Saturday, January 8, 2011

Little Sonny heats up Anti-Freeze Blues Festival

Little Sonny jams Friday night at the Anti-Freeze Blues Festival at the Magic Bag in Ferndale. Photo by Joe Ballor.

Little Sonny serenades the crowd afer jumping down from the stage. Photo by Joe Ballor.
Those who braved the slippery driving conditions were treated to a special performance Friday night at the Anti-Freeze Blues Festival. Detroit blues legend Little Sonny, King of the Blues Harmonica, took to the stage for the first time in two years and delivered an entertaining mix of funky blues and  a few interesting stories about his life. Little Sonny dedicated his performance to musical royalty – the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin; and Detroit’s Queen of the Blues, Alberta Adams; who was under the weather and missed the show. Little Sonny, 78 years young, performed with the energy of a man 30 years his younger, and jumped down from the stage on more than one occasion to serenade the crowd. Although he said he had "a bit of a cold," his voice was in fine form and his harmonica playing was, as always, superb. He gave it everything he had, even showing off some slick dance moves. Little Sonny was backed by a fine four-piece band, including his sons Aaron Willis Jr. on guitar and Anthony Willis on six-string bass. It was a performance to remember. Also on the bill Friday were Mr. B, Bill Kirchen, and RJ’s Rhythm Rockers with Garfield Angove and Jeff Grand. The festival continues tonight (Saturday, Jan. 8) with The Blasters, Laith Al-Saadi, Motor City Josh and Black Beauty. Tickets are $25 and proceeds benefit the Detroit Blues Society. For information, call (248) 544-3030 or click or
To see a video of Little Sonny discussing his philosophy of life, click here.

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