Written by George Scott
Photos by Christina Gregg and Joshua Scott
The DiFiore Center provided an ideal setting for a community celebration of The Gypsies Three album release. The gorgeous, open garden setting in the courtyard offered plenty of room for family, friends, musicians, and community members to enjoy the beauty of nature as well as the music performed. The Gypsies Three hosted the party with the release of their album “Roots.”
The Gypsies Three is comprised of LaTressa Smith, Janet Clark-Jones, and Mary Jo Taylor. Each of them brings their own individual talents and experiences to form a contemporary folk and pop sound with gorgeous three-part harmonies blending together for a smooth and mesmerizing sound. The Gypsies Three performed several sets that included a number of songs representing their 16 song CD. All of the songs on the album are originals and written by the trio. Listening to the lyrics and watching the enthusiasm of these three represents what music is all about. Capturing what is inside and sharing with words, music, and performance in a way to move those listening was captured fully on this album.
In order to allow intimate interaction with The Gypsies Three, two other acts performed to keep the music playing for the festivities. Blackhawk Walters opened up the celebration and played multiple sets and Azure Sweet made their debut and will no doubt be playing many more venues.
Blackhawk Walters brought an energy that could be felt in appearances alone.The smile on his face and kindness in his soul is something impossible to miss. Witnessing this might make it difficult to believe he is a four-time world kickboxing champion. Blackhawk Walters only recently started playing music. At age 57, after a career as diverse and interesting as any individual on the planet, he decided he wanted to become a musician. He played some covers as well as original songs. His original “Half Breed” was poignant and a direct hit to the heart with many.The lyrics can be applied in many settings and a topic worthy of discussion.
Azure Sweet is an Americana/Contemporary Folk band that plays a mix of original and covers. It is another music venture that LaTressa is a part of. She sings lead, plays guitar, ukulele, and harmonica–as well as writes some of the songs they perform. Melissa McArthur Kesterson sings harmony, and plays violin, Colin Meeks sings some lead and backup along with playing guitar and mandolin, Kevin Till plays stand up bass. Judging by the sound of the group and response by those in attendance, Azure Sweet will soon be one of the hot commodities in the music scene.
There was an excitement blowing through the trees in the garden at the DiFiore Center at this event that brought with it a magic in celebrating. The culmination of reaching another step with the album release for The Gypsies Three, watching Blackhawk Walters play with confidence and enthusiasm, and hearing the debut performance of Azure Sweet as they begin to launch was more than a party–it was a celebration of life!