Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Band As Backup....

Wanda Johnson really packed the house at A Dough Re Mi Sunday night. Not an empty seat in the place.

Except hers.

A serious illness in the family had Miss Wanda headed home to the Upstate instead of to Mt. Pleasant for a scheduled evening of Piccolo-Spoleto Blues.

Shrimp City Slim (Gary Erwin) was there with his band which had backed her on her new CD "Hold What You Got."

They sent her their love and prayers and then played her music to a capacity crowd of more than 130 patrons. Extra rows of chairs were placed in front of the stage and they filled early, attesting to the appeal of the popular young Blues singer.

Gary announced he expected Miss Johnson to be back for two scheduled appearances elsewhere in town June 5 and 6, also part of Piccolo-Spoleto.

This is a follow up to my posting that she would present a Sunday Blues treat. I looked forward to hearing her again.

Unfortunately, on arrival, a sign at the door informed us a medical emergency forced her to immediately join her family out of town and she would not perform.

The sign stated the Shrimp City Slim band, her backup band on her CD, would perform and they did a great job, playing most of the songs from her two CDs.

The crowd - many in town for Spoleto and quite a few first-timers at the Blues club - showed their appreciation to Gary Erwin, keyboard; Jerome Griffin, bass; "Silent Eddie" Phillips, guitar and Lamont Garner on drums.

It was a different evening than I had planned but the music was great as the band showed its respect.

Full Festival coverage at

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