April 19, 2019

Keeping the Blues Alive


Topanga must be the best kept secret in local Blues festivals. Tucked away in scenic Topanga Canyon, the Southern California Blues Society has presented some of the greatest shows at Theatricum Botanicum featuring the finest in Blues entertainment for over 20 years. This year was no exception!

On June 18, the SCBS brought to the stage another fine Blues show, which was opened by the traditional acoustic Blues sounds of Donny V, followed by the pulsating Texas Blues rhythm of Aunt Kizzys Boyz, and San Diego’s soulful “sweetheart of the Blues,” Lady Star and her Bustin’ Loose Blues Band. This year’s featured act was the L.A. Legends Blues Revue with the Central Avenue R&B Band who dynamically showcased the talents of legendary performers Big J McNeely on saxophone, Johnny Dyer on harmonica, Deacon Jones on keyboard, along with the fabulous vocals of Melvin Eddy, Finis Tasby and the show-stopping, Miss Mickey Champion. Everyone took the stage for a fabulous closing finale. The music and performances were so hot, I'm surprised the brush didn't catch fire.

The Southern California Blues Society was formed in 1982 as a non-profit public benefit corporation to help keep the Blues alive. The Blues Society’s purpose is to promote, preserve and advance the culture and tradition of Blues music as an American cultural art form.

Since its inception over 20 years ago, the SCBS has been actively involved in the community by presenting musical performances and special programs designed to promote and sustain the music we love. The Blues Society membership is a rich variety of Blues music lovers, including Blues music artists, corporate representatives, radio personalities and music fans who have a special passion for Blues music.

Keeping the Blues Alive

The special programs of the Southern California Blues Society include the Artist Assistance Fund, to which the proceeds of this year’s festival will benefit. Many Blues music performers fall through the cracks of existing assistance programs. The SCBS Artist Assistance Fund is designed to provide immediate assistance to Blues performers to help defray the financial burden of medical costs and other expenses placed on people in time of crisis. The legendary John Lee Hooker lent his name and likeness to help raise awareness of this worthy program. The long-term goal of the program is to establish a retirement residence facility for Blues artists.

If you missed this year’s festival, I encourage you to come out next June to support the Southern California Blues Society in their efforts to keep the blues alive. For more information regarding SCBS programs, performances or membership, please visit www.socalblues.org.