Blues Musicians - Want Your Gigs Listed On This Calendar?

Dallas/Ft Worth/N Texas Blues Musicians - Want to see your weekly gigs listed on this calendar and have them read live on the air on KNON's BIG TEXAS BLUES program?

Email (no texts, messages to this blog or Facebook posts accepted) your gigs for the upcoming week NO LATER THAN Tuesday Evening to: bluelisablues@aol.com

Please include the following:
Your name * Band Name (if Applicable) * If it is full band gig, solo or duo * Name of Venue * City Venue is located in * Time your show starts and ends

Remember - this is a BLUES calendar posted on a BLUES blog and read on a BLUES radio show, so please only include BLUES gigs. Also, only include shows within the Dallas/Ft Worth/N Texas area.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

ETTA JAMES, AL GREEN & BB KING SHOW LAST SUNDAY

Sunday night I went to the Etta James, Al Green & BB King show courtesy of Ginger, KNON's Thursday night Texas Blues Radio host, who was generous enough to offer me an extra ticket she had. Thanks again Ginger!

Last time this grouping came through town, Etta missed the show due to illness. She has been in the hospital recently as well, so there was debate up until almost showtime that she might miss this one too.

Fortunately, that was not the case. Miss Etta was there, looking VERY slender (thanks to her weight loss surgery) in slim black jeans, black cowboy boots, a black sequined tank top and a white waist length collarless jacket with silver glitter stripes. Her hair was wavy and platinum blond and she wore a black knit skull cap. She looked fabulous, was in spectacular voice, and a great mood, humping her chair, patting her crotch (I'm so glad she's not mellowed out!) and telling her stories. I especially liked the one where she said she was approached by a woman while shopping in Walmart who said "You talk just like Etta James sings." (Now, I don't know about you, but I'd die if I walked into Walmart and there was Etta James! But I guess these days we're ALL in a Walmart sometime.) Anyway, one of her grand kids piped up and said "She IS Etta James" and Etta said "Shut up. Don't be telling them I'm Etta James. They'll think I've got money and take you. And I do have some money, but I don't want to spend it getting you back!" And of course the lady then asks "Will you sing "At Last" at my wedding." And Etta proceeded to tell us about all the people who have gotten married, lucky or pregnant listening to that song. And she warned a woman on the front row "Don't go home and get pregnant tonight." In addition to "At Last" she also did Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What You Want Me To Do", "You Can Leave Your Hat On", "Sugar On The Floor" & of course, "I'd Rather Go Blind." What magic that woman weaves with her voice, and yes, she brought me to tears twice in her set. I have to be honest here: although Ginger and I had pretty good floor seats, we jumped seats for Etta's set, and ended up setting fifth row directly in front of her. How cool!!!

Al Green was up next with his soul style review. In addition to 2 back up singers (one of whom he introduced as his daughter) he also had two young men who did nothing all night but make costume changes and dance! Counting Al, there were 14 people on stage. 14! In these times when it's so expensive to tour and everyone is cutting back, it was great fun to see such an elaborate show. Al looked like he was really enjoying himself and I thought throwing long stemmed roses out to the ladies in throughout the show was an especially classy touch.

BB King was, of course, the headliner. Looking a little older and a little grayer, he was however much more energetic than the last time I saw him about a year ago, and while not functioning as the main guitarist, he played much more than he has the last three times I saw him. His voice seemed stronger as well. Of course, he is still the same gracious performer, thanking the audience for coming, and making it a point to introduce the members of the BB King Orchestra by name. And he always has a couple of good stories to tell, including the one he told of sneaking across the tracks late at night as a kid when they'd come into town on Saturday night and drinking from the "White Only" water fountain, only to think "Why do they make such a fuss about this white only water? It tastes exactly the same as the colored only water?" He also let us ladies know at this point in his life that we were quite safe if left alone in a room with him, although that might not have been the case 50 years ago! What a flirt! (Can you imagine BB & Etta backstage flirting with each other?! You know it must happen, and I'd love to hear that!!)

It was a wonderful evening. It was also well attended, another great thing to see at a blues show. Especially considering across town it was competing that night with another very big show: The Jimmy Reed Highway with Jimmie Vaughan, Lou Ann Barton, Kim Wilson, & Omar Dykes at the Dallas House of Blues. In addition to that, all the regular local stuff was still going on: Jackie Don Loe's spectacular weekly jam at Nate's in Addison, Hash Brown's Sunday Pearl jam in downtown Dallas, Gunzy Trevino, Guthrie Kennard & Mace Maben's Sunday jam Key's Lounge jam in Ft. Worth. I say it every week, but I'll say it again: how lucky we are in the DFW area to have so many choices of great shows to see every day of the week. I hope you appreciate that, and take advantage of it as often as possible. And for those of you living in other places, why not consider making Dallas your next vacation destination and experiencing our incredible blues scene for yourselves? I'll even make this offer - e-mail me when you're going to be in town, and I'll e-mail you back with a list of what's going on while you're here.

One more thing I want to mention for the benefit of all the performers and musicians reading this. From the seats I was now in for BB's set, (the fourth set of seats we'd set in that night!) I could see something most of the audience couldn't. I could see them bring him to the side of the stage, sitting in what looked like a wheelchair. As the bandleader introduced the BB King Orchestra, a man bent down in front of BB and polished his shoes. I think there's a lesson for all of us to be learned here. At 81, with as he told us "old age, bad knees and diabetes", after literally decades of performing, the man had enough pride in himself and his art to make sure he was at his best when he walked on to that stage, down to the high shine of his shoes. It is a pet peeve of mine to go see a show, and the artist gets on stage looking like he's just worked on his car. I say "he" because the women usually put more effort into their appearance. But all of us should remember to have respect for our appearance as a part of our art. Be proud of what you do. You have every reason to feel pride as you walk up on the stage. After all, if you want them to sit there and watch you, shouldn't you give them something to look at?

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