Sunday, June 09, 2013

Sista Monica at the 2013 Tinner Hill Blues Festival-1997

The annual Tinner Hill Blues Festival was at Cherry Hill Park in the City of Falls Church, Virginia for a full afternoon of blues. 

Perhaps the highlight for me was Sista Monica Parker and her band that included the DC area's marvelous Deanna Bogart on saxophone. Sista Monica Parker is aA vocalist with power and nuance, she can caress a lyric before belting out her heartbreak or defiance. Mix in her ability to communicate with the audience in introducing her songs and her excellent band with Danny B on keyboards, and one has one superb blues performance.

Pearl Bailes, Eleanor Ellis and Gina DeSimone of the Acoustic Blues Women
It was a day of marvelous blues which opened with acoustic blues by Sheryl Warner and the Southside Housewreckers (Greg Kimball on guitar and Rick Manson on harmonica) and The Acoustic Blues Woman (Eleanor Ellis and Gina DeSimone on guitars, Pearl Bailes on harmonica and Pat Quinn on bass) both providing lively versions of classic blues from the twenties and thirties. Roy Bookbinder played a mix of classics from Gary Davis and Pink anderson as well as originals in the style of early ragtime influenced blues.
Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins
The mood got electric with Albert White and Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins representing the Music Maker Relief Foundation with Sol Roots on bass. White is a very soulful performer on his own and did a couple songs before Ms. Watkins, whose career extends over 50 years told her she was back in business. Besides her guitar theatrics, one of the highlight's was her rendition of Roy Lee Johnson's "Mr. Moonlight" which some will be familiar from The Beatles cover. Johnson and her were members of Piano Red's Band (I believe it was known as Dr. Feelgood & the Interns at the time), and still play together at times.

Next up was Sista Monica who I already have raved about. After Monica, Daryl Davis came on the pump some boogie woogie, blues and rock and roll. Chris Polk was with him on guitar and Deanna Bogart joined Daryl for his set as Daryl showed why he is a "Boogie Woogie Man," and even channeled Chuck Berry in his set (Daryl is Chuck's East Coast pianist).

Chris Polk on guitar and Daryl Davis
The only mis-booking was Mary Ann Redmond whose set only gave a nod to blues, although she is a fine singer and her band with guitarist Dan Hovey is excellent. Just that it was not blues. The day closed with Big Bill Morganfield channeling his legendary father Muddy Waters with some fabulous blues opening with "Blow Wind Blow Wind," and included "Hootchie Kootchie Man." His band included two harmonica players. It ended a fabulous day of music. I was pleased to volunteer at this festival which has one of the strongest blues line-ups in the Mid-Atlantic region. Congratulations to Nikki and Ed Henderson, the moving forces behind the Tinner Hill Foundation and the Festival.

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