Blues Schedule September 2 – 8

This Week’s Blues.  The blues schedule is as up to date as possible, but it’s always a good idea to call the club to confirm.

  • Bridge Street Live: Saturday, Lipbone Redding and The LipBone Orchestra; Thursday, Joe Louis Walker feat. Murali Coryell; Collinsvile. (860) 693-9762
  • Café 9: Thursday, B. Willie Smith Band; New Haven. (203)-789-8281
  • Wall Street: Friday, Jeff Pitchell; Cromwell.
  • Maple Tree Café: Friday, Colbys; Simsbury.
  • Ninigret Park: Friday, Rhythm & Roots Festival (5pm-midnight); Saturday, Rhythm & Roots Festival (noon-midnight); Sunday, Rhythm & Roots Festival (noon-midnight); Charlestown, RI.
  • The Mohegan Sun (Wolf Den): Sunday, John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band; Uncasville. (888) 226-7711
  • Black-eyed Sally’s: Saturday, All Star’s Jam  ; Hartford. (860) 278 7427
  • La Tavola: Wednesday, Paul Gabriel & his Blues Band; Waterbury.
  • Musky’s Eastside Pub: Saturday, Eran Troy Danner Duo; Waterbury.
  • J Roo’s: Friday, Kathy Thompson Band; North Haven.
  • The Carousel Club: Friday, Dan Stevens; New London.
  • The Hungry Tiger: Saturday, Back Road Nationals; Manchester. (860) 649-1195
  • Lenny’s On The Beach: Saturday, Pete Scheips ; (Soundview Beach);Old Lyme. (860)434-8181
  • Theodores’: Saturday, The Dave Keller Band; Springfield. (413) 736-6000
  • The Knickerbocker Café: Saturday, Roomful of Blues; Westerly. (401) 315-5070

 Weekly Blues Events

  • The Hungry Tiger     Blues Jam w/Brandt Taylor (Monday)
  • Black Eyed Sally’s     Open Blues Jam w/LA Jones (Wednesday)
  • Cypress Grill              Acoustic Open Mic Night hosted by Don Giroux (Wednesday)
  • C J Sparrow Pub & Eatery                         Ken Safety’s Open Mic Show (Thursday)
  • The Good Life Grill              Blues Jam w/Burt Teague (Thursday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Sunday)
  • City Limits Café        Eran Troy Danner Jam (Tuesday)
  • Café 9                         Sunday Open Blues Jam w/The Cobalt Rhythm Kings
  • The Owl Shop            Greg Sherrod Band (Tuesday)
  • Spill the Beans Coffee House           Acoustic Open Mic w/Johnny I (Thursday)
  • Monster B’s Bar & Grille     Blues Jam w/Roxy Perry (Wednesday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips & Friends Jam (Tuesday)
  • June’s Outback Pub             Open Jam with Steve Hatch and others (Monday)

Saturday, has a number of outdoor events.  Hopefully the weather stays friendly.  The Tom Sanders Band is playing The Haddam Neck Fair, The Steve Polezonis Trio supplies the sounds for the Rock Cats Block Party at New Britain Stadium and Shaka & The SoulShakers will be at the  Frog Hollow Swamp Bash in Chester.

Saturday, Black-eyed Sally’s is hosting an All Star’s Jam  Come see the best of the Wednesday night jammers.  They have their chance on the stage.  If you have ever been to the jam, then you know you are in for some good blues.

Jams are not usually mentioned in the column but Wednesday Sally’s has L.A. Jones.  His Connecticut fans wait for his back home visits.

David “Honeyboy” Edwards – A Blues Legend Moves On

Honeyboy at Sally's

Monday the world lost David Honeyboy Edwards, the “Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen.”  He died in the early morning while resting peacefully at home.Honeyboy has moved on to blues heaven, the last link we have had to the early days of the blues.  He lived a long, full life and the world is a better place for his time with us.I first saw Honeyboy at the Boxcar in Fairfield, CT.  That was the night Keith Richards sat in with him.  I was lucky enough to get an excellent picture of the two of them leaning over their guitars, just talking.  I did get other pictures from various festivals but the ones in Connecticut including Black-eyed Sally’s and Café 9, seemed the best.  After that I saw him from Clarksdale to Memphis to Black-eyed Sally’s and Café 9 in Connecticut.  Honeyboy kept up that active life of traveling and gigs until April of this year.  He maintained a strong spirit until the end, telling stories and showing off his dexterity in his hands.

Honeyboy at Cafe 9

I remember his visit to Black-eyed Sally’s.  Joined by Rocky Lawrence and his manager Michael Frank, Honeyboy was enjoying himself.  Visiting with the audience and posed for pictures.

Later at the end of the show, he stepped back on stage to play some solo numbers for the crowd.  I spent time with him after the show just sitting on the stage and talking.

