R.I.P. Ellyn Webb, 1954 - 2017

Ellyn Webb, proprietress of Northside Tavern, passed away Thursday morning.  Today’s service was full of music and stories of friendship, in a room filled with her birth family, her musician family, and all the friends she gathered around her. Ellyn contributed in so many ways to our blues community here in Atlanta, not only at Northside, but also as a founding member of the Atlanta Blues Society and serving on our board for the first five years of our organization.  We appreciate all she did and she will be remembered for many years to come.  She left big shoes to fill.

May Gathering & Jam
Our next Gathering & Jam will be on Sunday, May 21, from 3pm-6pm  at the MoonShadow Tavern in Tucker, GA.  Our host band will be the Tom Hill Band and they are all set to get your feet tapping with their blues-based Rock n Roll.  They specialize in doing the best jams in town so you know they will host a great jam that will get going after their set. The MoonShadow will be ready to serve us with their great tasting bar food specialties and all the beer, wine & drinks you can handle. So come on and take a break from that lawn work and come hear some great music in Tucker.  MoonShadow will be smoke-free for this event so all ages welcome. • https://www.facebook.com/events/1898913410378503

Save the Date:
• Saturday, June 17 - Norcross Bluesberry Festival
• Sunday, June 25 - ABS Gathering & Jam, venue & host band to be decided
• Sunday, July 16 - ABS Gathering & Jam, venue & host band to be decided
• Sunday, Aug. 20 - Atlanta Blues Challenge, Hard Rock Cafe
• Fri, Sat, Sun, Sept 22-24 - GABBAFest in Macon, GA
• Saturday, September 30 - Georgia Blues 'n Roots Fest at Mable House Amphitheater
• Saturday, November 11 - Blues Stotts at Blind Willie's

Review of last Saturday's Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival
  by David W. Daniels, new ABS member and music lover:
Awesome, awesome festival! The first band we heard--Sugar Ray and the Bluetones--played it "old school" with a stand up bass and some piano riffing for most of their set. Sugar Ray's voice is as sweet as his name! They played an energetic, well received set of songs that were particularly meaningful considering that Sugar Ray had just received news of his mother's passing (and had wrestled with whether to share with the audience or not). Next up was the "blow you away" stylings of the Marcus King Band--the leader (Marcus King) who IMHO is going to be the next Derek Trucks in terms of eclecticism and flat out shredding. The Dude is an incredible guitarist, dynamic vocalist on the higher end of things, and leads one hell of a tight band that is obviously influenced by early Chicago, Buddy Guy, and Allman Brothers Band. At age 20, it is remarkable how energetic and dynamic he and his band present themselves. After that, the pace was slowed down to acoustic blues with Alvin Youngblood Hart who did justice to the legacy of Blind Willie McTell. Any blues festival worth its salt will have at least one act that strips the blues to its heartfelt, emotional core; in Mr. Hart, this was represented perfectly. Then it was boogie time once again with the modern electric/R&B/funk sounds of Mingo Fishtrap. Coming from the Tower of Power school of socially relevant boogie, these guys "brought it" nonstop and had at least half the crowd on their feet and shakin' their stuff. The last act is probably one of the most unusual bands I've ever heard--the Wood Brothers, who mixed acoustic sounds with an occasional "dirty" electric piano and who created a unique swirl of sound that was equal parts folk, rock, blues, country, and jazz. Oliver Wood is probably one of the most underrated Southern Rock guitarists around, and his high pitched voice is completely unique. Chris Wood (who used to gig with the modern jazz group Medeski, Martin, and Wood) is as skillful with both standup and electric bass as anyone I've heard, and does it with a self deprecating, almost devilishly fun, style (he stopped playing several times to dance to their music). He also did some occasional harmonica. Their percussionist/keyboardist, a Clark Howard lookalike, was definitely no nerd when it came to his jamming percussion on a modified guitar, then later behind a drumkit AND keyboards.

All in all, this was a stellar festival! It was nice to be somewhere outside of the Atlanta crowds and general mayhem, where the audience seemed truly appreciative and respectful of each band. Also....lots and LOTS of dancing, which to me is mandatory when the music is good. This was my first Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival, but I definitely do not plan for it to be my last!!

