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Don't just take our word for it. Here is what some others have to say about hearing the CD or seeing Blues Bar-BQ in person...
Click on the photo to see a larger view. This photo and caption appeared in the February, 2007 issue of the Harley V-twin magazine American Iron in the "Snaps" section. It's actually Craig on the left, not Joe, but at least they spelled the band's name right! We'll take a free plug in an nationally distributed magazine any way we can get it.
August 30, 2006
We cannot thank you and Blues Bar-BQ enough for giving our residents such a great show! We have received many compliments about your performance. Your energy was awesome and you were a joy to work with. Your band is one of the best local blues bands that I have heard in while.
Thanks again! Best of luck with your busy schedule.
Casey Adams, Recreation Coordinator
City of Laguna Niguel, Parks and Recreation
From the August, 2005 issue of the "Lance Monthly Column":
"SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED
On Friday, August 19th, the “Best Blues Band” from the 2003 Orange County Music Awards, takes the stage at Huntington Beach’s finest Supper Club, Martini Blues. JOJO, BOB, CRAIG, GEOFF & BRION, AKA BLUES BAR-BQ have had a very busy schedule this year. The public has been clamoring for more of their own brand of tasty blues & swing and the boys have been much obliged. BLUES BARBQ offers up some Southern California hospitality, interspersed with down & dirty blues music, to liven up your senses. Make your reservations now at 714-840-2129 or www.martiniblues.com, because this will sellout fast. Downbeat time is 8:30 PM (PDT) with just a $10 cover charge. The boys have also been invited back to New York again this year to perform at the New York City Marathon and are featured in the July issue of Southland Blues Magazine! Many thanks to editor, DAN JACOBSON & staff writer, PETE SARDON, for that one! To check the entire schedule or to order their latest CD “BARBQ BOOGIE”, go to www.bluesbarbq.com. Long live the Blues!"
|Click on the image at the left to read an article in the July, 2005 issue of Southland Blues Magazine. The piece is by writer Pete Sardon. We thank Pete and Dan Jacobson for the fine coverage.|
(Received 10/04 by e-mail from the director of the New York Road Runners--hosts of the New York Marathon...)
(Received 10/04 by e-mail after playing in New York City for the 2004 Marathon...)
RE: JoJo's Annual Labor Day Blues Party, 2004...
Southland Blues Magazine, June 2004
CD Reviews, page 5
"Combine one quart of blues harp, two pints of sassy guitar, a cup of keyboard sauce, two helpings of double bass and a sprinkling of drum kick back beats, and what do you get? A Blues Bar-BQ that's jumpin' in lively celebration and shufflin' off with a party spirit in mind. Don't bother to bring the hot sauce; these guys are already there.
For their third album, Blues Bar-BQ has put together a program of jump blues, swing, and boogie-woogie. If you haven't yet had the chance to experience their party time fun, you can find audio samples at www.BluesBarBQ.com. A bunch of wild and crazy guys, harpest Bob Landgraff, guitarist Geoff Gurrola, pianist Craig Libuse, bassist Brion Munsey and drummer JoJo Hughes guarantee a good time. Guest appearances by River Blue, Steve Copeland, Chuck Landgraff, Tommy Harkenrider and several others give the album plenty of variety.
"My Baby Loves Me" features a searing Bob Landgraff harmonica solo. "How Can I Sing These Blues?" lopes deliberately at a moderate tempo with a clear message about finding happiness. "Arizona Song" brings boogie-woogie into a highway song about travelin' shoes and getting somewhere in the name of true love. Their original songs remain timeless and give the blues fan many reasons to celebrate."
More from the June issue of Southland Blues...page 24
Finis Tasby Benefit at Off Campus Pub, Fullerton , CA, May 2, 2004
"Sometimes we have to transcend our own lives and reach out to another. Blues musicians demonstrated that they can help take care of their own by donationg their marketable talents to help the grandchidren of Bluesman Finis Tasby, whose daughter had been tragically murdered this pas January.
