Denton stalwart Pops Carter was up next and we really appreciate the fact
that he and his band drove all the way down from Denton to help us out.
Pops had 'em up and dancing! Andrea Dawson was on next and did one of
the best sets I have heard her do. She is definitely coming along as
an entertainer, and once she gets some original material, she'll be ready to
release her first CD. I heard she was feeling a little under the
weather that day, but you sure couldn't tell it by her performance.
Big Charles Young was up next, backed by an all star band that included
Harold Walker, James Butler, and Hal Harris. Cuzzin Lenny even got in
the act. Literally! Big Charles had the room rocking.
(However, Mustang Sally does go on his permanent record.) Fort Worth
favorite Paul Byrd was next on the bill, backed by Mike Stockton and Reno
Ochoa. He did a number of his fine original tunes. Even The Cuz
was impressed! We also appreciate Paul and the boys coming all this
way east from the Town of Cow.
Freddie King's daughter, Wanda King, put on a solid set but only after
having to wrestle The Cuz for the microphone. Backed by Holland K.
Smith, Johnny Woods, and Bobby Baranowski, Wanda did several of her fine
original songs and more than a few of her self-released CDs were sold to the
crowd. Holland closed out the night for us backed by his own band,
with Jim Milan on bass, Danny "Cornbread" Ross on keys, and Iron Man Bobby
Baranowski on the drums. We couldn't have ended things on a better
Day two started out with rain and it pretty much rained all day.
Sadly, that kept some folks away from another fine show. Unlike some
blues venues, Poor David's remained warm and dry inside!!
We kicked things off about 3:30 with a new band, The 8 Ball Blues Band.
They're pretty new on the scene but KNON loves to give new talent a chance
and they did not disappoint. You'll be hearing more from this band in
the future. AJ and Blue Roux followed. They're another new band,
but composed of some previous players in the Barton Street Blues Band, so
they've been around for awhile. They also put on a nice rockin' set
and you're likely to hear more from them in the future, too.
Stompin Bill Johnston was next on the bill and featured Chris Ruest and
Joel Foy on guitars, Drew Allain on bass and Bobby Baranowski back on drums.
I introduced them, jokingly, as the MVP blues band. That's because
Drew Allain is a previous KNON blues fest MVP, Bobby Baranowski was this
year's MVP (playing 5 sets) and Chris Ruest was the runner-up MVP this year
(playing 4 sets). While you usually just hear the names of the "front
man" (or woman) in the band, you just have to give props to those rhythm
sections and guitarists who are up there time and again, backing anyone who
needs a band. We couldn't do it without y'all! Anyway, Stompin
Bill played some mighty harp and we can't wait for him to get e new CD out.
He's sort of one of the undiscovered wonders here in town who definitely
deserves more attention.
After Stompin Bill, Chris Ruest finally got to let his own light shine
and he made many new fans who are now looking forward to his first CD, due
out in March. Pete Barbeck and 7th Son were up next, and, as always,
tore the house down. Pete and the boys have helped us out many times
in the past and they're always a crowd favorite. Denny Freeman was the
next act on the bill and showed everyone why we're so glad to have him back
in town. Denny was just off the boat from a Blues Cruise backing Taj
Mahal. There were no barnacles on his guitar. Michael J. Dohoney
played drums and provided stellar vocals and Jim Milan was back, for the
second night in a row, for bass duties. James Butler, Harold Walker,
and Hal Harris were back again to support the next acts and they brought
along Linny Nance on keyboards. James did a few songs before Short
Stack called Cookie McGee onstage to wow the crowd.
Cookie was just back from a tour in Scandinavia and she quickly showed
the crowd why she's so popular overseas. Gregg Smith took the stage to
introduce Lucky Peterson, who had come straight from the airport after
playing a big show out of town. Jet lag didn't seem to bother Lucky a
bit as he proceeded to tear the place apart. There are few in the
world who can do it like Lucky Peterson does it, but he was really on the
top of his game this night. If you weren't there to see it, you flat
messed up. Gregg Smith was back onstage at the end of the night,
backed by Lucky and the band, to close out a stellar day of music.
Overall, the event went pretty well for KNON but we were down a bit
money-wise due to the rain keeping folks at home on Sunday. Not a soul
could complain about the venue or the show, though. The staff and
sound at Poor David's was great, Louisiana Red served up some mean gumbo and
barbecue, Larry Morgan Music provided a nice backline which all the
musicians enjoyed, and a fine time was had by all. Definitely one for
If you were there, you know. If you weren't, well, we'll do it
again next year!