New Location, Same Result
Third Trinidaddio Blues & Cultural Festival
Another Success

by Jim Primock

Jaquie Gipson
Of the many things I liked about the first two Trinidaddio festivals, one was its location—at the old train station just below downtown. Another was the preliminary events held the night before the festival itself—a dinner at the Black Jack Steak House followed by a jam at Gino’s. Festival promoter Neil Sexton has opened his own night- club, The Lucky Monkey, during the past year and hosted Friday night’s party there. What a nice place! It’s spacious, well appointed, has good acoustics and a large dance floor.

This year’s main event was held in Trinidad’s Central Park, also a nice setting but bigger than the space available at the depot. Early in the day it looked like we might get rained out but the storm passed and although the air was chilly, we were treated to some top-notch blues. Local acoustic guitarist Jaquie Gipson returned to open the show and once again showed that she can really pick that axe. Blue Diddley, a new band from Fort Collins, was up
Gary Primich
next and they got the crowd moving. The Quattroids, a local group, followed with an energetic set that was shortened by the arrival of the aforementioned storm. The on-stage equipment was covered and the crowd took shelter under various tents. But the show didn’t really stop. Monica Casey & Sandy Weltman had come all the way from St. Louis to perform and weren’t going to be denied, so they set up a little farther back on the stage than the earlier acts and went ahead with their music, taking most of the audience by surprise. That bit of audacity must also have impressed the weather gods because the wind and rain moved out and the festival continued.

Mexican Jerry
High-energy and in-your-face performers, Tempa & the Tantrums were the right band to get the crowd back in front of the stage. Dancing never stopped the rest of the day, as Mexican Jerry & the Albuquerque Blues Connection made their third appearance at the ’daddio. This tex-mex-biker-blues band always boosts the crowd’s energy level (in this case from high to over the top). Gary Primich made the trip from Austin again this year but his regular guitarist was unavailable. No problem. Gary brought in two of his pals, Mike Morgan and Alex Schultz to trade driving rhythm lines and scorching leads.

Ken Saydak
A pair of Chicago acts were next. Pianist extraordinaire Ken Saydak and his band were followed by Dave Specter & the Bluebirds. Both sets were excellent and the crowd was in party mode. The evening air was getting colder but things were really heating up. This year’s headliner was Sonny Rhodes, a veteran bluesman and long-time friend of the Colorado Blues Society. He’s also the best lap-steel player on the planet and a passionate vocalist.

Dressed in a canary-yellow, three-quarter-length suit and his signature turban, Sonny entered after a four-song warmup set by his band. He walked across the front of the stage slapping hands with the audience, waving and smiling. The crowd was fully revved up and ready. Sonny delivered. I’ve seen Sonny at least a half-dozen times, and this was easily his best show.

If you haven’t been to the Trinidaddio, you really should plan to go next year. It’s always the last Saturday in August and it’s always a good time.

Reproduced with permission of "Holler," the Colorado Blues Society's Newsletter