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'Blues, Brews' to honor veterans

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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For the second year in a row, the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills presents the Blues and Brews Festival benefiting the Veterans Memorial project of El Dorado Hills. The Nov. 12 performance kicks off with The Used Blues Band before headliner and two-time Grammy nominee John Lee Hooker Jr., takes the stage. “This is the first time a Grammy nominated artist has come to the El Dorado Hills Community Service District to do a concert,” said Bill Tobin, past president of the Rotary club and co-chairman of the executive committee for the El Dorado Hills Veterans Memorial. “He is the son of a legend and is quickly becoming a legend in his own right. He’s an amazing performer.” Proceeds of the musical event will benefit the Veterans Memorial project, slated to occupy an acre of land adjacent to Promontory Community Park in El Dorado Hills. It will feature a memory garden, walk-through exhibits and a gathering area with a stage. The fund-raising goal has been set at $2 million. Tobin said when he spoke to Hooker about performing at the event, he replied, “We’ve got to do this.” “The reason we are doing this (concert) is to celebrate our Veterans,” Tobin said. The Used Blues Band is the opening act. They recently won the Sacramento area International Blues Competition finals and are set to move on to the International semi-finals in Memphis early next year, Tobin said. Sean McGroarty plays harp and does vocals for the blues band and is its only remaining original member. He said the band, which has been around for about four years, enjoyed playing last year’s event and is looking forward to jammin’ this year. “We loved it last year,” McGroarty said. “There were so many people that showed up. This year will be even better.” Long time musicians Gary Anthony (on guitar), Kevin Cartwright (piano and organ), Larry James (bass and vocals) and drummer Steve Travao round out the group. Tickets for the Nov. 12 event cost $25 and are available at the California Welcome Center in El Dorado Hills Town Center, El Dorado Hills Fire Station No. 85 at 1050 Wilson Way or online at edhblues.com. Reach writer Penne Usher at penne.usher@gmail.com.