Memphis Bound: Final Fundraiser for Bosco-Gee
The Bosco-Gee Blues Band, featuring the lovely Martila Sanders, is stoked, primed and ready for its upcoming Memphis run! In preparation for taking the stage at the 29th Annual International Blues Challenge, the KVBA’s representative at the “largest gathering of blues bands in the world” has been fine-tuning its presentation for maximum impact.
Rehearsals have been grueling and repetitious, focused on perfecting a tight set of four songs. This will be just enough to fill the 25-minute set in the opening round of the IBC, with a carefully chosen closing tune to allow some flexibility for purposes of playing “beat the clock”. The set has been honed to 23 minutes with a simple toggle in place to stretch it out to 27 for later rounds.
Having selected three original tunes from the band’s new CD “The Rain Falls Anyway”, and just one blues standard, also from the CD, the band is confident with its choice of material. Band co-founder Michael Gee said, “Although I will always value the experience no matter the outcome, and will be happy just to have been there, that is not why we are going. Getting blown out in the first round is not even on my mind.” The band’s sax player, Bob Hunt, added, “There will be a lot of talent in Memphis, but we are just going to do what we do. That is what got us here, and it will end up how it ends up.”
Jeff (Bosco) Bobrofsky added, “We are truly humbled by all the support we have received from the Blues Community. The band has members spread across 50 miles of the I-94 corridor, fromKalamazoo to Albion, and has held fundraising events in Albion, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, always with the undying support and assistance of the KVBA.”
Fundraising efforts have been fruitful, and the band has only one remaining fundraiser, to be held at The Union Cabaret and Grill, at 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall on Sunday, January 20th. Doors open at 3:30 PM with a $5.00 minimum donation requested at the door. The Union will have a limited menu of GREAT FOOD available, and the Bosco-Gee Blues Band will perform three sets starting at 4:00 PM, with a “sneak peak” of the IBC set at the beginning of set two.
Advice and pointers have been flying at the band from every direction since winning the KVBA Blues Challenge in September. Good friends and peers such as Tom Duffield, Eddie Blue Lester, and Capital Area Blues Society President Mike Skory, all of whom have been in the same shoes, streamlined the message down to “Be Yourself”. In speaking with Gee and long time friend, associate and slide guitar-master Jerry Patterson, both simply replied, “That is the plan. We are going to put down what we do and hand our fate to our ‘secret weapon’. Because, wherever we go, whether it is Memphis or Marshall, Martila is NOT just another singer.”
We at the KVBA would like to remind everybody that although the Association presented Bosco-Gee with an up-front award of $1000 to help defray its costs, getting a seven-piece band to Memphis and funding all the expenses associated with the competition is far from cheap. We urge you all to make the trip to the Union on Sunday for the final “Beale Street Bound” Blues Bash and kick in what you can to help the Bosco-Gee Blues Band represent us in Memphis!!
MEMPHIS BOUND, BABY!