Blue Christmas Suggestions


It is time to think of Blues gifts for Christmas.

With much to say let me first mention The Gift of Music- 6 Months of Shows at Cafe 9 for 2 People .  The deadline for ordering is Sunday, December 14.

Need that perfect Holiday Gift for the Live Music Lover in your life.  Café 9 has got you covered.  It is a 6 month pass for unlimited admission to your favorite national, regional and local acts is available now through December 14th. Passes are valid for all shows for pass holder and 1 guest.  Passes expire  June 30 2015 and are non transferable. They will be mailed on December 16 and will arrive in plenty of time for the Holiday.  Cost -$200.00

Now for some suggestions with a little more time.

You may know one of my favorite organizations is the Music Makers Relief Foundation.  Founded and run by a former Connecticut resident Tim Duffy.  In time for holiday gift giving is a new book and CD combination.

We are the Music Makers! will educate and engage viewers in the cultural history of Southern traditional music.  We are the Music Makers features photo and audio documentation of Southern Roots musicians active in the past 20 years, all photographed and recorded by Tim Duffy in his quest to preserve Southern traditional music by partnering with the artists who make it.  The multi-media materials will highlight questions of how poverty, geography and age have limited the exposure of these artists, causing the widespread idea that the musical traditions they perform have “died out.

book-and-cd-image-300x260AMERICA TELLS ITS STORIES THROUGH SONG. Consolation to the lovelorn, courage to the oppressed, warning to the naive or a ticket to the Promised Land, a great song can deliver the wisdom of ages directly to our souls. Deeply personal and implausibly universal, the blues, jazz, gospel and old time music of the American South form a deep aquifer that contemporary musicians all around the world drink from daily. The music is constantly expanding and morphing into country, rock, rap and soul, but trace the origins and you will find yourself standing squarely in the South. In the pages of We are the Music Makers, we present portraits of these artists: fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts, daughters and sons, grandparents and neighbors, who continue to lovingly stir the South’s musical stew and feed American culture.

Check them out at


Membership in the Connecticut Blues Society is a welcome gift.  Help support the local blues scene with the International Blues Challenge competition and help send the winners to Memphis.  Don’t forget the annual Blues Blizzard.  And now the monthly jam.  Hear some great blues and meet some great people.

logo-hdrNow a trip to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis is a wonderful idea.  Held in Memphis in January, it is the World’s largest gathering of blues bands.  If that is too much too soon, a membership in the Blues Foundation gives you a vote for the Blues Music Awards held in May.  Another excuse to head to Memphis.



Now for things to do around the state.  First, you can get gift certificates for any of the state’s blues venues.  A nice meal and show is a welcome stocking stuffer.  Check any of the Blues Schedule Blogs for a list of places hosting blues.  Some venues have hats and shirts and hot sauce available.  Of course you can always book a blues band for any occaision.  Don’t forget some of the great New Year’s Eve parties going on across the state.

Infinity Hall Hartford is promoting a visit from Javier Colon, Saturday, January 3rd at 8pm.  Here’s your chance to see/hear Connecticut’s own winner of NBC TV’s “The Voice”.  What you may not know is that prior to taking that title he was the lead singer of The Derek Trucks Band, toured with them for nearly two years, left to pursue a solo career, was signed by Capitol Records, went on to release two critically acclaimed solo albums and was featured as the singer/songwriter for “October Sky”, on Vanessa Williams’ vocal album, The Real Thing.  Celebrate the beginning of 2015 with Javier and Infinity Hall!


Up in Maine it is the 22nd North Atlantic Blues Festival, July 11 & 12, 2015, Rockland, Maine.   Order tickets for Holiday Gifts – Single day $ 30.00, Weekend Sat/Sun $ 55.00.

The North Atlantic Blues Festival is an annual two-day blues music festival featuring national blues performers and considered one of the most prestigious on the East Coast. The festival is held at the Public Landing in Rockland, Maine, overlooking the picturesque Rockland Harbor. Some of the top names in blues music have been featured at this prestigious East Coast festival. In addition to all day live entertainment, the festival has vendors selling a wide array of food, drinks and crafts.  Saturday evening Main Street is closed to traffic for the NABF Club Crawl. Attendees of legal age, wearing their wristband from the festival are allowed free admission to the many bars and restaurants featuring many of the top regional blues performers. There are also bands performing on Main Street for all ages at no charge.



Pennsylvania Blues Festival takes place July 25 to 27 at Blue Mountain Ski Area in Palmerton, PA.  For emails: or phone: (610) 826-7700.  Check the website for ticket prices.

Blue Mountain Ski Area is happy with the return of the Pennsylvania Blues Festival, celebrating 23 years of blues in the Pocono Mountains.  Enjoy 15 national acts on two stages.  On-site camping and VIP check-in starts on Friday at noon and check-out is on Monday at noon.

A main stage, RV camping space with a view of the stage, tent acts and evening jams. Enough activity to really fill a weekend.


– A number of new Blues iitems are always released around Christmas.  Check out you favorite labels to see what they have to offer.  Add to this some of the local writers that have blues related books out and you can get you shopping done.





Questions/comments, I can be reached through the Blog comments or at  BluesBeatNews is written, produced, directed and photographed by Domenic Forcella.

About bluesbeatnews52

Blues columnist writing a weekly column dedicated to the Blues. The only column of its kind in a commercial (paid subscription) newspaper. Column appears in the Middletown Press, Bristol Press, Torrington Register-Citizen, and the New Britain Herald. Forcella has served on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation representing the Journalism constituency. Served on the Board of Directors Connecticut Blues Society as Past President and Past Editor of newsletter. Recipient: Keeping the Blues Alive award in Journalism from the Blues Foundation. Has contributed both writing and photos to nationnal blues publications.

One response to “Blue Christmas Suggestions

  1. Ed Stack

    HI DOM, Thanks for mentioning the CTBS along with the other fine suggested Christmas Gifts. Nice “food for thought ” for the Holiday season.
    Ed Stack

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: