Message from ‘Madame’ President…

Message from ‘Madame’ President…

Message from ‘Madame’ President…

Message from ‘Madame’ President…

Hello Blues lovers and Happy New Year, such that it is.

I am proud and excited (and a bit nervous) to introduce myself to you as the newly elected president of the Suncoast Blues Society (SBS).

So many greats have come before me. I know that I have huge footsteps to fill – pretty intimidating to say the least but I will try my best to do so.

A little bit about me…

I was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago – what more could you ask for! Music has always been an integral part of my life – started playing guitar when I was in seventh grade. We used to organize “hootenannies” and I actually sang with “Up With People” for a while. (Go ahead – Google it and get a good laugh!!)

By high school, friends were in bands (wasn’t everybody in a garage band back then) so by the time I was 16, it was a must to have a fake ID to get into clubs. (Still have it, it’s a work of art, lol.) Of course, my boyfriend(s) had to be in a band (duh) and was eventually playing clubs down on Rush Street so from an early age I had the opportunity to be backstage and meet folks such as John Mayall and Paul Butterfield who would drop in to jam with the band. Yep, lots of great memories.

I moved to Florida after college, started a career, got married, raised two kids, got divorced and started over. 10 years ago, I met my favorite photographer (sorry Cap & Rick) Mark Goodman who introduced me to the SBS family and has supported and put up with me since then. (You can thank him if I do a good job or blame him if I don’t, lol.)

I had already been volunteering with SBS for a few years before that memorable day in February 2017 when Mark Thompson called me and said he heard I would be retiring soon and would I consider joining the Board as an alternate. Well, as many of you know, it is hard to say no to the Big Kahuna. Thus, I retired from my 27-year career at Sunrise Domestic & Sexual Violence Center in Dade City and stepped into a new world of great music and great friends. That same year, our beloved Conrad Sewer died suddenly so I stepped in to become a permanent member of our Board and became the Treasurer.

In addition to paying bills the past three years, I helped with organizing and working various festivals throughout the years, handled the advertising and took on some of George Willett’s responsibilities after he retired. (BTW – it took 3 people to replace him!) Now I have the honor and pleasure to work beside this great team of volunteers in my new position.

So I am asking for your patience and support as we continue to struggle through these challenging times. I am going to need your help, ideas and guidance and would love to hear from you. Stay safe 🙏🏻

Terri O’Brien
President@suncoastblues.org

 

Exit Message from the President

Exit Message from the President

Exit Message from the President

Exit Message from the President 

On Inauguration Day your Suncoast Blues Society had a board meeting and held our annual election of officers.  We set a new and important milestone by selecting Terri O’Brien as the first female President of the Suncoast Blues Society.  No one deserves to hold this position more than her.  Most departing presidents leave the board, I have decided to stay and try to return some of the loyalty and support she showed me. She deserves your utmost respect.

James Randolph will be our Vice President and will still run our fundraising efforts and his successful Outreach programs.

Jesse Smoot will remain our very able and helpful Secretary.  Jesse and Pat Smoot have become two of our most valued board members.  It’s been great having them aboard. Cheryl Spradling remains on the board and we look forward to the great things to come from her new role as the Facebook administrator.

Finally, Scott Morris stepped up in a big way to accept Terri’s former position of Financial Officer.  I would like to state that without Scotts’ friendship, technical skills, and plain loyalty I would have failed miserably at my job.  I really can’t give this man enough credit.

I am going to still oversee Events and Membership duties, in addition to the Content Committee for Social Media.

Although all positions are filled, we now have no voluntary alternates, which have been a vital part of our board.  Almost all the members of our board started as alternates, including myself.  We are currently looking for at least two people who have skills in publishing, writing, printing, editing, promotions, technical and social media experience that can assist this hard-working board.  If interested, please submit a short bio  to bluesnews@suncoastblues.org telling us what skills you possess and how you might be able to assist.

I would like to thank some people who have offered the board assistance during my tenure.
To Mark Thompson this might be the last time I thank you, but seriously thanks.

I would like to give a big thanks to Tom (T-Bone) Hamilton and West Bay Media for the great job they did in designing and maintaining our new website  Tom is a true professional and has been a pleasure to work with.

Special thanks need to go to Franc Robert who has helped the SBS behind the scenes for many years. Franc now attends our weekly content committee meetings and cool graphics.  We are all happy to have Franc as a friend and valued associate.

Thanks again to Sheree E. and Go Tonight for all her assistance with our calendar. I really do miss Don’s smiling face.

For the first time in a while, we are planning to participate at some events.  As of right now the Tampa Bay Blues Festival is planned for April 9th, 10th, and 11th.  We rented a tent – come and find us at our usual TBBF spot!  We will also be attending with a booth the Pasco Blues Fest on February 6th.

One last exciting bit of news:  Jack Sullivan, my old boss at Blues Music Magazine, has graciously offered his support to SBS.  Soon, your Suncoast Blues Society will be posting blues material from Jack on our web site. Thank you, Jack!

