As the year begins, blues fans look forward to the Spring/Summer when we can start the recovery process. Hopefully the festivals that are planned can operate. Clubs and bigger venues will be able return to normalcy.
Musicians have always been generous of spirit, and it continues with Tom Forst. He just released a new 12-song instrumental album with 100 percent of proceeds being donated to Feed America food bank. You can help by sharing this information and by donating. The goal is to raise $1,000. Go to: https://www.tomthesuitforst.com/shop-1 See “Late Night Train” (Official Video) on his page.
Musicians continue to provide virtual performances. A sampling is provided here. Every day at various times, Elle Sera can be seen on Facebook. Ditty TV can be seen every day at 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on its website, dittytv.com.
Every day at 8 p.m., you can get Live Memphis: A virtual Music Festival with various performances on Facebook.
Every Monday (and Thursday) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Ol' Moose can be seen on Twitch.
John Lamb and Ed Train are also out in the virtual world every Wednesday at 8 p.m. with the John Lamb Show Live. He is there for audience call in requests and to chat. Watch on Facebook.
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Ed Train hosts a Jam. Watch on Facebook, on Jam TV's page, on Train's Facebook, or on YouTube. Several nights a week around 6 p.m., Bruce Gregori is live on Facebook.
Not necessarily blues, but there’s live music at Ponza Italian Kitchen in Norwalk, outside in the tent.
For good coverage of music, visit Who's Playing Where (wpw). It sends a daily email reporting live music events, mostly in and around Fairfield County and Westchester County, New York. Recently it expanded to also feature virtual music events. This list is free to all, and receives no fees from performers, venues or subscribers for listings. Please lend support to your local merchants and music community by helping to keep the wpw list going.
The Friday Livestream from the Narrows Center of the Arts with Christine Ohlman and Rebel Montez has been rescheduled.
John Reid, Executive Director and Lou Heumann, Board Chair of FTC sent a note of thanks: “Dear Friends, During this busy time of celebrations and family zoom calls, we’d like to take a moment to say a huge Thank You to those who have already made a contribution to FTC this year and another Thank You to all the members of FTC. Nine months ago we declared, ‘FTC is here to stay.’ You ensured that we fulfilled that promise; Thank You. We are ready to put this year behind us and move on to a better, brighter, and louder 2021 at FTC. To keep our promise and ensure that FTC is here to stay, we need your on-going support. Losing live music and all forms of in-person entertainment was simply heartbreaking. We lost the chance to come together. To connect, collaborate, and celebrate. But, with hardship comes perspective and a chance for new growth. Since March we have taken on many initiatives to keep those of you choosing to stay home connected and to give others a chance to come together safely. FTC has offered: Free Stay-at-Home Livestreams, Online Film Series, Multiple Professionally curated Livestreams, Hosting Five safe, sold-out, socially distanced, in-person live concerts and more. With high hopes for 2021, FTC is prepared for the coming year which still has plenty of unforeseen challenges ahead.”
Another look at the new year comes from Patty Wilson Aden, President & CEO of the Blues Foundation. She offered some words of hope for 2021. She said, “The blues were born of heartache and trouble, as the original artists gave lyrical expression to life’s hardships. Yet, blues songs should also be recognized as tuneful testimonies to the perseverance of its creators. Despite societal and personal adversities, genre-defining blues artists often infused their lyrics with statements of optimism, confident that, as stated by B.B. King, ‘troubles don’t always last.’”
Aden continued, “As 2020 comes to a close, I hope we will turn to the music we love for inspiration and reassurance. This past year has been an unparalleled time of trouble – our cities have been roiled by racial strife, political discord has divided friends and families and the pandemic has threatened our lives and livelihoods. While the camaraderie of the blues community has helped us endure these hardships, we cannot deny the pain that many have experienced.”
She concludes, “As we look toward 2021, let’s embrace the indomitable spirit of the blues. Let’s be inspired by the tenacity that allowed the earliest blues artists to give voice to their tribulations. “Troubles don’t always last,” and we will get through these hard times together.”
Want to learn more about blues legends? Listen to The Blues Foundation's podcasts to hear entertaining anecdotes about "Mother of the Blues" Ma Rainey and other legacy artists.