Thursday, August 14, 2008

How to get guitars into young hands in schools: James Burton presents a weekend of guitar music in downtown Shreveport and proceeds go to kids

James Burton, 2008
Originally uploaded by ShakeFrog
James Burton and wife Louise have found a way to return thanks for James' extraordinary career in music: they give away guitars to students. The money to fund the donations is raised in Shreveport during the annual James Burton Guitar Festival, says Louise.

Here's the line-up for the '08 weekend, a series of events produced by Louise and a group of volunteers:

James Burton's birthday bash will be celebrated Thurs, Aug 21, 7 - 9
pm at Maggie's Hangar, 616 Commerce St, which is the riverfront room which was once James Burton's club. $10; entertainment by Johnny and the Moondogs from Natchitoches.

The Burtons have created an excellent Guitar Trade Show presented in the Shreveport Convention Center. $5 at the door / 3-day pass $12. Under 12 free.
The trade show, which contains worlds of gleaming instruments, is Fri, Sat and Sun from 10 am to 6 pm. I'm going to take my youngest son and see what he thinks about the latest guitars from Fender and Peavey. One of the Trade Show's features is a Guitar Showdown Talent Competition from 10 am to 1 pm.

Party in the District under the Red River bridge is a chance to enjoy a revival of that beautiful but largely neglected space. Fri, Aug 22:
- Keith Horton Project - blues - 6 pm
- BB Secrist - honky tonk piano - 7 pm
- The Nomads - rockabilly - 8 pm
- Dirtfoot - new grass Americana - 9 pm
- Hipshot - country - 10 pm
- the Great Log Jam - surprise players - 11 pm

The James Burton and Friends Concert at the Municipal Auditorium is, points out Louise, only $25. The list of notables sounds like solid entertainment.
- Emmylou Harris
- Phil Keaggy
- Delbert McClinton
- Jim Messina
- Lenny LeBlanc
- Joe Stampley
- Mark Farner
- Danny Seraphine
- Rusty Young
- Jeff Berlin
- Billy Swan
- James Burton

Of course, you can be seated closer to the guitar slingers if you want to pay a bit more, like $75 or $100. Begins at 7 pm on Sat, Aug 23.

Mrs. Burton points out that Shreveport has an opportunity to join hands and make the James Burton Guitar Fest a big show. "Come on out," she says. "we need volunteers, we need participants."

How many of you play guitar or have a person in your inner circle who does? We might show our love for the six-string by supporting one or more of these musical events. With enough guitar player unity and energy no telling how lovely this annual event might become.
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