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Last December, Cora Mae Bryant, one of the area's most tenured blues artists, suffered a stroke in her Oxford home. The 79-year-old Bryant, who has regularly played at Northside Tavern for the past 12 years, has been convalescing ever since. "She's pretty weak, but she is recovering," says Danny "Mudcat" Dudeck, who announced the news via e-mail last week.

For those who haven't heard of Bryant, she's the daughter of Curley Weaver, a famous local bluesman in the 1920s and '30s who performed and recorded with artists such as Blind Willie Tell. Her grandmother, Savanah Shepard, was a sacred steel guitarist. "She has pretty deep roots [in Atlanta]," says Mudcat.

To help Bryant out, Mudcat has organized a benefit fish fry and concert at the Northside Tavern Sun., Jan. 22, including performances by Mudcat, Little Brother, and Ross Pead. "The music community is like a family, so that's how we'll treat the evening," says Mudcat. Northside Tavern bartender Glynda Ray will be cooking up the fish. If you can't make the party, you can donate to Bryant via the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Its website is

Do you want to play with the Forty-Fives? The critically acclaimed, hard-rocking band is looking for a drummer to replace Adam Renshaw. You can contact the group through its website,

This week brings plenty of CD release parties. Dust-to-Digital (profiled in last week's issue) celebrates the release of its Fonotone Records box set at the Earl Thurs., Jan. 19. ... Andy Ditzler celebrates the release of Songs from Yes and No with a concert at Eyedrum Fri., Jan. 20. ... Supercat Records is issuing Sandbox, a posthumous album by the late Michael Houser, founder of Widespread Panic. The event takes place at Smith's Olde Bar Wed., Jan. 25.

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