2009 Fall After-School Blues
Camp was a Smashing Success!

Season for Giving

ABP Advanced Band Headed
to Memphis for the International
Blues Challenge in January!

2009 Evening of Art & Blues
was the Best ever in its 4th Year

ABP Executive Director Debbie Bond
Receives International Attention

Alabama Blues Spotlight:
Clarence "Bluesman" Davis

Alabama Blues Spotlight:
Bettie Fikes

ABP Merchandise Makes
Great Christmas Gifts!

Easy Ways How You Can Help


Dear Friends and Supporters,

It is hard to believe that another year has flown by, and we are grateful that it was very eventful for Alabama Blues.

It is sure is hard to summarize a whole year, but one thing that stands out for me is the sad loss of our good friend, and Alabama blues legend, Willie King. The good news is that he touched so many lives, and through them his dream lives on. His message of peace, love and social justice is good to remember at this time of year! Likewise, his non-profit organization, Rural Members Association, with the help of longtime festival organizer Rick Asherson, successfully presented another great Freedom Creek Festival shortly after Willie left us. As ever, the crowd and music was the best, and we all felt Willie’s presence and beautiful spirit. His music lives on through the many musicians he loved and influenced (and who loved him!), as well as, through his friends and fans around the world. We are all looking forward to the next Freedom Creek Festival and wish every success to the Rural Members Association and their community work living on into the future.

We have all been busy with our work here at the ABP, and I am so thankful for our amazing staff, interns and volunteers. With their help our programs have continued to blossom. Our after-school program has grown in numbers, and we now have a Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Band. The Advanced Band is sounding really great, and with original tunes in hand they are packing their bags and heading off for the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge Youth Showcase in Memphis in January. We are planning a CD project for them in the spring and hope to add a horn section to the mix!

We are so thankful to our special guests this year. It has been a pleasure adding SharBaby and Dr. G.B. Burt to our roster of Alabama blues musicians working with our performances and school programs. A special thanks goes out to Music Maker Foundation for connecting us to the wonderful bluesman Dr. Burt. Other guest artists have included Eddie Kirkland, Carroline Shines, B.J. Reed, B.J. Miller, Ralph Lusian, Lil' Jimmy Reed and more! Bobby Rush and his excellent guitar blues virtuoso (and Alabama native) Keith Ruff, as well as, Keith’s beautiful wife and wonderful blues singer DieDra Hurdle, were a great assets again to our blues camp programs. It is a blessing that DieDra’s CD has since taken off, but a loss for us as DieDra and Keith refocused their energies in support of their music, traveling to meet the demands of fans across the country. We thank them so much for their great contribution and the impact they had on our young blues students and our program as a whole. We wish them every success and hope we get to see them again soon!

We are looking forward to 2010 and new opportunities for our organization to grow. The City of Tuscaloosa is working to create a Cultural Arts Center in honor of Dinah Washington in the heart of our downtown. If their plan succeeds, the Alabama Blues Project will have achieved one of its long-term goals, which is having exhibition space for our museum and an archive celebrating the blues culture of our state. This will certainly be a dream come true.

We have come a long way and look forward to the ongoing journey of making more of our dreams a reality. More than ever we will need your support and thank you all so much for helping us to come so far! The last thing Willie said to me was, “keep on pushing” and that’s what we got to do!

With love, peace and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

From Debbie Bond and everyone at the Alabama Blues Project.

Best wishes,
Debbie Bond

for 2010


Register Now!

Spring 2010
After-School Blues Camp

First United Methodist Church

Thursdays, Feb. 4 - Apr. 29
(no camp March 18 for holiday)

May 1st is the 3rd Annual


More details to follow soon!



The former 4017 11th St NE
Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

Thanks to the many efforts of Johnny Shines's daughter, Carroline, the city of Tuscaloosa has honored Shines's legacy. We are all very excited, and we hope that this is the first of many other memorials that will celebrate the life of Johnny Shines in our area. A dedication ceremony is being planned for after the new year, so stay tuned!

"I was so excited - what a great Christmas and birthday present rolled into one," says Carroline. "I can even see it from my house!"

"Mama, I feel like Grandaddy is the Van Gogh of blues," said Carroline's daughter Anastasia.

