MMA to host Beer, Blues &Barbecue fund-raiser
special to The Star
April 14, 2002
The Meridian Museum of Art will host its 2nd Annual Beer, Blues &BBQ Festival on Saturday. The event, hosted to raise funds for exhibition and education programs, will be from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at the museum.
The festival will feature an evening of blues by Mr. Tone and the Blues-Funk Revival, barbecue by Squealer's, beer provided by Mitchell Distributing and soft drinks from Meridian Coca-Cola.
Festival tickets are $15 each and include a plate of barbecue pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad or cole slaw, and Texas toast two drink tickets, a souvenir museum cup, and an evening of hot blues.
Tickets can be purchased at the museum or from any museum board member. Event sponsors include Mitchell Distributing, Meridian Coca-Cola, and Brown Printing.
Special guest band Mr. Tone and the Blues Funk Revival is a trio from Meridian that blends many styles of blues and roots music to create their own sound.
The band's motto is "If it's got soul, we'll play it." It plays traditional, east side, west side, Chicago jump and everything in between. The band uses no set list, preferring to feed off of the energy in the room always making it a party atmosphere.
Wes Lee, also known as "Mr. Tone," became interested in jazz and blues at an early age and involved in Dixieland and rock bands in high school.
While traveling throughout the South in a funk show band, he started hearing the sounds that changed his musical ambitions.
Guitar music had taken hold. He got his nickname later, when a friend from work made a joke about his obsession with sounds and started calling him Mr. Tone. "It just seemed to fit like a glove."
Mr. Tone and the Blues Funk Revival started as a Texas blues cover band, but quickly became a vehicle for Lee and his crew to play original music and expand on their improvisations.
Mr. Tone's all-out assaults on the guitar and exhaustive performances have led to opening for acts such people as Mark May and the Agitators, Deborah Coleman, Kenny Neal, Steve Forbert, and Tinsley Ellis.
The band recently released its second compact disc, "Anything But Wrong"; its first CD, "Tone City," was released in 1998. The band travels and plays throughout the South.
The Meridian Museum of Art is at the intersection of Seventh Street and 25th Avenue downtown. For tickets, or for more information, call the museum at 693-1501 or visit it during regular hours of 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.