He was part of a legends concert at Fairfield Theater Stage One, which was Robert Lockwood, Jr.’s last major show.

Born in Shaw, Mississippi in 1915, he was the son of a sharecropper, the grandson of a slave and for an extraordinary 80-plus years the voice of the Delta blues.  David “Honeyboy” Edwards picked cotton and pulled corn on Mississippi Delta plantations from age 9, living the hard life that the blues were created to address. As a young man, he hoboed across the South with a guitar on his shoulder, rode the rails, got thrown in prison for vagrancy and various trumped-up charges and, along the way, made music with the founders of the art form: Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Son House, Tommy McLennan, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Joe Williams.

Honeyboy left home at age 14 to travel and perform with Big Joe Williams, which became the early model of his life’s activities.  Honeyboy’s recording career started in 1942 when Alan Lomax recorded him in Clarksdale, Mississippi for the Library of Congress.

His recording career has releases on many labels; ARC, Sun Records, Chess, Folkways, Trix, Testament, Evidence, Roots, Blue Suit, Blue Horizon, Genes, Blue Shoe, APO, Wolf, and of course the Earwig Record Label. He has received 2 Grammy Awards, 2 Blues Music Awards, has been inducted in the Blues Hall Of Fame, received a fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts, and won a KBA (Keeping The Blues Alive Award) in the literature category for his brilliant biography The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing.

He is well known as a pioneer of Delta Blues, who made pre-WWII recordings.

One must mention Honeyboy’s long association with Earwig Music label chief Michael Frank. The two met in 1972 and Michael would grow into the role of Honeyboy’s manager, harmonica player, and traveling companion. Michael has done so much to guide Honeyboy’s career.

Honeyoy and Michael Frank

It is no cliché- David “Honeyboy” Edwards is a true living legend.  Honeyboy’s charm, wit and musical brilliance will leave a gap in the blues, never to be filled. The deep blues emotion that poured out of Honeyboy Edwards in each performance has left a lasting impression on the blues world.

Edwards’ death effectively closes the book on a genre of music he represented in Chicago, where he was based since the 1950s.

 He’s the last of the bluesmen from his generation.  Honeyboy was a close associate of Robert Johnson.  Though he collaborated prolifically with the first-generation creators of the music, he was perhaps most famous as one of the last musicians to visit Robert Johnson as the seminal bluesman lay dying near Greenwood, Mississippi., in 1938.  He was that direct connection with the fabled Robert Johnson, and now that has come to an end.

Rocky Lawrence - Honeyboy - Michael Frank







Edwards told his remarkable story in snippets onstage, in anecdotes during uncounted interviews and in a 1997 memoir that has become a landmark of American musical history, “The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing: The Life and Times of Delta Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards.”  In it, Edwards detailed the brutality of life on the plantations around Shaw, Miss., where he was born June 28, 1915.  He told of lynchings that dotted the landscape and of being picked up and sent to the penitentiary for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Along with an entire generation of blues musicians and others during the Great Migration, Edwards traveled north to Chicago in the mid-1950s to get work. He toiled in factories as a machine operator and on construction sites on anything that was needed. At night, he played the blues.

“He wasn’t as influential as Robert Johnson and people like that, but if you look at his whole body of work, it was bigger and broader,” Frank said. “He wasn’t as influential because people weren’t playing his songs as blues standards.”

Honeyboy’s technique was unique, sometimes throwing an unanticipated change to keep those playing with him sharp.  He worked at the highest level of musicianship and his hands were the masters of the guitar strings to his last performance.

Honeyboy's Amazing hands


Rhythm & Roots Festival

Zydeco Hog




River City Slim







Each Labor Day Weekend the Rhythm & Roots Festival takes place at Ninigret Park, just off US 1, in Charlestown, RI.  This is one of the region’s biggest events.  And for sure it has the most dancing.  The Zydeco bands make sure that happens.  Lessons are provided.

The music covers many styles with a hearty sampling of blues.  It is three days of music on four stages. 

There are a number of stages and they are all active.  Here is a sampling tilted towards the blues.  Friday, the closing act on the Main Stage is Marcia Ball.

 Saturday, the Rhythm & Roots Main Stage has Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys  At the Redhook Ale Brewery Dance Stage after Noon   Zydeco Dance Instruction, you get to put the lessons to use with River City Slim and the Zydeco Hogs.

Over at the mvyRadio Workshop Stage is Aussie Blues & Didgeredoo, too with Harper.  The VSA Arts Family Stage will have an afternoon Mardi Gras Parade with the Hot Tamales.

Sunday, Mitch Woods and his Rocket 88s are on the Rhythm & Roots Main Stage, which closes with Delbert McClinton

The Redhook Ale Brewery Dance Stage again has lessons and River City Slim and the Zydeco Hogs.  For more information go to:

Over 20 acts will be taking the stages.

