Blues society sets New Year’s party|’… There was really a void in our social scene’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Vicksburg Blues Society is hosting a party at the BB Club on New Year’s Eve to ring in a “happy blues year,” and provide a new option for those who want to ring in the new year in style.

If you go

Tickets for the Vicksburg Blues Society’s Happy Blues Year New Year’s Eve party at the BB Club on Clay Street are $50 in advance or $60 at the door, and are available by contacting Shirley Waring at 601-634-6179 or

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“We felt like there was really a void in our social scene for New Year’s Eve, and we want to provide people something that offers great music and dancing in an elegant and exciting atmosphere,” said VBS President Shirley Waring. “The Happy Blues Year party — which we hope to make an annual event — will give our group a presence and raise the bar for New Year’s Eve entertainment in Vicksburg.”

World renowned bluesman Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry and his band will perform at the party, with special guest Alphonso Sanders on saxophone and trumpet. The party will begin at 9 p.m. and wrap up at 1 a.m., following a champagne toast and midnight breakfast buffet. The party will also feature hors d’oeuvre, a cash bar and themed party favors such as plastic bluesman hats and sunglasses.

An Abbeville native, Perry is a regular at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale and the Rum Boogie in Memphis, but rarely performs in Vicksburg. He most recently finished up a tour of China and Indonesia, and he has performed at blues festivals and clubs throughout the United States during his 35 years as a musician.

Waring said the BB Club ballroom was chosen for the site of the party not only due to its refined décor, stage and sizable dance floor, but also because of its history as the city’s premiere spot for lively parties and first-rate entertainment.

“It used to be the epitome of nightlife in Vicksburg decades ago, and the place for social activities centered around music and dance. Many famous blues musicians have played there, and we just really want to bring that feeling back on New Year’s Eve,” she said.

One of the BB Club’s regular acts in the 1950s and 1960s was local group the Red Tops, and in March a Mississippi Blues Trail marker was unveiled in front of the club honoring both the Red Tops and the club’s musical history.

Sponsors are being sought for the party, and any proceeds will benefit the VBS, which promotes heritage tourism in Vicksburg centered on the blues and blues history in the city.


Contact Steve Sanoski at