Vesta – vocals
Glen Pearson – keyboards
Craig T. Cooper – guitar
Curtis Ohlsen – bass guitar
Dante “Taz” Roberson
I went to see Vesta Williams at The Rrazz Room last night. It was like catching up with an old friend whom you had not seen for years. Vesta opened her 90 minute set with a fiery rendition of her classic “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.” She then took us on a musical journey through her classics and recent recordings. She sang David Gates and Bread’s “I Want To Make With You.” It was sultry and steamy and she traded scat licks with guitarist Craig T. Cooper. On Bill Withers’ “Use Me,” she got a little help on background vocals from an audience member whom she invited on stage and was able to keep up with Vesta’s mesmerizing vocals. Next in our journey, she did an incredible a cappella medley of Deniece Williams’ “Free”, Sly Stone’s “If You Want Me To Stay”, The Spinners’ “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love”, Marvin Gaye’s “Distant Lover” and several of her own gems – “4U,” “Sweet, Sweet Love,” “Hunger”, and “You Still Do It For Me.” She asked the audience what they wanted to hear and they called out all her classics. I should also mention that in between songs, Vesta did hilarious impersonations of Patti LaBelle, Michael McDonald, and Tina Turner. Vesta closed out the evening with her signature song, “Congratulations” and she moved every soul in the room. She took us from sad to celebratory for she told us though she had lost a love, she still had a friend in Jesus. Yes, she took us to church! She put so much of herself in this song that she was almost in tears at the end. That is the power of a great song and a great singer. She sang every note to the fullest. She encored with one of my favorites, “Don’t You Blow A Good Thing.” I definitely want to here more of her music real soon.
Her incredible band included her longtime friend Craig T. Cooper on guitar and Bay Area favorites Glen Pearson on keyboards, Curtis Ohlsen on bass guitar and Dante “Taz” Roberson on drums.
I got meet her after the show and she was wonderful. Her next album, Seven, will be released in July and the first single will be “Silly.” I asked her about her album title and she said, “Seven is her seventh project and seven is a number of completion.” Be on the lookout for Vesta!
Photo Credit: James Knox