Benefit blues event Feb. 24 at Byron’s American Legion Hall

Bryan Lee

By Steve Jones
Crossroads Blues Society

Bryan Lee is a guitar wizard, singer, songwriter, blues performer and most of all, a good friend of Crossroads Blues Society. He was the headliner for the 2011 Byron Crossroads Blues Festival.

Bryan underwent back surgery Jan. 12 to relieve intense pain and to allow him to walk and perform his craft normally. He was cleared for surgery and was a high-risk because of his lung issues. The surgery has now gone fine and he is rehabilitating, but he has no insurance and his recovery will lay him up for eight to 12 weeks.

Crossroads has stepped forward with a financial donation, as have several of their individual members. They are also holding a benefit blues event at the American Legion Hall in Byron, Ill., at 116 Walnut St., just a half block north of the light at Illinois Route 2/Blackhawk Drive and Walnut Street.

The fund-raiser will be Feb. 24 and begins at 7 p.m. Reverend Rik Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys will be performing, along with Steve Ditzell and Barstool Bob Levis and his band. Admission is a suggested $10 donation.

There will be great silent auction items and a 50-50 raffle to help raise money to support Bryan. Rik and Bryan both played at the 2011 Byron Crossroads Blues Festival (BCBF) last August, and Rik credits Bryan with resuscitating his guitar career many years ago.

Lee headlined BCBF in 2011 to rave reviews. He also worked with Crossroads in June 2011 at a show in Rockford and performed three sessions for their Blues In The Schools (BITS) program in 2010, along with holding an evening show.

Bryan is a great bluesman, and he and his wife Bethany have been great supporters of Crossroads. They hope to see a great turnout at the event.

If you would like more information, call (779) 537-4006. Donations can be made at the event or via mail or Paypal. Send checks to: Brian Kumbalek, P.O. Box 9453, Metairie, LA 70055 or use Paypal online to

From the Feb. 22-28, 2012, issue

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