Prairie Crossroads Blues Society
Saturday, April 13
Memphis on Main
55 E. Main St., Champaign
Matthew Curry & the Fury
Matthew brings his rockin' blues back to town to thrill area blues fans during the Boneyard Arts Festival weekend. Matthew and the band plan on releasing a new CD "Electric Religion" this month so they'll be playing some great new tunes along with many of the old favorites. Don't miss this show!
For information on other shows, check our Calendar page.
The Big Damn Blues Revolution
Sunday April 7 at the Highdive
Moreland & Arbuckle 7:00 pm
Jimbo Mathus 8:00 pm
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band 9:00 pm
Moreland & Arbuckle started the evening off with their roots blues from Kansas. They were followed by Jimbo Mathus and his Tri-State Coalition with their rockin' country blues. The evening was topped off by Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. They had the crowd dancing with their Delta Blues with a hillbilly fervor.
Thanks to WWHP 98.3 FM for sponsoring this show. It was fun!
Friday, March 22
Memphis on Main
The Rockin' Johnny Band
The Rockin' Johnny Band has been one of Chicago's most loved blues bands since 1995. They regularly tour Europe and play at festivals throughout the Midwest. The Rockin' Johnny Band plays vintage Chicago blues, but also is known for a wide repertoire which ventures into Stax style soul, swing, and lots of originals that are harder to classify.
We had a great time at Memphis on Main with a taste of Chicago blues right in our own backyard.
IBC Fundraiser January 19, 2013
Jerry Lee & The Juju Kings
Memphis on Main
55 E. Main St.,
Whether he straps on a guitar or a bass or elects to set his instrument aside and simply sing, Jerry Lee Gingery is the driving force behind the Juju Kings and you had best be ready to move to the groove. Jerry Lee brings his own unique style of charismatic energy to his performance and infects those around him with an uplifted energy and spirit.
Jerry Lee & The Juju Kings are hard at work preparing for the competition they'll face in Memphis. Come out and help us give them a big send-off.
The Susan Williams Band opens the show at Memphis on Main. Susan and her band play a wide range of styles from Blues to Rock and Country. Susan is known to belt out a Patsy Cline song followed by Koko Taylor, followed by Janis Joplin.
Come early and stay late! - Memphis on Main is excited that Lord & Lacy BBQ will be selling their delicious food from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Blues musicians bring your instruments as Jerry and the band will be hosting a late night jam!
Friday Blues—December 21, 2012
Johnny Rawls w/opener
The Sugar Prophets
The High Dive
51 E. Main St.,
Johnny Rawls was born in Columbia, Mississippi in 1951 and raised in Purvis and Gulfport, Mississippi. He acquired an early interest in music when hearing his grandfather play the blues guitar one Christmas morning.
He began playing professionally while still in high school with such stars as ZZ Hill, Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex and the Sweet Inspirations. In the mid-70's, Johnny went to work for OV Wright as Wright's band director. After Wright's death in 1980, Johnny led Little Johnny Taylor's band until 1985, when he began touring as a solo artist and made his first solo recording under the Rainbow label.
Johnny has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival twice, The Russian River Blues Festival, The King Biscuit Blues Festival, The Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, Poconos, as well as festivals in Sweden and Poland. He tours constantly, playing well over 200 dates a year. He can also be heard on XM radio's Bluesville. Whether he is playing in a small club or a large blues festival, Johnny gives it his all and the crowds love him!
Johnny's been nominated for 9 Blues Music Awards and his "Ace Of Spades" CD won the BMA for Soul Blues Album of the Year in 2010. Johnny's latest CD Soul Survivor on Catfood Records, continues his string of great albums that feature old school soul and laid back blues.
The Sugar Prophets have a sound heavily rooted in the blues and rock 'n roll of the 50's-70's with hints of soul, jam band, reggae, and funk.
Friday Blues—November 30, 2012
w/opener James Jones Trio
Memphis on Main
Guitarist, singer and songwriter James Armstrong was born to play the blues. His mother was a blues singer. His father played jazz guitar. Born in Los Angeles, California, Armstrong formed his first band in the seventh grade and by the age of 17 he was touring the country. Today he travels the world and continues to infuse his voice and guitar playing with his unique personality and seasoned skills.
