I'm glad to read so many positive thoughts on the new layout. I also see all your concerns. I think it would help to provide a bit of context so you understand why things look the way they do in the new template.
First, keeping as much as the old design as possible was my primary consideration for the new template. I knew that because it is a brand new, responsive template, it wasn't going to be a pixel-perfect recreation. So Frans and I spent a great deal of time to get it as close to old design as possible. Think "modern, old-school."
Frans and I can continue to iterate upon and make improvements from your feedback. However, do realize that while the old website only concerned itself with desktop screens, today's Blues News now works across MANY devices. So we have to factor in that when making updates. Together, we can make the site better.
Thank you to Frans for your tireless efforts in modernizing the codebase (you have no idea how much work he did). A big thanks for Stephen for putting faith in myself and Frans to make this a reality, and a hearty thanks to Ant, JDreyer, and j.c.f. for their contributions. Last but not least, thank you for your feedback now and in the future.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf