Keepin' The Blues Alive


Charlotte Blues Society meets the 1st Sunday Jan-June, The Rabbit Hole, 1801 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte NC 


SPECIAL EVENT: Celebrating Nick & Ray and other friends lost

Sunday September 1, Jamming for Nick & Ray

This year we have lost two active members of Charlotte Blues Society.  Nick Polyzos and Ray Otstott were active on the Board of Directors and contributed every month at meetings and throughout the month at outside events.

Their love of the blues was evident in their enthusiasm and infectious smiles as they worked merch, membership, the door and anywhere else they were needed.

We will also remember our good friend Stewart Mauldin, whom we lost at the beginning of the year.  

Musicians have requested an early jam, and we decided to open this date and time to all jammers who love the blues.

Our group jam will be to Albert King's  "I'll Play The Blues For You" 

Tabs, lyrics and reference video forthcoming.  

Refer to Jam Songs for others to learn for novice players.  

Also taking the opportunity to celebrate our friends Stewart Mauldin, and Ron Smoove.  

Jammers:  Please note:  Bring your gear, including amps.  

Drums, cymbals, mics all provided 

Time: Noon-4pm Venue: The Rabbit Hole

This early afternoon event will give all jammers an opportunity to participate.

Doors open at noon, jam begins at 12:15

Free to active members with valid cards,  

$5 non-members


The Rabbit Hole

1801 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte

Great menu, food available, and if you have an active membership in CBS, you will get a 10% discount on food!

Blues Jam Guidelines

Open Blues Jam

 Blues Jam Guidelines and Courtesies

Welcome to the Charlotte Blues Society Blues Jam.  You are participating in a tradition that is over 26 years in the making.  The Charlotte Blues Society has consistently promoted a Blues Jam as part of its Blues Sunday.  The Charlotte Blues Society’s Blues Sunday occurs on the first Sunday of each month.  The Blues Jams do not happen at every Blues Sunday.  Always refer to for details and schedules.  We hope your experience will be inspiring and that your own musical abilities will be informed by these jams.

We offer the following guidelines to consider when signing on as a participating jammer:

A practical suggestion, Sign up early.  On the sign-up sheet please list your instrument and/or ability that you wish to contribute to the Jam.  While the Blues has a lot of variations, please be advised this is a Blues Jam.  Please keep it real ladies and gentlemen.

Be respectful of any equipment that you use, backline and PA, treat it as your own or possibly better than your own. We recommend you bring your own gear, including amp.  If you have a special amp, pedal or set-up that you need to use, remember guideline #1; Come early

Keep track of your place on the sign-up sheet.  It is not up to the Jam Master to track you down when your time to shine arrives.  

Please be advised that you need to be tuned and ready BEFORE you get on stage.  Additionally, if you are a guitarist that tunes down a half step, please note the House band will be tuned to standard 440.  Two choices remain, either tune to  440 or make allowances in your choice of a chord voicing.

Volume:  If you only hear yourself on stage, perhaps you are too loud.  Likewise, if you hear everyone else, but not yourself; turn up.  

Be respectful of your fellow musicians, no matter what their ability may be.  Everyone usually starts at the same place.

In regards to soloing, again please be respectful of other musicians in the jam.  For example, rhythm guitar is not just something to waste your time on while you wait for your next solo.  One of the lessons of a Blues Jam is to learn how to be as apt an accompanist as you hope to be as a soloist.  The Jam Master will be generous with solos, but be mindful of other musicians that may be waiting to jam.  

Lastly, have fun.  Also respect the traditions as well as the innovations of the Blues.  Likewise, respect the Charlotte Blues Society and The Rabbit Hole for providing the space and equipment for you to jam.

In Addition, we highly recommend you read and observe the following 

"The Ten Commandments of Jam" from Derek Trucks.

 1. Just listen.
Make sure that when you’re on stage with others, you are paying attention to what’s going on and not getting self-involved in your own world.
2. Respect everyone else’s musical space.
The easiest way to kill a vibe is by jumping in and adding your two cents too soon, while someone else is still trying to build something. Just let things happen.
3. Make you sure you are telling a story.
Never just be playing scales, filling space or going through the motions. Sometimes people resort to such tactics just to fill space but it’s always a mistake. Longer solos aren’t always better solos. Always have something to say.
4. Try to play an emotion.
Always be aware of what emotion you want to convey and try to tap into it. You can often hear what a great soloist is going through. It doesn’t take words to express a thought; you can definitely spell out emotions musically and should always strive to do so.
5. Never use the bandstand to practice.
Don’t waste time working through things. It’s great to take chances but not to try things you are completely unsure of. Save your practice time for off stage.
6. Treat the stage as your church.
Respect what you are doing. If you want people to respect what you’re doing and think it means something, you have to act like it does. All great artists treat the stage like it is sanctified.
7. Make sure your intentions are right.
Don’t be up there to boost your ego or career. Mean what you’re doing and appreciate it. You won’t get anywhere musically if you are just on stage to impress people.
8. Always make the band sound better.
Don’t just highlight what you do; serve the group and the music. Playing rhythm behind someone or even sitting out at the right moment is just as important as soloing. Some people sound great when they’re doing their thing but just get in the way when they’re not.
9. Educate with your music.
Always move forward and turn your audience on to new things instead of relying on the same old tricks. A core audience gets stuck listening to one group and think that’s it, but you’re around so much music and should always be inspired by new things. It’s important to pass that along, and it keeps you out of ruts.
10, Make sure you mean what you’re doing.
Do what you want and love. If you’re playing with somebody, you might as well do it right. No matter what the gig, dig in and go to town.

