It's been a most unusual year.
We would normally be getting ready for an outstanding Christmas Bash Extravaganza, but this is 2020, and things are a bit different.
So we contacted Bill Titus, who just happens to have copies of many shows from our beloved Double Door including the very first December Jam on Dec. 6, 1993.
CBS was just months old at the time, and Beth Pollhammer and Bill Buck were jamming along with many others.
Since we cannot gather together at this time, pass the egg nog, raise your glass and salute this group we all know and love
Celebrate Charlotte Blues Society. Experience the talent that began the tradition of the jam and "Keeping the Blues Alive" in Charlotte.
The CHARLOTTE BLUES SOCIETY (CBS)
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.
Albert Cummings became the first signature on our 2020 Raffle guitar on December 5th!
That was quickly followed by Tab Benoit's & Eric Johanson's signatures on December 11 after their shows at McGlohon Theater, Davy Knowles on February 7th at Neighborhood Theatre, Chris O'Leary February 9th at The Rabbit Hole.
We thank Bill Arnold, former CBS member who donated this guitar to us prior to relocating in late 2019.
Our major effort to collect signatures in 2020 were derailed with Covid 19, but we will resume as soon as possible.
You can purchase your raffle ticket for a $10 donation on our online store here on our website.
A year ago we lost our dear friend, longtime member of CBS, and member of the CBS Board Nick Polyzos.
In 2017, Nick won the amazing white Fender Squier that was donated by Sonny & Scotty Jackson in memory of their son Matthew.
Scotty & Sonny were both dedicated board members, and our group got to know Matt as he celebrated many CBS Blues Sundays with us. Throughout the year, we gathered signatures, starting with Joe Bonamassa. The raffle helped raised money for our coffers, and Nick bought tickets at every opportunity in hopes of winning that very special guitar.
Earlier this summer, Nick's family contacted us and donated that autographed guitar back to our organization.They told us "Nick loved this group, and this is a way to remember him, honor him and honor Charlotte Blues Society"
We will be raffling off that guitar, with details coming soon!
Thank you Nick and thank you Sonny & Scotty!
As a 501(c)3 organization, we have been raising funds through Guitar Raffles. We drew the winning entry live on Facebook at the December Blues 2019 Christmas Event at the Rabbit Hole!
The beautiful Candy Apple Red Fender Squier Strat was from the personal collection of guitar enthusiast and CBS Board of Directors member Ray Otstott. Ray offered us the guitar in 2018 and we gladly accepted it as a prize guitar in our fundraising efforts. Little did we know that Ray would not be with us as we collected signatures throughout the year, although there are many photos showing him taking the guitar to shows to collect signatures. Ray's love of the guitar was well known, and we were privileged to have one of his guitars to raffle off.
To Ray, his family and all the artists who have signed our raffle guitars, "Thank you". We appreciate you more than you will ever know, and know every signature made that guitar more valuable.
All proceeds are donations and benefit Charlotte Blues Society. Those dollars help us in our mission of Keeping the Blues Alive.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
COVID-19 has affected all our lives.
Please use the button below to donate any amount if you are able.
Most importantly, please renew your membership. It's only $20 a year!
Charlotte Blues Society Celebrated 27 years this April.
We had slated the amazing Vanessa Collier
to perform for our event.
But due to city, county and federal guidelines as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, our event is postponed.
Hold on to your tickets! They will be honored.
Vanessa has been rescheduled for April 2021
She will help us celebrate our 28th year!
I know you will be happy to finally celebrate with us! More details on their way as we all patiently and calmly get through this pandemic together.
Wear your mask
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 charlottebluessociety.org 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.
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
I’m Tore Down
Little By Little
Junior Wells & Buddy Guy
Who’s Been Talkin?
a/k/a Talkin Woman Blues
Statement from Charlotte Blues Society amid the nationwide and worldwide protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department.
The Blues are based on the pain and the anguish of Black America. They provided us then, and now with music that showed our worst, and our best. It is the genesis of all our music in this country, and we are compelled to honor those that have given us this gift, and stand with them.
We join with other music organizations to reflect, and to remind all that racial injustice and inequality has no place in this country.
We ask all Blues Society group members and Blues lovers to stop and hear the silence, as well as the shouting. Listen for the cries and anguish, and act with compassion and love. Above all, we must rely on love to get us through. We are one in music, in heart, in mind. Take the time to pay attention. Division and hate is not acceptable.
We cannot remain sheltered from the pain experienced by our brothers and sisters.
We cannot hide behind the walls of discomfort and refuse to speak out against that which we know is wrong.
We cannot shrink back from our responsibility, for yes, it is our responsibility to hold true to the ideals of unity.
Music is the great unifier – one of the major ways in which we come together as members of the human family.
Now is the time to make a stand and declare our solidarity with ALL of the members of our beloved Blues Community.
To that end, we denounce racism, discrimination, and the history of systemic oppression that would dare to say that the lives of George Floyd and countless others do not matter. We therefore join together today with those fighting for love, peace, justice, and dignity for all.
We echo the words shown below, in the eloquent statement posted by The Blues Foundation, of which CBS is an affiliate.
“This moment of grief can also be a moment of purpose."
- Brittany Packnett Cunningham
The Blues is an African American art form, originally created as an artistic expression and response to the oppression, dehumanization, and hatred this population had to endure. The Blues Foundation stands with the musicians and members of our community past and present who speak truth through music. In sadness and outrage, The Blues Foundation pays homage to the memories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all others whose lives were abruptly, unjustly, and hatefully ended. Each of these human beings was taken because of the individual and systemic racism that has pervaded the psyche of America for 400 years. We grieve with the families, and we will join the greater conversation for the eradication of racism in deference to the legacy of the Blues.
“The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
The Board of Directors of The Blues Foundation
We are 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.
You can join CBS and support Blues in the Charlotte area simply by clicking on the button below
On your next trip to Memphis, stop by the Blues Foundation Blues Museum.
On the brick walkway heading to the entry, you will see the brick you helped us buy to commemorate our beloved Robin Rogers.
Keep the Blues Alive.
We normally ask you to bring non-perishable food items to EVERY event
Pandemic lock downs have changed so many lives.
At risk kids need us more than ever. They depended on the meals at schools.
We ask you to open your hearts and donate directly to Loaves and Fishes.
BLUES FOR FOOD
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
Prior to Covid 19 Charlotte Blues Society met the 1st Sunday of the month January through June and August through December.
We call them "Blues Sunday"
We are in the planning stages for 2021. Check our calendar for Guest Artists and events, including special event times.
We are hopeful for what will come in 2021
Charlotte Blues Society
501(c)3 Non Profit
All donations are tax deductible.
Celebrations for our April 2021 Anniversary are being planned with Vanessa Collier as Guest Artist.
All tickets sold for the 2020 date for this show will be honored.
The New Home of Charlotte Blues Society
1801 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte NC
Sadly, it has been sold, and we will be relocating in 2021.
Ken Deery, Board of Directors member, is looking at best sites and opportunies for us in 2021.
Contact him with your suggestions.
We do not sell or give your information to any third party. You may opt out at any time.