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Breakin’ Bread with the Blues

The 2014 "Breakin' Bread With The Blues" Greater Lansing Food Bank fundraising event will be held on November 23rd, 2014 at the Green Door. "Breakin' Bread With The Blues" is an annual food drive collection between the Greater Lansing Food Bank and the Capital Area Blues Society. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Greater Lansing Food Bank and The Capital Area Blues Society, a 501(c)3 non profit organization. The event will be held on Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 at 3:00pm - 8:00pm

Doors Open at: 2pm, the music begins at 3pm. Held at: The Green Door Bar & Grill, 2005 E. Michigan Ave. Lansing, MI. 48912

           Bands Scheduled:

Red Herring  3pm
Calling Dr Howard  4pm
Rotations      5pm
TDRK      6pm
Harper    7pm

*** "Line-up subject to change” Maybe updated in near future.

TICKETS $10 plus a non-perishable food item donation at the door is REQUIRED. TICKETS online at: t.b.a.

411 Club to Close End of October.

The 411 Club in Kalamazoo, Michigan recently announced plans to close at the end of October. The 411 Club has noticed, like most live music venues, a shift in demographics: the live music crowd is getting older, going out less and a noticeable void in a younger audience to fill the seats at blues events. The 411 Club had been Kalamazoo's home for the blues for the last several years although the venue showcased several genres and hosted live comedy. The venue is located at 411 N. Westnedge Ave and opened in 2008. It was owned by Marty Spaulding, who confirmed the closure.


A Hallowe'en Night full of Blooooooos at The Michigan Theater in Jackson, Michigan.

Don't miss a full night of Halloween fun at the Michigan Theatre in Jackson. Music by Kev Nichols & Blue Tuesday with an opening set from very special guest Mike Crupi. Doors at 7pm. Music starts at 7:15pm. There will be a costume contest with prizes. Admission only $5.

Friday October 31, 2014 at Michigan Theater of Jackson 124 N. Mechanic Street, Jackson, MI,

National News and Beyond

Blues Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Sieleman Steps Down.

Jay Sieleman will leave the Blues Foundation he helped establish in a news release on Tuesday October 28th. Sieleman, who has been at the top of the organization since 2003, plans to step down in September of 2015. He will leave as the longest-serving executive in the foundation’s four-decade history.

Sieleman helped escort in a new period of growth, visibility and profitability for the foundation during his tenure. Over the past decade, Sieleman has dramatically expanded the annual International Blues Challenge and Blues Music Awards and strengthened relations with various member chapters and societies throughout the U.S. and abroad.  He has overseen the development of a permanent Blues Music Hall of Fame, which is slated to open downtown in May.

Sieleman has been serving at the preference of the Blues Foundation’s 25-person board. He informed them he would step down earlier this year, and made the decision official this week.

“When Jay was brought in, it was really a do-or-die situation for the foundation,” said Eric Simonsen, the chair of the foundation’s board.  “Jay brought not only fiscal stability, but the programs that were in place he grew those, and put in new ones as well. The International Blues Challenge has grown leap and bounds; the Blues Music Awards have grown leaps and bounds.

Sieleman said his reasons are both personal and professional reasons for his departure. “It’s a combination of factors, as opposed to a single one,” said Sieleman. “I turn 62 next April, and I’ll start receiving my pension, so financially, I’m able to do it. But, also, with the fundraising and building and opening of the Hall of Fame coming up, I will have done about as much as I can do in the job. And I feel like it’s time for someone else to take over the reins and see what they can do.”

The Foundation’s board has formed a committee to begin the search for a replacement. “They hope to select someone no later than the first of August,” said Sieleman, who will stay on to ease the transition to the new head.

“Jay has blazed a difficult trail to follow,” said Simonsen. “That said, there is going to be someone other out there to lead us. And we hope to find a worthy successor. We’ve got a good committee to look for that person.”

Sieleman, who practiced law for more than 20 years, including internationally in Panama and the Solomon Islands, before coming to the foundation, says he’s proudest of the work he’s done to strengthen the foundation globally which  currently has members in more than 50 countries.

Jack Bruce of 1960s Band Cream, Has Passed At Age 71.

John Symon Asher "Jack" Bruce (14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014) was a Scottish musician and composer, was known as a founder member of the 1960’s British psychedelic rock band Cream. Legendary super group Cream, which also included Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, are considered one of the most important bands in rock history. They sold millions of albums in two years and were given the first ever platinum disc for Wheels of Fire.

Bruce wrote and sang most of the songs, including "I Feel Free" and "Sunshine Of Your Love".He maintained a solo career that spanned several decades, and also participated in several critically acclaimed musical ensembles. Known as a memorable vocalist and pioneering bass guitarist, Bruce was also an accomplished songwriter.

Bruce was trained as a classical cellist, and he considered himself a jazz musician, although much of his collection of compositions and recordings had a blues and rock and roll resonance.

Born in the Glasgow area in 1943, his parents traveling extensively in Canada and the USA with Jack attended 14 different schools. He finished his formal education at Bellahouston Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music where he won a scholarship for cello and composition. He left the academy and Scotland at the age of 16 and eventually found his way to London where he became a member of the influential Alexis Korner's Blues Inc. Charlie Watts, later to join the Rolling Stones, was the drummer.

