Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Benefit for Carl Henry

Blues musician Carl Henry has always been a strong supporter of those in need, donating his talents to numerous benefits, including the Detroit Blues Society’s Headstone Project. Now, the “big man with the big heart” needs some help himself.

Henry contracted a flesh-eating virus that landed him in intensive care and near death. According to Henry, doctors gave him a 17 percent chance of survival. But, following four surgeries, Henry pulled through, minus about 25 percent of his left thigh. Now, he faces another challenge as he embarks on a long rehab program with three visits weekly at a wound care center.

“I truly believe that it was the power of prayer from all my friends, which I called my ‘Mojo Warriors,’ that pulled me from the brink,” Henry wrote on his Facebook page. “I truly believe without all my Mojo Warriors’ good wishes, I'd be pushin’ daisies.”

Like many musicians, Henry does not have health insurance, so it’s not surprising that dwindling finances are another hurdle he must clear. But, Henry is receiving a boost on that front from his many friends in the Detroit music community.

The first of three fundraisers will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at Scooter’s Bar and Grill, 6004 Torrey Road, in Flint. An impressive array of musicians have donated their time and talents, including Broken Arrow, Lester’s Blues, The Boa Constrictors, Big Bill Harwell, Flying Crowbars, Greg Nagy, Tim Freeman, Motor City John and Sweet Willie Tea.

A $10 donation will be accepted at the door.

The fundraiser will include the release of Henry’s new CD, “Carl Henry and Tony Berci Live in Detroit – Eat, Drink, Boogie, Repeat.” Many of Henry’s friends, including Gary “Shadowhawk” Ellis (Broken Arrow Entertainment), Motor City Josh (Sound Shop Studios), Peter Jay (Peter Jay Audio) and Steve Somers (Alley Records) donated their time and talents to complete and print the CD, which will be for sale at the event and later available on Henry’s website www.CarlHenryMusic.net.

“He’s the first guy in line when somebody needs something,” said Shadowhawk, drummer for Broken Arrow. “Carl’s always right there. He’s paid it forward tenfold and now it’s his time.  He has a lot of equity in the bank and he’s being paid back by a lot of people.

“We’ve got his back.”

You can make donations to the Carl Henry Fund on the Detroit Blues Society’s website (www.detroitbluesociety.org). Donations can also be mailed to the Detroit Blues Society, attn. Carl Henry Fund, at P.O. Box 488, Goodrich, MI 48438.

The Detroit Blues Society has already delivered a check for $2,500 to Henry as a result of the first wave of generous donations.

Henry expressed sadness that he is not well enough yet to attend Thursday’s fundraiser. Two other benefits are on the horizon: an Irish music benefit on Aug. 19 at Nancy Whiskey’s in Detroit and a blues music benefit on Aug. 26 at the Cooley Lake Inn in Commerce Township.

“I want to thank everyone involved, from the performers to the organizers, for everything they have done for me in holding this, you will never be forgotten,” Henry wrote on Facebook, which now includes a Mojo Warriors page for those musicians needing prayers and positive thoughts. “When people ask you what love is, point at things like this. Thank you all.”

In another post, Henry wrote: “To see the outpouring of love from all sides as my friends help me carry a torch I can't do alone right now, is simply humbling, and re-affirms the love we share of life and music and more is so real. I will be better. And I will always be there for all of you. That is what life is supposed to be about, screw the other stuff. Thank all of you for joining me on that road.”

Johnnie Bassett ailing

Another wonderful and giving person, singer-guitarist Johnnie Bassett, is ill and dealing with his health issues in a local hospital. He is getting stronger and his family appreciates the support he’s received and asks for continued prayers for a speedy recovery.
Known as “The Gentleman of the Blues,” Bassett is one of the finest people in the Detroit music scene.  So, Mojo Warriors, send your prayers and positive energy his way.

Salgado on mend

Alligator Records reports that soul blues singer/harmonica player Curtis Salgado underwent successful surgery on July 18 in Portland, Ore., to remove a cancerous growth from his lung, according to his manager Shane Tappendorf.

Doctors removed the entire lower lobe of his left lung where a metastasized mass was found. Doctors anticipate a complete recovery. Salgado had a similar mass removed from his lung in 2008. Salgado, who was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2006, underwent successful liver transplant surgery on Sept. 30, 2006 at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb.

Donations to help with Salgado's expenses can be made online at: http://curtissalgado.chipin.com/curtis-salgado-medical-fund. Donations can also be made to the Curtis Salgado Fund c/o Odaglas LLC Donation Account at all US Banks or by mail to US Bancorp, 2550 NW 188th Ave., Hillsboro, OR 97124. For additional information, please visit www.curtissalgado.com.

 To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com

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