Annual Membership Meeting & Jam
Wow, it was a lovely Sunday afternoon in Atlanta and we packed Blind Willie's out to standing room only for our Annual meeting. The sun was so bright outside that at first we couldn't see when we got inside the venue, but soon everyone was grooving to the sounds of the Real Deal Blues Band led by Patrick Powers, long time Atlanta Blues Society member, now musician sponsor.  They are the Real Deal for sure.
Board member John Gibson officiated our election of the new Board of Directors per our By-Laws and introduced our 2 new Board members, Sara George and Dave Black. John and Nancie Gibson are taking a break from being on the board and were our nominating committee.  We thank them for their service and truly inspired passion for the organization.  So we have the same amount of board members, 9, but have room for 2 more. If you are interested and have been a member for a year, please let us know. 
Our Co-President, George Klein, led us through the State of the ABS noting that we have over 400 members, over 5,000 likes on our Facebook page and an average of 33 visits to our website per day and all our successful yearly events.  Board member and outgoing Treasurer, Nancie Gibson gave us a Treasurer's report and very thoughtful words about being on the board and the importance of dedicated members.  Board member and Member Chairperson, Deb Pruett, was kept busy all day by people renewing and joining the ABS.  Vice President, Carlin "C-Note" Smith and his lovely wife, Val, manned the merchandise table and enjoyed the music and socialization.  We had a record number of people in the jam and board member Wes Gifford ran the very busy jam and made sure everyone got a chance to play. Our usual Jam Master, and Board Member, Dustin Peterson, could not be there but would have been proud of Wes. Board member Rich L'Hommedieu was filming the entire meeting with his new 3D camera, see the Facebook page to see some of these.  We also had a film crew with the AIB network filming the event for possible future broadcast -- we'll let you know if and when that is to be aired. All in all a very exciting start of our 2017 membership year.

Save the Date:
• Sunday, March 19, 2017, Monthly Gathering & Jam, venue & host band to be determined
• Saturday, September 30, Georgia Blues 'n Roots Fest at the Mable House Amphitheater, line up
_ to be determined  



The Chicken Raid is an annual two-day music festival and benefit honoring the late Atlanta country blues legend Mr. Frank Edwards (1909-2002). The Chicken Raid offers a range of regional and national talents, with artists’ ages spanning the teens to the 90s. Proceeds from this year's festival will benefit the Edwards' estate.

2017 performers include blues mentors Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, Roy Lee Johnson, Eddie Tigner, Macon’s own Robert Lee Coleman, Albert White, and Perry GA’s Essie Mae Brooks. Additional highlights include West Virginia’s The Company Stores, South Carolina’s Freddie Vanderford, and longtime favorites The Rockaholics, Lola, Chickens and Pigs, and Mudcat. 

The event will be held on Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 at Northside Tavern in Atlanta, GA, located at 1058 Howell Mill Rd. Tickets are available at the door and are $15 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday, with 12 hours of music each day. Music begins at 2pm Saturday and Noon Sunday, with Sunday again kicking off with an acoustic gospel invitational. Children are welcome in the afternoons and BBQ plates from Fat Matt’s Rib Shack will be available for purchase.

A community website has been designed for this event, featuring footage of Mr. Edwards performing his classic tune 'Chicken Raid.' Please visit facebook.com/thechickenraid for additional photos of the last 15 years of Chicken Raid performances.

There are no operating costs -- equipment is loaned and there's a small indispensable regiment of volunteers who keep things running smoothly. Except for the occasional gas stipend for out of town performers who donate their talents, ALL DOOR MONEY goes to the oldest living generation of performers, OUR MENTORS. Over the past few years we've been blessed to find so many of these legacy artists in our region who've become regular names on the bill. For some of these artists, this is a rare, but annual, occasion to perform for fair compensation.

Born in Washington County, GA, Frank Edwards left home at 14 to play guitar and harmonica alongside Tampa Red and Tommy McClennan. He recorded eight sides for OKeh in 1941 with Washboard Sam and upon being discharged from the Army in 1949 he recorded several sides for Regal. Frank spent the next few decades playing on street corners, juke joints and restaurants before hitting the festival circuit during the folk revival of the 1960's. In 1972, Edwards recorded the album "Done Some Travelin'" produced by Pete Lowry for the Trix label. When not onstage, the iconic "Mr. Frank" was a familiar face at the clubs, supporting other blues musicians in Atlanta. In 2002, Edwards recorded a CD of new songs and set favorites, “Chicken Raid,” for the Music Maker label.


Congratulations to William Bell on winning the Grammy award for Americana Album of the Year, This is Where I Live on the Stax label.  We are very proud as William was our 2015 Honorary Lifetime Member recipient, go to the following page to read his BIO, which now needs to updated.!
Also congratulations go out to Bobby Rush for winning the Best Traditional Blues Album (Porcupine Meat on Rounder label) and to Fantastic Negrito for Best Contemporary Blues Album (The Last Days of Oakland on Believe Global/Blackball Universe).


2017 International Blues Challenge
There aren't enough superlatives to tell Rae and The Royal Peacocks, Dos Blues Guys and Garrett Collins how very proud we are of their performances and demeanor in the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis last week. Rebekah, Danny, Valerie, Art and Harold totally blew everyone away with both of their sets in the Quarter finals and were equally superb in the Semi's. Andy was excellent and when Bennie lit into his Chicken Hot Dog song one of the judges went hysterical. Garrett wowed the onlookers with his guitar playing and original music. The 50 or so ABS members in attendance cheered them on and were quite vocal about where they were from, as one of the venue coordinators announced "Atlanta is in the house". What a great group of ambassadors. Congratulations!! - George Klein
2017 IBC Finalists
Best Self-Produced CD - High Temperature, JW Jones, Ottawa Blues Society.  Georgia connection, Chuck Leavell wrote the liner notes
Best Acoustic Guitar - Al Hill, Nashville Blues Society
2nd Place Solo/duo - Brody Buster's One Man Band, Kansas City Blues Society
1st Place Solo/Duo - Al Hill, Nashville Blues Society
Harp Award - Brody Buster, Kansas City Blues Society
Gibson Albert King Guitar Award - Ben Racine w/ the Dawn Tyler Watson Band
3rd Place Band - Rae Gordon & the Backstreet Drivers, Cascade Blues Association
2nd Place Band - The Soulz Band ft Sugar & Spice, Suncoast Blues Society
1st Place Band - Dawn Tyler Watson, Montreal Blues Society

Darwin's is moving on up!
In 2017 we are leaving Marietta - the only home we've ever known - to spread our wings in Sandy Springs (the former Steve's Live Music location). Although we will miss our little house on Roswell Road where we have lived for over 20 years, we are very excited to expand to a larger location with new opportunities! We need some help to achieve this goal though. We are in need of donations to help us purchase furniture and kitchen & bar equipment for the new space. Any amount that you can donate is greatly appreciated and gets us a step closer to reopening. Thank you!

Next Generation Jam to be held every Sunday
Please everybody, support the future of the Blues & Rock by supporting the Next Generation Jam, every Sunday at the Vista Room in Napoleon's at 2836 La Vista Rd, Decatur, GA 30033, 4pm-6pm.  This is in conjunction with the folks at The Atlanta Rockin' Blues Camp and is hosted by Avery Seeben, a former camper.  We need to get people to come out and support so this can continue, so please put this on your calendar for Sunday afternoons.  This is a jam for youth, the venue is non-smoking and Napoleon's has some of the best food in town.  Bring your family and friends and come hungry and thirsty to witness the future of the blues and Rock in Atlanta.

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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