Winter Park / Live Music: Three great musicians, one time show | SkyHiNews.com

Winter Park / Live Music: Three great musicians, one time show

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

For the fourth year in a row, Albert Cummings and Tommy Shannon have accepted an invitation from the Grand County Blues Society to perform at Smokin’ Moe’s in Winter Park.

Drummer George Rains is joining them for the second year, which will be the only time Cummings, Shannon and Rains will play together as a trio this year in the United States.

“Shannon’s one of the most important musicians in the world. Of all the people we bring to Grand County, he’s the most decorated,” said Blues Society President John Catt.

Shannon’s repertoire includes playing with the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and he flew in by helicopter to Woodstock to play bass for Johnny Winter.

He began playing bass professionally in high school – influenced by the playing of Jimi Hendrix.

Similar to that of his old partner Vaughan, Shannon is modest about his vast accomplishments and talent.

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Although he doesn’t tour much anymore, Shannon helps keeps the Austin, Texas music scene alive. Shannon has made Austin his home and audiences there adore him almost as much as Catt does.

“Tommy is the most loved and respected musician in Austin,” Catt said. “He has Grammys, gold records, and an eventual spot in Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

“What you don’t know is he loves Grand County and he really loves snow. We are so proud of our friendship with Tommy and we are excited he is coming back.”

Shannon said audiences can expect a “kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band with well-picked music,” and that he’s been very impressed with the Grand County Blues Society.

“I’ve loved it up there since the first time I went up there,” he said of Grand County. “Everybody’s easy to work with and nice. I look forward to it every year. It’s kind of like my vacation.”

He said he’s lucky to get to play with top-of-the-line musicians like Cummings and Rains.

“Just about everything we do is spontaneous,” he said. “That draws more out of me … that gets me inspired.

“That’s what I live for … to play, especially with great musicians.”

Cummings, a fourth-generation master carpenter and first-generation master guitar player, is “one of the most intense guitar players out there,” Catt said. “Let’s face it – he can bring Tommy Shannon in from Texas for one night because it’s magic.”

Catt expects Cummings, a regular on B.B. King’s tour, and “a special friend of the Blues in Grand County” to show off his musical history in this one-of-a-kind reunion show.

“It’s like a dream every year that we get to do this,” Cummings said. “It makes it that much more special.”

“The past shows have been extremely entertaining because of the unexpected,” Catt said. “Tommy Shannon and George Rains are the rhythm section guitar players dream about.” And, although Cummings has a Stevie Ray influence like Shannon, Catt said, “he is also his own musician.”

Among many other prestigious gigs throughout the years, Rains, a “seasoned pro,” plays drums in Jimmie Vaughan’s band, played on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Live at Carnegie Hall” and Willie Nelson’s blues disc, “Milk Cow Blues.”

“He is one of the most recorded drummers in the business,” Catt said.

Rains, Cummings and Shannon invite everyone to “come on out and you’ll have a good time.”

Shannon said he hopes to do the shows as often as the Blues Society will have them.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I appreciate the audience – every one of them,” he said.

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