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Calling all Blues bands and solo/duo acts in the mid-Michigan area –The Capital Area Blues Society located in Lansing, Michigan (CABS) is accepting applications for their 2018 Blues Brawl Competition.

Deadline to enter your act into the 2018 Blues Brawl is April 30, 2018 at 5 p.m. The competition will take place Sunday, May 20, at the Green Door Blues Bar and Grille, 2005 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, Michigan.https://www.greendoorlive.com

 Entrants can apply to compete in the band category or as a solo/duo act. Winning acts will receive the title of 2018 Blues Brawl Winner, performance slots at the 2018 Michigan Blues Fest in Old Town Lansing, and represent Lansing and the Capital Area Blues Society at the 2019 International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, Tennessee. Visit the Blues Foundation website at http://www.blues.org/ibc for details on the IBC.

 For complete rules and application, go to https://www.facebook.com/CABSblues/notes OR www.capitalareablues.org.


SAVE THE DATE: Mark your calendars:The 25th Anniversary 2018 Kalamazoo Blues Festival will be held July 12 - July 14 ! 

2018 Kalamazoo Blues Festival: We are especially excited about the the 2018 Kalamazoo Blues Festival – it will be the 25th Anniversary of our very first Festival. We expect this one will be special!!

Venue: Arcadia Festival Site in Downtown Kalamazoo
Dates: Thursday July 12 – Saturday July 14, 2018


Thursday July 12
5:00 – 5:50 pm:
Big Trouble

6:10 – 7:00 pm:
Blue Veins

7:30 – 840 pm:
Corey Dennison –
Played with Carl Weathersby in Chicago for 12 years.

9:10 – 10:30 pm:
Ghost Town Blues Band – Horns, harmonicas, guitars and a nasty sound.
IBC: 2nd place 2014

Friday July 13
5:00 – 5:50 pm:
Blue Diamond Blues Band

6:10: 7:00 pm:

7:30 – 8:45 pm:
Angel Forrest – Canadian blues superstar

9:15 – 10:30 pm:
Victor Wainwright – Top blues keyboardist in the country!
BMA: won Best Piano Player award (Pine Top Perkins) 2013, 14, 17

10:55 – 11:45 pm
Seventh Son

Saturday July 14th
12:10 – 12:50 pm:
Hilger & DeVos

1:10: – 2:00 pm:
Steve Pesch Band

2:20 – 3:10 pm:
Big Boss Blues

3:30 – 4:20 pm:
Blue Soul Express

4:40 – 5:30 pm:
Crossroads the Resurrection

6:00 – 7:15 pm:
Grand Marquis_- old-time blues and jazz making a return appearance.
IBC: Finalist 2011

7:44 – 9:00 pm:
Jason Ricci & Bad Kind
Grammy: won Best Blues Album 2014
BMA: Nominated for Best Harmonica 2018

9:30 – 10:55 pm:
Nick Moss Band – Chicago blues at its best.

National News and Beyond

Yvonne Staples of the Staple Singers Passes at 80.

Yvonne Staples, whose baritone helped drive the Staple Singers to the top of the music charts and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, has died at home at 80.

Ms. Staples performed on hits including “Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There” and “Heavy Makes You Happy” with her sisters Mavis and Cleotha and their father, guitarist Roebuck “Pops” Staples.

“On all the big hit records, Yvonne did the background vocals” in addition to acting as the group’s business manager.

When her sister Mavis began a solo career in the 1980s, Yvonne performed the same double duty for her, singing background vocals and managing her tours until just a few years ago.

In 1970, Ms. Staples replaced her brother in the group.

She was born in Chicago to Pops and Oceola Staples, both with Mississippi roots. She started singing with Mavis and their brother Pervis in the 1940s at their uncle’s church.

The family used to host an annual Fourth of July barbecue that drew friends and stars including gospel legends Mahalia Jackson and Albertina Walker and Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler.

The Staple Singers made more than 30 albums. Their greatest chart successes were on Stax Records in the early 1970s.

Symbols of black empowerment and pride, the Staple Singers were active in the civil rights movement and toured the world. When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled with the group, he’d ask them to play Pops Staples’ “Why? (Am I Treated So Bad).”

They received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. The recording academy said they “left an imprint of soulful voices, righteous conviction and danceable message music across the decades.”

