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Her Grammy-nominated “Memphis Blues” album was produced by Scott Bomar, bandleader and bassist for the Bo-Keys, which opened the night with a fiery set that unfolded like a classic soul revue.
There were searing instrumentals, fueled by a band that included guitarist Charles “Skip” Pitts (a longtime sideman for Isaac Hayes) and trumpeter Ben Cauley, the only survivor of the 1967 plane crash that killed Otis Redding and the rest of his band, the Bar-Kays. The sound was already full of emotion and euphoria when vocalist Percy Wiggins stepped onstage for several songs of pain and redemption. “Anybody celebrating a divorce?” he asked to scattered cheers. “Lord, have mercy.”
Musselwhite also joined them for a few moments, long enough for another scorching harp solo and to declare, as someone who knows, “We got some blues in the house tonight.”