It is family friendly with areas to keep the children active and learning about the music.  At the VSA Arts Family Stage there are various workshops.  Storytelling, Red Tide Ramblers, a Disney Classic Movie and an evening Teen Film.

In addition, the Cajun Academy for kids will again be happening during  Rhythm & Roots 2011.  It’s free and open to kids from 8-17 years of age.  Classes in fiddle, guitar, mandolin, accordion and bass will be offered.  Michelle Kaminsky will be directing the academy this year.

Site Services, you’ll find:

  • • Mouthwatering Ethnic and Regional Foods for Sale
  • • Juice Bars with waters, juices and snacks for purchase
  • • Craft and Clothing Vendors
  • • Festival Wear with R&R Tees, Hats, Jackets, etc.
  • • Artist Merchandise Booth with CDs for sale and an Artist Meet and Greet area|
  • • Free paved parking
  • • Handicapped parking and transportation
  • • Conveniently located and well-maintained portable toilets
  • • Handwashing stations
  • • Information Booth
  • • 24 hour First Aid
  • • 24 hour Security
  • In the camping areas:
  • • Flat grassy camping (no hookups) for tents, popups and RVs
  • • Water tankers
  • • Portable toilets
  • • Handwashing stations

Also on the premises:

  • • State of the art kids playground
  • • Tennis courts
  • • Hike and bike paths
  • • Freshwater swimming pond
  • • Picnic pavilions

Blues Schedule August 26 – September 1

This Week’s Blues.

The blues schedule is as up to date as possible, but it’s always a good idea to call the club to confirm.

  • Black-eyed Sally’s: Friday. Junior Krauss & the Shakes; Saturday, The Walter Lewis Blues Trio; Hartford. (860) 278 7427
  • Bridge Street Live: Friday. Walter Trout; Collinsvile. (860) 693-9762
  • The Lady Katharine Cruise Ship: Friday Basically Blues Band; Essex.
  • Infinity Music Hall: Sunday, Curtis Salgado; Norfolk.
  • Backstage: Wednesday, Eran Troy Danner Duo; Torrington.
  • The Ridgefield Theater: Saturday, Kenny Wayne Shepherd;. Ridgefield. (203) 438-5795
  • The Tuscany Grill: Friday. Brandt Taylor ; Middletown.
  • The Griswold Inn: Saturday, Basically Blues Band; Essex.
  • The Bar on Cedar: Saturday, Jeff Pitchell & Texas Flood; Newington. (860) 667-1733
  • Maple Tree Café: Friday, McDonald/Teague; Simsbury.
  • The Main Pub: Friday. Eran Troy Danner; Manchester.(860) 647-1551
  • Jakes Martini Bar: Saturday, Eran Troy Danner; Wallingford. (203) 793-1PUB
  • Augurs Pub: Saturday, The Eric Ducoff Band; Guilford.
  • Whitfield’s (on the Guilford Green): Friday, Ditty Mack: Guilford.
  • .1650 Club: Friday, the Dw Blues Band; Waterbury.
  • City Limits Café: Sunday, Johnny Boots  (1 pm);Waterbury.
  • Rock Ridge Country Club: Friday, Paul Gabriel ; Newtown.
  • Burkes Tavern: Saturday, Dan Stevens & the Fiery Band; Niantic.  (860)739-5033
  • Fred’s Brickhouse Café: Friday, King Cake; Saturday, Pattie Tuite &the Boilermakers; Willimantic.
  • Sneekers Café: Saturday, River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs; Groton.
  • Theodores’: Friday, Sarah and the Tall Boys; Thursday, Johnny Boots; Springfield. (413) 736-6000

 Weekly Blues Events

  • The Hungry Tiger     Blues Jam w/Gene Donaldson (Monday)
  • Black Eyed Sally’s     Open Blues Jam w/Tommy Whalen (Wednesday)
  • Cypress Grill              Blues Jam Open Mic Night With The Redliners (Wednesday)
  • C J Sparrow Pub & Eatery                         Ken Safety’s Open Mic Show (Thursday)
  • The Good Life Grill              Blues Jam w/Burt Teague (Thursday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Sunday)
  • City Limits Café        Eran Troy Danner Jam (Tuesday)
  • Café 9                         Sunday Open Blues Jam w/ host the Crown Street Orchestra
  • The Owl Shop            Greg Sherrod Band w/Rocky Lawrence (Tuesday)
  • Spill the Beans Coffee House           Acoustic Open Mic w/Johnny I (Thursday)
  • Monster B’s Bar & Grille     Blues Jam w/Roxy Perry (Wednesday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips & Friends Jam (Tuesday)
  • June’s Outback Pub             Open Jam with Steve Hatch and others (Monda
  • On Friday it is another Foolzz for Blooz Trip aboard the The Lady Katharine.  Take a cruise and be entertained by the Basically Blues Band.
  • Connecticut is getting into fair season and the fairs are getting into the blues.  Saturday, Bad Rooster is at The Terryville Fair from 12:30 to 3:30 pm and The Tom Sanders Band has the stage at- The Chester Fair from 3:45 to 6:45 pm.    The Brooklyn Fair brings in Shaka & The SoulShakers for a show from 11 am to 2 pm.
  • Sunday Easton Jazz Festival will have Paul Gabriel and his Blues Band.  Then in New Haven on Wednesday The Travis Moody Band gets the slot at Blues, Berries & Jam on the Green from noon to 1:30 pm.

