Its small size can seem like one of our art community’s drawbacks, but it can also be one of its advantages. Small size means a tight community, and here it doesn’t take long to feel like you know everyone. Or if you don’t actually know them, you get the sense you are only one or two steps removed.

You’re also probably only one or two steps removed from a therapist. Go to an artist mixer and you’ll find that the number of artists partnered with, related to or formerly practicing as therapists or social workers is statistically significant (insert here your own joke about artists and the need for therapy). They are part of what’s called the helping professions.

Four of these professionals from the local community have banded together to sing the blues. And they’ve got the type of ties to the art community that make Gallery Stroll a good place to find help. Better Off With The Blues features Lou Borgenicht on harmonica and vocals, Ken Critchfield (brother to painter Blue Critchfield and husband of photographer Aniko Safran) on standup bass, Paul Rasmussen on guitar, mandolin and vocals and Jim Poulton (husband to curator and historian Donna Poulton) on guitar and vocals.

The members of the band have made music in a variety of genres — jazz, punk, Celtic, rock and roll, jug, bluegrass, old timey and folk bands – but when they come together as Better Off With The Blues play a repertoire that includes traditional and contemporary blues, as well as originals.

The band recently completed their first CD, Mean Old World. This Sunday, December 2, they will be celebrating the event with a CD release party at The Garage on Beck (1199 Beck, SLC), from 7:30 to 10:00 pm. Their hourly rate will be waived for the special event, so stop in without an appointment. And don’t be surprised if you find some artists there.

Copies of the new CD Mean Old World will be available at the concert, and can be previewed here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/betteroffwiththeblues. There is no cover charge.