Prairie Crossroads Blues Society

Champaign-Urbana IL

Upcoming Blues Events

[William Marsala Fundraiser Poster]

Williamn Marsala Band - IBC Fundraiser
9:00 pm Friday January 20
Memphis on Main, 55 E. Main St. Champaign

PCBS is holding a fundraiser to support the William Marsala Band as they go down to Memphis, TN to compete in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge. Come on out and help raise some cash to get these guys down to Memphis.

The competition runs from Jan 31 thru Feb. 4 so it costs a bunch for hotels, gas and meals. Besides the low cover charge that goes to the band we'll have some raffles and other fun ways to help raise some cash for the band.

The William Marsala Band won the Decatur IBC Challenge which allows them to go to Memphis and represent all of Central Illinois against as many as 225 bands from around the world!

Here's the Facebook Event

Come on out to Memphis on Main 9:00 on Friday January 20 and send the guys down to the competition in Memphis with plenty of energy and enthusiasm.

[Groove Avenue Blues Jam Poster]

William Marsala Band hosts
the PCBS Monthly Blues Jam
7:00 - 10:00 pm Wednesday January 25
Pipa's Pub, 604 S. Country Fair Dr., Champaign

Google map to Pipa's Pub, 604 S. Country Fair Dr. Champaign.

Each month one of your favorite local blues bands kicks off the jam by hosting the 1st set. They then open it up to all the jammers in the house. Bring your instrument and plan on sitting in! We've had some outstanding local musicians showing up at the jams, come on out and join the fun!

William Marsala Band hosts the Jam January 25!

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is happy to help revive the tradition of a blues jam in the C-U area. The jams take place the 4th Wednesday of every month. Our jams moved to a new venue but the great music and fellowship continues!!

Read more ...

[Joe Asselin]

Joe Asselin and Featured Guests
7:00 - 10:00 pm Thursdays
Leadbelly's Links Drinks Arcade
601 N. Country Fair Dr., Champaign

Joe Asselin has played with the Kilborn Alley Blues Band and The Sugar Prophets, and currently plays with The William Marsala Band. Joe's starting a new series of weekly shows at Leadbelly's Links Drinks Arcade (the old Fluid Event Center). Each Thursday from 7 to 10 pm Joe and a Featured Guest will be entertaining music fans. This promises to become one of the featured events on the local music calendar.

Billy Galt will be Joe's Featured Guest - January 19

Leadbelly's at 601 N. Country Fair Dr. in Champaign boasts 400 craft spirits, bourbons & tequilas with domestic, local and craft beers. They also have pool tables, dart machines, foosball tables, air hockey and vintage arcade machines. Another unique feature is 18 holes of indoor miniature golf.

There's no cover charge so head on out for some great music and some fun and games! Check out the Facebook Event Page

[IBC  Logo]

IBC Challenge
on the Road to Memphis

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society submitted Mary Jo Curry's self-titled debut CD as our entry in the Blues Foundation's BSPCD = Best Self-Produced CD competition as part of the 2017 IBC. Mary Jo and her band are based in Springfield, IL and play frequently throughout the area. We're thrilled to enter her CD! It features Mary Jo's awesome vocals, great musicianship and nice packaging. It's also the debut CD for Guitar Angels Records. The Blues Foundation judges these CD's in several rounds, we'll keep you posted as we love the disk and think it will advance to the finals.

PCBS is supporting the William Marsala Band's Fundraiser at Memphis on Main, Friday January 20. We'll be there to support our friends in the band and help them raise some cash for their trip. There'll be great music, lots of enthusiasm and a raffle or two to help raise some money. Support local live blues music.

Blues societies hold fundraisers in January to help these bands on the road to the competition in Memphis. Here's the ones we're aware of, check with your local Blues Society to support your local act.

  • William Marsala Band - Champaign-Urbana IBC Fundraiser - Friday Jan. 20 - Memphis On Main, 55 E. Main St. Champaign
  • Back Pack Jones - Springfield IBC Fundraiser - Saturday Jan. 28 7:00 pm - Alamo Club, 115 N. 5th St. Springfield

Local Blues Societies have held their IBC Solo/Duo and Band Challenges. Here's the winners!

  • PCBS - Prairie Crossroads Blues Society
  • BSPCD = Mary Jo Curry - "Mary Jo Curry"
  • ICBC - Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield
  • Solo/Duo = Bo Ricketts
  • Band = Back Pack Jones

  • River City Blues Society - Peoria
  • Band = QC Slim Blues Band

  • Decatur Blues Society
  • Band = William Marsala Band

Each January/February the Blues Foundation holds a competition on historic Beale Street in Memphis, TN., to select the best up and coming Blues Band and Solo/Duo act. The winning acts at the local competitions are rewarded with cash and other prizes to hit the Road to Memphis and represent their affiliate against the best the world has to offer.

[Kilborn Alley promo]

PCBS Monthly Meeting/Juke Joint Show
6:00 pm Thursday February 9
Po' Boys, 202 East University Ave., Urbana
Kilborn Alley plays 7:30 - 10:30

We've established a new tradition of combining our monthly meetings with the Kilborn Alley Juke Joint shows at Po' Boys. It's a chance to enjoy some delicious Po' Boys food and varied selection of beverages (including several types of Triptych brews) great blues music and lively conversation about upcoming blues events. The joint's been packed with blues fans, friends and family enjoying the party atmosphere!

We're currently planning our monthly blues jams and are looking for folks to get more involved with our various committees and Blues In The Schools program. Consider becoming a PCBS Member and help us reach out to other blues lovers in our communities.

Membership Sign-up

Membership Options:
Student = $10 per year
Individual = $20 per year
Family = $25 per year
Band = $50 per year
Corporate = $100 per year

For Family, Band and Corporate memberships, we'll contact you for the names of additional members or you can send us that information via email:

Please select your type of Membership
Name on membership

Blues In The Schools - South Side Elemenary - Spring 2015

Check out the awesome Thank You notes from the South Side Elementary School students after the PCBS Spring 2015 BITS program. Thank You Page

This spring, Prairie Crossroads Blues Society conducted another of our Blues In The Schools programs, this one at South Side Elementary School in Champaign. Our BITS instructors, Gus Wood for blues history, and Josh Spence for blues harmonica taught the series of classes. PCBS Education Chair, Sandy Hannum also arranged a blues concert for the students at Westview School. Jiggy & The Source performed at the school on Wednesday March 18.

Thanks to South Side Elementary teacher, Karinsa Moline, for her part in arranging the BITS program. We also appreciate the support of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for help with some of the funding, and we also receive a discount on the harps from Hohner Harmonica.

Visit our Education Page for details about many of the educational programs PCBS has put on. If you'd like PCBS to conduct a Blues In The Schools program at your school contact us at:

You can now earmark your donations specifically for our Education programs. It's a great way to help us achieve our mission of educating about the blues and be a part of bringing up the next generation of blues musicians and fans.

Your tax deductable donation to our Education Fund helps to keep these programs alive

This PayPal link will direct your donation in any amount directly to our educational efforts, including our "Blues In The Schools" (BITS) program.