Listen: Episode 1505

Stream This Episode On Demand

2015 releases are beginning to pour into the home for new & independent Blues music, and this episode is an equal split of releases from 2014 and 2015, with many of the 2014 releases being new arrivals themselves.

It all kicks off with Croatian Blues from Tomislav Goluban, follows with a pair of new, unique interpretations of a Robert Johnson classic, and continues throughout the hour with other highlights including two new releases of Tinsley Ellis music, blue-eyed Soul from Lincoln, Nebraska and a new live disc by Brandon Santini.

Courtesy Montrose Records

The featured selection from inside “Johnny’s Mailbox” is “Woman Who Loves Me” by Brad Absher and Swamp Royale. It comes off their 2015 album, Lucky Dog, which is available now from Montrose Records. It’s Absher’s sixth record overall, but marks his label debut with the Houston, Texas imprint.

Absher is a Gulf Coast native, raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana. His music mixes Blues, Gospel, Soul and other Louisiana swamp sounds into something unique. The band performed very well at the 2014 International Blues Challenge, and is looking forward to a great 2015, as they ride on the strength of this album. You can find complete details about Brad Absher, Swamp Royale, and the record Lucky Dog, on their official website BradAbsher.com

1. Tomislav Goluban – Blow Junkie – Blow Junkie
2. The Mike Henderson Band – If I Had Possession – If You Think It’s Hot Here
3. Mudslide Charley – Possession – New & Used
4. Markus James – Diddley Bow and Buckets – Head For The Hills
5. MacKenzie Blues Band – Sweet Stuff – Slam! Bam!
6. Tinsley Ellis – Should I Have Lied – Tough Love
7. Tinsley Ellis – Leavin’ Here – The Best Of Tinsley Ellis (2015)
8. Josh Hoyer and the Shadow Boxers – A Man Who Believes His Own Lies – Living By The Minute
9. Etta Britt – Old Weakness Comin’ On Strong – Etta Does Delbert
10. Brandon Santini – Come On Everybody – Live & Extended!
11. Generation Blues Experience – Little Mama – Private Angel
12. Benny Turner – My Uncle’s Blues (Fannie Mae) – Journey
13. Brad Absher & Swamp Royale – Woman Who Loves Me – Lucky Dog

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Listen: Episode 1504

Listen: 2015 IBC Preview
(Episode 1503)

2015 IBC Winners

Courtesy DeChamp Records

Eddie Cotton, the band representative from the Vicksburg Blues Society, took top honors at this year’s International Blues Challenge. It is the second year in a row the representative from the Vicksburg Blues Society won the band portion of the IBC, following a win by Mr. Sipp the Mississippi Blues Child in 2014.

Here is video of Eddie and his band performing at the finals, courtesy of Chris Canas.

Eddie’s 2014 album, Here I Come, was featured prominently in episode 1503 of our show. Click Here to Listen On Demand The episode also features music by Solo/Duo 2nd place Brian Keith Wallen, IBC Band 3rd place Nico Wayne Toussaint, and the winner of the Best Self Produced CD of 2015, Altered Five Blues Band.

Courtesy Blues Foundation

Courtesy Blues Foundation

Randy McQuay, who had previously won Best Harmonica Player at the 2012 IBC, won the Solo/Duo competition. Dayton Blues Society representative Brian Keith Wallen took home second. McQuay will ride that momentum to his upcoming debut album release in 2015.

Other top honors included this year’s Lee Oskar Best Harmonica Player, Nick Wayne Toussaint (IBC third place Band,) and Altered Five Blues Band won “Best Self Produced CD” for their album Cryin’ Mercy. Ben Rice was named St. Blues Best Guitarist for the Solo/Duo’s. Wallen’s fellow Dayton Blues Society rep, Noah Wotherspoon, won the Gibson Best Guitarist Award for Band competitors. His band finished second in the overall IBC.

