Last weekend I attend the Jacumba Blues Festival, about 50 miles up the hill. I didn’t know they had a music festival until I ran into some talented musician friends at the fair, and they invited me.
It was a 2nd annual event, and knowing the mad skillz of my friends, I was very excited. If you don’t believe me, I have the T-shirt to prove it! The event is sponsored by the Jacumba Arts Council.
My friend, Joe Marshall, from El Centro, who is now a long-time resident of Jacumba, is a mover of the musical event. Joe’s bearded mug is on the T-shirt, which makes it a keeper. I heard my friends were playing at 6:30 pm, so I went up mid-afternoon and didn’t get to hear the whole program.
My blues buddies, as it turned out, were an 8-piece combo that did some great sound. It was great to see the Fisher brothers, who are trumpet and trombone players that came as far as Missouri to perform with their Christian brethren from the valley. Also flying in on a jet airliner, was Tom Horne, an excellent blues guitar player, who came from Tennessee to unite with his percussionist brother Bob Horne, from 1st Christian Church El Centro, to bless the ears of all in attendance. Sam Cannon, who grew up in Holtville, came south from Salinas to add to the guitar licks.
The valley was well represented, in players and participants. Brawley’s own “Shades of Blues” was there, and it was my first time hearing them, although I had heard of them in the past. From what I saw and heard, the music was pretty good.
There were a few down sides however, that well… gave me the blues! The wind was blowing, just a little too hard. I really hate the wind! There were also some technical difficulties which were a little annoying, and getting things right, took precious time away. My friends were to go on at 6:30, and sound problems got them started a little late.
The program ended promptly at 8:00 pm which cut into the playing time of the best band playing, which was an injustice to the blues fans in attendance. My friends had prepared and practiced 10 songs, but only got to play five or six. Between the wind, and lack of playing time, I was disappointed, but pleased with the day none-the –less.
Which brings me to the point of this column: How about the Winter Brawley Blues Festival? I drove past the rehabbing Brawley Theater and I personally really like what has happened so far. The front looks very nice! I wish I was a rich man to support the project. It will come with time, talent, and the love of the arts that is alive and well in B-Town.
I can visualize the Valley Jazz being one of the headliners, and in the grassy plaza area in front of the theater, the smells of carne asada, fish tacos, and other fine cuisine from our local groups and fundraisers. Offering an inside musical extravaganza will also keep away my evil nemesis, the wind!
I am not a Brawley resident, but I do worship God at Valley Baptist Church, and have grown to love the community and its many fine residents. I do hope and pray the theater gets completed. Whether it is people or places, I marvel at rehabilitation projects. And if Brawley decides to not take this wise counsel and put together a marvelous music program in their new theater, well it just might give me the blues!