MANNISH BOYS (Live Show)
Source: Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival
Writer: Dorothy L. Hill
The 22nd annual Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival on October 4, 5 and 6, 2007 brought legions of fans from around the world to Helena, Arkansas to again soak up Delta blues on downtown streets filled with food vendors and merchandise booths.
The festival featured artists on four stages which entailed lengthy walks that tested the endurance this year due to the hot weather. With temperatures in the high 80’s during the three days, the most popular beverage was water with beer a close second.
Evenings were mild and everyone was happy that there was nary a sprinkle and there was no need for even a light jacket. Since there had been speculation that the festival would not happen this year, all the “lifers” at the festival were just jubilant to be present once again.
The line-up of talent was strong and anticipation was high as the early birds set up their chairs and got reacquainted.
The Mannish Boys closed out the festival with an aggregation that included Kid Ramos and Frank “Paris Slim” Goldwasser on guitars, Randy Chortkoff on harmonica and vocals, with Johnny Dyer and Finis Tasby taking turns on vocals.
The band served up some hard rocking blues with Ramos taking the lead on scorching solos. Dyer sat on a stool to deliver his Chicago-styled vocals with amazing dexterity. Tasby’s soul vocals were hauntingly beautiful with impeccable timing and control and his rendition of “As the Years Go Passing By” had such splendor that one could hear a pin drop. The Mannish Boys had the excitement and moments of elegance to close the deal on this festival in a big way and they delivered big time.