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BBQ & Blues: GML award winner named; bands listed

By Walter Geiger Robert Lee Coleman of Macon will be the recipient of the Georgia Music Legend Award which will be presented during the main event concert at the BBQ & Blues Festival here April 25-26, according to entertainment chairman and festival co-founder Carl Pruett. Born in Macon in 1945, Coleman is a blues guitarist. He played with Percy Sledge from 1964-69 before joining James Brown’s JB Band during Brown’s ‘˜Hot Pants’ period. He still records and tours and is expected to join in on the all-star jam at the main event concert along with two of the original Rayettes from the Ray Charles Band. The music begins Friday night, April 25 with free music at the library stage beginning at 5 p.m. Atlanta blues favorite Ross Peed opens followed by the Muddy Guy band from Thomaston. Blues and party music will follow at 8:30 p.m. featuring the Loose Change Band. The free music continues Saturday at the library stage beginning at 11 a.m. with local acts. Blues harpist Dr. Dixon, the Blues physician will perform at 12:30 p.m. Dixon once toured with Muddy Waters. Taking the stage at 3 p.m. will be Barnesville’s own Melflames, featuring Roger McLeod. The Melflames will offer up blues with a jazz feel. That evening, activities shift to the main stage at Ritz Park. Blues singer/ songwriter Veronika Jackson, a BBQ & Blues favorite, opens the show at 6 p.m. Pruett’s Crossroads Band follows at 7:30 p.m. Joining Crossroads will be former guitarists from the Atlanta Rhythm Section and the Big Bill Morganfield Band. Chicago vocalist Sherry Paul, often compared to Etta James, will also perform and hang around for the all-star jam near the end of the set. Confirmed for the jam are past headliners Alan Walden, Eddie Tigner, Beverly ‘˜Guitar’ Watkins and E.G. Kight along with the BBQ & Blues biggest booster and former legend award winner Newton Collier, formerly with Sam & Dave. Members of the Piano Red Band from Underground Atlanta will join the jam and tribute will be paid to late, former legend award winners Eddie Kirkland and Chick Willis. After the presentation of this year’s legend award winner and the recipient of the Dewaine T. Bell music scholarship, the Conquest Band ‘“ a full-blown dance party band from Macon ‘“ will perform. For more information on this event, contact the chamber of commerce office at 770-358-5884.

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