It was a great day to enjoy the Blues, as the
musical magnet known as the Old
Webster Jazz & Blues Festival filled
the streets to a SRO capacity. It's nice to
see so much of St. Louis turn out to enjoy the
sounds of two musical icons that happen to call
St. Louis home, Johnnie Johnson and Fontella
With beautiful weather beckoning the music fan
to Old Webster, STLBlues showed up in time to
catch the smooth jazz sounds of the Webster
University Jazz Band, with CarolBeth
True at the piano. This world class jazz band
is always a pleasure to witness, with each member
a 'professor' of thier chosen instrument.
The 'Blues weather window' kept drawing music
lovers, as the Johnnie Johnson / Fontella Bass
fans started to crowd in. Fest promoter Dawn
D. informed STLBlues that this crowd was 3 times
larger than last years. No surprise to STLBlues,
as the word spreads fast about these musical
treasures. By the time Johnnie arrived for his
show, the streets had really filled in.
moment had arrived, and as Johnnie
Johnson climbed the steps to the stage,
the crowd exploded in a very warm greeting.
This Rock and Roll Hall of Famer loves to play
his home town, and it was evident by the smile
on his face. Johnnie's star has risen over the
years, bringing him the super-stardom he's been
deserving of for years!
Johnnie was the incredibly talented Fontella
Bass, showcasing the voice that gave fame to
the song 'Rescue Me'. Fontella paid honor
to another great St. Louis R&B icon, "this
is the flip side of Rescue Me, it sold a
million, The Soul of a Man - written
by Mr. Oliver Sain".
Fontella thanked everybody on hand, with special
thanks to fest organizers Dawn and Dan, and
the Mayor of Webster - "she brought me
Backed by the solid lineup of Richard
Hunt on drums, Tony T. on guitar, Gus Thorton
on bass, Stewart
Williams on sax and Jimmy Rossi on the trumpet,
the music just kept getting better and
better. Johnnie did a exciting cover of 'After
the style that is uniquely Johnnie Johnson.
'Tanqueray', co-written by Johnnie and
Keith Richards of the Stones, was a mandatory!
A smokin' version of 'Red Top' really
got things going, and the dance area stageside
The show came to a spectacular end, but the
crowd wasn't about to let Johnnie go that easy.
A rare event occured, a Johnnie Johnson encore,
to end the evening on a perfect note. It was
a spectacle to see, as 2 blocks of fans came
to thier feet in a explosion of applause, sharing
thier appreciation for this magical music event.
Mark your calender for the 2004 Old Webster
Jazz & Blues Festival!!