Blues Induction Ceremony Set For Peekskill

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Gospel singer Lady Peachena, a Peekskill resident, will be inducted into the NY Blues Hall of Fame on Saturday. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lady Peachena

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Peekskill is feeling the blues.

On Saturday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m., the New York Blues Hall of Fame will present a blues induction ceremony and concert honoring great blues, jazz, rock and gospel artists at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater in Peekskill.

The Blues Hall of Fame has been presenting induction concerts throughout the U.S. Its mission is to honor great musicians and artists.

Lady Peachena and the Great Divas of Gospel are one of the groups being inducted. Lady Peachena, a Peekskill resident, is a Grammy nominated singer whose work salutes the pioneers of gospel like The Clara Ward Singers and Mahalia Jackson.

"We are very excited," Lady Peachena said. "We have been singing together for 20 years. This allows the public to take another look at us."

Peachena enjoys telling the stories and singing the songs of the gospel pioneers who often faced segregation. They sang at hotels they were not allowed to stay in and often couldn't be seated at restaurants.

"They would travel all night long looking to find a place to stay, often sleeping in their car," Peachena said.

Peachena's father was a strict preacher and gospel was the only music she was allowed to listen to.

"I loved it," Peachena said. "They were my favorite singers, I played them everyday."

Later in life, Peachena strayed from the church and found herself addicted to drugs. But it was gospel that saved her, she said.

"I do whatever I can to tell the world about the soul saving message of gospel music," Peachena said.

Professor Louie and The Crowmatix, who were inducted last year, will also be performing. Professor Louie, raised in Peekskill, performs blues and roots music. Louie previously worked with The Band.

"It's nice the theater is letting us get together to do this," Louie said. "Peekskill's strong music program set me on the course to do what I do."

Professor Louie said it means a lot for musicians to have the respect of their peers.

Other inductees this year include Ray Blue, a Peekskill resident, who plays the saxophone and is a composer, arranger and educator throughout the world. Michael Cochrane, a Peekskill resident who plays the piano and is a composer, arranger, and instructor, is also being inducted.

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