Madison Blues Society, Madison, Wisconsin Madison Blues Society, Madison, Wisconsin
Check out the Madison Blues Society at
for calendar, bands, venues and information

You email us at
or (snail) mail us at P.O. Box 3202, Madison, WI 53704


Several Music and Book Stores Offer Discounts to MBS members this month, the Blues "Month of Love"

Be sure to stop in to these great stores during the month of February and don't forget to bring your Madison Blues Society membership card. You'll get a 10-15% discount on purchases. These folks definitely "have the Blues!"

Madcity Music Exchange - 15% discount during February

Mad City Music Exchange is located at 600 Williamson St. in down town Madison, in the strip mall at Blair. Call 251-8558 if you have questions.

They were voted "Best Place for Vinyl" in the 2007 Isthmus magazine's readers poll and carry a large selection of new and used CDs and LPs, hard to find DVDs and a general selection of stuff you ain't gonna find anywhere else! This shop has a really excellent selection of used Blues, Folk, Reggae, Rock and a special rack that is for Local Blues CDs, like Paul Black, Cash Box Kings, Paul Filipowicz and more. They have a great collection of new Blues CD's too. Very friendly, but hands-off staff with NO pressure.

Store hours: Mon thru Fri 11 a.m.-7p.m., Sat. 10a.m.- 5p.m., Sun. noon-5p.m.

HALF PRICE BOOKS EAST - 10% discount during February

Find this store in Essex Square (this is the small strip mall where the East Pier I and Milio's are) at 4250 East Towne Blvd. Call them at 244-1189.

They have about 40% new books and 60% used. They sell CDs, some music DVDs and have a pretty steady turn-over. They will also buy used books and CDs/DVDs. Half Price is also environment friendly. Say NO to a bag and bring your own in. A 5 cent discount for doing so.

Store hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.

SUGAR SHACK RECORDS - 15% discount during February

Find this store 2301 Atwood Avenue (just a block down from the Harmony, same side of Atwood). Call them at 256-7155.

Sugar Shack sez "Greetings! Sugar Shack, our brick-and-mortar store in Madison, Wisconsin, has been in business since 1981. In the last 26 years we've bought a lot more than we've sold, so now we have a warehouse full of records, CDs, cassettes, and videos ready to find good homes. Our soon-to-be-launched website will feature a diverse selection of titles in our inventory available for online purchase."

This is a great used music store! Quite a few music videos, CDs, BLUES. Stop in and say hi to the Owner, Gary, and thank him for this opportunity for MBS members to get to know his store better!

Store hours: Mon-Thu 12 p.m.-7 p.m., Fri 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

HALF PRICE BOOKS WEST - 15% discount during February

Find this store at 626 S Whitney Way (In the strip mall, by Copps Foods, behind the Walgreen's). Call them at 273-1140.

This shop sells a lot of used Blues and Jazz. They have music DVDs, lots of great books and more! Check them out. Say hi to Gene and say thanks for offering MBS this opportunity.

Store hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.

Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players to represent Wisconsin in Memphis
Governor Doyle's Commendation for Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players

Wisconsin's Governor Jim Doyle has issued a special commendation to Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players, winners of the April 15, 2007 statewide First Wisconsin Blues Challenge. This Certificate of Commendation congratulates the band and outlines the substantial competition that they expect to be up against in Memphis with 160 competing acts from "6 continents, 11 countries and 36 states and the District of Columbia." Quite a challenge, indeed!

The Madison Blues Society offers our own congratulations and sincere appreciation for the terrific job that the band has done and expects to do as they represent Wisconsin at the end of this month in Memphis. Those that are lucky enough to be going down to Memphis will be cheering them on in the Beale Street clubs on Thursday 1/31 and Friday 2/1. We are all really hoping to see Bobby and the band bringing us great Blues at the Finals in the Orpheum Theater on Saturday 2/2. The best of luck to Bobby and the band!

The lineup for the 2008 BAMFest is here and the 2007 CD is coming soon!
Belleville Park

This summer, Belleville will be the place to be! On July 11 and 12, the 3rd Annual Belleville American Music Festival will be bringing world class musicians like Sonny Landreth and Jeremy Spencer to this great park for two nights of great music and fun in a really beautiful setting!

