Ahoy shipmates, 

The USS Nevermore has returned to port Milwaukee after a long three week tour filled with an endless sea of gleaming hotel pools, Cracker Barrel restaurants, dancing dervishes, and lots of great blues friends.   Big shout outs to Dr Mike, Blues Bobby, Peter Laurro, Barb at the Rooster, Tony (are you fahking kidding me?) Holman, Gary Anton, Nikki at the Little Bar, Big Mike, Ken, Kirsch, Kahuna, Steve Dougherty, Walter Gordon, Clarence, Marty Bacon, Piano Bob, Hal Yeagy, Albertina,  Ole Harve and my cousins Linda, Alice and Ron.  Westside Andy, PT and Craig tore it up as usual.  The dance floors were full and we sold out a bunch of rooms thanks to the efforts of Kris Raymond at Record Events and Betsie Brown at Blind Raccoon.   Big Fun but we’re glad to be home and ready to swing it up on at the Friday Night Swing Dance at the Knights of Columbus Hall in West Aliis, WI on at 8pm to help us shake the shack. 

 Sunday we return to The Hill Tavern in Omro, WI at 3pm to 6pm



Our new CD “My Life” sits at # 14 on the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Blues Albums this week

It’s at  # 14 on the Living Blues Magazine Chart

It’s at # 2  on the Chicago and # 1 on the  Wisconsin Charts

It’s # 10 on the Sirius Radio’s Rack of Blues and # 7 on BB King’s Bluesville 

And # 2 on Gil Anthony’s Blues Power Show

Get your copy at:  CDBaby.com

Or come out to The Friday Night Swing Dance and get a deal on multiple purchases of all or our music and shirts, hats etc....

Here’s a couple new reviews


My Life

Nevermore Records

     Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys are celebrating their 20th anniversary with this collection of previously-recorded and newly re-recorded songs. Their history with pure, no-nonsense blues comes with an instant attraction. Rev Raven sings and plays guitar; his sidemen include four different harmonica players, saxophone, bass, drums, piano and organ. Together, the different variations of the band bring jump, swing, and fun to their album. Raven sings with a gritty baritone voice; he's been doing this since 1971. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, but the band is a Milwaukee institution. Raven settled there after his time with the U.S. Navy.

     The album's autobiographical title track, "My Life," employs a barrelhouse piano two-step rhythm as the leader tells about how things have come around. He's been around the world, but attributes his fortune to family and friends. Later, with his boogaloo "Looking for Love," Raven expresses the need that everyone has for finding the right formula. And his "Slow Burn" echoes the same kind of thinking as he sings about keeping the fires burning. As Raven closes out the album with "I'm Your Honeyboy," he reminds us that blues maintains its purebred structure just so that folks can tell it like it is. Raven and his crew do a great job of keeping the flame burning.

                                                                 --Jim Santella

From The Netherlands and Belgium 

The Reverend is now with his Chain Smokin 'Altar Boys on an eighth album. Our pastor compiles a compilation album from his four previous releases. Luckily he remixed a lot of songs and even re-recorded them. After more than twenty years richly upholstered musical material enough for a handsome and exciting Chicago blues album. Born and raised in the Westside of Chicago, the Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddie King playing at the Kinetic Theater in Chicago. After serving for fifteen years in the Navy, Chief Reverend moved to Milwaukee where he began a long collaboration with Madison Slim, who for a long time was a harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers.

The opening song 'Handyman' is a nice shuffle that is immediately colored by Cadillac Pete's blues harp. The rumba tunes from 'Bee Hive Baby' will populate a lot of dance floors. The magnificent guitar riffs also accrue in the swinging 'Creature Of Habit'. Harmonica, a virtuoso Madison Slim, with swirling style, gives shape to the West Coast inspired '' Bad Little Girls ''. The tight groove from 'I Want To Love You' and the swinging 'Once The Woman Start Talking' are the next highlights. And there are the skate. Just listen to the great autobiographical title track, where Danny Moore comes in the spotlight with his Barrelhouse piano tunes. Benny Rickun is next with his blues harp in the swinging and exciting Chicago blues track 'Here Comes My Baby'. From the blues pestle 'Big Bee' it goes fast to the swinging 'Looking For Love', where saxophonist Big Al Groth and again pianist Danny Moore bring the beacons to him. From the shuffle 'Slow Burn' and the activating 'Someday When I'm Dead And Gone' it's going to a first slow blues in the form of 'I Can Do You Right' and the rumba inspired 'She's Moving On'. As a closing, Reverend Raven treats us to an unlikely game of boogie woogie.  Superb!

Their eighth album is a compilation of original songs from all four studio sessions remixed or re-recorded as a new version with a new lineup. Simply titled 'My Life', the new studio album from Milwaukee institution, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys, celebrates 20 years as one of the nation's hardest working road band. The quartet of blues veterans, led by Raven, have played every tavern, gin joint and cool club in the Mid-West and Florida and enjoyed just about most of them.

This is really a blast of a release!

Philip Verhaege   

You can purchase our cds at the following stores:

The Exclusive Company in Greenfield, WI (they also carry our t-shirts) 

Rolling Stone Records, 7300 W. Irving Road, Chicago, IL @ https://www.rollingstonesmusic.com

DWM Music, 3 Bedford Court, Iowa City, IA 52240




Get our Music at CDBaby!

Connect With Us. . .

Twitter -- https://twitter.com/rraven01 YouTube -- https://www.youtube.com/user/HOWLING8 Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/ReverendRaven Spotify -- https://play.spotify.com/artist/7arNtDbEruxOqr1gIcoVio Instagram -- https://www.instagram.com/RRAVEN02/ CD Baby -- http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ReverendRavenTheChainSmokinAlt