Saturday, October 12, 2013

Gwen White lights up the Biscuit

The second day of the King Biscuit Festival started slowly but got better as the day went on. The highlight, for me, was Gwen White, a sexy, soulful and dynamic Southern soul singer, very much in the Tina Turner mould, who put on a sensational set with the On Call Band. She looked and sounded great on Clean Up Woman, Repo Woman, Tonight's The Night and I Was Checking Out and duetted to great effect with the Bobby Womack sounding lead singer of the band (Charles someone) on Last Two Dollars and If Loving You Is Right. He was also excellent on three solo Womack numbers - Nobody Wants You When You're Down And Out, Woman Gotta Have It and That's The Way I Feel About You. I even got my picture taken with Gwen afterwards!
Later, on the Lockwood-Stackhouse Stage, was the excellent harp man Billy Branch with the Sons of Blues, with Demetria Taylor, daughter of Eddie Taylor, and Carl Weathersby, who was excellent on Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You, Don't Start me Talking and I Love The Life I Live. Headliner on the main stage was Robert Cray, who was his usual cool, mellow self on soulful songs such as Strong Persuader, You Painted Yourself Into A Corner and Shiver All Over.
The best of the earlier acts was Sherrie Williams, who was great on What Kind Of Man and Nobody Loves Me Like You Can but less so on the pleading I Need More Money. Of the rest, I liked Rip Lee Pryor, son of Snooky Pryor, and the Lil Biscuit Band, featuring Philip Stackhouse, grandson on Houston Stackhouse, but was not enamoured with Reba Russell, Mississippi Spoonman (playing the wooden spoons, natch), Austin Walkin Cane or the Wampus Cats, with Robert Nighthawk 2.
Probably the second best act of the day was Anson Funderburgh, with Big Joe Maher taking the place of the late Sam Myers, who was pretty good on Something You Got, Thunder and Lightning, Sick And Tired, Don't You Lie To Me, Your Turn To Cry and You Can't Keep A Good Man Down.
Back in Clarksdale, we had a quick drink in a locals' bar called Messengers.
Nick Cobban.


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