I did something I haven’t done in, probably, years, Saturday night.
I got in my car and drove in the dark (not my thing any longer) to see the Johnny King and Friends concert at Bath County High School.
I met Johnny King a couple of weeks ago, when I popped into a shop on Main Street to say hello to David Crosier. There was Johnny King, bigger than life. He was ordering something for his tow truck business.
We got to talking and, turns out, he also has a band that focuses on the Blues, but plays all other sorts of music. In fact, this seems to be his true calling. But around here, you’ve got to have a couple of jobs, or you just won’t make it. I myself have three jobs. (And still, I barely make it!)
Johnny mentioned he and his band would put on a concert at the high school on a Saturday night. Too bad for you: It was last Saturday. And it was fabulous!
The band has six members, including a horn section (sax and trombone), a light-fingered keyboard player, a drummer, a bassist, and Johnny himself, who plays guitar.
Boy, does he ever play the guitar. I have been to lots of concerts in the past, but never have I seen and heard a guitar player with the expertise that Johnny King has.
The concert – which went on for almost three hours, without a break – featured blues, rock, reggae, soul, country, and probably a few other genres I can’t recall right now. I mean, where else around here can you hear, in one sitting, B.B. King, Waylon Jennings, the Beatles, Billy Preston, Dwight Yoakam, Toots and the Maytals (one of my faves) and the Neville Brothers? And more!
The concert was sparsely attended, and I can’t figure out why that was. But, I sat in the front row and will confess I had to fight myself to stay in my seat. I wanted to get up and dance, dance, dance. I thought it through, though, and figured it would look odd. Heaven forbid I look odd! I could imagine the whispers: “There’s Margo Oxendine. Showing off.” So, I stayed in my seat and boogied with my shoulders.
The reason I’m telling you all this, after the fact, is not to make you feel bad you missed the concert (though you should!), but to alert you to keep your eyes and ears peeled for the next time Johnny King and Friends take to a stage in the area. It’s bound to happen. A band this good takes on a life and a following of its own eventually, and around here, Johnny King and Friends are just getting started. If you’re looking for entertainment, you can’t do much better.
As usual, I didn’t really want to go out. I just don’t do that very much anymore, especially if it involves night driving. But, as I drove carefully home, I sure was glad I did that last Saturday night.
Great music that makes you feel glorious … you gotta love that!
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