Last night, Cat and I went out to see the legendary Wanda Jackson!
Nat, at The Elmdale House Tavern, scored a coup and managed to book her for two nights. Wanda is AMAZING and had the audience screaming. She was backed by the stellar Lustre Kings (not to be mistaken for the Reggae band of the same name) who also opened for her. Even without Wanda, it would have been an amazing show.
Being right up front (thanks to Ray and Michelle keeping seats for us… I had to go in to my office right across town for a rush job and would have been lucky to get standing room by the back door had they not…) I had a rig-side seat for one of the best shows I have been to in my life! I managed to get video of part of the Lustre Kings set and (I think) the entire Wanda set.
Early in the day, Ray got a call from Nat, the co-owner of The Elmdale, asking if he could “bring along his equipment” for the show. Mark Gamsjager, the guitarist for The Lustre Kings, as luck would have it, is suffering from some sort of back pain and was, when Nat called, sitting in the Emergency Room at a local hospital and was likely not going to be able to play. Ray spent the day sweating and learning all of Wanda’s set-list. Ray was both enormously relieved and mildly disappointed (and profoundly honoured to be considered) when, late in the day, Nat called to let him know that Mark was heavily medicated but able to make the show. At least he was able to enjoy the show, himself.
The chance to play back-up for a rock-and-roll, Rockabilly, and Country music legend of the caliber of Wanda Jackson would have been a true honour, I am sure.
The Legendary Wanda Jackson at the Elmdale Tavern Hotel, September 3, 2009 ~ Backed by the stellar Lustre Kings
More videos of the evening here