Old Webster Groves, long known for the elegant
homes that line Elm Street, is also becoming
known for it's musical offering known as
the Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival.
In just it's 4th year -still in it's fest
infancy - this event has already become
another jewel in the crown of St. Louis
music events....and it's absolutely free!
Beautiful weather greeted the fans on hand,
and as in years past, this event showcased
the best of both St. Louis Jazz & Blues,
with something for everyone. It's a family
event, evident by the face painters, jugglers
and ballon artists on hand to entertain
the little ones. Part
of the fun of any fest is discovering new
talent, which we did in the form of 'Wild,
Cool & Swinging', a jump band covering
the best of Sinatra and Martin. A hot brass
section added a power backup, always a treat.
Plenty of swing dancers were on hand, taking
full advantage of this big band sound. The
Webster University faculty jazz band followed,
bringing the 'toe tappin finger snappin'
tempo down a few notches, but all still
masters of their game.
The crowd began to swell during their set,
as the legend - Mr. Johnnie "B. Goode"
Johnson - was up next, backed by some of
the best sidemen in town! Featuring Marsha
Evans on vocals, Jim Rossi on trumpet, Tony
T. on lead guitar, Richard Hunt on drums,
and Stewart Williams on sax, with Matt Murdick
alternating on keys with Johnnie, this all-star
band gave the fans what they came for, a
smokin' St. Louis Blues sound! Naturally,
Johnnie was in the spotlight this evening,
performing some of his biggest hits, such
as Tanqeuray (written by Johnnie and Keith
Richards), and some great Blues covers.
'After Hours', a Pinetop Perkins classic,
was done to perfection by Johnnnie.
Everyone - myself included - seemed to hang
on every note emanating from his keyboard,
and the sheer vocal power of Marsha Evans
added just the right touch. The crowd simply
couldn't get enough, and drew the band out
for an encore featuring the Ronstadt tune
'Heat Wave'. A perfect match for Marsha,
as she rallied everyone to their feet for
Thanks goes out to Dawn of DeBlaze
and Associates and Dan of Webster Records
for once again proving that St. Louis music
is truly World-Class! Make sure you mark
your calendar for the 2005 Old Webster Blues
& Jazz Festival - and tell them STLBlues
P.S. Congratulations to Fred T. for winning
the STLBlues 'Old Webster Fest contest',
and a concert poster, t-shirt, and autographed
Johnnie Johnson CD!