"Keeping the blues alive...

                                                            ...Till the last note"
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Twin City Blues Reviews


Twin City Blues Reviews

Fargo Blues Fest 2015 

NorthWoods Blues Fest 2015- Debbie Murphy

NorthWoods Blues Fest 2015- Val Monson

Ambassadors Blues Fest 2015

Willow River Blues Fest 2015

Smoking In Steele Blues Fest 2015 Deb

Smoking In Steele Blues Fest 2015

Fargo Blues Fest 2014

Bayfront Blues Fest 2014

Bayfront Blues Fest 2014 Debbie Murphy

Northwoods Blues Festival 2014@ Spooner Wi.

New Years Eve @ Doubletree/ Rev Raven and Lamont Cranston

King Biscuit Blues Festival 2013

King Biscuit Blues Fest 2013 Val Monson

Crescent City Blues Fest 2013

Crescent City Blues Fest 2013 Val Monson

Voice Of The Wetlands Festival 2013

Voice Of The Wetlands Festival 2013 Val Monson

Redwing Central Park 2013

 Mississippi Valley Blues Fest 2013

Bayfront 2013 Photos By Christina Hoglund

Bayfront 2013

Fargo Blues Fest 2013

Prairie Dog Festival 2013

Blues on Chippewa 2013

Ambassador Blues Fest 2013 St Peter MN

Blues Kids @ Blues Saloon

Biscuit Miller @ Blues Saloon

Groove Merchants @ Roseville  Central Park

Ken Valdez Duo @ Hilton Bloomington Mn

Guitar Shorty @ Shaws and Blues Saloon

Plymouth 4th of July

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

Reverand Raven and Chain Smok'n Alter Boys 8 July 2012

1st Annual North Woods Blues Festival 7 July 2012

Honey Island Swamp Band @ Famous Daves 5 July 2012

Mississippi Valley Blues Fest 2012

Michelle Traxler and Friends @ Wild Tymes St Paul June 2012

Johnnie Rawls @ Blues Saloon June 2012

Chris Duarte @ Famous Daves June 2012

Upper Mississippi Shakedown 2012

Bryan Lee @ The Blues Saloon 15 June 2012

Scottie Miller, Everette Smithson and RJ Mischo June 2012

Liz Mandeville and The Chicago Blues Fest 2012

Hamilton Loomis @ Famous Daves 3 Jun 2012

Scottie "Bones" Miller @ Muddy Waters Prescott Memorial Day 2012

2012 Blues Music Awards in Memphis Before and After

Minnesota Blues Society IBC 2013 Competition

Aaron Williams and The Hoodoo April 2012 Shaws and Schooner

Randy McCallister @ Famous Daves April 2012

Smok'n Joe and Bnois King @ Famous Daves April 2012

Old Pix Whiskey Roadhouse Blues Rochester

Old Pix St Paul Winter Carnival

Paul Manske Benefit @ Blues Saloon

Tab Benoit, Chubby Carrier and Michael Doucet @ Cabooze

James Armstrong @ Blues Saloon

Billy Boy Arnold @ Famous Daves

Recording For Twin City Blues Awareness CD

Trampled Under Foot @ Famous Daves

Studebaker John @ Blues Saloon

Original Slim Fatz Watercolors  For sale: Email

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

Famous Dave BBQ and Blues 2008



Rochester Blues & BBQ festival review

Posted by: "fluffyvw" fluffyvw@yahoo.com   fluffyvw

Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:16 am (PDT)

My review of the Rochester Fest last Saturday is up on the GTCBMS website. http://www.gtcbms. org/happen09. html#rochester

To add a little more to that review, particularly my thoughts on the non-Minnesota bands...

The Avey Brothers are terrific. I first saw them last winter at the Iowa Winter fest and couldn't leave their stage even though there were performances going on in several other rooms. I picked up their CD on Saturday and it tells the tale of their talent...a good purchase.

Joel Pingatore is a young guy who plays some great guitar. He does a song behind the back and doesn't miss a note. The lead singer for this band has one of the stronger male blues voices I've heard-good gruff quality.

Damon Fowler was everything Gloria had posted about the show at Bev's. I particularly liked the selections played on lap steel guitar. The crowd loved him and he got people out on the dance floor, at one time asking us to move closer to the stage because they can play better with a close crowd.

Andi and Kaye were with me and Andi and I danced as much or more than anyone. (surprise!) There were only a few who came onto the floor until near the end. At one point, this young "punker" couple was out there dancing really wild. I looked at the young woman and matched her step for step. I am sure she's telling her friends about this old fart who danced like her.

The food was out of this world and in good quantity. I only ate 4 or my 5 choices and Kaye only ate 2 of her 5. I was just too full to think about any more. Ate ribs, beef brisket, shrimp, chicken sandwich, potato salad, 2 kinds of beans, chips and soda...all included in the ticket price. Of course a few adult beverages were consumed, too. Tap beer was only $2.00, a good deal for a fest.

There was a jam at Macho Nacho following the fest. We didn't make that...too tired from food, music and dancing. Maybe one of our group who was there can fill us in.

