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The Chicken Raid, An Annual Festival Celebrating The Life Of Georgia Music Legend Frank Edwards


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The Chicken Raid is an authentic blues and soul experience at the venerable Northside Tavern in Atlanta Georgia, and features over 40 local, regional, and national artists performing over two days in celebration of the life of blues legend Mr. Frank Edwards (1909-2002). The Chicken Raid will be held on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 March, 2014. Veteran blues artists taking part include the incredible Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, Albert White (Piano Red, Joe Tex, The Tams), R&B and soul artist Roy Lee Johnson, Cool John Ferguson, Robert Lee Coleman (who spent time in the bands of both James Brown and Percy Sledge), gospel singer Essie Mae Brooks, Sweet Betty, Eddie Tigner, The Breeze Kings, Little G. Weevil, Sol Roots, Mudcat, the Atlanta Horns, Lola, Brandon Reeves, Blonju, Skye Paige, Chicken & Pigs, The Rockaholics, The Cazanovas, Uncle Sugar, Tommy Brown, Sammy Blue, Chicago Joe Jones Blues Camp, Listen Hear, Tony Bryant, Larry Griffith Band, Billy George & Mo Lightnin’, Swamigone Bananas, Papa Cheney, Joshua Jacobson, Michelle Malone, Liebman-Page-Burke, Andrea Tito Esposito, Peadboy, Mandy Strachota, The Radio Ramblers, and many more. Admission is $15 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday. Proceeds benefit the Edwards Estate and Beverly “Guitar” Watkins. The Chicken Raid Festival is hosted by the incredible performer Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck. Proceeds from the festival go this year to assist the family of Frank Edwards and Beverly “Guitar" Watkins.

Born in Washington , Ga., Mr. Frank was a Piedmont-style guitarist, harmonica player and singer who recorded for Okeh Records, Regal Records and Trix Records. “Chicken Raid,” “Three Women Blues” and “Terraplane Blues” were among his singles. According to the website “Frank Edwards: One Man Band,” Mr. Frank spent his 93rd birthday at Northside Tavern performing surrounding by family, friends and fans. Two days later, he was in Greenville, S.C., where he recorded his first tracks in a studio since 1972. On the drive back to Atlanta, he passed away peacefully in his sleep. Always dressed to the nines in a suit and hat, Mr. Frank was a beloved musician and patron in Northside Tavern and Blind Willie’s for many years. Chicken Raid, the CD containing those final tracks, is available on Music Maker Recordings.

The festival is held at Northside Tavern in Atlanta, GA, located at 1058 Howell Mill Rd. Phone is 404-874-8745. Tickets will be available at the door and are $15 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday. BBQ plates will be available both days for $5. Music begins at 3PM, and Sunday kicks off with an acoustic gospel invitational.

A community website has been designed for this event, featuring footage of Mr. Edwards performing his classic tune 'Chicken Raid.' Please visit facebook.com/thechickenraid. 

Born in Washington County, GA, Frank Edwards left home at 14 to play guitar and harmonica alongside Tampa Red and Tommy McClennan. He recorded eight sides for OKeh in 1941 with Washboard Sam and upon being discharged from the Army in 1949 he recorded several sides for Regal. Frank spent the next few decades playing on street corners, juke joints and restaurants before hitting the festival circuit during the folk revival of the 1960's. In 1972, Edwards recorded the album “Done Some Travelin'" produced by Pete Lowry for the Trix label. When not onstage, the iconic “Mr. Frank" was a familiar face at the clubs, supporting other blues musicians in Atlanta. In 2002, Edwards recorded a CD of new songs and set favorites, Chicken Raid, for the Music Maker label.

Frank Edwards left home at 14 and played guitar and harmonica alongside Tampa Red. As World War II approached, Edwards joined seminal Mississippi bluesman Tommy McClennan and headed North, recording eight sides for OKeh in 1941 with Washboard Sam. After being discharged from the Army he cut two songs for Regal in 1949 and continued playing street corners, juke joints and restaurants, before hitting the festival circuit during the folk revival. Thanks to Pete Lowry, Edwards released his first full album “Done Some Travelin’” in 1972 through Trix. When not onstage, the iconic Edwards, or “Mr. Frank” as he was commonly known, was a familiar face at the clubs, supporting other blues musicians in Atlanta. He joined the roster of Music Maker artists in the 1990’s, performing festivals once again before quietly passing away on his return home from a recording session in North Carolina for the Music Maker label on March 22, 2002.

Chicken Raid Festival Alumni Include:

Abe Reid, Albert White, Andre, Atomic Boogie, Bareknuckle Betties, Barry Richman, Beverly Watkins, Bill Sheffield, Blonju, Bob T, Bones, Breeze Kings, Broken Spokes, Bryan Powell, Captain Luke, Charlie Wooten, Chicago Bob Nelson, Chicago Joe Jones, Chickens and Pigs, Chris Uhler, Cootie Stark, Cora Mae Bryant and JJ, Daddy O Blue, Deacon Brandon Reeves, Delta Moon, Donnie McCormick, Eddie Boyd, Eddie Kirlkand, Eddie Tigner, Essie Mae Brooks, Evan Lee and the Cabbagetown Criers, Fatback Deluxe, Fat City Wildcats, Frankie’s Blues Mission, Georgia Jukes, Heaven Davis, I Want Whisky, Jackleg Preacher, Jim Litolff, Joe McGuinness, Jon Liebman, John Madden, John Paskoff, Johnny Knox and Hi-Test, Jon Payne’s Painkillers, Julea Thomerson, Just This Second, Kathy Carlisle, King Johnson, Lara Polangco, Lil' Joe Burton, Little Brother, Little G Weevil, Little Pink Anderson, Liz Melendes, Lola, Maddy Moneypenny, Motor City Josh, Mudcat, Nate Nelson, Neal Pattman, Ocha La Rocha, Pigiron, Precious Bryant, PrusinReepJones, Radio Ramblers, Ray Chesna, Robert Lee Coleman, Rockaholics, Rod Hamdallah, Roger “Hurricane” Wilson, Rose Hill, Ross Pead, Rough Draft, Roy Lee Johnson, Sammy Blue, SaNa Blues, Sean Costello, Shelton Poe, Skye Paige, Slick, Slim Fatz, Snave and the Grass, Sol Roots, Soul Shakers, Smokestack and the Foothill Fury, Stephen Talkovich, Stevie B, Stoney Brooks, Sue Foley, Swami, Sweet Betty, Terry Flynn, The Vagabonds, The Vipers, Tim Duffy, Tommy Brown, Tony Bryant, Totally Savage, Uncle Sugar, What the...?, Willie Alvarez, and Willie King

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