Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ernie “Sugar Lips” Brown Benefit Raises Almost $1,500!

The benefit show for Ernie "Sugar Lips" Brown was held at Big Cities Lounge on Sunday, November 16, 2008. It was a great day of music, food and fun! The event raised $1,495 thanks to the generosity of all who attended. Over 70 people turned out to honor and support the 5-time RAMI Award winning musician.

The Port Bluez Band played first. The band reformed and got back together to honor the man who mentored them, a man whom they love like a brother. They were exciting to listen to and watch. They played and sang their hearts out and put on a great show. Between the music and conversation amongst the band members, the crowd was treated to some excellent music and entertainment. Keyboardist and singer Bob Lowther also made up 50 copies of CDs of a 1996 show with Ernie and the band to sell; the proceeds will go to Ernie. Dozens of copies were sold at the show.

Next up was The Po Boys! The band played and their leader Ernie joined them on stage and sang with them. It was a pretty touching set of music with Ernie leading the band again. Bob Levis and Larry Pendleton were on guitar, Victor Wattes was on bass, Link Leary was behind the drums and Teddy Lawrence provided some great harp as Ernie was unable to play the Mississippi saxophone. The guys put on a great show and the crowd was excited and fired up.
Brother Dave Kaye and Bob Lowther put together a set of musicians that did a third set. The crowd really enjoyed their rockin' blues!

The money from the door, donations received by Crossroads, a 50-50 raffle and silent auction raised $1,495 dollars for Ernie Brown. There were also some private donations and CD sale money that will raise that sum over $1,500! Ernie was humbled by the generosity and turn out of support by his friends and fans.

A big note of thanks goes to Nino for opening Big Cities early for this event and for hosting the benefit. The bands who played also deserve a big thank you for coming out and playing. Thanks also need to go out to Alligator Records who sent us 20 CDs to use a prizes and auction items. Lastly, thank you to all the attendees who came out, donated auction items, prepared food, and gave of their time and money! It was great day with three super sets of music, delicious food, fun to support and man who has been so instrumental in keeping the blues alive in the Rockford, Northern Illinois and Chicago areas!

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