In the early 90's he spent quality time with one of his major influences, Albert Collins. After A later tragedy he gained "a whole new respect for the music itself, the power in slow blues, how the silences between the notes are as important as the notes". His third CD "Got It Goin' On" garnered two W.C. Handy Award nominations for Best Blues Guitarist and Best Song of The Year for "Pennies and Picks".
His most recent CD "Blues At The Border" on his new label Catfood Records, manages to honor the sound of traditional blues while giving it the contemporary grit his fans have grown accustomed to hearing from James.
The James Jones Trio wowed the audience at our Oct. 20th IBC challenge playing traditional blues with a young approach and feel. The Trio consists of James Jones on guitar and vocals, Aaron Bouslog on the drums, and Mitchell Killough on the bass guitar.
2nd annual IBC challenge
Memphis on Main
Saturday, October 20, 2012
55 E. Main St., Champaign, IL
Congratulations to Jerry Lee & the Juju Kings on winning our 2nd Annual IBC Challenge on Saturday Oct. 20th at Memphis on Main. It was a fun day and a very close competition. All the bands were excellent. Thanks to all the fans, bands, judges and our sponsors who made it such a great event.
- The Ars Nova ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– A new band formed in the basement of Acacia Fraternity in the fall of 2011, they draw on the influences of Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin and Stevie Ray Vaughan
- Delta Kings ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– First formed in 1992, theyÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’ve honed their sound playing numerous roadhouses, biker bashes and music festivals throughout downstate Illinois
- The James Jones Trio ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– A new band from Danville formed one month ago. The James Jones Trio plays traditional blues with a young approach and feel
- Benny Jenkins bloodline ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– The band has a post war/Chicago blues style feel with a rockabilly energy, theyÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’re influenced by Muddy, B.B., Albert, Paul Butterfield and Sonny Boy Williamson
- Susan Williams Band ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– Susan first started singing the blues when she moved to Chicago in the 90ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s, sheÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s been influenced by Bonnie Raitt, Koko Taylor and Janis Joplin
- Jerry Lee and the Juju Kings ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– Jerry Lee brings his own unique style of charismatic energy to his performance and writes ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“blues collarÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” songs
We plan to have some great blues music, some great BBQ and some great blues fans at the competition. Come out to Memphis on Main on October 20th and root for your favorite band. Thanks to all the bands who signed up, we're looking forward to a great competition.
Sunday, September 16, 2012 The Whip WWHP Presents the 44's @ Rose bowl Tavern106 N Race St., Urbana, IL
Doors: 6:00 PM
Set: 7:00 PM
American Blues News Awarded the 44's The Best Blues Band of 2011 and
Blues Underground Network Awarded them Best Debut Album for their first release, Boogie Disease. Their
second release, Americana on Rip Cat Records, shows a "genuine gift for creating blues in the moment
while at the same time showing loyalty to a remarkable blues-and-r&b tradition that goes
back decades through the James Harman Band and the Red Devils
to storied greats like Howlin' Wolf, Albert Collins, and Muddy Waters."
Donna HerulaDonna was a huge hit at the 2011 CU Folk and Roots Fest and she returned to the area for a full show August 18 at The Iron Post in Urbana. Donna is a singer and slide guitar player who plays Delta as well as as other blues styles. Her performances feature songs by many of the great early blues women as well as Robert Nighthawk, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. PCBS was pleased to help bring Donna back for both a workshop and a concert performance.
Birthday CelebrationThanks to everyone who came out and helped us celebrate our 2nd Birthday Wednesday August 1, at D.R. Diggers, 604 S. Country Fair Dr. in Champaign. Kilborn Alley Blues Band even had a couple guests, Mike Ledbetter and Patrick Seals of the Nick Moss Band join the celebration. There was plenty of free food, friends and great music that kept the party rolling. Thanks again!
Thanks to all the fans, musicians, and volunteers who made our presence at the Champaign Blues, Brews & BBQ's Fest such a great time. Thanks to Fluid Events and the Orpheum Chilren's Museum for giving us the opportunity to present our series of workshops. It was a pleasure to be a part of such a fun event.PCBS "Blues In The Schools" (BITS) Stage located in the Orpheum Children's Museum
part of Champaign Blues Brews & BBQ's
Friday & Saturday June 29th and 30th
Friday June 29th Friday's event featured the GH Strummers, Blues History, Interactive Displays and Blues Dancing Lessons.