He played in a number of bands throughout the early 60s, including John Mayall's Blues Breakers and Manfred Mann before joining Clapton and Baker in Cream. Cream split in November 1968 at the height of their popularity, with Bruce feeling he had strayed too far from his ideals. Bruce never again reached the commercial heights he did with Cream but his reputation as one of the best bass guitarists in the business grew throughout the subsequent decades.

In May 2005, he reunited with his former Cream band mates for a series of concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall. Bruce released new studio album Silver Rails in March 2014 on the Esoteric Antenna, his first solo studio album in over a decade. record label. "Silver Rails" was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and features contributions from Cream (band) lyricists Pete Brown, Kip Hanrahan and wife Margrit Seyffer as well as musicians Robin Trower, Cindy Blackman, Phil Manzanera, Uli Jon Roth, John Medeski and Bernie Marsden. The deluxe version of the album featured a behind the scenes documentary "The Making of Silver Rails" which was filmed on location at Abbey Road Studios and directed by Bruce's daughter Kyla Simone Bruce. Bruce's son Malcolm Bruce pre-produced the album and played guitar on several tracks and Bruce's daughter Aruba Red was featured on "Hidden Cities" singing backing vocals.

A statement on his official web site said: "It is with great sadness that we, Jack's family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father and granddad and all-round legend. "The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts."

Sista Monica' Parker Dies at 58

Monica Parker a  longtime Santa Cruz blues/gospel singer known internationally by her stage name "Sista Monica," died Thursday October 9, 2014  at age 58.

The former U.S. Marine and longtime tech-industry recruiter had been diagnosed with lung cancer in July. In 2003, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called synovial sarcoma and at that time, told she had three months to live.

At the time of her first diagnosis, Parker was at the height of her career as a performer specializing in Chicago blues and Southern African-American gospel. Her burgeoning popularity in blues festivals up and down the West Coast had led to success across the country and into Europe.  

Sista Monica won multiple awards for her charismatic stage performances, including the Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year, and the Gail Rich Award for excellence in the arts. She won a number of blues awards and recorded 11 albums of contemporary blues, soul and gospel.

For all her success as a performer, she didn't come to it until her mid-30s. It was in the early 1990s when she saw Stanley Burrell, a former neighbor in Fremont, on TV's "Arsenio Hall Show" performing as rap star M.C. Hammer.

"She figured if he could do it, she could do it," said her brother Barrington Parker.

Monica Parker grew up in Gary, Indiana where she was a regular at her local church every Sunday. She joined the Marines Corps after high school and returned to the Chicago after her service to start a business as a motivational speaker. It was in that role she was hired at a seminar to speak on the subject of following one's dreams an aspiring talk-show host named Oprah Winfrey.

Parker moved to Santa Cruz in the early 1990s where she worked as a corporate recruiter for Yahoo and other Silicon Valley firms. That was also the time that she started from scratch as a performer, hiring a band to be named the Essentials This collaboration resulted in several blues recordings and meeting a producer and sideman named Danny B. In a couple of years, she was well-known in Santa Cruz and an in-demand headliner at West Coast and Bay Area blues festivals. By the end of the '90s, she was playing around the world.

In recent years, to safeguard her health, Parker cut back on the touring and deepened her commitment to her faith. She started a 40-voice choir called the Sista Monica Gospel & Inspirational Choir, an ecumenical group, which she referred to as a "ministry," consisting of Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Buddhists and others.

Her approach to her music changed too. Before her 2003 diagnosis, Parker was very much in the mold of strong women singing blues as a testament against pain and struggle as Koko Taylor or Etta James. In the last 10 years, her approach has been softer and more wide-angle, trying to be more straightforward in her recordings and live performances.

"I've always carried the banner for strength and power," she said in 2004. "But when something like (cancer) happens, the wind gets knocked out of you. Of all the values that I've had, the value I feel strongest now is compassion."

Sista Monica Parker is survived by her brothers Barrington and Garland, and sister Charlotte.

2014 Blues Blast Music Awards Winners

Each year a group of industry professionals select the nominees for the annual Blues Blast Music Awards. Fans all over the world vote then vote for their favorites in twelve nomination categories. The results of this year’s voting by nearly 12,000 Blues fans will be announced on October 23rd.

