At the Keller Williams concert last Friday night, Lisa Dempsey was repeatedly asked: “Do you know who you have at this concert? I had to pay to see him last time I went to an Ezra Charles concert!”
Dempsey, senior team leader at Keller Williams Realty Northeast, smiled at the response, pleased at the affect the free concert had on the legions of Ezra fans in attendance at the monthly event at Kings Harbor in Kingwood. “It’s a beautiful night on the lake and Keller Williams is so fortunate to be part of this community,” she announced to the huge crowd before introducing the evening’s entertainment.
The Ezra Charles Texas Blues Band lived up to its billing as “Houston’s Band” with Ezra on the piano, three ladies in the horn section, an electric guitarist and a drummer who could not stay in his seat. The band kicked off the concert with some Ezra Charles originals: “Boogie Woogie” followed by the “Bolivar Ferry” and “Get in Line.”
Each artist then took a turn giving a musical solo. Ezra, the consummate showman, did his piano solo on his knees. Not to be outdone, Dave Sartin took off from behind his drums and strummed the ground, the back of the drums and the top of the piano during his solo. Nancy Dalbey took her turn on the trombone and trumpet. Nancy, who has been with the band since 1989, had a coincidental connection to the concert. Her dad Jay Dalbey, who was in the audience, is an agent with Keller Williams Northeast.
The music heated up until Ezra set his piano on fire – literally. While he sang “A Little of This,” flames erupted on top of his piano. Getting his hands out of the way of the heat, Ezra used his feet to play the keyboard without skipping a note. He ended up blowing out the fire as he would candles on a cake and the crowd rose to its feet for a standing ovation.
When the band took a break, Lisa Dempsey introduced Sparky Nolan, president of the Kingwood Chamber of Commerce, and congratulated him on the Chamber’s seventh year anniversary serving Kingwood. Sparky invited the kids in the crowd on stage to act out the growth of Kingwood and play a local version of “America’s Got Talent.”
When the band returned, the jazz somehow got even hotter and faster. They played Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “House is a Rockin'” and Z.Z. Hill’s “Down Home Blues” which caused Ezra to exclaim: “What a horn section!” When the band finally wrapped up at 10 p.m., there were many happy folks in the audience who exclaimed: “What a night!”