Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today, I happened across an Op-Ed piece on the New York Times website,, written by Camille Paglia. Now, I have always found Ms. Paglia’s writing to be interesting even if I don’t agree with her conclusions. Her NY Times piece was about pharmaceutical companies in pursuit of a Viagra for women. Not a terribly controversial subject but I was struck by her reference to blues music.

“Black rhythm and blues, born in the Mississippi Delta, was the driving force behind the great hard rock bands of the ’60s, whose cover versions of blues songs were filled with electrifying sexual imagery. The Rolling Stones’ hypnotic recording of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster,” with its titillating phallic exhibitionism, throbs and shimmers with sultry heat.

But with the huge commercial success of rock, the blues receded as a direct influence on young musicians, who simply imitated the white guitar gods without exploring their roots. Step by step, rock lost its visceral rawness and seductive sensuality. Big-ticket rock, with its well-heeled middle-class audience, is now all superego and no id.”

We in the Lowcountry Blues Club can quickly dismiss her argument as we know that the young musicians we jam with have a great deal of respect for both the blues traditions and the players who created them. When I first came here from Los Angeles and heard Sarah Cole interpret Etta James I knew that the blues was alive and well in the lowcountry.

I am reminded of that message every Wednesday night at Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ in West Ashley as musicians of all ages celebrate that living thing called The Blues. These jams are a living laboratory of blues idioms as our regular players mix riffs with new players. At the end of the night, there are puddles of inspiration left by the amazed and the amazing.

Speaking if amazing, I am a fan of all forms of dance. So I have been so excited to see the the amazing dancing at the Home Team Wednesday jams. The Swing, Shag, and Lindy style dancing is so unique in the context of the blues music. The energy of the dancers adds so much to those jamming who see their musical ideas expressed physically.

If you haven’t paid your dues or become a member of the Lowcountry Blues Club, please bring your money -- $10 for individuals, $25 for a family or band, $100 corporate, under 21 is free!

For those of you on Facebook, find us there: Lowcountry Blues Club (nonprofit). Many of our jamming musicians are there, too. So reach out to our online community. We're on twitter, too.

I picked Buddy Guy as my featured artist born in July. George "Buddy" Guy was born on July 30, 1936 in Lettsworth, Louisiana. Buddy is known for his showmanship and is ranked thirtieth in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

As a Chess Records session guitarist Buddy backed up Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor and others.

Let’s wish him a very happy birthday.

Lowcountry Blues Club Challenge
In a very short while, we will be in the midst of the second annual Lowcountry Blues Club Challenge. The Challenge is a battle of the bands with the winner receiving our club's invitation to represent us at the International Blues Challenge, in February in Memphis. Dan Wright represented our club last year and Sarah Cole represented us in the Youth Category.

The challenge begins in August, at Home Team BBQ. More details on the competition are at the end of this email, including some date changes, for those who are interested.

Tyler Boone and his group has been at Mantis Records making thier first, "full band" record. Some of these songs he’s been sitting on for about 2 years now. They recently picked up a new drummer and reworked their material. The resulting excitement propelled the to book studio time.

“These songs are really about what I've been through and just me expressing certain events in my life. With these songs going from blues, funk, to pop and even hard rock/punk, this record is really diverse and is able to express different emotions through out the music.”, Tyler told me.

“It's more mature and defiantly going from heavy "balls to the wall" kind of trio sound, to a heavy "filled up" sound, and it's just so very exciting.”

Tyler expects to be finished with the project and the final post-production in mid July.

To get info in this weekly email/blog: please submit all the details to by Monday of each week. Please put "Attention blog-writers" as the subject line. The blog is posted on either Tues, Weds, or Thursday, most weeks, depending on the blog-writer's schedule. If you'd like to be a blog-writer too, or just submit an article, let us know -- just email us at

Info on the Lowcountry Blues Club Challenge:

The Lowcountry Blues Club’s local competitions for the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis have been set! It’s time for bands and solo/duo acts to make their plans to compete. One band and one solo/duo act will represent the Lowcountry Blues Club in Memphis at the world’s largest gathering of blues musicians from February 2nd through February 5th, 2011.

The preliminary band competitions will be held on Sunday, August 15; Sunday, August 29, and Sunday Sept 12 at the award-winning Firey Ron’s Hometeam BBQ, 1205 Ashley River Rd, Charleston SC 29406. Depending on the number of entries received, we may have to alter the preliminary dates.

Each competition will follow the rules of the Blues Foundation. Each set will be limited to 45 minutes, and each competitor will be allowed one 15-minute set change. Any South Carolina act may enter. However at least one member should be a Lowcountry Blues Club member. Membership can be established at IBC entry, using the membership form. There is a non refundable $25 application fee due at the time your application is submitted for bands. There is a $15 application fee for solo/duo acts. You can obtain an application by emailing: or call (843)214-0555. The application fee will be used to fund this event. A $5 cover will be charged at each event to aid in expenses. Any excess funds will be used to defray expenses of the winning solo/duo act and band to participate in the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Entry deadline is July 16, 2010. Please mail appications with the entry fee to:

Tim Shaw
PO Box 40902
Charleston SC 29423

The Lowcountry Blues Club’s Blues Challenge finals will be held on Sunday, September26 at Fiery Ron’s Hometeam BBQ, 1205 Ashley River Rd, Charleston SC 29407. Winners of the band contest and the solo/duo act will receive the Lowcountry Blues Club’s nomination to the 2011 International Blues Challenge to be held in Memphis TN. Excess funds from the events will be placed with the Lowcountry Blues Club funds for assistance for the winners in their trip to Memphis. Each winner may be required to perform at two fundraisers in 2010 and one fundraiser in 2011 at no charge. All fundraiser proceeds will help with expenses for Memphis. The LBC will help winners in fundraising, but cannot guarantee that all or any expenses for Memphis will be covered.

Judges will evaluate each act using the Blues Foundation scoring criteria ( and rules ( Application is an initial statement of interest and not a binding agreement between applicant and LBC.

Make your plans to enter now! Applications and entry fees must be received no later than July 16, 2010.

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