The early sunset occasioned by Daylight Savings Time can make life seem dark indeed. Listening to the blues somehow lifts the mood, as if misery is positively effected by company.
This distinct musical form is built around a warped pentatonic scale and a song structure derived from call-and-response singing. The blues has become the basis for nearly every form of American popular music over the past 100 years; jazz, rhythm and blues, rock, hip-hop. Listening to Muddy Waters as a 14-year-old hooked Jontavious Willis on the blues. Listening to Jontavious Willis and Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton will dispel any malaise, at least for the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m. at Poplar Knight Spot in Aberdeen for the general admission show, which begins at 6:45 p.m.
Hailing from Greenville, Ga., Willis grew up singing gospel music at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with his grandfather. Since an early age, he had the talent and passion for the music and the ability to sharpen his skills fast. At the age of 14, he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man” and was instantly hooked.
Living legend Taj Mahal, described him as the “Wonderboy” and “the Wunderkind.” In 2015, Mahal asked Willis to play on stage with him. The audience roared in approval and led Willis to bigger stages and broader opportunities, including an opening slot at select shows along the TajMo tour, featuring his musical mentors Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’.
The blues may bring elders to mind, but this evening belongs to the next generation. Jerron Paxton joins Willis on stage of the downtown Aberdeen listening room. Still in his 20s, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920s and making them wish they could stay there for good.This young musician sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion and the bones.
Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He's a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character His sound is clearly influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and “Blind” Lemon Jefferson.
The Rooster's Wife is a community arts organization dedicated to bringing the best in live music to the Sandhills. Home base is the listening room of Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St. Children are welcome with admission waived for the under 12 set. No BYOB, please; a full bar is available featuring Reverie Cocktails, and Southern Pines Brewing products. Dinner is available on site. Tickets to this general admission show are $20 for members. Annual membership may be purchased online or at the door.
For more information, including the dinner menu, call (910) 944-7502. To purchase tickets online, visit ticketmesandhills.com