You can hear some of the music of these top acts by checking out "top friends" on the Beau Geste Productions MySpace page.

Check out what Steve Hecht of Piedmont Talent, Inc. has to say about Jeremy Spencer:

"Jeremy Spencer, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his role as a founding member of Fleetwood Mac. Spencer will be accompanied by his five-piece Norwegian band.

"Spencer had been out of the spotlight for decades when, two years ago, the promoter of the Notodden Blues Festival in Norway, Jostein Forsberg, convinced Spencer to perform publicly again. He paired the rock legend with some of the best musicians in Norway, some of whom had been playing together for twenty-five years. Their performance at the Festival was a huge success.

Completely taken by the sympathetic backing provided by the Norwegian musicians, Spencer used the group to record his first album in many years, Precious Little, which Vintage Guitar magazine said "may well be the pop music comeback of the past several decades."

In 2007 Spencer returned to the Notodden festival with his Norwegian band and again wowed the crowds and the critics. Art Tipaldi, senior editor for Blues Revue and Blues Wax, said, "In the past two years, I've seen Jeremy Spencer perform four shows at the of the Notodden Blues Festival and I can tell you that each show was better than the previous. Jeremy has lost none of the fire from those Fleetwood Mac days. His slide guitar still sends chills. Every note I've heard Jeremy play showcases his great commitment to the blues. I've seen him ignite the stage with a mixture of classic Chicago blues and smart contemporary songs. This tour is the music rediscovery of 2008."

And don't forget to stay tuned for
news about the release of
"Live From Bamfest 1",
coming real soon!

Here's the 2008 BAMFest Lineup!

Friday July 11

Saturday July 12

See Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players represent Wisconsin at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis
Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players with Mayor Dave

Bobby Bryan's press release/photo shoot with Mayor Dave for last summer's MBS Picnic shows this great blues man is getting the recognition he deserves! Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players, winners of the First Wisconsin Blues Challenge leave for Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge at the end of the month.

Bobby and the band were playing great at the Grand Opening of "R" Place, the new club on South Park Street started by the band's drummer Rick Flowers. It's great to have another live music venue in Madison, especially on the South side. Great idea, Rick!

Bobby and the band have been working hard to do their best to represent Wisconsin in the Blues Foundation's annual event that showcases great Blues talent from all over the world. Blues Societies like MBS host competitions to find the best talent and sponsor fundraisers to get the band and their families down to Memphis. The fundraiser this Saturday will be a night of great music for a great cause. Don't miss it!


Get over to Murphy's Tavern on Fridays at 8:00PM
Blues 'n' Brews at Murphy's Tavern

Dan Schilling and the Shake Daddys have brought back Blues 'n' Brews, the weekly Blues Jam which has been a long time favorite of Madison Blues fans. Get over to Murphy's Tavern (formerly TailGator's) at 3737 East Washington Avenue every Friday from 8:00PM 12:00AM.

Blues 'n' Brews has special guests nearly every week. Check out the MadBlues Yahoo Group to catch the latest updates for Blues 'n' Brews and lots of other music news in the Madison Area. Get on down to Murphy's for Blues on Friday nights!

Otis Redding

On Monday, December 3, Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center held a special celebration to pay tribute to rhythm and blues legend Otis Redding. The event marked the 40th anniversary of the Lake Monona airplane crash that took Redding's life. A proclamation by Governor Jim Doyle read by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz declared December 10 to be "Otis Redding Day". Some very special guests attended, including the one surviving member of the group, trumpeter Ben Cauley who performed Redding's last hit "Dock of the Bay".

In addition, Craig Inciardi, curator from Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, spoke of Redding who was inducted in 1989 and also showed slides of the Hall of Fame buildings and a memorabilia collection of Redding's widow, Zelma Redding.

The recently released DVD "Dreams to Remember - The Legacy of Otis Redding" was shown in the Lecture Hall featuring many classic recordings of Redding's best performances as well as interviews with Redding's widow Zelma Redding, co-performer and co-writer Steve Cropper and Jim Stewart, founder of Memphis' famous Stax Records.

The Redding Memorial can be seen on the rooftop of the Convention Center.