And The Winners Are…

Contemporary Blues Album ◦Buddy Guy –Rhythm & Blues

Traditional Blues Album ◦James Cotton – Cotton Mouth Man

Soul Blues Album ◦Bobby Rush with Blind Dog Smokin’ – Decisions

Rock Blues Album ◦Tommy Castro And The Painkillers – The Devil You Know

Acoustic Blues Album ◦Mark T Small – Smokin’ Blues

New Artist Debut Album ◦Shawn Holt And The Teardrops – Daddy Told Me Blues

DVD Recording ◦Royal Southern Brotherhood – Songs From the Road

Song Of The Year “Meet Me In Chicago” by Tom Hambridge and Robert Randolph – Rhythm & Blues (Buddy Guy)

Blues Band ◦The Tedeschi Trucks Band

Male Blues Artist ◦Buddy Guy

Female Blues Artist ◦Beth Hart

Sean Costello Rising Star Award ◦Lisa Mann

It is the privilege and honor of the publisher of the Blues Blast Music organization to select recipients for the Blues Blast Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Awards. These awards are given to outstanding individuals with a lifetime of exceptional accomplishments in Blues music. This year’s recipients are Bobby Rush and Lonnie Brooks. These individuals attended the Blues Blast Music Awards Ceremonies on October 23rd, at The Fluid Event Center in Champaign, Illinois to receive their awards.

 Blues Blast Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award - Bobby Rush

There is one word that epitomizes Bobby Rush: entertainer. As a boy, he visualized himself preaching to a congregation or playing music in front of an audience. Later in his career, Bobby Rush relentlessly toured the South, playing night after night in eventually earning the well-deserved title King of the Chitlin Circuit.

Once he gained the attention of white blues fans, Bobby Rush started headlined blues festivals all over the globe. Among his thirty-seven nominations for Blues Music Awards, he has received thirteen nominations for the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award. This year he is nominated for 3 Blues Blast Music Awards. His recording Down in Louisiana was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album, his second Grammy nomination.

Bobby Rush is proud of the fact he continues to play the smaller clubs for African-American audiences, sustaining his career for several decades. He triumphantly refers to himself as a black blues singer; expertly mix humor, down-home funk and sexy innuendo into a thrilling live show featuring his female shake dancers.

Born in Louisiana in 1937, Emmitt Ellis Jr. was the son of a preacher attending church every Sunday and getting his first exposure to music. Although he never joined the church choir, he learned a few things about playing guitar and harmonica. When the family moved to Chicago in the early 1950s, Bobby Rush started hanging out with Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Jimmy Reed and John Lee Hooker.

When he started performing, he changed his name to Bobby Rush out of respect for his father. He recorded a few singles and had a session with Chess Records but it wasn’t until 1971 that Bobby Rush scored his first hit with Chicken Heads. This record kept Bobby Rush in demand on the club circuit

He continued to issue a steady stream of records that offered his unique perspective on man-woman relationships. Titles like What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander (La Jam), I Ain’t Studdin You (Urgent), Lovin a Big Fat Woman & Hoochie Man (Waldoxy Records) made a Bobby Rush a trailblazer for the current southern soul-blues scene. Over the course of his career, he has more than two hundred and fifty records to his credit.

In the last decade, Bobby Rush has eight titles on his own label Deep Rush Records, These releases feature him with stripped-down accompaniment which highlights his skills as a singer and songwriter and his harmonica and guitar playing. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2006.

Blues Blast Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award - Lonnie Brooks

Not many people get to re-invent themselves over the course of a lifetime. Lee Baker Jr. has done it twice. He forged a memorable career spanning six decades filled with hit records, spirited live performances, and the fatherly love that nurtured two sons in establishing their own musical careers.

Born in Dubuisson, Louisiana in 1933, Baker spent long stretches with his grandparents growing up. His grandfather would rise early each morning to play his banjo to the delight of his grandson. Baker learned basic chords that kept him interested in playing until his early twenties, when he bought his first guitar.

After a move to Port Arthur, Texas, Baker worked in an oil field and played guitar in his free time. One day the King of Zydeco music, the legendary Clifton Chenier, was driving past the Baker home as Lee was playing guitar on the porch. Chenier quickly convinced the young guitarist to join his Red Hot Louisiana Band. When Chenier decided to move to California, Baker stayed behind and started his own band.

Calling himself Guitar Junior, Baker caught the ear of Eddie Shuler, head of Goldband Records. Junior’s first release for Shuler, the original Family Rules, became a regional hit. Then Baker met Sam Cooke as the singer toured the south and quickly accepted Cooke’s invite to go to Chicago.

Once he settled into the big city, Baker started hitting the clubs, looking for opportunities. He was part of the band on a Jimmy Reed session that produced the monster hit, Big Boss Man. In 1969, Capitol Records released an album under the Guitar Junior name, Broke and Hungry, that failed to generate much interest. Since Luther Johnson had already established himself as Guitar Junior in Chicago, Baker reinvented himself one more time to the name known around the world, Lonnie Brooks.

A spirited, live performer, Brooks offered a unique blend of Chicago blues spiced with hints of zydeco, country, swamp pop plus rock & roll. He had releases on Evidence and Delmark Records in the 70s decade before Alligator Records included four tracks by Brooks on Volume 2 of its Living Chicago Blues series.

As a father, Brooks never tried to push any of his nine children into music. He preferred to provide gentle encouragement. The testament of his approach can be witnessed any time one of his sons, Ronnie and Wayne Baker Brooks, hits the stage and dazzles the crowd with electrifying guitar talent. The three world-class guitarists formed the Brooks Family Reunion band that has thrilled blues festival audiences for over a decade.

In 2010, Lonnie was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Blues Foundation in Memphis.