Prairie Crossroads Blues Society

Champaign-Urbana IL

Blues Happenings

Blues Fest is Back, Baby!

Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest
Saturday August 10 2019, 2:00 - 10:00 PM
Champaign County Fairgrounds
Rain or Shine!
Food trucks, beverages, 8 hours of great Blues Music!

2019 Acts have been announced!
Check out our Blues Fest page

Laurie Morvan - No Working During Drinking Hours

You can now order your 2019 Wristbands on our Blues Fest page

[Bunnys Pre-Fest Poster]

Pre-Fest Party at Bunny's

Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest Weekend
Bunny's Tavern, 119 W. Water St. Urbana
Friday, August 9, 4:30 to 11:00
Painkillers Blues Band hosts a jam, 4:30 - 7:30
Sapphire Blues Band plays 8:00 - 11:00

Kick your Blues Fest Weekend off with a happy hour jam and a show at Bunny's Taverrn, hidden away in downtown Urbana. Returning after last year's hugely popular jam at Bunny's the Painkillers Blues Band host a jam from 4:30 to 7:30 on Friday August 9. Bring your instrument and sit in on the jam. We hear some Fest performers will be in town early to join in on the fun.

Stick and stay as local favorites Sapphire keep the fun going with plenty of your favorite tunes. They play Blues, Blues Rock, Classic Rock and even a few Country tunes. Check out Sapphire on Facebook


IBC Challenges
ICBC host the Solo/Duo Challenge - Saturday August 24 - Springfield
PCBS host the Band Challenge - Sunday August 25 - Champaign
thanks also to our partners - The Decatur Blues Society

[Blues Jam]

PCBS Blues Jams!
Pipa's Pub, 604 S. Country Fair Dr., Champaign
2nd Sunday of each month, 4:00 - 7:00 pm
4th Wednesday of each month, 7:00 - 10:00 pm

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society holds two jams each month. The 2nd Sunday of each month from 4:00 to 7:00 pm and the 4th Wednesday of each month from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. Both jams are held at Pipa's Pub, 604 S. Country Fair Dr., Champaign.

The host band typically plays the first set, then we open it up to all the jammers in the house. Bring your instrument and plan on sitting in!

Thanks to our friend and PCBS member Mike Feldman for these excellent videos of some of our recent jams PCBS Blues Jams.

Grab your instrument and join in the fun!

Google map to Pipa's Pub, 604 S. Country Fair Dr. Champaign.

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is happy to help revive the tradition of a blues jam in the C-U area!

[Candy Foster Scholarship promo]


Candy Foster's
Fine Arts Scholarship Fundraiser
12:00 - 3:00 pm Sunday August 11
Bunny's Tavern, 119 W. Water St., Urbana


Candy Foster has been performing classic rhythm and blues throughout the Midwest for 50 years and is known as one of the hardest working blues singers in the area. Now he's giving back!


Food, Refreshnebts, Prizes


[Autographed Guitar]

2019 Guitar Raffle

Congratulations to Kelsey Hays! Thanks to everyone who bought raffle tickets in our autographed guitar raffle. We picked the winning ticket at the Kilborn Alley Blues Fest Fundraiser at The Iron Post the evening of July 13. It was a Yamaha F325 acoustic guitar. All the proceeds go to help us put on the 2019 Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest. This guitar was autographed at the 2010 Blues Brews & BBQ Fest held in Urbana. Fluid Events graciously donated this guitar to PCBS to help us restart an annual Blues Fest in our area.

Eddie Taylor Jr. was the brother of Demetria Taylor, one of our Fest Headliners. Sadly Eddie passed away earlier this year.

The winner was at The Iron Post and was excited to be able to take the guitar home with her.

[Kilborn Alley promo]

PCBS Monthly Meeting/Juke Joint Show
5:30 pm Thursday August 15
Po' Boys, 202 East University Ave., Urbana
Kilborn Alley plays 6:30 - 9:30

Note: We're coordinating our meetings with Po' Boys and Kilborn Alley and will hold our August meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month.

We combined our monthly meetings with the Kilborn Alley Juke Joint shows at Po' Boys! It's a chance to enjoy some delicious Po' Boys food, some beverages from local craft brewer's Triptych Brewing with great blues music and lively conversation. The joint's been packed with blues fans, friends and family enjoying the party atmosphere!

We're always open to suggestions about our monthly blues jams and are looking for folks to get more involved with our Blues In The Schools program. Consider becoming a PCBS Member and help us reach out to other blues lovers in our communities.


Dave Wright
10/13/53 - 5/26/19
WEFT Blues Airshifter
Supporter of Blues Music and Blues Musicians everywhere!

