Christmas is almost behind us. That signals the time to change up our blues chords.
The traditional staging of the Danny Rhodes Memorial Blue Summit is always the day after Christmas, according to the Danny Rhodes playbook. That's the way Danny always did it and his blues buddy Jimmy Mack is keeping it alive.
The second annual Danny Rhodes Memorial Blues Summit will be Thursday, Dec 26, 6 p.m. at Rendezvous in Old Town.
Invited to perform are some of Arizona's best musicians and blues artists from the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame and the Northern Arizona Blues Alliance.
"Last year, we listed the musicians in advance, but many more came and did not get equal credit. This year we have 20 to 25 confirmed musicians, who are coming from as far away as San Francisco and Chicago. Everyone just needs to show up and celebrate," said Mack
The backline and sound will be by BTWConcerts and Wicked Creek Productions.
"Danny's wife, Lisa, has some video and we will run a loop of Danny. RIOT may run some drink specials. They will have a big tent and heater for folks outside," added Mack.
There will be an auction of a guitar signed by members of both Canned Heat and Ten Years After plus a Fender bass played by all players of this year's event plus many other music-related auction pieces.
This year the event benefits MusiCares and the Fender Music Foundation. MusiCares, established by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is meant for musicians to have a place to turn in times of financial, personal, or medical crisis.
The Fender Foundation grants musical instruments and equipment to ongoing music education programs in the United States including some for under privileged or mentally disabled children, teenagers and adults.
Those who remember Danny Rhodes in the Verde Valley remember the Messengers, his "Louisiana style," his intensity and craftsmanship. They remember Danny was not just a "perfectionist" as a musician but also a fun and good person.
He was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame in 2006.
In Nashville, he was the lead in The Nerve, one of the most popular club bands. Among others, he play with Dicky Betts, Gregg Allman, Rodney Crowell, Gatemouth Brown and Dash Crofts.
Earlier in the 1970s, Danny spent time in Austin, Texas, sharing bills with Stevie Ray Vaughn and the Neville Brothers.
He performed for Austin City Limits, the Grand Ole Opry, HBO and the New Orleans Jazz and heritage Festival.
After succumbing to gastric cancer at 58, services were held at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood, in Nashville at Douglas Corner and in West Monroe, La.