Our May Gathering & Jam will be at our new sponsor venue, Gypsy Rose Music in Roswell and just to keep the gypsy theme going our host band will be ThunderGypsy. So come on out in your gypsy outfits and dance, dance, dance. The venue serves great signature drinks, wine, beer, soft drinks and water., but it does not serve food, However there is a Food Truck right outside the door as well as many local restaurants nearby. We will have a jam so bring your instruments and/or voices, backlline will be provided. The venue is non-smoking, admission is free, and non-members are welcome.

Save the Date
Sunday, May 19 – ABS Gathering & Jam, Gypsy Rose Roswell, host band: ThunderGypsy
• June 6, 7, 8 – Helen Harp Fest, Helen, GA
• Sunday, June 9, 2019, ATL Women in Blues, Blind Willie's
• Saturday, June 15, 2019, Bluesberry Beer & Music Fest, Norcross, GA
• Sunday, June 23, 2019, Gathering & Jam at Madlife, Host Band Red Sugar Blues
• Sunday, July 21, 2019, Gathering & Jam at MoonShadow Tavern, Tucker. Host Band TBD

26th Annual Blind Willie McTell Festival in Thomson, GA

We had a great time at the Blind Willie McTell Music Festival on Saturday. It started off sunny and hot, and the first act, The Powers and Friends, were a group of young college aged guys, who were from the local area, but now live in Athens. They were a power pop/rock band in the style of the Beatles, early Byrds, Badfinger, etc. They were then joined by one of their sisters, then more friends and family members, including their Dads, who obviously were seasoned, professional musicians. They put on a great show and impressed the crowd. Next up was our own Sponsor Musician, Jontavious Willis, who captivated the audience with his musical abilities and humorous story telling. He sang some songs from early Georgia blues artists such as Blind Willie McTell and Barbecue Bob. He also predicted that rain was on the way, and as soon as he was done a big drenching storm came through and nearly blew away all the canopies. We survived and the music continued, although in an effort to get all the acts on the stage before the next rainstorm hit, they decided to shorten all the sets of the next acts so we would be done by 7pm. Next up was Ariel Posen, a talented blues influenced singer/songwriter from Canada. Then the Sisters of Slide, Rory Block & Cindy Cashdollar, hit the stage and gave us a history of the blues lesson, including songs from Blind Willie McTell and early, pre-Muddy Waters, McKinley Morganfield as well as some of their own songs. Next up was my favorite guitarist, Jack Pearson, who did an excellent set of blues, gospel, and southern rock for the amazed spectators. Next up was a young lady named Sierra Hull who played mandolin and who's sweet voice intoxicates. She and her band played progressive bluegrass, if you like David Grisman, Bela Fleck, or Alison Krauss, you would love them. Last up were the Jayhawks, an alt-country, folk band from the Twin cities, Minnesota. The clouds were getting darker so we decided to pack and go before the rain started again, but we really enjoyed the festival and will plan to go again next year for sure.  – Barb Hilke & David W. Daniels  (check out our Facebook pages for live videos of the acts and look for pictures on the festival website).

Guidelines for Jams

The Atlanta Blues Society has grown steadily for the past 8 years, our membership is now over 400 people and we have over 6500 people following us on social media. Growth can be painful at times, and we want to make sure that we treat everybody fairly and evenly when it comes to our monthly Gathering jam.  At each gathering we provide backline and mics for a jam which is run by our Jam Master using a sign-up sheet.  We have come up with the following guidelines that should be followed by participants of the jam: 

The jam is open to everybody, regardless if they are a member or not.  While we would love to have participants join as members and help us in our mission, we realize that sometimes the best way to attract new members is to show them how we go about our mission of "keeping the blues alive".  Having a free and open jam is one way we do so.

All participants should sign the sign-up sheet as soon as they get there, jammers will be grouped together by the order in which they signed in, depending on the various instruments they play and/or sing.  Please help the Jam Master by writing legibly and if your name is hard to pronounce, write it using pronunciation symbols. For example, my last name Hilke is pronounced hill-key.  So I would sign in as Barb Hilke (hill-key), Guitar.

