Winter Park / Live Music: Blues trio returns for rare performance
April 3, 2009
In a rare chance to see three blues greats in one show, the Grand County Blues Society presents Albert Cummings, Tommy Shannon and George Rains in Winter Park. A concert featuring the outstanding trio is scheduled Saturday.
Cummings, named Blueswax Artist of the Year, is a master guitar player and a regular on the B.B. King tour. His guitar playing is said to resemble “someone trying to dismantle a guitar on stage and then tickling it like a baby.” He is “one of the most intense guitar players out there,” said John Catt, GCBS founding board member.
Although if you ask him he’s quite modest about it, Shannon is one of the most decorated artists that the GCBS brings to Grand County. Among his vast accomplishments the guitarist has four Grammy awards (plus 10 nominations), gold records, and Catt says “an eventual spot in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.”
He is also known for his career with the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan (he has also played with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and he flew in to Woodstock by helicopter to play bass for Johnny Winter). With tours kept at a minimum, he currently helps keep the music scene alive in his hometown of Austin, Texas.
He said he has loved Grand County since the first time he came up to the area and looks forward to it every year. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I appreciate the audience ” every one of them,” he said.
Shannon especially appreciates when he gets to play with Cummings and Rains. “That’s what I live for … to play, especially with great musicians,” he said. “Just about everything we do is spontaneous. That draws more out of me … that gets me inspired.”
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“Seasoned pro” drummer George Rains is “one of the most recorded drummers in the business,” Catt beams. Among many other prestigious gigs throughout the years (many with Jimmie Vaughan’s band), he played on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Live at Carnegie Hall” and for Willie Nelson’s blues disc, “Milk Cow Blues.”
During the last four years the trio has played in Grand County, they have developed quite an extensive loyal fan base. “It’s like a dream every year that we get to do this,” Cummings said. “It makes it that much more special.”
Past shows for the GCBS “have been extremely entertaining because of the unexpected,” Catt said. “Tommy Shannon and George Rains are the rhythm section guitar players dream about.”
Tickets, which feature an economic roll-back to $15, are available at Radio Shack, Smokin’ Moe’s, and at the door.