Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cincy Blues Fest Announces Weekend Lineup for August 2 & 3 Cincinnati, USA

Ana Popovic

                                                 Award-winning, national blues performers to take downtown stages 

CINCINNATI (June 4, 2013) – The 21st edition of the Cincy Blues Fest features four stages of local, regional and national blues acts performing Friday, August, 2, 5 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday, August 3, 4 p.m. to midnight, along the Cincinnati riverfront downtown at Sawyer Point.

Admission to the Cincy Blues Fest is $15 on Friday and $20 Saturday, with two-day passes for $25 sold at the gate on Friday. Children 13-18 are $5 each day, children under 12 are free. Proceeds support the Blues in the Schools program, which strives to keep the blues alive, educate students about history and cultural significance of the blues.
For more information and a printable map, visit

Headlining the weekend are national acts Watermelon Slim and the Workers, winners of Band of the Year and Album of the Year from the Blues Music Awards; Ana Popovic, three-time nominee for the 2012 Blues Music Awards; EG Kight, nominated for top contemporary female artist and song of the year; and the Reba Russell Band, a Memphis music staple recognized by the National Recording Academy for outstanding performances.

Schedules for the weekend include: Friday, August 2, Budweiser Main Stage: Steve Tracy and the Crawling Kingsnakes, Reba Russell Band and Watermelon Slim and the Workers; and on the Showcase: Women in the Blues Stage, Rio and the Ramblers, The Juice, Tempted souls Band and EG Kight.

On Saturday, August 3, the schedule includes; Budweiser Main Stage, Stacy Mitchhart, Nikki Hill, Honey Island Swamp Band and Ana Popovic. Saturday’s Main Stage schedule also includes the winner of the Blues in the Schools challenge.
Schedules for the Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame Stage and St. Vincent DePaul Local Stage will be announced later.

Cincy Blues Society is a member-supported, 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to promote and advance the culture and tradition of Blues music as an original American art form. Cincy Blues Society has been in existence since 1990, and strives to fulfil its mission by encouraging and facilitating both performance and educational events and projects.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

SugarBear and The Monkey Tangs..Louisiana blues band release new EP

SugarBear & The Monkey Tangs create dynamic music influenced by classic rock, funk, and blues. The band originated in Lafayette, Louisiana during the summer of 2012. They have been working hard to create a presence in the diverse music scene of Lafayette and its surrounding cities.

The band's vibe stems from vocalist Lynden Segura's powerhouse blues vocals. The rest of the band, consisting of Michael Aucoin, Christopher Torian and Ethan Davidson, back up Segura with solid instrumental work influenced greatly by classic rock and blues. Their debut release, Meet The Monkey Tangs (tracks: "Road Less Traveled", "Use Me", "Confessions of A Blind Man", "On A Train") was recorded at Leap Studios in Lafayette, LA and has seen radio play from twenty-five cities across the United States, the UK, and Greece. It has also sold hundreds of copies throughout the US and UK since February 2013.

free downloads are available on their facebook page

streaming music samples on the official website

The EP is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Julia and The Basement Tapes...Blues from Sweden

Julia and The Basement Tapes are a young, blues band from Sweden that play blues inspired by Etta James & The Allman Brothers. Members are Julia Tinglöf (vocals) Johan Borg (guitar), Samuel Söderberg (bass) and Johannes Sidenqvist (drums). They have just released their first 4 track EP, The Basement Sessions ("Some Color", "Money", "Don't Take My Heart" and "Crossroads"). Every track is a winner and I especially like their version of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads". Their sound is pure, traditional, raw, electric blues that smokes! Julia's voice has a beautiful, soulful sound that soars whilst her band have a tight rhythm section and a raunchy, searing lead guitar. For a young group of musicians they play at a very professional level and rate up there with many of their counterparts. It's infectious blues that is down to earth and deserves recognition.

Visit their facebook page to hear a sample of their music:

Stockholm Blues Society website

Visit my other music blogs here:

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

A slew of albums by young white men out of their minds in love with music made by older black men came from both sides of the Atlantic during the mid-1960s, but two records really laid the groundwork for the decade's blues revival--the self-titled releases by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers out of London and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band out of Chicago. Both bands were led by harmonica-blowing vocalists; both featured ascending guitar gods--Eric Clapton with Mayall and Mike Bloomfield with Butterfield. Butterfield's ensemble, however, came of age closer to the roots of the music. The rhythm section heard on the group's 1965 debut was hired away from Howlin' Wolf, and Butterfield, while still in his early 20s when the album shipped, was already a familiar face on the Windy City's club circuit. "Born in Chicago" opens the album on a gritty note that never flags through this 11-track landmark. The slashing duo guitars of Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop and Butterfield's flash harp helped make Muddy Waters fathomable for a new audience and, decades later, it's still easy to understand how. --Steven Stolder (Amazon Review)

Butterfield's debut album burst on the scene in 1965 and the blues, rock and pop scene were never the same after it's release. In it's original form, the band consisted of Butterfield on vocals and harmonica, Mike Bloomfield on slide guitar, Elvin Bishop on rhythm guitar, Jerome Arnold on bass, Sam Lay on drums and Mark Naftalin on organ. One can argue which Butterfield album should be at the top of the heap but there is no denying that this would rank in the top five of any Butterfield enthusiasts list. It contains a variety of blues styles as well as what became the bands signature song, "Born In Chicago" and the Bloomfield gem "Screamin'".

