The Atlanta Blues Society is now taking applications for the 2019 Atlanta Blues Challenge. This competition will decide who will represent us in the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, TN.  This year's competition will be as follows:

Atlanta Blues Challenge
Date: Sunday, August 25, 2019
Time: 1pm-10pm 
Place:  Route 66 Restaurant & Music Venue
Address: 6000 Medlock Bridge Parkway,
               Johns Creek, GA 30022
Deadline for entry: Midnight, July 24, 2019

There are three categories for the challenge acts:  Youth act, Solo/Duo act, and Band act. For the Youth act, all participants must be under the age of 21. While the Youth act is a competition at the Atlanta Challenge, they will not be in competition at the IBC in Memphis, but instead will be in a Youth Showcase which takes place on Friday evening of IBC week. The Youth act will need to take off at least one day from school, and possibly two, to allow for travel time to Memphis.  The Solo/Duo and Band act winners of the Atlanta Blues Challenge must be able to be in Memphis for the entire week of the IBC in order to compete in the various stages of the IBC competition (Quarter finals, Semi Finals, and Finals).  This year's IBC will be January 28-Feb 1, 2020. 

The deadline for entry for the Atlanta Blues Challenge is midnight, July 24, 2019.  Musician sponsors of the ABS get a discount in fees. Musician Sponsorship is $50 per year and includes one membership and many promotional benefits for your act. You do not have to be a member or sponsor of the ABS to compete.  Read more detail on our Blues Challenge Page...

The Atlanta Blues Society's July Gathering & Jam was held on Sunday, July 21, 2019 from 3pm-6pm at Moonshadow Tavern in Tucker, GA. Our host band will be Rae & the Royal Peacocks. MoonShadow is one of our favorite sponsor venues, great stage and sound, lots of dance floor space and great drinks & food guarantee a good time for everybody. Winners of the Atlanta Blues Challenge twice, Rae & the Royal Peacocks put on a fabulous show of heart-felt, hard hitting Blues that left everyone impressed.

Save the Date
• Sunday, August 25, The Atlanta Blues Challenge, Route 66, Johns Creek
• Saturday, September 14, Sautee-NaHoochee Coochee Blues Fest
• Sunday, September 15, Gathering & Jam, TBD
• Fri, Sat, Sun, Sept 20-22, GABBAFest, Macon, GA
• Sunday, October 20, Gathering & Jam, TBD
• Sunday, November 17, Gathering & Jam, TBD
• Sunday, December 1, ABS Holiday Party, Helene S. Mills Multipurpose Facility

It is with great sadness that we have to report that Luther “Houserocker” Johnson has passed away. Luther has been a family member since the beginning. He first started playing here as Luther Johnson and The House Rockers but because of inconsistencies in the band at times The Shadows brought him into the group. His moniker was changed to Luther “Houserocker” Johnson at the time since he certainly lived up to it and because people associated it with him. His nick name at the club in the earlier times was “Pocket Filler Johnson” because of the crowds he brought in that made the staff so much money. Luther and The Shadows recorded two fine albums for The Ichiban label and toured extensively around the country and over to Europe. He will be remembered for his fiery playing and his showmanship including his ever popular playing with his teeth. Many nights the crowd would knowing it was about time would start chanting "Teeth" to egg him on. He was always extremely nice to his fans and was loved by all that saw him. He will be greatly missed. RIP Luther "Houserocker" Johnson! (from the Blind Willie's website).

I personally believe that every ABS event is excellent, but every now and then everything aligns and the results are truly spectacular. Such was the case last Sunday at MadLife Stage and Studios. The moment Red Sugar Blues hit the stage the nearly packed house knew they were in for a great show. Red was her usual dynamic self and her band (including Atlanta guitarist master, Bill Hart) totally rocked the house. We didn't have a boat load of jammers, but those who came kept the show going at a fever pitch. Any musician that has never played on the MadLife stage doesn't know what they have missed out on. As always the service was great and the sound was superb. My hat goes off to the sound man, you all know how bad I am with names, but he will forever be my CG27 buddy.  – George Klein.   Here is a great PHOTO ALBUM from the meeting. And here is some video from the event:

Route 66 Restaurant & Music Venue

For great food and live music, they’ve got you covered! FROM DAYTIME TO PLAYTIME, Route 66 IS the ultimate night out. It's where great food sets the stage for amazing Live Bands and Comedy Shows. VIP experiences, terrific BBQ cuisine, amazing cocktails... Pair it all with a state of the art and sound-proofed entertainment venue. Route 66 is truly where music and food feed the soul! Their website is https://www.route66johnscreek.com/ •  And check out their Facebook page:

News from Frank Hamilton School
New Term starts June 24th! 
We have classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights PLUS a new Thursday *daytime* class at an off-campus location. You can register just for the ‘Second Half’ jam; register for continuing classes (savings and flexibility for you), and more. Find out all about our class options, our gifted Teaching Artists, and most importantly, how you can join us! Click Here to Register

Atlanta Rock 'n Blues Camp
Atlanta Rock 'n Blues Camp is now taking applications for their 2019 Summer Sessions
Starts June 10, 2019 - Two more sessions, some slots available, register now!

