The Atlanta Blues Society's November Gathering & Jam will be held at Darwin's in Sandy Springs from 3pm-6pm on Sunday, November 18, 2018. Our host band will be Lola's Band. Lola is a dynamic blues artist who has been igniting stages across the world with her soulful voice, funkified keyboard style and high energy stage presence. We will have a jam, with backline provided, so please plan on bringing your instruments and voices and show us what you got. Darwin's will be serving up great drinks, beer and wine and their great food menu including delicious burgers and tater tots. Darwin's is a non-smoking venue and kids will be welcome. Sponsored by SmokeFree Rights for all.

Save the Date
• Sunday, Nov 18, ABS Gathering & Jam at Darwin's w/ host band Lola
• Sunday, Dec 2, ABS Holiday Party at the Helene S. Mills Multi-Purpose Facility
• Saturday, Jan 12, 2019, IBC Fundraiser at Darwin's
• January 22-26, 2019, IBC in Memphis, TN

Another great Blues Stotts! Our 4th annual musical celebration to honor the life of Larry Stotts, a founding member of the ABS. A great day of music, fellowship, raffles and a special treat of Larry's Red Beans and Rice was enjoyed, with proceeds going to benefit Cystic Fibrosis, a cause dear to Larry's heart. 

“A Wonderful Day of Great Music and Friendship”
That’s how you sum up the 3rd Annual Atlanta Blues Societies Georgia “Blues and Roots” Festival held Sept. 29, 2018 at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre in Mableton, Ga. It was such a memorable event, one that doesn’t present its self very often, but folks this was the one! The atmosphere, the electricity that was felt all day, and the fellowship of all that was there just radiated from the fans to the artists performances. Kicking it off was Black Jack Ketchum, WRFG Radio Air Shifter and the fest’s MC once again for this event. He welcomed the crowd and introduced on stage David T and Friends. This Local favorite band got the crowd up and dancing early on playing that full band blues sound. They really got things started. Followed by an Atlanta icon and smooth operator Mr. Larry Griffith and his band. Larry had the crowd with his mellow and at times drivin’ blues riffs complements that soulful voice. After a wonderful performance the crowd was in for a treat, one of many that happened throughout the day and into the night. Larry introduced the very special Georgia’s own Ms. Beverly Guitar Watkins to come on stage and join the band. She immediately showed why she is and where she stands in the history of Blues in the Southeast. We witnessed a presentation from the Atlanta Blues Society to Ms. Beverly Guitar Watkins who is the recipient of this year’s Georgia Music Legend award.  After witnessing that deserving honor we went right into getting your dancing shoes on because Charlie Wooton and Zydefunk got the funk on. Great New Orleans sound with a little twist right here in the ATL. During their set we also witness one of Atlanta’s finest, Kathie Holmes sitting in with the band on keyboards. It was a dancin’ good time. Before their set was over we had Ms. Beverly come out and show her stuff once again on guitar. Next up was a band all the way from San Francisco; The Stone Foxes. They certainly had some blues roots in its many forms and the crowd enjoyed their set. They were a pleasant surprise on this year’s bill.  Prior to the end of their set the untiring Ms. Beverly once again was asked to join them on stage. You could just see all eyes from the band members on Ms. Beverly seeing how she worked that guitar.

As the day progressed, raffles were held for prizes and CD sets, Green Egg Smoker, a wonderful guitar signed by all the festival artists, and the Grand Prize of a weekend stay at a donated condo in New Orleans. The story about the winner is one worth repeating. Jon and Geri Harmon, very supportive of ABS, bought a table for the fest. Unfortunately something came up and they couldn’t come to the show and they dedicated the table back to ABS to sell and donated the price they paid. Low and behold they won the condo in New Orleans. How’s that for magic on a magical day. When Albert Castiglia took the stage he and the band were immediately in command form the first note. Everyone in the stands knew they were in for an incredible show. His bluesy rock tunes were simply amazing to hear. At times there was utter silence except for the sweet sound of that hard driving blues. During Albert’s performance, local blues keyboardist and vocalist Lola joined in singing a soulful tune that took everyone’s breathe away. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better on stage walks in Ms. Beverly ready and raring to go on guitar with Albert and the band. So far she has played with every band that performed after her original performance. Closing out this fantastic event was the legendary Chicago Bluesman Mr. Carl Weathersby and his band. He told me he had the A-Team with him and it showed. With veterans Bass, Drums, and keyboard at his side, Carl’s performance was nothing short of magical. His soulful blues sounds reflect the influence of Albert King. Throughout the performance his mellow voice and at times the hard hitting guitar licks were a sight to see and hear. When he broke out with “Cross Cut Saw” the entire theater went crazy. He put on an absolutely amazing show. In the closing songs of Carl’s set, yes you guessed it, the tireless the ageless Ms. Beverly “Guitar” Watkins once again joined the fun with Carl. They played some back and forth riffs that were simply stunning. You could just see the how they were enjoying the moment leading each other into their own solos. It was the most incredible performance I for one have seen on stage in a long time.

There was much disappointment when at last, it all had to end, but folks to witness the true magic of the day, the enchantment in the air, and the common theme of enjoying great Blues Music made it out to be a wonderful day. This sentiment was best described when Tom Dausner, our volunteer photographer, thanked George for allowing him to shoot one of the most memorable musical events he’d ever been to.

