Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite in Royal Oak

The Royal Oak Music Theatre is better known for presenting rock acts, but this Friday the venue will host “An Evening of the Blues” featuring Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite.
Their new CD, “Get Up!”,  is their first collaboration together.
Harper, a two-time Grammy winner, wrote or co-wrote all 10 songs on the CD, released on the legendary Stax label. Harper, 43, is known for playing a mix of rock, blues, folk, and reggae music. He has an obvious reverence for old-time blues and gospel. In 2004, he recorded an album, "There Will Be a Light" (Virgin), with the legendary gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama.
Harmonica virtuoso Musselwhite, 69, is a six-time Grammy winner. The Mississippi native is a member of the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame.
A longtime friend of the late John Lee Hooker, Musselwhite has recorded with artists such as Bonnie Raitt and the Blind Boys of Alabama.
You may remember him as the harp player in the fictitious band The Louisiana Gator Boys in the film “Blues Brothers 2000.” That band, headed by B.B. King, also included Bo Diddley, Eric Clapton, Koko Taylor, and many, many other blues greats.
General admission tickets to the all-ages show at the Royal Oak Music Theatre are $49.50. For information, click

Popa Chubby, Johnny Winter at Cally’s
Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills has several standout blues shows planned.
Popa Chubby performs this Saturday, March 2. Johnny Winter returns March 7 with Funky D Records artists Horse Cave Trio opening.
You wont want to miss the “Blues Summit East vs. West” featuring two of Southeast Michigan’s greatest guitarists, Jim McCarty and George Bedard, on March 9. McCarty, with his band Mystery Train, and Bedard, with The Kingpins, will each play a long set with their respective bands. Then, the two guitar masters will jam on a third set together.
For info, click

Attic Dwellers
The Attic Dwellers Acoustic Club is a loose affiliation of acoustic blues loving performers and fans that get together once a month to enjoy the music.
The next session is scheduled from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at Paycheck’s Lounge in Hamtramck.
There are no dues, just a circle jam for seasoned and beginner musicians, as well as fans.
Wolfgang Spider reports that among the jammers at February’s jam were standout harmonica player Larry Everhart and first-time visitor Danny Kroha, who showed off his skills on guitar and kazoo.

To send info to JB Blues, please email

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mardi Gras at the DBS Jam

Bobby Murray at January's DBS Jam.

Laissez les bons temps rouler from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, as RJ's Rhythm Rockers Mardi Gras Edition host the Detroit Blues Society’s monthly meeting and jam at Shelly Kelly’s in Fraser.
Drummer RJ Spangler will lead Mardi Gras revelers with the help of bandmates Paul Carey (guitar), Mike Marshall (bass), and Shawn McDonald (keyboards, vocals). Special guests will include James O'Donnell (trumpet) and John "T-Bone" Paxton (trombone).
The MotorCity Tones, host of  January's DBS jam.
Following their set, the stage opens to blues jammers.
Last month’s jam, hosted by the MotorCity Tones, was one of the best ever, with many superb guest jammers, including singer Sweet Claudette (who received her Lifetime Achievement Award from the DBS that night), Bobby Murray, Chris Leigh, Lester “Hambone” Brown, Luther Badman Keith, Dale Robertson, and many more.
Admission is free.

International Blues Challenge

The winners were crowned at the Blues Foundation's 29th International Blues Challenge in Memphis on Saturday.
Sweet Willie Tea
The solo/duo winner was Little G Weevil, sponsored by the Atlanta Blues Society, while the top prize in the band competition went to the Selwyn Birchwood Band of the Suncoast Blues Society.
Congratulations also go out to Detroit Blues Society representatives Lady X and The Sunshine Band (band category) and Sweet Willie Tea (solo/duo), who both made it to the semifinals. The Deals represented the DBS in the Youth Showcase.
The 2013 Detroit Blues Challenge starts up again in March, with winners representing the Motor City at next year’s IBC. For information, click

Blues at the Library

Jeff Grand & Friends present a Night of Blues at the Southfield Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20. Grand, one of the top blues guitarists in the area who honed his chops playing as a young man with Detroit’s great bluesmen of the past, also performs on slide banjo.
He won the 2011 Detroit Blues Challenge in the solo/duo category.
Admission is $5. The Jazz & Blues series is sponsored by the Friends of the Southfield Public Library and the Detroit Blues Society.
For more info, click or call 248-796-4224.

Rusty Wright Band
‘This, That & The Other Thing'

The Rusty Wright Band’s new release, “This, That & The Other Thing” (Sadson Music), was the No. 1 downloaded blues CD for the week ending Jan. 27, as tallied by the APD Blues Chart.
The CD is also on the Roots Music Report’s national blues chart, checking in at No. 47.

Tinsley Ellis joins Crossroads II

Tinsley Ellis
Guitarist/vocalist Tinsley Ellis will be joining James Cotton, The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson, and Jody Williams and Bob Margolin for the Blues At The Crossroads II: Muddy and The Wolf concert at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Feb. 9. JJ Grey (leader of JJ Grey & Mofro), originally scheduled to perform, will be unable to appear due to unforeseen circumstances.

To send info to JB Blues, please email