Another Detroit bluesman has been ailing and needs help with medical expenses. As usual, the local music community is banding together to help out.
A fundraiser for guitarist/vocalist Chris “Boogiechile” Leigh will be held from 1 p.m.-midnight on Sunday, Nov. 4 at Scooter’s Bar and Grill, 6004 Torrey Road, in Flint.
Leigh has been recuperating from intestine surgery after losing nearly 100 pounds in four months. He is back up to 164 pounds now, after weighing only 129 two months ago.
|Chris "Boogiechile" Leigh jams at Heatstock in 2008.|
“The last thing we want is a musician who can’t work and whose income stops because of an illness,” said Gary “Shadowhawk” Ellis, drummer with the Broken Arrow Blues Band, who has been playing with Leigh for 27 years in different band configurations. “They have to worry about rent, food, medical supplies and medications.
“They come home after a big operation and have to worry about the landlord knocking on the door, or if they can’t fill their prescriptions that week. That’s why the music community comes together.”
The lengthy list of talented performers starts off at 1 p.m. Sunday with acoustic blues by Carl Henry -- who was himself the beneficiary of benefit jams recently, but who is now back on the performing circuit -- and Sweet Willie Tea, recent winner of the Detroit Blues Challenge solo-duo division, who follow at 2 p.m.
Other bands slated to perform include Greg Nagy (3 p.m.), Pat Zelenka Project (4 p.m.), Covenant Witch Doctors (5 p.m.), Jupiter Thunderbird (6 p.m.), Jones’n (7 p.m.), Eddie Blues Barney/Tim Freeman & Friends (8 p.m.), and Leigh’s own Broken Arrow Blues Band (9 p.m.). A mega jam closes the night.
Admission is a $10 donation at the door.
Rounding up help for the popular musician was not difficult. Shadowhawk booked two benefit shows in 10 hours and many bands volunteered to perform. The second Chris Leigh benefit will be at Cooley Lake Inn in Commerce Township from 1 p.m.-midnight on Nov. 18.
“The Flint community always has great outpouring for any musician in need,” Shadowhawk said. “We had the Carl Henry benefit up there, as well as one at Cooley Lake Inn, in concert with the Detroit Blues Society. We figured we would do the same thing for Chris.”
Leigh feels a bit uneasy about the focus on him and his illness, and guilty about his friends putting forth the effort on his behalf.
“I think it’s gonna be a really fun day despite my slight uncomfortableness over it,” said Leigh, who still faces one more operation in the future. “We’ll get the music on and have a good time.”
St. Cecelia release party
St. Cecelia celebrates the release of its eponymous CD on Sunday at the Elizabeth Theater above the Park Bar, 2040 Park Ave. Detroit.
St. Cecelia includes three of Detroit’s most talented musicians: guitarist-singer Brett Lucas (Bettye LaVette), bassists James Simonson (The Brothers Groove) and drummer Todd Glass (The Muggs).
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts with Alison Lewis at 5:30 p.m. The John Rhoades Band (also celebrating a CD release) goes on at 6:30 p.m. and Saint Cecilia hits the stage at 8 p.m.
Admission is $15 and includes catering by Chef Chris' Boogie Woogie BBQ from 6-8 p.m.
You can buy tickets at the door or purchase tickets online at www.brettlucas.com to reserve your dinner plate.
‘Happy to Have the Blues’
Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine presents the "Happy to Have the Blues Awards" from 4-11 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 at UDetroit Media Cafe, 1427 Randolph, in Detroit.
The event will feature NYC's Dave Fields, Motor City's Bob Monteleone and one-man blues band Deak Harp, as well as other guests.
Detroit’s Queen of the Blues, Alberta Adams, and the late Johnnie Bassett will be honored.
For more information, click BigCityBluesMag.com.
To contact JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com