Outside of the Bradfordville Blues Club, flames dance as the fire pit crackles under the inky night’s twinkling stars. Revelers stand around the hot-tub sized blaze, sipping on beers and cocktails while relishing the fried chicken and catfish and French fries served from the club’s clapboard kitchen shack.
After a few moments, the bar’s manager/owner appears and welcomes everyone back inside the club for the evening’s second set.
Rather than return to their seats, patrons head to the stage, filling the dance floor with a hungry anticipation.
Joey Gilmore, a south Florida bluesman, and his band take the stage and the room’s energy builds. A smile spreads across Joey’s lips, showing off his pearly whites, as he strums his vintage Epiphone guitar and leads the audience into a roller coaster ride of blues standards and original tunes.
Beads of sweat build on Joey and the band’s faces as the room heats up. The club’s intimacy – often so ellusive at modern music venues – washes over the audience and they sway and twirl and dance to the strumming chords.
The bassist takes a solo – deep notes pop and staccato – as his fingers dance up and down its gleaming strings. The keyboardist gets lost in his keys and sets the ivories alight with a furious organ solo. The drummer, nearly hidden on the back of the stage, overpowers his shadowy throne and fires a machine gun volley of bluesy beats. And the singer Dottie Kelly pours out heavy, emotional ballads until the band returns from their solo journeys to the soulful quintet that moves and grooves the audience and sweeps the evening into night.
If you’d like to hear a show, the Bradfordville Blues Club live broadcasts every Saturday’s show on the Tallahassee Radio Station 106.1.
Be sure to click on the images below to see them full size.
And click here to see the images from Part 1.