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V Club is bringing red-hot blues on Wednesday

Sep. 17, 2013 @ 08:15 AM

HUNTINGTON -- With the Pullman Square Summer Concert Series rolling up the carpet, it's tough to find some good, early live music happening.

You can get a sweet taste of the blues as the red-hot harmonica-juiced band, Mojo Bones, blows in for the first Huntington Blues Society Meeting that will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the V Club, 741 6th Ave.

The free show will feature a short meeting of the Blues Society, which is headed up by such local blues blasters as Chris Sutton, who is headed down to compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2014 for a third time, as well as Mike Lyzenga of Blues Crossing and a few other volunteers such as blues fan Justin Brock.

Mojo Bones will knock out a set of swinging old-school electric blues shortly after 7 p.m., a short meeting will take place to give the band a break, and then it will be back on stage as a house band forms for a jam.

Formed last year, Mojo Bones has been playing all around the region this summer at festivals and such hot spots as Bike Night at Buddy's All-American BBQ.

The band formed by John Hathaway, a 50-year veteran guitarist who plays everything from bluegrass and blues to jazz, features Nashville veteran and former West Virginia state harmonica champion, Allen Hatten on harmonica, as well as Cliff Riley on drums and Rob Jarrel on bass.

"I've wanted to put together this type of group for a long time but I could never get people that were talented enough to do it," Hathaway told The Herald-Dispatch earlier this year. "We do medleys of blues and jazz, melding one thing into another. We do straight up Chicago blues. We do some jazz classics by Miles Davis, John Coltrane and stuff like that from the 1950s and early '60s, and we also do some of the funk jazz stuff from Miles' 1980s period. I always told people that if I had the right musicians, I could do this and put it over. And, everybody would say, 'Ah, you can't do that.' But, we get people up and dancing to everything from Robert Johnson from the 1930s to jazz funk."

Lyzenga said the idea of the blues society formed last year to help promote the blues in the city and Tri-State by helping shine a light on local bands, concerts, events and festivals in the region.

"It's a new thing here that hasn't been done before," Lyzenga said. "I think the Diamond Teeth Mary Blues and Arts Festival was the impetus for it. We all kind of had that idea that we should keep something going all year long to promote that and to promote talent throughout the year."

Sutton said the meeting won't be anything fancy just a free invitation for blues lovers to come out and pitch their ideas, to support live music and to talk about ways to promote events including the West Virginia Blues Society's upcoming Appalachian Blues Competition in downtown Huntington on Oct. 19.

Sutton said they want to thank the V Club for providing a place for the club to meet and for the sound man to mix the jam. He said blues lovers are invited to come and participate in the jam or to just kick back and listen to an early night of music.

Go online at https://www.facebook.com/HuntingtonBluesSociety to check out the Society's Facebook page where fresh blues videos of both national and regional acts are posted daily, as well as news of upcoming shows and events.

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