Many heartfelt thanks go out to all the performing artist and guest, Black Jack, Carlos Capote, the ABS Board Members, the ABS Volunteers, the Mable House Barnes Amphitheater staff, special shout out to ABS Backline extraordinaire, Rich L’Hommedieu, stage manager Dustin Peterson along with Kurt Hansen, Cobb County Police, concession workers and anyone else we missed in helping to share this great memory.

News from the Frank Hamilton School
Fall Term! Open for Enrollment! Next term starts October 22, and all its goodness is ready for perusal & sign up – including a Beatles class & Irish & Scottish dance music!

Perhaps the most driven, impassioned, and creatively gifted of the young singers and guitarists who became known for the West Side style of Chicago blues in the 1950s and ’60s was Otis Rush. The records he made while still in his early twenties for the Cobra label, such as I Can’t Quit You Baby, Double Trouble, and All Your Love (I Miss Loving), still stand the test of time as classics of the electric blues genre. His influence has been acknowledged by Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Carlos Santana, who have all performed onstage with him.

Rush grew up in such dire poverty in Mississippi that few listeners realized the depth of the lyrics to Double Trouble when he sang, “It’s hard to for me to find decent clothes to wear.” Born near the rural community of Neshoba on April 29, 1935 (or 1934 according to most biographies), Rush married young, sharecropped his own fields, and discovered a new path in life when his sister took him to a Muddy Waters performance in Chicago.

Rush, a self-taught guitarist who played left-handed with the guitar upside down, began performing in the Chicago clubs and soon caught the attention of Willie Dixon, who took him to Cobra and then to the Chess and Duke labels. I Can’t Quit You Baby, his first single, hit the national rhythm & blues Top Ten in 1956, but it was the only Rush record ever to do so. In light of Rush’s talent and the reputation his band held as the best in town at one time, his discography is disappointingly sparse. The frustrations of what he viewed as bad deals, suspicious offers, and mismanagement meant that studio sessions became few and far between, and many of the albums on the market now are live performances. Excellent though some of them are, they leave the listener wondering what more Rush had in him that he never let out. His last studio album, Any Place I’m Going, did, however, earn him his only Grammy.

Sadly, Rush suffered a stroke in 2004 and has been unable to perform since, but was honored in 2016 by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel during the Chicago Blues Festival where June 12th was declared Otis Rush Day in Chicago.

Atlanta Blues Challenge Results
It was a great day at the Hard Rock, full of great music, good times and the best competition ever. This event selects our representatives for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January. Thanks to our judges, volunteers, photographer, Time Keepers, Scorers, Videographer, Audiographer, Emcees (George Carlin), Hard Rock Production. It takes a village to put on a successful Challenge. Sponsored by Smoke-Free Rights for All. Here are the results:

• Youth: No Solution
• Solo/Duo: Kathie Holmes
• People's Choice - Rae & the Royal Peacocks
• 3rd Place - New Dirt
• 2nd Place - The Garrett Collins Band
• 1st Place - Rae & the Royal Peacocks

You will be able to see all of these acts at our Holiday Party on December 2 (see Save the Date) You can also see one of the contestants, The Juke Joint Dukes, at our next Gathering & Jam on Sunday September 16 at Madlife in Woodstock,GA.

Three NEW Gold Sponsors

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In 2015, Legion Landscaping was created by two long-term friends with the dream of creating a successful landscaping company that would provide the community with the highest level of work, at both the residential and commercial level. Our mission is to offer our local Acworth community and the Atlanta Metro Area an unparalleled lawn care and landscaping experience. We have proven ourselves by going above and beyond to fulfill the needs of our clients and add value to their properties. For a Free Quote, go to website or Call: 678-841-7750.

Here's the new SmokeFree Atlanta Food Truck. Look for it every Wednesday in Woodruff Park from 11am-2pm at Wednesdays in Woodruff Presented by SmokeFree Atlanta. Join us each week in August and September for Wednesdays at Woodruff, a lunchtime concert series presented by Smokefree Atlanta and Entertainers Speaking Out, a coalition that works to cultivate healthy, smoke-free environments. Each Wednesday we'll have a live band performing in the Reading Room, plus beach chairs and umbrellas set up by the Water Wall. Whether you're interested in a lunch hour with entertainment or a peaceful spot in the center of the city, wind down your summer in Woodruff! We are looking for paid ambassadors to spread the word about the benefits of smoke free environments. If you have the passion for this effort, are a good communicator, and have some extra time to attend various events or functions as an Ambassador, please contact Lewis McTush for more information, 404-271-0871, lewmarrocks@gmail.com

Bringing the blues to Augusta, Georgia, the Augusta Blues Company is a brand new Blues Society in the state of Georgia. Check out their website and like their Facebook page and when in Augusta, always check their calendar for the best blues in the area.  As well as presenting great blues acts, they also support the Turn the Page Foundation, Inc., which helps provide the gifts of literacy and music by supplying books, school supplies, and gently used musical instruments to kids.  Don’t miss these great upcoming shows hosted by the Augusta Blues Company: Saturday, April 14, 2018, Sweet & Salty Blues Band play Humanitree, Augusta, GA, 8-11pm. Friday, May 4, 2018, FREE kick off party for the Blind Willie McTell Festival featuring the Juke Joint Dukes w/ William “Bluesman” Reed at the Depot on Main Street, Augusta, 7-10pm.

Attention, Canton Music Shoppe is now hiring instructors.  They also wish to announce that Little G Weevil will be teaching guitar so please come by and meet him and see what's new at the Shoppe! 149 Reinhardt College Parkway, Suite 11, Canton, GA 30114

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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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