Learn More


The Blues Jam has always been a favorite event at Blues Society meetings, and The Instigators always provide a solid base to build a jam on.

Once again we have a list of songs that WILL be played during the jam.  This is especially helpful for new jammers.    

Songs for next Jam Charlotte Blues Society  

Each is listed with Song, Artist, Key and a link to video for reference:


The Thrill is Gone  Eric Clapton & BB King   Bm



I’m Tore Down   Eric Clapton   C



Little By Little   Junior Wells & Buddy Guy  A



Who’s Been Talkin?  Howlin’ Wolf   Am



Honey Hush   Albert Collins   C 

a/k/a Talkin Woman Blues

Important Dates:

Entry Deadlines


September 15 2019 

Deadline: Band Challenge 

Event Date: October 6

September 1, 2019


Nick & Ray Memorial Jam


Noon- 4pm

Honoring Nick Polyzos & Ray Otstott

Jam to Albert King's "I'll Play the Blues for You" and other tunes, and we celebrate the lives of long term members and contributors to our group, Nick Polyzos & Ray Otstott.

All Jammers are welcome!

Time: noon-4pm

Location: The Rabbit Hole

1801 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte

October 6, 2019


Band Blues Challenge Charlotte Region


Time: 6-10pm

Location: The Rabbit Hole

1801 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte

CBS Events and Causes

Deadline for Band Challenge for IBC 2020 is September 15


Charlotte  Band Blues Challenge : who will represent us at the Blues Foundation International Blues Challenge in Memphis  2020.

If you are serious about a music career, the opportunity awaits.

The Road to Memphis begins in Charlotte.

Band Challenge: 

Sunday  October 6

Entry deadline: Sept 15

Event:  October 6


The Rabbit Hole

1801 Commonwealth Ave

Charlotte NC


Save The Date
#36 IBC: Jan. 28 – Feb. 01, 2020


“So you want to work as a touring blues musician, and need the world to know you’re out there?
Compete in the IBC and make it to Memphis!

Didn’t make it into the competition? 


The opportunities out there are not just for the contestants. I made friends and contacts that have served me well, and will continue to serve me, I believe, for the duration of my career.”

– Erica Brown, 2013 IBC Finalist (Colorado Blues Society)

challenge entries here

A Brick For Robin


  Up for Raffle: A limited edition plaque commemorating The Double Door Inn. 

One of only two made, this collectible was donated to Charlotte Blues Society to raise funds to purchase an 8"x8" permanent brick to be installed in front of the Blues Hall of Fame  Museum  in Memphis. 

This brick will commemorate CBS Member and Award winning Blues Artist  Robin Rogers and CBS
Only 100 raffle tickets will be sold at $5 each.  Once all tickets are sold, the winner will be drawn.

Less than 50 tickets  remain

Inscription will read:

"Charlotte Blues 
Society Honors
Robin Rogers 
Winner 2011 BMA" 
Contemporary Blues 
Female Artist
Robin was posthumously  awarded Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year in 2011.  

The Blues Music Awards are presented by the The Blues Foundation a  non-profit organization founded to foster blues heritage. 

Robin was a huge advocate of Charlotte Blues Society and The Blues Foundation.  She was also winner of the 2009 "Best Female Artist" Blues Blast Award.  

Purchase your raffle ticket for this collectible today.

Buy Brick Raffle tix

One Can? I Can! Blues for Food benefiting Loaves & Fishes



Thanks to you, we are getting closer to our goal of ONE TON of food for Loaves & Fishes this year.

Our August event added 441 pounds to our donations, which has our total to date at 1249 pounds. 

 751 to go folks!


Remember to bring a non-perishable food item to our next event: September 1st at The Rabbit Hole.

Best Self-Produced CD

The Blues Foundation established an award for the Best Self-Produced CD, given out at the International Blues Challenge, as part of our mission to celebrate blues recording and to ensure the future of this uniquely American art form and to recognize excellence in independent Blues recordings.