... Blues Bar-BQ was there despite the fact that their harpist was in Amsterdam. JoJo Hughes, their drummer, was white hot this day and was seen drumming throughout the event as he backed up other bands that were short a drummer. It was a thing of beauty to watch the notes flying between the twin talents of their versatile guitarist, Geoff Gurrola and their left handed bassist, Brion Munsey. Savage City's sax player, Mr. Armano (Armon Frank) then joined them in the friendly horn key of Bb and (Geoff) sang one of his compositions, "You Talk Too Much.
The stage wasn't large enough to accommodate all of Savage City, so the 4-piece horn section played on the right side of the room while JoJo remained on the drums and another lefty bassist, Cy Pace directed the 11-piece band in a number to work each musician through his chops until they were fully warmed up and then Deanna Savage sassily strutted up to the mike. "Let's prove that blues lovers can take care of their own!" was addressed to the audience as she hit her stride instantly with "Lucky in Love." "Pride and Joy" was sung next and before the audience could take a breath, they segued into "Feeling Alright." The dance floor immediately filled to capacity and the horn section went wild in response. "Paying the Cost to be the Boss" was up next with the finale of "Everybody Wants to be my Baby", a song most apropos of Deanna's charms."...
Click on the photo of the magazine cover at the left to open a .pdf file of the cover and two-page article about Blues Bar-BQ in the April 2004 issue of What's Up Magazine. (File size: 2.2 Mb)
Click on the photo of the magazine cover at the left to open a .pdf file of the cover and 6-page article about Blues Bar-BQ in the November, 2003 issue of LIVE Magazine. (File size: 4.2 Mb)
"I played your CD thru a couple times and had it on whilst writing my sermon for Sunday. Fun music..."
Jonathan Haschka, S.J.
(NOTE: Father Jonathan is a Jesuit priest from Minnesota now on a mission in Africa who is best known among his friends not only for his devotion, but also for his banjo picking, yodeling and windsurfing skills.)
"Make your reservations early for February 27th to attend the CD release party for Blues Bar-BQ at the finest supper club in Huntington Beach, Martini Blues. (Blues Bar-BQ won "Best Blues Band" at OCMA 2003 and is battling to keep their title this year!) The new CD entitled Bar-BQ Boogie has already been played on the Disney-owned KLOS "Local Licks" program. A big thank you goes out to program director Rita Wilde for her graciousness and intuition on this."
Corvette Sandy, Live Magazine, February, 2004
RADIO PLAY: The following e-mail message received from DJ Rock-N-Rome in Eugene, Oregon:
My featured artist this Sunday's show will be an Orange County California Band, BLUES BAR BQ!! I am playing their newest and third CD, BAR- BQ Boogie!! It's
See you on the flip side!! Rome...............
MORE RADIO PLAY: Sunday night, February 1, 2004 the radio show "Local Licks" on KLOS (Los Angeles) 95.5 FM featured the music of Blues Bar-BQ. They played four songs from our newest CD and had some nice things to say about the music. The next week, the new CD was featured on KLBC Internet Radio on the Wednesday afternoon (4-6 PM) blues show. Try www.klbc.org. It's a great show.
"Hey, your new CD, Bar-BQ Boogie is W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!
I didn't think it could be better than the last one because I liked it so much, but it is!!! Thanks so much! I love it. We're having friends over this weekend (who listened to your first CD with us and liked it as well as we did) and we'll play it for them. You have a fan club in Michigan!"
Traverse City, MI
Orange County's Live Magazine was kind enough to give us a cover shot and a six-page interview in the November 2003 issue. Grab a copy if you can or contact us for a copy.
Check out the November 2003 issue of Modern Drummer magazine. On page 116 in the "On the Move" section is a nice article featuring Blues Bar-BQ's drummer JoJo Hughes. Moving beyond the borders of Orange County, this brings some well-deserved national recognition to the drummer who is the heart and soul of Blues Bar-BQ in more ways than just the steady beat he lays down.