Johnny Shines was born John Ned Shines on April 26, 1915 just north of Memphis, Tennessee in the suburb of Frayser. He grew up playing the guitar on the streets of Memphis for tips except for the occasional opportunity to play in a local juke joint for some cash. Johnny originally learned how to play guitar from his mother, and honed his skills playing for anybody that would listen or give him their spare change. His early musical influences include greats like Blind Lemon Jefferson and the amazing Howlin’ Wolf. Even his stature resembled a young Howlin’ Wolf.

Shines palyed with Robert Johnson, and they toured juke joints across the southern states and made a name for themselves. They also played on local radio programs in the towns they graced with their presence. The two carried their tour out of the south into cities in the north and even all the way up across the Canadian border. This time in Johnny’s life is where he grew as a musician on the slide guitar with some influence from his companion, and was also probably the most controversial time because of the company he was in.

... Click here for a full bio ...

2009 Fall After-School Blues Camp
Story by Cara Lynn Smith

PhotobucketI am very pleased to report on our 2009 Fall After-School Blues Camp. In our 12th year, it keeps getting better and better! From October through December of this year, approximately 70 students between the ages of eight and 17 gathered once a week for eight sessions in music instruction on their choice of vocals, percussion, harmonica or guitar. We also had two students branch out on different instruments for the first time: 10-year-old Barclavian played bass guitar, and 17-year-old J.J. played keyboard.

PhotobucketThose were not the only firsts for the Alabama Blues Project After-School Blues Camp this Fall. As many of you may know, students who stay with the program and excel over time are often moved into the Advanced Band. With so many repeat students giving each lesson their all, combined with the generosity and space of First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa (FUMCT), we have expanded into several different levels of learning. In fact, we are very proud of our new Intermediate Band that is developing under new staff member and instructor Ben Joseph.

All three bands - beginning, intermediate and advanced levels - came together on December 10th to perform in front of friends, family and the wider community at FUMCT. It was a full house with great holiday spirit and much applause for the young up-and-coming musicians. We also had a very special treat with Alabama blues legend Eddie Kirkland visiting and performing at the big night. Eddie was backed by the ABP advanced band and was clearly moved when he told the audience how much it meant to him too see so many young people playing and loving the blues.

PhotobucketThe Alabama Blues Project would like to thank all of the people who made our 2009 Fall After-School Blues Camp possible. It is truly a group effort! Our incredible staff of instructors include: Rick Asherson (harmonica), Herman Bell (harmonica), Debbie Bond (on-site coordinator), Stuart Bond (guitar), Ethan Gardiner (guitar and technical assistance), John Hawkins (guitar), Jesse Suttle (percussion), DeShawndre Hill (percussion), Ben Joseph (intermediate band), Michael London (bass guitar), Ralph Lusian (advanced band), B.J. Miller (advanced band), SharBaby (guitar), B.J. Reed (vocals), Carroline Shines (vocals), DieDra Hurdle (vocals), and Keith Ruff (advanced band).

We also have an expert group of youth workers who serve as great mentors for our children. They are Pam Colvin, Cordell Crawford, Brenda McKanney, Joe Summerville, Valerie Strode and Wes Youngson. Of course, general volunteers are invaluable. Thank you to Jessie Bahmasy, Rhoda Johnson, Nichole Martin, Andy Mullins and Dolores Royal. The Alabama Blues Project also continues to promote healthy lifestyles with the assistance of Dr. Sarita Elizabeth Cox, MSOM, ND, LAc, who provides snacks for the children every week.

PhotobucketAlso, Kim Davis and Rachel Edwards were a huge part of Blues Camp running smoothly from week to week. Our life skills curriculum was headed by Deandrae Sewell this year, who did a fantastic job. We also could not reach the kids without the support of Lakeda Smith and Laura Payton of the YMCA and Tuscalosa Housing Authority, Bert Young at the Boys & Girls Club, Officer Leatherwood of PALS and MacKenzie Court and Sasha Neu at the Tuscaloosa United Methodist Children's Home. Thank you all!

Last, but certainly not least, Blues Camp was funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alabama State Council on the Arts, as well as, required matching funds from generous individuals and organizations across the world.

If you or someone you know is interesting in our After-School or Summertime Blues Camps, please contact us at (205) 752-6263 or Thank you!

Thank you to Jan King for photos!



