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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Paxico Blues Festival

     I've attended a lot of live music events and the one I attended over the weekend in Paxico Kansas was quite unique.

     Here is this little town, near Topeka, with roughly 300 people living there. On the third Saturday of September there's this amazing blues festival. One stage, five performers, and the festival runs from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. This year the headliner was Hamilton Loomis, who I saw perform in Salina, a few years back. The other groups I hadn't heard of before this festival, but I believe they are all up and comers.

     First up were The Santiago Brothers. What a sound. I got to the festival near the end of their set. This group was excellent and I hate it that I missed most of their time on stage. They ended their set with an uplifting gospel song that apparently I forgot to write down the name. Oops! Check out their Facebook page:

     Next up was Kalo. She was there with her full band. She played a great set and bantered back and forth with the audience. Clearly she was a fan favorite. She's just this little bit of a thing with this super powerful voice. When Kalo was bantering back and forth with the audience, I got a Michael Jackson vibe. I don't know why. If you read this Kalo, I mean that as a compliment. She was terrific.
Check out her website:

     Then came Hector Anchondo. It was getting quite hot out by the time his set came up but you wouldn't know it. Hector and his band played their hearts out. He did a blues rift version of Black Magic Woman that blew me away. I will never be able to listen to that song the same ever again. I walked away from his set, later in the evening still humming Anchondo's version of that song.Wow!
Check out his website:

     Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal were up next. This group was good. I'm not sure if the heat was getting to me at this point or I was just tired but this wasn't as much to my liking as some of the earlier groups. I was in the minority. The dance floor was crowded with dancers in front of the stage all jumpin' and jivin' to the beat. Pretty amazing because it was hot and the sun was beating down in front of the stage. A crowd favorite to say the least. Check out the website:

     And then came the headliner, Hamilton Loomis. Always a class act. He's super accessible and loves the fans. He was having some issues with the sound throughout his set. Loomis wants it right and wants to make sure the fans get a quality show. It's hard when you've got the equipment outside all day and every band has different requirements. In the end, it's all about the music. Check out the website:

     Not only was their music, but there was food. Several food trucks provided catering if you hadn't brought your own food and beverages. There was a wide variety of hotdogs, brats, chicken legs, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, pretzels, and of course, bar-b-que. Oh almost forgot, the pulled pork tacos which were to die for, so yummy.

    On the sign advertising the blues festival there was an ad for the meatloaf festival which is the last Saturday in June. Who knew there was a meatloaf festival. May have to check that out next year.

     For those who wanted a little shopping with their music and food, there were antique stores and street vendors. The woman from Wichita that was selling the hand dyed hats was doing a brisk business. These hats were colorful and unique.

     It was a great festival. If sure to check out the festival next year. It's worth the trip. Here's a link to the website:

*****There are hundreds of photos from the blues festival and I'll get those up as soon as I can. They'll be on my Flikr page and I'll let you know when they are available to view. It will be sometime this week.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Kelley Hunt

     Kelley Hunt returned to The McPherson Opera House this past Friday night. She brought along her full band from Chicago with her this time.

     Hunt was promoting her Beautiful Bones CD. Many of the songs were familiar ones from her last jaunt through McPherson. She also played a selection of tunes from her earlier CD's. Hunt has this beautiful melodic quality to her voice whether she's singing the blues or something with a bit more of a rock-n-roll vibe to it.

     While on stage, she becomes one with the music and I think this helps to transport her audience to the same place. Proof of this was the folks who got up to dance during the concert. They were lost in the music, had become one with the tunes in the air, and simply couldn't stay seated. Meanwhile the rest of the audience was bee bopping in there seats to this truly memorable music.

     Kelley Hunt is always a hit in McPherson. She played a new tune during the encore, "Stand Up". No word yet when it will be coming out with others on a new CD but I know that plans are in the works for a new CD in the near future.

     Hunt's next stop after McPherson was Kansas City on Saturday night at The Crossroads Music Festival, then it's on to Greensburg, KS on Friday, September 30th at The Twilight Theatre. So if you were unable to attend the McPherson show, you can check out Kelley Hunt in Greensburg. Truly a memorable evening of music and song.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

CFTC-South Hutchinson

     Concerts For The Cause held an event this past Saturday in South Hutchinson to benefit the Nickerson Trap Club. This is a new organization that is just starting up and were in need of a fundraiser to get the organization going.

     The event was held at the community center. Performing were The Soapbox Troubadors, from Hutchinson and The Calm, from Wichita. The venue couldn't have been better. Avenue A Park has a few issues with the lack of a ceiling in the gazebo which causes the sound to be lost on occasion, and the performers having to stare into the sun as it sets during the summer. While there weren't the lovely large trees and grass at the community center, although that is on the way soon; there was plenty of shade for the audience to place their chairs, the sound was just excellent, and the bands didn't have to stare into the sun as they performed.

     If you've missed the outdoor concerts this year, this was a good time to relive those past summers. There were hot dogs, pop, and water, as well as popcorn available for purchase, It was a beautiful night with a gentle breeze. And don't forget some of the best music you will ever hear anywhere. The Soapbox Troubadors played all those well-known songs the Concerts For The Cause crowds have come to know and love. They were followed by The Calm who played terrific songs with amazing beats. The crowd couldn't sit still.

     Concerts For The Cause may be bringing the summer concert series back this next summer to South Hutchinson. Keep watching The Bee for more information next year in early spring on this possible development. The concert was a great success.