The Thrill Ain't Gone Yet.
Just after dark on the warm summer evening of August 2, 2013, the Brian Austin Band began to belt out sweaty blues to an appreciative crowd at “Music on Main” in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Guest singer Gary Wilson joined the band in performing B. B. King’s classic, “The Thrill Is Gone.” Gary is also the sound-and-light guy for Music on Main, Blues for a Cause, and a plethora of other events in this neck of the woods. Two other tune-exuding groups entertained the audience before the night was done.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Pine Buff, Arkansas
If you Google “Music on Main,” you’ll discover the entries for that name go on for about eight-and-a-half pages and continue with partial mentions to seeming infinity after that (I got tired of looking). That said, it’s safe to say the concept is not new to this locale — but the reality is.
Our fair city is no different than thousands of others who have suffered ill-effects brought on by the evil mass-exodus-from-downtown syndrome. We have several programs working to turn that around, but a group of enterprising downtown business and property owners got their heads together and decided to take it up a notch or two.
Their idea was to offer free live music as a drawing card to bring folks downtown who normally do not “darken the door.” They formed the “Downtown Special Events Organization” and proceeded to create the “Music on Main.” So far, so good. This concert was number 12 — and the crowds continue to grow. Locals mark your calendar: The next Music on Main is August 30, 2013.
The Fire Done Gone.
Here’s the band in the minutes just before dark. The building in the background is the Jefferson County Court house at the north end of Main Street. The structure still has the appearance that was familiar to Pine Bluffians back in the late 1800s. A fire in 1976 nearly did it in, but the decision makers at the time decided the original was worth preserving as much as possible. Good for them. Band members from left: Ronny Dickerson, bass; John Good, guitar; Tim Dickerson, drums and the intrepid, fearless leader, Brian Austin.
They Just Keep Comin'
With my back to the courthouse early in the evening, I watched a crowd that doubled, perhaps even tripled by the time the second band hit its first notes. Looks like the organizers are on to something.
Got 'Em Grinnin' 'n Tappin'
Ronny Dickerson and John Good look serious as they grind out the blues. The audience was grinning and tapping their feet, the desired effect.
Drummin' the Blues
Tim Dickerson does his thing with a flourish as he sets the rhythmic foundation for whatever tune was coming forth at the time. Drummers are fun to shoot because they engage a lot of moving parts as they play. And talk about working out your frustrations — drummers get paid to beat up on stuff.
Sweatin' the Blues
Brian Austin and Tim Dickerson are glowing with good-ol' Delta sweat as they crank out the blues. One would suppose that adds a note of authenticity to the music.
Barkin' the Blues
No self-respecting walk-up outdoor concert is complete without a pretty lady and her friendly dog. This pair filled the bill, nicely satisfying that requirement. Methinks she probably enjoyed the music more than he did.
The idea that music brings people together is proven time and again — an idea that's alive and well here on the old home turf. Perhaps we should have some concerts in the nation’s capital. In the words of Henny Youngman, “it can’t hoit.”
Notes top picture, Nikon D7100 (same for all), ISO 1600, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, firstname.lastname@example.org; Second picture, ISO 320, Nikon SB 900 Speedlight at 1/64 manual output, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6, EX DC HSTD, email@example.com; Third picture, ISO 640, Nikon SB 900 Speedlight at 1/64 manual output, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, 1/60@f4; Fourth picture, ISO 320, Nikon SB 900 Speedlight at 1/64 manual output, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, 1/60@f4; Fifth picture, ISO 320, Nikon SB 900 Speedlight at 1/64 manual output, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sixth picture, ISO 640, Nikon SB 900 Speedlight at 1/64 manual output, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, email@example.com; Seventh picture: ISO 1600, Nikon SB 900 Speedlight at 1/32 manual output, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, 1/60@f8;
But wait, there's more....
See more pictures of the event and the band at
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.
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