Winners receive cash prizes, top gigs, enhanced publicity and inclusion in an exclusive class of Blues performers. There were more than 250 acts in total competing, this year; and everyone was a winner just by making it through their local competition to ear the trip to Memphis. Congratulations to everyone who competed, and to the Blues Foundation for holding another successful competition. Visit them online at Blues.org

2015 IBC Finalists

The finals of the International Blues Challenge are set! Here is the list of finalists competing this afternoon. We’ve been able to track down videos of some of the performers.
The final round of competition begins at Noon Central Time.
Click Here for a Playlist of video performances from other participants in this year’s IBC.

Travellin’ Brothers Asociacion, Musical Blues Hondarribia
Ben Rice & Lucy Hammond, Ashland Blues Society
Brat Pack, Blues Asia Network
Randy McQuay, Cape Fear Blues Society
The Good, The Bad & The Blues, Columbus Blues Alliance
Chris Yakopcic, Cleveland Blues Society

Noah Wotherspoon, Dayton Blues Society
Brian Keith Wallen, Dayton Blues Society
Michael Schatte, Great Lakes Blues Society
Arthur James, Granite State Blues Society
Nico Wayne Toussaint, Southern California Blues Society

Muskett & Carnes, Indiana Blues Society
Betty Fox, Suncoast Blues Society
Bongo Joe & Little Steve-O, Northeast Ohio Blues Association

Eddie Cotton, Vicksburg Blues Society
Dalannah & Owen, White Rock Blues Society

Listen: Episode 1504

Stream This Episode On Demand

Some amazing new release music arrived on our doorstep in recent weeks, and this episode provides the first listen for many of these albums. There’s a great mixture of truly independent music, legendary names, and current superstars.

Alligator Records has released nine, digital only, ‘Best Of’ albums for Coco Montoya, Koko Taylor, James Cotton, Michael Burks, Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials, Lonnie Mack, Tinsley Ellis, Roomful of Blues, and Hound Dog Taylor. Hound Dog kicks off a set of newly reissued music, which is great, because we don’t often get to reach back into the archives and spin some of the all-time greats.

In addition, we pay loving tribute to Willie “Popsy” Dixon, the late drummer and vocalist for The Holmes Brothers, who passed away very early in 2015. We will also remember Lynwood Slim, who passed away prior to the release of his album Hard To Kill. Make sure to scroll down below this week’s playlist and catch a music video of The Holmes Brothers performing “Soldier of Love” that provides an incredible look at Popsy’s drumming and vocals.

Courtesy Vizz-Tone

The featured selection from inside “Johnny’s Mailbox” is “The Real Thing” by DA Foster. It is the title track to his new album. This release is available now in either CD or digital formats through the Vizz-Tone label group, but it will also be released on vinyl LP March 24, 2015.

DA Foster has worked in nearly every facet of the music industry. He formed The Shaboo All-Stars in the 1970’s after Blues legends who performed at his club urged him to sing on stage. He has continued to perform for around four decades, and recorded The Real Thing with Tony Braunagel and Mike Finnigan producing.

For even more information, you can visit DA Foster’s official website at DAFosterMusic.com

1. JD McPherson – Let the Good Times Roll – Let The Good Times Roll
2. Hound Dog Taylor – Don’t Blame Me – The Best Of Hound Dog Taylor (2015)
3. Magic Sam – I Need You So Bad – Live At The Avant Garde
4. Flora Molton – Never Drive A Stranger From Your Door – I Want To Be Ready To Hear God When He Calls (Reissue)
5. Ingrid Gerdes – I Need A Man – High Priestess
6. The Holmes Brothers – Soldier of Love – Brotherhood
7. Lynwood Slim – Old Honkie Tonk Piano Roll Blues – Hard To Kill
8. Markey Blue – Baby I’m Cryin’ – Hey Hey
9. Jon Spear Band – Devil’s Highway – Old Soul
10. Mike Osborn – Love vs. Ego – In The Dog House
11. The Reverend Shawn Amos – (The Girl Is) Heavy – The Reverend Shawn Amos Tells It
12. DA Foster – The Real Thing – The Real Thing

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Listen: 2015 IBC Preview
(Episode 1503)

