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Message from SMBS President

Hello Fellow Blues Fans!

First of all, the SMBS Board wishes you good health in body and spirit during these challenging times!  We hope you are all well, and making use of this time to enjoy those things we can, and stay in the Blues while doing it, whatever “it” is.

The Board has made the decision to cancel all SMBS events for May 2020.  While this may not come as a surprise given the current state of things in the country, we wanted to let you know that we’ve been staying on top of things as they develop.  We know that East Tennessee is relaxing some of the guidelines for going out; however, shows and Riverboat Blues Cruises put our Membership too close for comfort.

We will continue to keep you up to date on a monthly basis.  Please keep an eye on our Smoky Mountain Blues Society Facebook page, as well as our website at smokymountainblues.org for updates on Blues News, and other information regarding the SMBS.

Please continue to stay safe, and we look forward to the day when we can bring the Blues back to East Tennessee for you, our valued members.

Sincerely,

Don Linde, President
Smoky Mountain Blues Society

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Member message

Shout out to all our Smoky Mountain Blues Society members,

Hope you are being safe and finding ways to enjoy the Blues wherever you are sheltering. A lot of musicians are doing live-streaming and we’ll be sharing information with you as we find it. Our thought are with all the musicians and workers in the industry who are having a hard time right now.

We want to let you know that both of our April shows have been cancelled:

  • Murray Kinsley and the Wicked Grin at Bluetick Tavern on April 12
  • Andy T Blues Cruise on April 19

And now, with Governor Lee’s order, other shows should be considered cancelled until further notice. See article.

We will look to reschedule shows or schedule new ones as the situation allows.

If you have questions, please direct them to me at smbs.djlinde@gmail.com. I’d rather collect them personally, instead of using our Facebook page. Please allow a few days for a response.

We hope all of you stay safe, stay well, and Keep Keepin’ the Blues Alive!

Best regards,

Don Linde, President
Smoky Mountain Blues Society

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Smoky Mountain Blues Society Announces April 12 Performance by Murray Kinsley Has Been Cancelled by the Artist

Other SMBS Program Postponements or Cancellations May Follow.

Murray Kinsley has announced that he’s been forced to cancel his concert which was originally scheduled to take place on April 12 at Bluetick Tavern in Maryville at the conclusion of the Smoky Mountain Blues Society’s 2020 membership drive. The artist’s decision was made out of an abundance of caution in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Regarding this year’s Blues Cruises, the Smoky Mountain Blues Society board of directors will be monitoring the changing situation and will notify of any shows that have been postponed or cancelled as soon as a change in schedule occurs.  Our first Blues Cruise on April 19 has been cancelled and we will see if another date can be scheduled.

All Blues Society members and media representatives will be notified once a final decision is reached.

“Like others in our community and around our nation, we are feeling the effect of this terrible virus that has upended life as normal. This was a difficult decision,” said Smoky Mountain

Blues Society president Don Linde. “We realize that these are difficult decisions that are being made by artists and organizations. We have always believed that music was the surest antidote to get us all through tough times and personal difficulties. This is no different, but indeed, it is a situation that none of us have ever faced before. However, we are confident that once this crisis passes — and it will — that we will once again be able to join together and celebrate the music, the fellowship and the life we have come to know and appreciate here in East Tennessee.”

Linde then added this: “In the meantime, please accept our sincerest wishes for maintaining your well-being and that of your family and your friends. Stay strong and care for one another. We will be back in touch very soon.”

 

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SMBS Annual Holiday Party

December 8, 2019 from 4 to 8 pm at the Open Chord

This festive event will feature entertainment from our entries to the 2020 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE! Music starts at 4 pm featuring:

Few Miles On (Band)
Bonfire Blue (Youth Band)

Cover charge is $10 to non-members, and to show our Great Appreciation to our members, free admission.

All the proceeds benefit the Musician’s Travel Fund.

 

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Congratulations to the SMBS 2019 IBC Regional Competition Winners!

MEMPHIS BOUND . . .

THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN BLUES SOCIETY Proudly Announces the Following Blues Acts as our East Tennessee Representative Entrants for IBC-2020:

Few Miles On, Band Representative

 

Melissa Ellis, Solo/Duo Representative

 

Bonfire Blue, Youth Band Representative

 

Blues Supporters: These artists need your help! Please click on the above links for the winners’ information and donate to their travel expense fundraisers for Memphis. Stay tuned, as SMBS will soon be promoting upcoming shows for our Representatives, which will showcase their talents.

The winning artists in each category of Band, Solo/Duo will represent East Tennessee at the 36th International Blues Challenge on January 28-February 1, 2020 in Memphis, TN. The world’s largest gathering of Blues acts represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its Affiliated Organizations for the Blues Band and Solo/Duo Blues Act ready to take their act to the international stage.  See more at: https://blues.org/international-blues-challenge/

 

 

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Shawn Holt and the Teardrops at Barley’s Maryville

Smoky Mountain Blues Society and Barley’s Maryville present Shawn Holt and the Teardrops

Shawn Holt, the son of legendary blues icon Magic Slim, is bringing the tradition of authentic soul-searching Chicago Blues to downtown Maryville.

