Posted in Americana, blues, Music

Video: Heather Luttrell at Darwin’s Blues Club

We saw Heather Luttrell and Possum Den at Darwin’s on Saturday August 26. I had not seen her in a  while and had forgotten how good she really is! She was playing with Possum Den which consists of her daddy on guitar and a friend about her daddy’s age on bass. The woman has a great voice and she sings a mixture of blues, country and rock that really is Americana, a term that is not always used  so accuratelyI got this one originally on FacebookLive and posting it here for you to enjoy.  If there is no sound right click and “unmute.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Congratulations Atlanta Blues Challenge Winners!

You really need to go to the InternationalBlues Challenge in Memphis January 16-20! It is anon-stop blues party on Beale Street! And when you go, you will see these talented people there, who just won the Atlanta Blues Challenge! The Challenge issponsored by  the Atlanta Blues Society,  of which I am a proud member. They also provided this information.

Youth Category:

1st Place – No Solution – they win $400 and will represent us in the Youth Showcase at the IBC in Memphis.

Solo/Duo Category:

1st Place  – Dos Blues Guys – they win $300 and will represent us in the Solo/Duo competition at the IBC in Memphis

Band Category:

1st Place  – Thunder Gypsy – they win $750 and will represent us in the Band competition at the IBC in Memphis

2nd Place – David T & Friends

3rd Place – Sole Travelers

People’s Choice – Dani Mac & Company – they win $250 and will play, along with the 1st place winners at our Holiday Party on Dec 3, 2017

Finnd out more about the IBC  by clicking the image:


Posted in blues, Music

Cody Matlock in Marietta

We went to see Cody Matlock at “Wingstock” at the Wing Cafe in Marietta., with Daniel Harper and Jon Schwenke. The crowd was pretty small , mostly families with kids. I am not sure they knew they were watching two legendary musicians  with that incredibly talented young man but the quality of the music was undeniable and it was a great show! Talking to Cody afterward,  I was struck once again at what a thoroughly  likeable young  man he is. As one of the listeners told him while I was standing there, “You’re so bad on stage, man, and so good off it.”  And it’s true. He and the band can play funk, soul and blues so amazingly well and still be friendly and fun to talk to. At least Cody and Daniel are, and I’m sure Jon is as well, although I’ve not had an opportunity to talk to him yet.

Friday is Cody’s first Friday night at Blind Willie’s in Atlanta. Go see him so you can say you knew him when when he gets big, like he is going to. and you can see him every Thursda night at Darwin’s in Sandy Springs!

KODAK Digital Still Camera





Posted in Uncategorized

Independent Blues Awards Winners 2017

As founder Richard L’Hommedieu says in the official awards announcement,

“The the real motivation behind the “Independent Blues Awards”

Honor the Past, Praise the Present and Empower the Future!

Congratulations to all the Independent Blues Awards members this year! All winners were chosen y the fans:

CD Awards

Best Independent Blues Acoustic CD  – Keb Mo – LIVE-That Hot Pink Blues

Best Independent Blues Contemorary CD – Jeremiah Johnson – Blues Heart attack

Best Independent Blues Tradtional CD – Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat

Best Independent Blues R&B/Soul CD – Johnny Rawls – Tiger in a Cage

Best Independent Blues Rock CD – Colin James – Blues Highway

Best Modern Roots CD – The Smoke Wagon Blues Band – Cigar store

Best Independent Blues LIVE CD – Joe Bonamassa – Live at the Greek Theater

Best Independent Blues New Artists CD – The Marcus King Band – The Marcus King Band

Artist Awards

Artist of the Year!North Mississippi Allstars

Best Independent Male Blues Artist – John Mayal

Best Independent Female Blues Artist – Samantha Fish

Best Traditional Blues Band – Bobby Rush

Best Blues Rock Band – Joe Bonamassa

Best Modern Roots Band – North Mississippi Allstars

Best Contemporary Blues Band – Ben Harper

Best New Artist – The Smoke Wagon Blues Band

Independent Blues artist Gateway Award – Joe Bonamassa

Best Independent Blues Stage Performance – Joe Bonamassa

Road Warrior Award – Samantha Fish

Song Awards

Best Traditional Blues Song – Albert Castiglia – Let’s Make Love in the Morning

Best R&B/Soul Song – The Smoke Wagon Blues Band – Set me Free

Best Contemporary Blues Song – Joe Bonamassa – Livin Easy

Best Blues Rock Song – Mike Zito – Redbird

Best Modern Roots Song – Ben Harper – Call it What it is

Best Funk Song – Jeremiah Johnson – Sun Shine Through

Best Song for the Common Good – John Mayall – The Devil Must Be Laughing

Best Music VideoBobby Rush – Porcupine MeatBu

Posted in blues, Music

On the Trail Of the Allman Brothers: Macon, GA, August 12, 2017

Saturday morning on a whim we decided to go to Macon, GA,about 2 hours from our house. We were mainly on the trail of Allman Brothers sites, and specifically wanting to see the graves of Duane. Berry Oakley, and Gregg.  We stopped at the nearest rest stop to Macon, which had a visitor’s center with a very friendly, helpful young woman who told us how to get to Rose Hill Cemetery.

On the way, we saw a sign for the Otis Redding Museum and I was all excited because I love Otis Redding. Unfortunately, it was closed but we got a glimpse of some of his stage clothes and a few posters in the window. I was happy to know that museum was there.

Then we went to Rose Hill. It is a huge place and beautiful but not at all handicap accessible. I wanted to find Elizabeth Reeds grave but it was not possible in the heat and with the steep hills. We couldn’t find Gregg either in the time we had, but with the help of the sign on the office door we found Duane and Berry. I tried so hard to get to them but the hill they were on was too steep so my husband Ken went up and took these marvelous pictures while I took comfort in being very close. I now  know that Gregg is buried just across the walkway so next time we will find it.

Next we headed to The Big House, where all the band lived at one time.  It is now an Allman Brothers Band Museum. We knew we weren’t taking the tour because even though $15 each is very reasonable we hadn’t planned the trip and we didn’t have it. We figured we would just take a picture or two of the house and yard and go in the gift shop, which we imagined would be fairly small. But if you look at the photos, you’ll see that the gift shop itself has several rooms full of memorabilia. My favorite thing was that blue piano. I loved envisioning Gregg playing it. I really look forward to going back and doing the whole tour soon.

The friendly man in the gift sjhop gave us a great map, which I wish we had had earlier.It listed some oiher sites we could have visited, like the ban’s first houe and various apartments associated with members. Next time we will go there first, but it was getting late and we needed to head home. So we just drove to the locations where Duane and Berry had their accidents. We didn’t take pictures because they aren’t marked in any way, but it is one thing to read that they crashed their motorcycles at intersections 3 blocks apart,barely a year apart, but it is another thing entirely to see how close it really was. Butch Trucks was once quoted as saying he didn’t think Berry knew how to live in a world without Duane. It made me so glad they are buried so close together. I wish Gregg could have been buried there too but it is obviously not a big enough plot. At least his grave is very close.

Even unplanned and with no money, ,this was a very satisfying trip. I recommend it to any fan.  Enjoy the pictures!


Picture 1 is in the backyard of The Big House.





Posted in blues

Joel DaSilva and The Midnight Howl at Darwin’s in Sandy Springs, GA August 4

KODAK Digital Still Camera

By Rhetta Akamatsu

Photo by Takesi Ken Akamatsu

Joel DaSilva crouches over his guitar onstage, ready to unleash a flood of sound. The drummer is poised and the bass player stands tall as the audience waits with anticipation. The song begins, and it is immediately obvious that we’re in for an exciting evening!

