Jukin' at the Concert
My friends (from left, foreground): Sandra Sallings, one of the organizers of Blues for a Cause, and Evelyn Horton, administrative assistant to the mayor of our fair city, do a little jukin'. In the background to the right of the stage is my friend Redd Velvet from Memphis, blues singer extraordinaire. With the help of the Jack Rowell Jr. band, Redd belts out the blues at the Blues for a Cause Benefit Concert at the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Regional Park on July 4. Blues for a Cause raises money for deserving families who are facing huge medical bills due to catastrophic illness — and have little or no insurance. All event proceeds above expenses go for this purpose.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Pine Buff, Arkansas
On July 4th in my hometown, Blues for a Cause, a non-profit organization, presented its traditional Independence Day concert in our large regional park here in Pine Bluff, the blues center of LA (lower Arkansas). Joe Powell, chief honcho for the organization, booked five bands to provide entertainment in the park from the noon hour until about 9 at night, setting the stage for the Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Department’s fireworks spectacular to close the evening's festivities.
A Fervor for Guitars
Anthony Gomes, the concert headliner, apparently likes guitars with the same fervor I cherish Nikon lenses. He changed instruments a couple of times during his performance, doing a little give-and-take with each selection. I surmise that each axe has its own temperament.
The headliner, Anthony Gomes, ignited excitement built by the four bands preceding him. Gomes, his drummer, and his bass guy make a lot of sound for three people. If you are into contemporary blues interpretations, you are in hog heaven when Gomes performs. Even if you are not, you are still fortunate because you are hearing some fine musicians ply their art. You are also on the receiving end of Anthony Gomes' unpredictable and highly entertaining stage antics. This dude is different — and he smiles a lot, grabbing your attention from the git-go, then never lets go. And you are glad.
Portuguese, French-Canadian, All-American
Gomes, the Canadian born offspring of a Portuguese father and a French-Canadian mother, strongly pursues the purely American blues genre as the foundation of his compositions and performances. His friendly on-stage demeanor quickly wins friends and influences people. Several concert attendees drove a long way to attend the event.
While outward appearances would lead one to think that Gomes’ fan base eschews senior ranks, this great-grandmother fires away with her phone camera as Gomes wails away. His audience included kids through folks well into their Social Security benefits. All seemed to appreciate the performer with equal admiration.
Don't Worry. Be Happy!
Gomes’ smile broke out frequently during his performance. The same was true for his drummer and bass player. Nothing like being entertained by genuinely happy people.
We’ve uploaded pictures of the concert in galleries highlighting each band’s performances:
Top picture: Nikon D7100, ISO 200, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, 1/400@f8; Row of guitars, Nikon D300, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6, EX DC HSTD, 1/60@f8; Picture of Gomes and bass player, Nikon D7100, ISO 4000, 1/80@f8; Grandma with phone, Nikon D7100, ISO 200, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, firstname.lastname@example.org; Smiling gomes, Nikon D300, ISO 200, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, 1/100@f5. All post-processed with Photoshop® CC.
See more of the bands, including Gomes getting in my face with his guitar, and other delightful glimpses of performers during a day of blues with a bunch of friends. See it all at
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.