About CABS

The CAPITAL AREA BLUES SOCIETY, organized and operated exclusively for purposes described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, exists to:

  • provide blues music programs and information that will entertain and educate the public.
  • provide programs within schools and colleges that will educate students regarding the history, development and institutionalization of blues music as an art form.
  • sponsor special events involving public performances of blues music for entertainment, education or support of inspiring blues musicians.
  • engage in activities which will promote and preserve the history, tradition and art form of blues music.
  • raise money and in-kind contributions for meeting the operational financial needs of the Capital Area Blues Society.

Our quarterly newsletter publication, The Blues Ambassador, is our best marketing and blues music communication tool. We distribute over 500 copies through direct mail and drop-off stops around the greater Lansing area. All current members are mailed a copy. We accept advertising.

Anita McDaniel – President & Newsletter Editor
Jonathan Lineberry – Vice President 
Wendy Whitlock – Secretary
Smitty Smith – Treasurer, Website, Email
Denise Lynch – Newsletter suppport
Deb Biehler – Membership – dbiehler1952@gmail.com
Larry Grudt – Event Coordinator
Daedalian Lowry – Newsletter Editor
Erv Bates – Photographer
Steve Smith
Debra Borgman
Jim Flynn, Honorary Lifetime


Roger Gentry – Social Media

Steve “Frog” Forgey – Events



Our activities (all at The Green Door Blues Bar, unless otherwise noted, and of course all featuring a stellar lineup of blues artists) include:

  • Our biggest party of the year, the annual Blues Brawl (typically on a Sunday in early May), selects a band to compete in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Breaking Bread With The Blues. The Sunday before Thanksgiving. Fundraiser for the Lansing Food Bank.
  • Beale Street Bound. A sendoff party and fundraiser for the Blues Brawl winners. Typically a Sunday in mid January.

Other Events & Activities

CABS is the founding organization of the Lansing Blues Fest (now called the Michigan Blues Fest). In the early 2000’s, the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art took over the festival, moved it to Lansing’s Old Town, and it has grown amazingly since then. CABS is still a sponsor of, and participates in, the Michigan Blues Festival to help promote the advancement of education and awareness of the blues music genre.

Education programs in local schools. We have organized workshops and other educational events in local schools.

We have welcomed many Blues artists to our community including Jason Ricci, Watermelon Slim, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, Junior Wells, Larry McCray, Tab Benoit, James Harman, Koko Taylor, and Johnny Winter.

CABS is a registered and approved 501(c) (3) nonprofit.

Join our ever-growing membership base, and, most importantly, become involved. Help us in perpetuating the success of CABS by supporting the events that we and other organizations present to the Lansing community.

The first dues paying member of the CABS organization was Dennis Cullinan who at that time was playing with Those Delta Rhythm Kings.