Christmas is the season of giving (or re-gifting, for some), and musicians all over the state are playing Santa Claus, using their talents to help others during the holiday season. Many musicians play at assorted charity events during the Christmas season to pay it forward.
Drummer Cucho Gonzalez shares his talent by playing at his church's annual concert for Gateway Mission and at prisons for those who need to hear a sound and a message of hope. Caroline Crawford donates her tips made in December to Toys for Tots. President of the Arts Council of Clinton and singer/songwriter Kathy Dougan held a Taste of the Arts auction in November, where more than $1,000 worth of music from local musicians was donated for her cause. Bluesmen Wes Lee and Scott Albert Johnson donate a portion of their CD sales to different charities. Jet Screamer guitarist Jim Maxwell is collecting food donations for the MARL (Mississippi Animal Rescue League) and is encouraging everyone to drop off donations at Kathryn's on Old Canton Road.
Singer/songwriter Chad Knight from Laurel donates his time and talent to play for the patients at the Mississippi State Hospital in Meridian. Up-and-coming country singer Callie Hewitt from Brookhaven volunteers at the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League during the winter holidays. Local blues singer Jason Bailey of The Bailey Brothers announced they will host a canned-food drive at Fenian's Dec. 18. Madison guitarist Lee Weeks chooses a child from Mississippi Children's Home Services and buys Christmas presents for him or her.
At Dreamz JXN, Dec. 19, a familiar group of local hip-hop artists (PyInfamous, Skipp Coon, Rashad Street and others) host a toy drive. Then Dec. 22, at Martin's, JFP music writer Garrad Lee is hosting a canned food drive featuring local artists.
I started Coats for Kids two years ago, and the response has been awesome. I have donated coats to MCHS, and last year, I donated to Stewpot. If you have any coats you would like to donate, please contact me at [email protected] And as a big thank you, McB's owner, Herman Jew, holds a Musician's Ball every December to celebrate local musicians. Get out there and give back to the City of Soul this Christmas.
On Dec. 8, come out to Hal and Mal's Red Room, to hear singer/songwriter Taylor Hildebrand and This Bitch Knows Karate (a fab band name, ain't it?).
Jesse "Guitar" Smith plays the blues lunch at F. Jones Corner Thursday Dec. 9, and it's free.
Friday night has a jam-packed lineup with the Fearless Four at Underground 119, Jay Lang and the Devil's Due at Ole Tavern, Jackson rockers Guns of Addiction at ToMara's, and Roosevelt Noise at Martin's.
Get your second wind Saturday night at Reed Pierce's with Fade 2 Blue. Also Saturday, Jarekus Singleton Band plays at Poets II, and the Mark Whittington Duo juke it up at Burgers and Blues.
Remember to send me your music listings no later than Monday at noon so your event is list. Hit me up at [email protected] And don't forget to vote for your Jackson favorites at the Best of Jackson awards. Go to http://www.bestofjackson.com and vote today. Hurry, because the deadline is Dec. 15, and you must vote in 20 categories for your votes to count.