On Saturday, August 25th, a mighty noise of guitars filled the air at Darwin’s, additionally spiced by drums, harmonicas, keyboards, and voices. It was the 3rd Annual Guitarama, hosted by Danny Vinson. Vinson has for years been part of The Cazanovas, and he and his bandmates Pete Maier (drums), Harold Patillo (bass), and Valerie Waters (keyboards), backed nearly everybody up all night long, while The Cazanovas’ harmonica genius Maurice Nazarro stepped in to blow some magic and add some soulful vocals too during the evening.
Things started out with an artist new to me, Jacob Mitchell Bush, an extremely talented young guitarist who took the stage with his father and his grandfather who sang, played harmonica and even danced a bit before turning it over to the young’uns.
Now I will probably get the acts out of order, as I was absorbed in the music and not taking notes. But here’s who played. Colin Alvarez did a great set, with the amazing Daryl Lee taking over bass at the last minute. Alvarez is really breaking out in Atlanta, and the crowd loved him at Darwin’s. Mark D’Alessio showed his impressive skills and brought along a great surprise, Ira Makin of The Vipers, to provide vocals. Frankie Robinson brought along other members of Frankie’s Blues Mission to do a solid set.
Everything went smoothly as the music rolled along flawlessly, with one fantastic guitarist after another.
And then it was time for the headliner, who happens to be my favorite guitarist and a super talented songwriter and singer, Jeff Jensen. He didn’t have his bassist, Bill Ruffino, with him and that seemed a bit odd as we have never seen them apart in the many times we have seen Jensen, but he did have his drummer, Atlanta’s own David Greene. It was great fun to see Jensen play with Vinson, and the legendary Jeff Bakos joined them on harmonica. We had to leave at midnight, and they were still playing. Let me take a moment here to say thanks to Jeff for the hug and I really loved that shirt!
Thankfully Darwin’s was packed so a heap of people got to experience all this greatness and the bands got a lot of appreciation. Kudos to Darwin’s staff, for keeping the food and drinks flowing with your usual finesse. So much respect and appreciation for Danny Vinson for organizing all this and to The Cazanovas for backing up all the bands so wonderfully. And thanks to every musician who came out to play and provide such a perfect evening!