Mad Catfish Blues

Sep 1, 2015



“What do you scat when you scat?” asks Barbara Morrison during a performance at the Australian Music Institute.

Someone in the audience answers, “Nonsense syllables.”

Barbara: “Hey, I like you. Nonsense syllables. You try to get down into the intervals, you try to make sense of where the song is going—just by nonsense syllables.”

In the shade of stadium seating, “get down into the intervals” and get your blues fix at the inaugural MADCatfish Blues Festival at Santa Anita Park over Labor Day weekend.

Thanks to Monrovia resident LaQuetta Shamblee, blues enthusiasts will receive a solid dose of the sounds they love, listening to the likes of Barbara Morrison who will sing with Jay Jackson of the deep, silky, sultry timbre (also seen as a TV news anchor in Scandal and Parks and Recreation).










Another singer on the program is Brenda Lee Eager (above) who’s “Ain’t Understanding Mellow” with Jerry Butler reached #3 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1971, selling one million copies. Eager will be a guest vocalist with the Yu Ooka Band.





“Bluesmaster” Ray Bailey grew up in Watts, was influenced by his father’s jazz records and his mother being a professional saxophonist, was befriended by Laura “Mama” Gross, and got his first paying gig in Mama’s legendary blues club Babe’s & Ricky’s Inn.


Ray Bailey; photo by Andrew Edelman

Ray Bailey; photo by Andrew Edelman


Bailey will close out both days on the main stage with a tribute to B.B. King. Listen to the video below—Bailey’s energetic rendition of and “inspiring guitar work” on “Miss Mean” performed at Babe’s & Ricky’s. If this doesn’t get your foot tapping and your fingers clicking keys to acquire tickets, nothing will.





Other performers include The Delgado Brothers, “Corney” Mims & tHE KNOW IT ALLz, Kenyata Mackey, Leslie Baker & Friends with guest vocalist Marguaret Love, Sunnie Paxson and Mark Vincents, and The Scorch Sisters. Also on the schedule, 10-year-old Richard Cameron Lovely.

Richard Cameron came to the attention of MADCatfish Blues Festival in May 2015 when the producer attended a friend’s graduation at American Jewish University in Bel Air. Richard attended the after-graduation reception with his mother…. There was a man playing an electric piano. Being one of the few children at the reception, Richard was probably somewhat bored and restless … so what did he do? “Mom, I wonder if that man would mind if I play when he takes a break?” Her reply, “You should ask him.”




The next thing we heard was this little guy speaking into the mic, “I’d like to play a song and dedicate it to Ms. Rae Jones to congratulate her on her graduation today.” He was just a kid, so I expected some little cutesy kid’s tune, until …… No, he didn’t. Oh yes, he did!

This kid played “Misty” and I mean impressively played the tune. Oh yeah, he’s MADCatfish ready, and we’re honored to include him in the line-up to debut in his very first regional music festival. (

Song will ring out all day while the MAD Catfish Juke Joint will be humming with blues and comedy from 7 to 10 p.m. Find the weekend’s complete program here.

“Blues is like air; so if you gonna breathe, you gonna get some blues.”


Mad Catfish Blues Festival
Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 5-6, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
After Hours Juke Joint, 7-10 p.m.
Santa Anita Park, 285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia
Free parking at Gate #5 (Clubhouse entrance)
Tickets: $40-50, daily; $75-$250, weekend; $15-$25, Juke Joint
Purchase tickets here
For complete details, visit




Barbara Morrison in Australia giving a lesson on scat and singing “Summertime”…





Executive Producer LaQuetta Shamblee (above) is dedicated to blues and jazz—and women musicians, having produced the “Instrumental Women” Project “Lady Jazz” concert series at the John Ford Amphitheatre for nine consecutive years. Here’s a sample of women at work…





Source information from…

Broadway World
Ray Bailey Blues



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena