Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Buy Advanced Tickets to 2015 Crossroads Blues Festival at Lyran Park!

Great Christmas gift, stocking stuffer or any occasion gift!

Dan Phelps Returns to Leombruni's

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Two Great December Blues Shows at the Hope and Anchor!

Our Tenth Annual Christmas Party with Bobby Messano and Dave Fields and 1960's Chicago inventors of punk music's leader Jimy Sohns from Shadows of Knight!
Bobby Messano is a legendary artist who has released five contemporary Blues CDs, placed songs in major TV and Cable shows and had songs held by Eric Clapton and others. He has played guitar on over 50 Major label and Indie albums and his playing has been heard on everything from the MTV jingle to the Benny Mardones' smash hit "Into The Night" The celebrated guitarist has played on records by Clarence Clemmons, Franke & The Knockouts, Joe Lynn Turner and STARZ, and produced the 60's hit act, "THE SHADOWS OF KNIGHT". Live he has played guitar and been the music director for Steve Winwood, Lou Gramm and chart topping Country artists Jimmy Wayne, Rodney Atkins and Steve Holy. Bobby has played or headlined BAMFEST, Blues At The Beach, The Charleston Blues Festival, Smokin’ In Steel, Summerfest , Charlotte Speed Street & Blues Brews & BBQ, Blues At The Beach, Colonial Beach Blues Festival, Southern Maryland Blues Festival, Willow River Blues Festival, Ambassador’s Blues Festival, Deltaville Seafood Festival and Bay Front Blues Festival. His last four CD’s, “Holdin Ground”,“Bobby Messano Live In Madison” ,“that’s why i don’t sing the blues” and ”Welcome To Deltaville” made it into the Grammy first round balloting 19 times. "that's why i don't sing the blues" was on the American Blues Scene's Blues Top 5 Chart for 24 weeks  and was named 2012 TOP BLUES/ROCK ALBUM (USA) by Blues Underground Network and “Welcome To Deltaville” was named #3 In the American Blues Scene BEST of 2013 list for U.S. Blues Rock CD. On December 22nd 2012, Bobby was inducted into the “BLUES HALL OF FAME”.

Dave Fields: Electrifying Rock With a Blues Soul. Dave grew up in New York City the son of a noted gifted composer arranger producer Sammy “Forever” Fields. From the time Dave was a young child he grew up in his father’s recording studio being exposed to the likes of Sammy Kahn, Rupert Holmes and Stevie Wonder. Being raised by nanny who was from Waycross Georgia, an eclectic dash of southern culture was mixed into Dave’s persona. In a strange twist of fate, his sister Launa a gifted musician in her own right, lost her hearing by the time she was 14. Witnessing his sister’s struggles in a hearing world profoundly affected Dave. “After seeing my sister’s agony from being discriminated against for her condition I was determined to never let that kind of injustice happen again in my presence. I always felt that one of my missions in life was to be able to communicate with people and to listen to them. It’s one of the beautiful things about being a human being. We all want to connect with one another”. Nowhere is that feeling more evident than in Dave’s music. His gift of making his guitar talk combined with his uncanny way of weaving many different styles of music together is an example of how we as humans are a fabric of many different cultures and walks of life. Dave, “growing up in NYC I was exposed to so many different foods, music, cultures… It was truly a melting pot of humanity. I believe I am the kind of artist that reflects what I see and what I’m exposed to. As a musician I was put on this this earth to spread joy, love and life to everyone. I try to do that what every note I play, with every lyric I write and sing. If I do anything less than that I feel like I’m letting the listener down”.

Dubbed “the American Rolling Stones”, the Shadows of Knight shot to the top of the music charts in 1966 with the rock anthem “GLORIA.”  Over 8 million copies later, those three famous chords and that unashamed mating chant has found immortality among fraternities, presidents, wanna-be’s, rock stars and the rest of the nubile world. “GLORIA” has become the party song of generations and the Shadows of Knight have become the legendary messengers.  Chicago’s “golden boys of pop” released four subsequent hits,"I Got My Mojo Workin", “Bad Little Woman”, “I’m Gonna Make You Mine”, and the much lauded version of the Muddy Waters tune, “Oh Yeah”. In late 1968, the band left Dunwich Records (Atlantic) to sign with Team Records (Buddah) and the ” bubble gum” empire of Jerry Kasentz and Jeff Katz. They recorded anonymously on tracks such as “Quick Joey Small”, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy (I’ve Got Love In My Tummy)”, “Chewy, Chewy” and many more hit records. The Shadows of Knight then released their final chart hit, “Shake !” culminating in another million seller.

