Musician Debbie Bond to perform at the Shelby County Arts Council in November
Story by Lindsay Dyess
While some people merely play the blues, musician Debbie Bond has managed to turn it into an art form. For Bond, the blues come as naturally as breathing. She has spent more than 30 years sharing her passion for music and now she makes her way to the Shelby County Arts Council in early November.
“I fell in love with the blues early on. I started playing guitar when I was 13,” Bond said.
Since then she has gone on to become a successful singer, songwriter and advocate for the Alabama Blues legacy. Being influenced and inspired by blues legends such as Johnny Shines, Willie King and Eddie Kirkland eventually led her to found the Alabama Blues Project, a non-profit that educates and instructs students about the blues. Kids attending the year-round program learn multiple skill levels of blues singing, guitar, harmonica, and drums.
In addition to the children’s programs, she also developed many blues residency projects and a traveling exhibition of blues women. Although she decided to pass on the administration of the Alabama Blues Project in 2011, the program continues to thrive and educate a new generation of young blues enthusiasts.
These days, Bond focuses more on her own musical career and spreading the joy of the blues by performing shows and touring in the US and Europe.
“Although I am influenced by my traditional blues mentors, I write my own songs and tell my own story,” Bond said.
Lately, she has spent time telling those stories on the road with keyboard/harmonica playing partner and husband Rick Asherson. She performs across the South, and this summer she traveled to Europe to share her Alabama blues love.
“Europeans are really interested in Alabama music and Alabama blues and coming to visit the state. It is encouraging to see awareness of Alabama music growing,” she noted. “There was a time I toured Europe and many didn’t know where Alabama was!”
Come out for a night of great blues music with the queen of blues herself! Joining Bond on stage will be the Advanced ABP blues band. Taught by Bond and Asherson, the student members are some of the most skilled of the Alabama Blues Project.
Bond will perform Friday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets area available for purchase for $20 at Shelbycountyartscouncil.com or by calling 205-669-0044.