Keepin' The Blues Alive

Keepin' The Blues Alive

Keepin' The Blues AliveKeepin' The Blues AliveKeepin' The Blues Alive

NEW Show Times in 2020: Doors 6pm, show 7pm  at the Rabbit Hole  


New time for all shows in 2020 for Blues Sunday Events

Our members requested an earlier start time on Sunday nights, and we listened!  Beginning January 5th, 2020, Doors open at 6pm, and music begins at 7pm.   

CBS Blues Sunday February 9

Chris O'Leary Band is BACK!


  Chris O'Leary Band Returns to Charlotte Sunday February 9 for a CBS Blues Sunday performance at The Rabbit Hole.  Chris and his band have  been building a huge following in the Charlotte area with performances at Charlotte Blues Society events as well as as house concerts, and performances in Uptown Charlotte over the past 3 years.  This high energy night of blues is one you do not want to miss!


Chris O'Leary’s musical background includes duties as lead singer and front man for rock and roll hall of famer and Grammy award winner Levon Helm’s band, The Barnburners. During the 6 years that Chris and Levon played together they toured across the US and Canada lighting up stages everywhere they went. Chris has appeared on stage with: Legendary Rolling Stones sideman Bobby Keys, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmy Vivino, Jeff Healy, Dan Akroyd, Albert Lee, Dave Edmunds, Dave Maxwell and the great James Cotton to name just a few. Chris has also recorded with Bill Perry and Hubert Sumlin, among others

Doors open at 6pm

show at 7pm

FREE to members with current valid Membership card

$10 without card and non-members

Location: The Rabbit Hole

1801 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte

CBS Events and Causes

IBC Bound


Charlotte  Blues Society, an affiliate of the Blues Foundation  is proud to have two talented acts representing us this year at the IBC.

Chad Andrew Harris and The Blue Herons will be performing beginning Wednesday January 29th and then again Thursday January 30th for the band challenge semi-finals in clubs on the famous Beale Street in Memphis.  
Representingc us in the Youth Showcase on Friday is Crank Sinatra.   What an incredible opportunity for both acts.   

We hope you will go out and support these amazing talents as they represent Charlotte Blues Society and join artists from around the world as they gather for the  36th International Blues Challenge January 28 through February 1, 2020 in Memphis TN.  

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)

A Brick For Robin


Congratulations to Glenn Madara, winner of the  limited edition plaque commemorating The Double Door Inn. 

One of only two in existence, 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 fall. 

The brick  commemorates CBS Member and Award winning Blues Artist  Robin Rogers and CBS.  

Look for her brick when you head to Memphis in January for the iBC!

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 a finalist in the 2004IBC also winner of the Self Produced CD at the IBC in 2005 with Crazy Cryin' Blues, and won Best Female Blues Artist 

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


one can?



And we are  making a difference to the at risk children and families in our community.  

Bring non-perishable food items to EVERY event, as we fight hunger.

Many thanks to FOOD LION and COSTCO for their recent donations!

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. 



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 Christmas Event at the Rabbit Hole!

The Candy Apple Red Fender Squier Strat was donated by the late Ray Otstott, a lover of music and a beloved member of our board.  Signatures included:

Albert Castiglia, Ray Otstott,Johnathon Long, Samantha Fish,

Eric Gales, John Nemeth, Popa Chubby, Lipbone Redding ,

Tinsley Ellis, Coco Montoya , Gerry McAvoy(band of Friends) 

Davy Knowles, Tommy Z, Heather Gillis,Ana Popovic , Danielle Nicole, Geoff Achison, Jamie McLean, Anthony Gomes ,Nick Schnebelen, Robert Cray, Ally Venable, Castro Coleman/aka:Mr. Sipp, Marcus King, Shaw Davis, Jontavious Willis , Keb'Mo' ,Joanne Shaw Taylor, Jackson Stokes, Devon Allman, Duane Betts, Eric Sardinas, Vanessa Collier, Mike Zito, 

Kenny Neal, Gary Hoey, Toronzo Cannon

We wish to thank all the artists who have signed our raffle guitars.   We appreciate you more than you will ever know, and know every signature makes 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.  Thank you. 

The 2020 Raffle Guitar: A Fender Strat Bullet


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.  

Many more to come.  

You can purchase your raffle ticket for a $10 donation at any of our Blues Sunday Events at The Rabbit Hole, and at many of the blues events we attend at Heist Brewery, Free Range Brewing, McGlohon Theater, Neighborhood Theatre, The Evening Muse, Whitewater Center and Festivals we attend.  

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

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

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Charlotte Blues Society