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NEWS -- April 2012 Newsletter
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April 2012 

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Dan Aykroyd, a.k.a. Elwood Blues, has created a new BluesMobile Radio show and he wants your music!

Here’s direct info from the website :

Blues Musicians:

Are you an up and coming blues musician looking to get some airplay on the BluesMoblile Radio Hour? Have you refined your music and think you’re ready for the big time? The BluesMobile is dedicated to the fans, and we’re willing to give you a chance. This is the real deal; we’ll take your music seriously if you take it seriously. If your record is well-produced and sounds like something that you’d hear on the radio, send a copy of your CD to us at:


The BluesMobile

Artist Submissions

3361 20th Street

San Francisco, CA  94110-2627



Deadline extended!
3rd Annual Yamaha 6 String Theory Guitar Competition & the Lee Ritenour/Dave Grusin Rhythm Section Competition. Contest is open through May 10, 2012. Apply online with your performance videos to win amazing prizes totaling over $600,000! For guitar, piano, keyboards, drums and bass. For info:


You can read Chicago Blues Guide’s interview with Lee Ritenour, in which he discusses the competition and the prizes, which include four scholarships to Berklee School of Music and much more.




Blues women


April 29 -- Women in Blues Benefit concert/dinner with Joan Gand & the Blue Road Band,  Liz Mandeville & Donna Herula, Dawn O’Keefe Williams, Peaches Staten, Vivian Vance Kelly, Shirley King, TK Pivonka, Dia Madden, Sweet Bev Perone and more.  Tickets are $45 and include a dinner buffet. Proceeds to benefit Emergency Fund, which provides financial aid to Chicago families in crisis and to prevent homelessness. Event is from 3 – 7 p.m.  at Viper Alley, Lincolnshire, IL

 Tickets are available HERE.


Also at Viper Alley Nightclub:

April 27 – James Cotton w/ Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater

May 12 -- Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials w/ Howard & The White Boys

June 29 – Coco Montoya


Viper Alley is located at 250 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire, IL. Tickets are available on the venue’s website:



May 27 – As you may have heard, musician Bob Carter (original drummer for the Mighty Blue Kings) was seriously ill for a long time and passed away on April 19. His former band, the Mighty Blue Kings will reunite for this special benefit/memorial along with Dave Specter, Nick Moss, Little Al Thomas, John Edelman, Erwin Helfer, John Brumbach, Tom Holland, Rockin’ Johnny, Matther Skoller, Scotty & the Bad Boys, Sharon Lewis, Gerry Hundt, Matt Hendricks, Harlan Terson, Mark Wydra, Marty Binder and emcee Hambone from WDCB.  Event is at SPACE, Evanston IL. Tickets are on sale now.




Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club and the philanthropic media organization will join forces to present a benefit concert in Clarksdale, MS on April 28.

Artists include Rolling Stones’ sax man Bobby Keys, Sugar Blue, Bill Payne of Little Feat, Maria Muldaur, Albert Bashor, Superchikan, Howlin Madd Perry, T-Model, Wolfman Belfour, Watermelon Slim, Lightnin’ Malcom and many more.  Funds are being raised and donated to assist in music and music technology education in the Mississippi Delta region and to benefit America’s Delta Blues Scholarship Fund at Delta State University. Actor Morgan Freeman and Charlie Annenberg Weingarten of will host the event which will take place at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale.


If you can’t make it down to Clarksdale, MS for this gathering of blues greats, it will be aired live on LINK TV from 8 to 11 pm CST and streamed live on from 8 –midnight CST.  Sirius XM radio’s Bluesville Channel will also broadcast the event in part.



The Old Town School of Folk Music will host a six-week blues series, which will coincide with Chicago’s “blues season” leading up to the Chicago Blues Festival in June. The program was curated by former Chicago Blues Fest exec Barry Dolins.  The Sunday concerts will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a short discussion by the artists about their influences and history. All events will be held in the Szold Music & Dance Hall, 4545 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago. Tickets for all shows are $15.


Billy Branch
Billy Branch: photo Connie Kenny

April 29Billy Branch & Sons of the Blues: Little Walter’s Birthday Tribute

Little Walter’s daughter, Marion, will be there to announce the launching of a new foundation in her late father’s honor. The foundation’s goal is to provide after school music and arts programs for Chicago’s children and to preserve Little Walter’s music and legacy. For info:


May 6Fruteland Jackson: The Legend of Robert Johnson


May 13 – Demetria Taylor: Mother’s Day Celebration


May 20 – Sharon Lewis & Texas Fire: Diamonds in Our Own Back Yard


May 27 – Theo Huff: New Generation of Soul Blues


June 3 -- Reverend KM Williams: Lightnin’ Hopkins 100th Birthday



Dominican University in suburban River Forest will present its third biannual Blues & the Spirit Symposium on Friday and Saturday May 18 & 19. This year’s focus is on Race and Gender in the Blues and will include a trip to see a performance by four Chicago blues women at the Harlem Avenue Lounge in Berwyn: Deitra Farr, Peaches Staten, Nellie “Tiger” Travis and Sharon Lewis and a trip to Rosa’s on the West Side to hear Sugar Blue.


The Symposium will open Friday with a panel discussion with Sugar Blue, Billy Branch, Matthew Skoller, Deitra Farr, Sharon Lewis and Barry Dolins.  Following the panel will be an awards reception for Marie Dixon, president of the Blues Heaven Foundation. A trip to the Harlem Ave. Lounge to see the four blues divas will end the night.


