Monday, August 21, 2017

Newsletter, August 2017

Our Mission: To preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form.

I send warm greetings to our River City Blues Society members and friends of the blues. Hot town summer in the city. I have a lot to update you on so I’ll jump right in. Every year The Blues Foundation gives an award for the best self produced CD. As an affiliate of the Blues Foundation, RCBS can nominate one band for best self-produced blues CD for the Blues Music Awards We had some great CD’s that were reviewed by the board. When all votes were tallied Anthony Rosado and the Conqueroos received the board’s vote.  We wish them luck and send thanks to all bands who submitted their CD’s. I have been asked so in case you were wondering The Forrest McDonald Band’s new CD Stand My Ground could not be submitted by the RCBS since as an officer in the society that would be considered a conflict of interest.

As I mentioned last month we are working hard to organize a monthly for now and bi-monthly to follow blues jam. We are targeting aWednesday/Thursday and Sunday jam session with a host band. Here is the update on our progress. Poe’s is interested, but prefers Wednesdays.  Steam Bell is already booked every Sunday through November, but the owners are opening a new place in Carytown called “Canon and Draw.” They are waiting on the license, which should be obtained in October. They might be interested in a blues jam on a Wednesday night there. IDK (I Don’t Know) is interested, but not on a Sunday. Buz and Ned’s are discussing a proposal that Lil Ronnie Owens be the host band for the last Thursday of the month starting September 28. Once we have the green light I encourage all blues players in the area to attend. We want to build this up so that National acts passing through town are tempted to stop in and play a few numbers. Stay tuned for more on this in the next newsletter.

Ellen found about 20 old Blues in the Schools CDs.  Anita gave two away to new members who had to wait a long time to receive their shirts.  It was agreed that she could give out the remainder to any new members joining at the Camel. So there is another incentive to check out our Blues and Brews at the Camel. Check our gig calendar to see who is playing. Let’s give a round of applause to Bob Follek for keeping our web site current with all of the latest venues, blogs, and maintenance. Thanks Bob great job!  We are also doing some analysis on what it would take to automate the renewal notices to make the process easier for everyone.

We are raffling off tickets for ZZ Top at the Altria Theater in Richmond October 21. Anita will sell these at the Camel and Forrest will ask Bob to add the raffle ticket purchase option to the website.

Congratulations to our friends who won Independent Blues Awards: Albert Castiglia won Best Traditional Blues Song for “Let’s Make Love in the Morning.” Mike Zito won Best Blues Rock Song for “Redbird.” And, Samantha Fish won Best Independent Female Blues Artist and also the Road Warrior Award. Well-deserved!

International Song Writing Competition
The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual song contest whose mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena. ISC is designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and promote excellence in the art of songwriting. Amateur and professional songwriters and musicians are invited to participate with over 23 categories of music for you to enter, including Blues.

ISC has the most prestigious panel of judges of all the songwriting and music contests in the world. This year's judges include Booker T. Jones, Walter Trout, John Mayall,
Joe Louis Walker, and Bruce Iglauer.

This competition is a great opportunity for songwriters, musicians, and performers to win cash and prizes, further their music careers, and gain recognition and exposure in the music industry. The winners will benefit from a multilateral promotional campaign designed to give international exposure and attention to their songwriting achievements.

ISC is taking entries until September 20, 2017. A total of 71 winners will share in more than $150,000 in cash and prizes, including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash, and much more in merchandise and services.

The RCBS is running a blues cruise raffle! The prize is a cabin for two on the February 2018 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. We'll hold the drawing at the December 2017 RCBS Holiday Party. The raffle tickets are $20. You can purchase them at RCBS events, or via Paypal.

