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Alabama Blues Project Update - Fall 2006


Welcome to our Fall 2006 Newsletter! Please click a link on the menu or just keep scrolling . . . .

ABP Blues Summercamp 2006

During the week of July 24 – 28, children from all over Tuscaloosa and Northport enjoyed a very unique summer camp! On Monday, beginning campers participated in an “Introduction to the Blues” with special guest Willie King. On Tuesday, everyone enjoyed a beginning blues music lesson in percussion, harmonica, singing and then jamming to “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Hey Hey the Blues is Alright,” and “Hey Bo Diddley.” On Wednesday, blues camp kids switched gears and headed over to the Kentuck Art Center in historic downtown Northport to experience blues art workshops. World-renowned folk artists Lonnie Holley and Charlie Lucas, along with Kentuck’s very own potter Kerry Kennedy, were on hand to instruct students in found-art sculptures and blues portraits. The beginners’ Summertime Blues Camp ended with an open house celebration of art and blues featuring a blues art exhibition and a final jam with Willie King!


Meanwhile, the Summertime Blues Camp 2006 had afternoon sessions with the advanced blues camp band, “The Project.” On the first day, the advanced band had music workshops with Debbie Bond and Rick Asherson and learned two new songs, “Scratch My Back” by Slim Harpo and “It Don’t Make Sense if you Can’t Make Peace” by Willie Dixon. Day two saw the band enjoy a wonderful songwriting workshop with singer/songwriter Jim Parker. Everyone joined in and collectively wrote a new song the band will soon be performing, called “Never Gon’ Change.” On Wednesday, music agent Rusty LuQuire, owner of the booking agency Southeastern Attractions, met with the band to discuss the music industry and what it takes to make it as a musician. Last but certainly not least, musician/poet/performance artist Sharrif Simmons met with the band to write a rap to go along with “It Don’t Make Sense.” Our students are excited about combining hip hop with the blues, and since Willie Dixon’s song is still relevant today they thought a rap would be the finishing touch to make it their own. The end results were amazing and the band is looking forward to performing their new songs in front of a live audience very soon! They are also looking forward to the fall camp when they are going to polish up their songs for their first recording project!

Here are the lyrics they came up with in the summer camp:

It Don’t Make Sense if You Can’t Make Peace (Rap)

If you start with a smile try love for a while
Filling the sky with doves instead of fire
Not insisting you’re right
Be sure of your beliefs and open thoughts
Make peace cool
In a matter of days you can inspire someone’s life
Even in struggle, even in strife
We all need peace if you mac it right
Peace can make the world go round
And listening can go a long way
And so we are off
Let the journey begin
Peace is good
Peace is great
Peace can make or break your fate
So make a wish if you will
Stop hatin’ on peace
Because love and support will make it increase




"The Project" to play at the Magic City Blues Fest!

Mark your calendars for The Project’s next big performance at the Magic City Blues Fest!

Other acts include: Leonard Watkins & Friends, Roadhouse Blues Band with Sweet n’ Low, Mr. Gip, Elnora Spencer with the Charlie Soul All-Star Revue, Elliott & The Untouchables, The Nighthawks, and Mo’ Blues.

DATE: Sunday, September 3, 2006

TIME: 12:00 Noon to 10:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Linn Park (Downtown Birmingham)

TICKETS: Advance - $10.00
At the Gate - $15.00
Children ages 6-12 $5.00 / Under 6 - Free

Tickets are available at: Ranelli’s Deli, Jim N Nick's 11th Avenue Grill on Southside, or through the Magic City Blues Society Board Member (www.magiccityblues.org/contact.html).




Alabama Blues Project Fundraiser, “An Evening of Art & Blues”

Text Box:  Thanks to everyone that came out to support “An Evening of Art & Blues” on Friday, July 21 st at the L & N Train Station. It was a huge event with well over 450 people present throughout the night and has proven to be our most successful fundraiser to date! We could not have asked for a better venue and a more diverse and exciting crowd. Thank you to everyone that helped behind the scenes ensuring the benefit was a huge success. Many thanks also to the amazing silent auction that was truly something to behold. Because of your support and generous donations, we can continue our efforts to reach youth in our community and strengthen our mission to perform and preserve the blues.



The Alabama Blues Project Hits the Road!

The Alabama Blues project with Willie King and his band will be traveling once again to Davenport, Iowa, and the Quad City area for a “Blues in the Schools” artist residency on November 6 – 11. Back by popular demand, the band will present fifteen performances throughout the week along with three public performances in the community. It will be a busy week and a wonderful opportunity to educate literally thousands of young people about the history of the blues!




The Vera Hall Memorial Fund Progress Report

The outstanding Alabama songstress Vera Hall was born in Livingston, Alabama, where she now lies buried in an unmarked grave. We are very excited that the Vera Hall Memorial Fund has now raised sufficient funds to place a historic marker at the courthouse in Livingston, Alabama, in memory of her passing. The Alabama Blues Project is working with the Livingston Historical Commission to plan a celebration next year to coincide with the Alabama Bureau of Tourism’s “Year of the Arts.” The present plan is to hold a dedication ceremony for the marker in Livingston as part of the Sucarnochee Folk Life Festival 2007.

This marker has been made possible through generous donations from Moby, the Sikes Family, Anna Lomax, and many other organizations and individuals.




Willie King New CD!

Willie King’s newest CD “One Love” is officially now on sale! Willie King’s last CD “Jukin’ At Bettie’s” has been nominated for "Traditional Album of the Year " and Willie himself has been nominated for "Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year" in the Blues Foundation's prestigious 2006 Blues Music Awards. Willie King has also been recognized by the House of Blues as one of their select group of “Artists To Watch.”

Please join Willie and friends at our two local CD release parties:

Saturday, September 16th @ Firewater Bar & Grill 1312 Cobb Lane, Birmingham (call 205 939 1030 for more details)

Friday, October 20th @ Little Willie's in downtown Tuscaloosa (call 205 752 2062 for more details)



A big "thank you" to our sponsors

Our programs are made possible by the generous support of many kind sponsors, including the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Alligator Records, Bonnie Raitt, Children’s Trust Fund of Alabama, Covenant Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa, dbTech, Harrison Galleries, Mercedes Benz, Peavey Electronics, Pollack Foundation, Sylvia Lippman, National Endowment for the Arts, Tuscaloosa Consortium for Higher Education, Tuscaloosa Housing Authority, United Way of West Alabama, Zildjian, and many other wonderful organizations and individuals.