A lot of people were very excited to see Rae and The Royal Peacocks at Darwins Friday night. They are a sort of Atlanta super-group. Long-time area favorites Danny Vinson on lead guitar, Art McNaughton on drums, and Harold Pattillo on bass joined with keyboard wizard Valerie Waters and Rebekah “Rae” Easley on vocals and immediately blew everyone away. So we were all looking forward to the show. The stage looked great with the peacock backdrop and the Danny, Harold, Art, and Valerie were all warmed up.
But where was Rae? It turns out she was unavoidably delayed. That could have been a problem with some bands, but not with these pros. They immediately started the show with a fiery instrumental that showed off the phenomenal skill of this group. They are so good that they could probably have kept the audience entertained until Rae arrived with just instrumentals, but the real treat was when Harold and Danny traded off vocals on some high-energy numbers.I don’t know about everyone else but I have seen both of these musicians multiple times and did not know they could sing! They had the audience cheering and clapping when Rae arrived.
She cane on and with only a few minutes to sync with the band, she launched into “Hound Dog,” the Big Mama Thornton version.She and the band then delivered a sensational set of blues that would have sounded just right at the original Royal Peacock back in its heyday in the 30’s through the 70’s. The set included a phenomenal version of “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do” that was worthy of blues divas like Bessie Smith or Ruth Brown. Rae is that talented. In fact, they all are. Valerie Waters plays keys like she just stepped out of a juke joint jam, Danny Vinson adds showmanship to his amazing guitar skills, while Harold Patillo is a firs-rate bass-player. Art McNaughton is an excellent drummer and at one point he left the drum set to perform an impressive set on the tables and the bar.
Rae and The Royal Peacocks are fairly new, but they sound as though they were brought together by fate a long time ago. It was a great show. and you owe it to yourself to go see them whenever you can.