Board of Directors
President, Barb Hilke
Co-President, George Klein
Vice President, Carlin 'C-Note' Smith
Treasurer, Nancie Branch-Gibson
Secretary, John Gibson
Membership Chair, Deb Pruett
Publicity Chair, Dustin Peterson
Blues in the Schools Chair, Carlin 'C-Note' Smith
Activity Sponsor Chair, Lewis McTush
Activity Logistics Chair, Rich L'Hommedieu

Contact Info:
Email -
Phone - 404-693-1592


Nancie Branch-Gibson - I have served three terms as a Board member and was a prior and current ABS treasurer. If you have been around the Atlanta blues scene, you may have seen me at many events, concerts, and festivals for which I've volunteered and attended over the years.

Growing up in Chicago, I learned about the blues early in life. Although I'm not a musician, I appreciate this amazing art form, and have dedicated part of my life to "spreading the Blues virus."

The last few years have been inspiring to see how ABS has reinvented itself with new energy, enthusiasm, and passion. This is what we need to make the ABS the organization it deserves to be. We continue to get members, sponsors and of course the wonderful artists that create this music more involved with our community and the world. Our internet radio is back on track and can be heard around the globe. Our IBC representatives may not always win, but have proven to be a force to be reckoned with. I am proud to part of this process and want to continue to see the Atlanta Blues Society thrive.


John Gibson - I have been an ABS member since 1999. I have served on the Board from 2001 to 2009, during which time I have been Secretary, in charge of Volunteer Services for events and festivals and Vice President.

Over the last two years I have watched the current board restore the working and giving leadership I felt it had previously lost. I would like to be part of this team.

As a lawyer, I helped the Board draft amendments for the ABS By-Laws. My experience in Volunteer Services has taught me the workings and preparations of ABS special events and festivals. It was due to my suggestion, that name tags are used at meetings in order to encourage congeniality amongst members. It has been a staple of meetings ever since.


Barb Hilke - I am a blues lover. I have been on the board of The Atlanta Blues Society for 6 years now and have served as secretary for the first 4 years and now have been President for the last 2 years. My love of the blues has only gotten deeper and in attending the Memphis International Blues Challenge for the past several years I have come to know what a real blues society is all about and I have learned and put into practice steps that have made Atlanta’s society become a better, truly supportive blues society.

I work part time now, being semi-retired from the Information Technology industry, and I devote a lot of my time to the day to day maintenance tasks of the Atlanta Blues Society and attending live shows in the Atlanta area and festivals around the area.

I would love to serve another term on the board of the Atlanta Blues Society and feel I still have much to contribute. Atlanta should be a major mecca for the blues and we should have a major Blues Festival here that would attract other blues lovers to our city from around the nation. I hope that we can count on the help and support of all of our members to achieve that goal.


George Klein - I've been a member of the Atlanta Blues Society and the Blues Foundation for the past 13 years. I am also a proud supporter of the "Raise the Roof" campaign which is currently building The Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, TN.

I have served on the ABS Board of Directors for the past two years in the capacity of Co-President. During that time frame your Board of Directors has totally revamped the web site, created and procured an ever growing catalog of merchandise, grown the membership from 177 to nearly 400, increased the number of sponsors from 7 to 28 and most importantly increased the number of musician sponsors to 48. In March 2014 the ABS Bluescast hit the internet air waves and we have consistently been in the top 20 in our Genre. We have held two very successful and well attended Challenges and sent some great ambassadors to Memphis to represent us.

With this strong infrastructure in place and our "blues family" continuing to grow, the Atlanta Blues Society is poised to do great things, one of which is our strong desire to once again have a festival in the area.

  Richard L’Hommedieu - I am currently the publisher of the web magazine “Making a Scene”, a music business guide for the independent musician. In addition I own and operate “Midnight Circus Productions” which is a full service recording studio, Record company and booking agency. I am also the DJ of “LIVE from the Midnight Circus” which is broadcast on  and and was voted by Blues Matters Magazine as one of the top online Blues radio shows in the world. The show is dedicated to playing only “Touring” blues artists. I also administer the Atlanta Blues Society’s web “Bluescast” on LIVE365.
My past experience runs from being the founder and founding Chairman of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, a 501c3 museum and educational institution, to promoting and presenting music festivals. I have been a featured speaker at the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) convention for 7 years as well as being the Blues Music Director for WUSB 90.1FM in NY. I also owned and published an entertainment newspaper “Long Island Entertainment” which promoted the local entertainment industry. I also have expertise in both Live sound and video production.

