Reviewing the blues at the Hamilton

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Entertainment,Music,Marie Gullard

The lineup of players slated for Capitol Blues Night at the Hamilton on Wednesday reads like a who's who of classic American roots musicians. Their names are as colorful as their personas -- Ironing Board Sam, Captain Luke, Cool John Ferguson -- and the music they make is for all generations.

"Ironing Board Sam filled the blues tent to capacity at Jazzfest all by himself. Add the ... others and this show will be just that more explosive," said Tim Duffy, founder of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, an organization whose mission is to keep roots culture alive and accessible for future generations by directly supporting senior musicians in need.

Duffy, a guitar player himself and an occasional backup for these performers, hand-picks the artists for his Music Maker Blues Revue, a show which highlights electric blues, boogie-woogie, R&B, soul and gospel music. He talks about them like a proud son.

"Captain Luke has a deep, rich baritone voice like you've never heard before," he said. "Sam is a great eccentric R&B player, Big Ron [Hunter] is the happiest blues player you ever heard and Cool John is a guitar wizard like Hendrix."

Onstage
Capitol Blues Night
Where: The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Info: $25; 202-787-1000; thehamiltondc.com

The show also highlights the genius of Sol Roots, who has performed throughout the South fronting his own blues and rock bands, while performing with blues legends from Guitar Gabriel to Taj Mahal. Drummer Ardie Dean, with credits that include working with Bo Diddley, Jerry McCain and Greg Allman, rounds out this larger than life blues revue.

"We're devoted to getting their music heard; on stages around the world, on the radio -- however we can get the music out," Duffy continued.

Today's cynics would wonder, some even boldly asking, what's in it for Duffy and his nonprofit organization. He's heard it before.

"I'm just a music lover," he said. "I make a modest living, but I've been blessed to work with elderly musicians my whole life. You do good, good will come back to you."

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Author:

Marie Gullard

Special to The Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner