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River City Blues Society comes together to bring a variety of blues to Richmond clubs 

Blues revival

Saturday's Roy Book Binder show at Shenanigans is sponsored by the newly organized River City Blues Society. Spokesman John Morgan says it's the first of an occasional schedule of shows featuring national blues acts sponsored by the new organization.

The society came together in January and has already sponsored a Memorial Day blues party and a Li'l Ronnie and Terry Garland show. The group's stated purpose is to "preserve, promote and perpetuate the blues." Morgan is now working toward getting non-profit status for the organization.

In addition to bringing a variety of blues to Richmond clubs, the group hopes eventually to research blues history, sponsor multi-artist blues festivals and organize a "Blues in the Schools" program. This national program is already in place in some cities and through it underprivileged children get a hands-on introduction to music, musical instruments and the blues. The program also gives traveling artists an in-school workshop forum.

The group is actively seeking members interested in any form of the blues. Single memberships are $15, family memberships are $25 and for $100, a blues lover can join for a lifetime. Members receive a quarterly newsletter, monthly e-mail updates of local and regional shows and discounts on society events and Plan 9 merchandise. The group now meets on the third Sunday of each month at Poe's Pub.

Morgan says he is not a "blues purist" and upcoming shows will feature artists in both acoustic and electric styles. Any money made after paying the artist goes toward the promotion of future shows.

He's also aware that the blues society established here a little more than 10 years ago eventually faded from the scene. But Morgan believes this effort is different because it has long-range goals such as the school program and larger festival events. Morgan acknowledges it may be an uphill effort, but he's willing to take the River City organization a step at a time. He's seen it work in other cities and he thought someone should get Richmond's blues scene back on track.

"Why not give it a whirl?" he asks.

For more information about the River City Blues Society call
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