ALL GOOD, Blues, Soul, Jazz

June 18, 2018



My introduction to the Blues went like this:

I heard a song by Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) when I stayed overnight with a friend and she pulled out an old 78 record player (it had a converter that allowed it to also play 45s)…she put that big 78 on the turn table and played this Muddy Waters tune; “I’m your Hoochie Coochie Man”. I had never heard anything like it! I was 12 years old at the time. I heard it blaring out at me from the old, heavily worn record player she stored under her bed. It left an impression on me. The next time I heard it I was in my twenties and I stopped in my tracks and listened to the entire song in that frozen moment.


To this day I am not certain what a Hoochie Coochie man is…but I do have a great imagination!


When I was 16 years old I heard “A Change is gonna come!” by Sam Cooke. What a thought-provoking song that was to me. The depth of that song was/is breath-taking. 


Last Friday , June 15, 2018 At The Listening Room, I heard Greg Padilla sing this song…”A Change is gonna come”….He absolutely put every ounce of himself into the delivery of that song…it made ya want to weep and smile at the same time.

Two days later, Father’s Day, June 17; I found myself once again sitting in The Listening Room. The place filled up and every soul in there was ready for the re-fueling we would receive from Symone French and Jamell Richardson.


Of course Jamell sang the same wonderful song (no not Hoochie Coochie man)…He sang ”A Change is gonna come”. WHOA! He blew that song out of the water! AND he looked cool while he was doing it. No straining, no standing on his tip-toes to wring out every possible decibel, no painful facial gestures…just a relaxed Jamell doing what he does…MASTER the BLUES! When he sang his original "HERO" it felt great as we (the audience) chanted it  back to him, it felt like being part of the show. "Why Did I Ever Let You Go" is another of his originals that should be in the top 10 by now.. Jamell mastered "The Thrill is Gone" by BB King.


Symone sang a touching song she wrote for her father . It is called "All You Need" and I can’t wait till she has it on a record so everyone can buy it and listen to it over and over. She absolutely conquered Rolling on the River (or Proud Mary)...made me blink and feel Tina Turner was there. I thought she crushed her part of "Ain't No Sunshine When He/She's Gone"! My overall favorite was her rendition of “It’s A Man’s World”. She sang it so well that I almost believed her…(but of course I know it is really a woman’s world.) I think Jamell agreed with me because he kept softly saying in the mic “WOMAN”…I took that as his agreement with my thoughts…”Its really a WOMAN’s world, right Jamell?


They had people dancing, people playing the tambourine and wiggling their derrieres to the music; they had people who are normally reluctant to make a teenie peep…shouting out loud and waving their hands. We happily became crazed robots (well some of us).


Accompanying them on the keyboard was Kelvin McMorris. This man knows how to tickle the ivories…his fingers were dancing all night long…they never got a break. Even when Symone and Jamell were bantering back and forth….Kelvin was filling the empty space with his magic!


I am sure most of you have heard “A change is gonna come”, but I am compelled to add the lyrics in this blog so you will have them should you care to read them and introduce the spirit of that song to your soul.



A Change Is Gonna Come

By Sam Cooke

I was born by the river in a little tent

Oh and just like the river I've been running ev'r since

It's been a long time, a long time coming

But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will


It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die

'Cause I don't know what's up there, beyond the sky

It's been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will


I go to the movie and I go downtown

Somebody keep tellin' me don't hang around

It's been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will


Then I go to my brother

And I say brother help me please

But he winds up knockin' me

Back down on my knees, oh


There have been times that I thought I couldn't last for long

But now I think I'm able to carry on

It's been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will


Thank you again to Jim Pennington (Owner/Operator of The Listening Room)

Thank you Symone French Cobb, Jamell Richardson and Kelvin McMorris for your talent.

Thank you to all who came and wore themselves out clapping and stomping


Juanita Smith

Music Mom





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