Only sign up yourself, do not sign up people who are not in the room and ready to play.

Try to have some idea of what songs you would like to play before coming up.

Please make sure your instruments and/or voices are ready before you are called up.

Each set of jammers will be allowed 3 songs or 15 minutes of playing time.

Please check with the Jam Master before plugging into amps to make sure the correct amps are used with each instrument.

With this format it is very hard to accommodate whole bands who only want to play with each other, you must be willing to play with other jammers as signed up.

If you signed up for the jam and were not called up, please make the Jam Master aware of this.
Remember, the purpose of the jam is to have fun. 

Our intent is to offer an opportunity for those that look forward to playing with others have a chance to do so.  Following these guidelines will help make the jam run as smoothly as possible.  We believe the interaction of people playing music together for the first time leads to interesting interpretations of songs and builds the community. We want everybody who signs up to be able to play and we want everybody to have a good time.

Welcome to our new Platinum Sponsor:

Bikers, Beer, Blues. Live music Friday, Saturday, nights, Sunday Afternoons (Rockin Roadhouse Sundays), and Wednesday nights (Bike Night). Located in Austell, Georgia with a menu specializing in burgers and chicken with special items daily, e.g., Meatloaf Monday. Good times are assured. 21+, Smoking allowed.?
Full Throttle Website

Welcome to our new Gold Sponsor:

Live music and event venue in the heart of downtown Roswell with top quality food trucks. Come see us if you enjoy craft cocktails, great music, excellent food, and always good vibes.?
Gypsy Rose Website

Welcome to our new Friend of the ABS Sponsor:

Ignite your growth with Data -Driven search engine ,solutions. Make sure your website is found, page 1 or bust. More leads, more sales, higher ROI (Return on Investment), Paid Media is the answer. Programmatic display, more efficient and effective ad campaigns. Social Media Advertising, Web Design, Online Listings, they provide it all.
Cardinal Website

Welcome to our new Friend of the ABS Sponsor:

Butler Wooten & Peak LLP are experienced and record-setting local Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys. The team has been helping their clients in Georgia seek justice since 1988 and have won 51 verdicts and settlements over $10 million. They will fight for you!
Butler, Wooten, Peak Website

Board Members of the Atlanta Blues Society accepting the Keeping the Blues Alive Award at the luncheon during the IBC in Memphis TN. L to R: Richard L’Hommedeau, Carlin Smith, George Klein, Barb Hilke, Deb Pruitt, Dave Black.

What a great Blues in the Schools Presentation we had
at the Gwinnett County Library in Lilburn!

There was a great turn out, surprisingly more adults were there than kids, but they were ready to learn about the blues from us and hear the music. Thanks to our wonderful talented musicians, Carlos Capote, Larry Griffith, SaNa Foster, and young Logan Roach (he was the star for sure). We got to learn about all aspects of the blues from it being the basis of all other musical genres, including Jazz, Rock & Hip Hop to Blues Therapy lessons. Amazing. To see a Facebook live broadcast of the event, go to Barb Hilke's Facebook page or click here: Facebook Live Stream

Bricks for the Blues Campaign
Are you up for your shot at Blues Immortality? Every once in a while a stellar opportunity comes along for those of us that will never be nominated, let alone win a BMA,  win the IBC or have our name on the marquis of the Orpheum Theater in Memphis. Several years ago the Blues Foundation offered us the opportunity to not only contribute to the creation of the Blues Hall of Fame, but to have our names permanently installed on the wall inside. The Atlanta Blues Society, Darwin's and several of us availed ourselves of that opportunity and gained some Blues Immortality. The only problem is that you have to go inside and look for our names.

Well, our second chance is here with The Bricks for the Blues Campaign and the cost for Blues Immortality is much more reasonable this time. The Blues Foundation has been given permission to replace the sidewalk in front of the Blues Hall of Fame with bricks engraved with the names of the donors. Your Blues Society has purchased an 8"x 8" brick for $500 and has been given permission to have all of us that buy an 8x8 brick to be grouped together and have a permanent place in Blues History. Even though only one person can pay for each brick, but with 6 lines of engraving (one should say"ABS Member(s)" as many as five can go in on a brick.

