This entry focuses on Friday night's State Theatre Concert-A Salute To Blues Divas which in addition to Mabel John, also will present Trudy Lynn and Gaye Adegbalola and the Wild Rutz. The show starts at 8:00PM with Doors opening at 7:00 PM.
Mabel John was for many years the lead singer with the Raylettes who supported Ray Charles. She was the brother of Little Willie John and was one of the first act to have a recording on the Motown subsidiary, Tamla label. After several years with the Raylettes, she was signed to Stax where she recorded her hit "Your Good Thing Is About To End," and other songs like "Able Mabel," and "You're Taking Up Another Man's Place." After another stint with the Raylettes, she retired from secular music although in recent years she has established herself as an actress and still appears at Festivals (including the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival in 2011 and the 2015 Ponderosa Stomp) where she still wows audiences. It is a real coup for the Tinner Hill Blues Festival to present this musical legend.
Houston's Trudy Lynn is a big-voiced blues and soul vocalist whose career bgan in groups and clubs in Houston. In the 1960's she sang with guitarist Albert Collins and then later, Clarence Green. Her recording career began in 1989 with the Ichiban label. Her album "Trudy Sings the Blues" had riveting renditions of "Ball & Chain" and "Come To Mama." After Ichiban folded she recorded " U Don't Know What Time It Is" for Ruf Records which had Lucky Peterson's keyboards and Bernard Allison's guitar. In more recent years she was associated with the late Calvin Owens orchestra, appearing on his recordings and his Orchestra backed her for the Blues Music Award Soul-Blues Nominee "I'm Still Here." Her most recent recording is the terrific "Royal Oaks Blues Cafe" from 2014. About that recording I wrote, "The closing Whip it To A Jelly further displays how nuanced a singer Lynn is as she brings out humor and wit of Clara Smith’s lyrics, Many blue singers today would come across as emotive or heavy-handed singing this. Her ability to convincingly deliver so many shades of blues makes 'Royal Oaks Blues Café' such a terrific recording."
Many will know Gaye Adegbalola from the trio, Saffire- the Uppity Blues Women, which she was such an integral part of for several decades. With the demise of Saffire, Gaye has formed a unique vocal group, Gaye Adegbalola & the Wild Rūtz whose first recording "Is It Still Good to Ya?," has been nominated for a Blues Music Award for acoustic blues album. Her website describes the music as "In this world of screaming electrified instrumental acrobatics and digital perfectionism, this CD delights in returning to our RUTZ! It celebrates the Creator's primary instruments: THE VOICE and THE BEATS. 4 unique voices combine with percussion and occasional guitar to add a previously unrecorded dimension to the blues. All 14 songs are Gaye's originals." Along the powerful blues and soul of Trudy Lynn and Mabel John, this will make the State Theatre on June 10, a night with the Blues Divas you will not want to miss.
For more information, including ticket information, visit tinnerhill.org.