By Rhetta Akamatsu
Sunday, June 9, was a super day at Blind Willie’s The Atlanta Blues Society presented a celebration of women in blues, featuring some of the best vocalists and instrumentalists who just happen to be female and live in Georgia! The show was put together by Diane Durrett, a fabulous blues musician herself.
And what a show it was! Aside from Richard L’Hommedieu, who handled sound, and brief comments from President and Vice-President of the ABS Carlin Smith and George Klein, the entire show was handled by nothing but women. They handled their own equipment and at no point other than those comments was there a man on the stage.
The vocalists, who did two or three songs each, were Kathie Holmes, Donna Hopkins, Devon Gates, Rebecca (Rae) Ellis, Dianne Durrett, Carly Gibson, and Sandra Hall. On drums were Melissa Junebug, Kiana Gibson, and Sandra Senn.
On guitar was the fiery Li Melendez, Donna Hopkins Carly Gibson, Diane Durrett accompanying herself, Julie Holmes and Donna Hopkins accompanying herself. On bass there was Fuji Fujimoto, Tamara Nicolai, and Devon Gates, accompanying herself. Keyboards were Kathie Holmes and Valerie Waters. Kathie Holmes also played flute for her performance and others.ours!
If I have forgotten anyone I apologize. It was one whirlwind of talent for over three hours!
There were so many moments it is impossible to pick one. The packed crowd at Blind Willie’s was wildly appreciative of everything! Things that float to mind are Donna Hopkins tearing up “Hound Dog,” Diane Durrett singing “Summertime,” and the Empress of the Blues Sandra Hall giving a sexily soulful spin to “Ball and Chain,” but those are just a taste from that marvelous feast.
Kudos to the ABS, Blind Willie’s, Diane Durrett and all the women who came out and supported each other and many of whom told me they had so much fun! It was a wonderful day and let’s hope it is going to be a regular event!