The Legends live on Jeff Pitchell and the Texas Flood

By Lady K.
December 2015

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Jeff Pitchell and the Texas Flood The Legends Live On featuring Charles Neville, Claudette King, Sheila Raye Charles and Michael Allman

Live Show Review

By Lady K

The place: Jonathan’s Restaurant, Ogunquit, Maine The date: November 13th (yep, Friday the 13th) The event: Bluesman and insane guitarist, Jeff Pitchell, brought a few friends to perform in Jonathan’s ‘listening room’, to prove that the “Legends Live On”

Jeff and his band, the Texas Flood (aka, Danny, keyboards; Dave, bass; and Steve, drums) took the stage first (Danny Fontanella received a rousing standing ovation when Jeff noted that Veterans’ Day had just passed and that Danny is a Vietnam vet).

Jeff and the guys kicked off the evening with a few rockin’ blues tunes. First, a rousing version of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny Be Good,” “An Eye for An Eye” (one of Jeff’s original tunes, which was covered by John Mayall on his Tough album) showed off some of Danny’s honky-tonk piano talents, followed by a definitely un-Willie Nelson “Whisky River” (Jeff’s version has always been Lady K’s favorite). Jeff showed off his Hendrix-licks in a guitar interlude during another of his own tunes “Gonna Have a Good Time,” before introducing Charles Neville.

Lady K adores ‘all things Neville’ and has for many decades. This show was the third time that Jeff brought Charles Neville to Maine – we hope the pattern continues. Charles doesn’t usually sing; he’s a saxophone kinda guy, but after his lead on the mostly instrumental “Ain’t No Sunshine”, the band convinced him that the blues needed his voice, so he belted out “Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On”, ably assisted by the rest of the band, and then he blew. Charles’ set ended with a rousing “Jacamo” (aka “Iko-Iko”).

Charles remained on stage (with Jeff and the band) for the rest of the evening, adding his sax to the rest of the show, which started with the appearance of Claudette King, daughter of blues hero B.B. King. Claudette has the same stage presence, bearing and mannerisms as her Dad, and she began her set with the announcement that she wanted everyone in the house to know that her dad “loved each and every one of you” (that meant misty-eyes for Lady K). It was no surprise that Claudette’s first tune was “The Thrill Is Gone”, followed by “Can You Walk Me to My Car?” and the crowd-pleasing “Rock Me Baby”. That tune got people up and dancing in the aisles, so Claudette lured a few of them up on the stage to dance with her. The woman has a ton of stage presence and radiates her joy in performing – just like her dad. One shocker-surprise was Claudette’s final tune: “Mustang Sally”! Really?!

Next up on stage was another legend’s progeny – Gregg Allman’s son, Michael (who had also been on stage at Jonathan’s previously, with Jeff and Charles earlier this year). Michael doesn’t play an instrument; he’s a vocalist (and a hip-swinger, when the mood strikes). Michael treated the crowd at Jonathan’s to a mostly Allman Brothers set, with “One More Silver Dollar”, “Soulshine”, and “One Way Out.” That meant there was lots of singing along in the audience, and crowd-swaying, humorous introductions from Michael between tunes, and, yes, some Allman hip-swinging during instrumental portions. Michael did introduce a tune that he recorded recently – “If Dreams Were Money,” a cover of a tune by Bruce Marshall, a Boston-area bluesman known to many in the crowd.

When Michael left the stage there was only one person left to meet, and that was Sheila Raye Charles (you guessed it, Ray Charles’ daughter). Sheila Raye bounced up on stage and kicked off her set – all tunes either written or made famous by her dad - with “I Got a Man” (the more womanly version of “I Got a Woman”). Sheila Ray also used altered lyrics to “Halleluja I Love Her So” so that she’d be singing about her man and “I Love Him So”, and, during an instrumental interlude, she joined the audience and boogied with the happy crowd for a few minutes. On the next tune, Sheila Raye used props – a pair of shades – along with a mischievous grin, and she raised her chin and rocked side-to-side, before breaking into “Georgia On My Mind”. Charlie Neville’s sax gave her some perfectly amazing accompaniment. A crowd sing-along resulted when Sheila belted out Percy Mayfield’s “Hit the Road Jack”. “Drown In My Own Tears” slowed things down a bit, with its sad lament, and proved to be a calm prelude to the show-stopping “It’s Alright – What’d I say?” One warning about Sheila Raye Charles – her voice will take your breath away.

Sound like a fun night? You bet! If Jeff Pitchell brings the ‘Legends Live On’ group to a venue in your ‘hood you should go – the music and atmosphere will leave you smiling for days. I promise!

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