"......thanks for all you do for keeping the Blues growing."
Bill Wax, Proprietor of Low-Fi's Bar and Pool Hall on XM Radio Channel 74
The Detroit Blues Society (DBS) is a registered federal 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, education, and advancement of the blues tradition, as it relates to the Metro-Detroit area. It has as its primary goals, to promote a wider appreciation for the Blues by the general public and to serve the members of the Society.
A group of people interested in acoustic blues music joined together to form an informal association. The first meeting was held on March 14, 1985. The name selected for the group was The Detroit Country and Classic Blues Society. Individuals had varied reasons to gather but shared a common love of acoustic blues music. Robert B. Jones, host of the WDET radio show “Blues from the Lowlands”, commented that he and others enjoyed touring musicians and wanted to have a place to jam with them during their Detroit visits.
The Society was formed and met in the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in Detroit. Electric instruments were not allowed at the early Society meetings as they would have been too loud for the people hosting them. The Detroit Blues Club, a group formed by local blues musicians, was still in existence at that time but was fading fast as key member Bobo Jenkins had passed away. By 1988 the format began to include electric instruments and the Society met at various locations. Included among these were Sully’s, Alvin’s, The Sunset Grill, The Soup Kitchen and the Attic Bar. During the 1985 to 1990 period the membership numbered around fifty. By 1990 the number of members were falling and the Society was in danger of ceasing to exist. It was saved by the efforts of a small group of dedicated members who began to reorganize the Society.
In January 1992 the name was changed to The Detroit Blues Society (DBS) and a new Board of Directors was established. The primary goal at that time was to increase public interest in the Society. Large-scale events included a number of indoor and outdoor concerts and school workshops. Increased membership and a more organized approach allowed the Society to embark on special projects. Educational programs became more formalized and in 1996 the Scarab Club Educational/Blues Heritage Series began. Each event featured a theme based on some aspect of the Detroit blues tradition.
In 1997 the Society completed a project to place a memorial stone in Mt. Hazel Cemetery to honor the late Eddie James “Son” House. Another project was initiated to preserve on video the contributions of Uncle Jesse White. The DBS has also placed stones on the graves of the Butler Twins in June of 2007 and on the grave of Calvin Frazier in November of 2009. Others are planned in the future.
The Detroit Blues Society (DBS) is a registered federal 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, education, and advancement of the blues tradition, as it relates to the Metro-Detroit area. It has as its primary goals to promote a wider appreciation for the blues by the general public and to serve the members of the Society. DBS provides members with the monthly newsletter Blues Notes. This serves to inform members and the general public regarding relevant news, schedules of upcoming events and profiles on our members. DBS schedules free blues jam sessions, usually on the second Saturday of each month (January-May and September-December), arranges discounts on merchant sponsored merchandize, discounted event tickets and administers an educational program.
Members are encouraged to support the Society in its many activities and are welcome to attend DBS Board meetings. DBS welcomes personal donations and corporate sponsorship. Please refer to the application form for details. Merchants offering a discount to DBS members will be so recognized in the Blues Notes.
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2006 Recipient for Best Blues Society