Sunday, February 18, 2007

BITS Schedule

BITS Itinerary

Tuesday, March 6th
08:00 AM Ann Rabson WNTA 1330 AM IntervieW
09:30 AM Ann at Conklin ES
10:00 AM Rev Raven at Spectrum School
01:00 PM Ann at Westview ES (TBD)
01:00 PM Rev Raven at Carlson ES
05:30 PM Dinner with Artists
07:30 PM BITS Evening Concert at Just Good Store
Wednesday, March 7th
09:30 AM Ann at Mary Morgan ES (TBD)
02:00 PM Ann at Durand HS/Dolan School
05:30 PM Dinner with Ann
Times for dinner are tentative as are the locations. I will update them when confirmed.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Advertise in our Print Newsletter

March Blues Calendar

March 2007

Other events to mark on your calendars:
- CBS Meeting and Mardi Gra Party February 24th at Big Cities at 8 PM with the Panaramics!
- March Big Cities Shows on the Calendar
- Future Big Cities Shows:
* April 7th Reverend Raven
* April 14th Beat Merchants
* May 12th Annual Groovewalk
* May 18th Chris Cain

BITS Evening Show March 6, 2007 at 7:30 PM

Gerry Hundt at Big Cities

Local musician Gerry Hundt plays bass, occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin and harmonica for Nick Moss' band The Fliptops. Gerry was with Nick at Big Cities Lounge in Rockford recently and treated the crowd to some exceptional mandolin, and even did a little slide mandolin. Gerry is a very talented musician who is a very talented up and coming young artist. We wish him the best!

Jimmy Cavallo at the Jetsetter Lounge

The Jetsetter Lounge in Lake Worth, Florida, on Friday evenings is home to Jimmy Cavallo and his band the Houserockers. No cover charge to see this 80 year young blues and swing great at this ultra swank hipster lounge!

The Jetsetter Lounge on line at:

Crossroads Blues Society Officers and Board Members Contact Info

Crossroads Blues Society
Officers and Board Members Contact Info

President: Mark Thompson
Vice-President: Karl Dahlin
Secretary: Steve Jones
Treasurer: Al McNary

Board of Directors:
Rich Gordon
Rick Hein
Joe Poluyanskis
Bob Levis
Allison Johnson

Membership Application

Membership Application

Print and mail this or click here:

Yes! I’d love to be a part of the Crossroads Blues Society!

Name________________________________________ Phone___________________________

Street Address__________________________________

City________________________ State___________ Zip Code___________

Email Address_________________________ New_____ -or- Returning_____ Member

This will be a membership for an: _____individual ($15) _____family ($25)

Please cut out and mail this form and payment to: Find out about the next meeting date &
Crossroads Blues Society bring this along with you!
P.O. Box 722
Freeport, IL 61032

Top Blues Releases - January 2007 - Sunday Morning Blues Podcast WRTB-FM Rockford, IL

Top Blues Releases - January 2007 - Sunday Morning Blues Podcast WRTB-FM Rockford, IL
Frankie Lee / Standing at the Crossroads / Blues Express
Phantom Blues Band / Out of the Shadows / Delta Groove
Michael Powers / Prodigal Son / Baryon
Barrelhouse Chuck / Got My Eyes on You / The Sirens Records
Coco Montoya / Dirty Deal / Alligator
Daddy Mack Blues Band / Bluestones / Inside Sounds
Willie King / One Love / Freedom Creek
Laurie "Waddy" Mitchell / Ol' Soul / Waddy Mitchell
The Holmes Brothers / State of Grace / Alligator
Mitch Kashmar / Wake Up & Worry / Delta Groove
Fiona Boyes & The Fortune Tellers / Lucky 13 / Yellow Dog
JJ Cale & Eric Clapton / The Road to Escondido / Reprise
Deanna Bogart / Real Time / Blind Pig
Jackie Payne - Steve Edmonson Band / Master of the Game / Delta Groove
Kenny Wayne Shepherd / 10 Days Out Blues from the Backroads / Reprise
Various Artists / Onxrt: Live from the Archives Vol. 9 / WXRT
John Hammond / Push Comes to Shove / Back Porch
Bob Margolin / In North Carolina / Steady Rollin' Records
Eric Bibb / Diamond Days / Telarc

Rich Gordon
Sunday Morning Blues - Podcast podcast
2830 Sandy Hollow Road
Rockford, IL 61109

March Features Dave Gross and BITS with Ann Rabson, Reverend Raven and Madison Slim

The first week of March may be the biggest week in Crossroads Blues Society history. We are sponsoring our Spring BITS program and a show at Big Cities Lounge from March 6th through the 8th!

