Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Musical Medley....What a week!

The night before I drove to Atlanta to see the Rolling Stones, I was at the Windjammer on the Isle of Palms.

A band I have enjoyed many times - usually in a much larger venue - is Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

He did not disappoint!

Except for the times I saw the late B.B. King, most musicians I like do not sit down.

Even Buddy Guy.

But Robert sits to play his steel pedal guitar so that's OK.

Especially when he stands and violently kicks away the chair and starts dancing around.

Friday, after Tuesday in Atlanta, I was back at the Pour House for the long-awaited return of Tab Benoit.

He told us he promises it won't be so long between appearances here in Charleston.

Same bassist from several years ago and maybe the same drummer.

It was a shoulder-to-shoulder almost sold-out crowd so Tab saw ample proof he has a loyal and local following.

He made sounds come from his Fender Telecaster Thinline electric guitar that I've never heard before.

Banjo with a hellish backbeat and even a staccato washboard rhythm beat.

Yikes.

The joint was jumpin'.

A crowd pleaser, this native of New Orleans has won the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award twice.

On the merch table I saw several of his albums, highlighted by the 2012 "Legacy: Best Of."

He is an American Blues guitarist, musician and singer of primarily Delta Blues.

Tab also is in the forefront of Louisiana environmental protection for his endangered hometown.

The threatened wetlands are being washed away which greatly increases the flooding danger from hurricanes.

The Pour House recently went through some extensive renovations.

Special attention was paid to its always pitch perfect sound.

I also saw there now is an expanded lighting system.

I stood back by the control booth to see how the magic is produced.

Very impressive. Computer-controlled and handled by two pros who are good at what they do.

One does sound and the other makes the lights perform intricate patterns on command. **

To round out a busy, exciting musical week, I headed to the Music Farm last night to hear Gary Clark, Jr.

He was the opening act for the Stones at the start of their Zip Code Tour in San Diego several weeks ago.

Fitting end to a week that included my seeing the Rolling Stones for the first time.

It has been exceptionally hot - and humid - the last few days so I smiled as I realized this would be an indoor show at The Farm. Blessed AC.

The show had sold out months ago but I had not counted on the effect 700+ fans, crammed into the venue would have on the climate inside.

Yep, hot and VERY humid in there as I jostled and wiggled my way to a railing behind the sound and lights booth. Something to lean on and actually some space for the almost stifling heat to waft back and forth.

Talking with a staffer, he explained the combo of so much heat outside and the massive crowd inside, overwhelmed the air conditioning.

They were hustling around, opening windows and doors to gain some needed circulation.

Meanwhile, onstage, the intensity and sound of Gary, his bassist and bare-chested drummer was generating it's own warmth to the room.

The lighting here was superb as I come to expect at such music halls.

The opening act was Black Pistol Fire, a Canadian Rock & Roll duo, usually playing around Austin, Texas.

They had added heat as the Toronto guitar & drums act worked up a sweat.

In fact, as they left the stage, it was apparent the drummer was wearing only a baggy blue swimsuit with a red stripe down the side.

My shirt and pants came close to being a sweat suit but the music was fantastic.

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

As we left the Farm, I asked the harried bartender if I could have a cup of ice.

She complied but waved off my attempt to pay. I left a grateful tip instead. I knew there was a bottle of water waiting in my car.

First I turned on the car's AC.

On high.

**I wanted to show a picture of the opening act for Tab Benoit.

A very talented 18-year old Marcus King had a stage full of his band.

Wish you success.

Appears  you have the chops and good stage presence.




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