Mills, Bledsoe, Boots Live

April 17, 2018

It was Friday 13th, 2018. Well I have always walked a little more weary and stepped a little more uneasy on FRIDAY the 13th because danger lurks and bad things might happen, according to traditional beliefs. I can tell you that this Friday 13th was grand…no danger, no bad things, just FINE music with talented artists.


My son, Eric Erdman and I were downtown for the SouthSounds Music Festival to see Frankie Boots, Lisa P. Mills and Brenda Bledsoe at The Listening Room. I must say the trip was certainly worth it. 


My hero is Lisa P. Mills who has the blues in her soul. She has called herself a balladeer many times. Of course I have a general idea of what ballad means but I looked it up to be certain and learned It is usually a story of emotional urgency. Bingo!…Lisa’s music always includes deep emotions, not necessarily in the words themselves but in her magical delivery. I believe she could sing the phone book and you would feel like you just got off a high speed roller coaster. This lady has the music in her like no other. She has the music in her so much that she has to release it to the world to keep from exploding. She gets on the stage, plays that guitar and pushes out so much sound that you wonder how she had that much inside her small frame. It is amazing how she can go in to an empty space and fill it up with her voice from the rafters to the floor; she fills every spot when she sings.


I love her songs and my all time favorite line in any song ever is…”I don’t wanna be happy, I just wanna be with you!” I absolutely love this. I think most women have known that feeling at some point in our lives. It makes me smile every single time I hear her sing those words. Lisa’s music does what music should do, it makes you FEEL!


I had not heard Frankie Boots before last night. He is a bit more on the country side of music and he looks the part with boots and that white cowboy type hat he wears.  He hails from Northern California but currently resides in New Orleans. I was not surprised to hear him say the biggest issue for him in our area (Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) is our muggy, humid weather. It is not just hot down south, it is hot and wet and usually very difficult for those who are not accustomed to the Muggy side of life.  He sang a song called “Down on Geary Street” from his CD “Frankie Boots and The County Line”. This song says “I hang my hat but not my head down on Geary Street” “We put speakers in the window and bottles in brown bags down on Geary Street”…”Well I think I’ve seen it all down on Geary Street”. 


Another song I remember was the one called “Cadillacs and Guitars”. He told the story of being the proud owner of a Cadillac convertible that caught fire soon after he bought it and it cost more to repair than the estimated value of the car. Yet he had it repaired and enjoyed it before it ended up in its resting place in a field with other cars in similar condition.


I met Frankie’s girlfriend as she was handling his merchandise in the back of the room. We talked for a while and I found her to be delightful. She was easy to get to know and was my kind of person to spend time with. I would love to call her a friend. I bought all three of his CDs.


Brenda Bledsoe also performed. I have known her for years as she has been at many of Eric’s shows and has performed with another musician in Mobile; his name is Stephen Lee Veal. For most of the time I have known Brenda, she played her flute. Then she would do backing vocals. Now she has evolved into a full-fledged singer/songwriter. I was pleasantly surprised by many of her songs. I loved “Dirty Water”. I really enjoyed the song about a mother’s love that never ends (as a mother who adores her sons…I felt it deeply).

The song about protecting the earth was wonderful too. The native American flute that she played at the beginning of that song blew me away. The deep sounds of that particular flute vibrated to my soul. Thank you Brenda for my first time hearing a native American flute played by a true flautist. You were wonderful tonight!


A well known trumpet player popped in and was asked by Lisa, to join her on the last song. It was the great Chip Herrington. He had his trumpet in the car and quickly retrieved it. The sounds that he made with his trumpet lifted everyone up and made for a grand finale to the evening. Lisa and Chip finished the show with perfection!


The Listening Room provided a show to remember and a grouping that worked well together.


Thanks to Jim Pennington, Lisa P Mills, Brenda Bledsoe and Frankie Boots for a great night!

Thanks also to Chip Herrington for the extra sounds that made that last song wonderful!


Juanita Smith

Music Mom


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