Dry New Years event “just what the community needs”

OHSWEKEN — The Big Joe Blues Band is doing it again. They are offering a Dry Valentines Day Dance to the community on Friday, Feb.15th at the Community Hall, with special guest Crystal Bomberry, in the wake of the great response to the dry “Kick-off to 2019”. More about that as the details are worked out.

2019 came a bit early for some people on Six Nations this year — and for those in attendance it came without next day hangovers, DWI charges or intoxicated fights with people you love.

This year, Joe Sharrow and his wife Val put together a community event, the “Kick-off to 2019” dry dance at the Six Nations Community Hall on December 29th.

It was an early night out, with the dance beginning at 6 pm, and everyone home happy, and safely by 11 pm.

Beloved Six Nations singer Crystal Lynn Bomberry performed to get the night started after a “welcome meal” of Pizza, salad and Wings, and opening address by Frank Miller.

The Big Joe Blues Band, with members Big Joe Sharrow, Ron Lemky on drums, Randell Hill on guitar, Jimmy Miller on keyboards, Jim Windle on bass and special guest Blaine Bomberry on guitar, took it from there.

The dance floor was well used throughout the night, and judging by the comments from those in attendance, it was a smashing success. Organizers and guests alike shared their hopes that many more of these dry-events will follow, as Big Joe brings his message of recovery, sobriety and clean living to the people by way of his own personal story.

Those who have known Big Joe for a long time will recall a different Big Joe than the one on stage now. After fronting one of Six Nations most popular dance and party bands, the Breeze, for more that 25 years, Joe and his former bandmates began to drift apart especially after Joe began using cocaine and other hard drugs.

When Joe was asked to leave the band, it was devastating to him.

Cocaine also began putting a serious wedge between himself and his wife who eventually offered him the choice of either cleaning up or getting out. It was as simple as that. Joe’s life had hit a wall of his own creation and something had to change.

Val was diagnosed with cancer and was entering therapy at around the same time as well. Now, with even more incentive to beat the demon, Joe finally got a handle on his addiction with the help of Val and many friends.

Her cancer treatments were successful and she is now in full remission. Joe is now clean and sober and he is back on stage with a new band and a new message which he is bringing along with the great blues and rock Big Joe is known for.

The success of the event has proven that the Six Nations and Mississauga’s communities will support this kind of event and he has more like it in mind.

“We’ve already started getting ready for our dry Valentines dance,” said Joe. “People really loved this.”

The many Facebook messages since then attest to the success of the night.

“Had such a great time at Big Joe’s New Years dry dance tonight with my fam. Lots of fun!, wrote Kim Bomberry on Facebook. “Awesome job once again! Think it finally got me out of the slump I been in. Looking FWD to the next one. Had such a great time at Big Joe’s New Years dry dance tonight with my fam. Lots of fun! And can never get sick of my sister’s singing. Awesome job once again!”

Crystal Bomberry wrote on her page, “I am so proud of Joe Sharrow and his wonderful wife Val Valerie Sharrow for initiating a fun dry dance in our community,” said Crystal Lynn. “It was truly inspiring to see so many people out and having a great time in the company of excellent live music, lots of family and friends, good eats, and lots of dancing…minus alcohol and drugs! There has been so much happening and many people have hurting hearts, so tonight my heart really overflowed with happiness to be a part of something great. Shout out to the awesome Big Joe Rockin Blues Band for a job extremely well done. Big Joe beautifully rocked “Simple Man”, and Blaine did the same for “Wonderful Tonight”; two amazing songs that I personally love. That’s aside from the great rockin’ blues they played all evening. Also thanks to my own family and hunny for being there!”

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