The Blues Show

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The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

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24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists. Jingle Jams. An eclectic assortment of holiday tunes, from the new and quirky to the classic.

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World Cafe Archives

Join Talia Schlanger as she navigates the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

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      The Blues Show

   The Blues Show with Jonny Meister airs Saturday nights

                       from 7PM to Midnight on WXPN.

Coming Up On  The Blues Show  November 25, 2017:

The show will start late, following Penn Basketball coverage, in the 9PM hour. We will feature some of the top songs on the show over the past year, as voting for the Best of 2017 in now happening.

In the midnight hour on Blue Dimensions, Program F48Two Centennials And An Amazing Duo — releases for the birth centennial of two great artists, and a remarkable duo recording. 2017 marks the centennial of Thelonious Monk's birth, and the recent rediscovery of the tapes from the session where Monk and band recorded the music for the 1959 French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses has led to the first-time album issue of this music as a centennial celebration. We'll hear several tracks from this double disc. Monk did not write new music for Les Liaisons Dangereuses but did make excellent new recordings of some of his work, including both band and solo versions of "Pannonica," a great take of "Well, You Needn't," and "Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are," his composition for the Bolivar Hotel, where Pannonica de Koenigswarter, his great sponsor and supporter and subject of the song "Pannonica," lived.
The duo on this show consists of superb pianist Hiromi Uehara, who usually goes by just Hiromi, and Edmar Castañeda, a harp player from Bogota, Colombia, who has taken the harp to new places in jazz. The two remarkable players joined each other at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, on June 30th, 2017, and an album recorded there is now available. We'll also hear them talk about getting together from some conversation available only on the Japanese edition of the album.
We'll also hear previously unreleased music from John Lee Hooker, from the centennial celebration box set King Of The Boogie, although there is some question about whether Hooker was actually born in 1917. The songs come from a 1983 show in Berlin, and Hooker is in fine form and spirits, praising his band but also joking about how Albert King had fired band members right in the middle of a show on stage. (Hooker never did that!)

The 2018 Blues Images pre-war Blues Calendar complete with a CD including twenty-four pre-war blues songs is now available. The calendar offers lots of photographs and art work, and info/important dates relating to pre-war blues artists.

You can vote for some blues songs for the Best of 2017 on XPN.

check out some info on the Worried Blues reissue series of blues albums recorded in the 1960s and 1970s.

Links for   Local Artists  |  Venues  |  Blues Events

       • • • Area Blues Concerts & Events • • •

For blues event listings visit:
Delta Blue's Calendar
The Blues Collaborative
Bucks County Blues Society
Diamond State Blues Society
Baltimore Blues Society
Blues Society of Central PA
Lehigh Valley Blues Network
Central Delaware Blues Society

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• • • November • • •

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Nighthawks (opening Rev. Billy C. Wirtz) @ Baltimore Blues Society show
Rosedale American Legion, Rosedale MD 21237 (8PM)

Ursula Ricks @ The Cats Eye Pub
Baltimore (Fells Point) MD 21231 (4PM-8PM)

• • • December • • •

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sister Blue & Mark Furman @ Brickside Tavern
Exton PA (8PM) 19341

Paul Nelson Band @ Columbia Kettle Works
Columbia PA 17512 (6PM-9PM)

Deb Callahan Band @ Blue Earl Brewery
Smyrna DE 19977 (7PM) Free

Wednesday December 6, 2017

Victor Wainwright @ Lizzie Rose Music Room
Tuckerton NJ 08087 (7:30PM) $30 Advance $35 Door

Friday, December 8, 2017

Popa Chubby @ Sellersville Theater
Sellersville PA 18960 (8PM)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Deb Callahan Band @ Red Hot & Blue

Victor Wainwright and The Train @ Jamey's House Of Music
Lansdowne PA 19050 (8PM) $30 advance online, $35 Door

Sister Blue & Mark Furman @ Nora Lees
New Castle DE 19720 (7PM)

Cherry Hill NJ 08002 (8PM) Free

"Harmonica Holiday" @ The Ashburner Inn
Nick Moss Band, Dennis Gruenling
Steve Guyger, Joe Alves & The Groove Prophets with Big Daddy
Mikey Junior, Little Red Rooster Band
Derek Matteson, Maro DeLorenzo
Philadelphia (Holmesburg) PA 19136 ($35, plus bring toy gift for child)

Mojo Gypsies @ Saint Georges Country Store
Saint Georges DE 19733

Duke Robillard @ Lizzie Rose Music Room
Tuckerton NJ 08087 (7:30PM) $30 Advance $35 Door

Friday, December 15, 2017

Deb Callahan Band @ The Twisted Tail
Philadelphia (Center City) PA 19147 (9:15PM) Free

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Deb Callahan Band @ The Lucky Well
Ambler PA 19002 (8PM) Free

Sister Blue & Mark Furman @ Temperance House
Newtown PA 18940 (7PM)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Samantha Fish @ Ardmore Music Hall
Ardmore PA 19003 (7:30PM)

Friday, December 22, 2017

Mojo Gypsies @ The Twisted Tail
Philadelphia (Center City) PA 19147

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Popa Chubby @ Lizzie Rose Music Room
Tuckerton NJ 08087 (7:30PM) $30 advance, $35 at door

Friday, December 29, 2017

Deb Callahan Band @ The Mermaid Inn
Philadelphia (Chestnut Hill) PA 19118 (8PM) Free

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Deb Callahan Band @ Carlisle First Night
Carlisle PA 17013 (8PM) $20/25 for all events

• • • January • • •

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dukes Of Destiny @ Kennett Flash
Kennett Square PA 19348 (7:30-PM-10PM) $18 advance, $22 at door

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Damon Fowler and The Bruce Katz Band @ Sellersville Theatre
Sellersville PA 18960 (7:30PM) $19.50, $29.50

Mc Kinley James Band with Mark Wenner @ Saint Georges Country Store
Saint Georges DE 19733 (7:30PM-10:30PM)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Damon Fowler @ Saint Georges Country Store
Saint Georges DE 19733 (7:30PM-10:30PM)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mojo Gypsies @ Lost Tavern Brewing Company
Hellertown PA 18055

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Tinsley Ellis @ Sellersville Theatre
Sellersville PA 18960 (8PM) $21.50, $29.50

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Alexis P. Suter Band @ Sellersville Theatre
Sellersville PA 18960 (8PM) $19.50, $29.50

• • • February • • •

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Mojo Gypsies @ The Local
New Hope PA 18950

Friday, February 9, 2018

Mojo Gypsies @ Hotel Fiesole
Skippack PA 19474

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Marcia Ball @ Sellersville Theatre
Sellersville PA 18960 (7:30PM) $29.50, $45

Friday, February 16, 2017

Destination Blues Music Festival Day One
in Bloomsburg, Berwick, and Danville PA

Saturday, February 17, 2017

Destination Blues Music Festival Day Two
in Bloomsburg, Berwick, and Danville PA

Sunday, February 18, 2017

Destination Blues Music Festival Day Three
in Bloomsburg, Berwick, and Danville PA

Friday, February 23, 2018

Mojo Gypsies @ Crooked Eye Brewery
Hatboro PA 19040

• • • March • • •

Friday, March 2, 2018

Lurrie Bell @ Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square PA 19348
(8PM) $36

Friday, March 9, 2018

Lancaster Roots And Blues Festival Day 1
locations & venues in Lancaster PA
early bird discount tickets now on sale

Roomful Of Blues @ Sellersville Theatre
Sellersville PA 18960 (8PM) $25, $39.50

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Lancaster Roots And Blues Festival Day 2
locations & venues in Lancaster PA
early bird discount tickets now on sale

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Mojo Gypsies @ Freddie's Tavern
West Trenton NJ 08628

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lancaster Roots And Blues Festival Day 3
locations & venues in Lancaster PA
early bird discount tickets now on sale

Friday, March 16, 2017

Ruthie Foster @ Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square PA 19348
(8PM) $38

Friday, March 23, 2018

Blast Furnace Blues Festival 2018 Day 1

      Musikfest Café
 7:00PM   James Supra & Sarah Ayers Quartet
 8:15PM   Steve Krase Band
10:00PM   Craig Thatcher Band

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Blast Furnace Blues Festival 2018 Day 2

      Fowler Blast Furnace Room
12Noon  (Lesson Center)
1:00PM  Ezra Charles
2:30PM  Sugaray Rayford
4:15PM  John Egan
6:00PM  Slam Allen Band
7:45PM  Walter Washington

      Musikfest Café
12:30PM  John Egan
 1:45PM  Slam Allen Band
 3:15PM  Ezra Charles
 5:00PM  Walter “Wolfman” Washington & The Roadmasters
 6:45PM  Sugaray Rayford
 8:30PM  The Fabulous Thunderbirds with Kim Wilson

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Blast Furnace Blues Festival 2018 Day 3