Saturday June 30th PCBS wishes to thank all the performers who made our series of Workshops on Saturday a great event. In order of appearance, Doug Schroer, David Adcock, Bruce "Bruiser" Rummenie, Michael Powers, Chrissy Sparks Rigsby, Brandon T. Washington, the bluesCentral dancers, and Matt Stewart. Thank You.
Blues Brews & BBQ's FestCheck out the full music schedule
Friday's official after party features The Impalas at Cowboy Monkey
Friday late night you can also catch Caleb Cook at Memphis on Main
Saturday's official after party features Matthew Curry & The Fury at The Highdive
Saturday late night also features The Sugar Prophets at Cowboy Monkey
and The Diva & The Dude host a Blues Jam at Memphis on Main - midnight to 2:00am
plan on staying out till 2:00am!
Music From the Big House - with Live Concert
Rita Chiarelli's documentary movie from one of the birthplaces of the Blues
Sunday July 1 - The Art Theater - 1:00pm
Louisiana State Prison (a.k.a. Angola)
Watch the trailer
1st Friday Blues—June 1, 2012
Tee Dee Young
Tee Dee Young born in Lexington, Kentucky, got his start playing the guitar at the age of thirteen mentored by the late Mr. Harrison Coleman. He learned to sing from his father, gospel singer Leonard Young, and was influenced by his brother George Young, who encouraged him to never change his style. Tee Dee has performed at blues clubs such as The Cotton Club, Albert King's, B.B. King's and Kington Mines. He has opened for Johnny Rawls, Guitar Shorty, Big Bill Morgan, Albert King and Lil "Howling" Wolf among others.
Tee Dee was voted 2011 Beale Street Blues King by the Beale Street Merchants Association in Memphis, Tenn. He has four albums, the most recent, Dream the Blues, released in January 2011.
1st Friday Blues—May 4, 2012
Mississippi Blues Boy, Gerome Durham as a young boy picked cotton and plowed fields in Durant, MS. He later moved to North Carolina, back to Jackson, MS and in 1965 moved to Milwaukee, WI. In Milwaukee, he met Mr. Johnny Rawls and started his music career. Johnny took him under his wing, and began taking him on the road with him.
Gerome's music career has spanned 20 years. He's released 4 previous CD's titled; "Walk In", "Stepping Out", "Gerome Durham" and "Blues After Dark". Gerome's recent performances include: 930 Blues Club in Jackson, MS; Morgan Freeman's Place in Clarksdale, MS; Starlight's Lounge in Sterling, IN; Buddy Guy's Legend in Chicago, IL; Edge of Town in New Albany; Checker's in Cedar Rapid. IA; Pomeroy Blues Festival in Pomeroy, OH.
12th Anniversary Show & Jam - Sunday April 29, 2012
5:00 to 8:00 PM in Mike & Molly's Beer Garden
Kilborn Alley Blues Band
Come out and help Kilborn Alley Blues Band celebrate their 12th Anniversary. They'll be playing a gig at Mike & Molly's Beer Garden, 105 N. Market St., in downtown Champaign on Sunday April 29, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Kilborn Alley has been nominated for Blues Music Awards (BMA's) in 2007, 2008, and 2011 and their recent CD release "Four" hit #1 on the Living Blues Magazine's Radio Chart in December.
Kilborn will entertain the crowd during their first set, and will host a Blues Jam during their
second set. Come on out all you jammers! This promises to be a great time!
1st Friday Blues—April 6, 2012
Smilin' Bobby. One of the most underrated bluesmen on the Chicago scene! Smilin' Bobby has a unique, biting guitar attack which is a cross between Magic Slim's stinging leads and Magic Sam's cool little rhythm fills. Complimented by his great tuff vocals, he is an absolutely fantastic entertainer. They don't call him Smilin' Bobby for nothin! He recently cut a new CD for Austria's Wolf Records — Big Legged Woman.
In 1958 Smilin' Bobby started to play music in clubs and started playing on Maxwell Street Sunday mornings beginning around 1961 or '62. He became a close friend to Magic Sam and used to hang around at his house. He was influenced by Jimmy Reed and Willie Mabon, also Little Milton, Albert Collins and Albert King. Smilin' Bobby plays most often on small, funky west side taverns, has made numerous appearances at the Chicago Blues Fest along with many European Festivals.
Sunday, March 25
The Sugar Prophets w/Trent Romens & Terry Quiett Band The Stop, 3515 N. Cunningham Ave., Urbana, IL
Trent Romens is a 19 year old Blues-Rock guitarist, singer/songwriter whose "passion spills
over to the audience during his live performances. 'He plays from the heart,' says Elijah Blue,
Trent's first jam session leader, who has witnessed Trent's rapid rise from jam session favorite to headline star.