PCBS Remembers Dave Wright


Dave Bartholomew
12/24/18 - 6/23/19

Paul Alton 'Lil Buck' Sinegal
1/14/44 - 6/10/19

Dr. John
Born Malcolm John Rebennack
11/20/41 - 6/6/19

The Blues Foundation presented the
Blues Music Awards
in Memphis, TN on Thursday May 9

Visit to find out all the winners!

Mike Ledbetter won 3 Awards posthumously including the prestigious
B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award

Double winners included Shemekia Copeland and Danielle Nicole. Our friend Johnny Rawls won the BMA for the Soul Blues Album of the Year for his "I'm Still Around" CD. Here's a heads up that Johnny will be at The Iron Post Saturday Nov.16. Other winners included Nick Moss, Dennis Gruenling, Monster Mike Welch, Marcia Ball and Samantha Fish who'll be here during the Ellnora Fest this Fall.

For a quick story and list of the winners visit American Blues Scene for their article on the Blues Music Awards.

The 2019 Blues Blast Magazine Awards ceremonies will be held at
The Tebala Event Center in Rockford, Illinois
on September 13th, 2019

[BluesCentral Monday Dance Poster]

Blues Dancing every Monday
BluesCentral hosts Lessons and Dancing
6:00 Free Lessons
7:00 - 9:00 Free Dancing
Guido's, 2 E. Main St. Champaign

BluesCENTRAL Dancers sponsor lessons & dances, 6:00 pm every Monday night. NOTE: New Location Lessons and Dances are taking place at Guido's for the next couple months due to construction at the original location.

NOTE: New Location Lessons and Dances are taking place at Guido's for the next couple months due to construction at the original location.

Don't know how to dance to the blues? Don't worry! Beginner lessons at 6:00 pm will get you started. Or just come socialize with us and enjoy Cowboy Monkey's great selection of beers and wines.

Don't have a partner to dance with? No problem! We are friendly and love to dance with everyone!

Check out the BluesCENTRAL Dancers Facebook Page


Cash McCall
(born Morris Dollison Jr.)
1/28/40 - 4/20/19
Nola Blue Records on Facebook


Michael Ledbetter
Mike passed 1/21/2019
he was only 33 years old
Truly, that brother was the future of the blues
- Andy Duncanson

[Prairie Crossroads Blues Society Jack Davis Logo]


Want to become part of the growing community of Blues lovers in the Champaign-Urbana and East Central Illinois area? Sign up to become a member of Prairie Crossroads Blues Society. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organized to Preserve, Promote and Educate about the Blues.

Since we were formed in 2010 we've been supporting local blues artists share their music with a wider audience. We consistently look to bring new blues artists to our area so fans get a chance to see the huge amount of talent touring on a regional and national basis. We also have a strong BITS - Blues In The Schools program.

Whether you enjoy our jams and shows, or support our efforts to teach youngsters the history and basics of blues music, now is the right time to become a PCBS Member

Membership Options:
Student = $10 per year
Individual = $20 per year
Family = $25 per year
Band = $50 per year
Corporate = $100 per year

For Family, Band and Corporate memberships, we'll contact you for the names of additional members or you can send us that information via email:

Please select your type of Membership
Name on membership


Blues In The Schools
PCBS is presenting a couple more in our series
of educational programs in area schools.
We had a 6-week program at Wiley School in Urbana
Mondays, April 1, through May 6
There's also two blues assemblies in Champaign,
one at South Side School, Tuesday May 14,
and another at Bottenfield School Wednesday May 15.

Thanks to our instructors,
Gus Wood, David Adcock and Andrew Duncanson
Thanks to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
and Hohner Harmonica for their support.

Blues In The Schools

Check out the awesome Thank You notes from the South Side Elementary School students after the PCBS Spring 2015 BITS program. Thank You Page

Visit our Education Page for details about many of the educational programs PCBS has put on. If you'd like PCBS to conduct a Blues In The Schools program at your school contact us at:

You can now earmark your donations specifically for our Education programs. It's a great way to help us achieve our mission of educating about the blues and be a part of bringing up the next generation of blues musicians and fans.

Your tax deductable donation to our Education Fund helps to keep these programs alive

This PayPal link will direct your donation in any amount directly to our educational efforts, including our "Blues In The Schools" (BITS) program.


Jody Williams
2/3/1935 - 12/1/2018

Eddie C. Campbell
5/6/1939 - 11/20/2018

Otis Rush
4/29/1935 - 9/29/2018

Lazy Lester
(born Leslie Carswell Johnson)
6/20/1933 - 8/22/2018

Matt "Guitar" Murphy
(born Matthew Tyler Murphy)
12/29/1929 - 6/15/2018

Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater
(born Edward Harrington)
1/10/1935 - 6/1/2018

Deborah Coleman
10/03/1956 - 4/12/2018

Blues Hall of Famer
Eddie Shaw

3/20/1937 - 1/29/2018

Denise LaSalle
(born as Ora Denise Allen)
7/16/1939 - 1/8/2018