Ron Weinstock's blog offers a semi-regular collection of observations, reviews and more about blues, jazz and other matters informed by the blues tradition. He wrote a excellent description of the artist featured at the upcoming Tinner Hill Festival, that with his permission, we'll share. First up Beverly Guitar Watkins.
Beverly "Guitar’ Watkins (seen performing above) . . . describes her blues,“My style is real Lightnin’ Hopkins lowdown blues. I call it hard classic blues, stompin’ blues, railroad smokin’ blues.” If you’ve never seen a blues lady who can play guitar behind her head, belt out powerful songs and lay down James Brown steps, you’ve never been in the audience when Beverly “Guitar” Watkins was burning down the house. As a teen, she teamed up with the legendary Piano Red and for the next six decades, she has rocked venues with the best of them. Through the years, Watkins has stolen the hearts and blown the minds of audiences across the U.S., Europe, and Australia. And, she is not about to give up her striding, acrobatic style just because she’s marched past 70. Beverly Guitar means business! This Georgia Music Legend Award Winner has worked with James Brown, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Taj Mahal, and played on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. She also had a residency at Underground Atlanta, an Atlanta nightclub. Beverly Watkins is also on the cover of the current Living Blues with her story told there. This is her second appearance at a Tinner Hill Blues Festival and we’re delighted to welcome her back!Read on
I love music. . .and I love history. . . and black culture. . . and don't tell my husband - but I don't mind good looking men. . . as my Grandmother used to put it "he ain't hard on the eyes!" And while we're on the subject of men, as a young girl, my Mom gave me a few litmus tests for selecting appropriate males to spend time with. They included things like: "Within the first 45 minutes of conversation he should share some kind of interesting information you don't already know/give you the name of a book/artist/writer you've never read, or otherwise challenge your mind. If not - you're wasting your time, in a short time he'll be like a twice read book!" With that being said, Michael Roach is all of that plus a bag of chips! This is not a come on to Michael, we're both happily married! At a recent Prelude to the Blues concert we featured Michael Roach. Michael, D.C. born and bred, flew in from his home in the U.K. for a limited U. S. engagement. He graced the stage at ArtSpace Creative Cauldron in Falls Church, VA. for 3 hours (not nearly enough). He had all the qualities I look for when searching for "edutainment" for performances or putting together events for Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation. Michael has stage presence, interacts with the audience, plays for the people (not other musicians), teaches about blues history and heritage (hence the term edutainment). He is witty enough to take the sting out of some of the painful history that is part of the blues legacy. He is a gifted musician, gracious and approachable. . . he held the audience in the palm of his hand. We laughed, we jotted down the name of a song, a book, a name to look up later. We thought "Wow, I didn't know that!" We fell silent, we listened, we were happy, we were moved, we reflected, we tapped our feet, we clapped, we sang along, we nodded our heads, we ate together, and we felt comrady among our fellow music lovers. . . It was everything we strive for at Tinner Hill! A community, a community togther without any pretenses. No barriers. . . just people, equals all. . . and equally respected.
April already and the blues festival is right around the corner! I can hardly contain my excitement over who's performing Friday at the State Theatre or Saturday at Cherry Hill Park or who'll be jamming at the Blues Brunch on Sunday -- or any of the other All Blues, All Weekend happenings All Over Town! This is my first blues blog and I don't know where to begin. OK, let's start with - what will we drink??? We'll Begin with Beer! Mad Fox Brewing Company, Falls Church's very own brewpub, will provide libations (for purchase) at the Tinner Hill Blues Festival on Saturday, June 9, 2012 in Cherry Hill Park (located at 330 Park Ave in Falls Church, VA.) Not only will Mad Fox be on hand to serve ice cold beer, the new Tinner Hill IPA (Indian Pale Ale) will be available. Just a couple of weeks ago the award winning brewing company introduced the new beer and titled it Tinner Hill IPA. The beer will be sold at the blues festival! Yes, you heard it right! The new ale - will be on available for purchase at the blues festival! Beer, BBQ and Blues, can life get any better than this? Only if you happen to have a beer named after you! Tinner Hill IPA s a light beer - golden, smooth and rich with a bit of a kick to it.
But hold it, you don't have to wait until June 9th to satisfy curiosity or your need to indulge. Head over to Mad Fox Brewing Company (located at 444 West Broad Street, Suite I, Falls Church, VA 22046. Phone 703.942.6840) and order a pitcher (or two). They're open: 11am - 11pm Monday - Wednesday, 11am - Midnight Thursday - Saturday, 10am - 11pm, Sunday, Brunch 10am-3pm. Visit their website for more information about beer than you ever imagined and see what's cooking on their menu or check. You know the food is good, when I admit that their shrimp and grits actually hold it's own -- that is a really strong recommendation coming from the creator of "Miss Nellie's Grits and Gravy"! Check out the live musical entertainment schedule Mad Fox Brewing Company website BTW be sure to tell Brewer Bill Madden - Nikki sent you!