6162010th_corkyjones.jpgSince 2005 Claudia Swartz has been coordinating blues showcases to give local talent a venue to entertain the community and to give the community another fun event to attend.

In the past, these events have been held at the library.

There is a new twist to this event — a few new twists actually. The first is that Swartz is teaming up with The Rock Shop owner Shawn Adkins to bring Fayetteville a bigger and better Blues Showcase. In case you missed it, The Rock Shop (newly christened The Rock Shop Music Hall) has moved to King Street, and while they still have that fun and funky atmosphere going on, there is a lot more space to spread out and relax … and jam.

“This is going to be a major step up from the library showcases. We have put together a truly great blues show with all the best musicians here in town,” said Swartz. “Hopefully this will get a lot of people in. I am hoping that by bringing this to a bigger venue we can really pack them in.”

The other twist in this event is that the funds will be used to start a foundation to help local disabled musicians. The funds will be used to cover medical and living expenses for these artists. A few of the people that the foundation is looking to help are Chris Cox, Pat Vines, David “Thumbs” Johnson and Jerry B. 

“There are so many great artists here in Fayetteville that have suffered tragedies that have left them disabled,” said Swartz. “I just want to be able to help them out in their hour of need.”

The artists scheduled to perform are names you’ve probably heard before — Robbie Reid Band, Corky Jones, Bradley Muffet, Puncho Forrest, Chris Cox Band, David “Thumbs” Johnson, Willie Bradley, Blues Enigma, Claudia Swartz, Ray King and blues phenomenon Lakota John.

“Lakota John, the 13 year-old blues kid, is our pride and joy. He just turned 13 in April and he has been a blues musician since he was ten,” said Swartz. “He just sounds so amazing. He sounds like a grown man playing the blues. He is a really charismatic young man and he motivates a lot of young folks. We are proud and happy to bring him out on the big stage at The Rock Shop Music Hall.”

If you’ve never attended a local blues showcase, Swartz promises that it is is something that you will want to mark on your annual entertainment calendar. “It is a very vibrant scene and I am happy that I can do what I am doing by promoting these terrific talents,” said Swartz. “It is just a wonderful, wonderful, magical show — it will be like a theatrical production. I hope that people will come. The best musicians in Fayetteville deserve support from the community, especially since we are trying to help less fortunate musicians who have played here for a long, long time.”

The fun kicks off at 8:30 p.m. and lasts until 1:30 a.m. Tickets are available at Edwards Music Company on McPherson Church Road for $10. Tickets will be $12 at the door on the night of the event. For more info give the Rock Shop Music Hall a call at 321-ROCK.

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