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!