Chuck Brown doing blues... It's a rarity, but it happens... kinda. Chuck played a set with Bobby Parker at the State on Friday. It was an interesting show. A couple songs into the set the crowd got into the "Wind Me Up Chuck!" chant, to which Mr. Brown dutifully obliged and started into his go-go thing with his drummer crashing along. It left Bobby's band scratching their heads... what do we do? What key is it in? But it was fun to watch, before long the sax & harp player had figured a horn part. And the bass player and Bobby were filling in behind Chuck. For his part Chuck went to great pains to say that Bobby Parker was his inspiration for picking up the guitar in the first place. The night went on like that, blues and go-go intermixed.
The John Jackson/Tinner Hill festival is scattered all over Falls Church; bits at the State, Bangkok Blues, & other venues around town. The Saturday afternoon shows were at Cherry Hill Park... a couple blocks from the State. It was a nice site, open & well shaded with big old trees. They used the barn for a back stage and played on a stage out front. The lineup was full of good local folk: Deanna Bogart, Daryl Davis w/Stacy Brooks, Angela Hill & Ruby Hayes, Nadine Rae, & Warner Williams. Some of us wandered over to Clare & Don's for dinner where Charlie Sayles was playing.
There were a few familiar faces, and given the quality and number of good alternatives this weekend, I think we were all spread thin. But this is one to pay attention to next year. A small festival, sure; but the Saturday afternoon is nice, free, and would be great for a group picnic or something. And the other activities fill in nicely.