Review by Brian Turk from listenupdenver.com
From the Colorado Springs Independent
Big Jim Adam & John Stilwagen melted the snow up here in Winter Park, CO 'cause they were playing so hot!
Big Jim Adam and John Stilwagen, 10/21/2010, Showcase at Studio Bee
REVIEW BY BUTCH LEITZ
Last night’s Showcase at Studio Bee's edition included a performance by Big Jim Adam and John Stilwagen
who showed a little why they’ve been selected by the Colorado Blues Society to represent them in Memphis
for the 2011 International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo Category! Featuring several songs off their various
compilations and CDs, Stilwagen was channeling every boogie-woogie keyboardist from Professor Longhair
up through Marcia Ball, but throwing in effects and organ licks at key moments to really keep you awke. Big
Jim, if you’ve never seen him, is one of those quintessential blues musicians, providing amusing anecdotes
and stories in and between songs while playing and slapping and sliding on guitars and dobro who’d be just
as at home in a juke joint as on stage anywhere there’s a blues festival going on. Last night’s numbers
included “Paper Thin”, “Hundred Reasons”, “Run lil’ Jimbo”, “Tippy’s Barn”, “Lonely in Love” and “Work ’til the
Sun Goes Down”.
“Big Jim Adam and John Stilwagen filled the room with life and vibrant exuberance. It was a perfect match
to the world class artwork being featured in the accompanying exhibition opening at the PPCC Downtown
Studio Art Gallery.”
Downtown Studio Art Gallery, Director
Art Department, Assistant Professor
Pikes Peak Community College
I love the way you make acoustic blues sound fresh and modern. Your songs are strong and interesting with
arrangements that make them memorable – which is unique in today's world of music that all sounds the
same. With some sweet playing and great lead singing "Back In My Hometown" made me feel at home, in
a place where food is tasty and the blues is played the way it should be.
Thank you again for the music. I will be happy to play it on the air in my shows.
Keep in touch and best wishes from Poland,
Portion of "IBC Update" by Chick Cavallero
as seen in The Holler (Dec 09/Jan 10) Edition
Congratulations to Boa & the Constrictors and Big Jim Adam & John Stilwagen for winning the 2010
(Colorado Blues Society) International Blues Challenge (IBC) Band and Solo/Duo competition winners!
They're going to Memphis for the Blues Foundation IBC Finals January 20-23, 2010. The 2010 Colorado
Blues Society Finals were held Sept 13th at the Boulder Outlook. It was an amazing afternoon of
performances which left me totally impressed by the amount of blues talent we have here in Colorado.
That afternoon Boa & the Constrictors nailed the Band Finals with a killer set.
Big Jim Adam & John Stilwagen from Colorado Springs took the Solo/Duo Final. Many in the crowd and
earlier compeition were not familiar with this duo but they filled the room with more energy and sound
than any two guys should be able to pull off. Sitting tall in his chair, Big Jim accompanied his honeyed
voice on guitar and two unique wood boxes under his feet that he stomped on to get a drum beat and
even some tambourine rattling from. John Stilwagen rounded out their set with his impressive keyboard
skills and a lot of humor. These guys are a class act you need to see and become familiar with!
I am very proud to be part of the 2010 IBC event and I'd like to thank everyone for making the Finals a
special event. Most of all, thanks to ALL the musicians and Blues Fans for supporting the 2010
International Blues Challenge!
I really like "Tippy's Barn"! I would have to pick "Chicken A La Blues" as my favorite. This CD is a solid effort throughout and leaves me wanting more! I also think " When It Started To Rain" is destined to be a classic to be played by many other artists for many years to come!