Sunday, June 01, 2008


I saw the greatest concert tonight.

I was given a ticket by a fan of the opening act, Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band. I can't find a good explanation of the group for you, perhaps you'll do better than I. The short version is that Otha Turner was a band leader who played the homemade fife and kept this very specific style of music going in the Mississipi Delta. A few years ago he died and the only person who had studied with him was his granddaughter so at the age of 14 this extraordinary young woman inherited the leadership of her grandfather's unique band. She's 18 now and she's everything you wished you could be at 18 and then some. She has 3 marvelous young men backing her up in drums and she's a show woman of the highest order. Oh yeah, and she makes her own fifes just like her grandfather taught her.

They were opening for Toshi Reagon. I've heard her music before and I liked it but tonight she did mostly covers of serious blues songs and she just brought the house down. She has range and heart and she's brilliant and her use of language just makes me want to melt.

Oh, where were they playing? About 5 blocks from my house. Yeah, all that and I walked home in about five minutes. What more could I possibly ask for? I do not know. It was glorious and I want to do it again.


  1. Anonymous11:26 PM

    I've seen Toshi Reagon before too - she's great - and she's also from a musical family, her mom was / is? in Sweet Honey in the Rock.

    The other act sounds wonderful!

  2. Yeah, her mom is Beatrice Reagon Johnson (sp?). I've now borrowed some Toshi from Audio Girl but I'm kind of bummed that I can't get a recording of Sunday's concert which was all traditional blues stuff that just rocked my soul.