South Boulevard Band, a local rhythm and blues band with a national reputation, took to the Levy Senior Center stage on Sept. 27 as part of the free Jamming Jean Concert series sponsored by the Levy Senior Center Foundation. Despite heavy rains outside the gym walls, the crowd was primed for a fun evening, and the band did not disappoint.
The band rocked the house and entertained with upbeat R&B classics and original compositions from their most recent album. Members of the audience danced along from the first song to the last, making it feel like a party.
Patrecia Lenore was swaying to the music and smiling. She said this was her “first Jamming Jean Concert but not her first time at the Levy Center,” and she was enjoying herself.
Howard Schneider, a frequent participant in Levy programs along with his wife, waxed enthusiastic about the evening’s fun. “All the concerts have been fantastic. It is set up so nicely, with food and drinks available for those who want it, that it makes a lovely evening. Our friends joined us tonight and we are just having a great time. We love the Levy Center.”
The band has been together 11 years and has seven regular members, but also regularly invites other musicians to play gigs with them. Keyboard player Christopher “Hambone” Cameron has played with the band on albums, but not with them in front of a live audience. He was looking forward to an evening of spontaneity and musical chemistry that comes from being part of an ensemble, and was thrilled to be invited to play with the band as a featured guest.
Bass player Steve “Hollywood” Flugum is very laid back about how the band actually gels. “We just love playing music together. And we love bringing our positive energy to the folks who come see us. It’s great to see them have a good time at our shows.” Willie Shields, guitar player and songwriter, welcomes the guest artists who join them, saying, “it allows for more creative possibilities.”
For two hours the band brought joy to this spot in southeast Evanston. The final song, “Love Train,” spurred a long conga-like dance around the entire Levy Senior Center gym as those watching clapped and sang along. They could not help but smile.
The next Jamming Jean Concert, scheduled for Dec. 6, will feature Rosie and the Rivets.