Our September Gathering & Jam was held on Sunday, September 15 at Blind Willie's Blues Club from 3pm-6pm. Our host band, the Way Back Band, took us back in time, recreating an oldies radio show and playing all our favorite blues, rock, and R&B hits. You couldn't help but sing along, tap your feet, sway your head, and get out on the dance floor. Then the George Carlin show hit the stage with news about all the upcoming Atlanta Blues Society events, especially the upcoming Blues Stotts Benefit in November (see below for more info). Our Jam Master, Wes, got the jam going with each set of musicians showcasing their talents, including our 2019 Atlanta Blues Challenge winners, The Garrett Collins Project. It was a beautiful, although still hot day outside, and a perfect day of music inside Blind Willie's with friendly staff serving us cool drinks and spicy Cajun food. And it's all free and open to the public, come out to our next one and bring your music loving friends with you.

Save the Date
• Fri, Sat, Sun, Sept 20-22, GABBAFest, Macon, GA (& Thursday pre-fest events)
• Sunday, October 20, Gathering & Jam at Full Throttle Road House, Host Band Rockaholics ATL
• Saturday, Nov 2, Blues Stotts Benefit at Blind Willie's featuring JP Soars, Cazanovas, Eddie 9V
• Sunday, November 17, Gathering & Jam at Magnolia Lounge, Host Band Blues Generation
• Sunday, December 1, ABS Holiday Party, Helene S. Mills Multipurpose Facility

The 2019 Atlanta Blues Challenge is "in the books"! Despite some growing pains that were experienced on Sunday, what with our continued growth and our first time in a predominately Rock venue, when the sun had set on the 2019 Challenge and the results tallied, it turned out to be our most successful Challenge to date. Thanks so much to our judges, volunteers, board of directors, Route 66 production and sound staff, which streamed the entire event live on Facebook, and everyone who attended our annual competition to select our representatives for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January.

2019 Atlanta Blues Challenge Results / Going to IBC
Youth Act: Menegerie
Solo/Duo Act:Mandi Strachota
Band Act: The Garrett Collins Project
2nd Place Band: Eddie 9V
3rd Place Band: Johnny Scales Band
People’s Choice: Red Sugar Blues

Saturday, September 14, 2019 in the small north Georgia community of Sautee Nacoochee, the blues was alive and well and the Atlanta Blues Society was there to represent and enjoy. Even a sudden thunderstorm couldn't stop the music, we just moved indoors into an air-conditioned gymnasium with a great stage. The day started off with the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable, a street band made up of volunteers from the Atlanta area. With their colorful attire, dancing choreography and family friendly fun music, they set the tone perfectly. Next up was the talented Andy Johnson, backed up by the equally talented Back City Woods band playing rock, country blues and southern rock. Next up was the Kerry Hill Band playing authentic blues and R&B and even a little jazz. The sun was out and shining and it looked like we might be spared the predicted rain, however the rain clouds rolled in quickly and production quickly and efficiently got us all moved indoors into the Gym and got the stage set up for the next band which was The Squirrelheads from Atlanta who regaled us with jumping New Orleans zydeco, rock & funk. Next up was the Markey Blue/Ric Latina Project who mesmerized us with searing vocals by Markey and hot lick guitar playing by Ric, not to mention the rest of the excellent band. Last, but definitely not least was the always fabulous Delta Moon and boy did we get a great set of music. Soon everybody was up and dancing and having a blast. These folks know how to throw a party with great music and we are so glad we came and experienced it and can't wait for next year. Click on the banner to go to their Facebook page and Like it.

GABBAfest 2019 – Celebrating 50 Years of the Allman Brothers Band – September 20-22, 2019, Macon, GA. This year GABBAfest will be held at a new venue, the fabulous Grand Opera House in downtown Macon. Here is just some of the musical acts & activities:

Friday night, Sept 20 at the Grand Opera House:
• The Oakley Project led by Shaun Oakley, grandson of Berry Oakley
• The Melody Trucks Band, daughter of Butch Trucks
• Yeti Trio, w/ Vaylor Trucks son of Butch Trucks

Friday Late night shows
• Jesse Williams Band at Grant's Lounge
• Idlewild South at Back Porch Lounge
• Sanctified Revival at Billy's Clubhouse
• Shows at Hummingbird, TBA

Saturday afternoon, Sept 21 at the Big House Museum
• GABBA Members Jam hosted by Dirty Uncle Bob
• The Melody Trucks Band, daughter of Butch Trucks
• Yeti Trio, w/ Vaylor Trucks son of Butch Trucks

Saturday night, Sept 21 at the Grand Opera House
• An Evening with Friends of the Brothers, featuring Alan Paul, Junior Mack, Andy Aledort with guests Ron Holloway & Jeff Sipe, more to be announced…
• The Gabby Awards
• GABBA Auction

Special Guest & Artist at Large, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer. Artist at Large, Paul Hornsby.   Master Guitar class, Book signings, Kickoff at Gallery West with Sonny Moorman. Big House Tours, Folk Art Blues Show, Rosehill Cemetery Dedication. Don't miss it!

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.

 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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