Born in 1958, the son of famed blues harmonica player Carey Bell, Lurrie Bell picked up his father’s guitar at age of five and taught himself to play. He was clearly gifted. In addition, he grew up with many of the Chicago blues legends around him. Eddie Taylor, Big Walter Horton, Eddie C. Campbell, Eddie Clearwater, Lovie Lee, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Dawkins and many more were frequent visitors to his house. They all helped to shape and school him in the blues, but none as much as his father’s long-time employer Muddy Waters.
At seven years old, Bell left Chicago to live in Mississippi and Alabama with his grandparents. During this time he played mostly in the church, immersing himself in the passionate expressiveness of the gospel tradition. At fourteen he moved back to Chicago and continued to play in church as well as forming his first blues band while attending high school. 

By seventeen Lurrie Bell was playing on stage with Willie Dixon. In 1977 he was a founding member of The Sons of Blues with Freddie Dixon (son of Willie) and Billy Branch. The band recorded three standout tracks for Alligator Records’ Grammy nominated Living Chicago Blues series. In 1978 Bell joined Koko Taylor’s band and stayed for several years, honing his chops and learning the ropes of being a traveling musician. He continued to work with his dad as well, recording the 1984 Rooster Blues album Son Of a Gun and several other titles for UK’s JSP Records. Not only was Bell recognized as an exceptionally talented guitarist and musician, his knowledge of different blues styles, his soulfulness and his musical maturity delivered write-ups in publications such as Rolling Stone and The New York Times. 

Battling and defeating a series of personal demons kept him out of the studio and off the road for a long spell in the late 1980’s, but Bell persevered and re-surfaced in the mid-1990’s with a succession of four highly acclaimed records for Chicago’s Delmark label. 

Since the onset of the new millennium, Bell’s profile has been steadily rising. 2002 saw the release of the CD Cutting Heads and in 2004 Alligator Records released Second Nature an acoustic duet record with his father Carey Bell that was nominated for a WC Handy Award Acoustic Record of the Year by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. 

In 2007 Bell started his own label Aria B.G. Records and released Let’s Talk About Love, which has been called his most accomplished, deeply heartfelt album yet. On the strength of this record, he was voted Most Outstanding Guitar Player in the 2007 Living Blues Magazine’s Critic’s Poll, and in 2008 and 2012 he was named the magazine’s Male Blues Artist of the Year. Since 2007 he has received multiple Blues Music Award nominations as Best Guitarist and Best Traditional Male Blues Artist by the Blues Foundation.
2009 found him pairing up with Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch on the recording Chicago Blues: A Living History which garnered him his first official Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Recording. In 2011 a follow-up was released; Chicago Blues: A Living History (The Revolution Continues) featuring Buddy Guy, Magic Slim, and Ronnie Baker Brooks.
And in 2012 came the arrival of his second CD on Aria BG Records The Devil Ain’t Got No Music, a collection of acoustic blues and gospel songs that recollect the music he often played with his dad and at church in Mississippi and Alabama as a child. In January 2013 The Devil Ain’t Got No Music was honored with the Prix du Blues award from the prestigious French L’Academie du Jazz for the Best Blues Recording of 2012 and the title song (written by producer Matthew Skoller) received a nomination from the Blues Foundation for song of the year.
In 2013 Bell re-signed with Delmark and enlisted famed Chicago producer Dick Shurman to make the record Blues in My Soul. For this project he wanted to get back to the solid foundation of Chicago-styled traditional guitar blues. Blues in my Soul features three new Lurrie Bell originals plus songs by Little Walter, T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Rogers, and Big Bill Broonzy and others.