The high-energy, hard-driving sound of The Teardrops is still alive and well and if you like what Magic Slim and The Teardrops have been doing for the last 35 years, you can continue to enjoy that unique sound and energy with Shawn Holt, a chip off the old block, fronting his dad’s band.  Shawn has been playing blues since he was 17 and on tour with his father Slim’s brother, Uncle Nick Holt and the Teardrops. Shortly after that tour Shawn realized his genetic destiny (all the Holts are talented musicians). In 2014 Shawn Holt and the Teardrops won the Blues Blast Music Award for New Artist Debut Album for Daddy Told Me on Blind Pig records.

Doors open at 6 pm, show at 7 pm. $10 cash tickets at the door.

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SMBS Presents a Remarkable Double Bill: Two Superb Blues Guitarists, John Salaway and Jake HaldenVang

In keeping with their mission to bring the best of Blues to East Tennessee, the Smoky Mountain Blues Society will offer Blues lovers an exceptional double bill featuring two of the most exciting guitarists on the scene today — John Salaway and Jake HaldenVang. Each artist brings a remarkable resume, ensuring that this show will be one of the most talked about of the entire year.

The concert will take place on Sunday, September 15th at the Open Chord / All Things Music, 8502 Kingston Pike, Knoxville. Doors open at 3:00 pm, with music from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Tickets cost $10 for members and $15 for non-members. (Members of the SMBS will receive a code by MailChimp to use for their discounted tickets.)

John Salaway is a nationally endorsed multi instrumentalist, published songwriter and producer who performs and records in many styles and with any number of exceptional artists — among them, Peter Frampton, Guitar Shorty, Anderson East, Whitey Johnson, Scott Holt (Buddy Guy band leader), Nick Nixon, Markey Blue, and Denny Laine (Moody Blues). He’s been a key figure in the Nashville blues scene for several years. In addition, for the past five years, he’s had a weekly Friday residency at B.B. King’s Club for five years and has opened up for former members of the B.B. King’s band.

Salaway’s latest single, “A Little Bit Broken,” was released by Sony Music this past spring, and has garnered extensive international airplay. See it here: https://youtu.be/5Vr-eH6SHNM

A 2019, IBC Semi-Finalist, 24 year-old Jake HaldenVang is a naturally gifted guitarist and singer/songwriter who possesses a deep passion for Roots, Blues, Soul, and R&B. Early on, he was drawn to the powerful guitar sounds of Hendrix, Clapton, Jimmy Page, Duane Allman, AC/DC, SRV, Slash, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Billy Gibbons, Rory Gallagher and Albert Collins. He began teaching himself to play acoustic guitar, before buying his first Fender Stratocaster at the age of 12. He quickly developed a natural feel, as well as the passion and abilities of a seasoned player well beyond his years.

Locally recognized at age 13, Jake was chosen to represent Charlotte, North Carolina at the 2009 International Blues Challenge in the IBC Youth Showcase. He subsequently fronted two different bands, “Jake HaldenVang Band”, a four piece ensemble, and his power trio “Halden Vang.” Both  have played hundreds of performances at clubs, theatres and festivals throughout the Southeastern U.S. while sharing stages with Warren Haynes, Greg Allman, Buddy Guy, Steve Miller, Leon Russell, Elvin Bishop, Jimmie Vaughan, Kevn Kinney/Drivin N’ Cryin, Trombone Shorty, Moreland & Arbuckle, The Holmes Brothers and Tommy Castro and many more. In addition, he’s also played as a guest guitarist with Buddy Guy, Marshall Tucker, Chris Hicks, Walter Trout, Umphreys McGee and Bryan Lee. Watch him here https://youtu.be/F-SN6IShGvg

At age 16, HaldenVang was nominated and then awarded “Artist of the Year” by the Queen City Music Awards, while his band Halden Vang also received a nomination for 2011’s “Band of the Year” by the Charlotte Music Awards. In addition to being a guitarist, singer and songwriter, he is a multi-instrumentalist who also plays bass and drums. He’s also an accomplished acoustic musician who performs as a solo artist when not fronting his individual bands.

For more information on Jake HaldenVang, go to: http://brotherhoodoftheguitar.com

For more information on John Salaway, go to Johnsalaway.com

 

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What does the Hart fund do?

The Blues Foundation established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses. Throughout the year at various events the HART Fund provides free health screenings for musicians, with services including but not limited to checking blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, prostate cancer, Hep C, anemia, thyroid, kidney and liver testing via blood work.

For more information, check out their website: https://blues.org/hart-fund/

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Blues Cruise No. 2: Peter Karp

May 17, 2020

Accolades aside, Peter Karp is a storyteller who also happens to be an assertive singer, an insightful songwriter, a spellbinding performer, and a searing slide guitarist. Fortunately, those distinctions aren’t mutually exclusive. Nor is it a contradiction to call Karp both a master of the blues and an Americana aficionado. In Karp’s case, all these threads are bound tightly together.

It’s little wonder then that Blues Blast Magazine described him simply as “One of the most well-respected songwriters in America.” Or that AllMusic.com noted, “Karp is his own man, an artist who blends roots music styles into something that transcends blues, country, R&B and swamp, John Prine’s wordplay, Joe Ely’s rocking instincts, Billy Joe Shaver’s fatalistic outlook.”

Indeed, Karp is all that and more. “I look at writing songs like writing novels,” Karp insists “It becomes my way of sharing the diverse life I’ve led. Each of my albums represents a new chapter in my life story, a sometimes tangled trajectory that has brought me to where I am now.”

Karp is a singular musician whose ability to tap tradition and keep in contemporary, finds him expressing the very essence of a fertile heartland sound. As his friend and collaborator, Rolling Stones guitarist and John Mayall’s sideman Mick Taylor once noted, “Guys like Peter Karp, James Taylor and Bob Dylan embody Americana Blues, and us English guys are inspired by it.”

“What turns me on is absolute honesty,” Karp confesses. “You have to take it seriously to stay committed to who you are and where you’re coming from. That’s the way I connect to my audience. You can’t BS people. It’s always about the honesty.”

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society promotes seven blues cruises every year from April to October. The Star of Knoxville Riverboat is an authentic paddle-wheeler United States Coast Guard. The main deck is fully enclosed, air conditioned, and heated for year-round comfort. The vessel is equipped with two (2) bars, a dance floor, band stage, and is exquisitely decorated for the most elegant dinner and entertainment available.

If you’ve never been in one of these cruises, you should definitely try to experience one.

Here are the upcoming cruises:
June 28, Stella Vees
July 19, Few Miles On
August 23, Austin Walkin’ Cane
September 20, Mojo Tweed
October 18, Chris O’Leary

Boarding at 3 pm, cruising from 4 pm to 7 pm on the beautiful Tennessee River!

Tickets $16 for members, $20 for non-members, $25.00 day of show.

Call 865-525-7827 for TICKETS or Online at Tennessee Riverboat

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society strives to preserve, promote and perpetuate Blues music and its heritage, and, by so doing, to help foster unity among people of all ages, races, creeds, and economic levels.

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Blues Cruise No. 1: Andy T Band

The first Blues Cruise of the season will be on April 19th with the Andy T Band!

The Andy T Band featuring Alabama Mike is a potent blend of blues talent. The group pairs veteran Nashville guitarist Andy Talamantez and tenor vocalist Alabama Mike Benjamin with some of the best musical talent in Nashville.

“Alabama Mike” Benjamin made his recording debut with the Andy T Band on the group’s fourth album, Double StrikeDouble Strike features Benjamin singing half of the songs and Nick Nixon singing the other half. Double Strike presents the Andy T Band at its best, before and after Nixon left the group in 2016 due to health issues.

Talamantez, a Los Angeles native who moved to Nashville in 2008, has been a gigging musician since his teens. After performing part time while he worked in the aerospace industry for 23 years, Talamantez took the full-time music plunge in 1997. His first seven years of touring musician included two years with Smokey Wilson and five years with Guitar Shorty. He toured internationally with other major blues acts.

Band Members:
“Andy T” Talamantez – Guitar/Bandleader
“Alabama Mike” Benjamin-Vocals/Harmonica“Alabama Mike” Benjamin-Vocals/Harmonica
Doug Swanson – Bass
Jim Klingler – Drums

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society promotes seven blues cruises every year from April to October. The Star of Knoxville Riverboat is an authentic paddle-wheeler United States Coast Guard. The main deck is fully enclosed, air conditioned, and heated for year-round comfort. The vessel is equipped with two (2) bars, a dance floor, band stage, and is exquisitely decorated for the most elegant dinner and entertainment available.

If you’ve never been in one of these cruises, you should definitely try to experience one.

Here are the upcoming cruises:
May 17, Peter Karp
June 28, Stella Vees
July 19, Few Miles On
August 23, Austin Walkin’ Cane
September 20, Mojo Tweed
October 18, Chris O’Leary

Boarding at 3 pm, cruising from 4 pm to 7 pm on the beautiful Tennessee River!

Tickets $16 for members, $20 for non-members, $25.00 day of show.

Call 865-525-7827 for TICKETS or Online at Tennessee Riverboat

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society strives to preserve, promote and perpetuate Blues music and its heritage, and, by so doing, to help foster unity among people of all ages, races, creeds, and economic levels.