Story by Rachel Edwards


Since 1984, blues musicians have gathered in Memphis to compete in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge (IBC). Now, yours truly - the Alabama Blues Project - is headed to Memphis in January to participate in the 26th annual IBC. The Advanced Band will be in the Youth Showcase along with 32 other young talented bands. Between working on original songs and taking on more gigs, the Advanced Band has had its busiest semester of fall camp ever in preparation for their trip to Memphis. Needless to say, the Advanced Band is psyched and ready to show their fellow participants exactly what they can do.

Blues Foundation Biography of the Alabama Blue Project:
Inspired by classic blues and adding a fountain of youth, the ABP Advanced Band performs covers and originals. Rachel Edwards pipes heartrending vocals and is flanked by young and rising background singers. Tyler Carter is an eclectic lead guitarist and vocalist, backed by Austin Davis’ steady strums. Jonathan Blakney sings and brings harmonica genius. Bennett Limbaugh adds a funky bass, while Tasheka Spencer and Duncan King play tight percussion. Having received much praise and bookings, these young talents have also shared the stage with many blues greats including Willie King, Sam Lay, Dr. G.B. Burt and Bobby Rush.

The Advanced Band is very grateful for the chance and opportunity to represent
The Alabama Blues Project. They would also like to give thanks to their supporters and donors which helped to make this trip possible.

"The Alabama Blues Project is great exposure to true blues music, and because of the ABP, I have met bluesmen such as Willie King, who taught me what the Blues is all about. Its not just music, its an output for your feelings. I love playing blues, because playing blues guitar is not just knowing what to play and what sounds good, but good blues playing is all about feeling, putting your emotion into your playing - you really have to have a feel for the music. All of my favorite guitar players have such great feeling in what they play. They make me feel happy or sad, sometimes they give me chills. The Alabama Blues Project is really a great organization because it bring the blues, the roots of all music, to young people, and that way blues in its pure form can be carried on forever." -Tyler Carter, Advanced Band Lead Guitarist



& Vocals


Tyler Carter
Guitar &


Austin Davis




Duncan King


Bass Guitar


Tasheka Spencer


Story by Cara Lynn Smith


PhotobucketThe Alabama Blues Project had a wonderful fourth annual "Evening of Art & Blues" on September 25, 2009. With two stages of live music, silent and live auctions full of original art, music and sports memorabilia, it is a family friendly event that is never to be missed!

This year, the "Evening" again featured Alabama blues favorite Microwave Dave as a headlining act, and we were happy to have Dr. G.B. Burt performing inside as well! On the outside stage, guests were entertained by B.J. Miller, a blues women showcase with Carroline Shines, SharBaby and Debbie Bond, the ABP Advanced Band and Simple Interest. We also auctioned off guitars autographed by B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Bobby Rush, as well as, a football and Forbes magazine autographed by Coach Nick Saban!

PhotobucketWe also moved to a new venue, the Jemison-Van de Graaf Mansion in downtown Tuscaloosa. Big thanks to the staff for being so accomodating and helpful! The atmosphere was beautiful. Another first this year was Willie Mae's Blues Cafe on site. Guests could purchase baked goods, soda, bottle water and our very own Alabama Blues Blend coffee - hot or iced.

The "Evening" could not have happened without lots of help. We would like to thank our sponsors: Kwik Kopy Printing, North-River Interiors, University of Alabama College of Arts & Sciences, Harrison Galleries, Picture This Framing, Jim Walter Resources, First Federal Bank, Alabama Credit Union, McAbee Construction, Nick's Kids Fund, Fitts Agency, Fitts Architects, Stephens Insurance & Financial Services, Maxx Mailing Service, HardSteel, Banks Quarles Plumbing, Heating & Cooling , Wright Family Dentistry, Law Offices of Turner, Webb & Roberts, Canant Veterinary Hospital and Absolute Best.

PhotobucketWe would also like to thank our generous volunteers: Dr. Sarita Elizabeth Cox, Tana Samuels-Fair, Liz Dykes, Rosa Johnson, Elaine Gay, Michael Adams, Mary Walker, Julia Sims, Caroline Carter, Josie Prado, Perri & Andy Mullins, Bobbie Grammer, and many more! Food was generously donated by Mugshots, FIG, Snap Decisions Catering, Roly Poly, Mary's Cakes and Lenny's Sub Shop.






