The Texas Community Music Festival’s Friday night lineup MAY have been the only cohesive show where the genres aligned. The night started off with some blues, followed by some rhythm, followed by some rhythm & blues!
First up was Them Blue Skies, usually a five-piece ensemble that specializes in blues covers, from the very old-timey ragtime era (think Leon Redbone style), to the classic blues from the sixties (Jimmy Reed or Bobby Bland), to classic rock favorites that aren’t necessarily blues (this time around we did the Doors’ “Peace Frog,” and Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.”)
One of the unique qualities of Them Blue Skies is the Hammond B3, and two full-cabinet Leslie speakers, that come along to every show. That’s about 900 pounds of equipment, that’s been squeezed through some mighty narrow venue doors, so it was nice to have a wide-open patio to play on!
Also a nice bonus was the addition of a horn section. Some friends from “Ms. Kat’s” former band The Blue Diamonds, and TCMF founder Herb Holland sat in on trombone, trumpet, and baritone sax, filling out the sound, and classing up the place!
I also finally found the trumpet solo my original song “Hey Mister” had been lacking!
After a quick personnel change — you can’t bring out a Hammond and play for just one hour! — the now-sizable crowd was treated to the second-EVER public performance of Get It Good. The dance floor filled up with pint-sized fans (One boy came up to me and asked permission: “Are we allowed to dance?” Um, yes!!!) And then it filled up with full-sized fans, too.
The four members of Get It Good bring very disparate musical backgrounds and influences to the group: a little bit of Funkadelic, some Medeski Martin and Wood, a dash of The Meters, and a bit of John Bonham and Bernard Purdie. All of our music is original: we agree on a basic theme and title for a song, and then improvise live on stage — you’ll never hear something played the same way twice! We don’t use a set list either, so YOUR mood and reaction in the audience leads the band’s set, dependent on the collective energy in the room.
The headliner for the evening was Candace Bellamy, and her set was smooth, soulful and lovely.
This woman is a triple-threat of brains, beauty, and talent — by day she is an Army physician, and by night leads tight sets of your favorite rhythm and blues classics with her sultry voice. The band backed her impeccably, and the sax player matched Ms. Bellamy’s emotional musical deliveries for a truly touching performance. We are so lucky to have her join us year after year, and can’t wait to see her again!
The TCMF continued through ALL of Saturday, from 11am – 9pm, so that update is forthcoming. Right now, I’m off for the FINAL day of music, including a performance by host band, the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble at 1:30 pm. I hope to see you there!