(L) November 2003 Cover, (M) "On the Move" page, (R) Detail of JoJo's write-up. Click on any photo to enlarge to 800 pixels
Live Magazine, August 2003
"Tommy Castro, Savage City and Blues Bar BQ, Galaxy Concert Theatre, July 3, 2003
Tonight was one of those nights when every band was smoking. First up was OCMA winner for best blues band, Blues Bar-BQ. These guys bring back the jump, swing and boogie woogie blues of yesterday. Vocalist and bluesman on harp the harp is the mighty Bob Landgraff, who kept the set roaring like a runaway train. Bob comes straight from the south side of Chicago and blows a mean lickin' stick. These guys knew the house was going to be rockin' so they didn't bother knockin'. They just let it rip. The rhythm section of "Lazyboy" Brion on standup bass and JoJo Hughes keep this band of bluesmen rolling down the tracks at full steam. Craig Libuse on keyboards fills in the holes and Blues Bar BQ comes alive. Sitting in on sizzling blues guitar was the majestic Bubba, and believe me, this blues dude can shred. They played some hot selections off their new CD, "Back For Seconds." Bob's harp was frying and the dance floor started jumping. Blues Bar BQ turned up the heat and we all were full and satisfied. Keep an eye out for Blues Bar BQ and prepare to get down with some good time blues. To book Blues Bar BQ for your club or party call (714) 892-0162 and if you want to pick up their CD's or find out where they are barnstorming around town, check out www.bluesbarbq.com."
Southland Blues Magazine, September 2003
"Tommy Castro, Savage City and Blues BBQ, Galaxy Theater, Santa Ana, CA July 3, 2003
Taking the stage to usher in our nation's birthday, Bib Bubba Clerc strutted out his amazing 1950's E5 Gibson 3-pickup guitar and set the tone with the very tight Blues BBQ (voted as Orange County's best Blues band) as the left-handed blonde stand-up bass, drums, vocal and harmonica wove a tight blue seam that appealed to the appreciative audience. "Checking On My Baby" was highlighted by some great harp work and the band was in a tight frenzy for 45 minutes—they could've carried the entire show on their own."
"Blues Bar BQ live at Martini Blues, Huntington Beach is a most enjoyable show. The band's outstanding combination of blues versatility, stage showmanship, and clearly evident musicianship would be hard to beat at any venue. Blues Bar BQ does top off their live performance on a play it again CD featuring original lyrics with a pleasurable edge."
Laurene Dodson, City of Covina Bluesapalooza Official
"Blues is filled with average harmonica players. There are a whole lot of them. Everyone can blow at least a little harp, however, thereare few who can match up to Alan "Blind Owls" Wilson, Junior Welles, Taj Mahal, and Little Walter. Bob Landgraff is one of them."
—Dirk A. Keaton (Webmaster Newsletter #13, http://3689.tripod.com/wn13.html)
Live Magazine, July, 2003
Tommy Castro, Savage City and Blues Bar-BQ
Galaxy Concert Theatre, July 3, 2003
"Tonight was one of those nights when every band was smoking. First up was OCMA winner for best blues band, Blues Bar-BQ. These guys bring back the jump, swing and boogie woogie blues of yesterday. Vocalist and blues man on the harp is the mighty Bob Landgraff who kept the set roaring like a run away train. Bob comes straight from the south side of Chicago and blows a mean lickin stick. These guys knew the house was going to be rockin so they didn’t bother knock’in they just let it rip. The rhythm section of "Lazyboy" Brion on standup bass and JoJo Hughes keep this band of blues men rolling down the tracks at full steam. Craig Libuse on keyboards fills in the holes and Blues Bar BQ comes alive. Sitting in on sizzling blues guitar was the majestic Bubba and believe me this blues dude can shred. They played some hot selections off their new CD "Back For Seconds" Bob’s harp was frying and the dance floor started jumping. Blues Bar BQ turned up the heat and we all were full and satisfied. Keep an eye out for Blues Bar BQ and prepare to get down with some good time blues. To book Blues Bar B Q for your club or party call (714) 892-0162 and if you want to pick up their CD’s or find out where they are barnstorming around town check out www.bluesbarbq.com."
