Monday, November 23, 2015

A Stunning Night With Lennice and the Two Tears

Anyone that knows a thing at all about me knows that I am a music groupie.  Shreveport is a town that has always, always been flush with musical talent and the names are legendary and far too many to list but from Kix Brooks to Cole Vosbury, from Miki Honeycutt to Micki Fuhrman Milom, from Hank Williams to Van Cliburn to Johnny Campbell to Huddie Ledbetter, to Danny Johnson, to Kenny Wayne Shepherd, our area has produced some very fine talent.

Not all of our talented singers and musicians are famous though; some of them work the local scene and have huge local followings.  They are no less talented.  They don't come any better than A.J. Cascio, Jimmy Day, Johnny Vickers, Robin Vosbury, Julia Dunning, Robin Beach Black, and so many more.

Let's add Lennice Bolton, Renada Thomas, and Deidre Malbrough to one of these lists. The trio performs locally at various dining establishments; we first found Lennice performing solo at The Anvil restaurant on Line Avenue.  Then Deidre started singing with him and now they've added Renada Thomas to the group.  They're calling themselves Lennice and the Two Tears now, but I'm calling them fabulous.

I'm sharing a video of Deidre that I made on my phone last night -- the sound quality isn't the best because it's a phone, right.  Headphones help pick up the musical accompaniment but just listen to the purity and nuance of her voice!

Deidre has performed with a couple of local bands and if you search YouTube you can find a stunning cover of "Come Together" that she knocks out of the park.

What impressed me about this song, this performance, was that it was sort of off the cuff.  Everyone had gone, the restaurant was empty except for just us. Steve and I were chatting with them and Renada was simply charming telling us funny stories and joking around.  We were talking about their favorite songs to sing and that sort of thing and someone said Whitney Houston.  Renada sang a stunning rendition of  "Greatest Love of All" and I could kick myself for not recording, and her version of "At Last," by Etta James, will run chills down your spine.  Simply beautiful.  Renada has performed with gospel praise groups under the name Renada Soul and she has done the National Anthem for the Shreveport Mavericks.

When Renada finished her Whitney song, Deidre sang hers.  There was something about the moment, I can't say exactly what it was, but you knew something special was about to happen.  I grabbed my phone, missed the first few seconds, but the rest was electric.

When she finished, Lennice told us, "What you don't know, what you can't know, is that there is a mistake in that arrangement (on his keyboard) that she picked up and adjusted for.  She never missed a beat."

The servers came out of the kitchen to see what was happening, and the room was silent as she sang. It was almost as if she was alone in the room, totally into the moment, as she sang.  No one moved.

It was just one of those moments when you knew that you'd witnessed something rare.

These three people are far too talented to be playing to near empty restaurants. I don't know what their ambitions are with their music, but more people need to hear them.

You can check them out on Sunday evenings at The Lucky Palace in Bossier; the food, service and atmosphere there is wonderful and the entertainment can't be beat!  They also perform on Wednesdays at Ernest's Restaurant, and Sunday afternoons at Big O's on Cross Lake.

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