September 13, 2010
Benefit for Blues Pioneers: Kansas Joe and Papa Charlie McCoy
On October 3rd the Old Town School of Folk Music will host a benefit for two under appreciated pre-war blues musicians, Kansas Joe and Papa Charlie McCoy. The show, preceded by a free walking tour of other blues grave sites at Restvale Cemetery (including Muddy Waters) will be a survey of their musical development from Mississippi to Memphis to Chicago, as well as a fundraiser to buy gravestones for their unmarked graves.
From string band music in Mississippi to country blues in Memphis to jump blues in Chicago, Joe and Charlie McCoy played important roles in several musical genres. Their careers not only mirrored the "great migration" of African-Americans to the north, but also the development of African-American music from its rural roots to the foundations of rock and roll. But after 20+ year careers, they were both buried in unmarked graves when they died in 1950. Join musician Arlo Leach and a lineup of bands inspired by the McCoy Brothers in a benefit concert to raise money for their gravestones.
One very famous band inspired by the McCoys was the great Led Zeppelin (no, they won't be there) whose cover of "When the Levee Breaks" written by Joe McCoy (but changed a bit by Jimmy Page for the 1971 Led Zeppelin IV album) is a classic. Here's the original:
Tickets are $20 General Public/$18 Old Town School Members/$16 Seniors & Children and can be purchased in advance here.
For details and more information on the event (or to make a donation!), please see the McCoy Brothers Tribute website.