Pittsburgh: How Blue are We in December? By Monica Yasher

Posted on 12/31/2009 by Monica Yasher

May everyone find themselves with a joyous holiday behind them and looking forward to a great 2010 New Year! I know here at American Blues News we are all looking forward to 2010. Each and every one of us realize that we are blessed to have the year 2009 with our blues friends. We have attended some great American Blues Festivals, talked to some interesting, passionate artists and have heard some really fantastic music! It has been an amazing year for each and every one of us!

I just want to share some things for the upcoming year. We are making changes to our blues newswriting lineup. We have switched some writers around and you will find them on the following days:

Nelson will still be offering those great pictures every Sunday.
Nighthawk, our traveling musician, will still be holding up the fort on Mondays.
J.Blake will continue to share his reviews and interviews every Tuesday.
I will be moving from Friday to Wednesday.
Gatorman will be changing from Wednesday to Thursday offering coverage of Chicago.
Bluesman, our new addition from Washington, DC, will be offering thoughts every Friday.

Our Saturday lineup in January is as follows:

1st Saturday - Scottsdale: Bob Corritore
2nd Saturday - Houston: Abby Owen
3rd Saturday - Pittsburgh: CR Bennett
4th Saturday - LA: Jerry Rosen
5th Saturday - We will share our first guest of the new year!

Don't forget the IBC's are in January! We look forward to sharing all of that news with you.

Now the question is how blue were we in December?

First, we introduced three new writers this past month. We have Abby Owen from Austin, TX, Bluesman from Washington, DC and CR Bennett from Pittsburgh. We are glad they have joined us and we look forward to hearing what they have to say!

Probably the most blues newsworthy item was the announcement of the 2010 Handy Award Nominees. We at American Blues News had the priviledge of speaking with many of the nominees this past year and were happy for all of the nominees.

Gatorman talked to Al Stone and Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records.

This interview offered a lot of information about Bruce and Alligator Records that we offered a Part I and Part II. Our new writer, Abby Owen, talked to Seth Walker for us. I had a nice conversation with Tinsley Ellis, who was just nominated for a blues award in 2010. When I spoke with Lefty Williams, I had no idea that Tinsley and Lefty were collaborating on a few songs. Just a reminder of what a small world it is. I spoke with Teeny Tucker who will be releasing an album very soon. And J. Blake had the chance to catch up with Tommy Casto, another blues nominee.

Speaking of Blake, there seemed to be much todo about the article of Derek and the Dominos.

We did a few reviews. The first being a performance review of an extremely young upcoming artist named Michaela Rae. Bluesman offered his views of Michael Burks. And Blake caught the show of Hubert Summlin. Nighthawk shared the Celebration of Life Concerts.

Blake kept up with the CD reviews offering his findings on Steven Seagal's blues album.

We did get caught up in the holiday spirit this year. We offered a week worth of gift giving ideas for your blues fan such as a USB turntable. And, how could I not share at least one of my favorite Christmas Albums with you? So, I chose Ray Charles Spirit of Christmas. Blake offered a book review of Strange Brew. And Nighthawk is our gadget guy.

Did you know that every year in Memphis there is the Blues Ball? Why don't you take a read on that one and don't forget to view those awesome guitars!

I personally was touched by how the artist, Eric Bibb, could affect a life and wrote about that in my Christmas story, Christmas Connections. Nighthawk shared the workings of his friends in Memphis and the Christmas Kindness that Southern hospitality has.

Gatorman was quite creative this holiday season and shared a Blues Christmas poem with each of you.

We told the following stories in pictures: Duke Robillard, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Big Bill Morganfield, Shemekia Copeland, who just got married in December. Lastly, the great Sonny Landreth was captured in photos.

We also brought on board another exciting photographer, CR Bennett who shared his coverage of Candye Kane, who has been nominated for a few blues awards for 2010.

And, we had one tribute piece of Ozell Roberts.

That was a pretty busy December!

I wish all of you a Happy New Year! Time doesn't seem to wait for anyone, does it? I put together the following slideshow for you. It's me singing 'Wait for Me' with my friend, Michael Bellava, playing acoustic guitar in the living room of our friend known as Musicman. I hope you enjoy! I'll talk to you next year!


If you found this helpful, you may wish to read the summary for November.

Copyright © 2009 Copyright Monica L. Yasher. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Copyright © 2009 Copyright Maureen Ceidro. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Copyright © 2009 Copyright Nelson Onofre. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Copyright © 2009 Copyright Terrance Lape. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Copyright © 2009 Copyright Charles R. Bennett. All Rights Reserved.

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

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