The 8th annual Stomp the Blues Out of Homelessness concert is Saturday May 19th at the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, 220 W. Plainview Road at Campbell. The concert's mission and purpose is to provide direct assistance to those who are homeless and near-homeless through existing organizations such as Harmony House, The Rare Breed, The Gathering Tree and now Women In Need of the Ozarks. Gates open at noon, with music starting at 1:30pm. "The Community Blood Center is a great partner for us, and this will be our third year on their lot," says event organizer Jim Payne.
Interestingly, for the second year Stomp the Blues has hit the jackpot with an artist or band, already booked for the concert, having just won a Blues Music Award (BMA) immediately prior to the event. Samantha Fish just won the Contemporary Blues award at the BMA ceremonies. Of course, says Payne, the scheduling of the annual Stomp the Blues event works in their favor, as it usually occurs right after the BMA awards are given. But it's still anybody's guess each year as to whether one of the performers will have been honored right before they get here. "(Samantha Fish) is just electric right now." She received glowing reviews for her performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He considers her "almost a local"--she's from the Kansas City area, though she now lives in New Orleans.
The fundraiser's headliner this year is soul/Cajun blues performer Mark Broussard. "He's a person that, once he got away from the big record labels, he donates about 50 percent of his net profits back to charity. Last year he supported a youth charity in Atlanta. I don't that this year he's announced one (yet), but he just fits smack in the middle of what we do."
The other act coming into town for Stomp the Blues is Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal. Hoyer is well-known for competing on NBC-TV's "The Voice" in 2017, but Jim Payne heard of him before that. "He played at the Eureka Springs Blues Festival last year. I sent a couple of people down there in advance to meet him and see how he does. And he's a really great, energetic performer."
Actually from the Springfield area is the classic blues/rock sound of the Brenda Meyers Band. "She has a Bonnie Raitt-ish kind of sound," says Jim Payne. He calls Meyers and her husband "beautiful people."
I asked Payne how he chose blues music for his annual fundraising event. "I'm an Allman Brothers fan, an Eric Clapton fan, Led Zeppelin"--all rock performers who were heavily blues-influenced, and that formed the basis for his interest in blues music.
He says the goal for this year's Stomp the Blues Out of Homelessness is $50,000 to spread among the various homelessness-based non-profits in the area.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 day of show. Visit http://stompthebluesoutofhomelessness.com for information.