In our Spring BITS Program we find Ann Rabson, the queen of the blues piano, back for another year of programs. Ann will be performing at four schools on March 6 and 7. Milwaukee guitar slinger Reverend Raven and harmonica ace Madison Slim will also work on a day of programs and will perform with Ann on March 6.
If you like the blues and want to keep up with some of the newest and hottest acts in the blues then you need to go to Rockford, Illinois.

Rockford? Sure enough. On March 8th Big Cities and Crossroads Blues Society will be bringing the Dave Gross Band into town. Featuring Dave on guitar and vocals, Dennis Gruenling on harmonica, Doug Sasfai on tenor sax, Scot Hornick on upright bass and Michael Bram on drums, they are super band with a great new CD (see our last newsletter). Traveling with Dave and his band is another great newcomer, Gina Sicilia. Gina is a bright, 21 year old blues vocalist from the City of Brotherly Love (CD review in this issue). Hopefully Gina will be singing a few songs with Dave when he performs at Big Cities!

March is just going to be a great, great month! We hope to see a great member turnout!

Crossroads Blues Society Nominated for 2007 RAMI Award

Every year the Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) Association recognizes area musicians and music organizations. Artists and groups are nominated for awards for their work in the past year; the awards are voted on by the public. Our Crossroads Blues Society has been nominated once again for a Music Outreach Organization Award. We won that award in 2005. Our Society has done a lot for the schools and community with our BITS programs and other work. Voting is open until March 6th. If you feel so moved, please cast a vote for us at:

In the Blues Music area, the following bands are also nominated for 2007:
· Barstool Bob Band
· Basement Blues Band
· Brother K
· Doug Furze
· Ernie and the Po Boys
· Steve Ditzell & Blue Lightning Band
The RAMI Association is open to all Rockford area musicians, sound technicians, music venue operators, music organizations, music promotion companies and music industry related media/journalists.The RAMI Association has been founded to:
1) Organize community events to recognize and honor Rockford area musicians and technicians.
2) Assist musicians, musical organizations and venues in promoting themselves and the area music community.
3) Provide scholarship opportunities for graduating high school seniors pursuing advanced study in music.

A RAMI Benefit will be held on March 3rd, 2007 at the Verdi Club, 782 N Madison St. Doors open at 6pm, music starts at 7pm. Featuring performances by:The Moon DogsThe Missing LinksClutch CargoBig Daddy Woo WooTickets: $5.00 in advance/$7 at the doorBuy online at the at the RAMI web site or at tickets locations:The Verdi Club, 782 N Madison StThe Postal Shoppe, 1643 N Alpine Rd # 104The Postal Shoppe, 2205 S Perryville Rd.

The 2007 RAMI Awards Ceremony is April 12th, 2007 at the Tebala Shrine Temple, 7901 Newburg Road at 7pm. Tickets: $5.00 in advance/$7 at the door at the same locations as above.
Please take a moment and vote for your favorite blues artists and, of course, your favorite blues society!

Spring BITS Set for March 6th and 7th with Ann Rabson, Reverend Raven and Madison Slim

With the deep freeze we’ve been having, Spring is certainly not in the air. Despite the cold weather we have been experiencing, we have been getting ready to host our Spring Blues in the Schools (BITS) programs. We have an exciting lineup for the BITS programs, which will be held Tuesday March 6 and Wednesday March 7, 2007.

Ann Rabson will be reprising her BITS performances here in Northern Illinois for the third straight year. Ann is well known for both her great solo boogie woogie piano, guitar and vocals and as a member of the world renowned trio Saffire– The Uppity Blues Women. Ann will be conducting four school programs and will perform as part of our evening BITS show on Tuesday. We are proud to sponsor Ann in the Rockford area and look forward to working with her once again!

We are also going to host two other school programs on Tuesday, this time with a guy who has become one of our favorites to listen to: The Reverend Raven. The Rev is based in Milwaukee and plays at Biog Cities every few months to a packed house. The Rev has done BITS with Billy Branch (who did a day of programs for us back in December 2005), so we invited him to solo with us. Accompanying the Rev will be harmonica great Madison Slim. Both of them will also be performing at our evening show.

