Diunna Greenleaf and the Blue Mercy Band, with Jonn Richardson on guitar, was to these ears the highlight of this year's DC Blues Festival, this past Saturday, September 4. I had seen Diunna on the Blues Cruise several years back and at the Pocono Blues Festival. She was good now, but listening to her now was a revelation. She has grown as a singer and can really belt out a lyric without getting shrill or falsely frenzied. Jonn Richardson was superb as well. Highlights included a rendition of "Possession Over Judgement Day," a tribute to John Lee Hooker, and a terrific "(Call It) Stormy Monday," with great guitar. Some of the performance was songs from her last recording, "Cotton Fields to Coffee House," which is a few years old, but just touches on how good she is live. Its time for a new recording by her and her tight band.
The DC Blues Festival is a free festival for which I was one of those with a photographer's pass to shoot for the DC Blues Festival.