Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Rhonda Benin

Rhonda Benin's Birthday Concert at Yoshi's was a wonderful pre-Mardi Gras. The band was top notch and Benin, what can one say, her repertoire was fabulous and I hope she gets more gigs and doesn't relocate back to Los Angeles where the business is calling her. The songs ranged from rarely heard Stevie Wonder Ballads, where only one person could name that album...and he was at my table, my friend Kenneth Cobb, to samba remixes we--well I had to get up and dance to. Her Creator Has a Master Plan, was magnificent...the opening riffs African calls to the orisha. Benin was joined on her birthday by another guest that night, who offered her cake...the sugar high making them a bit rowdy, but it was all in fun. It was the guitarist, Charles Spikes, who stood out the most, outside of Benin, of course and Tammy Hall on piano, with his soulful solos. This wasn't to say, Ron Belcher on bass and the superb horn section with Mark Wright and Charles McNeil on tenor, weren't hitting the high notes...of course they were, it's just brother on guitar was on fire!


The drummer who came as a package deal with Belcher-- Rhonda even introduced them as a package, Ron and Robert Rhodes, was also hot! Rhonda mentioned the stimulus plan...something to get the folks into the clubs again...away from the TV. I'd have to include radio. I don't have the box and many channels like 20 and 44, I think 36 too, are gone and with them, many of the shows I used to watch. I can still get Channel 9, 7 and sometimes 5.


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