Prairie Crossroads Blues Society

Champaign-Urbana IL

PCBS Monthly Meeting
6:30 pm Thursday August 13
Po' Boys, 202 East University Ave., Urbana

Come out and join the fun at our August meeting. We'll be making plans for future Blues Jams at Bentley's and other entertainment events. We're looking for volunteers to get more involved with our Blues In The Schools program and our Education Committee. There will also be discusions and planning for our IBC Challenge in October.

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society has been serving the community for more than five years promoting live Blues music, preserving the heritage of Blues, and educating our young people about the Blues. Perhaps you have stayed on the margins of these efforts and do not realize how satisfying and fun it is to be directly involved. If so, it is time for you to find out!

[Bentley's Blues Jam Poster]

Bentley's Blues Jam
7:00 pm Wednesday August 26
Bentley's Pub, 419 N. Neil St., Champaign

Come out to the next Bentley's Blues Jam, scheduled for Wednesday, August 26. Bentley's Pub is located at, 419 N. Neil street in downtown Champaign. The July Jam was hosted by the Stimmel brothers, Josh & Jake on guitars and Abraham Johnson on vocals. Bring your instrument and plan on sitting in!

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. All the jams so far have featured plenty of jammers thrilling the capacity crowds. We've had great weather, and all the jams have taken place in Bentley's Beer Garden. Make plans to be there!

[IBC  Logo]

PCBS IBC Blues Challenge
Saturday October 17
Memphis On Main, 55 E Main St, Champaign

Save the Date! - Saturday Oct., 17. Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is thrilled to be holding our local Blues Challenge to select acts to go to Memphis and represent us in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge. Judges will be selecting a Solo/Duo act and a Band (3 or more musicians) to compete in the IBC's. In January 2016, hundreds of acts from around the world will gather on historic Beale Street for the chance to be selected as the year's best up-and-coming Blues act. We'll also be choosing a Best Self-Produced CD to represent our Society at the Blues Foundation's IBC.

Cash prizes are awarded to the winning acts to assist with their travel expenses to Memphis.

We will use the same scoring system and basic rules as the Blues Foundation. Check out their website for more info.
Who can enter?
Official Rules and Scoring

Musicians are urged to keep this date open in your schedules. We will assemble our panel of judges from music industry professionals and officers of other local Blues Societies. This is one of the most exciting events we hold each year as fans pack the venue to root for their favorite musicians. Plan on attending!

[Blues Blast Music Awards Logo]

2015 Blues Blast Music Awards
Voting is open to the Public

Vote at the Blues Blast Magazine website

In early May, a group of 30 top Blues music industry professionals including music critics, radio DJs, journalists, festival promoters, music venue managers and owners and other Blues music industry professionals nominated the best in Blues music in twelve categories.

Voting Is Open To The Public - Voting to determine the winners begins July 15, 2015 and continues until September 15, 2015. Preview the songs and artists and place your vote at the Blues Blast Magazine website

The 2015 Blues Blast Music Awards ceremonies will once again be held at The Fluid Events Center in Champaign, on Friday September 25th, 2015. The awards ceremony will feature music by many of the nominated artists.

[Kilborn Alley Billboard]

Kilborn Alley Blues Band
with friends Corey Dennison & Gerry Hundt
Outside at the Research Park, Champaign
Friday, July 17

6:30pm: James Jones Trio
7:30pm: Kilborn Alley Blues Band

A fantastic evening of Blues! Krannert presented Outside at the Research Park on First Street, just south of St. Mary's Road. James Jones Trio kicked off the night with their blend of rockin' blues with a touch of jazz thrown in. Kilborn Alley headlined the event and their blues friends, Corey Dennison and Gerry Hundt joined them for a mixture of gritty Chicago blues and southern fried soul. Throw in the awesome vocals of Abraham Johnson and the evening was complete.

Here's the info from the Krannert website

A special thanks to Abraham and the Kilborn guys for their shout out and acknowledgement of Prairie Crossroads Blues Society during their show. Thanks Guys!

[Women of the Blues]

Laura Rain, Joanna Connor, Janiva Magness, Shaun Murphy, Ana Popovic
Saturday's Women of the Blues at the Champaign Blues Brews & BBQ Fest

Wow! How much fun was that! Prairie Crossroads Blues Society hopes you had a chance to come out to the Champaign Blues Brews & BBQ Fest. Powerful vocals and strong guitar playing were featured throughout. The Fest kicked off Friday with performances from local artists No Solid State featuring Kayla Brown followed by Upshot, featuring Sarah Hall. National touring acts Adrianna Marie & Her Groovecutters, Sena Ehrhardt and Carolyn Wonderland completed the Friday lineup.

Saturday's weather was great and the music was amazing! The fest featured all women lead groups bringing blues fans impressive musical performances. The awesome lineup kicked off with Laura Rain and the Caesars, after a short break Joanna Connor wowed the crowd with her guitar skills. The evening performances simply got better with each performer as Janiva Magness, Shaun Murphy and Ana Popovic thrilled the huge crowd

Sarah Metheny won our raffle for the Blues Basket with great blues items such as a Taj Mahal box set, additional CD's by local blues bands Kilborn Alley & The Sugar Prophets, a PCBS t-shirt and some donations from Triptych Brewing in Savoy and Lagunitas in Chicago.

For the entire schedule check the Blues Brews & BBQ Fest schedule page

[Blues Foundation's BITS Logo]

Blues In The Schools
Spring - 2015
South Side Elementary School
& Westview School

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. Classes were presented March 11 & 12 and April 8 & 9 with grades 3, 4 and 5 participating. Our BITS instructors, Gus Wood for blues history, and Josh Spence for blues harmonica taught the series of classes. The program includes a performance by a local blues band for the kids.

Huge thanks goes 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.

PCBS Education Chair, Sandy Hannum helped arrange a blues concert for the students at Westview School. Jiggy & The Source performed at the school on Wednesday March 18.

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.

Want to help support the blues?
Consider becoming a Member of PCBS

We support blues throughout our community and the world. Our mission is preserve, promote and educate about the blues. We support the blues in a variety of ways, bringing new blues artists to town, supporting local blues bands and venues and educating the community through our Blues In The Schools programs.

PCBS is a non-profit organization formed to promote blues music and artists in East Central Illinois. We're a proud affiliate of The Blues Foundation.