It was appropriate that Paul Tate and his trio were the first musicians to perform on the completed Riverview Stage in New Albany’s Park-Along-The-River.
The new “sail” top of the stage was installed just two days before the ninth free Levitt AMP concert of 2016 opened Saturday night, and Tate and Company set a high mark for any of the many musicians likely to follow them in future decades.
Strictly speaking, the Paul Tate Trio was the opening act for headliner Young Valley, a Jackson-based alternative country band. Young Valley did not disappoint, but Tate owned the stage Saturday night.
Whether singing, playing keyboards, guitar or harmonica, or performing jazz, rock or standards Paul Tate is one of two New Albany musicians who could rightfully be considered “The Man.” The other, of course, is bluesman Sam Mosley.
Sam Mosley with his Mosley and Johnson band and the Muscle Shores Horns were the main act for the fourth Levitt AMP concert on June 24th. As singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader, Mosley has played his urban blues music all over the world, but never to more enthusiastic audiences than in New Albany, his hometown.
The Levitt AMP free concerts and the permanent Riverview Stage are both the results of initiatives by Sean Johnson, the tourism and marketing director for the City of New Albany. Johnson, who is also a New Albany native, applied last year for a state of Mississippi grant, which provided the money to build the Riverview Stage. He also spearheaded the effort to secure the Levitt grant for this year’s free concerts.
Landscape architect Sam Creekmore, still another native of New Albany, designed the Riverview Stage, and supervised its construction in the Park-Along-The-River.
The tenth and last free Levitt Amp concert of this season will be on the Riverview Stage next Saturday night, August 6th, and will feature the music of The Holy Ghost Electric Show. The Eisenhauer Band will make a return visit to New Albany to open the free concert at 7:00 PM. Holy Ghost Electric Show will take the stage at 8:00 PM.