July 2011

By the time you see this 4th of July will be just around the corner. What a strange spring & summer so far. In the span of 48 hours we had a concert at Tuesday Night Blues in 102-degree heat, followed by a dip in temps that threatened frost. Bizarre! Hard to plan for the weather this year.

Regardless of the weather the faithful and more have continued to come out for Tuesday Night Blues in Owen Park in Eau Claire. If you haven’t made it out yet you are missing out. Not many places have a regular mini music fest mid week in their community. The music has been excellent, the food great and the atmosphere festive. We hope you find your way to join us through the rest of the summer.

This coming Tuesday, June 28 we will be featuring Sparky & Friends including Paul Hinz, Mike Schlenker and Mojo Terry Demars. www.facebook.com/Sparkyandthewipers

The July schedule includes

July 5 The Jayson Collins Group will be bringing us blues with jazz stylings. Their resume is pretty impressive with the fine regional & national musicians they have played with. Check them out at  www.myspace.com/jaysoncollins

July 12 Code Blue w/Catya & Sue Orfield playing many of Catya’s soulful & gritty original songs highlighted with Orfield's sax solos. www.catya.net/

July 19 The Steve Meyer Band is always settin' the house afire with some Chicago style guitar & blues harp. www.myspace.com/stevemeyerandthebluesdogs

July 26 heralds the return of Deepwater Reunion to remind us of what a truly great experience this awesome collection of experienced and well-traveled musicians can lay down in a show. www.myspace.com/dwreunion

This year we have even more vendors, so come hungry! Joel’s Weeny Wagon features brats & chili dogs, while Famous Dave’s Barbecue sandwiches sell themselves, wash it all down with some of Infinitea’s iced drinks and have some 9 Degrees Ice Cream for dessert. If you still need a snack Pay It Forward has fresh popped popcorn and candy. If you are looking for a gift or souvenir check out Juanita’s handmade earrings or maybe some of the artful offerings at Tangled Up In Hue’s booth. We always have t-shirts & caps and a few other Chippewa Valley Blues Society items at our booth, too.

 It may not be blues, but it’s the right colored grass coming up July 2 & 3 when the hoppin’ city of Durand is hosting The 2 Annual Grass On The Chippewa festival featuring a full slate of twelve bluegrass bands over two days, including The Seeger Boys, Evergreen Grass Band & The Stoop Singers! Go to www.grassonthechippewa.org for more info.

A little something about the blues from “ A Brief History of the Blues” by Robert M. Baker

American troops brought the blues home with them following the First World War. They did not, of course, learn them from Europeans, but from Southern whites who had been exposed to the blues. … During the twenties, the blues became a national craze. Records by leading blues singers like Bessie Smith and later, in the thirties, Billie Holiday, sold in the millions. … During the decades of the thirties and forties… The blues also became electrified with the introduction of the amplified guitar. In some Northern cities like Chicago and Detroit, during the later forties and early fifties, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, and Elmore James among others, played what was basically Mississippi Delta blues, backed by bass, drums, piano and occasionally harmonica, and began scoring national hits with blues songs. …In the early nineteen-sixties, the urban bluesmen were "discovered" by young white American and European musicians. Many of these blues-based bands like the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, Canned Heat, and Fleetwood Mac, brought the blues to young white audiences… Since the sixties, rock has undergone several blues revivals. Some rock guitarists, such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and Eddie Van Halen have used the blues as a foundation for offshoot styles. While the originators like John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins and B.B. King--and their heirs Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and later Eric Clapton and the late Roy Buchanan, among many others, continued to make fantastic music in the blues tradition. The latest generation of blues players like Robert Cray and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others, as well as gracing the blues tradition with their incredible technicality, have drawn a new generation of listeners to the blues.

The 'blue notes' or blue tonalities are one of the defining characteristics of the blues.

Amen to that! Thanks for lending me an ear. See ya around.

Check out our website at www.chippewavalleyblues.com