Blues on the Green
On Sunday September 26 Capital Public Radio hosted a Swell Productions Event; the second annual Blues on the Green. Performers included The Nick Gravenites Band and the Blues Broads with Mick Martin emceeing the event.
The Chicago born and Blues Hall of Famer, Nick Gravenites entertained the audience with stories that accompanied each song. I’ve heard other musicians trying to tell a story regarding a song they’re about to play but never before have I heard anybody peak my interest as Nick did. He has a good story about each of his songs making it more interesting and fun to listen to his Blues Ballads. He had wonderful tales to tell that peaked everyone’s interest.
Nick sang a couple of my favorites; Born in Chicago, There’s no Blues in California (I’m not sure if this is the exact name) and Since the Gas Station Left Town. Mick Martin came on stage a few times to accompany the Nick Gravenites Band playing the harmonica. Other fan favorites included songs he wrote for Janis Joplin and other bands in the late 60s and early 70s
Some people in the audience had no choice but to get up and dance. The music was heartfelt and you couldn’t help but enjoy the music and dance. Wine, beer, food and Capital Public Radio merchandise was on sale at different stations. At the beginning of the concert everyone tried to find a shady spot to sit but after a few songs it’ didn’t really matter people just tried to sit closer to the stage.
After the Nick Gravenites Band ended their performance Mick Martin came onstage. He thanked some sponsors and Swell Productions for putting on the show. At this point Mick Martin was recognized for his contributions to the Blues in Sacramento. A California Senate Resolution award was given to him for his work in promoting the Blues. He was quite touched and grateful to receive the recognition.
Soon afterwards he introduced the Blues Broads. Angela Strehli started the set by singing Austin’s Home of the Blues. Each of the Blues Broads took turns singing lead vocal. They sang a total of 18 songs and came back for one encore.
Tracy Nelson was getting over a cold and was concerned about her voice but she didn’t need to worry her voice came through beautifully on each song that she took the lead on. Her gospel sounds touched the spirits within of all those in attendance.
Dorothy Morrison was great as usual and brought her sister, Diana, on stage to sing Tell me Something Good. Dorothy introduced Diana and indicated that she lives in Sacramento.
About a third of the way through their set Annie Sampson was singing Baby Blue and as she sang her voice became quite penetrating. She sang that song to perfection and it really touched me. After that, each song on the set just got better.
The Blues Broads finished their set with Oh Happy Day. Mick Martin came back on stage to ask the audience to show their appreciation for the Blues Broads and the audience enthusiastically responded. He then asked the Blues Broads to come back on stage for one last song Jesus I’ll Never Forget was their encore.
1 – Blues Mick Martin
2. – Nick Gravenites, 3 to 7 – Nick Gravenites Band
8 – Mick Martin Recognition, 9 – Mick Martin
10 - Blues Broads, 11 – Angela Strehli, 12 – Dorothy Morrison, 13 – Tracy Nelson, 14 – Annie Sampson
15 to 19 - Blues Broads Band
20 – Angela Strehli, 21 – Sisters Dorothy and Diana, 22 – Dorothy, Tracy, and Angela