At last count Lurrie Bell has now appeared on over 50+ recordings either as leader or featured sideman. Lurrie Bell’s elegant and intense guitar playing and passionate vocals have made him a favorite at clubs and festivals around the world and have earned him a reputation as one of the “leading lights” in the future of the blues.

Monday, November 10, 2014

BATA at Spring Creek UCC

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Benefit 12/7/14 for Crossroads IBC Entries!

Lyran Club Features Monthly Blues

1115 4th Ave,
Rockford, IL 61104

The Jimmy's Return to the Hope and Anchor!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ice Hogs- The Blue Flame Lounge turns into the BLUES Flame Lounge on Fridays

The Ice Hogs have 10 Friday home games for the 2014-2015 Season and their new Blue Flame Lounge becomes the Blues Flame Lounge on those Friday nights.  Doors open at 5:15 PM before the games and local blues artists will perform before all the Friday home games.

These are the dates and artists (more will be added as they are scheduled):

Friday Artist
11/14/14 Justin "Boots" Gates
11/21/14 Ron Holm
11/28/14 Dan Phelps
12/26/14 Recently Paroled
01/09/15 New Savages
01/16/15 Collins Grayless Band
01/30/15 Hoodoo Rhythym Kings
03/06/15 Dan Phelps
04/03/15 TBD
04/17/15 Blues Hawks

New Savages at the Lyran Club Friday 11/7

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blues Blast Music Awards Thursday October 23rd at Fluid Events Center in Champaign, IL


This is a fantastic event that you will not want to miss!  Dozens of blues legends will be playing at this show.  The new location is a fantastic venue with multiple stages for non-stop music action.  Well worth the trip to Champaign- there is no other show of this magnitude! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 Crossroads Blues Challenge

Crossroads Blues Society
presents the
2014 Crossroads
Blues Challenge

Mary's Place, 602 N Madison St. Rockford

Sunday October 5th starting at 3 PM: Band Competition

Sunday October 12th starting at 3 PM: Solo/Duo Competition

We will do a Teen Acts Competition (if any submit) at a different location and on a different date


1.      Open to all bands who live within 150 miles of Rockford AND who have played within approximately 50 miles of Rockford at least twice in the last year (August 2013 through August 2014).
2.      Entries must complete the entry application and provide a 300 dpi or better  photograph of the band.
3.      Entries must be accompanied with a $25 entry fee which will be returned only if the band is not selected to compete in the Crossroads Blues Challenge (CBC).
4.      Entries must be accompanied by a three song sampler of the band.  If more than three songs are provided, the first three songs on the entry sampler will be used, 
5.      The band must be willing and able to perform in the Crossroads Blues Challenge on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at Mary’s Place in Rockford and if they win they must be able to perform at the International Blues Challenge (IBC) held in Memphis, Tennessee from January 20-24, 2015.  If the winning band does not compete in Memphis they will forfeit and refund all travel expenses raised by Crossroads Blues Society back to Crossroads.
6.      If a  band was ever nominated for a Blues Music Award (or the former W.C. Handy Award), the act or band is ineligible to compete in the CBC and IBC.
7.      A band is limited to two consecutive appearances at the IBC and must then sit out at least one year before being eligible to compete again. Any act under the same name will not be allowed to compete three consecutive years.
8.      An individual may not compete in more than one act in any capacity.  A musician cannot compete in the Band Division and the Solo/Duo Division, even if that musician represents a different Affiliate in each. 
9.      The CBC and IBC adhere to the following criteria for what constitutes a band:  any act with three or more musicians. Vocalists are counted as musicians for the purpose of this competition. Both electric and acoustic instruments are allowed..
10.   The signature on the entry form signifies that the above rules are understood and will be complied with.  Failure to perform in Memphis as agreed to will result in immediate disqualification and forfeiture of all privileges and prizes.

The winners of the 2014 CBC (1 band and 1 solo/duo act) will receive:
1.      The total of all entry fees received for the 2014 CBC.
2.      A paid engagement at one of our Crossroads Events.  The band will paid at least $600 and solo/duo and teen act at least $200 (both negotiable).
3.      Crossroads will assist with other fundraising efforts to be agreed to after the CBC.