I had bid on our hotel room through Priceline and was originally disappointed as it was a mile away from the fest. It was a Staybridge Suites and after checking in, I was happy with the hotel. The rooms were huge with kitchenette. They were well appointed and even included paper towels and snack items like microwave popcorn. there was a free breakfast that included hot selections such as waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, plus the typical cold choices. I saw the rooms at the Days Inn and they were not very nice. I also saw the Kahler which is more of a luxury hotel and the rooms there were nice but not nearly as big. The Days Inn and Kahler were within a block of the fest so were convenient. We walked one day from the Staybridge and cabbed another for under $5 before tip. I'd be happy to have the Staybridge again even if not as conveniently located to the fest.

This was the first year of this festival. They have ambition to make it a "quad state" festival in the future, moving to locations in WI, IA and IL as well as MN. Trimlon coordinated the bands and did a terrific job. Thanks, Lon! I'd encourage everyone to catch this fest next year.


PS: I was working the blues society table and a wedding party passed near me outside the fence. I indicated to the bride that I was looking for a bridal kiss and she obliged. Many in the audience enjoyed this and lightly applauded and gave the thumbs up.

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!



As you may have heard, Ron Thompson suffered a physical setback recently. But the good news is that he is on the mend!

On Thursday, February 19th, Ron was admitted to Saint Rose Hospital in Hayward with a severe case of pneumonia—so severe that the bacteria went into his bloodstream. Ron spent four days in the hospital, part of that time in ICU, but sprang back quickly, thanks to the excellent care of the Saint Rose medical team. Ron would like to thank Dr. Pat Hybarger (of Kaiser San Rafael), Dr. Anna Saenz of San Francisco, Dr. Ramiro Garcia, Peggy (sorry we don't know your last name!) and all the other St Rose nursing staff who basically saved his life.

Ron was released from the hospital on Sunday, February 22nd, and is expected to make a full recovery.   He is taking a long overdue and well-needed recess from performing, but should be back in the saddle soon! 

When times get tough, you know who your friends are, and Ron has so many wonderful friends! He needs each and every one at this time to help him cope with all this, including addressing a rather astonishing hospital bill and being able to make the rent payment while he's recuperating.

Angels from every part of California and also Colorado are jumping forward to help, as several  fund-raising benefits are in the works already. If you would like to help, by offering your musical talents, your organizing skills, or providing items for auction/raffle—please get in touch with the contact(s) listed below.

If you would like to host your own benefit to help Ron through this financial crunch, just email or call Jackie McCort, Ron's business manager, at jackie@rtblues.com or 510.693.8277, so that we can add your event to the list and notify folks in your area 

A special bank account has been set up specifically for Ron's medical bills at Bank of America in Hayward CA . To make a donation, please send checks payable to: 

“Ron Thompson, Account #0014-73814”

Bank  of America

1200 “A” Street

Hayward CA  94544


We will be setting up a “one click” method for donations through Ron's website in the next few days. If you would prefer to contribute online, please check the website in a day or so.

All donations are tax deductible. Please note: This account is specifically set up for donations to help Ron defray expenses associated with his hospitalization. All other business transactions will be handled separately as before.

Ron would really like to thank everyone for their love and encouragement during this difficult time. He is overwhelmed by your kindness and real grassroots support. Ron is honored to have the backing of such a fine fan base and artist community.



(sponsored by Twin City Blues)



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Blues Links.....Bands....Festivals... Listening.....If you can't find the blues here, read on after links

                   How To Tell Blues Music From Rock Music

Many bands say they play the Blues,
 but what you end up hearing is Rock.
 Here's how to tell if your listening
to a real Blues band or a Rock band.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 5 minutes
Here's How:
1.   If the guitar player has one small
amplifier, Blues Band. If he has a
stack of them, Rock Band..
2.   If the keyboard player only plays piano or organ, Blues Band.
If he's used other sounds, Rock Band.
3.   If the guitar player breaks a string and changes it on the spot, Blues Band.
If a roadie comes out with a replacement guitar, Rock Band.
4.   If the bass player's instrument has only four strings,
Blues Band. More than four, Rock Band.
5.   If there are wives and children around the stage,
Blues Band. Scantly clad women, Rock Band.
6.   If they play the same songs differently every night, Blues Band. Play the same songs the same way every night, Rock band.
7.   If they make up the lyrics as they go, Blues Band. Recite the lyrics verbatim, Rock band.
8.   If they arrive in a van, Blues Band. If they arrive in a school bus, Rock band.
9.   If everyone is drinking liquor, Blues Band. Drinking beer, Rock Band.
10.   If people dance together, Blues band. Mill about separately, Rock Band.
11.   If people clap their hands to the backbeat, Blues Band. Pump their fists in the air, Rock Band.
12.   If the male musicians are wearing Dockers, Blues Band. If they are wearing Spandex, Rock Band.
Real Blues bands swing! No swing and all funk ain't the Blues.
You don't need electricity to play Blues.
You don't need Spandex pants to play the Blues either.
From John Babich, ("J.B.") is a professional musician who has traveled the US, Canada, and Europe playing the Blues.



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