PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: When ya got it, sing it!

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

It isn’t often that we get to live out our fantasies.
This past weekend, I got to live one of mine – don’t laugh – as a back-up singer in a rock ’n’ roll band.
I’m not kidding.
It all started with my Pensacola bro-in-law, a fine, upstanding attorney who’s been a rocker since his teen years in the Florida Panhandle.
Several weeks ago, my Sis called to say that her hubby was coordinating a big ole reunion of musicians who’d played with several local bands across the generations, and that they were coming from all points of the globe.
But they needed some female back-up singers, was I game?
Well, you bet! was my immediate response.
The gig was last Saturday night on Pensacola Beach, so after I arrived at her home Thursday afternoon, we hastily arranged a practice session for the female trio, including my sister and a friend, who is the real thing.
Friday night, the guys came over for a massive practice, and “the girls” jumped in there from “My Girl” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” to “Knock on Wood” and a Buffett-style “Hey, Good Lookin’” finale. We probably had at least a dozen songs to add our two cents to. No pressure.
Show time, and we strutted out there in our black and silver outfits, pulled together from home closets. We weren’t Gladys Knight’s “Pips,” but we were better than average, I hope.
It was all great fun and hundreds of people came to the free event. Lots of them danced and sang along.
It was quite surreal at times, standing back there between my new partners as we swayed in time to the tunes, worked small percussion instruments amid oohs and ahhs and shoo-bops.
Turned out to be a real family event with my brother and his wife, my sister’s son, my son and our lifelong friend Becky and her husband, Tommy from McComb.
The vicious weather slapped us as we sang bravely against at least a constant 30 mph gale off the Gulf of Mexico. The surf was 6-10 feet high, and the public was warned not to venture forth unless they wanted entanglement in serious rip tides.
All this was happening in the certainty that a horrible oil slick was coming our way toward one of our nation’s most outstanding natural resources.
Sunday morning, my son and I braved the crowds at seafood icon Joe Patti’s to cart as much shrimp northward as our wallets could stand. I should have gotten that gallon of oysters, too, but that’s hindsight.
All the while, our Mississippi and Louisiana brethren also were staring disaster in the face with the slick even closer to their delicate ecosystems.
As we wrapped up our Saturday night concert, we felt a brief moment of elation at having brought a few hours’ pleasure to the audience – a mere diversion from a reality with possible long-standing consequences.
The only good outcome is likely to be that we won’t hear that darn “Drill, Baby, Drill!” for the next decade or so.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or

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