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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: July 19, 2011

To me, summer means free concerts in the park. This Friday, July 22, families can look forward to a real treat in Durham when John Dee Holeman and Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen team up to play at this summer's first concert of the Warehouse Blues Series.

The free award winning series, now in its eight year, will be held from 6-8 p.m., from July 22-Aug. 12, at Durham Central Park, located at 501 Foster Street. Take your kids to see a fabulous line-up of musicians and introduce them to the blues, a uniquely American gift treasured around the world with roots here in Durham.

This Friday's blues performers both hail from North Carolina. Born in Orange County in 1929, Holeman is also a storyteller and dancer who received a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship and a North Carolina Folk Heritage award. Originally from Indian Trail, N.C., Cohen learned the blues on her uncle's porch where one played the guitar and the other played the harmonica. She sings jazz, and rhythm and blues with the compassion and style of those famous blues singers Billie Holiday, Koko Taylor, and Etta James.

The series is sponsored by Durham Parks and Recreation, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc., Downtown Durham, Inc. and Durham Central Park, and all concerts are family-friendly. If you're watching your budget—as everyone I know is— you won't be surprised by hidden costs when you get there because you're allowed to pack a picnic. If you've recently been stunned by the price of water, hot dogs, pizza, and cotton candy on family excursions, you can appreciate the savings of packing a delicious, healthy meal, ahead of time. Don't forget your lawn chairs. Coolers are allowed, but alcohol is not permitted. Best of all, even canine family members are welcome, as long as they're on a leash.

Here's a look at the concert schedule:
July 22: John Dee Holeman and Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen
July 29: Captain Luke, Big Ron Hunter, Whistlin' Britches and Ironing Board Sam
Aug. 5: Alabama Slim and Boo Hanks
Aug.12 Cool John Ferguson


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