Around the Blues Foundation

The Blues Foundation has now been advised by The United States Post Office that the official address for the new permanent home is simply 421 S Main St., Memphis, TN 38103-4464.  This is the new home.  A short walk or trolley ride from Beale st.

The new home provided the background for an episode of Music Voyager,  A music and travel series shown in some 150 countries around the world.  Bobby “Blue” Bland was the focus of the scene.  Bland shared the secrets to “Further on up the Road” to young Memphis guitarist Will Tucker, a regular on the stage at B.B. King’s on Beale.

The annual election of The Blues Foundation’s Board of Directors and its officers has been completed.  The eight recently-elected members will jo in the 25-member Board and begin three-year terms at the next Board meeting on August 27 in Memphis.   The Board Development Committee was especially interested in individuals in a position to assist The Blues Foundation with ongoing plans to establish a Blues Hall of Fame at its new permanent home.

New members elected to the Board are: Alan Maites, Robinson & Maites Marketing Agency, Chicago, IL; Les Walgreen, Peaux Deaux Productions, Chicago, IL; and Olga Wilhelmine, a New Orleans-based performer, who will represent the Education constituency.  Board members who were elected to a second term are:  Thomas Cain, BMI, Nashville, TN; Thomas Ruf, Ruf Records, Germany; Joey Sichting, FedEx Services, Memphis, TN; Ricky Stevens, a Blues fan from Coldwater, MS, and Cassie Taylor,  a Boulder, CO-based performer. 

The new Board selected the following Board members to leadership positions: Bill Wax, Host and Program Director of Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville channel, Washington, DC, and Eric Simonsen, a retired corporate executive and Blues fan, Ivins, UT, were elected President and Vice-President, respectively. Additional members of the Executive Committee are: Gary Anton, a Tallahassee, FL, attorney and owner of the Bradfordville Blues Club; Kevin Kane, President and CEO of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Dorothy Moore,  a Jackson, MS Grammy-nominated singer.  Clay Purdom, an attorney with the Memphis law firm of Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston, was elected Treasurer.

The newly-elected members and officers join fellow Board members Phil Barkett III, Kathy Bolmer, Jostein Forsberg, Zac Harmon, Stefan Levy, Jerry “Boogie” Mason, Ron Partain, Hugh Southard, Eric Steiner, Bob Trenchard and Laurie Tucker.  The Board now has more entertainers than in past years.

Stay tuned for the next steps in the long awaited project to establish a bricks and mortar Blues Hall of Fame at the new headquarters.

Drawing — The Blues Foundation will once again conduct a drawing from its current membership on September 1.  First prize is a cabin for two on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise sailing the Pacific October 23-30.  Second prize is blues getaway at the Blues Inn at Sealy Flats in San Angelo, TX.  There are ten third prizes–the just released 2120 South Michigan Ave.George Thorogood himself.

Each member has a cha nce to win.  Indeed each $25 of membership equals one chance to win.  If you are not yet a member, join today here. Past winners know that the cruise is a trip of a lifetime and a great benefit of Blues Foundation membership.

First Prize – A cabin for two on the LRBC #17 in the Pacific, October 23-30, 2011.  Departing from San Diego, CA with ports of call at Cabo San Lucas, La Paz & Loreto via the Holland America Zaandam. 

Second Prize — A $2700 package at Blues Inn at Sealy Flats in San Angelo, TX.  This package includes, among other goodies: 3 day weekend stay in the four-room Howlin’ Wolf suite with courtyard facing the Jimmy Reed concert area; a $400 food allowance; three evening, two lunch and one breakfast concert(s); transportation from airport in custom hot rod; passes to local attractions, wine tasting, massage, arts, crafts, clothing and music gifts and on and on!!

Third Prize (ten winners) — One copy of the latest Capitol release by George Thorogood and the Destroyers–2120 South Michigan Ave.–autographed by George. Check it out at

Coming Events

1. The plan is to have all information about hotels for the 2012 International Blues Challenge on our website on September 1. Ticket sales will be available online on October 1.

