Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Rocking out at the Old School Theater

My friend and colleague Amy Fisher told me about a new music venue in Water Valley--just a short 20 minute drive away.  Luke was playing, along with "world music trio" Agora and Kevin Guyer and the FMA R&B Revue.

Date night was on!  We went down to Water Valley in time to eat at El Charrito's--our long time favorite Mexican restaurant for the last 13 years.  We pulled into the parking lot, which was empty of cars, and so was the building.  What?  I know it has been a while since we have been here, but....but...

The show started at 7, and that rapidly narrowed our options.  We drove down the street toward Sonic, when looming out of the evening twilight was a new, and larger, El Charrito's!  Mmmm...tacos al carbon for me.  While we were paying out, Rand asked, "So, when did you all move?"  Cinco de Mayo was our grand opening.  Okay, so it really has not been that long since we were there.

Old School Theater is located in the old 1949 Administration Building of the former Jeff Davis School.  I knew the theater was in the area of the former school, but the address had identified it as in the Melon Vine Marketplace, and the photograph with the long porch across the front of the building meant it looked a lot different from the last time I was there, photographing the old National Youth Administration constructed vocational building that sat behind the school.  On walking in, there was no mistaking the auditorium directly in front of us.  Even prior to the show, I was sold, because someone saw the important of preservation and re-use of buildings lots of folks would just as soon demolish for a quickie pre-fab with a fake veneer.

The new music venue is the work of Foster Music Arts, and an effort to promote regional music in the Water Valley area.  Opening was the very talented songwriter/singer, Luke Fisher.   If you have never heard Luke in a venue with good acoustics, and people listening to music rather than talking loudly, you have never heard Luke.

Agora--Acoustic World Music Trio features Andres Diaz, Amy Fisher, and Ricky Burkhead. Andres Diaz has the most amazing voice and sings in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French.  I was literally dancing in my seat.

The last set of the evening was Kevin Guyer and the FMA R&B Revue, a group local musicians who actually played together in performance for the first time last night--although they had rehearsed previously.  Guyer and Bays play in the linked video, but you really needed to be there for the stage full of musicians.  After a little bit of everything rock, blues, and soul thrown in, the entire cast of the evening closed out the show featuring Luke rocking out on electric guitar and singing lead vocals.

I have to say that I have not left any event in a long time with the sense of joy, uplift, and downright pleasure and peace as I did leaving that old school auditorium last night.   I will be at the next show. I'm gonna get my funk on again.

No comments: