Monday, June 23, 2008

The 2008 Summer of Blues

Festivals abound over the summer. Every weekend seems to have something going!

One new event in late June that was added to Big Cities calendar is Bernard Allison on Saturday June 27th. This will be a rocking time! More late June events: Stars and Guitars and The Rockin’ Rib Fest have joined forces June 26th to June 29th. Blue’s fans will especially enjoy Saturday’s events with Devon Allman’s Honeytribe and Dicky Betts and Great Southern.

MVBF is featured in the cover story. The following weekend is Bamfest; it is a Friday and Saturday event, July 11&12, at Belleville Community Park in Belleville, Wisconsin. The festival features Larry McCray, Wayne Baker Brooks, Eric Sardinas & Big Motor, Sonny Landreth, Robben Ford, and Jeremy Spencerthe Original Fleetwood Mac. Check it out at Also on the 11th is Blues on Chicago, an annual Freeport IL event . This year it is featuring the Reverend Raven and the Cash Box Kings. 6 to 11 PM. Admission is only $3.

Nothing But the Blues Festival In Bloomington, IL is July 18&19 in Tri


Lakes. Check it out at Larry McCray, Janiva Magness, The Holmes Brothers and Thornetta Davis are featured there.

The next weekend is Prairie du Chein’s turn. Friday

-Saturday, July 25-26, 2008 is the Prairie Dog Blues Festival in Wisconsin. Check them out at www.prairiedog- Jason Ricci, Walter Trout, Nick Moss, Kilborn Alley, and Bernard Allison are but a few of their acts!

Charlottes’ Web has the Blues with Chubby Carrier July 13th at Klehm Arboretum and the Rockford Versus Beloit Guitar Shootout in Sinnissippi Park on July 25th.

The second annual Waukesha WI BluesFest, will be held August 8 and 9, 2008 at Naga

-Waukee Park in Delafield, Wisconsin. Doyle Bramhall headlines on Friday and Popa Chubby on Saturday. Check

The Fargo Blues Fest is the next weekend., Friday and Saturday August 5 and 16. For complete, up to date information on this and all festivals, check out It is a great on line resource.

Closing out the month of August is the 25th anniversary of On the Waterfront in Rockford. The festival begins with a Styx concert on the Great Lawn on Thursday the 28th, and goes into full swing Friday through Sunday. The Left Bank Stage features blues, and fans will love the headlining artists there this year. Tab Benoit will close out Friday evening the 29th with his brand of cajun blues. Saturday the 30th features the ever

-youthful and soulful Bettye LaVette. Bettye was honored with the Best Contemporary Female Artist ard at this years’ Blues Music Awards while Tommy Castro received honors as both the BB King Entertainer of the Year and for Best Contemporary Blues Alum. Tommy is featured on Sunday the 31st as part of the Legendary Rythym and Blues Revue, along with Deanna Bogart, Magic Dick and Ronnie Baker Brooks. It will be a wild finale to a great weekend of music! Barstool Bob Levis and his Band, New Orleans’ Trombone Shorty, Madison’s Westside Andy and a host of other acts will be playing over the weekend, too. Check it out at www.onthewaterfront. om.. It’s going to be a great summer of blues music!!!

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival July 3-5 Will Go On- Come Hell or High Water!

The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is always a big a event for Crossroads Blues Society members. The relaxed atmosphere, the great music and great setting get our members out in numbers that are equal to (if not better than) some of our meetings! This year’s festival is over the 4th of July; it begins on Thursday evening the 3rd and runs through Saturday night the 5th of July this year.

The location of the festival is still being determined. With the flooding of LeClair Park in Davenport twice this year, the park may not be ready to support this year’s festival. Despite the flood waters rising, the festival organizers assure us that the fest will go on! Check out the Mississippi Valley Blues Society (MVBS) website for the announcement of the location:

This year’s lineup is another great one for blues fans. The organizers from MVBS have done a great job getting a lot of great talent to perform. We appreciate their efforts to stay afloat and make this great event happen despite the regional flooding in Iowa and Illinois. Many members are going, so car pooling and room sharing opportunities abound! Come on out and have a great time and help keep the blues alive!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival July 3-5

For twenty-four years, volunteers of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society have been organizing and presenting the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. The three-day festival is held each year over the 4th of July weekend in picturesque LeClaire Park on the banks of the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa. Through the care and attention paid in selecting performers to represent a variety of blues styles and the down-home non-commercial atmosphere of the fest, over the years the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival has become recognized as one of the finest blues fests in the country. This year’s edition will be held from Thursday, July 3 through Saturday, July 5. We hope you’ll join us for a great weekend of blues music!This site has information pertaining to the festival, from the line up to ticket and hotel information.

Advance tickets for the 2008 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival are now available at all IH Mississippi Valley Credit Untion locations, the River Center/Adler Theatre box office and through Ticketmaster®. A three-day pass for the Fest is available in advance for $40. The admission price at the gate will be $18 per day, so the three-day pass offers a significant savings. Mississippi Valley Blues Society and IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union members will also be able to purchase individual fest tickets in advance at a discounted rate of $15 each at all IHMVCU locations.
Ticket purchases through the RiverCenter/Adler can be mailed to you if you include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your check or money order. There is a handling fee for mail orders. The box office can also deliver your tickets to the Will Call table at the Ripley Street Festival Entrance.

Ticket purchases through Ticketmaster are subject to a per ticket service charge.
RiverCenter/Adler Theater Box Office
136 East Third Street
Davenport, IA 52801
(563) 326-8555
Ticketmaster® retail outlets do not accept phone orders.
Advance ticket holders will receive one half-hour early gate admission.

Barstool Bob CD Release Party at Leombruni's in Byron June 21st

More history to be made! Byron's first CD release party ever!

Barstool Bob Levis and his band will be in Byron on Saturday, June 21st at Leombruni's Italian Village. The show will be from 9:30 PM to 1 AM. Bob and the band are celebrating the release of their new CD, Barstool Blues and will be featuring selections from the CD and a host of great rocking Chicago-style blues tunes!

The evening will feature Bob and 5 band members playing in the restaurant area, so there is plenty of room for the show. Come out and enjoy a great musical experience and come early to have an authentic Italian meal before the show! Cover charge is only $5.

The new disc features dynamic guitar work from Mr. Levis, who has toured and recorded with blues greats like Lonnie Brooks and Otis Rush in addition to performing for seventeen years as a member of the house band at the Kingston Mines club in Chicago.

Levis is the consummate musician, admired by guitar players all over the world for his stellar rhythm guitar work. This recording is the first that focuses on Bob’s equally impressive skills as a lead player.

The disc was recorded at Fuse Productions in Rockford with many of the best blues musicians in the area including Steve Ditzell on guitar & vocals , Brother Dave Kaye on bass, Big Jim Johnson on vocals & harmonica, Link Leary on drums, Ted Lawrence on harmonica, Larry Pendleton on vocal & guitar and Dave Wood on guitar. Special guests include Westside Andy Linderman on harmonica, Jimmy Voegeli on keyboards and Marty Binder on drums. Lonnie Brooks is the featured vocalist on a stirring version of “I Can’t Hold Much Longer.”

"... the instrumentation—especially Levis’s playing—and choice of material is outstanding ..." - Karen McFarland for

Featuring thirteen tracks and over 73 minutes of hard-hitting Chicago style blues, this recording documents the outstanding talent in the Rockford musical community. Tracks like the brooding “Double Trouble” or the rousing instrumental “Barstool Breakdown” are sure to please blues fans all over the world.

"...thirteen tracks of very authentic, string-bending, blues-harp blowing, gut-shouting boogie and blues..."
- Bert Saraco for

The disc was produced and released by Big Paw Records, a new and upcoming blues record label. Copies of the disc are also available for purchase on-line at CD
Bob lives in the Rockford area and he has played before in Byron and in cities all over the world. For advanced tickets or more information, call Steve Jones from the Crossroads Blues Society at 815-234-3118. You can get more info about Bob at Copies of the CD and information about the blues will be available at the show. This is a unique event and a show you do not want to miss!

Smokin’ Joe Kubec and Bnois King

Live and Smokin’

June 13th, 9 PM Big Cities Lounge

$15 cover

A Rosemary Production
For more info contact Joe Geraghty at for info