2. Deadline for KBA submissions is September 30.

3. If you are (or will be) involved in the release of a blues CD or DVD between November 1, 2010 and October 31, 2011, make sure you have reviewed the nomination process set forth at  While it is not too late, you should have completed this process already.  If you have not, act today!

Blues Store  — A few NEW ITEMS are in the Blues Store, the doors are open 24/7 for your Blues Foundation gear! Swing by and have a look around! Make sure to visit the store weekly for specials and new products!

As noted above, George Thorogood’s latest release is entitled 2120 South Michigan Ave.  The CD, produced by Blues Music Award winner Tom Hambridge, is GT’s paean to Chess Records, which was located at that address during the latter part of its heyday.  Of course, Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven is located at this address today.

James Cotton – Bridge Street Live


 Friday night James Cotton and his band were at Bridge St Live in Collinsville, Connecticut.  This was my first stop there.  Should probably have been there sooner.  The venue has been doing a lot of shows.  Good quality acts.  Not just blues.

Plenty of Parking.  Pretty good sightlines to the stage.  Table seating with some food service.  Good sound as well and of course a crowd that respected the legend on stage.

Friendly staff and it was passed on to the audience.  I sat with River City Slim and Pat.  RCS said it was the biggest crowd he has seen there.

I brought my sister who is somewhat younger and more of a fan of other genres.

Below is her Facebook post about the night.

From my Sis “James Cotton show last night: Okay, I admit, I didn’t know much about him till last night. OMG!! This man is 76, had throat cancer, can’t sing anymore, can hardly speak, has to be helped onto the stage, BUT HE IS STILL GOING STRONG WITH HIS HARMONICA & SPIRIT!! WOWOWOW!! I was in awe!! No flash cameras, so I didn’t get any pics of him. But what an experience.

 He was soo happy when he saw people dancing & singing along!! It was soo cute. I knew one song, lol, cause Bonnie Raitt had done it. Lol!! :)”

She did find a pic of Cotton to post with her thoughts.  Who knows Maybe some new fans will come aboard.  Well she said it pretty good.

Cotton is on stage and he is having fun.  His big smile just adds to the magic of his harmonica.  So much sound from such a small instrument.  The audience just loved it.

After the show, people were talking about how great a show they just saw.  Darrelll Nulisch’s vocals were strong.  I told him the only way I could describe it was BOLD.

Tom Holland on guitar did some opening vocals and later in the set added some slide.  Noel Neale’s bass playing and stage presence made him an immediate audience favorite.

Cotton did Mojo explaining it was one of the first songs he did with Muddy.

The crowd hung around for CD purchases, autographs, and pictures.

Before the night was over, I ran into Jamioe and Jay, formerly of Black-eyed Sally’s and always taking in the good music.

the 3 of us

I had just seen Cotton at the Shaboo 40th Anniversery show and I could see him again in another month.  He has a rare quality that makes the show fun and while I was not keeping track of what he was playing, Why should I?  I was enjoying the show.

Come back Thursday to the Blog for the week’s Blues Schedule.

Blues Schedule August 19 to 25

This Week’s Blues.

The blues schedule is as up to date as possible, but it’s always a good idea to call the club to confirm.

  • Bridge Street Live: Friday, James Cotton; Collinsvile. (860) 693-9762
  • Black-eyed Sally’s: Friday, Victor Wainwright; Saturday, The McDonald Teague Band; Hartford. (860) 278 7427
  • Infinity Music Hall: Saturday, The Nighthawks; Norfolk.
  • City Limits Café: Sunday. Jeff Pitchell with J. Geils; Waterbury.
  • FTC Stage One: Wednesday, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars; Thursday, Famoro’s Kakande & Walter Lewis Blues Trio; Fairfield. (203)-319-1404
  • Maple Tree Café: Friday, Jaimoe & Friends; Simsbury.
  • The Cypress Grill: Saturday, The Tom Sanders Band; Middletown.  (860) 346-3367
  • The New Orleans Restaurant: Saturday, Basically Blues Band; Westbrook.
  • The Crown & Hammer Pub: Friday, Brandt Taylor ; Collinsville. (860) 693-9199
  • Lucky Lou’s: Thursday, Eran Troy Danner Duo; Wethersfield.
  • Crabby Al’s Seafood: Saturday, Eran Troy Danner; Thomaston.
  • Backstage: Wednesday, Eran Troy Danner Duo; Torrington.
  • The Firehouse Grille: Saturday, Beyond the Blues ; Plainville. (860) 747-2277
  • Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center: Saturday, Roomful of Blues; Old Saybrook. (860)-510-0473
  • Billy Tee’s Bar & Grill: Friday, Bad Rooster; Cromwell.
  • Lenny’s On The Beach: Saturday, Pete Scheips ; (Soundview Beach);Old Lyme. (860)434-8181
  • The Stadium Sports Bar & Grille: Friday, Eran Troy Danner; Waterbury.
  • 1650 Café: Thursday, The D.W. Blues Band; Waterbury.
  • D’Amelio’s: Thursday, Paul Gabriel Trio; Waterbury.
  • Fred’s Brickhouse Café: Sunday, Gospel Brunch, Sunday Deep Elum; Willimantic.
  • The Carousel Club: Thursday, Brandt Taylor & Friends; New London.
  • Fayerweather Yacht Club: Friday, Paul Gabriel; Black Rock.
  • The Twisted Vine: Saturday, The Walter Lewis Blues Trio; Derby
  • Liquid Lunch: Saturday, Paul Gabriel; Shelton.
  • The Gaelic American Club: Friday, Otis & the Hurricanes; Fairfield.
  • Theodores’: Friday, Scott Holt; Springfield. (413) 736-6000

