Friday, February 28, 2014

Alberta Adams tribute honors 'Detroit's Queen of the Blues'

Alberta Adams performs at the Southfield Public Library in 2011. (Photo by Joe Ballor)
The Detroit Pub Music Room’s Sunday Steak & Blues Series kicks off from 7-11 p.m. Sunday, March 2, with “To Alberta With Love,” a tribute to Detroit’s Queen of the Blues, Alberta Adams.
The evening features entertainment by singer Thornetta Davis and her band with special guest singer Tosha Owens, and a special appearance and signing by Alberta Adams, who is 96.
Adams began her career as a dancer in the 1940s, but soon switched to singing, touring with big name musicians such as Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson.
Her solo career enjoyed a resurgence starting in the 1990s with her association with manager/musician RJ Spangler. She recorded two CDs for the now defunct Cannonball Records label and then moved to Detroit-based Eastlawn Records. Her third record with Eastlawn, "Detroit Is My Home" (2008), features collaborations with pianists Mark "Mr. B" Braun, Al Hill and the late Ann Rabson (Saffire). Thornetta Davis also appeared on the CD. Alberta has also recorded for the Chess, Savoy and Thelma (Gordy) labels.
“She is a completely unique, one of a kind artist and, of course, a beautiful person to work with,” said Spangler, who is president of the Detroit Blues Society.
Admission is $10 with proceeds benefiting Alberta’s “quality of life.”
The Detroit Pub is at 33401 Harper Ave. in Clinton Township.

Detroit Blues Society Mardi Gras Party
RJ’s Rhythm Rockers will entertain at the Detroit Blues Society’s Mardi Gras party on Saturday, March 1, at Shelly Kelly’s in Fraser.
“This is our 2nd annual event,” said RJ Spangler, bandleader with the Rhythm Rockers. “It is a smaller version of the event we’ve been doing at Rochester Mills Brewery for 10 years.”
RJ and his band have performed in New Orleans and, in Detroit, have backed up visiting musicians from the Crescent City, including singer Johnny Adams, singer-guitarist Earl King and singer-pianist Eddie Bo.
“We have a great affinity with the music in New Orleans,” Spangler said.
The fun starts at 9 p.m. and there’s no cover charge. 

St. Cecelia at Town Pub
The band St. Cecelia -- guitarist Brett Lucas, bassist James Simonson and drummer Todd Glass -- performs every Saturday at the Town Pump, behind the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Lucas reports that the gig has a really great vibe, thanks in part to DJ Halfacre, who spins vinyl on the band’s breaks.
“He is a huge vinyl dude that loves great music, old blues, funk and soul,” Lucas said. “He has some really rare stuff, like this Little Richard record I’ve never heard before. It doesn’t even sound like Little Richard. It sounds like Al Green or some funky thing.
“It is really cool and people love it. When we take our breaks, people don’t leave and kind of dig it.”
Music starts at 9 p.m. and there’s no cover.

To send info to JB Blues, please email

No comments:

Post a Comment