Band Competition Finalists and Winners
Trampled Under Foot

All night Thursday and all night Friday, the clubs up and down Beale Street in Memphis were playin' the Blues! 99 bands and 66 solo/duo acts were competing in the semi-finals of the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge.

After the semi-finals in the clubs, the finals were held at the Orpheum Theater downtown on Saturday. Trampled Under Foot, winners of the 2007 Kansas City Blues Challenge, took first place in the Band Finals. This exceptional family band features extraordinary guitar work and vocals by brother and sister team Nick and Danielle Schnebelen backed up by some great drumming by their brother Kris. Danielle's powerful vocals really got the crowd to their feet!

Great performances were also turned in by the Toronto Blues Society's Shakura S'Aida whose soulful vocals brought in a second place win. Third place was taken by The Baton Rouge Blues Society's Lil' Ray Neal Blues Band from Baton Rouge's First Family of the Blues - The Neals. You can really hear the great Blues history in the music Lil' Ray played to a full house at the Orpheum Theater.

And don't forget the very fine performances by the other 7 Bands finalists!

Nick Schnebelen

Trampled Under Foot really was having a great night when it was announced that Nick Schnebelen was the winner of the Most Promising Guitarist competition and got to take home a beautiful Gibson custom "Les Paul" ES-335 Guitar as well as a custom Category 5 guitar amp. The only other amp like this is owned by Sean Carney who won the prize last year.

Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players
Bobby Bryan

Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players winners of the first Wisconsin Blues Challenge really showed how it was done on Thursday and Friday night at the Rum Boogie Cafe. Sadly, with 99 bands competing, 89 could not make the finals and Bobby's band was among the 89. It just goes to show that officials don't always get it right!

But to judge from all the fans in the club who couldn't stop dancing, Bobby was really layin' it down! And it wasn't just the Wisconsin people who were lovin' it! The dance floor got so crowded that folks had to keep it really tight!

Bobby is cool with how it played out and is happy to have gotten a chance to join the competition. And with all the connections being made with music people, who knows what will come out of it? All Bobby's fans and the Madison Blues Society offer their best congratulations on a job well done and know that Bobby and the band will be getting a lot of attention in the months to come.

Solo/Duo Competition Finalists and Winners
Lionel Young

Long time friend of the Blues Foundation Michael "Hawkeye" Herman emceed a great night of individuals and duos who performances showed that really fine Blues does not need to come from a full band.

The Solo/Duo winner, Colorado Blues Society's Lionel Young, played some amazing Blues on an electric violin which he used with remarkable skill. His quick switches between the bow and fingers while singing moving Blues lyrics gave the crowd a real taste of what one musician can do.

The second place winner, Ben Prestage also really delivered as he sang and played guitar, harp and drums. The Blues Alliance of the Treasure Coast brought us an artist who is really shows the roots of the Blues. Ben is the grandson of a Mississippi share cropper and has been soaked in Blues tradition and Mississippi culture since birth.

The other finalists also showed really fine work that deserves our attention and support. Check out these fine artists.

Best Self Produced CD

Every year, many Blues artists make the special effort to produce their own CD to get their music out to the fans. The Blues Foundation shows their appreciation with the Best Self Produced CD award. This year's prize went to Sue Palmer, the Queen of Boogie Woogie, and her Motel Swing Orchestra, for "Sophisticated Ladies". The Blues Lovers United of San Diego brought Sue to the IBC this year.

Four other CD's managed to make it to the final round of judging. These are well worth checking out.

To check out all of the great Blues CD's that started out in the original rounds of judging, check out the Blues Foundation Self Produced CD's site.

Album being hailed as one of the top live blues recordings of all-time
The Blue Shoe Project's Grammy nominated Album

Dallas - The Blue Shoe Project, a nationally-recognized educational charity based in Texas, has received the 2007 Grammy Nomination for the album entitled "Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen - Live in Dallas." This album is being hailed as one of the top live blues recordings of all-time. It features stellar musical performances by blues legends Henry James "The Mule" Townsend, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins, and David "Honeyboy" Edwards, who ranged in age from 89 to 94 years-old at the time of the recording.

The concert was preceded by an education program held for several hundred area students participating in a scholarship program sponsored by Blue Shoe. Students were treated to a storyteller performance by these living blues legends, who shared their lives, their experiences and their music.

When the concert began, explained Jeff Dyson, founder of The Blue Shoe Project, "The artists were as excited to be there as we were. They were like family members who hadn't seen each other in years. Once they hit the stage, they blew us away! It was like they were 20 again."

The album includes an impressive 18-page booklet complete with brief artist biographies and a collection of photographs from the event. The album is available through The Blue Shoe Project Web site, I-Tunes, and CD-Baby.

The mission of The Blue Shoe Project is to ensure that American youth have exposure to the music of the blues, its history and its impact. All proceeds from the album benefit The Blue Shoe Project's educational programs. Since it was founded in 2004, Blue Shoe has delivered programs to more than 20,000 students in Texas and the Washington D.C. area. Blue Shoe plans to reach more students across the country in coming years. For more information, visit or contact Michael Dyson 817-689-2416 or email

Homemade Jamz Band

The Homemade Jamz Band is composed of Ryan Perry, age 15 on guitar and vocals, Kyle Perry, age 13 on bass and Taya Perry, age 9 on drums from Tupelo, Mississippi. These kids play like they've been doing the Blues for many years. And the judges at last years International Blues Challenge thought so too, giving them the 2nd Place Prize.

Also check them out at the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola, MS

They really got the crowd jumping at the Chicago Blues Fest last summer where Ryan toured the audience really showing his stuff. Be sure to check out Homemade Jamz on MySpace.

They were featured on the CBS Sunday Morning Show on December 2, 2007 You can also see them on YouTube right now!

FEBRUARY 2, 2008
Keeping The Blues Alive

Twenty-one individuals and organizations will be honored with The Blues Foundation's 2008 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award during a recognition brunch at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel Saturday, February 2, 2008, in Memphis Tennessee. The KBA ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 24th International Blues Challenge (IBC) weekend of events that will feature the semifinals and finals of the world's largest gathering of Blues bands, as well as seminars, presentations, and receptions for blues societies, fans, and professionals.

Read all about it in the Press Release.

Check out the 2008 KBA Award Recipients.



Check out the latest details on tickets, merchandise and hotels.


Last spring, the Madison Blues Society hosted the Wisconsin Blues Challenge.   Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players, winner of the Wisconsin event, will be going to Memphis to represent the great blues coming out of Wisconsin.


Be sure to pick up a Band T-shirt at Bobby's shows for only $18. The proceeds will help the band go to Memphis.

*** See Bobby in the Madison Area ***

MBS Fund Raiser at the
Brink Lounge on Saturday 1/12 from 8:00PM

Be sure to catch Bobby back in the Madison Area after the IBC

2008 International Blues Challenge

For the 24th year, Blues musicians from around the world will compete for cash, prizes, and industry recognition as The Blues Foundation presents the International Blues Challenge beginning January 31 and continuing February 1-2, 2008 in Memphis, TN. The world's largest gathering of Blues acts represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its affiliated organizations for the Blues band and Blues solo/duo most deserving of taking their act to the international stage. In 2007, over 90 bands and 60 solo/duo acts from 34 states and 8 countries competed. Even greater participation is expected in 2008, as musicians and fans fill the clubs up and down Beale Street beginning at 5:00pm for the semi-finals on Thursday and Friday and at the Band finals (1:00pm) and the Solo/Duo finals (7:30pm) at the Orpheum Theater on Saturday.

Advance tickets, host hotel information, merchandise and preliminary event schedule will be available at beginning October 1.

Thanks for this update goes to the Blues Festival Guide.   For the complete article, click HERE.

Blues Show Host Jonny Meister's 10 Best Blues Albums of 2007
WXPN'S Blues Show with Jonny Meister

With audio samples featured on NPR's Morning Edition, the University of Pennsylvania's WXPN 88.5 Public Radio has a weekly Blues Show with available Podcasts and MP3 Downloads. The show's host, Jonny Meister has come up with a great list of best Blues albums of 2007, including harmonica player Bobby Rush, guitarist James Blood Ulmer and singer Marie Knight.

Be sure to check them out!