Park Tavern at Piedmont Park in Atlanta was the place to be on labor Day this year as hundreds of blues fans gathered to eat BBQ, listen to hours of great music from five spectacular acts dance and support our favorite non-profit radio station, WRFG, at the 31st Annual WRFG Labor Day BBQ.
Every year one group is chosen as the honoree of the benefit and this year it was long-time fan favorites Delta Moon. In addition to the honorees, who closed out the evening, four other acts performed. Sole Traveler, a relatively new band who have been gaining quite a reputation for talent and showmanship, started things of. They were followed by Frankie’s Blues Mission, Robert Lee Coleman and The Nightowls, and Little G Weevil. These are all big Atlanta favorites.
Highlights this reviewer recalls are Sole Traveler’s excellent version of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind,”Frankie’s Blues Mission covering all their bases with “Big Leg Woman” followed by Joe Tex’s “Skinny Legs and All” and then bringing out Roy Lee Johnson, Robert Lee Coleman and the lead guitarist of the Night Owls duelling with guitars behind their heads (and Coleman dancing across the stage in that outrageous red suit like a man much younger than 71) and bringing on special guest Bennie Mobley on harmonica, and Little G Weevil performing with special guest on harmonica player Hobo Reid and playing some awesome slide guitar.
Dancers crowded the floor early on and the bar and the food station did a brisk business. Everybody had fun mingling and listening, and the evening race by until it was time for the introduction of the honorees. Delta Moon came on the stage looking sharp and took total charge. Tom Grey and Mark Johnson are amazing with their dual guitar playing and Grey in particular is amazing to watch as he sings and plays that amazing slide. They did crowd favorites like “Black Cat Oil” and “Coffee” and just put on a fabulous show.
It was a day that can’t be beat for blues fans. Kudos to WRFG and Park Tavern for putting on such a great event, with help from The Atlanta Blues Society, Fat Matt’s (best BBQ in town) and everyone else that was involved. Here’s hoping they raised a lot of money!