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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment May 24, 2016

7/23/2013 12:14:00 PM
Salgado shines at BBR performance
A soulful Curtis Salgado performed at Black Butte Ranch. photo by Jim Williams
+ click to enlarge
A soulful Curtis Salgado performed at Black Butte Ranch. photo by Jim Williams

By Jim Williams

Award-winning singer Curtis Salgado hit the stage last Saturday for his second appearance at the Live at the Ranch concert series, and put on a world-class exhibit of powerful Chicago blues and Memphis soul crooning that has been his trademark for nearly 40 years.

Salgado and band hit the stage just after 5 p.m. and immediately turned up the heat on what was already a hot day, diving into the Bobby Womack tune "What You Gonna Do" from his hit album "Soul Shot." Salgado was in the groove from the get-go with his high-energy harp playing and singing; his voice still rich in talent, with a touch of the exuberant, soulful sound of early Stax and Atlantic records recordings.

"I told my producer and friend Tony Braunagel after we did 'Clean Getaway' that I wanted to make a record that was all soul," Salgado said. "I told him I've got some songs written, have some ideas, and we started going over material... These are not your usual soul tunes, these are soul tunes that are special, outside the box if you will. I mean the first song is an old Bobby Womack song, I just dug it as a great song, but it's a great song that few people have really heard of."

Showing no signs of the cancer surgery that removed a part of his left lung last summer, Salgado has been tearing up concert venues across the country and most recently in Europe. Salgado sang and played like a man on a mission on Saturday. Never putting less than 100 percent into his performance, Salgado played each song like it was the most important show he'd ever played.

"I find if you go out there and put on a good show, they will come," said Salgado. "It's the only thing I know how to do, and the energy is like magic, when you step up there on stage you get the energy and if you've got a large crowd, wow. I could have a fever, the flu, whatever, but as soon as you step on stage it goes away. It's like the show must go on, but the energy comes because there's people looking at you, and you can't go up there half-assed, you have to give it your all."

And give it his all he did. With his crack three-piece band, long-time bass player Tracy Arrington, drummer Brian Foxworth and the newest addition to the band, guitarist extraordinaire Vyassa Dodson moving seamlessly between the tunes, the band didn't miss a beat the whole evening.

After a 45-minute set the band came out after a short intermission with the band grooving to '"What's Up With That?" Portland bluesman Lloyd Jones,' "I Can't Stop Loving You," and Salgado's own humorous look at relationships, "20 Years of B.B. King."

After the show, Salgado reflected on another second chance at life, and commented on being even more appreciative this time around and wanted to make one thing clear:

"I just want people who read this to know how much I love this area. I don't get over here enough, but after our last show here a couple of years ago, I was just waiting for an opportunity to come back and play. This area is just beautiful and I just want you to let people know that I know how great it is."

Next up in the concert series is The Black Lillies, appearing Sunday, August 25, at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance.

For more information call concert coordinator Katie Williams at 541-595-1510 or visit www.blackbutteranch

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