 Weekly Blues Events

  • The Hungry Tiger     Blues Jam w/Tim McDonald (Monday)
  • Black Eyed Sally’s     Open Blues Jam w/Tommy Whalen (Wednesday)
  • Cypress Grill              Acoustic Open Mic Night Hosted By Don Giroux, Ryan Goodine and Nick D’Errico (Wednesday)
  • C J Sparrow Pub & Eatery                         Ken Safety’s Open Mic Show (Thursday)
  • The Good Life Grill              Blues Jam w/Burt Teague (Thursday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Sunday)
  • City Limits Café        Eran Troy Danner Jam (Tuesday)
  • Café 9                         Sunday Open Blues Jam w/ host the Rocky Lawrence Band
  • The Owl Shop            Greg Sherrod Band (Tuesday)
  • Spill the Beans Coffee House           Acoustic Open Mic w/Johnny I (Thursday)
  • Monster B’s Bar & Grille     Blues Jam w/Roxy Perry (Wednesday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips & Friends Jam (Tuesday)
  • June’s Outback Pub             Open Jam with Steve Hatch and others (Monday)

Rocky Lawrence is playing with Greg Sherrod at The Owl Shop.

Sunday. Dan Stevens is at the RCA Summer Music Fest in Pinkney Park, Rowayton.  Also outdoors on Wednesday is Cross-eyed Cat playing Blues, Berries & Jam on the Green in New Haven from Noon to 1:30 pm.  Then in the evening up in Springfield. Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson is in Stearns Square (Worthington St.).

August is ending with one of the season’s biggest festival.  Bluestock is in its first year but promises to be something to remember. 

Bluestock is being held at Hunter Mountain, New York.  Hunter Mountain is located just over 2 hours north of New York City in the northern Catskill Mountains of New York State.  Hunter is located at 64 Klein Avenue, Hunter, NY, 12442, a convenient half-hour ride from New York State Thruway exits 19, 20 or 21.   (800) HUNTER-MTN (800-486-8376),  GPS Coordinates: 42° 12.289 N 074° 12.598 W.

How is this for a line-up, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray Band, Elvin Bishop, Tommy Castro & The LRBR/Joe Louis Walker, Rick Estrin, and Deanna Bogart, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Tab Benoit, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Shemekia Copeland.  Robert Cray Band replaces an ailing Gregg Allman.  Cray is a 5-time Grammy Award winner and Blues Hall of Fame member.

All of the acts carry a bundle of press clippings.  And they are just some of the entertainment.

Shemekia Copeland is a force to be reckoned with in the blues.  She wows audiences and belts out the blues.  Elvin Bishop will headline the festival’s Friday lineup, and Buddy Guy, Blues Entertainer and Album of The Year from the Blues Music Awards is the big headliner.  Guy won five awards at The Blues Foundation’s ceremony.

The acts include:


  • 5:00 PM  Lionel Young Band
  • 6:00 PM   Bob Margolin & Matt Hill
  • 7:00 PM  Trampled Under Foot
  • 8:00 PM   Tab Benoit
  • 9:00 PM   Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
  • 11:00 PM   Elvin Bishop

    Elvin Bishop in CT

Bob Margolin

Then visit the Late Night Club 88 Hosted by Mitch Woods and Billy Gibson


  • 12:00 PM  Port City Prophets
  • 1:00 PM   Alexis P. Suter
  • 2:00 PM  Bruce Katz
  • 3:00 PM   Ronnie Baker Brooks
  • 4:00 PM   Shakura S’Aida
  • 5:00 PM   Tommy Castro & LRBR
  • 7:00 PM  Shemekia Copeland
  • 8:00 PM   Curtis Salgado Big Band
  • 10:00 PM  Robert Cray Band

    Alexis P Suter

Again, Late Night  Club 88 Hosted by Mitch Woods and Billy Gibson


  • 12:00 PM  Ty Curtis
  • 1:00 PM   Albert Cummings
  • 2:00 PM  The Reba Russell Band
  • 3:00 PM   Zac Harmon
  • 4:00 PM   Moreland & Arbuckle
  • 6:00 PM   Buddy Guy

Accessibility – This site is on rough, rugged terrain. It’s grassy, on a slope, and uneven. If it rains, there will be mud. Please come prepared!

