96 Tears Day Free Concert Set for August 29th

Bobby Balderama’s Quest to Help the Homeless

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music, National Music, Artist Feature,   By: Robert E Martin

11th August, 2021     0

As a founding member of  Bay City’s legendary proto-Punk Garage band Question Mark & the Mysterians, guitarist & songwriter Bobby Balderama has been living the dream for 55 years now, ever since the release of the now classic single 96 Tears quickly catapulted him to international fame back in 1966.

Back in 2012 Bobby realigned his musical focus by forming the Robert Lee Revue, who released a full CD of smooth-jazz material titled City of Smooth Jazz and in 2015 released a pair of singles, Estrella and Happy Go Lucky that clocked into the Top-20 Smooth Jazz charts across the country.

Not one to rest upon his laurels, Bobby is now gearing up for 96 Tears Day - Free Concert to help homeless vets and all homeless people that will take place at Bay City’s Wenonah Park on Sunday, August 29th from 3:00 - 6:00 PM. Featuring performances by Question Mark & the Mysterians (with Question Mark himself returning to the stage) along with the Robert Lee Revue and Paul Wilkinson & Robert, people can show their support for this worthwhile cause by donating food, clothes, or making a financial contribution at the show.

“Back in 2019 I did a project with the Robert Lee Revue and a couple other artists that was designed to bring more awareness to the plight of homeless people that is spreading all across our country, which turned out to be very successful”,  explains Bobby. “A lot of people are not even aware about what these peoples’ lives are like or what they are going through, but to me shelter is the most important necessity a person should have and frankly, we can’t expect the government to do everything.”

“I think musicians are in a position to help out and expand this awareness and for me concerts of this nature are an important start,” he continues. “My goal is to get this message and musical appeal out there across the country.  Back in 2019 CNN Latino TV came to Saginaw and reported on this show, so I reached out to the reporter they sent back then to make him aware of this upcoming concert  because I believe it would be a great way to promote this cause all across the country to improve awareness. Next year I’d like to do it in Ann Arbor, as there’s a lot of homeless people there and I also have a lot of musical friends living there.”

In addition to preparing for this upcoming concert, Bobby has spent the last 18-months during the Pandemic working on his third album with the Robert Lee Revue, which will be a follow-up to Happy Go Lucky since it went up to #27 on that national charts.

“I’ve been working for 10 years to get a new record deal and it’s looking like that is finally going to happen,” explains Bobby. “The label is Generic Records and it is distributed by the Orchard, who distributes all of Sony Music’s material. I’ve been working with Gary Lefkowith in New York City for releasing this third album, and Gary also made the poster for this upcoming homeless concert.”

“Gary has promoted many smooth jazz artists, so I am really looking forward to being on a label that knows the smooth jazz world and how to promote it. Gary is the one that got my song, Happy Go Lucky up to #27 on the Mediabase smooth jazz chart.

“It’s really enjoyable playing music with the band once again,” enthuses Bobby. "The Robert Lee Revue recently did a show at the Andersen Rose Garden as part of their Jazz in the Garden series and we had a great turnout.  I was kind of nervous because I hadn’t played in public for so long, but it’s a lot like riding a bike and came right back, so that nervous feeling went away very quickly.”

“I feel really good about playing again and it’s great to be playing with the Mysterians and having Question Mark returning to join us for this upcoming Homeless Concert performance,” he concludes. “This third album is going to be a type of ‘Best of’ release that will feature all the smooth jazz singles we recorded that went up the charts on Internet radio, so I’m very excited about that as well.”






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