Saturday, June 03, 2006

Musings from Mr. Solid

By John Lee

I was prepared to do a completely different piece in this space until I got involved putting together the Curtis Salgado Benefit that occured on May 28th at The Highway 99 Blues Club.

From the time I talked to Mike Lynch at Blue Monday on May 8th, to the last note of the benefit, it was a lesson in grassroots mobilization! I asked a core of my long time friends if they would be interested in doing a benefit for Curtis Salgado to help him with the expenses that come with the treatment of liver cancer. One and all said YES! Then more people came forward saying they wanted to help and be involved. Now it was my job to find room for all the talented and good people that wanted to help.

It turned out to be what amounted to a one day blues festival, with 24 musicians (8 harmonica men) in all. The caliber of the music was high and everyone had a great time. We had no print media help and relied on e-mail lists and public service announcements from select public and community radio music shows like All Blues on KPLU 88.5 FM in Tacoma and The Night Shift with Dave Samson on KBCS 91.3 FM, located on the campus of Bellevue Community College.

The show and benefit brought in $3,665.00. The silent auction provided $674.00 of this amount. The Highway 99 Blues Club gave $431.00, most of that from 50% of food sales. I think this was a damn good showing for a mostly underground event! I would like to thank everyone who helped put this together and to all who came and gave, and enjoyed the festivities. Thank you one and all. Thank you so much!!

On Tuesday, after I deposited the cash and checks in the “Curtis Salgado Fund” (Monday was a holiday, the banks were closed), I called Shane Tappendorf, Curtis’ manager, to tell him the totals. After he thanked me, Shane asked if I would be their guest at The Concert for Curtis in Portland, Oregon on June 13th. I was totally knocked out with the kind and generous offer. The show is a monster. Dig the lineup: The Curtis Salgado Band (Curtis is able to perform while he receives treatments) with special guests Steve Miller, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, Everclear, the Phantom Blues Band, and Little Charlie and the Nightcats. Wow, it’s gonna be one hell of a show!! Shane says they are going to introduce me to the audience for the contribution of the Seattle benefit. I will wish them the best from us all.

For concert tickets on June 13th phone 877-789-7673 or go online at For donations, make checks out to “ Curtis Salgado Fund “ and take to any US Bank. Or send checks to: US Bank 2550 NW 188th Avenue, Hillsboro, OR 97124.

I will tell you all about my trip to the Rose City not long after I get back.


June Blues Birthdays

David “Honeyboy” Edwards - June 28, 1915
John Stephan - June 29, 1948
“Memphis Minnie” McCoy - June 3, 1897 (died 1973)
Jimmy Rogers - June 3, 1924 (died 1997)
Chester "Howlin' Wolf" Burnett - June 10, 1910 (died 1976)
“St. Louis Jimmy” Oden - June 26, 1903 (died 1977)

Electric bassist John "Mr. Solid" Lee was born in Alaska and has been active in the Seattle blues scene for about 30 years. He currently plays with the Crossroads Band. Photo by Mike Coyote.

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