 The Bluestock staff is working to assure a good time for all attendees.  Extra services are being provided for handicapped attendees.  There will be designated volunteers to help out all weekend long and a special needs viewing area at the main stage with a direct sight line to the stage.  There are also festival taxis to assist handicapped patrons.

Now this is planned to be a big party.  Besides the music, there are other Activities and Attractions.  A Gaming Lounge and Outdoor Area will be set up.  They will have a lounge area complete with a Pool Table, Juke Box and Video Games in the Bar Area inside the Main Base lodge.  The outdoor gaming area will be located behind the base lodge and will include Horse shoes and a Bocce Ball court.  Hunter Mountain’s newly built Frisbee Golf Course will be open throughout the weekend.

In addition there will be Not-For-Profit Exhibitors.  You can visit some of the not-for-profit exhibitor booths on the mountain for information regarding a variety of environmental, social, and political issues.

Children are anticipated to attend and a Cozy Kids Corner is planned.  A shady wooded lot is reserved for children and their parents where imaginations come alive; complete with frisbees, balls, low hanging hammocks, tipis and cozy corners that kids of all ages make their own. The area has prime hillside seating that allows full view to both stages so custodians won’t miss a beat. The cozy kids corner will have it’s own potty, plenty of drinking water and a daily snack.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Cosmic Karma Fire Troupe will also provide some entertainment.  Cosmic Karma Fire is a fire performing troupe based in upstate New York.  The troupe is driven by passion for performing with the one element known to be uncontrolled by nature.  Harnessing the power of fire, Cosmic Karma Fire has created the most amazing shows one could possibly witness in their lifetime. They thrive to impress, amaze, and astonish their audiences in extreme and unique ways.

A number of visual artists will be on site too.  It is a well rounded festival to entertain and enrich.

I can only say that it looks like a lot of thought went into making this festival a blues success.  The additional touches beyond the blues make it a family and fun event.

At Last Access to Tommy Johnson’s Grave

Vera Johnson-Collins sent me the following press release.  We met some years ago and talked of the Crystals Springs/Hazelhurst blues stories.  Her uncle Tommy Johnson was one that had some mystic beliefs.  His family often wondered if he didn’t influence Robert Johnson’s Devil at the Crossroads story.


AT LAST – The Copiah County Board of Supervisors Votes in Favor of Building a Road to Warm Springs Cemetery

August 11, 2011

CONTACT:  The Mount Zion Memorial Fund – T. DeWayne Moore, 615-663-7858

Hazlehurst, MS – At 9:55 am on August 10, 2011, after T. DeWayne Moore presented an appeal for assistance in opening the road to the grave site of blues legend Tommy Johnson, the Board of Supervisors in Copiah County voted in favor of constructing a road along the easement to Warm Springs Cemetery, where the seminal blues musician was buried in late 1956.

Several family members of those interred at the cemetery also attended the board meeting.  Vera Johnson Collins, the niece of Tommy Johnson and daughter of Mager Johnson, advised the board to take care not to disturb any of the existing grave markers during the construction; Rosie Taylor Martin, the daughter of “44” Charlie Taylor, spoke about the significance on the Warm Springs community in blues history.  Additionally, Jackson-born blues singer Dorothy Moore also relayed the significance of blues musicians from Crystal Springs in the history of American popular music.

After almost ten years, the Tommy Johnson Foundation and the Mount Zion Memorial Fund presented the legal agreement, which was signed and filed at the Copiah County Chancery Court on June 24, to the board that established a permanent easement along the road “historically” used to access the site, a road evident on local maps of the Terry Quadrangle into the 1970s.  The re-opening of the road to the cemetery will facilitate the relocation of Johnson’s 500-pound headstone from the Biggs Memorial Library in Crystal Springs to his burial site in the cemetery.  According to fifth district supervisor Jimmy Phillips, the county road manager will begin working on the project in the next couple of weeks, and construction of the road should be completed by the middle of September.  Currently, we plan on relocating and rededicating the headstone in early November, the tenth anniversary of its original unveiling in 2001.
ADDENDUM (written by Scott Barretta)  To add some meat to the release Scott Barretta added some notes.

The basic issue at hand is that over the years the original road to the graveyard was covered via natural processes, resulting in a situation where it was deemed to be trespassing to reach the gravesite. The original church was abandoned in the 1960s, and in 1988 the two-acre site was turned over to two adjacent landowners in accordance with a reversionary clause in the original deed held by the church.

In November of 2001 a new tombstone was dedicated to Johnson at a ceremony in Crystal Springs, but the family was unable to place it in the cemetery because of the legal issues noted above, and the headstone has sat in the local library for nearly a decade. In 2001, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History deemed the Warm Springs cemetery to be historically significant, which provided the Copiah County Board of Supervisors with the legal right to maintain the site.

The landowners, however, were not cooperative, and, without going into detail, earlier “solutions” to the issue would have placed an excessive financial burden on the Johnson family. The current solution recognizes the landowners’ right to the property, but they must act in accordance with laws respecting the integrity of the graveyard. Copiah County will now take responsibility for creating and maintaining the easement road.

Come back Thursday to the Blog for the week’s Blues Schedule.

Blues Schedule August 12 – 18

This Week’s Blues.

The blues schedule is as up to date as possible, but it’s always a good idea to call the club to confirm.

  • Black-eyed Sally’s: Friday, The Gas House Gorillas; Saturday, Gina Sicilia; Hartford. (860) 278 7427
  • The Griswold Inn: Sunday, Basically Blues Band; Essex.
  • Angelico’s Lakehouse: Saturday, Basically Blues Band; East Hampton.
  • Lucky Lou’s: Saturday, Paul Gabriel Trio; Wethersfield.
  • Bridge Street Live: Saturday, LittleHouse; Collinsvile. (860) 693-9762
  • Ocean Beach Park: Friday, Jeff Pitchell & Texas Flood; New London.
  • Infinity Music Hall: Friday, Leon Redbone; Norfolk.
  • Penny Lane: Saturday, Dan Stevens; Old Saybrook.
  • The G.W. Tavern: Saturday, Eran Troy Danner; Washington Depot.
  • Sullys Pub: Friday, Pete Scheips Band; Hartford. (860)231-8881
  • Sneakers: Friday, Brandt Taylor; Ashford.
  • Rock Ridge Country Club: Friday, Paul Gabriel; Newtown.
  • Café 9: Saturday, The Gas House Gorillas; w/ Shiny Lapel Trio; New Haven. (203)-789-8281
  • Foxwoods Atrium Lounge: Sunday, The Groovematics; Monday, The Groovematics; Tuesday, The Groovematics; Mashantucket.
  • The Carousel Club: Thursday, Brandt Taylor & Friends; New London.
  • 59 Bank St.: Friday, Paul Gabriel Trio; New Milford.
  • RiverWalk: Friday, Dan Stevens w/Chris D’Amato; Mystic
  • Theodores’: Friday, Toni Lynn Washington; Springfield. (413) 736-6000

Weekly Blues Events

  • The Hungry Tiger     Blues Jam w/Brandt Taylor (Monday)
  • Black Eyed Sally’s     Open Blues Jam w/Ed Bradley (Wednesday)
  • Cypress Grill              Blues Jam Open Mic Night with The Redliners
  • C J Sparrow Pub & Eatery                         Ken Safety’s Open Mic Show (Thursday)
  • The Good Life Grill              Blues Jam w/Burt Teague (Thursday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Sunday)
  • City Limits Café        Eran Troy Danner Jam (Tuesday)
  • The Owl Shop            Greg Sherrod Band (Tuesday)
  • Spill the Beans Coffee House           Acoustic Open Mic w/Johnny I (Thursday)
  • Monster B’s Bar & Grille     Blues Jam w/Roxy Perry (Wednesday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Tuesday)
  • June’s Outback Pub             Open Jam with Steve Hatch and others (Monday)
  • Georgetown Saloon   Acoustic Open Mic with Artie Tobia (Tuesday)
  • The good weather has a number of people bringing the blues outdoors.  Jeff Pitchell & Texas Flood are joined by Fireworks at Ocean Beach Park in New London.  Also on Friday, the King Cake Blues Revue will be at the Lebanon Fair.   Saturday, the Shaboo All-stars featuring David Foster will be at the Fairgrounds.  For information call: 860-642-3979.
  • Sunday, Kathy Thompson Band has a 6 pm start on the Wolcott Town Green.  While Dan Stevens & the Fiery Band are at Heritage Park from 6 to 8 pm in Stafford Springs,
  • Over in Rhode Island on Saturday, Ms. Marci & the Lovesick Hounds will be part of the Little Man’s Diner Pig Roast from 2 to 6:30 pm.
  • Wednesday, The Dan Simeone Band plays a- Blues, Berries & Jam on the Green from Noon to 1:30 pm in New Haven.
  • Thursday, River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs are in Willimantic for the 3rd Thursday Street Festival (7:30pm).