Thursday, June 12, 2014

Halcyon Nights: W. C. Handy Blues Festival

Davina and the Vagabonds bringing down the house. photo credit, WC Handy Blues Festival @HandyBluesCrew
Yesterday evening, when Jim and Ranger got home, I woke up our napping girls and pushed everyone out the door.

The rainy, cloudy day was clearing, turning into a perfect night for sitting in a park on a blanket watching the sun set and the moon rise.

After a short drive to Henderson, Kentucky, we arrived at the W. C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival at the city's waterfront Audubon Mill Park.

Even in the parking lot, my reluctant crew started dancing to the irresistible magic of Davina and The Vagabonds. The potent energy of live (wailing) music and early summer evenings caught us all immediately and held us long past normal bedtimes.

I'm not able to write anything about Davina and the Vagabonds that successfully captures the energy and brilliance of their performance and music. Please listen to her newest album, especially Flow, which I hope my kids will love as much as I do.

John Nemeth & the Bo-Keys, photo: W.C. Handy Blues Festival

We're really lucky to live near one of the best blues gatherings in the nation. The only thing more astounding than the line-up and the gorgeous setting is the festival's deep community commitment. The Handy festival is totally free and open to all.

Davina and the Vagabonds yielded the stage to John Nemeth and the Bo-Keys with Percy Wiggins who carried the evening's allure into enchantment with new roots music like "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It."

Barges on the river slowed their pace to listen longer and periodically raised their horns to greet the crowds. Fireflies and children danced as sunset turned to twilight to moon glow.

Cool breezes from the river carried the music to the splash park fountains.

It was a gorgeous night. A night to remember, and a night to repeat.

What opportunities will you seize this summer?

 *** Baby Toolkit is the sporadic story of a couple geeky Midwesterners and their kids. Though we benefit every year from the miracle that is the WC Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival, we have no fiscal relationship with them that they don't offer freely to everyone else. We're Amazon affiliates, so if you purchase through our Amazon links, a small portion goes to us and pays our domain fees every year (thanks!).