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“Simply The Blues” blues festival announces the performers for May 9th and 10th of 2008 in Fort Madison, Iowa and is dedicating the 5th Annual performance to The Blues Foundation and The International Blues Challenge

“Simply The Blues” blues festival will be held again for it’s 5th year on May 9th and 10th of 2008 and is proud to announce all of its performers.

On Friday the 9th, “Simply The Blues” presents - Magic Slim and the Teardrops, Eddie Turner, Leon Redbone, Louisiana Red, The Second Skinny Blues and the Jefferson County Green Band.

Saturday the 10th - These acts are all past International Blues Challenge participants, which are also some of the best National acts in the country. These include Sean Costello, Diunna Greenleaf, Zach Harmon, Shawn Kellerman, Trampled Under Foot, Alvin Jett and Phat noiz, Rich Berry, Matt Woods and the Thunderbolts, Allen Smith and Willie McKnight. Information on all these great National acts can be found on www.simplemanenterprises.com.

This is the 5th annual presentation of “Simply The Blues” and because of the great support that this festival has received from the Blues Foundation, we are dedicating this years festival to them and our theme is “Keepin’ it Alive”.

The Blues Foundation is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, With 135 affiliated blues societies, thousands of individual and corporate memberships that span the globe. The Foundation’s signature events are the Blues Music Awards, the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards and the International Blues Challenge in which “Simply The Blues” has been a prize, for the last 4 years.

On Saturday the 10th, all the acts performing, have been past participants of the International Blues Challenge that is held every year in Memphis. “Simply The Blues” will also be conducting a membership drive and fundraising for the Blues Foundation Through out the weekend. For more information on the Blues Foundation, check out www.blues.org.

Last year, on Friday, “Simply The Blues” organizers had Grammy nominated, John Primer, with Dan Beaver play on Amtrak from Chicago to Fort Madison and Rich Berry from Kansas City to Fort Madison. The Chicago train also had Rich Eggers from Tri- State public radio on it as well and from that ride he produced a “Simply the Blue Train” documentary that was played on Illinois Public Radio(to hear a pod cast of that, check out www.tristatesradio.com). Due to the success of the “Simply The Blues” train it will also be run again this year with the same great artists, on Friday the 9th. For more information and a 10% discount on the lowest Amtrak fare, check out www.simplemanenterprises.com.

“Simply The Blues” blues festival was founded in Fort Madison, Iowa by Matt Eimer in 2004. This festival has already seen its share of legendary blues artists as well as some of the best up and coming artists. It has also increased its attendance to over !,600 in the last four years, despite cold weather the first 3 years. About two thirds of the crowd in attendance this year were from out of town and came from California, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Kansas, Texas, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Germany. All of the hotels saw major increase in business, if not almost sold out, both nights. In fact many reservations have already been made for 2008 at the host hotel, the Travelodge, formally the Iowan Motor Lodge, (for reservations call 319-372-7510), which also hosts an after fest Jam both nights.

There were also charity events during the festival. In 2007, again over $2,000 that was made at the festival, went to charities and local non-profit groups for there help and support. This festival has raised over $10,000 in the past four years for National and local non-profit and charity organizations.

Again this year, there will be free activities for the public. On Saturday the 10th at 10:00am we will host another free beginner harmonica workshop and will give away free Hohner harmonicas to the first 50 children.
At another event that is held in Fort Madison, the Main Street BBQ contest, which will be held again on the 10th of May 2008. Matt Wood and the Thunderbolts will be playing at 11:00am. This event has also been very successful, due in part to the blues festival, but they are looking for more teams to compete, for more info. Call 319-372-2792.

One of the reasons for their success was the shuttle bus that went from all the hotels to the BBQ contest and to the blues festival. This shuttle bus was sponsored by Simple Man Enterprises,L.L.C., and Golden Eagle Distributing, for the convenience of the out of town guests, as well as limiting the amount of possible drinking and driving.

Anyone interested in information or sponsoring “Simply the Blues” (sponsorship opportunities will end the 20th of March) in 2008 can contact Matt Eimer at 319-470-2082/ simplemanenterprises@yahoo.com or www.simplemanenterprises.com. Other points of contact are Skip Young at 319-372-1423 and the Fort Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau at 319-372-5472/1-800-210-TOUR or www.visitfortmadsion.com.

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