This past weekend was incredible. Artisphere came to Greenville, and since we live in the west end of downtown, we steeped in culture all weekend long. Awesome. Painters, photographers, potters, blown glass, jewelry from all over. And the music. Blues, Jazz, Calypso, Gospel, African Drum and Dance. It was a sensory feast so sumptuous it was impossible to taste everything. But I tried.
My personal favorites were folksy-soul singer/songwriter Amos Lee, who had a crowd of all ages dancing under a perfect Carolina crescent moon Friday night, and Chocolate Thunder and Shrimp City Slim, who performed at the Blues Cafe–most days known as patch of concrete beside Postcards From Paris. Shrimp City Slim is a great blues band from Charleston. Chocolate Thunder, aka Linda Rodney, who has a set of pipes that rank right up there with Aretha and Patti, sang with them on Sunday.
This is a formidable woman. Not only is she a great singer, but the girl puts on a heck of a show. She tore up that stage dancing, and had a good time doing it. At one point, as an introduction to a song she wrote, When a Man Says I Do, she told us, “I come from a long line of strong black women. And I know, you got to keep your eye on your money and keep your eye on your man…cause if you lose one, the other is most likely gone.”
The punch line to When a Man Says I Do is, “It don’t mean he won’t.” And it’s a great song.
But the thing that struck me about Linda was her stage presence. I don’t think she’d mind my saying that she is voluptuous. More voluptuous than I. And…she did not dress in clothing designed to hide her curves. Her bright pink, black and white blouse did not hang down to the knees of her jeans. And the girl was accessorized. She looked great.
She danced like she had the combined gene pool of Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, and that girl from Flashdance. The girl got down, is what I’m saying. And she was not embarrassed one bit by her size. At one point, she slowed it down and sang Summertime, joking, “us big girls got to take it easy.”
Maybe if this whole getting skinny thing doesn’t work out for me, I should consider changing my worldview.