Conscious party: Blues, not boredom

MOTOWN SOUND: According to Motownblue's online bio, the Black Mountain quartet's mission is "to make you happy, enjoy life, love one another and be at peace through our music." The band plays at the forthcoming Beat the Winter Blues Ball and shares the bill with vocalist Rockell Scott. Photo by Laverne Stafford

WHAT: The Rotary Club of Asheville-Metro’s inaugural Beat the Winter Blues Ball

WHERE: Masonic Temple

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 28, 6-10 p.m.

WHY: “With the weather and general letdown after the holidays, this will be an opportunity for people to get out and have some fun,” says John Russell, secretary for The Rotary Club of Asheville-Metro and planner of the nonprofit’s first Beat the Winter Blues Ball.

Western North Carolina is home to about 50 Rotary chapters, which range from a few members to hundreds of participants. Since his 12-person club covers its operational costs through dues, event proceeds will benefit several charities. In a collective effort, chapters across the Southeast are funneling money toward an internal fund, Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust, which awards grants for scientific research. The fundraiser will additionally support Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry’s Veterans Restoration Quarters and its Transformation Village project, which aims to provide 150-200 units of affordable housing for the homeless.

But first, Russell’s team is tasked with rousing Ashevilleans from hibernation — a duty he’s passed along to vocalist Rockell Scott and quartet Motownblue, two local acts that will “sing the blues to beat the blues,” he says with a chuckle. The dance’s open-to-interpretation dress code, he continues, is “Asheville chic,” and admission includes heavy hors d’oeuvres from Corner Kitchen Catering plus one complimentary drink from the cash bar.

For the silent auction, Russell has sourced guitars signed by B.B. King and Eric Clapton. Montford Park Players, for whom Russell serves as managing director, is also giving away a picnic package that includes a picnic basket, season tickets to see the Shakespearean theatrical group, free beer and “the opportunity to make your stage debut in a walk-on role in one of our outdoor productions.”

“There are a number of other gifts, mostly having a blue theme to them,” Russell says, noting that lighting and decor will also reflect the proper hue.

Tickets for Beat the Winter Blues Ball ($30) are available at


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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