In order to take advantage of being able to be grouped together the Blues Foundation is asking us to act before the middle of March. How cool would it be for the ABS to not only have a permanent place for the world to see, but to have a boat load of our members listed with us. If you have any questions please run them by us. Be Immortal!! Thanks, George

Atlanta Rock 'n Blues Camp
Now taking applications for their 2019 Summer Sessions – Starts June 10, 2019
Atlanta Rock ‘n Blues Camp is an organization that affords talented young musicians in middle and high school opportunities to perform on a regular basis with others who love the same music as they do. We offer week-long summer camp sessions, which are fun-filled, intense sessions that culminate in thrilling performances on Friday evenings. Our campers play rock ‘n roll, blues, reggae, and jazz. Our faculty consists of professional performing and teaching musicians who have a great rapport with teens. Players and singers from as far away as Canada and the Congo have come to Atlanta to spend a week learning new licks, getting singing tips and developing their stage presence. Check us out! You’ll be glad you did!

Join us for 3 days of Jam-Packed workshops, live performances, openMic Jams, and Networking with some of the Best Instructors and the Finest Folks anywhere. Starting with an open jam on Wednesday night before the Thursday morning workshops begin. Then at 12:00 on Thursday Helen HarpFest will kick off for 3 days of Fun. Haufbrauhaus will be the host facility for our Fest, with the backdrop of an entire Alpine Village on the Chattahoochee River within a short walking distance from the venue. Easy does it with a relaxed atmosphere and some pretty awesome attractions for those with adventurous sprits… Tubing, Ziplines, HelenCoaster (roller) Ride, Go Carts, PuttPutt Golf, Hiking, Camping, Swimming, Taverns.  Contact: Jimmy Scott • Phone: 706-491-7247 • E-mail: jimmyescott.1@gmail.com

Blind Willies Blues Club in Virginia Highlands is an Atlanta icon showcasing legendary blues bands for over 32 years. Hundreds of local and national blues greats have left their mark on this historic stage. Years of loyal fans and regular patrons have also contributed to making Blind Willies a true Historic Landmark in Atlanta. All the years of good times have taken its physical toll on Blind Willies. We are asking our friends and family to help us with the REBIRTH of Blind Willies Blues Club! Over the next few months, we will be hosting events to help us with our updates and revival. Your contributions will help ensure we can continue this long-standing Atlanta Blues tradition. The Blues Community is a true family. We are counting on our Blues family to help us continue to keep the Blues alive and bring you the best local and national blues bands you love for years to come! As part of the Rebirth of Blind Willie's, the venue has gone Smoke Free as of the day after Thanksgiving, so those of you who stayed away because of the smoke, come on out and check out this legendary Blues Club. The blues sound just as good without the smoke – and the smokers can still go outside– so its a win/win. Come on out to Blind Willie's soon and show them you appreciate the changes they are making to keep the blues alive and available to all. Other changes they are making are earlier shows during the week and on Sundays. They will be closed on Mondays. • http://www.blindwilliesblues.com/

News from Killer Blues Headstone Project
From : Killer Blues Headstone Project: killerblues.net
104 headstones have been purchased! We have funding for the next 2 headstones but have 30 more in need.  • That means we still need to raise $20,000 • In 2018 so far we have received donations ranging from $1 to $1,000 and each one was appreciated. The following link will take you to an excellent interview with KBHP founder, Steve Salter, on Youtube: Click HERE.

There are 4 easy ways to donate.
 1. click on our website
 2. send a check
 3. use "AmazonSmile"
 4. PayPal "killerblues88@yahoo.com" (use the Sending to a Friend option)

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.

 Be sure to visit the following social networking sites:


(or, just go to Facebook and search the Atlanta Blues Society)

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

From time to time we will move older items from the front page to the Archives Page.  
If there is an item you would like to review and you don’t see it here, check the archives!

We need your help. Please Click Here to eMail us -
to volunteer or come to our next meeting!

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