Phoenix Blues Musicians Band Together to Send One of Their Own to Memphis

Categories: Blues

Courtesy of R.d Olson
R.d. Olson and his band want to head to Memphis, they just need a few grand.

Ten bands will perform on December 21 at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix as a fundraiser for the R.d. Olson Blues Band, winner of the Arizona Blues Showdown, to help them afford competing Jan. 20-24 at the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis.

Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and the bands will perform until midnight. There is a suggested $10 donation.

The performing bands are Smokestack Lighting, Common Ground Blues Band, The Effects, Toolshed, Kathi Davis and the Groove Tones, Salty Gringos, Tom Grills and Brick House, Steve Rush, Paul CruiZe Blues Crew and R.d. Olson Blues Band.

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Bluesman Mike Presents Blues for a Good Cause at Rhythm Room

Categories: Blues

Bluesman Mike and the Blues Review Band
Bluesman Mike
Bluesman Mike's annual charity drive rolls around again this weekend.

Blues will help kids and needy parents during the seventh annual Toy and Diaper Drive Sunday, December 7 at Rhythm Room in Phoenix.

Bluesman Mike Anderson and the Blues Review Band will head up an all-star cast that includes Lucius Parr, the Sugar Thieves, Paul Cruize and Blues Crew, Sir Harrison, Rebecca Bond from the Diverse Band, Charli Hopewell from Adrenalin, Dave Riley, Mike Black, and Bam Bam.

Bluesman Mike started the toy and diaper drive seven years ago at Bogey's in Chandler, but moved it to the Rhythm Room three years ago because of its central location for those who live in the east or west parts of the valley.

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Bob Corritore Finally Hosts Release Party for All-Instrumental Blues Album, Taboo

Categories: Blues

Dragan Tasuc
Bob Corritore is bold enough to replace vocals with the harp on his new album.

Local blues harmonica player -- and Rhythm Room owner -- Bob Corritore could not have picked a better title for his latest release. That Taboo is an all-instrumental album is rare enough these days in the blues world, but one fronted by a harp blower makes the outing even rarer still.

"The bold thing about it is that an album of all harmonica instrumentals has rarely been done," Corritore says from his Phoenix club "It's kind of a statement about harmonica, as well as a statement about instrumentals."

The album is also a statement to Corritore's ability to craft a dangerous idea into a package of 12 tunes that flow smoothly over a blend of styles. Corritore covers the blues spectrum, tackling jump blues, traditional Chicago shakedowns, sultry after hours ballads and dance floor party numbers in a manner that's compelling enough that lyrics -- or the lack thereof -- becomes an after thought.

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Bob Margolin Reflects on Blues Lessons Learned from Muddy Waters

Categories: Blues

Courtesy of Bob Margolin
Steady Rollin', Muddy Waters-backing Bob Margolin

Claiming blues legend Muddy Waters as a teacher is something few musicians can do with a straight face. "Steady Rollin" Bob Margolin is one such musician. Already showing promise as an upstart blues musician following a short-lived foray into the psychedelic rock world with Boston's Freeborne (the band's lone album now fetches big bucks), Margolin was lucky enough to have Waters draw him under his wing in 1973. Margolin calls it a "crossroads" moment in his career.

"I was completely aware of the significance as it was happening," Margolin explains via email. "I knew I had to do it if I could, that I had a lot to learn, and I had to prove myself to keep the job and go farther with it. Muddy knew that too, and he gave me a chance. I owe him forever."

The ensuing seven years provided Margolin the tools to sustain a lengthy music career. Leaving Waters in 1980, Margolin became a staple on the east coast blues circuit before succumbing to the realities of needing to make albums to "get back out on the world's blues scene." Margolin, now a blues master in his own right, has been racking up awards and accolades ever since.

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Mesa Gets a Blues Night at Stacey's Smoke House BBQ on Main

Categories: Blues

Photo by The Jazz Cat
Toolshed, Buzz Fowler's band, enables blues jams across the Valley.

The blues keep hopping throughout the Valley during the weekdays, thanks to Buzz Fowler.

Fowler started blues jam parties at the El Dorado Bar and Grill in Scottsdale on Wednesday nights and the Steel Horse Saloon in Deer Valley on Thursday nights. Now, Stacy's Smoke House BBQ on Main Street in Mesa has joined in the fun. The new blues night kicked off on September 30 with a mix of BBQ and blues. There is no admission, just the cost of the award-winning BBQ and the drinks.

The first several weeks have been a smashing success. The crowds have been coming out. More than 20 musicians have been showing up each week.

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Elvin Bishop Remembers Blues in the Era of Segregation on New Album

Categories: Blues


Elvin Bishop hasn't always been about the blues, but he's always been around the blues.

His new CD Can't Even Do Wrong Right personifies his career, which has usually focused on the blues, but often hit on many other genres of music.

Bishop loved the blues early enough that he went to college in the Chicago area just so he could be around the them.

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Yes, Acoustic Blues Is Still Alive and Well, as Proven by Phoenix Blues Society Concert

Categories: Blues

Diane Banyai, from artist's Facebook page
Nina Curri

Local blues musicians and their acoustic guitars will get the spotlight Aug. 11 at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM). Nina Curri, Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere, and Mikel Lander and Meridith Moore from the Sugar Thieves will provide the entertainment, presented by the Phoenix Blues Society.

Curri plays roots blues, Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere perform country blues, and the Sugar Thieves are known for their dancing blues music, but Lander and Moore (billed and Mikel & Meredith) often perform as a duo.

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Tedeschi Trucks Band the Oldest Type of Supergroup

Categories: Blues

Mark Seliger

They're the oldest type of supergroup. Husband-wife team Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks have tightened the screws on their blues-rock for second album, Made Up Mind, loosening the caboose even as they sharpened their focus on song and melody over their 2011 Grammy-winning debut Revelator. The musical pair met when she opened for his band, the Allman Brothers, in '99. They've been together ever since.

We caught up with Tedeschi to learn how life can be easier with more hands on deck and what they plan to do as their Sony deal runs out.

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Steel Horse Saloon Wants to Be North Valley's Blues Bar

Categories: Blues

Jenny Flores Photography
Buzz Fowler

The Steel Horse Saloon hopes that Buzz Fowler and First String can make their club into a destination blues venue just as they have for the El Dorado Bar & Grill in Scottsdale. The idea is to establish the Steel Horse Saloon as the North Valley's blues venue.

Every Wednesday for the past three-and-a-half years, the El Dorado has come alive with a blues jam that brings in 20-30 musicians and customers. The event has grown so big that there have been as many as 58 musicians..

The Steel Horse Saloon, known as Arizona's original biker bar, will have their kick-start Jam Party at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 17, pick it up again July 31, and run every Thursday through August. If it's successful, then the blues jam will be adopted on a regular basis.

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Who Needs a Singer? When You Play Harmonica Like Bob Corritore, You Don't

Categories: Blues

Dave Blake
Bob Corritore

Bob Corritore's new CD Taboo, which was released earlier this year, is unique. Why? The master harp-player's album is all-harmonica. Not a single voice appears anywhere on the album. In place of vocals are the sounds of Corritore's harmonicas.

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