Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jimmy Cole Benefit @ The State Theatre

There have been many excellent blues\rock musicians that have originated from the Washington D.C. area. Some have become national acts, but many have remained close to home - developing a solid local following. To supplant income, these artists pursue secondary careers. One such artist is Jimmy Cole; a popular musician at night, but construction worker by day. Unfortunately he had an accident and fell off a ladder - fortunately he has recovered. To help alleviate his medical bills several associates organized a fund raiser at the The State Theatre in Falls Church. The lineup was amazing - as several Washington D.C. based artists set aside their schedules and participated in the fund raiser. Jimmy Thackery opened the show, followed by Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen. Next was The Cathy Ponton King Band - which includes Dave Chappell, Ron Holloway, and Billy Starks. This was the first act I was able to see and what a performance. King shares the spotlight with her fellow musicians so there were plenty of solos by each band member. The Tommy Lepson Band followed and as usual guitarist John Bell was a crowd favorite. Lepson has that authentic blues vocals. In between these acts, Dave Chappell, Big Joe Maher, and in occasion, Daryl Davis entertained the audience as the "tweener" band. These three were worth the price of admission themselves and brought back many recollections of seeing Big Joe and the Dynaflows years ago. And the first I saw Daryl Davis - he was planning with Pinetop Perkins. What talent. Unfortunately I don't see a younger set coming along to replace them. Eventually Jimmy Cole and his band rocked the house, and I couldn't stay for the The Nighthawks finale. Yes, it was quite a lineup. All these artists have regular gigs around town, so check out the 219 Basin Street Lounge, The Matchbox, Flanagan's Harp & Fiddle, JV's Restaurant, Bangkok Blues, and other such venues. There is great talent in our own backyard.

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