Diary of a Bluesman


I Love California

2018 Hayward Russell City Blues Festival #19


  The West Coast Blues Society in Hayward, CA did a spectacular job presenting the 20l8 Hayward Russell City Blues Festival. I am so honored to have been a part of it. I left home from Huntsville, AL and headed out to Little Rock to meet up with the Biscuit family and from there flew back into Atlanta, and off to San Francisco. We had a great time and the weather was beautiful.


Flying over the desert was awesome to me. I looked out the window and saw those snow caps on top of the sand dunes and mountains. It was an awesome flying over the desert, I was so excited. I wanted to tell the pilot to stop and let me out so I can play in the sand for awhile. When we arrived in San Francisco the driver, Walter (also the President of the blues society) came right along to pick us up and took us across the bay out into beautiful Hayward, CA. The city is so clean I was amazed. Didn't see any paper on the ground.


Our set was only 30 minutes long and I hadBluesVIPMsBiscuithead aka Carla Robinson to play backup for me;the one woman Delta style band. I thought it would be a treat for them to see and it turned out just the way we had planned it. We performed true Delta Style Blues right there on the West Coast. I know I had lots of fun and I know she did too. The audience sang along with us and clap their hands, pat their feet and a few folks even danced to our Delta style Boogie. I got so many thank you and compliments and signed many autographs. They were even digging my attire for the show; white shirt, overalls and my Pig Skin Stetson Hat. 


A few attendees had printed pictures of me from the internet and wanted me to autograph them, they looked really nice.  It really made me feel good. I really enjoyed working in California and hopefully they'll have me back someday.

New Blues Room Podcast Premere , Lets go Deep !

Hell Broke loose in the Periscope Blues Room this week . There was lots of activity both good and bad and much of it was caused by Dennis Ruley. If you have ever been into our Periscope Live stream then you  know Dennis Ruley . He probably was the first person that spoke to you as you entered . He is also the guy who clutters the screen with too many promos . When i first got the idea to launch a Blues room podcast he was the first to volunteer . I thought this was the perfect time to publish this draft. This version is incomplete, has no intro ,bumper or teases or inserts of any kind. Time didn't allow me to finish it . I just wanted to take the opportunity to share this part of the Ruley story. Gone Deep in the Blues room. Amazing

Juke Joint Festival 2018 was a success " Thank you "



  I left home about midday Thursday headed to the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, MS. As I was driving over the bridge in Decatur, AL I turned on the radio to listen to the weather forecast. It said a 50-50 chance of good weather so I hit highway 20, headed west toward Memphis, it's a straight shot from Decatur. By the time I got to the intersection of Hwy 72 at Muscle Shoals, AL I could feel the music.  I felt it was going to be a good day so I turned on my radio to some blues and got up to about 80 miles an hour and locked in the cruise control. When I got near Memphis; I took the bypass road 302 to Horn Lake, MS.  It doesn't take long to get to I-55 heading south; then I took the exit and drove south till I see the Tunica casino signs. Forty-five minutes later I was on Highway 61 South. This highway will take you straight into Clarksdale, MS.


  But I first took a detour over into Arkansas; crossing the Mighty Mississippi River to visit with my VIP MsBiscuithead and ask her to be my tour guide.  Marcus “Mookie” Cartwright and Carla Robinson will play before me on Juke Joint lineup. She was at the Delta Cultural Museum and agreed to let me tail her over to Clarksdale; so we gassed up and hit the road. It had been raining in Arkansas and Clarksdale when we arrived there was water standing on the streets in some places. The streets were still crowded with people and the rain was spotty.


  While walking around the festival I got a chance to see the monkeys riding the dogs, and a Petting Zoo (it was like a mini fair for the family). Then we came up on the Delta Blues Museum Main Stage next to the museum.  It's always a blast going into the museum, but didn't have the time so we walked on around back to the main street (Delta Ave.), where all the vendors were. There were a lot of musicians playing up and down the street.  I heard some fine blues music being played there and saw some really cool artist and folk artist.


  I’d like to thank Roger Stolle for allowing me to play the 2018 Juke Joint Festival and Carla Robinson for encouraging me to want to play this festival “she said it’s not about how much money you make, it’s a fun festival to be a part of.  She was right; it was “Big Fun”. This was the first time I’ve played the festival and I must say it is a granddaddy of all festivals of its kind. I thank Lil Biscuit and her sister-in-law (SNL Biscuit2), they drove in from Little Rock, AR; we had a blast. I played that Saturday at 2:00p.m., at the Cross Roads Heritage Center on Delta Ave. It was a nice big room with art on the walls. I played after   “Mookie“ Cartwright and Carla Robinson. They were a tough act to play behind; they had the house rocking. The soundman, was musician and artist Terry “Big T” Williams“, he was very helpful and professional. Not only that, he was tired from playing the night before. He said that he had played all night long the night before in front of a packed house. He was tired but the blues had to go on.


  I ran into Jeremy, like me a harmonica player. I met him last year; he was playing at the Helena Second Saturday Cherry Street Fair in Helena, AR (a summer event). He was playing with “Big T” Williams. I remember him from the very day he hooked up his mic. I love his style of playing. We shared a drink or two together just before my show started.  During set up for my show, my kick drum pad came apart inside, so I had to use the kick drum on stage. Big T quickly got me set right up and ran sound. Jeremy had never heard me play and said he enjoyed listening to me, I was honored. He handed me a pen and asked me to autograph his harp case. Then some folks in the audience came up to me wanting their photograph made with the AlabamaBluesMan.