'Every time he plays, he plays something fresh and new. There's an excitement there that's captivating.'"
Trent Romens website
"Terry Quiett explodes every power trio cliche by cutting a broad swath of striking original
material from haunting Delta blues and sophisticated jazzy swing to chesty rock featuring
his flawless guitar technique and deeply soulful vocals. Emerging from the rural plains of
Kansas and evolving in the last decade from a solo acoustic singer/songwriter to lead the band of
bassist Aaron Underwood and drummer Rodney Baker since 2006, Quiett has a commanding presence
onstage and in the studio. His latest release Just My Luck, produced by the legendary Jim Gaines
and augmented with keyboardists Rick Steff and Beau Jarvis,
is a modern masterpiece of highly charged, blues-based music."
The Terry Quiett Band website
2011 International Blues Challenge Finalist, The Sugar Prophets, are an
interesting amalgam of backgrounds and talent that have seemingly
merged together in the right time, place, and groove.
The Sugar Prophets on Reverbnation
March 2, 2012
Danny & The Devils
What a fun evening! Danny & The Devils rocked the airwaves on WEFT 90.1FM radio from 8:15 to 8:45, then they moved up the street to play at Memphis on Main after 10pm. The opening act at Memphis on Main was Champaign's own Full Throttle Band and they got the crowd revved up with their set of Rockin' Blues tunes. Danny & The Devils kept the club full of dancing blues fans till the small hours of the morning.
Feb. 11, 2012
CD Release Party
for The Painkillers' new CD "Done Me Wrong"
The Iron Post - 6 to 9pm
Mark your calendars and join The Painkillers for a fun night of celebration on Saturday, February 11 at The Iron Post !!!
The Painkillers on Facebook
LOTS OF FRIENDS, CAKE, BLUES, AND BREWS!!
Sunday January 29, 2012 - 2:00pm The Sugar Prophets Memphis on Main - Champaign
A fundraiser for The Sugar Prophets, it's their last CU gig before they head down to Memphis to compete
in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge at the end of the month. Come out to send the
guys off on a high note!
Jan. 6, 2012
January 1st Friday Blues
Hurricane Ruth at WEFT and Memphis on Main
Opening set at Memphis on Main: The Diva & The Dude
Hurricane Ruth, our IBC challenge winner, blew back into town for our second 1st Friday event. It was a great night with lots of blues fans in the house to send the band off to the Blues Foundation International Challenge in Memphis, TN at the end of the month.
The Diva and The Dude, Kathy Harden and Andy Baylor, entertained us at Memphis on Main for the first set, while Hurricane Ruth did the Blues Live show at WEFT. Our thanks to Kathy and Andy as well. They put on a great show.
Friday, Dec. 2, 2011
1st Friday Blues
Matt Hill & The Deep Fryed Two WEFT and Memphis on Main
Thanks to Matt Hill and The Deep Fryed Two (Joe Meyer and Paul Niehaus) for coming up for our initial 1st Friday event. This band is so much fun to watch. They kept us entertained all night and filled the dance floor. We had a wonderful time and look forward to hearing more from this group.
Check out some of the photos from the event on our
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011
Kilborn Alley CD Release Party
The Iron Post
Their first stop when they got back to the States was The Iron Post for their Champaign-Urbana CD Release party. What a great night. Their fans came out and stayed. Abraham was there of course, Doug Schorer sat in for a couple of tunes and a kid harmonica player named P.J. came out of the audience and blew everyone away.
Their latest CD features all original music with a few guests sitting in here and there: Gerry Hundt on harp, Vince Salerno on sax and Ardell T Reed (Travis Reed) on organ!
We got to hear Couple of Days (Change My Ways), You Were My Woman, and Going Hard. We were also treated to Redneck in a Soul Band and Come Home Soon from "Tear Chicago Down" and a crowd-participation version of Shout. Fun, fun, fun!
Friday & Saturday, Nov. 4-5, 2011
C-U Folk & Roots Festival
Prairie Crossroads Blues Society was so happy to be participate this year. C-U Folk and Roots hosts this annual festival to support and promote the folk arts in Central Illinois. The scope is broad - you'll find Cajun, old-time, bluegrass, folk, traditional jazz, blues, klezmer, Irish, western swing, storytelling, song circles, shape-note singing, traditional dance, arts and crafts, jamming, family activities, workshops, and much more.