Story by Victoria Corley


Debbie Bond was the
cover story for one of
the largest Blues
magazines in the world
in September 2009


2009 Winner of
Druid Arts Award
Music Educator


Photo by Dick Waterman
Ground Zero Clarksdale
Debbie Bond played
with the late, great
Willie King for 5 Years


Debbie Bond and her
husband Rick Asherson,
Assistant Director of the
Alabama Blues Project,
are pictured here with
"Gypsy of the Blues"
Alabama native
Eddie Kirkland


Debbie Bond and ABP
Advanced Band singer
and staff member
Rachel Edwards are
pictured in the French
magazine Automobiles
Classiques in a section
"Sur la route du blues"

At twelve years old, Debbie Bond received her first guitar; a guitar that was more than just an instrument, but a key that opened the door to a life-long adventure with music.

Bond was born in Los Angles, California, but moved to England when she was 8 years old. From England , Bond had the opportunity to live in places such as Germany , Holland , Scotland , and Sierra Leone , West Africa . Her childhood was filled with music and exposure to many cultures.

Bond grew up with music in her blood. Her father was a Baptist minister, her mother directed the church choir, her grandmother was a professional opera singer, and her great-grandfather had a family band with all of his children as members. Although many members of her family possessed musical talent, they all had concerns about the lifestyle of a professional musician. Bond stated that her mother always loved music, “…but strongly discouraged her dream of becoming a professional musician.” Her mother's concerns never stopped Bond from persuing her passion.

Bond began to establish her performing career in Sierra Leone, West Africa. This was not the only place she was inspired by music, but she was there during an era when it seemed impossible not to be turned on by music - it was 1968, and African music, American blues, soul and rock and roll were saturating the airwaves. Bond recalls Sierra Leone as a culture where the whole family was involved in music; not just the adults, but the kids listened and danced too. At the age of 13, she made her performing debut on a national television music show in Sierra Leone; this would be the first of many great accomplishments in her career.

Bond returned to Brighton, England to attend school at the University of Sussex, and there she was in her first R&B band. After college, she decided to come and visit the states, and found herself amazed by Alabama’s rich musical culture.

Circumstances brought her to Alabama, and Alabama's rich cultural heritage of the blues has kept her here. Bond was initially captivated by the arousing sounds of African American church choirs in Alabama, and the blues musicians that call the state home. She said, “There were not a lot of people jumping up and down about the blues music here,” and she wanted Alabamians to know that the blues culture is very special to our heritage. Bond looked at Alabama as an adventure. She got to knock on doors, and explore the music and culture of Alabama blues that has seemed to be forgotten.

Bond was very passionate about doing her best to find a way to promote and preserve Alabama blues by archiving Alabama blues history, and sharing this music with generations of Alabamians, so she co-founded the Alabama Blues Project. In 2002 she joined forces with British blues musician Rick Asherson and together with their creative musical partnership (they married in 2003), they have worked together to grow the ABP to a whole new level.

Bond attended The University of Alabama as a post-graduate, and in 2003, she received an MA in American Studies with a focus on the blues. Her degree in American Studies helped her gain a sense of history and has helped her to turn the Alabama Blues Project into what it is today. Bond knew that the Alabama Blues Project would be something that would not happen overnight, but she took it one day at a time and created a program that has enriched the lives of both children and adults.

Along with creating a place to archive and teach the blues, she has created a program that uses music to reach children in a way that other methods of inspiration cannot. She has developed a creative style of teaching that gets children interested in learning about blues history, culture and music. One of the most rewarding parts of the Alabama Blues Project for Bond is “to see the joy on a child’s face after they get their very own instrument, or just see them light up when they are first turned on to music…it’s very special.” Her ultimate dream is to create a "Living Blues Museum and Archive," celebrating Alabama blues culture - with exhbition, teaching and performance space.

Not only is she the inspiration for the Alabama Blues Project, but Bond is a musician in her own right and has collaborated with many Alabama blues musicians including Little Jimmy Reed, Sweet Claudette, Johnny Shines, Willie King, Eddie Kirkland and many more. Her adventures include six months in 2001 when the Alabama State Council on the Arts sponsored her to study guitar with Eddie Kirkland. Her musical career has been blessed with grand experiences of playing top blues festivals in the US and Europe - like the King Biscuit Festival, the Cognac Blues Festival in France , and sharing a “magical” connection while playing and touring with the late great Willie King. Bond also appreciates her experiences playing at the other end of the spectrum, at places like Betty’s Juke Joint. She admits that “playing music for a living has not always been easy,” but she feels that she has been “blessed with a very rich and exciting life.”

