Last Sunday, my husband and I went to Blind Willie’s, a well-loved blues club in Virginia Highlands, to celebrate a momentous occasion: the city of Atlanta is now smoke-free! Yes, thanks to the efforts of the Smoke-Free Atlanta Organization with the enthusiastic support of the Atlanta Blues Society, music lovers can now go to any club in the city and not come home with smoke in their clothes and hair and lungs choked with other people’s smoke! Musicians now have the choice to pursue their careers without putting themselves at risk in smoky clubs every night! And so we gathered to celebrate the way we celebrate most things: with live blues!
The Larry Griffith Band started us off in fine form, playing songs mostly from Griffith’s new album Bonafide. I chose that album for one of my top 50 for 2019 here on Making A Scene and listening to Larry do these songs certainly confirmed that. The man has an easy way with an audience, too, and knows how to tell a funny story. Add to that a great band, and it is no wonder he has been a favorite in Atlanta for a long time.
The next entertainer, Jontavious Willis, has not been performing publicly for more than a few years, but that is because he is only 23 years old! He has been described as an “old soul” and listening to him do the songs of days gone by, like “Big Legged Woman” and “I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts of Town,” one would have to agree. He is perfect at catching the slyness of the humor in those songs yet versatile enough to also do Prince’s “You Don’t Have To Be a Star.”
After Jontavious, we were treated to Rae and the Royal Peacocks, who have won the Atlanta Blues Challenge twice and gone to the semi-finals in the International Blues Challenge both times. Rae was lovely in her sparkly dress and she and all the Peacocks made us all feel sparkly, too! Every member of this band is fabulous in his or her own right, and together, they are magic!
It was a great night out in Atlanta and a wonderful reason to celebrate! Blind Willie’s was one of the first clubs to go smoke-free. It’s been a year fotr them. Northside Tavern was the most recent to make the Internet, so possibly the last! Never let anyone tell you any cause is impossible when people get together!