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!

Our first Session hits Monday morning! We are all so excited to see everybody and get to work learning music for Friday's show! Staff have been getting everything ready and Rehearse Live looks great! There are still a few slots open in later sessions.

Sautee Productions presents the Sautee-NaHoochee-Coochee 2019 Blues Fest on September 14. Some of Atlanta’s favorite blues bands will be holding forth at this stunning location in the hills of north Georgia. Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite for $30. They will be $35 on the day of show. KIds 12 and under are free! https://www.facebook.com/SauteeBluesFest/

Rest in Peace Aaron "Mudbone" Turner

1958 was a year of musically-creative abundance.  The first stereo recording was made that year. The music of Sam Cooke, The Shirelles, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Smokey Robinson serenaded the world.  And three 1958 births proved to be life changing: Les Paul launched a new version of the Gibson guitar – the Standard; multi-instrumentalist and guitar virtuoso Prince was born; and Winifred and Joseph welcomed a son to the world on June 11. They named him Aaron.  Young Aaron was musically gifted because he listened and learned.  He listened to the syncopated rhythm of his mother’s heart from the womb.  He observed the sights and sounds of Chicagoland, developing a deeper connection with the language of music. He learned as a student in the Chicago Public Schools and graduated from the historic William R. Harper High School.  He continued his studies at Kennedy–King College and became a student of the blues. He was road-tested as an artist.  He toured with two-time Grammy Award winner Peabo Bryson and Grammy-nominated singer and guitarist Susan Tedeschi. He also shared the stage with Buddy Guy and Junior Walker and All Stars.  B.B. King was his musical idol—he loved everything B.B. played.  Indeed, Aaron listened to life and learned fundamental lessons from each performance.  These performances transformed him into a sought-after musician.

The truth is he was “Mudbone” long before the nickname found him.  According to legend, he and some friends were enjoying a meal at Jim 'N Nick's BBQ Restaurant.  Aaron—known for concocting memorable nicknames for people—had just minted a name for a friend.  The friend looked around and saw a “Mudbone for President” sign. He turned to Aaron and quipped, “You know what, Im-a call you ‘Mudbone’!”  The name was fitting and it stuck. Mudbone met and married his soulmate, L’Tanya “Sugarlips” Shields, and they built a life of love and laughs. They loved sharing quiet time in the morning planning their life together. Sugarlips loved when he made his famous spaghetti or smothered potatoes. They made beautiful music together. His promise to his wife was to be in front of her to protect her heart and soul, beside her to support her hopes and dreams, and behind her to push her forward into greatness.  At first blush, he seemed rough and tough on the outside.  His megawatt smile; however, revealed his loving spirit.  A true friend, he was helpful and caring.  He wanted the best for everyone—except for when it came to playing Bid Whist!  Mudbone was drummer extraordinaire who brought his instrument to the forefront in all he did.  His musicianship and spirit and soul-filled energy propelled he and his band onward and upward. They participated in the Atlanta Blues Challenge in August 2014 and were featured in the 33rd Annual WRFG Labor Day Blues BBQ. He was the recipient of a 2016 Georgia Music Legend Award. He established his company, MudCave Music, and released a CD entitled “My Kind of Blues”. He made his silver screen acting debut in Soul Guys. The independent film is the story of “three down and out Chicago bluesmen [who] arrive for a career saving gig in Paris, France, only to discover no airport limo, no hotel, no gig, and no money.”  The joy of receiving awards and performing as a drummer was eclipsed by his work writing and producing L’Tanya’s CD entitled “Finally, It’s Love” released just a week after his passing. Mudbone wrote all of the music except for two songs. He considered this project one of his greatest accomplishments. 

His faith wasn’t about sitting on the front pew at church on Sundays; his faith was about a deep, personal relationship with God that was not bound by the restrictions we often place on God. He found the presence of God everywhere and in everyone; from the songs he wrote and the albums he produced, to the people he met living, traveling, and performing across the United States of America and in Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and France. He found God in the voice and smile of his beloved wife, L’Tanya.  He found he best communed with the Divine Spirit through his drums. A few weeks ago Mudbone asked God the Good, “When are you gonna let me audition for your band?”  On Friday, May 17, Mudbone rocked out his audition and earned his rightful place in the Blues Band of the Sky. 

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

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.

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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