April Meeting & Jam
Well, if you let the weather keep you away from The Arena Tavern last Sunday for the ABS Gathering, you missed another amazing turn out and show. Although it may have been raining outside, Thunder Gypsy blew the crowd away and was surely reigning inside. Even though the patio was packed to the gills with music lovers, Taryn Phillips and her staff did an excellent job of keeping everyone fed and in good spirits. Michael Miller came in from another event and served up free drinks to the enthusiastic crowd. After the jam, Thunder Gypsy tuned up and finished the show with several more songs. Thank you for the continued support of Your Blues Society.

ThunderGypsy's sound can best be described as soulful rocking Blues, covering an eclectic mix of music that spans the decades. The spirit of the Gypsies is evident in their music as they take you on a musical road trip from Atlanta’s Southern Soul to the rockin’ Blues of Macon, Ga., from the classic sound of the Memphis Blues along the streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter and even up to Chicago and St. Louis for their rocking electric Blues. We will have a jam after Thunder Gypsy's set so please bring your instruments and/or voices and show us what you got.

We're open for next term's registration, and for you!!  Classes begin 5/2 and 3... just a few weeks away! Check out the many great class/scheduling options to flow nicely with your life! Signup is super easy online - or contact us through the website if you'd like additional information or to hear a friendly voice in real life. • frankhamiltonschool.org

Atlanta Rock 'n Blues Camp is still taking registrations for their upcoming Summer Camps
Learn how to play in a band and how to create great stage presence.  Sign up for a session now: http://www.rockandbluescamp.com/register.html

Canton Music Shoppe is now taking registrations for their Summer Rock Camps for musicians aged 8-18. Week 1: June 19 - 23, Week 2: June 26 - 30, Performance July 1 at Canton Theatre. Slot are filling up fast so don't delay, more details found here:

Learn to Zydeco Dance!
The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association is offering beginner Zydeco dancing classes at Darwin's on three consecutive Thursdays starting April 20, April 27, and May 4 from 6:30-8pm. Classes will be instructed by the exuberant Don Baggett, who will provide you with the Zydeco cultural experience while building your confidence on the dance floor. The cost is only $30 for all 3 classes or $10 per class and you will receive a discount to the next ACZA dance on June 10.  Please pre-register for the classes by contacting Don at essex34d@aol.com.  This is open to the public so invite all you friends and family and come have a fun time.  • aczadance.org


  Lonnie Brooks, 1933 - 2017

With the deepest sadness, we the Baker Brooks family announce the passing of our father, Legendary Blues musician Lonnie Brooks at the age of 83 in Chicago, IL on 4/1/17. Please respect the family's privacy during this time of grief. 



  James Cotton, 1935 - 2017

The Atlanta Blues Society mourns the passing of James Cotton, inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame in 2006. We join the rest of the blues world in sending condolences to his family. May his spirit live on through his wonderful music.



  Chuck Berry, 1926 - 2017

The Atlanta Blues Society mourns the passing of Chuck Berry, inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame in 1985 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award that same year. He was one of the first to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.  We join the rest of the blues world in sending condolences to his family. May his spirit live on through his wonderful music.


Please welcome our new reciprocal sponsor:
the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association.

The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association (ACZA, Inc) is a volunteer-run 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit corporation in Georgia.  We are dedicated to promoting and educating the public about the dance, music, and culture of the Cajun and Creole people of Louisiana.  We sponsor local Cajun and Zydeco dances monthly and promote regional events where Cajun, Zydeco and other danceable music is happening. We offer free dance lessons and have food catered in for our dances.   We normally hold our local dances at the Dorothy Benson Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Dr., Sandy Springs GA 30328.  Come and dance the night away with us.

Shop the Atlanta Blues Society Apparel ONLINE SHOP, powered by Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More. Lots of new items and colors available.  Order now while Big Frog Celebrates Madness for March! http://absapparel.deco-apparel.com/

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Check out the new CD reviews from Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
in our Review section.


The Atlanta Blues Society has a new address, please send all mail to:

The Atlanta Blues Society
P.O. Box 146
Tucker, GA 30085-0146
Our only email address is

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