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Sunday, July 5 Entertainment

Blues Beat: Live blues is slowly coming back

The big news is some live blues are back. Richard Badowski Blues Band has a gig at the Brass Horse Café on Sunday. The band will be there from 3-7 p.m. to entertain you while you eat. This will be outside, and all rules apply with social distancing. There will be a marked area in the parking lot. You are welcome to bring chairs and a small table. Tables need to be 8 feet apart. The band will be on the patio. If done right, they will keep having bands.

As the blues community is maintaining a cautious approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. As decision time draws near many of the festivals and events are being canceled or going virtual. While not an ideal situation, one does have the opportunity to keep the blues in your life and support the musicians whose gigs have been put on hold.

On the local level, the latest to cancel was the 2020 Stafford Springs Blues Festival. One of the state’s growing festivals, like many others it will be taking a year off.

In light of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer’s Green River 34th Annual Festival has been postponed until July 2021. Before you choose to refund your ticket purchase, consider the following: Do nothing and keep your 2020 Green River Festival ticket and it will automatically be upgraded to a Festival Faithful ticket for 2021. The Festival Faithful ticket includes a number of perks. Or you can obtain a full refund for your 2020 Green River Festival ticket.

The June 7 edition of Harmonica Collective Online will feature Jason Ricci and Winslow Yerxa with very special guest instructor Charlie Musselwhite.

The 2020 Collective was scheduled for the spring in Florida, but was cancelled due the Coronavirus epidemic. Ricci and Yerxa have decided to take the Collective online as a 2-hour monthly workshop, with a special guest expert instructor each month. This live, online version of the legendary Harmonica Collective is available to subscribers for permanent, repeated review.

The Jason Ricci/Winslow Yerxa Harmonica Collective has been an institution since its inception several years ago. In 2018, after a brief hiatus, the revival of the Collective was held in New Orleans. The Harmonica Collective Online is at: https://www.harmonicacollectiveonline.com/

Some future events are coming up. The GCBA Houston Blues Festival and Lone Star Blues Festival have joined forces to become the GCBA Lone Star Blues and Heritage Festival. The 2020 festival will be a three-day event, to be held Sept. 18-20 at the VFW Post 2427 Fairgrounds in Tomball, Texas.

The 2020 festival headliner is Lone Star legend Jimmie Vaughan. Other confirmed acts include Benny Turner, Buddy Whittington and Eric Johanson.

The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise is now booking its #35 Southern Caribbean trip for October 25 to November 1, 2020. Starting from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, it fills fast. Visit Reservations or call 816-753-7979.

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Once again, I want to draw attention to Who's Playing Where. This is a once-a-day e-mail listing music activities, mostly in around Fairfield County and into Westchester County, NY. Jamie at Juniper Pond Media puts a big effort into keeping people informed. Not all blues, it is keeping the music alive.

Some of the weekly show to mention include: Tuesday at Noon, the FTC Stay at Home Series; Wednesday at 8 p.m., the John Lamb Show Live with call in requests and chat; Thursday at 7:30 p.m, a Jam hosted by Ed Train; and Thursday at 8 p.m., FTC Swamp Family TV with Tedeschi Trucks Band. Most shows are available on Facebook.

From the Blues Foundation: Unlike the Blues Music Awards, we have decided to postpone the Blues Hall of Fame Inductions until BMA week in 2021. We felt it was too important to our inductees to receive this highest blues honor and once in a lifetime tribute with their family and friends surrounding them, so we are forgoing any sort of virtual event and looking forward to celebrating with them next year.

We'll still be curating special cases to honor them as soon as it is safe to return to the Blues Hall of Fame so future visitors can learn of their blues legacies leading up to the big festivities to come.

Of course, in the midst of celebration and joy, we must remain cognizant that this pandemic has seriously impacted our blues family with many finding their main source of income, live music, put on hold indefinitely. The Blues Foundation continues to make a difference by providing resources for basic living needs such as housing and utilities to professional full-time blues musicians through our newly established COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund. The need remains great and resources are limited, so if you are able, we would so appreciate your generosity in making a donation so we can continue this important work. Any amount can help, and all donations will go towards helping musicians, with none going to any administrative or other costs associated with managing this fund. Visit blues.org, click on the donate button, and choose the COVID-19 Fund.

NPR has compiled where music industry businesses and workers can apply for emergency financial assistance on the local and federal level. Resources for Music Businesses and Industry Workers in Need Admist the Pandemic. Go to https://www.npr.org/2020/03/20/818539329/resources, then click on Resources For Music Businesses And Industry.

http://bluesbeatnews.wordpress.com/. Any questions or comments should be sent to Domenic Forcella at TWBlus@aol.com.

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