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by Chris Ricci

Beverly has been going through a theatrical renaissance as of late, and plenty of the credit can be given to gimmeLIVE. A labor of love from Vickie and Peter Van Ness, the project has brought legendary artists to the equally legendary Larcom and Cabot Theaters. Ranging from Art Garfunkel and Leon Russell to Badfinger and The Smithereens (with a special appearance by local legend Barrence Whitfield to boot), the music scene is alive and well on the streets of Beverly, and local residents are getting a chance to truly embrace the music world in ways that were once impossible. Now, gimmeLIVE plans on giving back.

Harborlight Community Partners, named the 2014 Non-Profit of the Year by the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce, has been working tirelessly to provide housing for low and moderate income people living in Southern Essex County, and currently the organization is focusing on updating a local 3-bedroom unit that will serve as a home for families in need. There are many ways to raise awareness to an organization as significant as the Harborlight Community Partners, but leave it to Peter of gimmeLIVE to make it the concert event of the spring.

The Rockin’ Blues Benefit will feature some incredible artists, drinks, and promises to continue Peter’s mission when it comes to the music scene in Beverly. “This showcase continues our tradition of bringing top regional talent to Boston’s North Shore,” said Peter. “When you experience all these young rising stars on the same stage, you’ll know the future of the blues is in good hands.  You’ll just be able to feel it!” he continues.  “And you can feel good because you’re helping to end homelessness.”

The benefit show will feature three acts that are not only loved by fans, but are also highly decorated local award winners. The Willie J. Laws Band, fronted by 2015 Boston Music Award Nominee Willie J. Laws, has been catching the attention of R&B fans and country fans alike. For over 25 years, the Texas-native has been traveling the world and experimenting with sounds and genres. Opening for artists like BB King, Buddy Guy, and Willie Nelson helped craft his unique “funky blues” sound that has made publications like The Blues Audience proclaim that “everybody loves Willie J Laws.” Now Mr. Laws calls Massachusetts home and he’s known for playing local haunts in and around the New England area. But, despite not living in Texas, his sound is about as fresh and unique as you can get when it comes to contemporary Tex-Mex His most recent album, Cornbread Moan, is available on CDBaby.com and Amazon.com

Danielle Miraglia may be a Revere native, but as soon as she steps up to the microphone, her Delta sound convinces you otherwise. Danielle has been awarded various awards over the course of her career, including the RedLine Roots Big Red Favorite Local Female Songwriter Award, the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist award, and the Mountain Stage NewSong Northeast Regional Award. An Emmerson College graduate, Danielle’s heavily diverse influences are apparent and help craft a unique sound that has propelled her into local stardom. Danielle has shared the stage with artists like Johnny Winter, Joan Osborne, and John Oats, but despite the star-power she has played with, Danielle Miraglia stands alone as one of the most innovative up-and-coming blues artists in the New England area. Danielle’s latest album, “Glory Junkies,” is available now through iTunes and CDBaby.com

Topping the bill for The Rockin’ Blues Benefit are the Delta Generators who, just recently, announced that this show will also serve as their final show. For over eight years, the Delta Generators have been hailed as one of the greatest Boston blues bands, and have just recently released their latest critically acclaimed album “Hipshakers and Heartbreakers.” Band frontman Craig Rawding recently announced his departure from the band, but still promises to bring an incredible show to the audiences at the Larcom on the 30th. “I have enjoyed every step of the journey with my good friends and musical brothers Charlie, Rick, and Jeff.  I am also happy to say that I am leaving the band on the best of terms with these guys,” Craig said. “After 8 years, 4 albums, and countless live performances with The Delta Generators, I can say without hesitation that I am very proud of our body of work.” Though the future of the band is uncertain, the legacy the band has presented is incredible. Winners of the Boston Blues Society’s Blues Challenge, the 2010 Boston Phoenix Award for Best R&B Act, and proud winners the Independent Music Award for Best Blues Album, The Delta Generators have proven time and time again that the blues is alive and well.  To celebrate the legacy of the band and their new album, Plymouth based microbrewery IndieFerm Brewing crafted a special beer just for the band called the “Hipshakers Pale Ale” which you’ll get a chance to taste this coming Saturday.

Like any show presented by gimmeLIVE, the Rockin’ Blues Benefit is sure to bring the house down and provide an incredible amount of entertainment for anyone that wants to show up. But, if all goes according to plans, the Rockin’ Blues Benefit will also help bring a house up and help people in need find a place that they can call home.

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