bass baritone voice of Nappy Brown on vocals! Other outstanding tracks include a terrific version of Bumble Bee, the Memphis Minnie song with Chris James on guitar and Patrick Rynn on bass, tosay nothing of the piano and vocal work of Pinetop Perkins (also with James and Rynn) on that wonderful old stalwart, "Big Fat Mama".

Frankly, there’s not a track on this CD that is not worth listening to and many of them are outstanding. Corritore is always an impressive player with a control and a fire that is often second to none. If you are interested in harmonica blues this is an essential purchase, and for those that are just lovers of the blues, this one should not be missed either. Go for it!

EDITORS NOTE - Bob Corritore is owner and operator of one of the most famous Blues clubs in the US, The Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ where he is part of the house band with Big Pete Pearson's Band. He is in the process of recording his third CD with Delta Blues Man Dave Riley. Both his current and first one with Dave Riley were/are nominated as "Best Traditional Blues CD" in our 2008 and 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards. He also was part of last years winning CD for Best Debut CD in our 2009 BBMAs for his harmonica work on Chris James and Patrick Rynn's Earwig Records release, Stop And Think About It.

Reviewer Ian McKenzie lives in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South ( a monthly flier providing news, reviews, a gig guide and all kinds of other good stuff, for people living and going to gigs along the south coast of England. Ian is also a blues performer (see and has a web cast regular blues radio show on www.phonic.FM in Exeter (Wednesdays: 1pm Eastern/ 12 noon Central).

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

Ladies Sing The Blues Cruise
A 5 day Carnival Cruise on the Triumph

Ever wish you could afford to take a Blues cruise but know you are in the wrong tax bracket to afford one? Well there is an alternative at a lower cost.

Fan Cruises has announced a five day Carnival Cruise departing from New Orleans December 6, 2010 with Ports of Call in Progreso, Mexico, and Cozumel, Mexico.

This special package includes private concerts by three Blues Ladies and cruise prices start at just $155 each for double occupancy, (plus plus $259.67 each for fees, taxes and gratuities). This Caribbean cruise include three private Blues concerts, private cocktail party with open bar, autograph signings and meet & greet time with the performers.

You can get a cabin for two for $830 total! (You can add a 3rd or 4th person to your cabin for only $10 & the fees each.) Or for a great early Christmas present for you and your loved one get the BEST cabins on the boat  for a total cost of $1,290 for two people!  (Panorama Deck 10 - Forward and Lido Deck 9 - Midship)

The Blues Lady performers include Pat HunterTerri Lynn & Thunder Blues and Vivian Vance Kelly. Other special guests include Boston band member Kimberley Dahme, Sarasota Slim, Steve Nixon and Kevin Kathey.  It is NOT all Blues all the time.  It is an affordable 5 day Caribbean cruise.  Up close with these great musicians and includes two ports of call (including the island of Cozumel, with three Blues concerts and a Blues party! For more information visit their website at

 Featured Review 6 of 6

Rich Hynes - Rollin’ Along

Underground Record Shop

12 tracks - Total time: 35:30

Multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Rich Hynes is one of Indianapolis’s roots music driving forces, a player, vocalist and composer whose creative efforts embrace blues, country folk and rockabilly. He also hosts the “Radio Free Indy” roots music show on local public radio station WICR, and runs the vintage vinyl Underground Record Shop, also in Indy. On Rollin’ Along Hynes plays acoustic 6- and 12- string guitar, mandolin, harp, washboard, stone jug, kazoo, tenor banjo and drums. He’s joined here by the Rollers, a band that consists of these Indianapolis-area veteran players: drummers Tim Duffy and Mark Cutsinger, electric/electric slide guitarist Tim Gibson, electric bassists Dave Calloway and Tom Creviston, and standup bassist Mike Strauss. All the songs on Rollin’ Along are Rich Hynes originals.

Rollin’ Along is essentially a folk album with contemporary features, with 11 of its 12 tracks expressive of old-timey blues with an admixture of elements from old-timey country. Older listeners are likely to find the CD reminiscent of 1960s folk, with five of these 11 tracks that feature drums, and also the five of the 11 featuring Gibson’s electric guitar (all but two of them the same tracks) recalling the acoustic-electric folk-rock of the 1970s. The last track, “Rockabilly Hero,” is in a class by itself—a jumping, bopping re-creation of mid-1950s rockabilly, a tribute to the genre with a local inspiration, Art Adams, Indianapolis inductee into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame who first recorded in 1953 and is still going strong.

These 11 tracks can be divided into four categories. The first comprises four storytelling songs: the opening track, “The New Railroad,” on crossing musical and racial boundaries to jam with and influence each other that ends with Leadbelly influencing Woody Guthrie influencing Bob Dylan; track 3, “The New Yank Rachell Blues,” a biographical song about this great bluesman who was a seminal influence on Indianapolis’s blues scene from the 1960s on; track 4, “Willie Johnson,” the tale of a 99-year-old man dying after living a full life right to the end; and track 6, “The Legend of Spidey Jack,” the story of a small-town musician who hits the big time. Then there is the inevitable category on any blues album of “bad love” songs, here represented by three tracks: track 5, “Red Headed Stepchild Blues,” about leaving a bad woman; track 7, “Why Do I Lie To Me,” about fooling oneself over a lover who’s gone; and “Corinna Lee,” a bittersweet tale of recalling a first love amidst present adversity. Two of the songs are harp solos that are reminiscent of Sonny Boy Williamson II’s solo efforts: the up-tempo track 2, “One Man Boogie;” and track 9, the slow “Mooney Boy Williamson.”

Rounding out the categories are two ruminative folk miscellany: track 10, a half-jocose look at adversity as represented by the dropping of an atom bomb, a disciplinary kick in the pants by Grandma, and stepping into dog poop; and track 11, “Universal Blues,” on fate, resignation and the Eternal Return. Altogether making Rollin’ Along a CD of note. .

Reviewer George "Blues Fin Tuna" Fish hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, home of blues legends Yank Rachell and Leroy Carr. He has written a regular music column for several years. He wrote the liner notes for Yank Rachell’s Delmark album, Chicago Style. He has been a blues and pop music contributor for the left-wing press as well, and has appeared in Against the Current and Socialism and Democracy.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

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