Blues Society hosts Hurricane Sandy relief benefit in Byron Jan. 27

• Event at Byron American Legion Hall features Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys

Staff Report

BYRON, Ill. — Crossroads Blues Society (CBS) is having a benefit to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts from 3 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Byron American Legion Hall on Union Street in downtown Byron, Ill.

The benefit features the music of Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, along with harmonica master Westside Andy Linderman. Suggested donation to attend is $10.

Rik Raven and his band were featured at the Byron Crossroads Blues Festival (BCBF) in August 2011. Rik is a superb guitar player who can play with the best of them. A consummate showman and frontman, Raven tours the U.S. with a huge and loyal following.

Westside Andy was featured at the BCBF in 2010 as part of the Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band and in an opening trio in 2011. His harp playing is known by fans near and far to be one of America’s best.

Crossroads began planning a benefit to raise money for the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame Capital Fund Drive to raise money to support a Hall of Fame Museum for the Blues in Memphis, Tenn. Some of the funds raised will go toward that, but since planning started, Sandy hit the East Coast, and so the majority of money raised will go to Hurricane Sandy Relief.

A 50-50 raffle and silent auctions will be held. Anyone wishing to donate items for the auction or needing more information should contact Steve Jones at (779) 537-4006 by phone or at via e-mail.

Rik and Andy will also be conducting Blues in the Schools (BITS) Monday, Jan. 28. In the morning, they will be at Washington Elementary School in Rockford. In the afternoon, they will be at Haskell Elementary School in Rockford.

CBS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in Illinois. They primarily raise funds to conduct BITS programs and have conducted 108 programs for more than 32,000 students locally since May 2002. They also host the annual BCBF on the Saturday prior to Labor Day in Byron, Ill., and now also are beginning a new festival at Riverhawks Stadium called the Field of Blues Festival. The inaugural festival will be June 22.

From the Jan. 23-29, 2013, issue

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