Good Friday to you out there! Last night was Country Night at Fantasy Springs Casino is Indio, CA featuring Last Train to Memphis – Johnny Cash Tribute. From the moment I opened my car door and started walking from the parking lot to the stage area, I could hear the glorious sound of thumping and the hollowness of what I thought was an upright bass. I followed the sound to the Rock Yard. I could see that it was a packed show as I could and see people happily clapping and dancing in the Coachella Valley heat around the stage and even in the walkway behind the drummer. It was 93, balmy degrees when we arrived but that didn’t deter the fun and most importantly the energy and talent of the musicians that were on stage last night. Last night was date night for us and for many couples. California is now OPEN!
This show had been penciled in on my calendar as one of the artists that I wanted to feature on my The Event Horizon project. However, I had not reached out to the hotel or the artist to secure a media pass. So, I just took a couple quick photos and video with my phone. We sat off to the side of the stage, were the opening band, The Rob Staley Band had just performed. Later, I sat on a bench behind the stage where I could see drummer, Jon Shelley. Mr. Shelley, I must say is one of my favorite drummers. He keeps perfect time and gives such great drummer faces. Hubby left me alone for a moment so he could get a look at the custom hollow body bass that bassist Keith Rosier was playing and to get me a better photo of it. The sound coming out of the bass had the sound of a full-size stand up bass and it it what drew me in like the Pied Piper wrangling vermin. Hopefully, I will get a chance to interview and take a few photos of the band when they are in town again.
We first saw Neil Morrow in 2018. I was sneaking photos from the balcony of Lit Lounge and sometimes the floor, closer to the stage. I always tried to reach out to the performers to make sure that it was okay for me to take their photos and shoot video of them performing. At the time, I was practicing and trying to build my live music photography portfolio. The photos and videos that I would take, I would usually post on social media because I liked the band and their performance and wanted my friends and family that may have never have heard them to check them out and possibly see them live sometime. Anyhow, in 2018, I reached out to Mr. Morrow and I asked if I could shoot and he said, “Sure” or something like that. He knew I was there filming and I was able to get good photos and video. Here is a Mr. Morrow’s version of Brown Eyed Girl from 2018.
I remember that night fondly. Hubby and I had stayed for the last set. Usually, the last set which ended at midnight back then, was quiet and empty. I remember a group of casino patrons wandering in and dancing and just waking up the room. The thing I remember most was Morrow keeping the room going with his wit and salty humor. I vowed to always try and catch his show if they are ever within driving distance or maybe Laughlin, Nevada as the band plays their as well. Below is a sample of that charm. He let us, the audience, in on a trick that Johnny Cash used to mimic the sound of drums by using a dollar bill.
The crowd, even though it was hot last night, was lively and engaged. I loved the group of guys pushed up against the stage, like they were having their own moments. There many dancers and people singing along to songs like Get Rhythm, Ring of Fire and Cocaine Blues (or at least I thought I heard that song being played.) It was such a treat when Morrow brought his wife on to perform a few songs with him. Their version of Jackson was just the sweetest. For me, I was in heaven, getting to bebop next to my Hubby and watching all the audience sing and dance along to the performers under that big full June moon. I will never take live music or live entertainment for granted again. There may be no next time so I plan on trying to catch as many live performances as my body allows going forward.
Mr. Morrow will be back at Lit Lounge in Fantasy Springs Casino next Thursday, July 1, check the website for details.
For more information on the band do check out their website and Facebook page.
Website: Memphis Music Group
Social Media: Neil Morrow Band