When a medical emergency took local rock band The Evening Shades out of the Rising Stars music competition Saturday night, another favorite, songwriter Elias Deleault and his band, were called to step into a slot in the finals held on an indoor stage at the Britt Pavilion.
It was an exciting evening for the competitors and the audience.
Guitar and violin duo Charles Guy and Linda Powers — with guest percussionist Mike Fitch — kicked things off with a set of original, Spanish-flavored instrumentals that brought Willie Royal and Wolfgang "Lobo" Fink of Latin jazz duo Willie & Lobo to mind.
Delaught and his band followed with a great-sounding set of acoustic-guitar driven songs from the songwriter's newest CD, "Hold On, Let Go," and Frankie Hernandez and Old Soul Parade #8212; Jacob Ackerman on bass and Noah Braga on drums — took their set to another level with Hernandez' ska and reggae infused funk and rock.
But it was blues singer Cee Cee James' powerful and poignant vocals that turned the heads of the voters and the Britt judges. With G.T. Albright on drums, Rob "Slideboy" Andrews and Doug McAlister on bass, she delivered a set of Janis Joplin-esque vocals that lifted the roof.
Watch www.ceeceejames.com to find James' live show on Jefferson Public Radio and her live performance at the 2014 Britt Festival.