Dr. S.O. Feelgood and Chick Willis Highlights of Lamont's Blues Fest
Chick Willis takes to the crowd at Lamont's
It was a nice day of downhome blues, Saturday May 19 at Lamont’s for a Blues Festival in PoMonkey MD. Featuring mostly Washington DC area performers along with the Stoop Down day, a few hundreds came out to the picnic grounds and Entertainment Complex.
Chet Hines aka Dr. S.O. Feelgood
The day started with the Lady Rose Band. Lady Rose is a good singer and her band is tight although the guitarist sounded a bit heavy handed at times. Also, the material was mostly covers with a fair amount of funk and soul and less focus on blues. Chet Hines aka Dr. S.O. Feelgood was up next with one of the highlights of the day. With a tight trio of backing musicians, Dr. S.O. Feelgood encouraged the crowd to party while he sang about his preference for full figured women with meat on their bones singing. He brings so much personality and interacts with the crowd so well and at one point sang his heart out withour a microphone.
Members of Clarence ‘Bluesmen’ Turner Band were late, so to help pass the time, Jim Bennett, a local southern soul performer of note did a couple of numbers including a blues. Bennett is a smooth, expressive singer in the vein of a Jerry Butler. After a further delay Clarence ‘The Bluesman’ Turner and turned a lengthy set (which pushed back the starting time for two headliners) that included a nice rendition of Little Johnny Taylor’s “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing,” as well as some blues warhorses like “Sweet Home Chicago.”
Next up was Chick Willis, backed by Bobby Parker’s rhythm section. Opening up with his “Rib Shack,” it was a set of songs that might be familiar from Chick’s fans, but performed with feeling and panache as he went out into the audience a couple times, before performing his classic “Stoop Down Baby” to the audience’s delight. Bobby Parker came on shortly after “Stoop Down,” bring up the rest of his band, opening with a solid rendition of Guitar Slim’s “(You Give Me) Nothin’ But the Blues,” and some Albert King numbers that sounded as solid as eve. Dusk was approaching, so we left before Bobby’s set ended. Afterwards, there was an after-party inside with the soul-funk Gridlock Band.
It was a gorgeous day of weather for the music. Lamont’s will be celebrating its 22nd year on June 9 with a soulful revue that includes Eddie Levert, lead singer of The O’Jays; Frank Washington, lead singer of The Spinners; The Hardway Connection, previous winners of the International Blues Challenge and other groups. The Dc Blues Society will be presenting a day of blues at Lamont’s July 21 with the Daddy Mack Blues Band and Preston Shannon headlining.