One of more than 20 new images created for the “Clarksdale Images” show at the Rock N Blues Museum, during the Juke Joint Fest

Liz Mandeville Heart ‘O’ Chicago Released 9.1.201

Get your copy now on our store page or visit

“Clarksdale Images”

Opening  During the Juke Joint Festival

Liz Mandeville travels to Clarksdale MS this week to multiple performances (see calendar page for music performances locations and times) and her first art show in nearly 5 years. The opening reception will be held at the Rock N Blues Museum, 2nd Street Clarksdale, from 5 – 7 PM Friday, April 12, 2013.

“All the pieces represent some of the people and places that have resonated with me. Over the past three years I’ve traveled to Clarksdale, MS Helena AK and Memphis TN about three time a year, just soaking up the hoo doo and recharging my mojo.” Says Ms Liz

All 20 graphic pieces are matted, framed and will fit in your suitcase. The 7 new acrylic paintings are 8″ x 10″ and Liz also has a few choice pieces of handmade, magical jewelry, strung on guitar strings with that added gris-gris to supercharge your blues experience.

We can also now accept your credit card on site.

Blue Kitty News!

The cats have been down in the basement cookin’ up some fresh Christmas Blues …NOW Available for a limited time only!

No longer available. Please watch for new holiday music for 2013!

For ever mp3 sold from now until January 3, 2013, part of the money will be donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. Please help us to  help those devastated by the terrible super storm to have a better holiday while you’re giving yourself some Christmas cheer.

It all started when record producer and deep blues slide player, Peter Struijk (winner of the 2012, Solo/duo I.B.C. challenge for The Haag, Netherlands) came to Chicago to instigate some blues. He brought Rockin Johnny Burgin and Liz Mandeville in the basement studio at the Blues Palace, where they cut several tracks for an upcoming Blue Shine Records production. One song, written by Liz Mandeville, will appear on Peter’s soon to be released CD on his brand, Blue Shine Records. The other is a new Holiday tune written and sung by Miss Liz  with an able assist from Jim “Big Ears’ Godsey and Martin Lang, the ladies choice for harp magic.

“I just started thinking about how lucky I was to be sitting up in a warm house when those poor folks out east got clobbered by that storm. I thought what can I do to help them out this Christmas?”

Liz Mandeville’s musing led to this pleasurably charitable notion of putting out this Holiday song, created with love, down in the basement and sounding just as Chicago as a lost Chess record complete with juicy guitars, dirty harp and sassy singing!

Why not click the link and give it a listen?



 Here at Blue Kitty Music we support our troops, we salute our vets and we love our Women Warriors!


Our soldiers have worked hard to keep us safe and we want to give something back to say “Thank you!” for the sacrifices they make every day. So we’re making a video and we want you to be a part of it! Here’s how you can say thanks and be part of an historical tribute:

  1. video yourself, you & your kids or you and friends singing
    “My Mama Wears Combat Boots”
  2. send the video to
  3. All the videos will be edited together and used to help our military people.

You don’t have to have a military mom to participate, but if you do have a mom or sister, daughter, wife or friend who is in uniform or is a vet and you’re proud of her service, you can be a patriot by singing the song. You don’t need to have a family connection, if you support our troops you know we’re all in this together! Sing, video and send to to the link.

Here’re the Lyrics to help you get started:

My Mama Wears Combat Boots                                by Liz Mandeville

Verse 1:

Back when I was a kid in school
the other kids could be so cruel. /
They would tease and they would taunt /
get a rise was what they want./
One cut that would never loose: MY MAMA WEARS COMBAT BOOTS!

My mama wears combat boots/ my mama’s got a gun that shoots/ she put a new spin on power suits because

Verse 2
In the schoolyard when the dozens played/
this was the kind of thing that they said/
your mama’s so dumb, your mama’s so fat,
but my mama don’t resemble that.
If you really want to know the truth: MY MAMA WEARS COMBAT BOOTS

Repeat the chorus:
My mama wears combat boots/ my mama’s got a gun that shoots/ she put a new spin on power suits because

Verse 3
She used to mini-van she used to car pool.
Every day she got the kids to school,
But mama she aint got no time for that
She’s doing a second tour in Iraq
So if you want to hear all the news:  MY MAMA WEARS COMBAT BOOTS!

Repeat the Chorus:  My mama wears combat boots/ my mama’s got a gun that shoots/ she put a new spin on power suits because

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 Marathon/ Honolulu News!!

Blue Kitty Team member Krist has completed the Chicago Marathon, raising over $!K for the Team to End Aids!

He’s now training for the Honolulu marathon 12/9/12. We are only $500.00 away from meeting our fundraising goal, please help!

Join the fight to end this deadly disease  Click the link to make your tax-deductible contribution: 

Liz will be in Honolulu to support the run and play some blues gigs with the friendly folks in the Honolulu blues community!

Come on along…12/13/12 Liz will be a guest on KTUH – FM   Special thanks to DJ Steve Stoddard for all his help!

12/ 15/ 12 She will be playing with Kevin Coleman Band @ ON STAGE DRINKS & GRINDS, 802 Kapahulu Ave. Honolulu

12/16/12 Liz performs solo Anna O Briens’ 2440 S Beretamia St. Honolulu,



Blue Kitty Music, an environmentally aware company, proudly supports the Sierra Club, America’s oldest ecological group founded in 1892. To donate, click through:

Book The Time!!

The True Story of How

Willie “Big Eyes” Smith Got Me to Start My Own Record Label.

It was a star studded night, early in spring of 2011. I’d been invited to help PR Diva, Amy Bratt, celebrate her birthday at Rosa’s Lounge where Debby Davies band was headlining with Tony Rogers. Mama Rosa was doing a brisk business as  Joined At the Hip’s Robert “Bob” Stroger and Willie”Big Eyes” Smith were also there with a happy crowd celebrating their Grammy win that night with (Legendary Blues Band Guitarist) Billy Flynn and his wife Mary adding to a jovial atmosphere.

 Back in the early 90′s, when Billy Flynn had taken a sabbatical to help Mary raise their daughter, my then husband, Willie Greeson, had left our band to fulfill a life’s dream: he joined the Legendary Blues Band. I got to know the Smith family during those early mornings when I’d drive down to the south side to drop my husband off at their crib before the bands’ many road trips. The house was always neat, warm and welcoming and filled with the aroma of Lou’s fried chicken getting its last browning before she packed it up for her husband to take on the road.In the mid 1990’s, when I was playing every week with Aron Burton’s Band at Blue Chicago, Willie Smith would sub for his son Kenny, who at that time was our regular drummer. Willie’s brilliantly sloppy yet somehow solidly in the pocket shuffle, his down to earth attitude and professionalism always made him a pleasure to play with and to be around.

But back to last Spring. I walked over to my two longtime friends, Willie and Bob, and offered to buy them a celebratory cocktail.
“Congratulations!” I said, “Willie, what do I need to win a Grammy?”
Without blinking an eye he answered “Patience!”
We all laughed. Then I said “Willie, I suggested to Michael Frank back in ’98 that I wanted to make a record with you, Willie Kent, Allen Batts and George Baze. He nixed it. He said I’d be over shadowed by my side men.”
Willie looked incredulous, “Well, first I don’t know how you could be over shadowed by the guys playing with you, and besides that, all them cats but Allen is dead!”

“Well,” I went on, ”I still want to make a record with you.”

Willie didn’t hesitate. “Book the time!” he said. “Look, I never made a dime in the music business until I started making my own records. Last year I did good business, my son helped me and we did it all ourselves. If I can do it, you can too, and you should!”

He was very emphatic and actually named some pretty impressive figures. He said “Kenny’s pretty savvy, he’ll help you. Give him a call, I’ll help you too! Book the time!”

The very next day I called my friend Jim Godsey, who’s engineered on all my records.  ”Jim, I want to get back in the studio.” I said “I need a room where I can cut all the rhythm tracks at the same time, like back in the day. I’m paying for this out of my own pocket, so I need a guy that’ll work with us”

“Give me a few days,” Jim said “let me make some calls.”

Less than a week later he called me. “There’s a guy in Palatine, in the basement of the old Harris Bank building. He’s got what we need.”

We went on and booked two afternoons at Planet10 Studio in Palatine where a smiling Jimmy Johnson greeted us with steaming hot coffee and a warm, organic sounding room. Willie Smith, Darryl Wright (Bassist/arranger) and I went in and knocked out 5 tracks that first afternoon. We’d had a rough idea of what we wanted to do, I knew I wanted to have Willie play drums and add some of his down home blues harp. Some people don’t know that Willie started out as a harp player, switching to drums later in his career. I wanted both! He was really enthusiastic about the tracks (as you can hear from the little clip that starts the disc) and had a great time singing along on the call and response ending to Roadside Produce Stand, “It ain’t her fault!!”

Happy with the work we’d done, we planned to get back to the studio after Willie had satisfied his hectic summer touring schedule. The plan was to cut an additional five tracks. Sadly, that was not to be. I’m just glad I didn’t wait around to book that one historic session because, as most of you blues folk know, Willie Smith was laid to rest before 2011 was out. Thank you Willie, it would never have happened without you.

Adding a post script; in the 1990’s Willie had the Legendary Blues Band rolling, when one by one the original members started going off to pursue solo careers or just got tired of the touring. Willie kept it rolling with a group of young enthusiastic musicians, but they were having trouble finding an agent that could keep them working. I sat down with my book and gave them every contact I had. I think Willie always appreciated my willingness to help him and returned the favor with these Clarksdale tracks. The young man that replaced Calvin “Fuzz” Jones on bass was none other than popular guitarist and Blue Bella label baron, Nick Moss. When the LBB wasn’t working I employed Nick to play bass with my band. Nick shows up to add his special sauce to Clarksdale, playing the stinging leads on the track, “My Mama Wears Combat Boots.” And the Blues comes full circle again.

2012, Elizabeth Uchiyama,

CEO-Blue Kitty Music

Blue Kitty Music is a corporate sponsor of the Blues Foundation