Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31st gig at Palace Station

Well, this was an interesting night. A first for me, Santa Fe without the Guiding Light Senior Lopez. Jerry is out of town, so he had Ray Mouton come in and sub the gig for him. Now, Ray is a totally killer guitar player, but I don't know whether he sings or not. He did not this night. I wondered how they'd finesse that, given that Jerry is such a commanding vocal presence, and Jamie cannot do this gig. Plus, Lenny has been in a terrible struggle the past couple of weeks with a severe bout of pneumonia-like malaise. His pipes are just about gone.

Not to worry. First, Dr. Lenny showed up anyway, and gave it his all, with Tyriq, Tony Davich (a real bonus to have Tony there), Mike Gonzales, and Abe LaMarca stepping up to fill in the blanks as needed, right within tunes. As I was roaming around taking pictures, I heard, more than once, sotto voce, from the stage, "I got your back, man."


There were places where you could clearly hear 5-part harmonies that were so strong, and so right on the money. Like, what's to be concerned about? Major props to Lenny for suckin' it up and throwin' down irrespective of his health struggle. Props to everyone else as well. Stones, man. You cats are in a class all by yourselves.

There was no holdin' back on the tune selection, either. I may have missed a couple, but I know they did

  • Just Kidding
  • Brother to Brother
  • I Feel Good
  • Negrita
  • Get Your Feet Back On The Ground
  • Wishing Well
  • Indian Summer Day
  • You Don't Know Me
  • Pack it Up
  • Living For The City
Ray fried on guitar all night, and the hump was squeaky-tight stompin' in the pocket. Rochon and Pepe just thundered away. Everyone's rides soared intensely.

Misson accomplished.

A few shots...

See y'all tomorrow night at The Palms. 10:30. You know it'll be killer.


Painfully funny.

Click the image for the B4MD MySpace site.



Las Vegas Toni Braxton tribute artist Trina Johnson-Finn was to have stood trial on May 26th for her alleged part in the "Phony Toni" scam in Suriname on February 3rd. As reported on May 27th by Pollstar:
The fiasco led to the arrest of Johnson-Finn as well as the promoter, Angel Ventura, who charged concertgoers up to $53.

Now Ventura is claiming he alone was responsible for the scam, and that he promoted the event as a bona fide Braxton appearance, while at the same time told Johnson-Finn the audience was expecting a Braxton impersonator.

“I never said to the prosecutor that Trina Johnson knew beforehand that she was part of a scam,” Ventura told the judge on the first day of the singer’s trial.

But Johnson-Finn, who has made her living impersonating artists for 20 years, isn’t getting off that easy. Prosecutors claim she intentionally tried to pass herself off as the real Braxton, and Venture’s testimony doesn’t clear her of any wrongdoing.

Johnson-Finn’s Suriname lawyer, Kathleen Brandon, begs to differ, saying her client had been unjustly jailed for three months and that she should be released immediately.

“Ventura told her to go all out as an impersonator and play a role in the whole thing. She thought that everyone knew that she was just an impersonator, but Ventura did not tell anyone in Suriname,” Brandon said.

So far, the judge has refused to release Johnson-Finn.

The judge is reported to now have summarily continued the trial until June 2nd, notwithstanding Ventura's personal mea culpa. Having seen the briefly posted (and then quickly deleted) Suriname YouTube interview wherein Trina arguably appears to be going along with the ruse, I fear that she may well be looking at being found guilty, however spurious any of us might find it.

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