Pops Staples died in 2000. Cleotha Staples died in 2013. Yvonne Staples is survived by her brother and her sister Mavis.

Nokie Edwards of The Ventures Fame Passes at 82.

Nokie Edwards, whose virtuosic electric guitar playing helped, define the surf-rock style of the Ventures in the 1960s, died on March 12 in Yuma, Ariz. He was 82.

Edwards, who died Monday at age 82 following an infection he'd been fighting since undergoing hip surgery in December, 2017. The Ventures started their musical journey with 14 hit singles as well that run started with "Walk Don't Run" and included the mega-hit theme song to '"Hawaii Five-O" in 1969.

While some surf-rock groups were short-lived, especially after the Beatles arrived on U in 1964, the Ventures were able to sustain an extended career by recording and performing hits of the day arranged as instrumentals.

Nole Floyd "Nokie" Edwards was born May 9, 1935 in Lahoma, Okla., one of 12 children of Elbert and Nannie Edwards.

Many members of the Edwards family were musicians, and by the age of 5, Nokie was playing a number of stringed instruments including guitar, mandolin, banjo, steel guitar, violin and bass.

Edwards was an accomplished country player, something that was often evident in the Ventures' recordings even though they came to be recognized as the premier instrumental surf-rock band.

Edwards has been cited as a major influence by subsequent rock guitar heroes including John Fogerty and Mark Knopfler, mining a vein similar to that of 1950s guitarists such as Duane Eddy and Link Wray.

At age 69, Edwards became a first-time Grammy Award nominee for his part on the 2004 album "20th Century Gospel" with the Texas-based Light Crust Doughboys, and again the following year for that album's successor, "Southern Meets Soul."

Despite accolades that included induction into several halls of fame, Edwards maintained a sense of humility and appreciation for fans who bought his records and attended performances.

A Star-Studded Lineup With Something for Everyone
The Ann Arbor Blues Festival is proud to announce its 2018 lineup for the iconic music festival celebrating its 49th anniversary this year. The Ann Arbor Blues Festival will take place on Friday August 17th and Saturday, August 18th at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds.

The acts slated to appear at the Festival include Shemekia Copeland, Ana Popovic, Benny Turner, The Bob Margolin Trio, Janiva Magness, Carolyn Wonderland, John Sinclair and the Blues Scholars with special guest Don Was, Sue Foley, Scott Sharrard, Larry McCray, Pete Anderson, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, Nora Jean Bruso, and Jake Kershaw. t

In addition to attracting the best talent in the blues world, one the goals for the Ann Arbor Blues Festival is to honor its half-century old roots while bridging the musical generations.  Like its predecessors, this year’s festival showcases artists who played at the original festivals and highlights up-and-coming blues musicians.  Benny Turner, for example, performed with his brother Freddie King at the 1969 and 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, and famously appears on the celebrated live recording of the 1972 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival.  This year, the Festival will introduce Jake Kershaw - Albion Michigan’s 17-year old guitar prodigy - who has performed alongside contemporary blues legends such as Tab Benoit, Larry McCray, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Another nod to the Festival’s rich legacy is the inclusion of John Sinclair and the Blues Scholars, and their guest, Don Was.  John Sinclair, famed American poet, writer, and political activist, was instrumental in the production of the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festivals from 1972-1974. Don Was, a Detroit native attended the University of Michigan and was in the audience of the early Ann Arbor Blues Festival. He has since excelled at various roles in the music business, from playing bass for his band Was (Not Was), to producing multiple albums for the Rolling Stones

About the Ann Arbor Blues Festival

The Ann Arbor Blues Festival is widely-regarded as the first electric blues festival in the world and featured perhaps the greatest lineup of blues musicians ever assembled – including B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King, Big Mama Thornton, Luther Allison and many more.  Expanded in 1972 and renamed the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, it quickly became one of the world’s premier music festivals, playing host to superstars like Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Dr. John, Koko Taylor, Etta James and countless others. 

Though the last Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival was held in 2006, a group of community members revived the Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 2017 under its original name in anticipation of 2019’s 50th anniversary.

To learn more, please visit us on the web at www.a2BluesFestival.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @A2BluesFestival and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/A2BluesFestival.