Ann will start the day on Tuesday with a visit to 1330-AM/WNTA where she will chart with Doug McDuff and play a song or two for the radio audience beginning at about 8:30 AM. Then it’s off to the schools for Ann, the Rev and Slim. The full itinerary is on the right for both days.

The evening show on Tuesday is at Just Goods store at 201 7th St. in Rockford. It starts at 7:30 p.m. - tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets are available through Charlottes Web at (815) 964-2238. This venue is a new one for us and seats about 80 people.

Ann’s bio from :
“Ann Rabson has been playing and singing the blues professionally since 1962. A member of Saffire—The Uppity Blues Women, she also performs solo and with various other bands.

Ann has been nominated eight times for a Blues Music Award (formerly W.C. Handy Award) as Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year. Her first solo album, Music Makin' Mama, was nominated as Album of the Year in both the Traditional Blues and Acoustic Blues categories, and her composition Elevator Man was nominated as Song of the Year.

Ann has toured Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland, performing solo, with Saffire and with piano legend Erwin Helfer. In 2000 she headlined the BluesAlive international blues festival in Sumperk, Czech Republic.”

Reverend Raven and Madison Slim bios from : “Born and raised on the south side of Chicago Richard Raven first heard the blues of Louis Jordan,
T-Bone Walker and Pee Wee Crayton coming from his mother's stereo. His older cousin later brought home the records of Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Magic Sam, Slim Harpo, Buddy Guy and Otis Rush.

After seeing Freddy King at the Kinetic Playground, he started going to Maxwell Street on Sunday afternoons to see Johnny Dollar, Lefty Dizz and Jimmie Lee Robinson play in the alleys and on the street corners. The 1970s were spent going to the clubs and taverns on the south side of Chicago and Chicago Heights to see and hear raw urban blues. After playing in bands for 5 years and doing a 15 year stint in U.S. Navy, where he acquired the Reverend tag, Chief Raven hung up his anchors to give music another go.

That was nine years ago and he hasn't looked back. Since then he has become a regular on the Midwest blues circuit, playing Buddy Guy's Legends, The Slippery Noodle, Memphis Smoke, Fat Fish Blue, Blues on Grand, The Zoo Bar, Whiskey Junction and most of the Midwest blues festivals. Rev has won the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award (WAMI) for best blues artist in 1999,2000 and again in 2004.Madison Slim walks the walk and talks the talk. He is a direct link to the golden era of urban blues played in the clubs of Chicago in the 1950s and 60s. First as a fan, then a student and finally as a player in his own right. He has played, travelled and roomed with a long list of heavy bluesman, including Jimmy Rogers, Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, Ted Harvey, Sam Lay and many, many more.A member of the Sam Lay Blues Band, The Legendary Blues Band and finally the Jimmy Rogers band, he has lived and played hard all around the world. This night at Blues on Grand he was in fine form.”

We are looking forward to working with Ann again and to add the Rev and Slim as new artists in our BITS family. Funding for the BITS event comes from a grant from the Rockford Area Arts Council and our own internal fund raising efforts. We began 2007 in good financial shape and the grant from the Arts Council will enable us to have three full days of programs in March. In the future, we may consider expanding a BITS program to a week long residency program. That will require a little more work on our part from a planning, funding and execution stand point. With declining school funding for music and arts programs BITS plays an important role in the schools, and the more we can do, the better!

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Rockford Area Arts Council which receives support from the City of Rockford, the Illinois Arts Council, and its members.

Crossroads Blues Society Mardi Gras Party February 24 at Big Cities with the Panaramics

“The blues will live on. In a smoke filled bar in southern Wisconsin the seeds were planted years ago. With the drive and conviction of a blues band steeped in the tradition of our idols, the Panaramics are ready to take you back to when the blues made you feel good. Deep groove pockets and plenty of sauce make this band a sight to experience.” That’s what it says on their web site, and it’s true. Led by the young guitar player Aaron Williams and featuring Brian “Looper” Lucas on harp, bassman Dave Wood and Jeffery “JB” Blum on drums, they are a great group. We will have a Crossroads meeting and Mardi Gras Party to go along wit their performance, so come on out for a great night of blues and fun! 8 PM, February 24th at Big Cities Lounge in Rockford, IL.