Sep 032014

Florida native and blues guitarist Tinsley Ellis comes back to town for a show at Jim Porter’s on September 5, promoting a brand new record, Midnight Blue, as well as 2013’s Get It!, which had not been released as of his last show in the area in 2011. His inspiration to become a blues musician came from seeing a live show by B. B. King. He kicked around the Atlanta area while in college, forming The Alley Cats in 1979. The band broke up in 1988 after releasing three albums on a small label. He then signed with Alligator Records and began his string of releases, now totaling fourteen studio albums.
Billboard had this to say about Ellis: “nobody has released more consistently excellent blues albums than Atlanta’s Tinsley Ellis. He sings like a man possessed and wields a mean lead guitar.” There you are. Tickets are $15 and it’s a 7 p.m. show.

Check out this live performance of “The Other Side” from 2012:



Jul 232014

It’s called The Warehouse Blues & Rhythm Showcase, mostly because it’s happening in the warehouse currently occupied (in part) by the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Portland. On the bill are Laurie Jane And The 45s, Tre Bella, Lamont Gillispie & the 100 Proof Blues Band, The Mr. Wonderful Production Band and the Walnut St. Blues Band. It’s happening on Saturday, July 26. The Gallery is at 1512 Portland Ave., which means it’s just off 15th Street, which is only seven blocks west of Eighth Street, so it’s not deep Portland. A simple drive along Main St., right on 15th, then three blocks or so to Portland Ave. and turn left. Since blues fans are not nearly so scared of venturing into unknown territory, this is actually a good plan for staging music in the Portland area that will draw from elsewhere in the city. (The hardcore shows are Nelligan Hall are another good draw.) Ticket are a very reason $10.

Here’s Laurie Jane And The 45s playing at Crescent Hill Radio’s Trolley Hop Stage in June:

Jul 122014

Everybody has an opinion about where to go this weekend. Here are a couple from elsewhere in the blogosphere:
John King at 37Flood has assembled audio of eight tunes by bands playing the Poorcastle Festival this weekend. Check it out here.
Krystin Robertson at has a short preview of the Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival at the Water Tower. Read it here.

Jul 092014

Here’s a fundraiser for all Louisville music fans – and I mean EVERYBODY - to pay attention and donate a few shekels toward: Louisville blues singer Sara Martin, noted for her early 20th Century recordings which earned her the nickname of “The Famous Moanin’ Mama” (and “The Colored Sophie Tucker”), is buried in an unmarked grave in Louisville Cemetary. The Kentuckiana Blues Society and the National Jugband Jubilee have joined forces to raise money to buy a headstone for Martin’s grave. Head over to for all the details and images of the proposed headstone, then donate. It’s long past time for all the performers in Louisville’s music history get recognition and, as often has been the case, shamefully, a gravestone for those now gone. (Most of the time, that would mean black performers, of course. The KBS has funded headstones for Sylvester Weaver and Henry Woodruff.)
For more about Martin, check this Wikipedia page:
Watch this video recording of her singing “Death Sting Me Blues” with King Oliver’s Orchestra from 1928:

Jul 082014

There’s really going to be too much to do on the weekend of July 11-13, given that the Lebowski Fest is happening out by the Fairgrounds and the Louisville Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival is going on at the Water Tower. Of course, we mustn’t overlook the several multi-band shows going on at different venues around the city. Check the LMN Calendar for those. Anyhow, on Friday, July 11, the bands for the LBB & BBQ Fest include Louisville blues crews The Stella-Vees Blues Band and Sylvia Walters & Groove City, plus the closer, Heat. This Chicago blues band has been at for more than twenty years, playing a style influenced by – surprise! – early electric blues from Chicago. They managed to release ten albums, the last being 2012’s Delta Bound, which is kind of a misnomer for a lifelong Chicago group. But maybe it’s metaphorical, since fewer and fewer folks are living in the Delta and doing much.
Saturday, the lineup is Da MudCats, Tanita Gaines, Little T & A and headliner John Primer. Primer is a Chicago-style slide blues guitarist with fourteen albums to his credit, including 2013’s Knockin’ Around These Blues.
Sunday, look for Lazy 11, Lamont Gillispie & 100 Proof Blues and the Cheryl Renee Project.
Tickets are $10 before 6p/$14 after. More info at

Watch Mississippi Heat perform live in Germany. The tune is “Look A Here, Look A Here”:

Jun 302014

Victor Wainwright, winner of this year’s and last year’s Pine Top Perkins Piano Player Award at the BMA’s, is a force to be reckoned with on a piano. He IS honky-tonk and boogie, with a dose of rolling thunder. Wainwright’s playing is simply beautiful madness.” – American Blues Scene 2013
Victor Wainwright’s website tags him as “Piana from Savannah (by way of Memphis)” and brings some official cred to his upcoming show at Jim Porter’s on July 4 – he is the 2013 & 2014 winner of Blues Music Award “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year.” His band is The Wildroots and the music spreads across the blues spectrum, including the kind of piano- and sax-driven boogie-woogie you don’t hear much anymore. It should be a completely different kind of show than what passes for blues these days, which often stays solidly in the Chicago or Delta tradition and, by and large, ignores contributions from Kansas City, Tulsa and even New Orleans. Swing dancers should make sure to make it to this show. (Blues musicians should go take a look at Wainwright’s website for a look at what a blues website should offer.) Tickets are an entirely reasonable $10adv/$12 D.O.S.

Get a taste of his sound by watching “Big Dog’s Runnin’ This Town”:



Jun 022014

June 6 and 7 will see a lot of music in Louisville and one of favorite events will be the FREE annual Germantown-Schnitzelburg Blues Festival, held right by Check’s Cafe at Hickory and Burnett Streets. This annual event is one of the several blues events booked by the Kentuckiana Blues Society, which makes sure the blues remain a part of the Louisville scene. This year’s schedule looks like this: Friday, it’s Noah Wotherspoon, da Mudcats and The Beat Daddys; Saturday, enjoy the music of Lamont Gillispie and The One Hundred Proof Blues Band, Mark “Big Poppa” Stampley and G. Miles And the Hitmen. The music starts about 6 p.m. Did I mention that it’s a FREE event?

May 192014

A tour called the Down Home Blues Festival will stop at the Louisville Palace on May 23. Performers on the tour include Clarence Carter, Denise LaSalle, Mel Waiters, Sir Charles Jones, Benny Latimore and Theodis Ealey. This is essentially the lineup for the 10th Annual Atlanta Blues Festival that was held in February, minus Millie Jackson. Of the crew, Denise LaSalle has the biggest fanbase, at least in the South, where she is a Queen of the Blues and Clarence Carter, who was a major blues and R&B performer in the Sixties and Seventies. Latimore also has a lenghty discography, including 2012’s Latimore Remembers Ray Charles. The others also have had their successes. Tickets for this show are $46/$56.99/$75.

Denise LaSalle has a bit of a reputation as a blues ‘bad girl.’ This tune, called “Lick It Before You Stick It” provides an example: