Madison Blues Society, Madison, Wisconsin Madison Blues Society, Madison, Wisconsin
Blues Picnic at Warner Park

The Madison Blues Society is having yet another great party in the park with the 11th Annual Blues Picnic on Saturday, June  22, 2013. We'll have live music all day long so get on down to Warner Park between 12:00PM and 9:00PM and join in the fun! You can enter the park at 2930 North Sherman Avenue or at the entrance at 1625 Northport Drive. Look for the shelter with the big colored drums and you'll find the best fest in Madison!

Don't forget this great event is STILL FREE! Everyone from the community and beyond can come and enjoy a fantastic day of music, food, drink, beer and fun in the sun!

The bands are looking great again this year with some old favorites coming back to join in the fun. There'll be nine hours of FREE MUSIC! Don't forget there's plenty of room for dancing so make sure you mark the date to shake your booty!

If just hanging out is your style, there's lots of room for blankets and chairs with shade under the trees. We'll have a variety of traditional and ethnic food vendors to give you lots of options for great eat and drink. And Capital Brewery will be back with their fine brews.

MBS owes huge thanks to Dane Arts with additional funding from the Evjue Foundation, Inc., the charitable arm of the Capital Times. Their continued support of the MBS Blues Picnic makes possible this great day the Blues-fan community loves. They've come through for us year after year and we're glad to be able to team up and help keep Dane County the fine place it is.

Blues Picnic Crowd 2008
The Blues Kids will be back!

Joe Nosek and Oscar Wilson's Blues Kids are still blowin' their harps and are coming back again this year. Joe, Oscar and MBS have continued working with the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. The kids will be backed up by a first rate professional blues band. And Joe is bringing back the Cash Box Kings to get the kids excited and play their own set for the crowd. You can expect to hear some really great blues coming from the stage!

The Boys & Girls Club will be also be handling the food vending for burgers, hot dogs, brats, soda and water this year, so you'll be seeing these kids at the park enjoying the picnic as well as playing the Blues!

Help spread the word!

We're getting the posters put up around town. You can help by printing out a few and getting them put up in your neighborhood. Just click the poster to get the full PDF file.

You can keep up with all the news by checking out the latest on FACEBOOK! Check us out and tell all your Facebook friends!

We're working with WORT-FM again this year!

We're continuing our promotional exchange with WORT-FM community radio this year. They'll be at the picnic and helping get the word out in the preceding weeks. Be sure to tune in for broadcast interviews with MBS "picnic people" and members of the picnic bands as well as lots of great Blues music.

Don't miss these WORT Blues Shows:

  • Every Friday from 6:00 to 8:00 PM
          "Blues Cruise" hosted by Dave Watts
  • Every Saturday from 8:00 to 10:00 AM
          "The Dusties Storm (R&B)" hosted by Lady P.
  • Every Saturday from 8:00 to 10:00 PM
          "Two for the Blues" hosted on alternate Saturdays
              by Art Schuna & Dave Leucinger
Grab your chance to win in the Picnic Raffles!

This year's prize raffle is going to give blues fans plenty of chances to win! Pick up your tickets at the MBS tent and you might come home with a great prize!

You can check out all the contributions from our great Blues Picnic supporters on the RAFFLE PRIZE LIST.

And a lot of folks love the 50/50 CASH RAFFLE. Tickets sold in the crowd at the Blues Picnic bring some very lucky winners a bundle of cash and help the Madison Blues Society keep bringin' you the blues.

Help out the community with our Food Drive

You can help your community by bringing non-perishable food items for the Food Drive. This really helps out hungry people with donations to Lakeview Lutheran Church's food pantry. Last year we filled a pickup truck with food donations. Let's do it again! Drop off canned and dry goods in the marked crates at the entrance. Your help is really appreciated!

We've got another great bunch of BLUES comin' at ya!

Beloit Blues comes to this year's Blues Picnic

Beloit's Dave Potter not only has had the privilege to sit in with some of the best local and regional talent, from Northern Wisconsin to the Windy City of Chicago, he has shared the stage with the likes of Bob Margolin, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck, Lurrie Bell, Joe Moss, and Guy King.

Dave's stated goal is "to share his love for the Blues for as long as the good Lord will allow through recordings, live performances, and stories of the bluesmen who came before him."

The BLUES KIDS are back again!
Joe's Blues Kids
Blues Kids

JOE'S BLUES KIDS have been a highly successful project of Joe Nosek of the Cash Box Kings for several years now. Joe has been working with community kids to teach Madison's youth about Blues music and start the next generation of Blues musicians.

This year, the BLUES KIDS are again at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County for all their training and practice in playin' the Blues. They'll be back on stage at this year's picnic, singing, blowin' harp, and stampin' their feet backed up by the Cash Box Kings. Over the years, the kids have been honing their skills and writing their own songs, too. Their enthusiasm is a real crowd pleaser, year after year.

Following their signing with Blind Pig Records
regular Blues Picnic favorites are back!

