We're off to Lincoln, NE to play the famous Zoo Bar on Wednesday.  The Zoo Bar has been one of the seminal music clubs to play for touring bands for 44 years now.  It has a unique Wisconsin connection too with pictures of Madison Slim, Dave Kasik and Marc Wilson gracing the walls from their days as members of the Zoo's house band The Heart Murmurs.  Thursday we invade Fremont, NE to play the Corner Bar.  Friday we play for the Mississippi Valley Blues Society at Kavanaugh's Irish Pub in Rock Island, IL.  Saturday we head back to Madison to play a house party for our accountant Tina and then head over to The Knuckle Down Saloon to see our pals Steve V & The Knockouts from Minneapolis at 9pm.  They will be on the bill with us at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall, 1920 S. 37th Street, Milwaukee, WI on Sunday, April 23rd at 2pm.  $10 Cover Charge to see both bands.  

 

 

 

 

 

The Virgin Islands were great.  We played our way through St Croix, Tortola, St Thomas and St John in 21 days.  Gary Zappa (Ben Sidran, Clyde Stubblefield) filled in on bass for PT and Don DeStafano on harp did a great job.  We jammed and hung out with lots of our long time friends like Danny Silber, Edythe & Paul Dirks, Mike Cactus, Kenny B, Paul Koch, Stephanie, Barefoot Davis (thanks for the amp), and our new friend Channing, a wonderful musician.  John Nemeth and his fine band (including Milwaukee's own Matthew Wilson on guitar) were on St John for the Blues Festival and came down to Indigo's in Coral Bay and sat in and tore it up with a new song from their upcoming cd.  

 

New 20th Anniversary CD

I'm glad to be home.  Spring is breaking through, we have a new cd almost finished but we need some $$ to help us finish it.  Please go to our GoFundMe page to help us out.  There's all kinds of perks for different levels of participation.  I have three songs to finish and then it goes for mastering, finish the artwork and put it all together at Discmakers.  

 

Sad news these last few weeks.  We lost Chuck Berry, James Cotton and Lonnie Brooks.  I've been lucky enough to see all three many times. When I first got out of the Navy in 1980 in tended bar for a few years before reenlisting.  One of the places I worked was P.J. Flaherty's on the south side of Chicago (later known as Ryan's).   One of the regular bands on rotation was The Lonnie Brooks Band.  Sometimes double billed (Great Southern with Dickie Betts was one memorable evening).  I was a fan ever since.  James Cotton was always a favorite to any blues fan in their 20s that wanted to dance and meet girls lol.  We followed his great High Compression Band all around Chicago and was always one of my favorite harmonica players and singers.   RIP to all three greats and condolences to their families.  

 

Tribute to James Cotton

A tribute to James Cotton is taking place on Sunday, April 9th at 4pm at American Serb Hall Banquet, 5101 West Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53219.  Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.  To buy tickets on line go to:  James Cotton Tribute

Featured performers are:  Blue Rick, Tom Holland (James Cotton), Jerry Porter (Buddy Guy), Mike Scharf (James Cotton) and Ariyo (Jimmie Rogers) on piano.  Don't miss this show.  

 

Friday - April 14th - Route 20 Outhouse, Sturdevant, WI 8:30pm featuring Westside Andy.  Katy Guillen and the Girls from KC opening

Saturday - April 15th - Fox & Hounds, Hubertus WI 7:30pm  featuring Westside Andy

 

Plains Road Trip

We head west for a few dates  to Nebraska with our first stop at the legendary Zoo Bar

Wednesday - April 19th - The Zoo Bar, Lincoln, NE 6pm featuring Westside Andy

Thursday - April 20th - The Corner Bar, Fremont, NE 5:30pm featuring Westside Andy

Friday - April 21st - Mississippi Valley Blues Society Show at Kavanaugh's, Rock Island,                              IL 8pm featuring Westside Andy

Saturday - April 22nd - Private Show, Madison, WI

Sunday - April 23rd - Sunday Afternoon Blues Matinee @ Kochanski's, Milwaukee, WI                                  2pm $10

 

Sunday Afternoon Blues Matinee

Kochanski's Ad

 

We're teaming up with our pals from Minneapolis "Stevie V and the Knockout's" on Sunday, April 23rd at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall, 1920 s. 37th Street, Milwaukee, WI beginning at 2pm.   This is one excellent blues combo featuring sometime Chain Smoker Steve Vonderharr on harmonica, Dan Schwalbe on guitar, John Schneider on bass and former Milwaukeean, Vic Span on drum.   Steve was our harp player when we opened for BB King at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA and he TORE IT UP on the first song, dispelling all of our butterflies lol.  All for only $10

 

 

 