Debbie Bond’s great musical adventure has created a beautiful relationship between Alabama blues culture and the people who call the state home. Her electric and soulful music is a powerful sound that is as inspirational as she is. And to think, all of the wonderful things Bond has created began with a guitar from her mother and a love of music. When asked if she still had her first guitar, Bond replied, “I still have it somewhere, but I’ve gone electric since then!”

Bond has accomplished so much during her career, and she still has big dreams for the Alabama Blues Project. 2009 has been a great year for Debbie Bond. She received Arts Educator of the Year by the Druid City Arts Awards for her work with the Alabama Blues Project. She was the cover story for the December issue of IL Blues the Italian blues magazine and featured in a French travel story on the blues in the U.S. Also, she would like to focus more on her own music; she currently has one solo CD entitled What Goes Around Comes Around, and she is featured on Germany ’s Taxim Records Blues From the Heart of Dixie, but she is more determined than ever to get a new CD out in 2010.


Story by Victoria Corley

From playing at fish fries at his home in the country to founding the Black Roots Blues Festival, Clarence “Bluesman” Davis has been sharing his music with the people of Alabama for more than 50 years.

PhotobucketBorn on February, 17, 1945 in the backwoods of Eutaw , Alabama, Clarence Otis Davis grew up on a plantation where he passed the days working in the fields and perfecting his skills as a musician. Davis received his first guitar from an uncle in Tuscaloosa when he was still a young boy. His uncle allowed him to use the guitar after his son had lost interest in playing. Soon after getting the guitar, Davis learned to play by ear. Every day, while watching his mother and father work in the fields, he would listen to a blues station out of Carrollton, Alabama and let the music fill his head and his heart.

Clarence always wanted to play music, no matter where he was. In the evenings after field work, Davis would sit on the porch and let the rhythms flow. His father would run him off, claiming the music was too noisy and disturbing after a long day in the cotton fields, so Davis found refuge under an old sweet gum tree. For hours he would sit under the tree with only his guitar and his music and play whatever his heart desired.

PhotobucketWhen Davis got older, he met Willie P. Richardson, who taught him how to tune his guitar to “When the Saints Come Marching In.” That became one of the first songs he learned to play. Also around this time, Davis developed his favorite style of playing, the Jimmy Reed style. The first songs he learned by Jimmy Reed were "Honky Tonk" and "Oh Baby You Don't Have To Go." At the age of 15, Davis used his favorite Jimmy Reed songs and a few more to perform the blues at fish fry parties by himself. Eventually he began his first band, Little Witt and the Upsetters.

Davis left the small town of Eutaw for a while, but he never forgot his roots. Around the age of 20, he moved to Tuscaloosa and played with Danny Green & the Red Lighters; he also played with the Soul Merchant Band. After performing in Tuscaloosa for a while, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio in the 60’s. While in Cleveland , he practiced with the Ohio Players before they became well-known for their song called "Fire." After three years in the city, Davis moved back to his home in Alabama and married Rosie Davis.

After returning to Eutaw, Davis continued to bless the people of the South with his down home, Southern juke joint blues. Over the years, he has sat in with top bands all over the state, and has been on the same bill as T-Model Ford, Cedric Burnside & Lightening Malcolm, Willie King, Wilson Meadows, and many more. Most importantly, he has brought pride to the little city of Eutaw by co-founding the Black Belt Roots Blues Festival. The Festival has been delivering music to the people of West Alabama for more than 30 years.

Even today, it’s easy to find Davis playing the blues at fish fry parties, barbeques, and juke joints like he did growing up . Davis ’s first recording effort was Born in the Country, and he is currently working on his second CD, Before You Accuse Me .

- Newspaper scan from Tuscaloosa News February 22, 1998
(Cover of FOCUS Section)


Story by Rachel Edwards

PhotobucketSingers like Betty Fikes are not only important to Alabama History for their musical talents and achievements, but also for their efforts in the Civil Rights Movement. Like Birmingham native Odetta, Betty Fikes is equally at home singing blues, gospel or civil rights songs. She has shared the stage with Joe Turner, Lightening Hopkins, Albert King, James Brown, Bob Dylan, and Mavis Staples.


