Prairie Crossroads Blues Society

Champaign-Urbana IL

Blues Happenings

Save The Date
PCBS Blues Fest
Fri & Sat August 9 - 10
Bunny's Tavern Parking Lot
119 W. Water St. - Urbana

Bring your lawn chairs!


[Prairie Crossroads Blues Society Jack Davis Logo]

Renew your Membership

As we were formed in late May & early June of 2010 and signed up many new members at the Urbana Blues Brews & BBQ's that year, PCBS has switched and now all Memberships renew in June. It's time for most of you to renew your Memberships

Visit the PCBS Membership Sign Up Page to Sign up or renew your membership (there's even a way to sign up for multiple years)

Want to be part of the 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 strive to bring new blues artists to our area, many touring on a regional and national basis. We also have a strong BITS - Blues In The Schools program.

Visit our Education Page to see some of our programs.

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: pcbsmembership@gmail.com.

Please select your type of Membership
Name on membership


PCBS Monthly Meeting
5:30 Thursday July 11
Po' Boys - 202 E University Urbana

Music (starts at 6:00) provided by - TBA

Thanks to our friends at Po' Boys for supplying a great place for PCBS to hold our monthly meetings. Inside or outside, socially distanced when that was necessary. Come out as we look forward to future PCBS Blues Jams and Blues In The Schools programs.

As you're probably aware Po' Boys has some great food and cold beverages. Save room for dessert, their pies are delicious!

Thanks again to Kandra Miller for stepping into the PCBS Secretary position. We once again have Meeting Minutes uploaded on our web pages PCBS Meetings.


Blues In The Schools - BITS 2023/24

[Urbana Public Arts logo]

Thanks to the Urbana Arts & Culture Program, PCBS has received a grant to hold several all-school assemblies in the fall 2023 semester. PCBS will bring several Blues Musicians and a Blues History instructor to three Urbana Elementary Schools; Thomas Paine, Yankee Ridge and Dr. Preston Williams.

To find out more about the Urbana Arts Grants Program, follow this link; Urbana Arts Grants Program

[Joe, aTrain & Andy Preston Williams School Fall 2023]

On Friday, October 13 Prairie Crossroads Blues Society presented an all-school assembly at Dr. Preston Williams School in Urbana.

Blues History Instructor Bishop Lawton taught the kids some of the basics of this great American Roots Music we call the Blues. Here musicians Joe Asselin, Aaron "aTrain" Wilson and Andrew Duncanson performing several songs for the students.

This was the first in a series of PCBS Blues In The Schools programs supported in part by the Urbana Arts Grants Program. Future events are planned for Yankee Ridge and Thomas Paine Schools

Our BITS folks visited Yankee Ridge School on Tuesday February 27 and Thomas Paine School on Thursday March 7, 2024. Thanks again to our awesome group, Aaron "aTrain" Wilson, Andrew Duncanson, Billy Galt and Bishop Lawton. Thanks to our hard working Education Committee, and also to the Urbana Arts Grant Program.

Here's some photos from the Blues In The Schools assemply at Thomas Paine School on March 7, 2024. Thanks again to our instructors, Bishop Lawton, Aaron Wilson, Billy Galt and Andrew Duncanson.

Visit our Education Page to see more of the Blues In The Schools - BITS Programs, PCBS has brought to the youth of our community.

Blues In The Schools - BITS 2022

[Joe & Andy BITS King School Fall 2022]

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is delighted to announce that Blues in the Schools is starting again! On Friday, September 30 the six-week after-school program began at Martin Luther King School. Thanks to music teacher Cara Maurizi for helping us make it come together. We planned for a group of up to 30 students from grades 4 and 5.

We had two awesome instructors for the program. Bishop Lawton, PhD student in African American History, taught the roots and history of Blues. Joe Asselin, well-known outstanding local Blues musician, taught the Blues harmonica section. Each student receives a Blues harmonica of their own. We are excited!

On December 13 2022, at the conclusion of the Martin Luther King School BITS program, Joe Asselin and Andrew Duncanson put on a concert for the entire school. Here's a few comments; "The concert yesterday at King School was great! Joe and Andy really got the kids into the music! They were a terrific audience, and clapped and sang along."

Another comment "Was an incredible experience. Fantastic time"

Please consider a donation to our BITS Education Fund to keep these programs happening at other area schools!

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.



In conjunction with our Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest in August 2019 Mississippi bluesman Lucious Spiller put on two assemblies at Kenwood Elementary School in Champaign.

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: prairiecrossroadsblues@gmail.com.


Blues Jams!