Considered the Young Turks of the Chicago blues scene, The Cash Box Kings are dedicated to carrying on the spirit of the 1940's and 50's post-war Chicago Blues sound as well as the Delta Blues music of the 20's and 30's. With a focus on the raw, stripped-down, ensemble playing that was the hallmark of the post-war sound, the band showcases the music of Chess Records and Sun Records while adding a healthy dose of original music that captures the essence of the Memphis and Chicago Blues sounds of the 40's and 50's.

They are regular headliners at Chicago venues like Buddy Guy's, Rosa's Lounge, Nick's and the Smoke Daddy. They have played several successful European tours and have headlined Euro festivals like the Lucerne Blues Festival and the Hondarribia Blues Festival.

Local artist brings New Orleans sound to the Blues Picnic

A career musician for 35 years and then some, Madison's Johnny Chimes is one of the most versatile Blues musicians in the Midwest. His shows are a jambalaya of boogie woogie piano, finger-style guitar, and sweet southern soul laced vocals.

Disciples of vintage piano know him primarily for his prowess on the ivories, but he is an accomplished songwriter as well, and seamlessly weaves his original compositions with New Orleans and blues standards. He and his Natch'l Blues Band can kick up a good old fashioned Louisiana get down with a groove both deep and infectious.

Chimes has also shared the stage with such Louisiana luminaries as the Radiators, the Iguanas, Bonerama, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Gino Delafose. Chimes brings the sounds of "N'awlins" up north to warm our souls!

Chicago's top guitarist comes to the Blues Picnic

The Joel Paterson Trio is a Chicago-based group featuring ex-Madisonian Joel Paterson on guitar, vocals and pedal steel, Beau Sample on string bass and vocals and Alex Hall on drums and vocals.

The Trio is dedicated to performing many styles of traditional American roots music, specializing in classic blues, hot jazz, western swing, rockabilly and everything in between. Joel released his debut acoustic country blues album, "Down at the Depot", in 2002. Other albums include "Go Lightnin' ", "Steel Is Real", and "A Chicago Session", with Carl Leyland.

"Guitarist Joel Paterson doesn't regard the mid-20th century songs as historic repertoire. Instead, he addresses classic country, blues and Tin Pan Alley tunes as timeless works."
      - Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

Milwaukee R&B gets the dancers hoppin'!

Valerie B. and the Boyz is a high powered, high energy, Old School Motown, Funk and R&B Band that keeps audiences off their seats and on the dance floor. They cover everything from Aretha & Tina to Prince & Morris Day and the Time.

Valerie B. has a passion for singing R&B and funk, though her musical roots are embedded in gospel. Without a doubt, Valerie's greatest asset is her vocal power. She sings with such emotion and intensity that she blows her audiences out of their chairs and onto the dance floor!

"Their energy, power, and style has proven ability to entertain and engage music loving music fans from all backgrounds."
      - 88Nine Radio, Milwaukee

Blues Harmonica Wizard Headlines Blues Picnic

Headliner MATTHEW SKOLLER has been recording since 1996. Skoller, known for his fiery and engaging performances, combines passionate harmonica playing and singing with original songwriting. He paid his dues backing up a Who's Who of creative musicians, including the legendary Jimmy Rogers, Big Time Sarah, and Deitra Farr.

Based in Chicago, the band played at the 2004 Lucerne Blues Festival, as well as the Mawazine World Music Festival in Rabat, Morocco in 2006 and 2008. Matthew also has performed at numerous festivals and club gigs in England, Italy, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, Chile, Holland, France, Normandy, Germany, Finland and China.

Winners will get food, fun and more!

Check out these great prizes! Tickets are mailed out to members and sold at the white Madison Blues Society tent. Only $10 or 3 for $25 and we put groups of prizes together so each prize is a big one!

Here's what's come in so far:

There's more comin' in all the time so check back to see what's new!

We'll have our usual great selection of food and drink!

Please help support our great vendors and KEEP THE PICNIC FREE!


Food Vendors

The Boys & Girls Club will provide burgers, hot dogs, brats, chips, candy, soda and water this year. Help out this great organization by stopping by their food stand!

We'll also have the great ethnic choices that Blues fans have come to know and love.

Plenty of Fine Brews

And don't miss all the great beers from Capital Brewery. We'll have cups and pitchers again so you can be well stocked for the day. Be sure to stock up on your favorite Capital Brewery brews!

  • Island Wheat
  • Capital Amber
  • Mutiny IPA
  • Supper Club

At the MBS Tent, we'll have BLUES MERCHANDISE for sale including MBS T-shirts with a great new design and Wild Women T-shirts in black and now red versions, too! We'll also have Picnic Posters and we've still got a few more flashing beer mugs - a real crowd pleaser after dark! There'll be lots of Blues fans bringing something back home with them after a great day of music.

And if you haven't joined the Madison Blues Society, check out our membership packages. One-year single memberships are still only $15! MBS keeps bringing the Madison area fans the Blues year after year! Don't miss this great opportunity to support the Blues!

And we'll have Akarim African Products again this year bringing you all kinds of interesting goods from Africa

These great supporters bring you the Blues

Bringing us rewards for Blues Lovers!
Guitar Center
Guitar Center