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KASU to launch 'Bluesday Tuesday' April 13 at Newport Country Club

April 8, 2010 -- KASU 91.9 FM, the public radio service of Arkansas State University,   annVicki McGeeounces the return of free monthly blues concerts in Newport on Tuesday, April 13, at the Newport Country Club, 703 Walker Drive. The Vicki McGee Band will kick off the new series at 7 p.m.

Formerly known as “Blue Monday,” the monthly “Bluesday Tuesday” concerts are moving to the Country Club venue after being held in downtown Newport for two and a half years. Station manager Mike Doyle said “We had a great run at the Brick Room and we regret the need for moving from downtown – but we crave stability after that business closed a couple of times during those years while we were scheduling concerts there. I’d like to thank Jon Chadwell, executive director of the Newport Economic Development Commission; Dr. Larry Williams of ASU-Newport; and David Smith of C and C Distributors for their help in finding us a new home -- and the Newport Country Club for their gracious offer to let us use their ballroom while waiving their membership requirements for Bluesday Tuesday admittance. We look forward to working with Tommy Holland, an experienced country club manager I’ve known for many years.”

“Bluesday Tuesday” concerts will be held in the Country Club’s ballroom, where seating for several hundred people is available with plenty of space for dancing. A bar-and-grill type menu will be available for those who wish to order food and drinks. Club membership is not required, and no admission fee will be charged for “Bluesday Tuesday” concerts.

As in the past, KASU will pass the hat for the band.  This collection is used to supplement the band’s guaranteed fee, which is paid by “Bluesday Tuesday” sponsors ASU-Newport and C and C Distributors. Doyle said “More sponsors are welcome – the more we can guarantee a band, the more likely we will continue to attract experienced midsouth blues musicians.”

KASU’s free concerts in Newport and Paragould feature musicians well-known for performing on Memphis’ Beale Street; rhythm- and -blues groups from Little Rock, Memphis, and around the Mississippi Delta; and rockabilly bands  from northeast Arkansas, whose members – like Sonny Burgess and Larry Donn – are revered by European audiences.

Louisiana native Vicki McGee is a third-generation musician who has led many bands including Louisiana Fire, which opened for country acts like Tracy Lawrence, Shenandoah, Restless Heart, and Little Texas. Influenced by her Cajun roots, McGee interprets many rock and pop standards in her own style. She also performs original songs from her latest CD, “Never Knowing.” The six-member Vicki McGee band plays at many public and private events in northeast Arkansas and has entertained at several of KASU ‘s functions. McGee said “I’m excited that we can kick off Bluesday Tuesday in Newport on April 13. We love working with KASU and we love to play in Newport.” The May Bluesday Tuesday concert, on Tuesday, May 11, will feature Big Red and the Soul Benders, another band well-known to Newport audiences.

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