Written By: Jay Smith
It was the overwhelming response from all in attendance at the Jean Gordon Theatre in Wallaceburg on Saturday night.
Another commonly overheard expression. At every table set in the intimate hall, the sounds of toes tapping, hands clapping and laughter would draw similar reactions throughout the room. And then there was the sound that was responsible for all of it – the Stacy Mitchhart Band.
Personally, I expected a good show. I felt educated and knowledgeable when it came to Stacy, his band, their background and accolades. As the house band at B.B. King’s House of Blues, they had to be pretty darn good, right?! In reality, I had absolutely no idea what I was about to be a part of. The Stacy Mitchhart Band doesn’t just “play”. They don’t just have “concerts”. It’s more than a “show”, and much more than “entertainment”, although there are truckloads worth of it once they hit the stage. The Stacy Mitchhart Band is a complete musical experience. One that I recommend you gift to yourself in this lifetime.
Widely recognized as the best show in Nashville and becoming blues icons of their generation, Stacy and his bandmates brought something entirely different to it’s Chatham-Kent audience. Although we all experienced the blues, in it’s truest form, rest assured that no one left with a case of the blues. It was simply impossible not to enjoy yourself.
With a full sound, including saxophone, trumpet, keys, drums, bass, electric, rhythm guitar and more, the acclaimed “Doctor of Blues” and his impressively talented band-mates earned multiple standing ovations during the 99.1 CKXS third birthday celebration.
Organized by Roland Webster of WebCar Productions, the show was both a gift to local music lovers and to the crew at 99.1 whom Roland had promoted shows with previously. Being a Stacy fan himself and having experienced their sound on several occasions, Roland knew exactly what the majority of the crowd on hand did not – this was going to be an epic night. And it was. The crew at 99.1 were given one heck of a birthday present!
Bringing new meaning to the term “front-man”, I’m not sure I have ever saw a more natural, fun-loving, entertaining and talented artist than Stacy Mitchhart. I’ve been lucky enough to have some great memories of having some personal musical legends and idols live on stage. Names like Bob Dylan, Elton John, the Foo Fighters and more. All were admittedly amazing experiences, but none of them gave me the same sensation or sense of fulfillment as this group of “grown up music” playing, blues-loving, Louisiana and Tennessee natives.
If blues isn’t your thing, I didn’t think it was my thing either. “I don’t want to be considered as just a blues artist, but as an artist that is blues-based” says Mitchhart. “I perform my own material, as well as my own arrangements of cover songs. I’ve been influenced by Blues, Jazz, R&B, Rock, Country, Gospel and Latin music. I’ve evolved into much more than just a straight- ahead blues artist,”
With 12 album recordings under his belt, and one of his latest albums, “Live From BB Kings” debuting at #6 on the Billboard Blues Chart, these cats know that they’re doing. Also credited with a recent single reaching#13 on the Billboard Blues Chart, picking up a Grammy nomination (there are several Grammy nods among the band) and Blues awards too many to name, quite simply put, the Stacy Mitchhart Band are leaders of their music world.
Words can’t sum up exactly what was experienced inside the Jean Gordon Theatre on that fated summer-meets-fall September evening in a small Southwestern Ontario town. But I know I’ll never forget it.