The Wave, Huntington Beach, May 8, 2003
Around Town...A look at what's happening in Huntington Beach
(Click on photo for larger image.)
The caption reads, "Members of Blues Bar BQ celebrate after winning their "Best Blues Band" Award at the 2003 Orange County Music Awards. Fro left are Brion Munsey, Craig Libuse, Bob Landgraff and Joe Hughes. Is that your tie, Craig, or are you holding a really tall Bud?" (Actually, it is a tie...Craig is holding a gin and tonic in celebration of the award and it happens to line up perfectly with the tie...
I really blew it. I'm sorry for not thanking you earlier for sending me Hot 'n Saucy. It is terrific, fantastic and I play the heck out of it on my show and at home. Every single track is great and I've never heard Train Kept a Rollin' and Don't You Just Know It covered better.
Thanks for your support."
Long Beach City College
Orange County Register, September 6, 2002
By ROBERT KINSLER
Special to the Register
"Everything about Blues Bar BQ is a throwback to an earlier time.
"I cut my teeth playing on the streets of Chicago," said singer-harmonica virtuoso Bob Landgraff, adding that drummer-singer Joe "JoJo" Hughes is from Detroit and has an R&B influence, while the other members bring a West Coast jump background into the rich mix.
In addition to Landgraff and Hughes, the Huntington Beach-based outfit includes keyboardist Craig Libuse, singer-guitarist Chris "Chrispy Critters" O'Connell, and bassist Brion "Lazyboy" Munsey.
"Our niche is our interpretation; blues is a live art form, not a museum piece," Landgraff said. "We never play a note we don't mean. We never fake it."
Blues Bar BQ recently released its sophomore album, suitably titled "Back for Seconds." The 10-song collection features a strong mix of infectious originals and energetic remakes of classic blues standards such as "Wine, Wine, Wine" and "Hard Hearted Woman."
"We recorded the CD in one day," said Hughes, who co-founded the group with Libuse in 2000. "All of Bob's harmonica was done in one take, and all my drums were done in the first or second take."
And all 10 tracks on the wonderful-sounding disc were mixed over the course of a couple of additional evenings by engineer Dave Gehlhar at Selah Recording Studio in Los Alamitos.
"We recorded on 2-inch reel-to-reel tape; it was all analog," said Hughes, noting that Blues Bar BQ wanted to avoid having its authentic style of blues collide with the digital revolution. "We actually sound (live on stage) like we do on the CD."
Landgraff said that though blues is often associated with the past and legends such as John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy, the band has seen an increasing number of 20-somethings attending its shows.
"The blues is an art form that will never die, especially today," said Landgraff, who was in the band Midnight Angel with singer-guitarist Walter Trout in the mid-1970s.
"We're not in the best of times, and blues helps people get through (tough times) and forget their troubles," Landgraff said.
Blues Bar BQ has performed at well-known clubs such as Martini Blues in Huntington Beach, B.B. King's in Universal City, the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano and at the Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana, where the band played on a bill with guitarists Eric Sardinas and Walter Trout. "We have a lot of fun, whether there are 100 people in the crowd or there is one person," Hughes said.
Blues Bar BQ has several coming shows, including an appearance at 8 p.m. Saturday at Martini Blues, 5874 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach; a show at 8 p.m. Sept. 13 at Khoury's Restaurant, 110 Marina Drive, Long Beach; and opening for Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers at 8 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano.
For more information on Blues Bar BQ, including information on coming shows, visit the band's official Web site at www.BluesBarBQ .com."
Southland Blues Magazine, August, 2002 ("Local Spotlight" section)
"Blues Bar-BQ is relatively new to the Southland blues scene as a group, but as individual players the members have a lot of experience between them. Each member brings a little something different to the table, and the blend turns out to be hot and saucy.
Bob Landgraff hails from Chicago, where he picked up his early harp and vocal style influences. He was most recently seen with Good Rockin' Daddy before joining the BarBQ.
Chris "Chrispy Critters" O'Connell is a masterful guitar player and singer with a style that can go from smooth and swinging to raw and stinging.
The newest member of Blues Bar-BQ, "Lazyboy" Brion is a big man who brings a big bass beat with him. Brion has been active for the last ten years in Orange County based rock and blues bands. Jake Richmond, No End, Dick Citizen and Blind Alley are a few of the bands that Brion has toured the club circuite wit in recent years. Brion's influences are Larry Taylor, Tommy Shannon, Willie Dixon, Mark Schatz and others.
Joe "JoJo" Hughes anchors the beat with his solid drumming. He comes from a big family where every member plays in a band. Even his mother had a jump/swing band of her own. JoJo lays down a mean shuffle and can go from jazzy brushes behind a solo boogie number to a full big band style. Put them all together and you have about a century and a half of musical experience laying it down for you.
The band members each found their way to this group through various paths, but together you can see that they blend well. Most importantly, they are all having a great time, and it shows when you see them on stage. When you come to see Blues Bar-BQ, bring our appetite and get ready to party. They'll give you all yo need and have you coming back for seconds."
Note: Mention of the band's keyboard player, Craig Libuse was inadvertently omitted when extra new copy was added at the last minute. Don't worry, "the Boogieman" is still backing up the band with his rockin' boogie piano.
Southland Blues Magazine, May, 2002 (CD review, "Back for Seconds")
"Blues BarBQ is a swinging five-man band that includes Bob Landgraff on harp and lead vocals, Chris O-Connell on guitar and harmony vocals, Craig Libuse on piano, Brion Munsey on upright bass and Joe Hughes at the drum set. They interpret jump blues, low-down dirty blues, boogie thrillers and rompin' classics. Landgraff explains what needs to be said, clearly and with conviction. His harp drives the message home. Like the band's name implies, this is one cookin' unit. Their up-tempo pop arrangements of standards such as "Wine, Wine, Wine," become tired in places. Suitable for sure-footed dancing, the jitterbug-fast numbers come and go without fanfare.
The band, keenly aware of this element in all forms of music, changes the pace when necessary. Their last chorus for "Wine, Wine, Wine," for example, slows things down to a crawl and reminds the audience what the song is all about. it works. Like adding a special sauce to your dinner, Blues BarBQ knows when to season an tune. Libuse romps heartily on "Blackie's Other Boogie," an original instrumental number on which he adds piano magic from the old days. We can all identify with the band's interpretation of "Sick and Tired." The lyrics come alive. O-Connell provides several stellar guitar interludes on the session, particularly on "Hard Hearted Woman." but it's their teamwork that makes Blues BarBQ so successful. Each artist adds a distinctive flavor to this recommended album. Audio samples are available at www.BluesBarBQ.com. Pass the hot sauce."
Just wanted to let you know that your cd is really great and this compliment
is from a hard core Raging Sun fan!"
out Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Ford, Paul
Butterfield & Mike
Bloomfield. This band (Blues Bar BQ)
kicks ass on traditional blues. Even
though I am a vegetarian, I feel sorry
for your T-Bone steak blues.
you guys must be great to see at a club.
Wine, Wine, Wine is great vocals.
just need to hear more of that great C.
Critters' lead guitar."
To arrange for Blues Bar-BQ to play at your event, club, party or wedding, call:
(714) 334-6476 (L.A., Orange, Riverside Counties)
(760) 727-2001 (San Diego County)