- Here's the lineup we had:
- Acoustic blues jam w/Joe Asselin 2-3
- Guitar workshop w/Blind Boy Paxton 6-6:45
- Blind Boy Paxton 6:45-8
- Donna Herula 8:15-9:30
- Reverend Robert 9:45-11:15
- The Viper and his Famous Orchestra 11:30-1am
What a great event, Prairie Crossroads Blues Society was pleased to contribute and help make this event such a great success.
1st Annual PCBS Blues Band Challenge
Memphis on Main
Hurricane Ruth winners of PCBS IBC Challenge 2011
Hurricane Ruth won the competition and we finished the night with a great performance by The Terry Quiett Band, a rocking blues band from Kansas.
Skins 'n Tins donated the use of a drum set, Memphis on Main provided a great venue, as always, and the folks from Holy Smoke BBQ were there with pulled pork and brisket sandwiches.
It was an awesome competition with great performances by these bands:
- Timmy D & Blind Justice
- Susan Williams Band
- Alex Jenkins & the Bombers
- Hurricane Ruth
- Sweet Wood Band
- The Jamieson Brothers
- Danny & the Devils
Sunday, August 14
Lake of the Woods Blues Festival
Saturday July 30
A PCBS member band, and an early supporter, played at the beautiful outdoor setting:
Alto Vineyards - 4210 North Duncan Rd. Champaign, IL
The Painkillers play a hefty mix of traditional Chicago and Southern Blues along with a variety of classic crooners and original tunes. Part of the Music Among the Vines series.
Friday & Saturday June 24 & 25
Urbana Blues, Brews & BBQ's - urbanablues.com
Thursday evening May 5 was one of the biggest nights of the year for Blues artists and fans. The 32nd Blues Music Awards for 2011 were presented at Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN. The Blues Foundation blues.org puts on a big party, check the schedule for many of the associated events. Can't make it to Memphis, you can tune in on SiriusXM BB King's Bluesville which will broadcast the awards live hosted by Bill Wax and Tony Colter.
Nothing goes together better than cruisin the highways of America while listening to some great blues! 10 Cities, 20 Bands, 700 Miles of Open Road. Designed to bring awareness to the Blues Music Awards there will be 5 stops along the inaugural tour. From Chicago, IL to Clarksdale, MS riders will experience the open road, afternoons at blues attractions and evenings with great Blues music at participating venues. From April 30 thru May 7. Check it out at cruisinblues.com
Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones Band were special guests of the Kilborn Alley Blues Band at The Phoenix - 215 S. Neil St. Champaign
Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones is a former sideman from the late, great Freddie King's band and has played, recorded and toured with the likes of Charlie Musselwhite and Katie Webster. He and his band record on the Electro-Fi label and have toured extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. Come on out and bring your blues shoes; there's gonna be dancin' and carryin'-on!
Kilborn Alley Blues Band played with special guest Eric McSpadden
Memphis on Main - 55 E. Main St. Champaign
PCBS had a membership table and assisted with the show
Eric McSpadden grew up in Decatur and has been one of the finest harp players on the St Louis Blues scene for the last 30 years.
Sugar Prophets CD release/Memphis or Bust Party!
The Sugar Prophets hosted a fundraiser for their trip to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Feb. 1st thru the 5th. It happened at Memphis on Main, 55 E. Main St. in Champaign on Sunday Jan. 30th.
Keith Harden receives PCBS Membership
Keith, singer/songwriter, was presented with a framed certificate commemorating his Honorary Membership and a Prairie Crossroads Blues Society t-shirt at his annual Keithmas show Dec. 23, 2010, at The Iron Post in Urbana. Here's all the details.
Kick Out The Blues Fall Festival
The Kick Out The Blues Fall Festival was a great success
The Prairie Crossroads Blues Society wishes to Thank the following:
The Painkillers, The Sugar Prophets, The Kilborn Alley Blues Band
Ben and Tiffany and all the fine folks at Memphis on Main
Check out all the donors and contributors at our Thank You Page.
Thanks to WAND-TV for featuring us on their
newscast Sunday evening, Nov. 21 2010,
with a story about us and our Blues In The Schools programs.
Thanks also to WICD ABC Newschannel 15 for this story on our event and educational efforts.