Only CDs released between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019 are eligible for consideration as The 2020 Best Self-Produced CD.

Contact CBS for more info

CBS Blues Sunday : 1st Sunday of the Month

Our Mission Statement

Charlotte Blues Society, Blues Music, Live Blues,Blues Artists. Blues in the Schools, Non-profit



is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the American Blues tradition through the presentation of concerts, forums, educational programs and support of local musicians in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.

CBS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors and operated by an all-volunteer staff. CBS is an affiliated member of The Blues Foundation, the umbrella organization for a worldwide network of 165 affiliated Blues societies and has individual memberships around the globe. 

Meet our New Guitar up for Raffle!

Candy Apple Red Fender Squier Strat 2019 Autographed fundraising raffle Guitar

As a 501(c)3 organization, we have been raising funds through Guitar Raffles. You gotta love this sweet number!

It's a Candy Apple Red Fender Squier Strat donated by Ray Otstott, and the signatures have already begun...the first this time was Albert Castiglia  

Samantha Fish, Eric Gales, and guitar wiz Jonathan Long have already added their signatures before 2018 was out

The following is a list of all those who have signed the guitar as of August 10, 2019:

Albert Castiglia  Dec 2, 2018

Ray Otstott Dec. 2, 2018

Johnathon Long Dec. 4,2018

Samantha Fish Dec. 6,2018

Eric Gales  Dec.6,2018

John Nemeth Jan.9, 2019

Popa Chubby Jan. 25,2019

Lipbone Redding Feb.10, 2019

Tinsley Ellis  March 21,2019

Coco Montoya  March 21, 2019

Gerry McAvoy(band of Friends) March 29, 2019

Davy Knowles March 29, 2019

Tommy Z, April 7, 2019

Heather Gillis  April 13, 2019

Ana Popovic  April 13, 2019

Danielle Nicole  April 14, 2019

Geoff Achison  May 5, 2019

Jamie McLean  May 18, 2019

Anthony Gomes May 31, 2019

Nick Schnebelen June 14 2019

Robert Cray  June 21, 2019

Ally Venable  July 27, 2019

Castro Coleman/aka:Mr. Sipp  Aug. 10

and more to come!

Raffle tickets on sale now at all our events.

There will only be 400 tickets printed this year  When they are gone, they are gone.

Drawing will be held December 1, 2019.

With all the great acts coming to town this year, it should be a banner year to collect more autographs.

At this time, we want to thank all the artists who have signed our raffle guitars.   We appreciate you more than you will ever know.   And we know every signature makes that guitar more valuable, and a hotter ticket to purchase.
All proceeds are donations and benefit Charlotte Blues Society. Those dollars help us in our mission of Keeping the Blues Alive.  Thank you musicians!  

Thanks for your support!  Thanks to all who buy a ticket. Remember: it only takes one to win!

Our Designated Charity 2019


In  2018, Charlotte Blues Society chose  to support a local charity that serves our community.  

Loaves and Fishes fed over 77,000 people in the Charlotte area in 2017.  A huge percentage of those being fed were children. We committed to collecting donations of non-perishable food items at every Blues Sunday event through the year. 

We have committed ourselves to them again this year.

We  will always take donations at every blues event we attend outside of our own, (providing the venue allows it)  Funds raised will be used to purchase the most needed items  for the Loaves and Fishes  food pantry every month.  

By the end of 2018 we donated 1812 pounds of food and over $200 from events. 

Our goal in 2019 is to reach 2000 pounds~ a full ton by the end of 2019.

We got off to a slow start, and decided our August 4 event would be dedicated to Loaves and Fishes.  We asked our members and guests to bring in 5 cans of food to get in free, or donate $5 at the door for Loaves & Fishes.

Thanks to all that participated, we ended up with 441 pounds of food.  

We are half way through the year, and have reached 40 % of our goal.  

We continue to ask our members to help the less fortunate and feed at risk families.  

Everyone is encouraged at every event to bring non-perishable food items and we will make sure it is delivered to a local Loaves & Fishes food pantry.

"1 Can?   I Can!" : our battle cry a gainst hunger.

Please look for us at all Blues events and consider bringing food or making a cash donation.   

Blues for Food.  We Can make a difference!

We also encourage you to donate directly to Loaves and Fishes here 

Donate to CBS

  Honor someone you know with a  donation  to 

Charlotte Blues Society.  

It will support our  mission of Keeping the Blues Alive,   and is tax deductible.  

Please indicate person(s) or event you wish to honor on form where it says  "add a note" .  If you wish  an acknowledgement sent to you or another individual, please include that information as well.  

Simply use the Donate Now button below

Thank You!

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

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