A group of West Tennessee blues enthusiasts are making an effort to preserve the "West Tennessee Blues" with the recently formed West Tennessee Blues Society (WTBS). The group will present its first concert, July 12, at Twin Oaks Estate in Humboldt. The outdoor event, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will include a core group of member musicians performing as the West Tennessee Blues Jam Band followed by headliner Little Boys Blue.
"There are Blues societies in Memphis and Nashville," says WTBS president Elam McKnight, of Trenton, "but in between is a bit overlooked. We hope to bring awareness of the rich historical significance of blues in this area, as well as promote the bands and performers who are keeping the heritage alive."
The new group says this is an opportunity to pull together like-minded people from across the region and form a closer-knit community of supporters who love the music and want to help preserve its history. McKnight also stated that as the society grows, it plans to incorporate music history programs in the schools.
The society plans to reach out to each county, looking for meet and greet locations to host a jam session and other ways to help promote the Blues in that community. "We'll also be partnering with local folks to present concerts on occasion, such as what we'll be doing at Twin Oaks in Humboldt."
Well-known Jackson group, Little Boys Blue, will perform during this inaugural concert. The band just released a new CD that includes nine original songs. The event will also serve as a release party for the group in the Humboldt area. The band members are Jimmy D. Taylor (lead vocals and harmonica), Steve Patterson (lead and slide guitar), Dave Mallard (bass guitar), Alex Taylor (rhythm and lead guitar), Dave Thomas (keyboards) and Mark Brooks (drums).
Twin Oaks is an antebellum home built circa 1853 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's name comes from the 300+ year old White Oak trees on the property. Located at 2227 East Main Street in Humboldt, the large trees will serve as shade for the evening concert. Ticket cost is $10 per person. Concessions will be on site provided by Silla's Spoon Cafe. Concert goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
For more information about the concert or the WTBS, contact McKnight at 731-487-8623. Tickets are available at Silla's Spoon Cafe in Humboldt, Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville or any WTBS member.