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I am very happy to report that I just got a huge new shipment of my TarMan action figures from AmokTime. They are back in stock now and available on this website’s Store/Bazaar page.

Different packaging from the original edition but the same sculpture, paint job and sculpted details (like the bitten brain and TarMan-in-his-cannister). The first edition of this figure sold out within weeks. Get yours NOW!

Only $25 plus shipping — and it’s SIGNED! Halloween and Christmas are coming! Now’s your chance! Shop early!

Note: If you tried to order this and weren’t successful, please try again. I forgot to change the “Quantity” available. It’s fixed now.

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World Boogie Is Coming!

I can’t let another day go by without singing the praises of the new CD by the North Mississippi Allstars, World Boogie Is Coming.

I think it’s their best recording yet; it pushes all of my blues buttons. The music is a terrific, creative combination of the old and new. The North Mississippi Allstars are primarily the brain child of the Dickinson brothers, Luther and Cody. They produced the CD and invited all the guest performers.

And their guest performers are extraordinary.

Robert Plant‘s harmonica wails on the opening tracks, “JR” and “Goat Meat”. Big heaps of sludgy fuzz bass guitar and a booming bass drum form the foundation for their version of “Rollin ‘n Tumblin”. Junior Parker‘s “Feelin’ Good” gets re-energized here as “Boogie”. A dirty, grungy slide snakes through “Shimmy”.

Fife and drums blues (a form of proto-blues dating back to the Civil War) master Otha Turner shows up on “That Dog After That Rabbit”, “Shimmy” and “Granny, Does Your Dog Bite”, as well as popping up here and there on other tracks. Alvin Youngblood Hart adds to the fun. The old Willie Dixon blues chestnut “My Babe” gets a fantastic and surprising reworking.

The NMA also cover songs by RL Burnside (with Burnside samples), Junior Kimbrough, Bukka White, Sleepy John Estes and Furry Lewis.

They all blend well with the inspired NMA originals.

There are 17 tracks in all, plus a download card that lets you access five bonus tracks (including a cover of Mississippi Fred McDowell‘s “Crazy Bout You”) and an assortment of fine videos.

My only complaint is that I wish there were detailed personnel listing for all the songs in the illustrated liner notes. Who plays that great funky snare drum shuffle throughout the record?

In my humble opinion (oh, hell — my opinion is rarely humble!), this is the NMA’s Revolver. Can their blues equivalent of a Sgt. Pepper be far behind?

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Great Time at GrandCon!

I just had the best time at GrandCon in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was hard to believe it was their first show, it was so well organized. It was devoted to comics and gaming (primarily gaming) and the attendance exceeded all expectations.

I got to hang out with my pal, the talented and jovial Mark Nelson and great fans from around the area like Matt Mulford.
Thanks, Mark and Brian for a wonderful show! See you next year!

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Record Collector #418

Heads up! The current issue of the great UK magazine Record Collector (#418; September 2013) has a beautifully well-illustrated four page full color article on Yours Truly and my bootleg days (or should that be “daze”…?). There is also a four star review of my book Legends of the Blues.

The feedback I’ve been getting on my blues book has been running like this:

“I initially bought the book for the pictures, Bill — but I fell in love with it because of the stories.”

Thanks, everyone, for making Legends of the Blues #10 on the Indy Books bestseller list!