Saturday’s schedule will include panels, multimedia presentations and speeches on a number of topics including:“Cultural Tourism & the Blues,” “Gotta Sing on the Beats They Bring Us: Gender, Class and 21st Century Blues Women’s Epistemology”, “Ladies Sing The Blues: The Lived Experience of Chicago’s Blues Divas”, “Tracing The Legacy,” and “Blues & Hip Hop”. A bus trip to Rosa’s to see harp legend Sugar Blue will close the event.

For info visit: or email: Or phone 708-524-6050.




The Windy City Blues Society will return to Chicago’s Blues Fest again this year with a stellar lineup under the Street Stage Tent. The music begins each day at 11 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m.


Friday, June 8: Chicago Kingsnakes, Steepwater Band, Mississippi Gabe Carter, Black Oil Brothers, Jimmy Dawkins, Cash Box Kings, Rob Stone w/ Chris James & Patrick Rynn, Acoustic Blues Session


Saturday, June 9: Fernando Jones & Blues Kids of America w/Ray Goren & Alex Lund,

Big DooWopper, Sam Lay w/ Bob Riedy & Bob Corritore, Omar Coleman w/ Kenny Smith, Bob Stroger & Billy Flynn, Blues Harp Blowout w/Harry Garner & guests, Nigel Mack Band, Geneva Red’s Original Delta Fireballs


Sunday, June 10: Moonlighters w/Butt Naked Sam, WCBS Chicago Blues Challenge band contest, Pistol Pete, Kilborn Alley w/Deak Harp, Liz Mandeville & Donna Herula, WCBS Solo/Duo Challenge contest


Chicago Blues Guide has the Chicago Blues Fest Schedule in its entirety on our website.



Speaking of Chicago Blues Fest events, WXRT radio will broadcast live from Buddy Guy’s Legends for a FREE concert on Thursday, June 7. There will be performances by Shemekia Copeland, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Joe Louis Walker and Billy Branch. The annual show, which is in its 15th year, will be emceed by DJ Tom Marker and Shemekia. The show is from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Get there early!

Shemekia Copeland
Shemekia Copeland: photo Michael Kurgansky




Aurora’s Blues On The Fox outdoor festival will celebrate its 16th Anniversary on June 15 & 16 with two major headliners, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and The Nevilles.  The historic Paramount Theater in Aurora is now in charge of Blues on the Fox and judging by last year’s fest, which featured Buddy Guy, they are doing a great job with the spacious new location in River Street Park.  Admission is still only $5. 


Friday, June 15

Shane Dwight – 6:30 pm

Kenny Wayne Shepherd – 8:30 pm


Saturday, June 16

Shemekia Copeland – 2:30 pm

Lee Boys – 4:30 pm

Chicago Blues: A Living History – 6:30 pm

w/Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson

The Nevilles – 8:30 pm

w/ Art, Charles, Cyril


Congratulations to Buddy Guy, Magic Slim & Grana’ Louise!


Grana' Louise
A Star is Born: Grana' Louise

Buddy Guy’s autobiography, When I Left Home: My Story by Buddy Guy, written with David Ritz, will be released on May 8, 2012. Pre-orders are available on web outlets such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indie Bound. Buddy will no doubt be signing copies for fans at Legends when he’s not on the road.


Meanwhile, get ready for new movie stars: Magic Slim and Grana’ Louise. Chicago’s very own blues artists have starring roles in an indie film directed by Toby Hubner titled We Be Kings. The movie is currently filming on location in rural Illinois and later in Chicago.  Slim and Grana’ play a married couple who live in the Mississippi Delta and own a juke joint, Lilly’s Lounge and Disco. They sing and play and cook ribs together and are very happy. Until tragedy strikes and Lilly dies. Slim’s character struggles and begins to drift, nearly meeting death himself. Happily, he is rescued by two troubled teenagers. They join forces and begin a treacherous life-changing journey together, making music and finding success along the way. Oh yes, and Lilly comes back as a ghost to make things even more interesting. The teenagers are played by: 12-year-old Quinn Sullivan, who is best known as Buddy Guy’s young guitar prodigy in real life and Bianca Ryan, who won on America’s Got Talent at age 11 (she’s 17 now). Pryce Watkins, a 13-year-old-rapper from Atlanta, also appears in the movie. The film soundtrack promises to include plenty of great blues music with performances by the cast.



Lake County Discovery Museum Wauconda, IL

Blues From the Heart and Soul brings the sound and feel of Chicago blues to the galleries of the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, IL.  The exhibit offers a unique, behind-the-scenes look at Chicago blues history by showcasing a vast collection of memorabilia from local blues pianist Barrelhouse Chuck Goering. In addition to playbills, photos and autographs, the installation displays the original musical instruments played by the blues legends with whom Goering worked.  The exhibit also offers fun, interactive displays in which the visitor can perform in a virtual blues band.

Barrelhouse Chuck and friends will perform live for special concert dates including May 3. The exhibit runs Feb. 18 – Aug. 19. For more info visit:


 DuSable Museum of African American History

Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place, hosts Spread the Word! The Evolution of Gospel from Chicago to the World an exhibit which documents the history of gospel music in the city and how it spread across continents. Thomas Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, the Staple Singers, the Soul Stirrers with Sam Cooke, Albertina Walker, Rev. James Cleveland and many other stars all launched their careers in Chicago. The sweet sound of gospel music can be heard throughout the exhibit, thanks to historical video and documentary films. Artifacts such as bibles, robes, Grammy awards, handbills, vinyl records and photos are on display, too. The exhibition runs through May 20. For more info, visit



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Douglas Watson
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Dave Specter & John Primer
June 6, 2012
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