Betty Fikes is from Selma, Alabama, and she was a teenager during the Civil Rights Movement. Her mother sang gospel, which opened up doors for her at a young age and allowed Fikes to travel. She became more aware of segregation in Selma when she moved to Detroit where white and black children were able to take classes together. Her mother passed away in Detroit. Fikes came back to Selma for her mother’s funeral, but afterwards she went to California where she went to school. A feud between her mother and father’s families brought her back to Selma. She was not immediately submersed in the movement upon her return, but eventually she began looking for an outlet from home and from going to church so much. She and some of her friends were told about SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). Her involvement in this group is what pulled her into the movement.

PhotobucketFikes was not aware of the severity that the movement would escalade to with her initial involvement; being a part of the SNCC was a good outlet, she passed out leaflets, and there were mass meetings she could sing at. During the years of 63’ and 64’ she traveled with Tom Brown, who would take her everywhere with him just to hear her sing and recruit more SNCC members. As the struggle for civil rights became more prominent in daily life in Selma, she became aware of the darker side of the Civil Rights Movement. Fikes witnessed her brother Worth Long get beaten for stepping in the way to protect a SNCC group that she was apart of. She was also present during Bloody Sunday and witnessed the white posses chasing down and beating those who decided to march that day. Fikes had no idea that at that present moment they were writing history. Fikes said, “But we didn't have a clue we were making history, we were just trying to correct wrongs, trying to make some wrongs right.”-

Photo of Fikes from LAWCHA Labor and Working-Class History Association



Don't forget the ABP Online Store for great gifts!




"I have never been more impressed by a group focused on youth than I have been with the Alabama Blues Project. Your child is welcomed with open arms from day one." - Carrie, mother of Darrell (age 11) and Hayden (age 9)


"I have learned that a good attitude affects everyone, you have to have eye contact, and you have to give respect to get respect. This is the best camp ever!" - Brittany (age 11)


"I have learned to love everyone." - Kaylynn (age 11)


"There is no easy definition of culture, but ... it is obvious at Kentuck Festival of the Arts and with the Alabama Blues Project." - The Tuscaloosa News


"As a single mom, it helps to have positive reinforcement. Like the proverb states: It takes a village to raise a child. Thanks a bunch!" - Jackie, mother of Jayla (age 10)

Dear Supporters,

In this season of giving please remember the Alabama Blues Project - we need your support. Please think of us for gift ideas this christmas and for end of year charitable contributions. The Alabama Blues Project would like to thank you for your continued support that has helped us develop 2009 into an amazing year for our award-winning blues education and preservation projects.

With your past and present contributions, we continue to grow and touch thousands each year in our After-School and Summertime Blues Camps, as well as, School Residencies, exhibitions, educational workshops and performances.

We are spreading the word about Alabama blues while bringing it to a new generation! We make a special effort to reach out to at-risk children who greatly benefit from the ability to express creativity through music. Also, our school residencies are often in rural and underserved areas in which funding for arts and music has been cut.

In these hard economic times, we need your financial assistance more than ever. Please consider supporting our programs for 2010. Here are some examples of where your funding can help the ABP:

$25 – 10 harmonicas for beginners
$50 – Healthy snacks for a blues camp session
$100 – Practice guitars for students to take home
$500 – A drum kit for the new Intermediate band
$1000 – Funds 70 children in a camp session

As a non-profit organization, we depend on individuals like you. This is truly the season for giving. Your tax-deductible gift makes a huge difference to us, our community and to the children we serve. Thank you!

You may mail your donation to:

Alabama Blues Project
712 25th Avenue
Northport, AL 35476

OR you may donate online through PayPal
by following this link - Thank you!


"One of Tuscaloosa's jewels!" - Andy, father of Peter (age 16) and Thomas (age 11)




Story by Cara Lynn Smith

Do you surf the net? Do you use Facebook?
Do you shop online? You can help the ABP!

PhotobucketFirst of all, the quickest and easiest way to help the ABP is by clicking here and donating $10 right now. It will take less than five minutes and is the price of a night out at the movies. I encourage everyone reading this newletter to take a little of your time to do this and pass along the link to your friends. This quick and easy donation to the ABP could raise matching funds required for our 2009-10 Blues Camp grants within a week. How incredible would that be? You can even do it as many times as you like!