As we gear up for back to school Blues In The Schools is still very much a priority for our society.  The Blues Foundation provides some direction to its affiliated Blues societies, and organizations like the House of Blues, the Seattle Experience Music Project and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have designed curriculum units and lesson plans that are ready to be plugged into any grade or discipline targeting grades K-12. In 2006, RCBS applied for, and received, a Blues Music Foundation Grant from the Experience Music Project. Our grant application stated: "The RCBS seeks to create a blues package that will include curriculum materials, recordings, documents and transcriptions, lyrics, and visual material to be used in the classroom by teachers in a variety of disciplines. Development, creation and distribution of these materials will be facilitated in collaboration with the curriculum coordinators in the Richmond region schools for humanities, social sciences and music and with selected teachers."  If you are a teacher or have contact with members of the school board that may be interested in having us give a presentation please have them contact us.

We have a goal to increase our membership so please spread the word to your friends and family members encouraging them to attend a Blues and Brews event at the Camel. Check the calendar for updates.

In closing I would like to remind you we are a non-profit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and perpetuation of the Blues as an original American art form. Thanks to all the hard working board members who volunteer their time to make this all possible.

Good blues to you!

Forrest McDonald
President RCBS

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Newsletter, July 2017

I send warm greetings to our River City Blues Society members and friends of the blues. It has been a busy spring for the River City Blues Society. We had our annual Blues at the Vineyard held at the Grayhaven Winery in Gum Spring on May 21. The Forrest McDonald Band hosted a jam session that was well attended and a lot of fun. Participation from the bands was great. The Bush League played a set and Bobby Black Hat Walters came from the Tidewater area. All of the performers were excellent. We had a number of new vendors that helped brighten up the day. The wine was tasty, the sun was shining, and we raised money for the Blues Society. Hoorary! The event was a great success and we look forward to doing it again next year. Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped make the day a success and to all of you who came to support live blues.

On the 11th of June we held our 13th annual River City Blues Challenge. Parker & Gray took first place in the acoustic challenge and the Tom Euler Band edged out In Layman Terms in a close contest with the electric blues bands. We wish Parker & Gray and the Tom Euler Band the best in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN to be held January 16-20 2018 put on by the Blues Foundation. We presented Ellen Foster with a plaque, gift certificate, and cake to show our appreciation for serving as out president for many years. She and Rick have volunteered for many years and we thank them for their unselfish and tireless work.

We are planning a bi-monthly blues jam for the fall and hope to have great participation from our local blues bands and fans. We have tentative plans for a jam the first Sunday of the month at Buz and Ned's and another jam mid-month on Wednesday evenings. We are in discussions with Poe’s Pub, Steam Bell Beer Works, and others. This is still in the planning stage; stay tuned for more announcements.

I would like to encourage the blues bands in the region to send me any big news that may be happening for their band. For instance the Forrest McDonald Band released their 13th CD Stand My Ground, June 1 and it is being played on 120 radio stations reaching 1.5 million fans.

The RCBS is running a blues cruise raffle! The prize is a cabin for two on the February 2018 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. We'll hold the drawing at the December 2017 RCBS Holiday Party. The raffle tickets are $20. You can purchase them at RCBS events, or via Paypal.

Although this school year is coming to a close Blues In The Schools is still very much a priority for our society.  The Blues Foundation provides some direction to its affiliated Blues societies, and organizations like the House of Blues, the Seattle Experience Music Project and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have designed curriculum units and lesson plans that are ready to be plugged into any grade or discipline targeting grades K-12. In 2006, RCBS applied for, and received, a Blues Music Foundation Grant from the Experience Music Project. Our grant application stated: "The RCBS seeks to create a blues package that will include curriculum materials, recordings, documents and transcriptions, lyrics, and visual material to be used in the classroom by teachers in a variety of disciplines. Development, creation and distribution of these materials will be facilitated in collaboration with the curriculum coordinators in the Richmond region schools for humanities, social sciences and music and with selected teachers."  If you are a teacher or have contact with members of the school board that may be interested in having us give a presentation please have them contact us.

We have a goal to increase our membership so please spread the word to your friends and family members encouraging them to attend a Blues and Brews event at the Camel. Check the calendar for updates.

In closing I would like to remind you we are a non-profit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and perpetuation of the Blues as an original American art form.

Good blues to you!

Forrest McDonald
President RCBS