Summer Shows 2017

One of the things I love the most about playing shows in the summer is the opportunity to play outdoor shows on big stages to enthusiastic Pacific Northwest crowds. This summer season has not disappointed with our kick off on what might have been the hottest day of the year at the Eagle Haven Winery. It’s a gorgeous location set in the hills outside of Mt. Vernon with spectacular views of Mt. Baker. We were greeted with a basket of ice cold drinks including some of the finest local wine I’ve sampled in quite some time. Tina and Jim were accommodating and lovely hosts with a great spread of food, big outdoor stage and an enthusiastic blues crowd. Despite the sweltering heat, we had a great experience at the Winery and have been invited back to play next year. We’re looking forward to returning.

Every Thursday in July I’ve been playing shows with Bellingham keyboardist & vocalist, Margaret Wilder (MWB Band) at the Beach at Birch Bay. It’s been a blast to share shows with Margaret and to enjoy playing at this hidden gem on a great outdoor stage with views of the ocean.

Upcoming shows include a featured performance at the Madison Avenue Pub at Unbound Blues in Everett in August and a performance at the summer event of the year with an all women blues band at the Ebby Island Freedom Festival later this summer.

Stay tuned for more details and enjoy the summer!

Highway 99 Blues Club Show

It’s always entertaining playing with WA International Blues Challenge winner, Kevin Sutton, and our August show at the Highway 99 Blues Club in Seattle didn’t disappoint. We opened the show for national touring act, Danielle Nicole in front of a full house. Farko Dosumov played some really impressive percussive/bass solos and owner Steve Sarkowsky held down the backbeat on drums. The highlight of our show was kicking off Kevin’s song Washington Blues with a ripping slide solo on my Danelectro as Kevin reminded me to “play too loud.” It was a memorable night and great to share a show with another female instrumentalist, singer and songwriter.

2016-08-11 20.29.02

Moving into fall

After a summer on the west coast that was possibly the driest and hottest in a century, we are finally heading back to our familiar rain showers, misty mornings and fields of green. With that, our shows and concerts move from outdoor venues and festivals to the warmth of an indoor circuit.

I’ll be spending the fall and winter seasons playing shows from Vancouver’s Guilt & Company with my trio to a solo performance at Chicks with Picks at Vancouver’s Fairview. Then I’ll be heading back to Washington with a trio performance at the iconic, Conway Muse where diverse acts like Eric Bibb, Duffy Bishop, and the Fabulous Roofshakers have recently performed. I’ll also be participating in upcoming Blues to Do women’s shows in Seattle.

Happy fall everyone and stay tuned for more postings.

Women who play the blues

While playing at a recent festival, I asked the audience members to come up with the name of five female lead guitarists (without cheating by looking on phones and other devices). I offered my newest CD free to the first person who came to the merch table after the set with the names. It’s not surprising that many people can’t name more than a few players in any genre – Bonnie Raitt tops the list as well as a few well- known rhythm players like Joan Jett. I had a man approach me sheepishly and ask if Elizabeth Cotton counted and I said “of course, she was a trailblazer.” He beamed as he walked away without providing any other names. As a lead guitarist I have been inspired by many of my favorite players like Debbie Davies, Joanna Connor, slide guitarists Ellen McIllwaine, & Bonnie Raitt, rocker Carrie Brownstein and jazz great Emily Remler. I’m also encouraged by some of the newer batch of players like Orianthi and Samantha Fish.

So what’s my motivation for asking audiences about women who play the lead guitar? Well it’s a great way to meet people who come to see me play, but more importantly it’s a way for me to encourage folks to notice that there are a lot of women guitar players who deserve to be heard and known. I hope I can inspire and challenge people to think about the blues as more than female vocalists supported by the boys in the band. Here’s to the women who can really play the blues!



This year’s Northwest Folklife Festival is all about beats, rhythms and the traditional roots of the music we enjoy today. I’m thrilled to be a part of the 44th Annual Festival as a blues performer and have been inspired by the artists who paved the way for contemporary blues artists, especially the women. From the guitar stylings of sister Rosetta Thorpe and Memphis Minnie to the slide playing of Bonnie Raitt and Debbie Davies, there are plenty of women who’ve led the way for the next generation of female blues musicians. I’ll be playing a featured set as part of the Lady Sings the Blues Showcase on Friday May 22nd at 4:45pm. C’mon out and enjoy the Festival.

Ladies Play the Blues:

At the Ladies Play the Blues event on Feb. 24th at Seattle’s Feedback Lounge I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Beth Wulff on keys, Melanie Owen (Groovetramps) on bass, Kim Wrede on drums with a special guest appearance from Portland based vocalist, Lucy Hammond.


Georgia Straight review

Jill Newman travels back to a simpler time on Lovestruck Blues

Blame the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. And, while you’re at it, the White Stripes, Black Keys, and every other act that at some point decided the only thing Robert Johnson’s old recordings were missing was a lethal injection of distortion and some serious tub-thumping on the back-end. Somewhere along the line, blues rock fell out of fashion, replaced by blues rawk that sounds more indebted to Led Zeppelin than Leadbelly.

Jill Newman dials back time on Lovestruck Blues, a record that features an unfussy and economical production job that’s retro-sounding without seemingly precious or coldly calculated. The singer has a voice that’s more well-worn country twang than back-alley blues, but that works to her advantage on numbers like the strutting “Too Hard to Handle” and the last-call shuffle “Without You”.

As for the playing, if you’re looking for obnoxious showboating, better to haul that old Stevie Ray Vaughan vinyl out of the crawl space. Newman’s unflashy but solid work always comes down on the right side of tasteful, so close your eyes and cue up the title track and you’re transported to a honky-tonk somewhere deep in Tennessee—the kind of place where there’s sawdust on the floor, cigarette smoke hangs thick in the air, and no one has ever heard of those overamped phonies known as the Soledad Brothers.

Mike Usinger on Twitter at @mikeusinger.

Jill Newman Blues kicks off the summer festival season at the International Art Festival at Peace Arch Park- June 20th.


Jill and her blues trio will perform a set of original blues on Friday June 20th from 2pm-3pm as part of the International Art Festival at Peace Arch Park.

iaf-logo-horizontalThis three-day free celebration features live music, visual arts and great food.

Friday is all about live blues music from noon – 5pm.

For folks in Canada who don’t want to cross into the US, just park your car on the Canadian side and walk into the park without any need to go through the border.

For more info about the festival check out

My new CD, Lovestruck Blues is finally ready!

I’m very pleased to announce that my new CD, Lovestruck Blues is hot off the presses and finally ready! Lovestruck Blues features ten original blues and roots tunes and showcases my lead and slide electric guitar work, vocals and songwriting.  The CD was recorded over the past year in two of my favourite cities, Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, BC .   

Lovestruck Blues features tracks with some great guests including Vancouver musicians, Keith Bennett – harp, Scott Smith-rhythm guitar and Seattle musicians Polly O’Keary- bass, Tommy Cook Jr.- drums, and Seattle Slim- rhythm guitar.  It was a long time coming, but I’m delighted that it’s finally ready.

CD’s or digital downloads can be purchased at CD baby, Amazon or iTunes and samples of tracks can be found under the music tab.

Check out the new CD and let me know what you think or leave a review.