Warning: These ideas may be hazardous to your wallet! They might also get your spouse/partner/friend overly excited if they receive one of these gifts!
Truth in advertising disclosure: Some of our Tier 1 supporters are on this list. We can’t do what we do without them. But we also have some other good suggestions for you, because that’s just how we help Blues Music Thrive!
13. Blues Music Magazine – http://www.bluesmusicmagazine.com/subscribe.html There aren’t many print blues magazines around anymore. This one is done up so nicely each issue is a masterpiece. Subscriptions start at $20.
12. Blues Foundation Membership – While we’re on the topic of the IBCs, why not give the gift of a Blues Foundation Membership? They sponsor the IBCs as well as the Blues Music Awards. As a member, you get to vote on the winners for the Blues Music Awards and help support all the good work done by the Blues Foundation. Fan memberships start at only $25! http://www.shopbluesfoundation.org/membership/
11. PA Blues Festival – Sept 16, 17 and 18th, 2016. Split Rock Resort, Lake Harmony, PA. They’re just starting to announce their line up, but it’s shaping up to be a good one. Ronnie Earl, Guy Davis, Kenny Neal and Slam Allen have been announced so far. The festival is in their second year at this location – a big upgrade vs prior years when hotel space was limited and far from the festival site. Book your VIP ticket before Jan 1 and save a bunch. Make sure to buy one for yourself too and save some money! 1 Person/2 People – $185/$319. VIP access allows you to be in the photo pit for some up close pictures. http://www.pennsylvaniabluesfestival.com/
10. International Blues Challenge – (IBCs) – January 26 – 30, 2016 in Memphis, TN This is one cool blues challenge. All the local blues societies have a competition and then send their best band and best solo/duo acts to Memphis. You get a chance to see a lot of bands before they get well known. $100 for 4 days of music, including the finals. In addition, lots of musicians are in town for a variety of jams making it one big party week on Beale Street. http://www.shopbluesfoundation.org/international-blues-challenge-kba-and-finals-pass/
9. Blues Music Awards – If you’re into blues music, going to Memphis for the BMAs is a great treat. Starting several days before the ceremony, there are tons of concerts, jams, and benefits since all the top blues musicians are in town. The Awards ceremony is the icing on the cake. The 37th Blues Music Awards will be May 5, 2016. Tickets and hotel information available shortly at www.blues.org
8. Give the gift of charity – We’re big supporters of the HART Fund – it’s the 5013C that helps blues musicians with their medical needs. We put together a fundraising cookbook called ‘Cooking with HART’.
This hard cover cookbook features 124 recipes from Blues artists and fans around the world, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to The Blues Foundation’s HART Fund. You will not find a collection of recipes like this anywhere else! The cookbook itself is spiral bound, and features a colorful hard cover and section dividers for lasting durability. Buy it for yourself, buy it for blues friends, or anyone who likes to cook. It also makes a great autograph book. Cooking with HART is the gift that keeps on giving. Order you copies now to receive in time for the holiday gift-giving season! $20 + tax &S&H http://www.shopbluesfoundation.org/cooking-with-hart/
- Mick Kolassa – 2 CDs – http://www.mimsmick.com/music/ You have your choice of Two CD’s ‘Michissippi Mick’ and his latest ‘Ghosts of the Riverside Hotel’ with all proceeds from these two releases going to The HART Fund and Generation Blues (to learn more go to www.blues.org.com). So ya get some great music and do a whole lotta good too.
- Harmonikids – http://www.harmonikids.org/ Gary Allegretto is the master mind behind Harmonikids. Harmonikids is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing harmonicas & the joy of music to special needs children. The program gives harmonicas to children with a wide range of physical or emotional disadvantages and teaches them to play simple songs through easy instruction and gentle encouragement. Blues411 learned to play the harp with Gary at a festival a few years ago. The basics are pretty easy, but don’t let anyone fool you – to play it well is a lot of work.
7. Tampa Bay Blues Festival – 3 day VIP Ticket is $450 a person. April 8, 9 10, 2016 in Tampa, FL http://www.tampabaybluesfest.com/index.php It might seem a little high, but the benefits include food, free beer, wine, soda, two shade tents on the side of the stage, a padded chair right in front of the stage, and my favorite amenity, Air Conditioned rest rooms! If you buy a VIP ticket, let us know. You’ll also get access to the Thursday night jam as a special Thank You.
