So much had happened already on this Monday night at the Candlelight. So many people were in attendance. So much talent that joined with The SoulMates. One who deserves particular mention is Tyrone Hendricks, the drummer in Stevie Wonder's band. Tyrone had sat in for a couple of numbers with The SoulMates and was a pleasure to watch.
Reinhardt resumed his place at the drum kit and, following I Could Be the Man for You, the band leaped into Stevie Wonder's All Day Sucker. Here's where things went absolutely off the charts!
Let me set it up. When we came into the Candlelight and took our table, there was a certain
melancholy in the realization that, after tonight, there would only be six more Monday nights
at the Candlelight before the doors are closed forever. But the mood had been lifted by the soul of the band and the crafty work being turned in by Jay "Bird" Koder, Jarrod Lawson and
Reinhardt Melz. We had been treated to sweet soul and some moving blues.
All Day Sucker is a favorite of the Candlelight audience anyway but tonight it just roared. And
so did the crowd.
The SoulMates' arrangement starts with a thrilling Afro-Cuban beat and Reinhardt is clearly
in command of this style. "Bird" laces his great riffs with splashes of Tequila and Jarrod is simply forcing the keyboard to submit. It is an exhibition of virtuosity and unity.
As happens so often, those on the dance-floor just stop in their tracks and can only watch and
listen to what is happening. Everybody is watching.
Here's the thing: Tyrone Hendricks is Stevie Wonder's drummer and The SoulMates are
performing a Stevie Wonder hit in front of him. And right beside Reinhardt's drum kit there stands Tyrone watching with his eyes growing wider and wider in awe but his grin of appreciation and respect growing broader and broader at the same time.
There sat Jarrod at the keyboard, just owning it. His vocals were electric and singers among the audience were stunned. "Bird" was wielding his axe like Gimli gone berserk. His solos repeatedly set the place on fire.
You just didn't know who to watch! It was impossible to take it all in at once but neither could you focus on only one member. You had to simply watch it like a tennis match; see who was smashing it at this second. I think I hurt my neck.
This song just took on a life of its own. The audience didn't just applaud the solos, they cheered them! It was one of those times that you just don't want the music to ever end. Nobody was outshining anyone else and, when the song finished, they were each pointing to each other and calling for applause for the others. "Bird" shouted to those close to Reinhardt, "Stop that man before he kills again!" Reinhardt pointed to Jarrod and Jarrod pointed to "Bird" saying "Jay Bird Koder, ya'll! Give it up!" And Jay "Bird" responding with "Jarrod Lawson! Everything he touches turns to soul!" And the great Tyrone Hendricks was bowing to Reinhardt with members of the audience fanning napkins toward their SoulMates to cool them down. I'm surprised the Fire Department didn't show up.
That was just one song in the first set...