Eric and the usual suspects - Lawrence 'Peebody' Ferrell on drums; Derrick 'Domino' Winding rockin' out on guitar; and killer vocalist Tyrone Johnson have been thrilling us for years now, and seemingly like fine wine, they have gotten better with time. I had the good fortune to see Tyrone Johnson performing of all things, an Al Jarreau song. He ripped it UP!
And most of you - especially those who frequent Brooklyn Jazz Cafe - get to see the ubiquitous Peebody on a regular basis because just about every band in town has called on him at one point or the other. He's not the only sizzling hot drummer in town...but sometimes it sure seems that way. Then, there's Domino, a guitarist who can, if he wants to, be as revered as an Ernie Isley or even a Buddy Guy. If you haven't already, check him out - the man has the goods.
Eric Willis' playing style definitely reminds me of that of the legendary Joe Sample - only more passionate. He is equally stellar whether he's doing a ballad, soul, R&B, jazz or hard-charging funk. He is also lending his magical touch to new, up-and-coming artists like one Dana Harper. This lady may be one of Dallas' best-kept secrets, but the word will be out pretty soon. Her voice is silky and rich, with a flavor that will remind you of India.Arie or Ledisi. And besides all that, she writes her own material. Excuse me. She writes quality material.
Eric Willis and Friends will perform on Thursday, January 14th at Brooklyn Jazz Cafe. which is located at 1701 S. Lamar Street, Dallas, Texas 75215. You may phone them at 214.428.0025 for more information.
Dana Harper will perform at her CD release party on Friday, January 15th at the Granada Theater. Granada is located at 3524 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75206. For ticket info, directions, etc., call 214.824.9933.
Finally, Eric Willis and Friends will also perform this Saturday, January 16th at Scat Jazz Lounge in downtown Fort Worth. Their address is 111 W. 4th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102. The phone number there is 817.870.9100.