Kaati – Publisher: We continue to have fun with the Blues Festival Guide magazine, the weekly e-guide newsletter, and this website, and especially working with the Blues Societies across the nation! I encourage you to become a member, or start a Blues Society in your area… there is power in numbers and we all have to work together to keep America’s original roots music in the forefront of our culture. My background is in magazine publishing, so I produced festival programs for a while and then eventually, the Reggae Festival Guide magazine in 1995 and the Blues Festival Guide magazine in 2003. I hope that you find this website useful for your entertainment planning and be sure to check back often for festival updates! Click here for contact information.
Cheryl O’Grady-Yearnshaw – Sales Manager & Marketing Director: During my childhood in Sacramento, California, I was exposed to a wide-variety of music when my parents owned a jukebox route that serviced over 80 bars and other establishments. My family’s business activities sparked my interest in people, and the jukebox in the living room hooked me on blues at an early age. I am currently owner of COG Promotions, a privately held promotions business (after retiring with 27 years of service as a Social Worker in Nevada, moving toward a career in promoting Blues was a natural for me.) I have been with the Blues Festival Guide (BFG) magazine from its inception and have helped it grow into a respected and highly developed marketing corporation. My husband Tom and I have traveled and attended blues festivals across the U.S. enjoying varied festival cultures. We both are specifically interested in youth involvement at festivals and have obtained a wealth of information to share as festival consultants. I was one of the founders of the Reno Blues Society (Reno, NV), serving on the RBS Board for seven years and was instrumental in producing over 35 Blues shows featuring headliners including Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, Koko Taylor and many others. I currently serve on their Advisory Board. I graduated with a BA in Social Welfare from California State University Sacramento in 1973. As a Social Worker and an RBS Board member I have been involved in fund raising for a variety of charities.
I work with festivals, music promoters, musicians, record labels, etc. developing and implementing effective and affordable marketing campaigns. This includes focusing on brand strategy. In addition, I’m a true fan of the genre and if you’re trying to get your information to the blues industry or the fans I can help.
Tim Parsons – Magazine Editor: My epiphany occurred in 1984 at an Albert King concert: I’ve always been a blues fan. I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and ZZ Top, never knowing they were emulating blues. Of course, without blues, there’s no rock ’n’ roll, no jazz or even country music. After my experience with Mr. King, I wanted more of the real thing. I started listening to a Saturday night radio blues show. I bought records by Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite and Lonnie Brooks. I never imagined that someday I would interview all four of those blues greats. The last seven of my 29 years working at newspapers was spent covering entertainment at Lake Tahoe. Many of my articles had a blues slant because, like the artists interviewed, I know where the music came from. Some people took notice and in 2011 I was the recipient of the Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism. It’s an honor for me to continue to advocate the greatest form of music with the Blues Festival Guide.
Michele Lundeen – Blues e-Guide editor: Greetings and thanks for diggin’ the blues! I currently live and perform as a blues singer, songwriter, bandleader in the San Diego, CA area. As a performer, as well as a writer and researcher, I’m into sharing every facet of blues music. I’ve always felt that “blues” is not only about music, but an honest, human expression of life’s trials and tribulations. Soulful and earthy … it cannot be denied. The wealth of history and music that I have discovered over the years has been so enriching and its rewards are a’ plenty. In Nov 2004, I released my debut CD, SONG INSIDE ME featuring 9 self-penned originals out of 12 tracks and some very special guests in the studio with me like slide master Roy Rogers. I’m a founding member and editor of the Reno Blues Society and Blues Lovers United of San Diego and have owned my own graphics/print brokerage since 1985. I represented San Diego in the Blues Foundation’s Intl’ Blues Challenge (IBC) in 2000, am a multiple San Diego Blues Awards “Best Blues” nominee. I’m also active as a presenter/performer in the local Blues In The Schools (BITS) program. My website is www.michelelundeen.com and you can also find my CD, SONG INSIDE ME, at www.cdbaby.com/Lundeen.
Heather Penrod – Sales Rep: Blues Sales Rep: My immersion in music started at a young age. My grandfather was a musician & my mom played trombone so our house was always full of music. Mom taught me to twist & Jitterbug in the living room. I played flute all the way thru school & picked up enough guitar to play at it.
I was General Manager of an awesome Roadhouse in Verdi, NV, Rancho Nevada, where I got introduced to the Blues & fell in love. After that I helped start a Blues Club in the basement of a biker bar & got involved in the Reno Blues Society. I created the local band listings for the RBS & started helping book the local Blues bands. I ended up on the board & helped with all of their events.
I helped with the first Reno-Tahoe Blues Festival, then I moved to San Felipe Mexico where my husband, Rick Rudd (Bass & Lead vocals) & I started the first annual San Felipe Blues & Art Festival which is heading for its 9th year. I have known Kaati, Cheryl & Michele for longer than I want to admit to & in 2013 they ask me to join them. I am thrilled to be a part of this great endeavor.
Tom Andrews – Sales Rep: I was born in Memphis, lived in the Arkansas Delta for a time and moved to Biloxi on the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1956. I now live in Picayune, MS, just 50 miles north of New Orleans and 45 miles from the Gulf Coast.
After high school I worked in retail for 15 years and then went to work for the Picayune Item as Advertising Director. The Item is a daily newspaper in Picayune, MS. I served in that position for 20 years before being promoted to publisher. In addition to print sales I also was responsible for online advertising sales. I retired in 2010 after 10 years as publisher.
I am a very active retiree who attends several blues festivals each year. I have attended the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival every year since 1976, and every day for the last 25 years or so. I also attend several other festivals each year including the New Orleans Blues and Barbecue Festival, the Bogalusa Blues Festival, the King Biscuit Blues Festival and the Baton Rouge Blues Festival.
I love going to festivals and live music venues. They feed my deep and abiding love of the blues gained growing up in the Arkansas Delta during the early 50’s listening to legendary disc jockeys Gene Nobles and John Richbourg (Big John R) on WLAC, a radio station in Nashville, TN.
Irene Weaver – Editorial Support: Greetings! I have been brought up behind the scenes of RBA Publishing, happy to lend a helping-hand for any jobs needed doing. Now, as editorial support I am thrilled to take a more active role in this community! I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Global Studies. It is so interesting to me how different cultures interact and transform, and music is one of those elements that transcends all kinds of boundaries. RBA Publishing is a great promoter of that transcendence and I am so happy to be a part of it!
Flor Mariona Raynor – Database & Admin Support/ E-blast Specialist: She has a background in Art and holds a degree in Industrial Design. Started out at RBA Publishing as Ad Coordinator working with Kaati from her home office in Reno NV, where she met her boyfriend-and current husband- and lived for a few years. A year after having a baby girl, Flor moved back to her hometown – Mar del Plata, Argentina – and has been in charge of keeping the blues database current and handling many other steps of the print process. She is also in charge of our newsletter e-blasts, one of her favorite tasks! As a music fan, this is a perfect position for her, as she gets to sample new music constantly and interact with artists. Flor was raised in a very musical family. Besides working for RBA, she teaches English, and works as a freelance translator.
Belinda Holloway: A long-time music fan, you will find me at festivals and industry events promoting our magazines. Please stop by and say hello.
Goran Petko – Art Director: Hello there! I live in Zagreb, Croatia, where Im running my own Graphic and Web design company Aqua Design since 2001.
My services includes Graphic and Web Design for wide range of press media materials and web/multimedia design.
Creative solutions for your Magazines, Catalogs, Posters, Calendars, Flyers, Brochures, Tickets, Book covers, Websites, Blogs, eCommerce sites etc.
As an Art-Director at RBA Publishing my responsibilities are Reggae and Blues Festival Guide Magazine Graphic Designs and Pre-Press, Web Design and Maintenance for both sites and Reggae e-Guide Newsletter design. If you need any kind of Design works/assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me via RBA Publishing.