      Fowler Blast Furnace Room
12:30PM  The Mighty Orq
 2:15PM  Brad Absher
 3:45PM  Step Rideau & the Zydeco Outlaws
 5:15PM  Toronzo Cannon

      Musikfest Café
 Noon  Brad Absher
1:15PM  Step Rideau & the Zydeco Outlaws
2:30PM  Toronzo Cannon
4:15PM  Trudy Lynn
6:00PM  Bobby Rush

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Rory Block @ Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square PA 19348
(8PM) $35

• • • April • • •

• • • May • • •

• • • June • • •

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Chester County Blues Barbeque @ Wyndsor Farm
Elverson PA (2PM-7PM) rain or shine

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Saint Georges Blues Festival (Day 1)
Commodore Center Grounds
Saint Georges DE 19733

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Saint Georges Blues Festival (Day 2)
Commodore Center Grounds
Saint Georges DE 19733

Billtown Blues Festival
Lycoming County Fairgrounds
Hughesville PA 17737

• • • July • • •

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Briggs Farm Blues Festival Pre-Festival Opening Night
88 Old Berwick Highway, Nescopeck PA 18635
Opening Night: Thursday Night's Stage of the Woods

There are many options for going to this festival. Although on-site camping has always been popular for it, some people do make day trips or stay in hotels as well. There are many different ticket prices available for single-day, some days, all days, camping or non-camping, Premium Reserved campsites, and new, this year, private porta-potties . . . The Thursday night event will feature bands playing music of a well-known blues-rock band. Starting on Friday afternoon, the main stage and back-porch stage (under a tent) will feature blues performers. Sunday will feature gospel and soulful blues from the main stage, ending early afternoon. Tickets go on sale October 15th at "early buyer" discount rates. These rates will be at their lowest until December 31. They go up on January 1, up some more on May 5th, and up to full un-discounted price if you want to buy once the festival has begun.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Briggs Farm Blues Festival Day 1
88 Old Berwick Highway, Nescopeck PA 18635

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Briggs Farm Blues Festival Day 2
88 Old Berwick Highway, Nescopeck PA 18635

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Briggs Farm Blues Festival Day 3
88 Old Berwick Highway, Nescopeck PA 18635

• • • August • • •

• • • September • • •

• • • October • • •

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Regularly occurring (weekly, monthly) blues jams and events


• • • every Tuesday • • •

open blues jam lead by Paul Boddy @ Puck Live
Doylestown PA   (8PM)   free

Nate Myers and The Aces @ Grotto Pub
Enola PA

• • • every Wednesday • • •

Mikey Jr. @ The Twisted Tail 8PM
Philadelphia PA

• • • every Sunday • • •

Mikey Jr. leads blues jam 5PM-9PM @ The Twisted Tail
Philadelphia PA


Fred Miller Blues Band @ The Rusty Nail
Blues Jam 8PM last Sunday of each month
Ardmore PA

The ten-album series Worried Blues from Fat Possum Records reissues some
music from some wonderful albums recorded by Gene Rosenthal,
some issued on LP in the 1960s and 1970s, and all issued on CDs in the 1990s
in the "Blue Vault" series on the Genes label.
The albums in this series did not enjoy wide promotion and distribution
at the time of issue. Now in the Worried Blues series, they do.

Some of these draw from two originally issued albums, and as such, have
to omit some songs from the original releases. Others are straight reissues of original
albums in the series, and some of those lack a few tracks from those originals.
Possibly this is the result of issues around the publishing of those songs,
though it is unfortunate.
The liner notes in the series are almost all "adapted"
(significantly abridged versions of the excellent notes in the original releases).
Some of the original releases are still around, available as used discs
or ocassionally new, still wrapped. The reissues are
generally much less expensive, can be downloaded as mp3s, and will
come out on LPs for those who want that format in September.

I have found the Discogs website useful, not only for checking info on these particular albums, but also usually a good source of info about the personnel on albums, the dates and places where they were recorded, and the different editions in which they have been issued.

R. L. BurnsideWorried Blues
straight reissue of My Black Name A-Ringin' released on CD in 1991 by
Genes Records through Adelphi label. Original had much more extensive liner notes
and photos. Reissue liner notes lack name of harmonica player Red Ramsey
who plays on several tracks.
originally issued on Genes Records - GCD 9917

Reverend Gary DavisWorried Blues
reissue of O, Glory - The Apostolic Studio Sessions which came out on Edsel label
in 1996, missing two cuts from the original CD. Liner notes significantly abridged,
fail to mention the name of harmonica player Larry Johnson
who plays on four songs.
originally issued on CD by Edsel Records - EDCD 482; LP "O, Glory" issued in
1973 by Adelphi Records.

Honeyboy EdwardsWorried Blues
reissue of Don't Mistreat A Fool album released 1999 Genes label missing three songs from original release (including both that had
Big Walter Horton on harmonica); abridged liner notes
original issue on CD by Genes Records - GCD 9914

Mississippi John HurtWorried Blues
original issue was issued as a double CD, and also apparently
as separate single CDs.
The reissue omits some of the songs and also omits an interview with Hurt
conducted by Pete Seeger on disc two of the original.
Abridged liner notes and art.
both albums/volumes issued together as double CD
Mississippi John Hurt Memorial Anthology
by Genes label - GCD 9906/7 in 1993
Volume 1: released by Edsel Records - EDCD 381 in 1994
Volume 2: released by Edsel Records - EDCD 446 in 1997

Skip JamesWorried Blues
straight reissue of his album She Lyin' which came out in 1993 from Genes Records.
This has all the songs on the original, though abridged liner notes. This is an album of
guitar-based songs. Skip also did a wonderful piano album for Genes, but that is not
reissued in the Worried Blues series, at least not yet.
original issue on Genes Records - GCD 9901 in 1993

Furry LewisWorried Blues
this album draws some songs from two albums in the original Blues Vault series,
On The Road Again (which had come out on LP in 1969) and Take Your Time.
The album "On The Road Again" had some tracks with famed Memphis banjo player Gus Cannon and guitarist Bukka White,
but those songs are among the omitted titles.
On The Road Again originally issued on CD by Genes Records - GCD 9918
Take Your Time originally issued on CD by Genes Records - GCD 9911

Little Brother MontgomeryWorried Blues
this is a straight reissue of Montgomery's No Special Rider CD album
for the Genes label (issued 1999 on CD; 1969 LP issue had two fewer cuts),
with abridged liner notes. On some songs
Jeanne Carroll is the vocalist. Guitarist Mike Stewart plays on some tracks.

Houston StackhouseWorried Blues
reissue of the album Cryin' Won't Help You minus two of its tracks, originally
released on CD in 1994. The highly abridged liner notes are unfortunate,
as the extensive info in the original liner notes included much about the artist
that was previously unpublished and not known.
original label: Genes Records - GCD 9904.

Bukka WhiteWorried Blues
reissue of album 1963 Isn't 1962
issued by Genes Records - GCD 9903 in 1994.

Reverend Robert WilkinsWorried Blues
reissue of Remember Me album, abridged liner notes
originally issued 1993 on Genes label (GCD 9902).

Voting is now happening on XPN for the "Year in Review" – Best of 2017.

The "polls" will close at midnight on December 1st.

A list is presented below of some songs that got played a lot on the show this year, just to "jog" people's memories. I'm thinking I'll vote for the first five on the list, but certainly all of these twenty-five selections are among the top songs on the show this year.

Hopefully some blues songs will get some votes!

You can vote at our homepage for up to five of your favorite songs of 2017.

Everyone who votes will be automatically entered for a chance to win an Amazon Echo. No pledge is necessary to enter the contest and XPN Sustaining Members are automatically entered to win. Get complete contest rules at — remember, voting ends at midnight, December 1st.

I will feature a bunch of these songs on the show on November 25th (we will be starting late that night, a little after 9PM, following basketball coverage).

Vanessa Collier "Cry Out (Against Injustice)"
Eight O'Five Jive "Never"
David Brinston "I Drinks My Whiskey"
Linsey Alexander "Starting Monday"
Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers "Pretty Good For A Girl"
Eric Bibb "We Had To Move"
Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo' "Ain't Nobody Talkin'"
Karen Lovely "Next Time"
Chuck Berry "Eyes Of Man"
Cecile McLorin Salvant "Wild Women Don't Have The Blues"
Big Bill Morganfield "Help Someone"
Southern Avenue "80 Miles From Memphis"
Mr. Sipp "Juke Joint"
Polly O'Keary "Hard Hearted World"
Robert Cray "You Must Believe In Yourself"
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats "Dissed Again"
Reverend Sekou "In Times Like These"
Willa Vincitore "Love Looks Good On Me"
Stew Cutler & Friends "Gumbo Trane"
Ms. Jody "Where I Come From"
Alabama Mike "Meet Me In The Bottom"
James Armstrong "Old Man In The Morning (Young Man At Night)"
Eric Gales "Boogie Man"
Harrison Kennedy "Afraid To Fail"
Selwyn Birchwood "My Whiskey Loves My Ex"

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[Return To Top Of Blues Events]

About The Blues Show and Jonny Meister

The Blues Show airs every Saturday night from 7:00 to Midnight on XPN. Host Jonny Meister explores this music and its history not only because it is the key ingredient in later rock and pop music, but also because of its own special allure and unique power as a style of music and expression of the human soul.

