Friday, October 12, 2012

Uncle Jesse White documentary needs funding

Uncle Jesse White

The late Uncle Jesse White, who died in 2008 at the age of 87, was a Delta bluesman who is credited with keeping the blues alive during down times in Detroit.
Now, Uncle Jesse’s story is ready to be told in a new documentary by local Detroit musicians, film and sound volunteers, Detroit blues enthusiasts and an award winning professor at the University of Michigan film department.
The film’s producer is hoping to raise funds to finish the project and pay for post-production work, color correction, and distribution to various film festivals.

 To make a donation, or to find out more about the project, go to the fundraising site Kickstarter at or the Uncle Jesse White Documentary Fundraiser page on Facebook at

Detroit Blues Challenge
Round 4 of the Detroit Blues Challenge, originally scheduled last month but postponed due to the death of Freddy’s club owner Fred Craprotta, will be held Sunday, Oct. 14, at Cooley Lake Inn, 8635 Cooley Lake Road in Commerce Township.
Competing acts in the band competition include: The Delta Twins, Dirty Basement Blues Band, Lady Sunshine and the X Band, Priscilla Price Band, and Al Savage and the Everyday People Band.
Lady Sunshine and the X Band won the Detroit Blues Challenge in 2004 and went on to finish second at the International Blues Competition in Memphis, Tenn.
The winner of Round 4 advances to the finals on Oct. 21 at Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills.
Other bands that have already advanced to the finals include the Dale Robertson Band, Smokin’ 45s, Big Ray and the Motor City Kings, and the 2011 Detroit Blues Challenge champion Chris Canas Band.
Competing in the finals in the solo/duo category will be Sweet Willie Tea and Pete “Big Dog” Fetters, the 2005 Detroit Blues Challenge solo/duo champ.
Winners in the band and solo/duo categories at the finals advance to represent Detroit at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Blues Society jam canceled
The Detroit Blues Society’s meeting and jam, originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13, has been canceled due to the closing of the planned venue. The MotorCity Tones, who were to be the host band, are expected to headline one of the DBS’ jams down the road.

Blues at the library
The Southfield Public Library will host the Robert Penn Blues Band as part of its Jazz & Blues series at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17.
Robert Penn
Penn has worked with or opened for numerous blues greats, including B.B. King, Little Milton, Johnnie Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, and Albert Collins. As an arranger and conductor, he has worked with The Contours, David Ruffin, The Velvelettes and The Temptations Revue featuring Dennis Edwards.
Penn, a singer and guitarist, is currently celebrating the release of his third CD, titled “Blues N’ My Soul.”
Admission is $3. Children 11-under will be admitted free.
Jazz & Blues is sponsored by the Friends of the Southfield Public Library and the Detroit Blues Society.
For more information, call 248-796-4224 or click

Bonamassa returns
Blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa will return to Detroit’s Fox Theatre for an intimate “Evening with” performance on May 3, 2013. The show is in support of his new solo album, “Driving Towards the Daylight.”
For ticket info, go to
Other top acts coming to the metro area include: George Bedard and the Kingpins (Oct. 12), Maria Muldaur & her Red Hot Bluesiana Band (Oct. 13),  Sugar Ray and the Bluetones (Oct. 18), and Magic Slim and the Teardrops (Oct. 19), all at Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills; Thornetta Davis (Oct. 18) at Guy Hollerin’s in Ann Arbor; The David Gerald Band (Oct. 19) at Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen CafĂ© in Detroit; and, further on up the road, Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Nov. 3) at The Whiting in Flint.

Rockin’ CEO
In his day job, Jim Dolan is president and CEO of Cablevision, and executive chairman of Madison Square Garden, Inc., owner of the New York Knicks basketball team and the New York Rangers hockey team.
But, I suspect he gets more pleasure from his creative project, singing in the New York-based  blues-rock band JD & The Straight Shot.
"Music is something I've played since I was a kid,” Dolan said in a release. “It's me purely expressing myself."
The band recently released its latest album “Midnight Run,” which features New Orleans-flavored roots music. Their song "Can’t Make Tears" is the theme song for AMC's TV show “Hell on Wheels.”
JD & The Straight Shot will be performing at four Canadian dates in support of rockers ZZ Top. Among the tour’s stops is a gig on Nov. 4 at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario.

To contact JB Blues, please email

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