The Granville Blues & R&B Festival was held over the last two weekends of July. On Sunday July 24th, Sonia Astacio Downs opened the show, followed by The Nu Blu Band. Next up was Demetria Taylor. Demetria and her excellent band featured Carlos Showers on guitar and Larry Williams on bass. Demetria put on a great show that featured some very nice new songs from her forth coming CD “Doin’ What I’m Supposed To” on Delmark Records. The night ended with a fantastic set by Blues Diva Nora Jean Wallace. Nora Jean is a powerful, no nonsense singer who always has a good band and always puts on a great show.
On Thursday July 28th I saw Ivy Ford at The South Milwaukee Farmers Market.
I was back at the Granville festival on Saturday July 30th and caught a very energetic, entertaining set by Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames. At one point, Dave walked through the entire tent playing his butt off, standing on chairs and entertaining the audience. Nu Blu was up next. After a short break it really was “Showtime” as Joe Pratt & The Source One Band featuring Chuckaluck on guitar and Stanley Banks on keyboards and vocalist New Orleans Beau hit the stage. Joe and his band are one of the top show bands in the Midwest - they can play everything and play it well! Beau is a fabulous showman who really knows how to work a crowd and get everyone up singing and dancing. They opened with “Let the Good Times Roll” and got the party started. Beau strolled the crowd singing and dancing with the ladies. During “Last $2” Beau was singing to a lady who proceeded to jump up and grab him and hung him and she would not let go! What a great band and what a great show.
On Friday August 5th I caught Milwaukee Slim at Mamie’s. Slims band featured the excellent bassist Yoshimi Hirata. Jerry Barry popped in and joined Slim on stage on bass for a few songs.
The following day, Saturday August 6th was Mamie’s 41st Anniversary Party. The Incorruptibles played from Noon until 4pm. When Amy Ashby sang “Let’s Twist Again” I was transported to the beach and I could visualize Franky and Annette twisting in the sand as Von Zipper looked on! The band also showcased some great new material from their soon to be released CD. The Mighty Ms. Erica & Sound Production performed from 4-8pm. The audience got a few special treats - Ms. Sonia Astascio from Chicago sat in for a couple of songs with Sound Production as did guitar master Billy Flynn. It was a fantastic day of music and fun. Congratulations and thank you to Debbie and Mamie’s for all the great music and hospitality.
On Monday August 8th I caught Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Cha’s. Nathan’s crewe included his brother Dennis Paul Williams on guitar and 20 year old Jaston George on rubboard. The crowd was a little reluctant to dance at first, but Nathan kept prodding them on and soon the dance floor was full of twisting, gyrating bodies getting down to some good, old fashioned Zydeco. Bon Ton Roulet indeed!
I’ve also recently caught in the act The Big Style Brass Band at the South Milwaukee Farmers Market, Big Al Dorn at Mamie’s, The Blues Disciples and Lil Rev with Steve Cohen at The Tonic and The Idol Minds at Magoo’s.
Mark your calendars Sunday September 4th for Milwaukee favorite Rockin’ Johnny with Taildragger at Tonic 2-5pm, and The Best Dam Blues Festival September 16th-17th. If you’re up for a short road trip The 2nd Annual Berwyn Blues Festival at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn, Illinois is September 23rd-25th. I hope to see you out and about.
Peace, Love & Soul,