Benefit for Harry Peel and Jamming with Cadillac Cowgirl Nancy Apple by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

Posted on 5/26/2010 by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

Please look for my normally scheduled posts next week.  On June 2, I will do our month end summary and the following week another great interview!  This cause is an important one, and we wanted to share this with you today.  Take care.  Monica

(Memphis, Tennessee) After a long hot Saturday playing twice at the Osceola Music Festival the Reba Russell Band reconvened at the Blue Monkey in Memphis for a benefit being held for our friend, drummer, Harry Peel. Harry is trying to get well enough to undergo open heart surgery and a tremendous outpouring of love was witnessed this Sunday afternoon. Above, Reba and Wayne Russell perform for a capacity crowd at the Blue Monkey.

Here's the facebook page for the benefit: Harry Peel Benefit page

Doug McMinn having some laughs with the author

Josh Roberts, wisely choosing earplugs, prepares for the gig

donations for our friend Harry start to trickle in

the crowd gathers early on in the afternoon

It was a fine afternoon of music and the author somehow survived being seated in front of the band's loudspeakers with minimal bruising. It was great to see so many musicians and friends come out to support our dear friend.

We have set up a PayPal account for Harry, so if you would like to make a donation this way please visit the link below or Ryan Peel's website ( You can also visit and send money to email address ( Every little bit makes a difference- thanks everyone!

Jamming with Nancy Apple and the Whole Dang Band at Central Barbecue

(Memphis, Tennessee) After a fun afternoon at the Blue Monkey I piloted the car over to Central Barbeque on Summer Avenue where my friends were playing their own inimitable brand of American music. Nancy Apple is a longtime protagonist for musicians and songwriters and has put together a cool band who accompanied her on her Keith Sykes produced CD entitled, "Shine." It is available, along with a host of other great independently produced CDs at her website. There are lots of music clips there, so go check them out: Ringo Records
My friend, guitarist and singer Robert Mache

Ronnie Vandiver, Nancy Apple, James Cunningham, Robert Mache

Robert Mache plays his custom Telecaster fitted with a cool Bigsby wanger bar

Cadillac Cowgirl Nancy Apple sings her hit, "Voodoo Woman," that stayed in the top twenty of the Americana charts for months and also won a Hoss the Boss radio listeners contest

Ronnie Vandiver plays this cool old Epiphone bass.

Ronnie Vandiver and Jumping James Cunningham

After some cold medicinal beverages the author received the privlige of sharing the stage with Nancy Apple and the Whole Damn Band. I brought out my old harmonica case and aged amplifier and we had a truly wonderful evening of playing and laughing and singing. These folks really have a great time performing and it is infectious to the audience. Whether doing originals, blues, Hank Williams requests or the "Hokey Pokey" for the youngsters, these musicians are all smiles. It is a band comprised of good friends and very talented ones at that.

Jumping James, who also plays in the Eric Hughes Band
James is a superfine drummer who played in the author's band for over a decade

singer, songwriter, player of guitars, harmonicas and accordions, Nancy Apple
she also hosts a weekly radio show on WEVL FM 89 called "Car Tunes"

Nancy and the Whole Damn Band raising the roof at Central Barbecue where they play early every Sunday evening.

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all photographs and text ©Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms, 2010

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
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