The Atlanta Blues Society had their holiday party Sunday afternoon and early evening and as always, it was everything a party should be!
People were eating delicious food provided by Fat Matt’s and drinking beer, wine and mixed drinks served up by Spike from Blind Willie’s or the non-alcoholic beverages provided, listening to great music from our Atlanta Blues Challenge winners who will go to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge in January, dancing, socializing between sets, and just generally being festive.
The event was held at the Helen S. Mills Senior Multi-functional Center, which is exactly the right size for this sort of party. We collected a huge amount of toys for Toys For Tots, contributed a bunch of money to the bands to help pay for their trips to Memphis, and gave a check for $2,000 that was raised at Blues Stotts in November to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, so we all got to feel good about that.
Garrett Collins, who at 17 is our youth representative this year, was joined by some veteran bluesmen in The Garrett Collins Project to perform for us first. They did a fantastic job covering some blues favorites and got people up and dancing right away.
They were followed by Rae and The Royal Peacocks, who I firmly believe may win the band challenge in Memphis. This 5-member band includes virtuoso guitarist Danny Vinson of The Cazanovas, drummer Art McNaughton, Harold Patillo on bass, Valerie Waters pounding the keys, and Rebecca “Rae” Easley swinging the vocals like a modern Ruth Brown. They would have sounded right at home on the stage of the legendary Atlanta blues club that inspired their name.
Dos Blues Guys finished out the musical entertainment with Royal Johnson on guitar and vocals and the legendary Benny Mobley on harmonica.
Sound and lights were provided by Richard L’Hommedieu and John Pagano from Midnight Circus Productions.
It was a fitting finish to a fabulous afternoon of music, food,responsible alcohol consumption, and laughter. We had some fun,did some good, and shared the blues. What could be better than that?
It would be worth joining the society just for this party, but there are a lot more good reasons. Learn more at the Atlanta Blues Society website.