Blues On Sunday - 3rd Sunday Jams
4:00 - 7:00 at Pipa's Pub
604 S. Country Fair Dr. Champaign

Mel Hoaks is hosting these Jams. He'll provide a backline, drums and a PA system. Bring your axes, your harp, your drumsticks or your recorder. PCBS thanks everyone who makes these Jams possible

Blues on Sunday - April 21
Your Host - Cobalt Blues Band

Connect with Mel via his Mel Hoaks Music Facebook page. He's looking to get other bands to host the Jams as well.


Don't forget about the Open Mic Nights on the 1st Thursday of each month. They happen 7:00 - 10:00 at Daly's Sports Bar, 118 Washington St. in Philo IL.

Thanks to Cliff Stoker for organizing these and several other events!


Back in October the Candy Foster & Shades of Blue gig at the Rose Bowl Tavern was filmed by WILL TV for the making of an episode of Prairie Fire.

It was broadcast on WILL TV as part of a Prairie Fire episode which originally aired 7:30pm on Thursday February 15, 2024.

Link to Paririe Fire: Episode 9 - February 2024


The Grammys
Bobby Rush - Best Traditional Blues Album - "All My Love For You"
Larkin Poe - Best Contemporary Blues Album - "Blood Harmony"

Congratulations to all the Winners!


The 2024 International Blues Challenge Winners

Band 1st Place: Piper and The Hard Times
Band 2nd Place: The Stephen Hull Experience
Band 3rd Place: Mandalyn & The Hunters
Most Promising Guitar: Stephen Hull (Stephen Hull Experience)
Solo/Duo 1st Place: Joe Waters
Solo/ Duo 2nd Place: Drum & Dye
Solo/Duo Guitar: Bill Dye (Drum & Dye)
Solo/Duo Harmonica: John Paul Drum (Drum & Dye)
Best Self Produced CD: Tell the World, Sister Lucille


60 Minutes feature on Clarksdale, MS the Blues, Juke Joint Fest and Clarksdale native Christone "Kingfish" Ingram originally broadcast 10/29/23.

60 Minutes feature on Clarksdale/Kingfish

We also heard from Candy Foster that his gig on Sunday night, 10/29, at the Rose Bowl Tavern was filmed by WILL TV for the making of an upcoming documentary. We'll keep you updated as the documentary is produced.

The Buddy Guy show at the Virginia Theater originally scheduled for Wednesday November 8 has been reschduled for Wednesday June 26, 2024. Here's the notice from the Virginia Theater. If you have previously purchased tickets to this show, please hold on to your tickets! All previously purchased tickets will be valid at the rescheduled show.


Thanks to all you great fans who came to the
Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest 2023
at Bunny's Tavern

[Rico McFarland Prarie Crossroads Blues Fest 2023]

Thanks to our Sponsors
Bunny's Tavern
First Federal Savings Bank, Peoria Charter Coach
Corson's Music and The Howell Family

Thanks to Everyone!
we appreciate your generous Donations

Check out this video of Saturday's Headliner
Rico McFarland


The Painkillers Blues Band on Youtube


Thanks to Kristen, Champaign Underground & The Urbana Park District
The Painkillers Blues Band CHANGE YOUR WAYS Original Music 6/7/23 Neighborhood Nights Concert at Crystal Lake Park Boat House.



[Prairie Crossroads Blues Society Jack Davis Logo]

Renew your Membership

As we were formed in late May & early June of 2010 and signed up many new members at the Urbana Blues Brews & BBQ's that year, PCBS has switched and now all Memberships renew in June. It's time for most of you to renew your Memberships

Visit the PCBS Membership Sign Up Page to Sign up or renew your membership (there's even a way to sign up for multiple years)

Did you get busy in June, you can still renew in December

Want to be part of the 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 strive to bring new blues artists to our area, many touring on a regional and national basis. We also have a strong BITS - Blues In The Schools program.

Visit our Education Page to see some of our programs.

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: pcbsmembership@gmail.com.

Please select your type of Membership
Name on membership


Hurricane Ruth
PCBS 1st IBC Challenge Winner

[Hurricane Ruth & David Lumsden competing in 2012 IBC]

David Lumsden & Hurricane Ruth competing in the 2012 IBC

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society held our 1st IBC Challenge at Memphis On Main. Hurricane Ruth won and we sent the band down to Memphis to compete in the International event put on by the Blues Foundation.


R.I.P Dave
you're sorely missed!!
12/1/54 - 3/8/22

[Fauble on Soprano]

Our Blues family is hurting.
Dave Fauble, Long time Sax player
with the Kilborn Alley Blues Band
passed recently

Dave's News-Gazette Obit

Our music community has lost a lot of talent and a lot of love over the last year. In 2020 we lost Alex Jenkins to COVID. In 2021 we've lost Jerry Lee Gingery, Kevin Flowers, Paul Wirth and Dr. Bob McIntyre.

the thoughts and prayers of PCBS go out to their friends & families. We've set up a special page to remember these wonderful musicians and their love of Blues