Opening Act: Bill Carter
Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, Tennessee
March 10, 2016
I had the privilege of chatting with the legendary blues man, John Mayall, back in September (here). I finished my chat with Mayall ardently desiring to be able to catch him in concert.
My wish came true Thursday night at the beautiful Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville. My fulfilled dream was further enhanced by getting to meet the blues legend in person. No, it wasn’t backstage or on the tour bus. The man was manning his own merch table and selling his work.
The evening began with singer/songwriter extraordinaire, Bill Carter. You won’t find anyone who can write deeper, more thought provoking songs that this Austin, Texas, treasure. To be able to watch him perform is a rare, musical treat to be savored and savor I did.
When Mayall hit the stage afterwards, he did so while fist-pumping to a near sellout, enthusiastic crowd. Hitting the keyboards, harmonica, and guitar, playing gems from his song catalog that spans over fifty years. Some in the crowd remembered the earliest tunes as if they were first released yesterday. Others were quite aware of the songs off of his latest CD, “Find A Way To Care”. Collectively, everyone was thrilled from beginning to end – including the encore.
It seems that 2016 is the year that we are losing many musical icons. Many of them are passing at an age far young than 82 year old John Mayall. I encourage you to catch artists like Mr. Mayall while you still can. They won’t be around forever and they will energize you with the power and spirit that they personify.
Oh, and after that show? John and the band were in the lobby, selling merchandise and kibitzing with fans.
That, my friends, is real class.