We have had a busy year, teaching country blues at Berklee, traveling to Minneapolis to teach and play for a group of 450 Music Therapists, and playing gigs with our growing band, Mojo Rodéo (pronounced Ro-DAY-oh). We've just posted a video of the band on YouTube (and on our "Video" page) singing 5-part harmony on a Junior Wells and Buddy Guy song, "Little by Little." We've always been privileged to have great musicians in our band and well as great people we can learn from. With the tremendous talents of bassist Brad Bensko, guitarist Sarah Rogo (both former Berklee students of Paul's) and vocalist Christie Flemming, we are exploring a veritable catalog of American roots music styles and their offshoots, from blues and folk to honky-tonk, pop and "oldies."
Roots will be the main course from June 24-26 at Berklee's American Roots Music Weekend, a 3-day intensive workshop for students aged 15 and up. Players of all levels of experience are welcome. The weekend features ensemble work, jams and small group study with a faculty that includes fiddle masters Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky and Matt Glaser, Celtic Harpist Maeve Gilchrist, banjo genius Tony Trischka and jazz wizard Matt Munisteri. We are honored to be part of this amazing gathering and are working hard to come up with a list of PG-13 blues songs.
We have a couple of public concerts confirmed for this summer: August 1 we're returning to the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, MA for an intimate acoustic show; August 8 Annie is playing a gig with the Mystix at Maudslay Park in Newburport; And on Friday, August 28, we'll both be sharing the stage with folk-rock icon John Sebastian at Johnny D's in Somerville.
In between we're playing a few birthday and retirement parties. This still leaves several open dates that would be perfect for playing at a BBQ. Feel free to contact us if you would like to arrange some summer entertainment in your own backyard!
We are looking forward to basking in the warm weather and pursuing some studio projects before the start of the next semester at Berklee. Wishing you all the joys of summer and hoping to see you in any season, in or out of doors.
Best to all,
Annie and Paul

News from the Blue-niverse of Paul and Annie

February 2013

Greetings from the future as we never imagined it in the past...

The deadline to vote in the 2013 Blues Awards is less than 2 weeks away! Voting is open to Blues Foundation members only but it's easy to join and not expensive, and the Foundation supports a number of great causes, including help with musicians' medical expenses and the construction of a Blues Hall of Fame Museum. You can join and vote on their website:

New Classes:
Registration is open for the March/April class series at the Passim School of Music. This session we're offering Country Blues Guitar, Harmonica Ensemble and a new class, Harmonica for Advanced Beginners. More information is available at and on our Education page.

Mississippi trip:
As some of you know, Paul has been teaching Country Blues at Berklee College of Music as part of their new American Roots Music Program. In April We will have the honor of visiting the Mississippi Delta with a contingent of students and faculty from Berklee. The purpose of the trip is to audition young musicians at several schools and award full scholarships for Berklee's 5-week summer program. Paul and I will be tagging along with some of his and co-blues-professor Woody Mann's students to soak up some southern history and culture, meet musicians and educators and do a little playing at the Juke Joint Festival.

New videos:
We recently videotaped an interview promoting the video and played some songs for the Boston Herald's "Guestlisted" blog hosted by Jed Gottlieb.

More news:
Thanks to everyone who made January's ICA show a sold-out success! The theater is a beautiful room overlooking Boston Harbor and Logan Airport and we're told a plane took off just as we were launching into "Got to Fly." The following night we played for a wonderful audience at the Roaring Brook Nature Center - as always Stan and Ann and all the volunteers took great care of us and we can't wait to come back. We're sending out warm thoughts to melt the snow that inundated them last week.