Catherine Russell and Jonny
Jonny Meister with Catherine Russell

The Blues Show covers the entire history of the blues from 1920 to the present, from the best-known to the most obscure blues, with focus on the present-day blues, but with an eye on the rich history of this music and its large body of timeless recordings.

Host Jonny Meister has been playing the blues on WXPN since March 1977. Meister grew up with old blues records in the house. His father played boogie woogie on the piano, which Jonny learned at about the age of 12. Later he played in rock bands and did a few solo gigs as a singer-songwriter. As his interest in blues grew, he became especially interested in the history of the music, a history not always revealed by the rock musicians and their promoters who drew heavily on the blues.

Jonny spent a week with the family of the late, great blues musician J. B. Lenoir in 1979, and he was one of the consultants for the Wim Wenders film The Soul Of A Man which featured Lenoir, in the PBS film series The Blues. He won the "Keeping The Blues Alive" award for work in Public Radio for The Blues Show in 2000 and a "Best of Philly" award from Philadelphia Magazine in 1996 for "Best Local Radio Show".

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Streams Of Recent Blues Show Programs:
Shemekia Copeland - Free At Noon Concert 10/2/2015

Contact the Show:
Drop Jonny an
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. about the show.

The Mississippi Blues Project:                     

From the summer of 2012 through the summer of 2013, with support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, through the Philadelphia Music Project, we presented The Mississippi Blues Project, a series of concerts by Mississippi blues artists that are now available online, with shows from The Cedric Burnside Project, Big George Brock, Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, Robert Belfour, Big A (Anthony Sherrod) with Robert "Bilbo" Walker, Super Chikan, The Homemade Jamz Blues Band, Rory Block, and James Cotton. Check 'em out!

Local Blues Artists in our listening areas

A C Steel & The Galvanizers
Georgie Bonds
Deb Callahan
Lisa Chavous & The Philadelphia
    Blues Messengers

Dukes Of Destiny
Mikey Jr.
Sister Blue Band

   — — Venues — —

The Twisted Tail is the one place where you can hear blues in Philadelphia just about every night. They have a blues jam every Sunday starting at 5PM hosted by Mikey Jr. & Stone Cold Blues. Mikey Jr. and band also play there pretty regularly on Wednesday nights.

The Twisted Tail
509 South 2nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19147
215-558-2471 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ardmore Music Hall
23 East Lancaster Avenue
Ardmore PA 19003

Building 24 Live
1115 Bern Road
Wyomissing PA 19610
610-375-2700 7:30PM $25

The Flash
102 Sycamore Alley
Kennett Square PA 19348

Keswick Theatre
291 North Keswick Avenue
Glenside PA

Lansdowne Folk Club
at the Twentieth Century Club
84 South Lansdowne Avenue
Lansdowne PA 19050

Lizzie Rose Music Room
217 East Main Street
Tuckerton NJ 08087

The Lucky Well
111 East Butler Avenue
Ambler PA 19002

Mermaid Inn
7673 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19118

The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue
Bordentown NJ 08505

Red Hot & Blue
2175 Marlton Pike West
Route 70 East in Cherry Hill
across from Garden State Park Shopping Center
adjacent to the Holiday Inn
Cherry Hill NJ 08002

Saint Georges Country Store
1 Delaware Street
Saint Georges DE 19733

Sellersville Theater
24 West Temple Avenue
Sellersville PA

The State Theatre
15 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick NJ 08901

The Tin Angel
20 South 2nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19106

1400 South Columbus Boulevard (at Reed Street)
Philadelphia PA 19147

World Cafe Live (Philadelphia)
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19104

World Cafe Live (Wilmington)
501 North Market Street
Wilmington DE 19801

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James Cotton and Jonny Meister
Jonny Meister with the late great James Cotton

Samuel James and Jonny Meister
Jonny Meister jammin' with Samuel James

Robert Johnson Charlie Musselwhite
Shemekia Copeland Blind Lemon Jefferson