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13 Sep 14 Tony Joe White Wows Texas Music Fans

By Sam Moore

Tony Joe White does not tour often. So when word came that he would perform in Lewisville Wednesday night at Hat Tricks, as part of a four-city ride through Texas, I made sure to be there. And I was not disappointed.Tony Joe White 2

Going to a Tony Joe White show is like going to a reunion. You get to see old friends you have not thought about for a while. You get to see a few new ones, as well. For Tony, those are his songs. And he delivers them to his audience with all the love and humor of friends he is introducing to his audience.

He walked out, guitar hanging from his shoulders, harmonica around his neck, sat down and said simply, “How y’all doin’?” He then introduced the one person who accompanied him, his drummer, Fleetwood Cadillac from Mississippi. He then began to play, warning, “It might get real swampy in here tonight!” And it did.

The songs were great. His reach, deep voice has not changed at all, it seems, from the time I first heard “Poke Salad Annie” on the radio as a child. White guided us through his songs like a guide through the swamp. And the trip was pure joy.

I sat at the bar, next to a man who said he had first seen Tony Joe “way back when, at the Dallas Pops Festival.” Almost on cue, White said he was going to play a song he wrote in 1962 and performed for the first time at that festival appearance. The song, “Rainy Night in Georgia,” became a huge hit for Brook Benton.

During his encore, Tony Joe said what we already knew: it has always been all about the songs. Introspectively, he added, “It takes courage to dust off these dreams.” I’m glad he did.

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(Editor’s Note: This story was originally written by Bianca Montes and published by the Victoria Advocate.)

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He crooned.Roberto_Sustaita4_bm_072814_245275_t640

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