|Blues Against Hunger Society in the Gringo Gazette North, May 14, 2019|
Blues Against Hunger Feeds the Hungryby Ren Drake Hill Source - Gringo Gazette May 2019
Enjoy Blues music? Don’t want to wait until the Baja Blues Fest comes to town in August? To get your Blues to fix, just come to Bobby’s by the Sea any Sunday through July, 1:00 – 5:00 pm when they host Sweet Sixx and the Wild Pack Band “and friends” jams. Bobby’s is an excellent venue for these jams because the seating area is set to fit the weather and the crowd. Whether under an umbrella in the warm sun or grabbing a table in the palapa near the gas heater, there is ample room for a good size crowd and dancing.
The entrance is free, with the donation of a non-perishable food item or sanitary supplies. Not so hard. But if you DO forget to pick up some extra food and supplies, at least spring for a Sweet Sixx/ Wild Pack T-shirt. All proceeds from T-shirt sales purchases more food. Last week’s T-shirt sales purchased 350 pounds of beans, rice, and pasta. An additional 50 pounds were delivered to Barrels of Hope. And you can always step up and feed the tip kitty to thank the band. Last year 5,000 pounds of food was donated by Rosaritenses (that’s you guys). This year the goal is to double the amount to 10,000 pounds.
Whose bright idea was this? The husband and wife team of Sixx and Rachel Pack originally from the San Felipe area decided to get together with their bluesy friends in the Rosarito area to help the hungry. Rachel and Sixx belt out tunes while he plays his guitar or “stompbox,” and she plucks her bass or accompanies with percussion.
These weekly jams are all different, as you never know who all is going to show up. Throw your instrument in the car - guitar, banjo, or maracas and a kazoo. All are welcome to the jam. As it was described to me, “A jam is not a band. There is no rehearsal and sometimes the musicians have never met before coming together on stage. This is a “community of people coming together to lift people up,” I couldn’t have said it better myself. And it’s the same with the audience. Big round tables encourage people to sit where they like, and maybe even share a table with a stranger or two.
Who benefits from all this generosity? Whereas the 23 Hearts of Baja children’s orphanages receive most of this spring and summer goodness, food and supplies are also delivered to needy families living further into the hills above Rosarito. Jams and concerts that the Wild Pack play in San Felipe provide food for Volunteers Without Limits. Each city that The Wild Pack plays knows which organizations need extra help, so their input is invaluable when dispensing food.
Alas, Blues Against Hunger is not yet a tax-exempt non-profit organization, but they have started the process, so they would prefer at this time not to accept large cash donations. Once they are a non-profit (US 501 (c)(3))the group will travel around the world under the “Blues Against Hunger” umbrella. But for the time being, they are “trying to eliminate hunger on this peninsula, and it’s an absolute pleasure and joy to play with so many fabulous musicians through the years,” Sixxdisclosed. “It’s a win-win to bring joy to people’s lives and create happiness.”
The Wild Pack doesn’t just promote the Baja peninsula. A couple of years ago they participated in “Feeding America,” a 10-state tour with stops at 40 – count ‘em – 40 breweries, and raised money for the hungry in the United States.
Sixx and Rachel have a playful side, too. They are currently scouring the area for entertainers to accompany them for a series of cabaret performances; “Just us having fun,” Sixx added. The couple will perform different styles of music, including swing. If you have a stage-worthy talent you would like to share with the world, contact them through one of the websites listed at the end of this article.
You say you’d like total immersion in the Blues scene? Have they got a deal for you! Sweet Sixx and the Wild Pack headline their 6th 16-day winter Baja tour garnering food donations all the way to Cabo San Lucas, starting the last week in January 2020. You can join the caravan for one city or the whole tour. You can travel in a motorhome, with camping gear, or arrange to stay in a hotel. Everyone on the tour pays their own expenses, but a $30 “come along” fee grabs you an official T-shirt and a real sense of belonging.
For more information on future BAH events at Bobby’s by the Sea, Cabaret evenings, or the Baja Blues Tour, visit www.sweetsix.com, www.wildpackband.com, and www.bluesagainsthunger.org. In the meantime, join us at Bobby’s by the Sea on Sundays at 1:00 and let’s fill that silver wheelbarrow to overflowing.