Weekend Shows

Greetings from paradise. Craig and I are grooving our way through the islands with the Wizard himself, Gary Zappa (Ben Sidran, Clyde Stubblefield) We're on St John right now gearing up for a two night stand at the Beach Bar in Cruz Bay at 8pm. Lots of blues fans on island for Saturday's St John Blues Festival. Three great bands including Slam Allen and The John Nemeth Band featuring Milwaukee's own Matthew Wilson. We return next Monday and immediately begin finishing up our 20th Anniversary CD "My Life" hopefully out by May. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the making of the CD. We could still use some funds to finish the mixing and mastering. If you can find a few spare $$$ please go to https://www.gofundme.com/ReverendRaven20th Debut Show at the Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company 8pm Anodyne Coffee 224 W Bruce St, Milwaukee, WI 53204 414.763.1143 We're doing our first show at Milwaukee's new premier music club on Friday, March 31st at 8pm. Opening the show will be Big Al Dorn and the Blues Howlers. Only $10 cover. We don't play Milwaukee often so come on down and dance the night away. Sunday Blues Matinee Show at Kochanski's 2pm - 6pm Kochanski's Concertina Bar 1920 S 37th St, Milwaukee, WI 53215 414-837-6552 We're bringing in a great band from the Twin Cities, Stevie "V" and the Knockouts to join us for an afternoon of blues. Steve Vonderharr has been our go to guy in the Twin Cities for tours and shows for at least 10yrs. He's toured Canana and the East Coast with us and opened for BB King with us at the Surf Ballroom. A dynamic performer with a crack band of professionals including former Milwaukee bad ass drummer Vic Spann. $10 Summer Blues Festivals We're already booked at a lot of great festivals this summer with more pending. Check out our tour schedule and make plans. I like the festivals because it gives me a chance to hear and hang out with some of my favorite players and performers. Thanks Rev St John

We're finally home after 20 + hours in a van with three old crabby men we sent Craig north to his wife.  

We came home to the news that we were selected Milwaukee's Best Blues Band by the readers of the Shepherd Express.  All we can say is thank you very much

What an excellent tour of Florida.  Full houses to sold out attendance in Alabama, Georgia and Florida thanks to Kris Raymond at Recordevents.com and Charlie Boyer at Jazz & Blues Florida.  We met so many cool people and old friends.  Gil Anthony, Todd Ekstrom, Miss Rita, Smokestack, Blue Stu, Wiz, and more.  We had 20 days of 80 degree weather and sunshine too.

Our first show in at MacLeod's in Dothan Alabama was a full house thanks to Gil Anthony plugging the show on his radio show.  We played the Red Wolf Juke Joint in Birmingham, Alabama next.  Miss Rita welcomed us and sat it with us at the end of the night.  Thanks to Todd Ekstrom for putting us up and the Magic City Blues Society for a first for me.  We sold out the High Cotton Music Hall in Hartwell, Georgia and Smokestack sat in with us on harmonica to the delight of the crowd.  

Our first show in Florida was at the Blue Rooster in Sarasota to a sold out SRO crowd that included over 60 Cheeseheads lol.  Thanks to Charlie Offer and Mary for setting us up in St Petersburg and we look forward to working with them in the future.  The Barrel Room in Fort Myers was another SRO crowd in a club run by our old buddy Kevin who used to book us at Buddy Guy's Legends and is also Frank Bang's brother.  Sunday it was Earl's Hideaway in Sebastian where we played to a large crowd of bikers and blues fans.   We got to see our buddy Peter Lauro from Music4Mary.com one of the best reference sites on the web.

Englewood's on Dearborn on Tuesday was also SRO of dancers.  The owner Tony ("Are you fu*&ing kidding me?") took great care of us and provided much needed hangovers to some of the band lol.  With a couple nights off I got a chance to hang out with Madison Slim for a day and on Thursday Andy, Craig and I went down to the Blue Rooster to see Slim play with one of the best bands working the scene right now.  That's Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones.  Their in France this week and will be touring the midwest this summer.  Make sure you go see them.  We all got a chance to sit in and had a natural ball.

The Little Bar was great and we got a chance to hang out with our friends Jim Kirschlanger and Charlie Boyer from Jazz & Blues Florida.   Nikki opened her beautiful home to us and fed us like kings.  

Our last show at Ace's Lounge in Bradenton was the icing on the cake and once again an SRO crowd.  The owner Renee took great care of us and Slim, Mark Thompson and Doug Deming, Claudia, Andrew and Sam came down after their show at the Cortez Kitchen.

We're headed back in October for sure.

This weekend we head down to Indianapolis to play the Slippery Noodle Inn on Friday and Saturday.  Looking forward to seeing our Hoosier friends after a one year hiatus.  Please pass the word.

 

Buddy Guy's Legends on Friday March 3rd 

We return to Buddy Guy's Legends, 700 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Il.  Hands down the premier blues club in the world (I'm slightly biased lol).  Show begins at 9:30pm

 

Virgin Islands Tour 2017

 

Craig and I head to St Croix on March 6th to kidnap Gary Zappa on bass and tour the islands for three horrible grueling weeks.  Come on down and join the fun.

 

 

Live at the Big Bull is still going strong.  After winning two awards this year for "Best Live CD of the Year' from Blues Blast Magazine and The Independent BluesScene.  We just received another great review from the Natchel' Blues Network of Virginia written by Brian "The Bluesman" Beachum. It's still a top seller at CDBaby.com and you can purchase it at CDBaby.com/reverendraven5 or at The Exclusive Company, 5026 S. 74th St. Greenfield, WI 

Westside Andy's CD "Blues Just Happen" is also a top seller at CDBaby.com and features Billy Flynn and Barrel House Chuck (RIP) on piano. Living Blues Magazine called Chuck the greatest living blues pianist and it's true.  You can purchase this cd at: CDBaby.com/westsideandy2. Come to a show and get both of these cds for a special price.

Speaking of special prices.  Our cd "Shake Your Boogie" is also a top seller
and going for a special Holiday Price of $10 on CDBaby.com.  I'll sell it to
you for $5.00 as an add on to an order for "Live at the Big Bull". Send a
check or money order for $20.00 plus $2.50 for shipping to Nevermore
Records, 3851 E. Holmes Avenue, Cudahy, WI 53110 and I'll send both cds
to you right away.

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