The festival’s name sake, Ma Rainey, is considered the Mother of Blues. Gertrude Pridgett Rainey, known to us as “Ma” Rainey, was born in Columbus, Georgia. She performed for 35 years establishing what is now known as Classic Blues in American music. She later retired to Rome, Georgia where she had a heart attack and died in 1939. A tribute, in historical memorabilia, will be available on display at the DeSoto Theatre during this Blues Festival Weekend.
Mac Arnold began playing in bands during high school and worked with famous names such as James Brown, the Temptations and BB King. In the early 70’s he moved to California and worked on the set of Soul Train. Now Mac has moved back to where it all began, in South Carolina, and is serving up a mess of Blues with his own band, “Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues”. The band consists of Danny Keylon on bass and vocals, Austin Brashier on guitar and vocals, Max Hightower on keyboards, harmonica, guitar, and vocals, Mike Whitt on drums, and Mac Arnold on vocals, bass and Gas Can Guitars.
The Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation was established in 2008 to facilitate a community effort to raise money to restore, maintain and operate the DeSoto Theatre as a historical, cultural and economic asset. All proceeds from the concert will go towards the Foundation’s restoration efforts. The Historic DeSoto Theatre, built in 1929 by O.C. Lam, was the first theatre in the south built exclusively for “talkies.”
Guests will be able to purchase a Pub Crawl arm band at the DeSoto Theatre or any of the performance venues, to gain entrance. The one low fee of $10.00 will allow patrons to enjoy blues festival music at all participating locations.
The opening act for Mac Arnold & Plate Full ‘O Blues, will be Lon Eldredge. Tickets for this Saturday night concert are $15. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit the preservation of the DeSoto Theatre.
Tickets sales will be announced in the very near future. However, Blues Festival sponsorships are currently available at various levels with sponsor benefits. Contact Tracy Hellriegel at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
For additional event details, go to www.historicdesototheatrefoundation.org, stop by the DeSoto Theatre Box Office or call, 706 295-7171.
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