All judges decisions are final.

Crossroads Blues Society
presents the
2014 Crossroads Blues Challenge

Entry Form must be submitted with $25 entry fee by 9/17/14

Mail to Crossroads Blues Society
PO Box 840
Byron, IL 61010

Band Name ____________________________________

Band Member ____________________ 
Instrument _____________

Band Member ____________________ 
Instrument _____________

Band Member ____________________ 
Instrument _____________

Band Member ____________________ 
Instrument _____________

Band Member ____________________ 
Instrument _____________

Band Member ____________________ 
Instrument _____________

Band Member ____________________ 
Instrument _____________

Band Member ____________________ 
Instrument _____________

Contact Information:

Band Leader ____________________________________

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

Our Latest Newsletter!

Join Crossroads and get this sent to you hot off the presses!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

2nd Annual Field of Blues Festival June 28th featuring John Nemeth!

The Second Annual Field of Blues Festival is stepping up to the plate on June 28th at Rockford Aviators Stadium.  Featuring 2014 Blues Music Award winning John Nemeth and 4 other great national and regional blues acts, $10 advanced tickets are still available. Sponsored by Crossroads Blues Society, a local non-profit agency that raises funds for their Blues in the Schools music programs, the festival will be an exciting day of music and fun.  Bring a chair and sit on the field or pick out a seat in the stands and have a great time listening to the blues from noon until 930 PM!  And it helps a great cause!  Crossroads has already run 129 programs for 40,000 area students and all proceeds help them expand their programming!  A variety of food and beverages available for purchase (no coolers in the ballpark).

The lineup has been official for a long time and they have some great acts planned for 2014!  Things begin at noon, so the doors will open at 11 AM.  Crossroads Blues Challenge winner the Alex Wilson Band opening the day.  Alex was a semi-finalist and finalist in the International Blues Challenge and has performed in Memphis three times now at the IBCs.  

Next up is the ever popular Liz Mandeville and her band! They perform at 2 PM.  Liz brings her high energy act from Chicago to us and we can't wait to hear it! It has been far too long that this red headed blues diva has graced a stage in the Rockford area and Crossroads is proud to finally bring her back!

The Jimmy's will bring their swinging blues and other styles of music to the Rockford Aviators Stadium at 4 PM.  Jimmy Voegeli on keys, Perry Weber on guitar, the Young Horns, Mauro Magellan from the Georgia Satellites on drums, and if that is not enough Bun E. Carlos will also sit in on drums!  

At 6 PM, the ever cool Doug Deming and Dennis Gruenling will take the stage with the Jewel Tones.  These guys both put out fantastic CDs that have gotten much radio airplay and when they were featured in last year’s Byron Blues Fest they were fan favorites!  This will be a great set of rocking and swinging music!

At 8 PM the headliner will be John Nemeth!!!  Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 with his dazzling national debut album, John Németh has wowed critics and audiences alike with his riveting vocals and harmonica prowess.  The Philadelphia Inquirer testified to his standing in the current music scene with the comment, "Classic soul and R&B styles have been revitalized by artists such as James Hunter, Eli 'Paperboy' Reed, and Sharon Jones.  You can include John Németh on any list of the best of them.  He has a brand new CD that has topped the charts and he received the 2014 Blues Music Award for top soul blues artist of the year!  He is a superb artist who you will not want to miss!

Between acts they will feature local acoustic blues man Dan Phelps up in the covered pavilion on the third base side of the stadium.  Almost 10 hours of music starting at noon; they will close at 10:30 PM. Tickets will once again only be $10 in advance and $15 at the door.  Sales on line are at or you can get them at any of these locations:

Loves Park

Aviator's Stadium

The Hope and Anchor English Pub



Guzzardo's Performance Music

Alpine Bank (Alpine, Springcreek, East State, and Cherryvale)

Culture Shock

Toad Hall

CD Source

Rockford Area Arts Council

Just Goods Store

Lyran Society Club


Gary's Guitars

Crossroads Blues Society is an all-volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Illinois that works to conduct Blues in the Schools programs for area schools.  Call 779-537-4006 for more information.