Trying to categorize DaSilva’s music is not easy. It has a strong blues base and a lot of vintage rock and roll. With his dark glasses, DaSilva has a Buddy Holly-Roy Orbison kind of vibe, and he moves like an early rock and roller with his deep bends and lunges. in the past, he has been a member of rockabilly and psychobilly surf groups and has performed with everyone from BB King, Reverend Horton Heat,and recently, Buddy guy, and you can hear all of that in his performance. The surf sound is particularly evident in some of the instrumentals as his fingers speed across the strings with consummate skill. Yet when he comes off the stage and into the crowd singing a song about searching for his baby and stopping to play at various tables, it is pure blues.

A humorous moment occurred when, after a couple of songs, the bass player announces “We’d like to thank you all for coming out tonight. I know you have to get up early and go to work tomorrow..” and DaSilva quickly stops him, “It’s Friday, dude.” “It is?”

Ah, life on the road.

During the set we saw. DaSila and the Midnight Howl (Johnny Doe, drums, and Captain Bassman, bass) were exciting and entertaining and left us wanting more.I look forward to the new CD expected to come out in September and encourage you to go see Joel DaSilva and the band any chance you get!

Originally published at Making a Scene

Posted in blues, Music

2017 Living Blues Awards


The Living Blues Awards always are always fascinating, but I am especially pleased that nearly everyone I voted for won in one category or another. Here is the list:

2017 Living Blues Awards

Critics’ Poll

Blues Artist of the Year (Male)         
Bobby Rush

Blues Artist of the Year (Female)    
Rhiannon Giddens

Most Outstanding Blues Singer    
William Bell

Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)    
Lurrie Bell

Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)
Billy Branch

Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)
Henry Gray

Most Outstanding Musician (Bass)
Bob Stroger

Most Outstanding Musician (Drums)
Cedric Burnside

Most Outstanding Musician (Horns)
Big Jay McNeely

Most Outstanding Musician (Other)
Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton – Banjo

Best Live Performer 
Bobby Rush

Comeback Artist of the Year    
William Bell

Artist Deserving More Attention
Bruce “Mississippi” Johnson

Best Blues Albums of 2016

Album of the Year
Lurrie Bell – Can’t Shake This Feeling – Delmark

New Recordings / Contemporary Blues
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way – Alligator

New Recordings / Southern Soul
William Bell – This Is Where I Live – Stax

New Recordings / Best Debut
Anthony Sherrod & the Cornlickers – Right on Time – No label

New Recordings / Traditional & Acoustic
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – It Is What It Is – Blue Front Records

Historical – Pre-war
Washington Phillips – Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams – Dust-to-Digital

Historical – Postwar
B.B. King – The Complete RPM–Kent Recordings Box – P-Vine Records

Blues Book of the Year
Martin Hawkins – Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge – LSU Press

DVD of the Year
Sherman Robertson – Takin’ You to Texas – JSP Records

Producer of the Year : New Recording
Scott Billington – Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat – Rounder Records

Producer of the Year: Historical Recording
Michael Corcoran, April G. Ledbetter and Steven Lance Ledbetter – Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams – Dust-to-Digital

Readers’ Poll

Blues Artist of the Year (Male)
Buddy Guy

Blues Artist of the Year (Female)
Shemekia Copeland

Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)
Buddy Guy

Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)
Charlie Musselwhite

Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)
Marcia Ball

Best Live Performer
Buddy Guy

Most Outstanding Blues Singer
Buddy Guy

Best Blues Album of 2016 (New Release)
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way – Alligator

Best Blues Album of 2016 (Historical Recording)
B.B. King – The Complete RPM–Kent Recordings Box – P-Vine Records

Best Blues DVD of 2016
David “Honeyboy” Edwards – I’m Gonna Tell You Somethin’ That I Know – R.B.I. Media / Pro Sho Bidness

Best Blues Book of 2016
Alan Harper – Waiting for Buddy Guy: Chicago Blues at the Crossroads – University of Illinois Press