With a song in their hearts, Heart of Texas musicians jammed at Brady’s Burgers Friday, June 12.
The concert was a fundraiser to benefit the families of Truman Farris and Jerry Thomas. The latter was killed in the mid-May accident which resulted in severe injuries to Farris.
A respectable, though less-than-capacity, crowd braved imminent storms to gather around the platform stage in the parking lot. They reveled in the talents of the heart of Texas Jazz & Blues Group and a bunch of swell hep cats. (Jazz lingo tossed in for pizazz.) While the band was still setting up, a toddler provided entertainment dancing to “Walk This Way.”
Gusting winds toppled music stands and plastic chairs. Players used numerous clothespins in an often futile attempt to keep sheet music in place.
The inimitable Bill Derrick, resplendent in black Area 51 T-shirt, pink, short-sleeved shirt, khaki shorts and loafers, introduced the first number, “News All Over Town.” They segued smoothly into the distinctive bluesy tones immediately identifiable as Bill Winters’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.”
Thanks were given to Marshall Law Office, Richard and Joanne Heady of Serenity Quilts of Many Colors and Frank and Marilyn Gendusa, major contributors. Paul Clark, vocalist, absolutely nailed the jazz sound on “Don’t Want to be Your Hoochi-Coochi Man No More.” The song was dedicated to Mrs. Gendusa, as it’s one of her faves.
Duke Ellington’s “Pyramid” evoked images of ancient Egypt, especially with the sand blowing around. The penultimate number was tender, seductive “Moonlight Serenade.” Closing the set, Jennifer Marshall joined the group, singing “Miss You So.”
Other members of the group were Bill Randall on bass and Butch (Mr. C) Crudgington, proudly sporting a Longhorns tee, on guitar.
Truman Farris and members of the Thomas family were welcomed with a round of applause. Dignitaries and notables on hand for the event included the mayor, council hopeful Missi Davis, Interim Chief Lance Sides, Randy Young and Wendy Ellis. A bunch of rescue workers showed up for awhile too.
Lost Creek took the stage. They’d have been “up a creek” if the lightning had been much closer. A “side of fries” should be potatoes, not guitar pickers. The sky turned orange and threatening but the crowd did not disperse. Their determination seemed vindicated; though the storm conditions didn’t exactly blow over, they abated considerably.
Halfway through the set, Brendan Weatherman announced that the Brady fire department had ponied up to the tune of $200, bring enthusiastic applause.
One of Lost Creek’s songs bore the title “You’re on Your Own Tonight.” The wonder was NOT being alone; we were a community bound in common purpose. The lovely “You’re Nothing Short of Beautiful” spoke of the assembly as a whole. Wrapping up the set, Lost Creek performed Weatherman’s composition, “Why Do I Love You Like I Do?” which Marshall said was one of her new favorites.
Next up, Wes Nixon, Jordan Minor and Jason Marbach. Light poles swayed, bulbs flickered and there was a loud “pop.” “We’re gonna make some noise or fry tryin’!” quipped Nixon. At 10 p.m. a canopy was erected to protect the amp system from the elements. Thunder rumbled as Marbach sang a song about rain. The song ended as the drops which began lightly now came in earnest.
Listeners sought shelter afforded by the covered deck, the set closed with due haste. Time to pack and go home, in my case, or to someone’s parents’ garage. Ah musicians, when they’re geared up, it takes time to unwind. It was a terrific few hours, even if no one played “Do You Wanna Rain Dance” or “Stormy Weather.”
People with good hearts got together to bring a ray of sunshine to the cloudy days still ahead for some members of the community. That’s what life in a small town is about.