I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity I was given to be your president.

Thanks!

Lafayette Reid

Holiday Greetings Blues Fans

Holiday Greetings Blues Fans

Holiday Greetings Blues Fans

As 2020 rolls to a close we are looking forward to the start of the new year of change. We all hope for some normalcy in our future but there is still much uncertainty. The new vaccine to combat the COVID-19 virus is on the way. We must stay vigilant and patient, be cautious and safe, wear masks and continue to social distance – do not let your guard down. We are resilient, we adapt, and we will survive and be stronger for it.

We all want our live music back in our communities and we want the musicians to be successful as well. Music connects us and we want more. We had a successful ‘Drive In’ event at the Hudson Library recently. About 30 cars and 50 attended, some in their cars, some sat outside in front of their cars enjoying the live music event. We are working on other opportunities to find safe venues with the space to spread out comfortably. It is incredibly challenging to try to plan future events. The Board is working on some tentative arrangements for March 2021. We will keep you posted as we get closer.

In the meantime, please visit our web site, our Facebook page and read your weekly Blues News for CD reviews, Feature Articles, and event information.

If you have not renewed your membership, please check your card to see if it is time to renew. We know it has been a tough year but we do not want to lose our loyal members. We wish you a healthy and happy holiday and a New Year that holds peace and hope for unity from a year of conflict and division in our country. Cheers for a speedy recovery for our nation.

Your SBS Board

Your Suncoast Blues Society is proud to present Hector Anchondo!

Your Suncoast Blues Society is proud to present Hector Anchondo!

Your Suncoast Blues Society is proud to present Hector Anchondo!

Your Suncoast Blues Society is proud to present the 2020 International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo winner Hector Anchondo!

Hector will be performing one night only in the intimate setting at St. Petersburg’s the Hideaway Café.

This SBS sponsored event will follow CDC COVID-19 safety protocols,  therefore the Hideaway Café is limiting sales to 45 tickets and face coverings are required.

Hector has assembled a powerhouse local band. Backing Hector on drums is Hideaway Café’s favorite Sam Farmer, with Florida legend and Damon Fowler band member Chuck Riley on bass.

Show time for the Tuesday November 17th show is 7:30 PM.  Doors open at 6PM.

Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased at the Hideaway Café website, or at the door.  Tickets will go fast, so do not delay!

You will not want to miss this unique performance at St. Petersburg’s Original Listening Room.

Exit Message from the President

Latest Edition of Suncoast Blues News mailed on October 26th

Latest Edition of Suncoast Blues News mailed on October 26th

The October 26th edition of Suncoast Blues News is on its way to your inbox.

This edition contains a review of Camping with the Blues, highlights upcoming shows at Englewoods on Dearborn, contains a special members-only offer, and focuses on upcoming events.

If you are a subscriber and do not receive your copy, please check your spam folder. With Suncoast Blues Society’s recent change of email providers some members are finding they need to add the email address to their contact.

Interested in receiving Suncoast Blues News?

It’s easy, and free! Just sign up at Suncoast Blues, scroll down past “President Message” and fill out the Subscribe to the Suncoast Blues News form.

 

 

Welcome Blues Fans to Fall 2020 – Nothing like it before!!

Welcome Blues Fans to Fall 2020 – Nothing like it before!!

Welcome Blues Fans to Fall 2020 – Nothing like it before!!

Welcome Blues Fans to Fall 2020 – Nothing like it before!!

We want to start by expressing how pleased we are to have Jose Ramirez back in our community. We predict great success for Jose in the future.  We know that our eager blues fans will welcome Jose and his great band into our blues family.  We’re happy you are back.

We are trying to get back into the swing of things.  “Camping with The Blues” returns for their 7th annual show October 16th – 18th 2020. Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville hosts the weekend-long event.  Fans will follow CDC Guidelines, and your Suncoast Blues Society will be present.  We plan to limit our booth access to about 2 hours a day.  It will be great to see all of you!  The lineup looks great, maybe some cool nights for camping; can’t wait.

At the end of October   Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson returns to the Hideaway Café in St Pete for a combination show and recording session. Here is an opportunity to hear a legendary bluesman and Muddy Waters Band guitarist still going strong at 81 years of age.  His recently released an all- acoustic CD entitled “Won’t Be Back No More”—Say it isn’t so, Luther. SBS Logo

 

Moving into November, International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo winner Hector Anchondo starts an extended tour through Florida. If you haven’t heard this talented young artist yet, put it on your list!  His tour starts in Sanford Florida at “The Alley” on November 4th then on to “The Blue Rooster” in Sarasota on the 13th.  Your Suncoast Blues Society is working on securing a date in early November at the Hideaway Café  for Hector to perform. We will keep you informed.

Hooray to Realize Bradenton for figuring out a new way to present The Bradenton Blues Festival.  We are all excited to see how their new venue at LECOM Park will play out.  Creativity wins again. Additional information is available on the events page of the Suncoast Blues website.

Lafayette Reid
President
Suncoast Blues Society