Monday, December 2, 2013

Hamilton Blues Society Helps Needy Families Beat The Christmas Blues

"It's all about the kids," says Big Johnny Blue. Big Johnny's real name is John Crawford. As the president of the Hamilton Blues Society, he is making sure that the activities of the Blues Society benefit the members of the community as well as promote the love and listening of blues music. That's why the Society has been having a toy drive.
Hamiltonians are truly generous in their toy donations!

On Friday, November 29 the Ottawa Street BIA invited members of the Blues Society to come down and liven up their special event called "It's Sew Christmas" and to promote their toy drive for St. Matthew's House. The Blues Society had already gathered a big bunch of toys at two previous toy drives at their Blues Jam events, so it made sense to give the effort one last push of support.

Local people generously donated toys, resulting in a few more big bags of toys.

Shoppers and pedestrians were treated to the sounds of blues music and other famous tunes throughout the four hour event. The band tent was brightly lit up in the square at Edinburgh and Ottawa Street, and the music wafted up and down Ottawa Street in both directions. A number of Blues Society members showed up to participate.

Cold weather wreaked havoc on Big Johnny Blue's guitar strings, and he had to take a quick trip home to get another guitar. In his place, Keith Richards (yes that's his name) attempted a version of a Jimi Hendrix tune with only three strings left. Hmmmmm. Richards redeemed himself completely when Big Johnny returned with his other axe.

Despite the heaters on site it was a challenge to keep warm, but with a warming drink and a funnel cake or two, the musicians' spirits were kept high. The visit by Santa and the CH television crew helped too!

The CH news crew kept everyone's spirits up!

Ottawa Street is experiencing a resurgence of activity and interest and new stores are opened up by local entrepreneurs. The new shops are of many types, from used/consignment clothing, to antiques, to gourmet coffee. The mood on the street was festive and positive as people took time to browse and buy local. Many stores extended their hours and slashed their prices.

The Hamilton Blues Society is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in Hamilton. It is dedicated to promoting the listening, learning, and love of blues music in a caring community of local musicians.


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