1. Born In Chicago
2. Shake Your Money-Maker
3. Blues With A Feeling
4. Thank You Mr. Poobah
5. I Got My Mojo Working
6. Mellow Down Easy
7. Screamin'
8. Our Love Is Drifting
9. Mystery Train
10. Last Night
11. Look Over Yonders Wall

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cas album La Si Dah with blues influences

Cas Haley, a Texas singer/songwriter (who you might have heard of through his America's Got Talent - finalist profile in 2007), has a new album out called La Si Dah which has some heavy blues influence on it.

When Cas Haley set out to make the follow-up to his successful 2010 release Connection, one thing drove him in the writing and planning for the sessions. “I kept thinking,” says the Paris, TX-based singer/songwriter, “if I died tomorrow, and my kids had only one musical statement through which to know me, what would I want that record to be?” The resulting record, La Si Dah, is packed with what makes Cas Haley who he is: personal lyrics, musical diversity, outstanding musicianship and authenticity. Adding to this unique vibe is the manner in which the recording sessions were financed; working with the crowd-sourcing website Pledge Music, Haley was able to raise money through his fans (many of whom are thanked in the record).

La Si Dah, released on May 28, 2013 on Easy Star Records, was produced by Haley himself, with consultation on the recording by his good friend, the Grammy-Award Winning Producer/Engineer Rob Fraboni, best known for his work with Bob Dylan, The Eagles, Keith Richards and The Rolling Stones. When it came to the recording process, the above principles driving Cas led him to aim for a more authentic sound, in line with the honesty and integrity he tries to live by in his daily life. As Cas so passionately states, “Being in a world so heavily influenced by commercialism and the expectations of perfection paired with the technology and tools to synthesize that perfection, in my opinion, has zapped the very essence out of the majority of music today. The last two years I have been searching for the solution to this problem. With the guidance of my great friend and mentor Rob Fraboni, this album is my attempt to find the spirit of music.” La Si Dah’s pure sound and vibe was accomplished by using the recording techniques of Rob Fraboni. “The first thing we did was take away all elements of separation. All the instruments and most of the vocals were recorded in the same room at the same time with no isolation and no headphones. Fraboni is from the day when capturing the sound of the performance was the goal versus manipulating them,” Haley enthusiastically adds.

The 13 tracks on La Si Dah continue Cas’s ability to mine his own personal narrative for poignant and catchy songs. First single “La Dah,” came from a dream Cas had about his grandmother, where she helped him to forgive his father for things he had never done for Cas. (You can stream “La Dah” for free at “Wait For Me,” a powerful ballad, reads like a personal love letter to his wife from the road. “Let Her Go,” a slow burner steeped in old R&B, came out of a weekend spent with his father, jamming together and discussing his parents’ marriage. The nyabinghi-drum inflected “Tally Tally” grew from ongoing conversations with his manager, where the two of them had to come to terms with their own personality differences to further Cas’s career goals. Just as important to the record are three instrumentals (“Jackson,” “Capricorn,” “Trash Day”) that help show off Cas’s natural abilities as a musician, since the focus on him is most often squarely on his powerful voice. Cas Haley official site

Marty's review: Cas Haley's third album is another 5 star effort.  Haley's multi-functional vocals cover the likes of soul, blues, reggae and pop, and he does so on this album to his full potential. The musicianship is upbeat, tight and very polished without being over-produced. Combining soulful blues and funky reggae with elements of pop, rock and calypso, every track is a winner. Blues influenced tracks are "Let Her Go", "Mojo", "Wait For Me" and "Trash Day" whilst the other tracks have a reggae beat that is infectous and in keeping with the true reggae sound. 3 of the tracks are instrumental ("Trash Day", "Jackson" and "Capricorn") and there is one beautiful ballad, "Wait For Me". If you are looking for comparisons or influences, I would say Bob Marley, Grayson Hughes and Booker T & the MG's. The album, however, stands out on its own regardless of any comparisons, and Cas has done a fine job again. A talent that does not disappoint and deserves a place in your music collection.

Below are two Soundcloud links to listen to two blues songs off the album - "I've Got My Mojo Working" and "Let Her Go"



Friday, July 5, 2013

Albert King..King of the Blues Guitar

Albert King (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing. One of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with B.B. King and Freddie King), Albert King stood 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), weighed 250 pounds (110 kg) and was known as "The Velvet Bulldozer". He was born Albert King Nelson, on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi. During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church where his father played the guitar.

He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys in Osceola, Arkansas. Moving north to Gary, Indiana and later St. Louis, Missouri, he briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed's band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V which he named "Lucy". King earned his nickname "The Velvet Bulldozer" during this period as he drove one of them and also worked as a mechanic to make a living...full Wikipedia biography

King was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May 2013.

The 17 tunes on this album come from King's most fertile period, his 1966-68 tenure at Memphis's Stax Records. Stax chief Jim Stewart had been reluctant to sign blues artists because he felt straight blues wouldn't mesh with Stax's patented Memphis soul. Ironically, the fusion of King's sharp guitar wails with the dynamic rhythms of Booker T. & the MGs--the Stax house band--was what set King apart from other bluesmen. The unique blend produced classic after classic: Booker T. Jones' rolling piano propels "Laundromat Blues." Al Jackson's drum shuffle supports "Crosscut Saw." The driving horns of Andrew Love, Wayne Jackson, and Joe Arnold accent "Born Under a Bad Sign." King's ripe and mellow vocals are a perfect match for the soul-drenched music while his dramatic string bends leap out. --Marc Greilsamer (Amazon review)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lisa Lim...A Class of Her Own

Fredricksburg, VA-- To make a mark in the music industry, you have to stand out; instead of following trends, conforming to molds, and parroting other artists (no matter how good they are or how legendary they may be), you have to blaze paths. On May 30th, Lisa Lim, guitar magazine columnist (Premier Guitar, Guitar Girl) and National Guitar Workshop faculty member, released her self-titled sophomore album, and shows you why she stands in a class all her own.

Try as you might, you can’t fit Lisa’s style into a box. Her release crosses many boundaries—blues, indie, modern rock, roots, pop, punk, country, and even contemporary Christian. “Superstitious Mind,” for example, is a blues track, but the rock crowd will no doubt embrace it with open ears. Cuts like “Let Go” seamlessly transcend the boundaries of rock and pop. The powerful lyrics, infused with the upbeat musical arrangement, create a positive, hopeful space—much needed in today’s hurting world. “Our River” is a true testament to Lisa’s versatility, touching the soils of roots, blues, country, and pop. The intro riff, hook, and melody set the perfect backdrop for Lisa’s soulful vocals. This track promises to soothe the cry of the weariest heart. Reflecting on the power of “Our River,” Lisa recounts, “That song is so dear and close to me, I cried the first time I laid that track. It really hit close to my heart. “

You’re probably curious to know why—and how—Lisa blurs so many lines. For starters, credit that to a journey of personal awareness and awakening, or as she puts it, “letting go, change, economic struggle, loss, love, growth, and renewal.” She wants every single one of her listeners to relate to each of the CD’s 12 tracks, which are intended to evoke a variety of emotions. If you want to cry, cry. If you feel like jumping for joy, jump. If you get the urge to drive down the highway, windows down, music cranked, embrace your full-throttled freedom. Listening to Lisa’s album lets you share her pain, her happiness, her setbacks, her victories, and her hope for the future.

Lisa’s artistic evolution is a mirror of her own personal journey, which has had a major impact on her embracing of many musical influences and styles, ranging from Beethoven, Jimmy Page, and Roy Buchanan to Sheryl Crow, Eric Clapton, and Buddy Guy. It’s no surprise that her inspirations are as diverse as the genres her record crosses. While fans of artists like Sheryl Crow, Jack White, and Joe Bonamassa will definitely dig her sound, Lisa prides herself on not sounding like anybody. In addition to writing all the music and lyrics on her album—plus laying lead vocals and playing electric and acoustic guitar, as well as some distorted bass guitar and percussion—Lisa brought the following team of experts together to make her debut release memorable: Thomas Johansen (production, mixing); Andreas Holmstrom (bass guitar); Scott Rabino (drums); Tara Jacobs, Mary Shaver, and Pauline Anson Dross (harmony backup vocals); and Steve Fallone of Sterling Sound (mastering).

If you appreciate masterfully crafted music by artists with a passion for navigating the peaks and valleys of life, who genuinely care about connecting with their listeners on the realest of levels, you’ll definitely enjoy Lisa Lim’s self-titled release.

You can learn more about Lisa at:

Marty's review: If you like your Blues with a RAUNCH that packs a punch, then you will love Lisa Lim's début album. Lisa's music covers a range of musical styles which include Blues, Rock, Pop, Indie and Alternative that make up the 12 scorching tracks of her sophomore album. With searing guitar licks, a tight rhythm section, expertly crafted, self-penned lyrics and a voice that oozes with passion, every track is a winner. My favourite track is "Superstitious Mind"; this one grabs you from the opening riff and doesn't let go. Whether you want music that will rock your soul, something to cruise along to or just a little laid back listening, there is something hear to please everyone and it's guaranteed not to disappoint. A five star effort in my view. Spread the word.