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Posted: September 01, 2010

State of the state: music

Blues for the Gulf aims to raise awareness and money

Mike Cote

How blue can you get? B.B. King once asked that question in a song. This year, the birthplace of the blues discovered it was wider and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

The millions of gallons of oil that have dumped into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP spill have wreaked havoc on the coast and destroyed the economic livelihood of thousands of people, some still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina just five years ago. The Deepwater Horizon spill will cost the U.S. Gulf Coast region 17,000 jobs and about $1.2 billion in lost economic growth by the end of the year, according to a July study by Moody's Analytics.

Honey Sepeda and her friends want to help by hosting a global blues jam. On Sunday, Sept. 26, blues venues and blues musicians, including the Boulder Outlook Hotel, will be hosting jams and events to raise money and awareness. Blues for the Gulf (www.bluesforthegulf.org) also will include a benefit CD.

Sepeda, who books music acts at the Boulder Outlook's Blues & Greens club, has organized other fundraising jams over the years, but this one by far aims to be the biggest and most far-reaching.

"Everyone thought it was a good idea from the beginning," said Sepeda, who recruited help from her industry friends, including musician Bob Margolin, Blues Revue Publisher Chip Eagle, Voice of 
the Wetlands' Executive Director Christina Kogos, and Outlook Hotel owner Dan King.

"In early May, I sent out a ‘save the date' memo to blues societies all over the world," Sepeda said in a press release. "Within an hour I was receiving dozens of responses from people keen on involvement. It seemed evident that I was hardly alone in my refusal to be passive in the face of such a disaster."

Money raised will be directed to a central fund overseen by Voice of the Wetlands (a group founded by blues musician Tab Benoit), For the Bayou, and Global Green.
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Mike Cote is the former editor of ColoradoBiz. E-mail him at mcote@cobizmag.com.

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