Dustin Peterson - My aspiration to be elected to the board of directors of the Atlanta Blues Society lies in my desire to continue the advancement of the blues and blues musicians in the Atlanta area. I would like to work to further strengthen the network of live music among the sponsors and member bands and also actively recruit new members, bands, and sponsors to join the organization. I believe having members on the board who are active musicians also gives a unique insight to the organization on how it can assist aspiring performers and venues maximize their relationships.

Further, I am also very interested in becoming involved with the “Blues in Schools” initiative. I am the father of a 5 year old music lover who is especially fond of Junior Wells. I believe keeping the blues alive begins with teaching those willing to learn the importance of the rich musical heritage of the blues.

In 1992, the blues came to me as a musical epiphany. Since then, I have devoted my musical education to studying blues music and the legends behind the musicians. I have spent the last 23 years doing my best to play them live and as honestly as possible. I currently perform as the guitarist and vocalist in Funky Bluester, an ABS member band.

  Deb Pruett (I) - As a three term officer of the Atlanta Blues Society, and Membership Chair, I’ve come to understand well and truly appreciate the work required. I believe in the vison and mission of the ABS – and am ready to continue devoting the energy and time required to serve you, the members of the Atlanta Blues Society. A lover of the blues – and of those who love the blues -- I believe I am an asset to the Board of the Atlanta Blues Society. Hope you do, too!
  Carlin “C-Note” Smith - Prior to moving to Atlanta in 1994, I was Vice President of the Kansas City Blues Society. In 1996, I was the principle founder of the Atlanta Blues Society.  I served for 5 consecutive years as president.  During that time ABS had 2 highly successful Blues festivals at the Tabernacle, with the help of many local musicians and members we implemented a respected “Blues in the Schools” programs in several Atlanta grade schools, received recognition form the Atlanta City Council with a proclamation proclaiming “Atlanta Blues Society Day” on July 5, 2000, many membership appreciation events, and even a blues oriented public television show for a short period of time.  These accomplishments could not have been achieved if not for the support of the local musicians, ABS sponsors, citizens of Atlanta, and most of all the tireless dedication of its members of which this organizations principle values and beliefs were used to create this society.

Lewis McTush I have been a main stay in the music and promotions industry, as a promoter and marketing professional for over 40 years. My multi layered experiences have served me well as the head of the LewMar Millennium Entertainment enterprise. This has allowed me to merge my worldwide business relationships in media marketing promotions of entertainment events and my skills in media publicity, tour support and performing artist management into a multi-tiered media marketing company of products and services.  I am very proud to head the LewMar Millennium Corporation which has been on the cutting edge of national and international promotions and event planning since 2004. 
__I would like to bring my talents and expertise to the Atlanta Blues Society to support its mission and future goals. I would like to continue promoting the vested interest of our musician community and it's health, prosperity and well being. I am affiliated with The Blues Foundation, The Atlanta Blues Society, The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), The International Entertainment Buyers of America (IEBA) and The Veterans & Community Outreach Foundation (VCOF). 

  Wes Gifford Hello, my name is Wes Gifford and I love the blues.  I would like to be part of the leadership of ABS for a number of reasons.  My primary reason is that I would like the organization to flourish and grow, and in that regard I believe that I can help. Another reason is that I want the blues, whether it is the old standards of the masters or today's touring musicians and songs to be heard by more people. 
__I am a food service professional with over 30 years experience in event and catering management.  This knowledge gives me the ability to successfully organize events both large and small. I share the Atlanta Blues Society’s vision to develop a blues festival and want to use my management knowledge to help bring that to life.  I also am looking to use my skills at marketing to help increase membership in the Atlanta Blues Society by reaching out to other venues outside of the blues clubs.
__I would like the opportunity to serve on the Atlanta Blues Society’s Board of Directors to bring my vision to life and grow the society and the blues experience in Atlanta and Georgia. 

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