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  Me and Bobby Bland

Me and Bobby Bland"I went down to the Big Muddy Blues Festival on Sunday mainly to catch the acts that were to be playing on the main stage that night. Saw a little bit of Bennie Smith and then Bob Margolin and the Allstars. The first thing I did without hesitation was to go right up to the side of the stage and dance. Now I admit that I'm a bit of a slave to the rhythm, but I found it very peculiar that no one else was dancing, besides my girlfriend and I. I just can't sit there. I need to move around.

Anyway, the highlight of the night was to see Bobby Bland. I mean come on. The man is huge in the blues world, what a treat! So he goes on, and I'm immediately in the moment. dancing and singing along. After a few songs he started some interaction with the crowd, but it was during his rendition of "Ain't no sunshine" that things got interesting, for me anyway. He kept looking over at me. Maybe thinking, look at this white boy dancing to my music while everyone else is just sitting there. I don't know.

Well at the bridge of the song, he wanted crowd participation. He looked over at me and said, "Now pay attention". He kept watching me and then asked if I sang. He then asked me to come to the center stage. He sang a line and listened to me, did it again, and then sang a line but this time put the mic down for me to sing into. I got to repeat a few lines, how cool! I don't really remember what he said after that, but I went back to the side of the stage and everyone Me and Bobby Blandcongratulated me. At that point I think he asked me what my name was and the next thing I knew, he invited me to get up on stage with him. I jumped up there and just went with it. I don't even know what song they were playing at that moment, but he handed me the mic and I just adlibbed it. As you can imagine, I was extremely excited being in the situation and just didn't want to make an ass out of myself.

The band then went into "Stormy Monday" and Bobby and I took turns singing the lines. He helped me along by whispering the lyrics to me as we went. It seemed like I was up there for a pretty long time and by now a little rain had started. I believe the promoter asked Mr. Bland to wrap it up with me so I got down from the stage and was just gleaming. It was a high I've never felt before. Totally unexpected and incredibly cool! The crowd seemed to enjoy it as well judging by the response afterward. It is a moment I'll never forget and would love to get some pictures or a copy of a video if anyone taped it".

-- Thanks, Rick

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