Rawls for New Year’s Eve blues

Dec 18, 2013
Blues Music Award Soul Blues Male Artist nominee Johnny Rawls will bring his band to Rockland New Year’s Eve.

Rockland — The annual New Years Eve blues party at the Trade Winds Motor Inn, 2 Park Drive, will feature the Johnny Rawls Band Tuesday night, Dec. 31, and into the new year.

The festivities will begin at 7 p.m. with dinner, followed by dancing, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. The tab of $199 plus tax per couple includes all of the above plus use of the pool and hot tub and a full New Year’s Day breakfast buffet. Space is limited; to reserve, call North Atlantic Blues Festival co-founder Paul Benjamin at 596-6055.

Mississippi-born and -raised Rawls, who performed at the 2010 North Atlantic Blues Festival, has done it all — producing; songwriting; horn arranging; rhythm, lead and bass guitar; keyboard; vocals and background vocals. He began playing professionally while still in high school with such stars as ZZ Hill, Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex and the Sweet Inspirations.

In the mid-1970s, Rawls went to work for O.V. Wright as his band director. After Wright's death in 1980, Rawls led Little Johnny Taylor's band until 1985, when he began touring as a solo artist and made his first solo recording. To date, Rawls has released more than a dozen albums under his name and has received multiple Blues Music Awards nominations. He has two BMA nods this year: his 2013 album “Remembering O.V.” is up for Soul Blues Album; and Rawls himself is up for Soul Blues Male Artist.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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