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Keep Houston Press Free
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Everybody's Invited to Bluesman Earl Gilliam's 80th Birthday Party

Tomorrow night at the Big Easy, come out to help Houston blues legend Earl Gilliam celebrate joining the octogenarian club with what is sure to be a packed crowd. The blues pianist has been laying waste to crowds since the New Waverly native fell into the Houston scene in 1950. He helped guitarist I.J. Gosey get his first big break early on, and the two remain partners in crime to this day. Gilliam also enjoyed a long partnership with guitarist Joe "Guitar" Hughes until Hughes' passing in 2003, and had quite the medical scare himself in late 2008, when he was hospitalized with a collapsed lung that has drastically changed his partying habits. Friday's gig will only run you a cool $5, making it a steal to gander at some of Houston's last surviving real bluesmen.

8 p.m. Friday, January 8, at The Big Easy, 5731 Kirby, 713-523-9999 or www.thebigeasyblues.com.

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