6. Cool Guitars
- Memphis Cigar Box – Cigar Boxes as well as Wine Bottle Bottleneck slides. Does your loved one NEED another guitar? Probably not, but then holiday gifts are not always about what we need. Matt Isbell has been making cigar box guitars for a while. The one he plays frequently is made from his mother’s wooden silverware chest. We (well Leslie) managed to buy one of these guitars at a silent auction a few years ago. If a guitar is out of your price range, he also makes bottleneck slides out of the top of a wine bottle – a great way to recycle them! Chefjimi proudly proclaims these as the best slides he ever used. http://www.memphiscigarbox.com/
- Delaney Guitars – Beautifully hand crafted in Austin Texas, Mike Delaney’s guitars & basses are used by such artists as Mike Zito, Samantha Fish, Tom Holland, Albert Castiglia, Mark Telesca and probably many more than I can remember. Give them a visit and order up something real special for the axe-player in your house. http://www.delaneyguitars.com/
5. Bradenton Blues Festival – A great get away to Florida (near Tampa) the first weekend in December. This festival won the 2015 Jimi Award for the best blues festival. Bradenton, FL is a cute town with lots of arty shops and restaurants. The venue is small enough that you can be close to the stage, and the music is always good. Come for the weekend and plan extra time for a little site seeing and fishing! http://www.bradentonbluesfestival.org/
4. Daytona Beach Blues Festival – Oct 7 – 9, 2016 : We’ve become fond of FL festivals in general since we’ve moved to South Carolina. This festival is held in a minor league ball park, so the seats are comfortable and you’ve a roof overhead to protect you from the strong Oct. Florida sun. They set the stage up between 1st and 3rd bases and yes, you can be on the field right in front of the stage. No VIP area to keep you far from the stage. Check their web site for details in a few months. http://daytonabluesfestival.com/
3. Blues Hands – a hardcover photo book by Joseph Rosen. $29.99 [http://www.amazon.com/Blues-Hands-Joseph-A-Rosen/dp/0764349635] Through images of hands, this book conveys the strength, beauty, diversity, depth, and power of the blues, the root of all American music. It features photographs from Joseph A. Rosen’s 30-plus years of adventure in blues and music photography. Included are such noted music personalities as B.B. King, Gary Clark, Jr., Buddy Guy, Al Green, Willie King, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, The Blind Boys of Alabama, James Brown. The book holds rich treasures for lovers of music, photography, and the human form. One need not be deeply versed in the blues to appreciate the beauty, strength, and diversity of those who make it. With powerful imagery, as well as anecdotes and biographical information, Blues Hands tells a story of human experience.
2. European Blues Cruise – Looking for a Blues music reason to go to Europe? This is the perfect reason to get your passport out of the safe deposit box. The dates aren’t yet announced, but it will probably be over Labor Day weekend, so you don’t need to take too many days off from work. The cruise will depart from and return to Marseilles, France. It’s going to be 5 nights, with ports TBD in Italy. Before or after the cruise is a great time to either explore Marseilles (like we did 2 years ago) or Barcelona (like we did last year). Ok, Paris and Brussels are probably not on your list of places to visit at the moment. For information, contact Lisa Panoyan at [email protected]
1. CDs From Our Tier 1 Sponsors – These folks help us keep the blues thriving on our site, radio show and social media. Please consider buying their music for yourself or a friend, it helps the circle go round.
Johnny Riley – Mississippi Swamp meets Texas Blues, http://www.johnnyrileymusic.com/
King Edward – Genuine Mississippi Blues for over 50 years, so real ya can taste it. http://www.kingedwardblues.com/
Shaun Murphy – A passionate and skillful singer, has backed up Clapton, Bob Seger and fronted Little Feat, ain’t no pedigree like hers.
Jeff Jensen – A powerful trio of vocals and guitar from Jeff, with a pocket full of soul behind him. Exciting is not quite enough of a word to describe them.
The Red Dirt Revelators – From the pines and red dirt of North Carolina these cats are down ‘n dirty with their own unique style of blues for you to use.
Soul Stew Records – Blues in all forms here at Soul Stew Records, feed your soul and buy their music. http://soulstewrecords.com/
Reno Jack The Bear (Rennie Frattura) – from the wilds of Canada with a unique style and delivery this stand up bass player has his own voice and style, one taste and it’s all over for you. http://renojackthebear.com/
Peter Novelli – From New Orleans to Latin America Peter draws upon the roots of various cultures to provide a new twist to the blues, forward looking music that delights. http://peternovelli.com/
Rusty Wright Band – Rocking the blues in their own way and style. Accomplished guitar wizard who can slow it down and burn it or crank it up and blow the top off. http://www.rustywrightblues.com/
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
Where Blues Thrives