Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Pronounced “Re-Ho-Beth,” with feeling, and wow are they proud of this very happening little atlantic seaboard “destination resort” community, that bursts at the seams during the summer, and warmish weather, spring or fall. It’s near D.C., and Baltimore, and you can even take a ferry boat over from New Jersey. And so this beautiful little 2 to 3 day festival has been a winner in this expanded neighborhood… for years. “Dread” greets us in the parking lot, with a big cool and casual smile. He’s a well known DJ announcer with dreads, and speckled with premature grey, and so the nick name. So cool! I’ll bet he even plays tenor, too. Mark Antoine and Steve Cole, guitarists and sax, are opening the evening, and they are on fire. I can hear them from back stage, causing bursts of shouting and clapping. “Hey, you guys, save a little of that for us!”  They were wonderful. Serious soloing. Dread introduces us, and away we go.
I grow more and more happy and appreciative with forty years of history, with lots of personal moments, with my audience of old time friends. Lots of these people know me from child herald. Just a great big house in a nice neighborhood of town. Then there’s Woodstock and Carter-Baron. Howard University and the D.A.R. Sometimes, with big festival shows, and other times on my own. Yeah!! That’s a history! I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
It’s always hard trying to decide a song selection, for these kinds of evenings. These people know every breath I take. I’m tempted to close my eyes and point at my song list, but instead, I spend 45 minutes pouring over my song list, feeling like I SHOULD have thrown darts at the page.
You cross your fingers and go! Soon, feeling so thankful and glad, of 40 years of stuff that people know. Joe Turano’s new arrangements really do sparkle and make me sing differently, and some how, that agitates the band in a different kind of way. The audience gets a newish kind of version of a song they know. We bounce along, and pretty soon, I’m showing off the cover of the new George Duke celebration CD. We enlarged it to be 18inches by 18inches! Right! Here comes my infomercial. We all chuckle, but then go quiet when Larry plays that beautiful, familiar acoustic piano run of delicious chords and notes, that are the signature, of this song, “My Old Friend”. For almost everybody, this is a first listen because we’ve never done it on tour before. We did another first, a hard stompin’, big bandish version of Joe Williams’s “Great City.”
We were obliged to do a quick Jazz Festival 75 minutes, but managed to squeeze in After All, Take Five, We’re in this Love Together, Boogie Down. Thank you everyone for your loyalty to my music, to me, and this style of music.
We signed CDs back stage, and hugged some special guests, and give a big round for Rehoboth Beach. A new setting for me. Thanks!
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