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!Yahoo has teamed up with to donate a penny to your cause every time you search the web. This is totally free as the money comes from advertisers. Whenever you do an online search (and don't we all?), use, designate us as your non-profit of choice, and raise funds for the Alabama Blues Project! You can even put a search bar on your browser for convenience, and make it your homepage. To give you a sense of how the money can add up, the ASPCA has already earned more than $23,000! There are approximately 6,000 people on the ABP email list. If everyone did two searches a day, that would generate $3600 for the Alabama Blues Project in just one month!

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!Also, more than 900 of the top Internet retail and travel sites including Amazon, eBay, Target, Apple, Expedia and more have joined forces with to donate part of every purchase to your favorite charity or school at no additional cost to you (more than 72,000 nonprofits are now on-board - including the Alabama Blues Project)! Anytime you go to shop online, go through GoodShop, enter the Alabama Blues Project as your non-profit of choice, and a donation will be made to us. If you're going to buy online anyway, why not help the ABP while you do it?

The Internet continues to grow, and more and more online organizations are helping non-profits raise funds. The Alabama Blues Project has joined Firstgiving and GuideStar as well as started a Facebook page and a "Support the Alabama Blues Project" Facebook cause (powered by Firstgiving). This is new for the ABP, and in just a couple of months we have raised over $700 - but the sky is the limit! By joining up with us and spreading the word over the Internet to all of your friends, you can help the Alabama Blues Project tremendously! Donations are tax-deductible!

Over 1.8 milion people have helped raise over $99 million for 26,339 non-profits using Firstgiving. Click here to see my personal Firstgiving page and make your own! There are plenty of places to spread the word: Click here for 99 websites to share your fundrasing page. This is a fun and easy way to help the ABP!

PhotobucketHow many of you throw away your ink cartridges because you don't know where to recycle them? The Alabama Blues Project has a way to save the environment and save money on our operating costs. Simply place your empty inkjet and deskjet cartridges in an envelope and send it to our office at 712 25th Avenue, Northport, AL 35476. We will take care of recycling it and earn $3 per cartridge toward our office supply expenses. The ABP and Mother Earth thanks you!

PhotobucketWe have some wonderful Alabama Blues merchandise at our Online Store! The classic black Tee has always been in demand, and now we have a new Navy design! Also, get your musical fix with our Blues from the Heart of Dixie compilation CD and download an MP3 of Debbie Bond & The Creme Brulees hit "Mary's Cakes." The newest item is our tasty Alabama Blues Blend coffee! A product of Higher Ground, this delicious treat is 100% organic and Fair Trade. In addition to ABP goods, you can buy and sell EBay items and donate to the Alabama Blues Project through Mission Fish. Don't forget the ABP for gift-giving!

PhotobucketWant a fun and easy way for your workplace to support the Alabama Blues Project? That $5 you found in your pocket can buy you the chance to shed your business suit and wear blues jeans to the office while supporting a great cause! How does it work? Be a coordinator at your office and collect $5 from each participating employee in exchange for the opportunity to wear blues jeans to work on a specified day. This is a fashion statement with a cause! Inviting staff to wear their favorite pair of blue jeans to work for a "casual Friday" is a fun and comfortable way to generate good feelings for both staff and customers. We can provide promotional flyers to you that will provide customers information regarding your company’s generosity and commitment to the Alabama Blues Project.  Please contact Cara Smith at (205) 752-6263 or if you would like to host a "Blue Jeans for the Blues!"




Our programs are made possible by the generous support of our sponsors, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Alabama State Council on the Arts, The Crooks Foundation, Bonnie Raitt, Mercedes Benz, Harrison Galleries LLC and The Jim I. Harrision Family Foundation, Jim Walter Resources, Kwik Kopy Printing, Nick's Kids Fund, The Reese Phifer Jr. Memorial Foundation, The D'Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts, Barkley GMC, Hohner, McAbee Construction, Banks Quarles Plumbing & Heating, Jim Myers Drug, Covenant Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa , First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa, Hohner, Fender, Manna Grocery, db Tech, Fender Music Foundation, Yvonne & Leslie Pollack Foundation, Tuscaloosa Consortium for Higher Education, United Way of West Alabama, Zildjian, and many other kind organizations and individuals.

Alabama Blues Project
712 25th Avenue
Northport, AL 35476
(205) 752-6263

To unsubscribe, reply with "Remove" in the subject line.