Winter Park / Live Music: Ring in New Years with Jimmy Hall
December 19, 2008
With rocker Jimmy Hall helping the Fraser Valley count down to the New Year, the Grand County Blues Society promises another landmark show and a night to remember.
Hall said he’s been making a (song) list and checking it twice, including his version of “Auld Lang Syne.”
“New Years will be rockin’,” said John Catt, founding board member of the GCBS.
The event, Hall’s third Grand County show, is at the Silverado II resort ballroom. The venue is impressive for its size and acoustics.
An amazing vocalist with saxophone and harmonica skills to match, Hall has built his own bonfire of a repertoire.
“I always called it rock ‘n’ soul, rhythm ‘n’ roll,” he said.
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“My best songs come from some sort of connection with my life,” he explained. A Southern boy through and through, born and raised in Alabama, country influence is the deep current in all his music. He combines the country influence with his long-time interest in soul music, born of a family life “steeped in gospel tradition.”
By the age of 20, he and hard-working band Wet Willie, with which he still tours, were
ahead of their time. They shared the studio and stage with big names and helped mold Southern rock.
After a move to Nashville, Hall worked as band leader, vocalist, saxophonist and harmonica player for Hank Williams, Jr. (and still does). The ensemble just finished shows in Florida and there’s talk of a “big tour.”
He formed the Prisoners of Love band with top Nashville musicians and his most recent work can be heard on the CD “Brothers of the Southland.” The project is a collective CD of Southern musicians (including Henry Paul, Steve Gorman, Dan Toler and Bo Bice) due out mid-March. Hall said he’ll also be including several of the songs from that album in the New Year’s Eve show.
Joining him for the show will be Cajun swamp rocker Ronnie Fruge (guitar), whom Hall said brings a Golf Coast-feel to the band, Fruge’s wife Julie (vocals), local musicians Jeff Peterson (bass) and Patrick Brower (drums), and Hall’s oldest son Ryan on keyboard.
His other two sons (Alex on drums and keys and Jonathan on guitars) are also on their way to becoming accomplished musicians, and have been invited to play. Hall’s wife will also be able to join the audience this year, as well as some close friends, and “we’re all going to have a good time,” Hall said.
Tickets are available by calling, going online, and at Radio Shack in the Alco center in Fraser.