Blackwater Rhythm & Blues closes out concert series

By: W. Curt Vincent - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — The finale of the Summer Sounds Concert Series in downtown Elizabethtown escaped the heat of the mid- to upper-90s of the first three concerts, but couldn’t escape the rain on Thursday evening.

Still, a good crowd attended the event featuring hometown favorite Blackwater Rhythm & Blues, many bringing umbrellas with them.

The concert, held at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market and presented by the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, opened under a blanket of grey clouds but with a cool breeze wafting across the stage. And it didn’t take long for nine-member Blackwater band to turn up the heat with such songs as “Be Young Be Foolish,” “Green Grass,” ” Stand By Me,” and such dance favorites as “Wagon Wheel” and “Mustang Sally.”

For a couple of sisters, it was the just the kind of music they hoped to hear.

“I love beach music — and this band,” said Mary Buchanan of Elizabethtown.

“I like a variety of music and all of the bands here have been good,” said Margaret Pitt of Elizabethtown.

For Blackwater Rhythm & Blues, the Summer Sounds event is a homecoming of sorts.

“We love this venue; it’s the closest we get to home … we haven’t been in Bladen County since New Year’s Eve,” said Dale Edwards, trombonist and vocalist with the band.

When it was pointed out there were quite a few fans at the concert, Edwards added: “We don’t have fans, only friends and family.”

As the music filled the air, and despite the sprinkles that started at about 6:45 p.m., the dance area was rarely void of friends and family — either line dancing or shagging couples. As with any beach music event, the main ingredients include a number of songs that are vital to keep the crowd engaged, and Blackwater didn’t disappoint. Songs like “Carolina Girls,” “Brenda,” “Lady Soul,” “Boogie Shoes” and the always favorite “Uptown Funk” kept numerous feet either dancing or tapping.

Many in the crowd enjoyed the band’s version of “Under the Boardwalk,” when Fred Cook put down his saxophone to stand before the microphone to lend his baritone voice.

“Terrific music,” said John Durfee of St. Pauls. “I’ll come listen to these guys anytime I can. It’s pretty awesome they are from Bladen County.”

Rain fell more heavily as the evening went on, sending many in the crowd looking for better cover. But it didn’t dampen another successful concert series.

Blackwater Rhythm & Blues closed out the Summer Sounds Concert Series and sent the combined attendance well past the 2,000 mark.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or

W. Curt Vincent

Bladen Journal