This past Friday evening on the big stage at Grilling On The River, about 65+ years of musical entertainment provided a big Grillin’ crowd an opportunity to shake their hiney’s and take-in the sounds of some down home black prairie blues! Big Joe Shelton, a local blues icon with a long history of blues heritage – and Freeway, with more than 25 years of entertaining thousands in the region – literally wowed the crowd, a crowd of many who had brought their dancin’ shoes. Big Joe has been there, done that, more than once in his colorful, musical life. Shelton and the band warmed up the crowd and got them hyped and ready for Freeway, who put the finishing touches on a magical night of great local music. Tony Bain (of Freeway) rarely ends a song without immediately starting another. No downtime for these musicians…they keep the beat going! It couldn’t have been a more perfect early April evening after watching the temps during the day climb to near 90 degrees. When Freeway hit the stage, the big crowd was ready to rock – and dance! And dance they did. The great thing about doing songs back-to-back without actually stopping is that you catch the crowd dancing…so they never have a chance to stop. It’s shake it till you drop! Freeway (Tony Bain, Mike Chain, Gary Shaw and Bobby Shannon) are old pros at making a crowd dance till they are wore out – then make them dance some more! By the 11 oclock hour, the crowd didn’t really want it to end. It had been a long, hard day for many. But it had also been a historic musical night with most every patron of the 2011 version of Grilling On The River exhausted, but happy and fulfilled. A job well done by all!
Photos courtesy of Chris Jenkins