Sad Hours:
One of the warmer lights in the blues scene went out recently with the passing of Pianist, singer and songwriter Ann Rabson. She was best known for her being part of a trio of sassy Mamas named Saffire, but her solo work on piano and guitar showed her to be a to-the-bone talent. She was also a really nice person and a champion of musicians everywhere and we will miss her.
Should you want to honor Ann further, the family suggests that contributions be made to your local Humane Society or animal shelter. Ann loved animals!!! Or, Ann would love it if you made a donation to the Pinetop Perkins Foundation. It is a 501(3c) organization dedicated to keep the memory and the work of Pinetop Perkins alive. Pinetop was a great blues pianist and Ann's recent CD, "Not Alone," was dedicated to him. Ann's family asks that any donation be earmarked for the youth scholarships. Ann wanted young people to carry on this great tradition. The foundation's website with address for donations & paypal is

A Different Kind of Prize

May 2009: We just returned from a 3-week tour that centered around the 30th Annual Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tennessee. It turned out to be a star-studded, action-packed gala: Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Hubert Sumlin, Koko Taylor, Taj Mahal, Maria Muldaur, Curtis Salgado and too many others to mention were on the stage or in the crowd, along with some of the most enthusiastic blues friends and fans who walk or wheel on this earth.

And we're....Live!

Paul Rishell and Annie Raines’ first live album, A Night In Woodstock, releases today as the flagship recording on their Mojo Rodeo label, distributed worldwide by Burnside Distribution. The album features special guests John Sebastian (harmonica), Bruce Katz (keyboards), Reed Butler (bass), Chris Rival (guitar), and Billy MacGillivray (drums) joining the duo for an eclectic, high-energy set of acoustic and electric originals and classic blues songs.

California Beamin'

Have you ever had a really vivid dream that was like a movie? Not a nightmare, but a story with such a happy ending that you still felt good even though you woke up and realized it never happened? That's how I feel right now, only it really did happen.

New Songs Posted on Reverbnation

January 29, 2012: Paul's upcoming solo CD, Talking Guitar will be released on April 17. The album features Paul returning to his country blues roots with 13 wonderful songs played on acoustic and resonator guitars as only Paul Rishell can play them. Here's a sneak preview of "Big Road Blues" featuring Annie on harp, plus some favorite songs from earlier albums on our Reverbnation music player:

2010 Blues Music Award Nominations Announced

Paul Rishell & Annie Raines have been nominated for 2 Blues Music Awards: Acoustic Artist of the Year and DVD of the year for "A Night in Woodstock."

The Blues Foundation will present the Blues Music Awards at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN on May 6, 2010. Online voting begins December 10 for members. Voting, ticket and host hotel information can be found at The Blues Foundation’s website,

Road Diary - Countdown to Blues Cruise

We're driving to Florida where on Saturday, January 23, we will embark on our first Blues Cruise. Other performers on the boat include Taj Mahal, Keb' Mo', Johnny Winter, Guy Davis, Ruthie Foster, Joe Louis Walker, Duke Robillard, Jason Ricci and about 20 more acts and 1800 blues fans. It's a long trip so we thought we'd share some of the highlights of the 1500-mile drive from Boston to Fort Lauderdale as they happen (well, almost):

Sunday: Rain, germophobia and a surprise for Paul

Paul's blog - Baseball

In 1960, when I was 10 years old,  I returned to the U.S. after living in England.  A lot had changed since I had left the country 3 years earlier.  My old team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, were no more.  We lived in New York, and occasionally I'd go to Yankee Stadium and watch the Yankees play.  I never liked the Yankees.  It never seemed that they needed me as a fan; they had plenty of fans. The worst team in the league in 1960 was the Baltimore Orioles.  I chose them as my team because I felt they needed my support. 

Sinus is Golden

Hello and greetings from the syncopated and ever-more multi-instrumental world of Paul Rishell & Annie Raines. We’re happy to be trading our layers of snow, salt and polar fleece for a fresh dusting of pollen. Those itchy eyes tell us it’s time to see the world, and we’re hitting the road again this month, for short jaunts to Bethlehem and Barto, PA, and gearing up for longer trips in early and late summer. But first, we’re making our official “Mojo Rodeo” debut this Saturday, May 7 at the Bull Run in Shirley, MA (click on "Read More" to read more...).

October News

TO HELL AND BACK:, The intrepid blues duo recently returned from playing the Hell Blues Festival in Norway. Says Raines: "I didn't think I'd like Hell, but I met so many great musicians there." Also on the festival bill were Duke Robillard and his excellent band; Janiva Magness; Johnny Nicholas; Henry Gray and Andy Cornett; and Paul Jones and the Blues Band from the UK.After their return from Hell, the duo played a church service in downtown Boston. So the score is sitting at 1-1 so far.

PROFESSOR PAUL: The big news this fall is that Paul will be teaching at