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From the Prez


Greetings Fellow Blues Lovers

I would like to start my first “From the Prez” with thanking Jamey McMahon for all he has done for the MCBS. He is taking a well-deserved break from the day to day operation of your little group but will still be active in other ways. So, when you see him out and about at various live music events please show your appreciation.

The new Members on the Board consists of me, Todd Eckstrom President, Brent Lambiotte Board Member at Large, Sharon Otey Webmistress and Tara Sarbee New Committee head.

Please remember that Robert Kimbrough will be at our first BlueStages of the year on Feb 3 3-6. Please sign up at This is a private house concert / byob $20 suggested donation, all proceeds go to the artist. This is not to be missed. Mr. Kimbrough was just tearing up the stage this past week in Memphis at the IBC.

We are currently working on quite a few things. First, we have formed a committee to work on the best way to approach the City of Birmingham to work out our issues with our Phelan Park Music Series. The issue is new regulations and fees being imposed by the City. We will keep everybody posted on our progress.

Second, we are putting together a Road Trip with the MCBS to Memphis on May 8/9 for the Blues Music Awards held at the Memphis Convention Center. For anyone interested please watch for the announcement coming this week. It will be via email, Facebook and on our webpage. This event should be on every Blues Lover’s Bucket list. The commit date will be March 1st so that we can secure our seats together and be up close to the action.

Third, we are creating a Go Fund Me page to raise money for a brick at the entrance of the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. Here is the link, and also a link to the Bricks for the Blues so you can visualize the layout. We are going to do this in memory of Cabbie Bowes, a longtime member of the MCBS, and also a longtime member of the Blues Foundation.  The brick will be 4” x 8” and have 3 lines as follows:

Cabbie Bowes

Magic City Blues

Society est. 1993

I have started the funding off with the first $25 and humbly request those that knew and loved Cabbie to please support our efforts.

Now to recap the International Blues Challenge. I know a lot of you were following my updates on Facebook, but they could not convey the energy and talent that was taking place on Beale St. Our people were AMAZING. So proud of the efforts they put forth. Judging is subjective and does not reflect the talent of the performers. Just being invited to Memphis is an achievement. Yarbrough and Co. did not advance past the Quarter Finals, but not from lack of talent or effort. They were the first band to play at B.B. Kings on Tuesday night and started the week off right. Rob Harris made it into the Semi Finals and displayed his amazing singing and playing skills. I hope they enjoyed the week as much as we did. There was quite a turnout of people in support. I know the performers really appreciate having some familiar faces in the crowd.

If you have never been GO. If you have been and don’t go back because of the crowds, my suggestion would be to follow the Solo/Duo acts on Wed/Thus. They perform at the smaller venues and we never had an issue getting a good seat, even when just arriving before the act we wanted to see.  You don’t need to spend a lot. Tuesday all the Jams are free. Wednesday a wrist band is $10, Thursday/Friday the wrist band is $15 each day. This gets you into all the venues so you can camp out at your favorite or cruise up and down Beale at your leisure.

From my point of view the only drawback at any type of event like this is “you can only see/hear one band at a time”. But the fact that there is so much talent and the opportunity to see new bands from faraway places that it is well worth it. Where else are you going to meet a Rock/Blues/Grunge band from Croatia? We met them at BB Kings while at a (free) Showcase. We were all having lunch waiting for the second night of the Quarter Finals to start and got to talking. So being curious and trying to have an open mind we caught their act at Jerry Lee Lewis’ and were pleasantly surprised. Very talented young guys and it was nice to see that they were there not specifically to the competition, but to fully enjoy the experience and have fun, and they did. So did we. Their energy was contagious.  We also talked with 2 different bands from Australia, one 7 pc band from Switzerland (never got to see them, scheduling conflicts), and a couple of groups from Canada all in the course of 3 days. We also meet one of the Solo acts that we are working on bringing to Birmingham for a BlueStages event. More on that as we get the details worked out. You will be impressed. 

In my humble opinion if the talent from the Youth Showcase performers is any indication, then the Blues is Alive & Well. These kids are amazing, I can only imagine where they will be in 10 years. Born IV Blues a group of 4 very talented kids from Western Massachusetts knocked me over. This was their second time to Memphis and really impressed.

A big shout out to Misty Blues. They went from the IBC Quarter Finals last year to the Finals this year. This week they were one of the top 8 bands in the world and they have performed for us at BlueStages the past couple of years. You may have seen them at the Red Wolf, or in Francesca’s front room. Never let it be said that the MCBS can’t spot talent.

Road Trip with the Magic City Blues Society to
The Blues Music Awards in Memphis

May 8, 9th at the Memphis Convention Center.
This trip is a bucket list item for many Blues Lovers.
The goal is to bring a Birmingham contingent to the Blues Music Awards in the most cost effective way.
The trip will be Ala cart, meaning people can join in as little or as much of the event as desired.
$ 150.00 for Thursday night BMAs.
For this you get music from 5-6 at the cocktail party, a very nice dinner at the awards ceremony from 6 - ~midnight. The tables seat 10 and we will be sitting in the midst of all the Stars. You can get up move around, go out into the lobby for adult beverages and bid on the silent auctions. The format is an Award a band, an Award a solo, etc. it is very well run and fast paced.
$ 75.00 Hall of Fame Inductions
Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Halloran Centre, The venue is located at 203 S Main St, 38103. Right near Beale St. Reception at 5:30pm with a cash bar and hors d'oeuvre followed by the induction ceremony at 6:30pm. The hors d’oeuvres are top flight and you can easily make this your dinner for the evening if you wish. This will be over by 8. Then Beale St.
If you choose not to go to the Hall Inductions there is always Beale St, it will be hopping with all the talent in town and you can eat anywhere you choose.
The Sheridan is right across from the Convention Center, most convenient option. $150 a night, most of the musicians stay there.
I did a quick search on Home Away and we can get a house that sleep 6 a $10 Uber ride from both venues for $311.00 total or $50-75 each depending upon how many sign up.
Car pool or travel on your own.
In order to sit together and get the best table we would like to commit by March 1st so we can buy the tickets and get a good spot.
Please check out this link, a review of last year’s event for an idea of what to expect.
Please let me know if you have any interest.

Welcome Members
Welcome Members