By: Kris Ferris
In many folks' minds, having the blues means something rather sad or dark, but that was not the case for us at The Blind Tiger on November 8, 2013. In fact, there is nothing quite like the raw sweet tones of steel strings caught by the distinct pick-ups of a Fender Stratocaster, crunched through effects units and amplifiers and then projected by an impressive sound system to get your heart pumping and your body grooving. Well, okay... it may be a guy thing or a guitar player thing, but if you were among the crowd for the Joanne Shaw Taylor show, you know what I mean.
Stratocasters where the guitar of choice on this night, starting with Lawyers Guns and Money and the crisp, clean, signature tones rendered by Terry VunCannon. Terry has tailored a sound with his mint green Strat that is readily identifiable as his own. With long-time drummer Mike Thomas holding down the rhythm section and doing vocals and the addition of Steve Headen on bass whose voice can belt, or croon, depending on the mood, Lawyers Guns and Money has gone to the next level and the folks in attendance for their set let them know it. The night signaled a new beginning for them and was the first of many gigs that will prepare them for their appearance at the IBC competition in Memphis Tennessee in 2014. We wish them the best of luck!
With her hair pulled back and street clothes on Joanne Shaw Taylor managed to maneuver through the crowd at The Blind Tiger with practiced stealth, barely unnoticed by even the ardent followers gathering before her set. Her down-to-earth personality and casual manner made interacting with her earlier in the day during load in and sound check a truly relaxed and pleasant experience, which is not the case with every artist. But, once the hair came down, make-up was applied, stage clothes donned and her own Strat tuned - though she would switch to a Les Paul at times - this woman was all business and immersed herself in the music from the very first note. Her uniquely British-flavored voice, in a register uncharacteristically low for a woman, was never-the-less a perfect match to her rocking blues guitar style. With the culmination of each tasteful rhythm, emotional lyric, or blistering lead Joanne would come back to reality, open her eyes and smile genuinely through the applause, hollers and whistles from the audience. She kept the pace escalating through her ninety minute set showing everyone why she is a rising star in the blues world and the pride of England. She was enticed back to the stage by the unanimous calls of "Encore!", before bidding Greensboro farewell.
What a great night and appropriate way to wrap up our events for 2013. A deep and heartfelt thanks to all of you who have supported us along the way. On to 2014...