Day Three was hectic as everyone scrambled to see so many great acts, with many of them performing at the same time on different stages. So much talent teemed throughout the four stages, as MAYLEE THOMAS, BUDDY WHITTINGTON, MONTE MONTGOMERY, WES JEANS, LANCE LOPEZ, GARY HOEY, ERIC GALES and DEREK ST. HOLMES were all entertaining the split crowds.
Fortunately, I got to see a few minutes of many of them, along with REVOLUTION, an under-20 band that showed great promise. The kids showed that the blues are still alive, even in artists so young.
Soon, it was time for the eclectic ANDY TIMMONS and he showed why he is in great demand and has opened for KISS and ALICE COOPER.
The current Dallasite came out to cheering from the large and enthusiastic crowd and his onstage sound check turned into an opening jam session that delivered an energy that would continue throughout his set.
The uptempo riff on “Deliver Us” contained an aggressive bass from Mike Daane on the guitar-driven instrumental. Mike has been with Andy for over 30 years and the cohesion showed in the complicated chord switch during “Ascension.”
A heartfelt beginning to “Next Voice You Hear” directly affected many listeners as the passion of the song was matched by Andy’s look of vulnerability seldom passed from entertainer to fan. The emotion matched the forthcoming solo and in-your-face bass, with its multiple chord manipulations.
The bond stayed intact as Timmons played the anthem-like start of “Theme From a Perfect World,” also the title of his latest album. The singular notes were both hard-edged and simplistically easy at the same time, and told a captivating story through the melody. Its extended version brought other musical genres into play to everyone’s astonishment.
Timmons jumped in front of the amps and made his Ibanez scream with the fast-paced “Super ’70s.” It was hot outside, and got even hotter for the thematic “Pink Champagne.” A tribute to THE BEATLES in “Leaving Home/Strawberry Fields” stayed true as an homage, yet still embodied a flair of his own that showed his love for the superstars.
Daane’s solo segued into “Electric Gypsy,” which delivered a genuine flavor to the audience. The haunting opening of “Cry For You” gave way to expressive notes that sounded like mourning and set up the mood Andy wanted for the closing song. Fans could feel the passion during the set-ending jam and gave him the standing ovation he earned.
The anticipation immediately began for TED NUGENT. Several war veterans came out to present Ted with a plaque and honorary membership into their organization for his work with veterans. They also gave him a cut vest which pleased Uncle Ted immensely.
He thanked them and shook their hands one by one, then turned to the audience, saying “God Bless Chuck Berry” and exploded into a raucous version of “Johnny B. Goode.” A solo turned into a jam that turned into a fast fret screaming finish.
Getting some feedback on his Gibson Byrd Land, he told the crowd, “If I need any hum, I’ll find a fat girl!” Ted threw political correctness out on its ass, but then honored our country with “The Star Spangled Banner” with his tremolo note picking. The Motor City Madman paid tribute to the roles of musicians before him before launching into “The Great White Buffalo.” A throbbing bass and a pounding drum beat enthralled the crowd on either side of his mesmerizing solo. Dancing and head bobbing were the primary crowd reactions to this usual concert-ending song.
Telling the audience to say, “Thank you, Uncle Ted,” he played what he has deemed to be the greatest love song of all time, the boisterous “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.” The fans agreed on his ranking and loved the musical authority required of a rock star to play a love song like that.
The excitement rose a notch as band member DEREK ST. HOLMES came aboard to sing one of the songs he wrote, “Hey Baby.” Nugent, a former member of THE AMBOY DUKES has always let everyone around him shine and let himself be a backing musician. St. Holmes, animated onstage and stoic off of it, brought another helping of energy, played dual solos with Ted and brought everyone into the fold for a helluva jam session. That’s always been a key to Nugent selling over 30 million albums in a career that has spawned 34 albums, including a stint in the power rock supergroup, DAMN YANKEES.
The always controversial board member of the NRA strummed the distinctive opening of “Stranglehold” and was almost drowned out by the zealous and deafening crowd.
Ted and Derek traded spotlights, then started an improv session by the band that left a lasting impression on loyal fans and created new fans out of non-believers. Ted fingered the fret board with more energy than a 68-year-old should be able to muster and the non-drinker and non-smoker attributed it to his vigorous lifestyle regimen.
Nugent left to a standing ovation and the crowd clamored for an encore. Unfortunately, a sound mix-up ended the set, but the audience was still thrilled with what they did get to hear. With extended versions, he still played for over an hour and gave his fans most of his biggest hits.
The three days of the Dallas International Guitar Festival always bring out some of the best guitar slingers around. Jimmy Wallace also heavily promotes the kids, the ones who will carry on the tradition of the blues in the years to come. The stars always have fun and most of them interact with their fans as openly as possible. It’s a fun time for everyone involved. Special thanks to Jo Ann Holt for the work she did and assistance she gave to all.
LIVE IMAGES: GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: DAVID SIMERS