Listen: Episode 1502

2015 IBC Semi-Finalists

Blues Expressions, Illinois Central Blues Club
C.D. Woodbury, South Sound Blues Association
Sister Lucille, Lake of the Ozarks Blues Society
Nathan Bryce & Loaded Dice, Blues Society of the Ozarks
Eddie Cotton, Vicksburg Blues Society
Brat Pack, Blues Asia Network
Terrie Odabi, The Golden Gate Blues Society
Rae Gordon, Cascade Blues Association
Jimmi & Band of Souls, Minnesota Blues Society
Charlie Love & Silky Smooth, Windy City Blues Society
Marcus Lovdal, Norsk Blues Union Blues
Sufferin’ Moses, Lowcountry Blues Club
Travellin’ Brothers, Asociacion Musical Blues Hondarribia
Tee Dee Young, Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society
Chris Canas, Detroit Blues Society
Kingdom Brothers, St. Louis Blues Society
Noah Wotherspoon, Dayton Blues Society
Palacios Brothers, Austin Blues Society
Pitbull of Blues, Orange Blossom Blues Society
Balkun Brothers, Connecticut Blues Society
Hector Anchondo, Blues Society of Omaha
Michael Schatte, Great Lakes Blues Society
KALO, Wichita Blues Society
Mark Telesca, The Blues Alliance of the Treasure Coast
Beat Daddys, Kentuckiana Blues Society
Randy Oxford, Rainy Day Blues Society
Red Wine, Serenaders Mojo Station
Three Kings, Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society
Al Coffee & Da Grind, Charlotte Blues Society
Latvian Blues Band, Baltic Blues
Mercury Brothers, Central Iowa Blues Society
Big N Tasty, Grafton Blues Association
Betty Fox, Suncoast Blues Society
JP Blues Band, Atlanta Blues Society
Bridget Kelly, North Central Florida Blues Society
Rafael Tranquilino, Washington Blues Society
BluesHammer, Triangle Blues Society
Pillac, France Blues
Bernie Jenkins, Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola
John Calvin Brewer, Spa City Blues Society
Glass Cherry Breakers, Phillipine Blues Society
Jenna & Her Cool Friends, Smoky Mountain Blues Society
The Good, The Bad & The Blues, Columbus Blues Alliance
Bill Stevenson-Nine Steps, East Coast Blues Society
Nico Wayne Toussaint, Southern California Blues Society
Lower Case Blues, Central Delaware Blues Society
Red Dirt Revelators, Blue Ridge Blues Society
Bobby Blackhat, Natchel Blues Network
Lady Bianca, Golden Gate Blues Society
Sam Joyner, Voodoo Blues Krewe New Orleans Blues Society
Jimmy D. Rogers, Cincy Blues Society
Monica Morris & Josie Lowder, Prairie Crossroads Blues Society
Two Blue, Edmonton Blues Society
Bongo Joe & Little Steve-O, Northeast Ohio Blues Association
Brian Keith Wallen, Dayton Blues Society
Muskett & Carnes, Indiana Blues Society
Hat Fitz & Cara, Blues Association of South East Queensland
Dalannah & Owen, White Rock Blues Society
The Two, Sierre Blues Society
The Crime, Arkansas River Blues Society
Tim Lothar & Peter Nande, Baltic Blues
Cary Morin, Colorado Blues Society
Randy McQuay, Cape Fear Blues Society
Brandon Hudspeth & Jaisson Taylor Kansas City Blues Society
Libby Rae Watson, Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola
Ralph de Jongh, Dutch Blues Foundation
Randy Colvin, Kentuckiana Blues Society
Ben Rice & Lucy Hammond, Ashland Blues Society
Tim Williams, Calgary Blues Music Association
John McNamara, Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society
Zack Dust & Jura Geci, Croatian Blues Forces
Zechariah Lloyd, Vicksburg Blues Society
Tom & Alice, St. Louis Blues Society
Clarence “Blues Man” Davis & Jock Webb, Gulf Coast Blues Society
Jackie B & Me, Spa City Blues Society
Arthur James, Granite State Blues Society
Chris Yakopcic, Cleveland Blues Society
Bing Futch, Orange Blossom Blues Society
Vaudevillian, Grand River Blues Society
John Campbelljohn, East Coast Blues Society