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Can’t Stop The Blues - 2022 KBA Award-Winners

“Can’t Stop the Blues” (CSTB), was founded by Karen Gottheimer in March of 2020. The CSTB virtual concert series, streamed on Facebook and YouTube, created a groundbreaking and desperately needed virtual space for the blues scene, during a time when all live performances came to a halt due to COVID-19. Karen, with assistance from Judy Eliyas and a handful of other part-time volunteers, streamed over 8 shows a week for 13 months. CSTB broadcast over 450 performances, helping over 350 blues artists generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in tip revenue and merchandise sales from fans all over the world. At the same time, CSTB became a virtual community for over 50,000 blues lovers and artists. All CSTB shows are archived and accessible on Facebook and YouTube for the foreseeable future, providing a historical document of how the blues world survived through a most challenging time. John Muller - The Lucky Losers - a truly exciting band that needs to be heard - sent me a very nice thank you note along with their newly released CD - Standin' Pat - thanking me for my tireless support of blues musicians - and in many messages that followed - told me how appreciative musicians , singers , and bands were for the support during the pandemic - and are still appreciative for the continuing support by myself , sharing on FB , by the blues societies out there , and the blues fans themselves . I want to publicly say that KBA Award-Winning Can't Stop The Blues would never have happened without the extraordinary vision of Judy and Karen - who brought along amazing folks like El and Kat , Daryl , Stacy ,Rhonda - with the committed support of regulars like John G. and Bonnie and Debbie Minardi and her brews , Thomas and his recliner , Gail Banks - to name just a few of the CSTB Crew who came out night after night and gave so much to the nightly chat - this made it so special - the musicians were there on the chat - the fans who became dedicated regulars on the chat , the hijinks and the mayhem night after night , all the crazy shenanigans - the lobby bar and the parade of waitresses and waiters , the after-parties on the 3rd floor , the nicknames and the endless jokes , a parade of insanity and commitment that worked so well and helped so many night after night after night . Kid Anderson - Greaseland - and John " Blues" Boyd contributed so much to CSTB - including - the infamous , and now classic , theme song , which aired every night , and included such things as " take your pants off " and "Minardi Brews " - in-jokes that became so well known to CSTB regular , casual fans , and musicians everywhere. . As Karen explained : While free to watch, fans are encouraged to tip the artists directly. “For many artists, this is the only gig they are able to do right now. Every dollar contributed is vital to them,” states Gottheimer. Even as venues begin to re-open, with capacity restrictions and health fears, it’s going to be a long time before life gets back to normal for musicians. “We want to be here for them, and we want to be here to bring blues music to the world as well.” During shows, which were pre-recorded and broadcast in a live format, artists are participating in the real-time comment stream, interacting with the fans during the shows. “We’ve developed quite the social community. We typically have hundreds to thousands of comments during each broadcast. Viewers greet each other, comment on the music, talk to the performers, laugh, joke and dance. It’s about as close as we can come to all reaching out and holding hands right now, and many of our fans tell us they don’t know how they would have gotten through all of these months without the CSTB family.” “We see plenty of artists coming in as well, to greet each other and watch each other perform.” . This was the essence of Can't Stop The Blues ! I was there for the ride and am honored to have been a small part of this incredible journey - making life-long friends - with and without my pants - and, by the way - Anita Cocktail - we need more drinks over on table 3- a couple of buckets and very long straws - and why is that donkey on the elevator ?

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