Thursday, September 2, 2010
Hidden Treasures draws large crowd
By SUE WATSON
An energetic crowd of about 300-plus turned out to hear three local bands play the blues and many danced in the street.
It was the largest attendance so far at the Hidden Treasures in “Blues Alley.” Cooler weather helped.
About 25 bikers, many from out of town, showed up to help create a mood of celebration of the blues Thursday evening. Many blues promoters and players also came to hear local bands build their fan base and boost their musical careers.
On hand as emcee was Willie Wilkinson, a second generation Hill Country Blues archivist. He introduced the musicians and recognized artists in the audience, including hornman Ben Cauley of Memphis, Tenn., the sole surviver of the 1967 plane crash outside Madison, Wis., that took the lives of eight people including the great Stax Records star Otis Redding. With Cauley was Memphis friend Michael Rainey, who showed off his first two albums, one cut at On The Money recording studio in Red Banks. Rainey has played at J.B.’s Restaurant on the square in Holly Springs.
Three bands that have played free since Hidden Treasures kicked off for a two-month run of Thursday nights in the city are to be thanked and supported. First up was Ralph Waller and the Tough Street Band, followed by Robert Kimbrough Sr. and the Blues Connection, and Duwayne Burnside with Kenny Brown.
The street party draws a different crowd each Thursday, said Judy Smith, executive director of the Holly Springs Main Street Association.
Hill Country bluesman Kenny Brown is pleased Holly Springs is promoting the blues in the area and in the city.
“This is the only thing that is promoting it,” he said. “Holly Springs has lots of talent and they need to tie that into tourism.”
Diane Lesure, sister of events promoter Charles Terry, is enjoying the talent and potential that is being unleashed on North Center Street on Thursday nights.
“It puts us on the map instead of all this negative,” she said. “We’ve got talent right here.”
New as a biker, Tracy Reynolds of Holly Springs is excited about the attention to biking which he took up several months ago. He likes the music, too.
“I think it’s a good thing and a good fellowship among bikers,” he said of the Thursday night biker rallies. “I’ve met a lot of different people from different walks of life. It’s about having a good time and sharing stories of the bike experience. It is letting people see there is a positive side to riding bikes. Just to be doing it here in Holly Springs, it is bringing a different atmosphere and them (outsiders) seeing what we have to offer. It’s about the blues and is a positive for North Center Street and Falconer.”
Reynolds said parents are bringing their kids out to the event which speaks to the safe environment and provides something different for kids to do. He hopes to see biker’s night grow into a bigger event next year.
Reynolds started riding a Honda Night Hawk 750 and rides with Charles Terry, Donald Street, Dura Moss, Robert Pearson, David Beckley, Marcus Hicks and Kevin Reynolds. He is also a member of the Heavenly Riders club in New Albany.
Most of the riders showing up for the rally Thursday were local ones or bikers from Memphis, Tate County, Batesville and the Delta, he said.
Some of the bikers who participated at last week’s rally included “Snake” with King Riders in Memphis, Tenn., Andy McMillon, Everette James of Batesville, “Bro” from Coldwater, Chief Pearson and Beckley, president of Rust College.
Musicians and sound stage experts included the following – students Omar Cumberbatch and Perry Johnson Jr. with Rust College Mass Communications setting up equipment; Leroy Hubbard (guest who plays electric bass); Adrian Massey (drums); Artimus Lesure (electric guitar) and James Hall (bass guitar); Brown Sugar (singer with Ralph Waller); Glen Faulkner (saxophone); Adrian Massey (keyboard); Willie Mae Alshadly (singer); and Little Johnny Taylor with Ralph Waller; and Duwayne Burnside and band with Kenny Brown.
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