Bastille Day Bash

By Dallas Embry

The Bastille Day celebr,,ation at Uncle Pleasant's on Friday, July 14, did not come off quite as planned. This was a real shame because there was an excellent buffet as well as some really fine entertainment.

The food, prepared by Charlotte Noel, consisted of bouillabaisse, vichyssoise, Brie cheese, various french breads and a really nice selection of fruit, which included mangoes.

The entertainment began at 7:30 p.m. with Londa Crenshaw, who, even though she was playing for a sparse crowd, gave her usual excellent performance.

Singing her own songs of love, un-love, the mountains of North Carolina, and childhood memories of the Kentucky Derby, Crenshaw showed once again what a professional she is, giving her all, whether there is a crowd of 200 or an audience of one in front of her.

A few more folks drifted in so that by the time Susanne Wood and Frank McGuire went on, they had a fairly respectable crowd cheering them on.

Along with her own songs, including "Shadows On A Dime" and "Heartland" (her tribute to the American farmer), Wood performed songs by John Prine, Bruce Cockburn, Ferron, Steve Goodman, Kris Kristofferson, Bill Ede ("I've Seen Too Many Good Things Slip Away"), Karen Le Van ("Last Night I Had Too Much to Dream") and her accompanist on guitar, Frank McGuire ("Life Can Be Hard"). She also belted out some Janis Joplin, as she is wont to do upon occasion.

I'm certain her performance created some new fans for her.

By the time One Red Romeo made their appearance, the crowd was ready to rock, and the band, made up of Nick Reifsteck (guitar and lead vocal), Bob Strehl (drums), Roger Crowe (bass) and recent addition Alice Stevens (back-up vocals) did not disappoint them.

With two sets of mostly original material, interspersed with the tunes of Neil Young, Elvis Presley and The Grateful Dead, as well as the song which is rapidly becoming their signature tune, "Leon Payne's "Psycho," they had the room rockin'.

From a rockin' version of Woody Guthrie's "Do Re Mi," and Tom Waits' "Cold Cold Ground" to their very own "Hell and Hollywood," "Longest Avenue," "Nevada," "Touch and Run Away" and (one of my favorites), "Clean White Shirt," their combination of rockabilly, pop, blues, roots rock was most definitely crowd pleasing.

It was an evening of fine entertainment and delicious food, and those of us who were there appreciate Vince Callahan's effort in putting it all together, because we enjoyed.