  We were all socializing and lying and rubbing blues elbows when “BOOM” the power went out. So everyone was walking around gawking till the power came back on. The biscuit girls wound up going down through an alley. I asked them where they were going? they scream back; ”to the old Clarksdale Bank Building”.  So here we go over to this old bank to hear Iretta and Johnny B. Sanders. They always do a great Delta Style Blues show. It was really interesting this time because they didn't have electricity. All they had was a tambourine, hand clapping and foot stomping. It was Blues at its best, raw and uncut. The room was full of people waiting for the power to come back on. But no one noticed after a while. The couple gave the room its own power. I guess that’s why they call it the Juke Joint Festival. I’m already looking toward 2019 Juke Joint Festival, it’s a “half blues and half music” festival right in the heart of downtown Clarksdale, MS.


Raffle tickets up in smoke

Dang Post Office again


Good Blues morning. another rainy day. When it rains here in Alabama everything turns green,everything is growing. Pop he's moving a bit slow this morning. Good he’s moving at all he’s 91 years old. I'll help him get going before I get started today. It's the end of the month and I promise my VIPs to have everything caught up so I'm going to have to get busy today to get all the mail out.


Using Periscope every night goes fast. Sometimes we have two winners in one night, 8 or 10 winners a week I know these people want that packages tomorrow, but I never did plan to get that deeply involved. I guess it's just part of the Pains of growing, so next month I'll start a different strategy of how to get the mail out. I'm considering using April and making some changes.


The Blue's Room is an interesting place. People come from all walks of life. What's really cool is when they win something I can imagine them receiving it in the mail. I know it's exciting. Because it's exciting to me. So for the month of April part of my New Year's resolution is to get the mail out faster. I finally got some plastic boxes and some more address labels and more mailing envelopes so I'm stepping up on the game.



Ever since we launched our FB Group page the podcast has been catching on. Its cool i guess for those who like to listen to that raw Blues Room dialog . There is much more Blues to come . 

He Preaching but it ain't reaching


  Good Blues morning. The sky is still blue. That’s a good sign. It’s been a good day so far although I did run out of coffee. I usually have 2 cups but today I had three. I can tell it’s going to be an interesting day. I got a call from the preacher man today. Preacher wanted to say hello to me, he’s missed me, hadn’t seen me in a while and had thought about visiting me. Notice the word, Though. He and his friend my old bass player said they were in the neighborhood and they thought about me. It sure is nice to be thought of, but I guess it wasn’t enough thought to drop by to say hello to me.

 That really don’t matter so I continue with the conversation LOL just enough to let him throw some slight at me in some way. Make me feel as if I am not fit or not cleaning someway. Didn’t take long for that to happen. Then I’m waiting for the conversation to turn away. So he can get back to his dream world.

 I have nothing against preachers or religion but some of the pastors that I know I’ve got a sad way of positioning themselves, making themselves seem as if they are something that they’re not. They have never been able to hide the truth from me. I know who they are, I know who I am. I know we all are men,same as me. I appreciate what preachers do and I think church and religion has a great place in our society. Especially in the black communities. Being born and raised in the south religion plays a big part. But it time to stop hiding behind the church and love men and do kind things , Talking just ain’t gonna get it .



 Good morning. Good Blues morning to you. The sky is still blue, and I think deep water is still Blue. I woke up this morning thinking about miracles. It's going to take a miracle to build this Blues VIP group that I've had in mind. I think I have to become a Visionary again. I have to renew my vision and think through it in detail. I don't want to confuse my motions with progress. Sometimes there's lots of motion in the Blue's Room, Comment streaming up the screen really fast, songs being sang, people greeting one another, it's all fun. But is it all taking us where we  need to go?


 When I first imagined building such a group, it was for the purpose of promoting Shows and promoting concerts and festivals. That's what I have to keep in mind. It's easy to get caught up in the hype. The hype is not going to take us where we need to go, we really need to focus on events. So here I go. Become a Visionary again.


 It can be kind of scary to have a vision. especially if it's a different Vision or New Vision. technology has made it possible to reach people and places we never could before. I'm excited to be able to reach the people with the right minds and hearts to make things happen. So today I'm renewing my vision for the blues VIP Club. And I'm challenging you to renew your vision for the year 2018. And Beyond, let's renew our vision today.


Don't waste my time


Doing this log is not easy. When you were raised like me to keep your mind to yourself sometimes it's not easy to share my mind. I spent many years learning that other people's points of views are more important than my own. I learned to be a great listener. that works great and most instances. But now it seems important to me to talk. And what I want to share today is a thought for some younger people.” Don't waste your time”.  Most of the conversation that you get involved with is pointless. It's just a debate over some viewpoint. The only thing it will do is polarize you or put you into one group and them into another group. An ethical debate about what's right and what's wrong.

A pure waste of your time when you could be focused on much better things or accomplish some things for yourself.


So this day as you go through the day, try to keep focused on something that you can gain from the day. Mind your own business and do well. Don't allow your friends and co-workers to engage you in conversation that will lead you nowhere. It'll just lead them into little isolated groups of he feels this way and I feel that way. And before you know it the day is gone and no one has made it any farther along. don't waste your time.

Focus and have a great day


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