HOUSTON, September 10, 2018 – Direct Energy is the presenting sponsor for a free concert at Levy Park on Saturday, Sept. 29, featuring legendary Austin-based blues musician and singer, Carolyn Wonderland, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. performing on the Pavilion Stage. Two Houston Blues society concerts earlier in the day will precede the headliner, including Diunna Greenleaf and the Mark May Band.
Wonderland has been described as a musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis Joplin and the guitar-slinging skills of Stevie Ray Vaughan, who reaches into the depths of the Texas blues tradition with the wit of a poet. She hits the stage with unmatched presence, a true legend in her time.
Growing up in Houston as the child of a singer in a band, Wonderland began playing her mother’s vintage Martin guitar when other girls were dressing dolls. Along with the guitar and the multitude of other instruments she learned to play – trumpet, accordion, piano, mandolin, lap steel – Wonderland’s ability to whistle remains notable. Her vocal proficiency was well-established in her mid-teens, landing her gigs at Fitzgerald’s by age 15. She absorbed Houston influences such as Little Screamin’ Kenny, Albert Collins, Lavelle White, Jerry Lightfoot, Joe “Guitar” Hughes and Little Joe Washington.
Kicking things off at Levy Park at 12:30 p.m. is blues musician Greenleaf, while the Mark May Band performs from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., both from the Houston Blues Society and sponsored by Levy Park.
Houston’s Greenleaf, the leader of Blue Mercy, has a background steeped in gospel music. Her influences are Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Rosetta Thorpe, Sam Cooke, Charles Brown and her parents, Ben and Mary Ella Greenleaf. Her intricate patches of jazz, gospel and heartfelt soul take one on an emotional musical roller coaster ride.
Following Greenleaf is the Mark May Band, a favorite of Levy Park concert-goers. Guitarist May lived in Houston for 20 years before returning to his native Columbus, Ohio in 2016. Local audiences have been privileged to experience his fiery blues rock, whether as a solo artist, playing with the Agitators or during his stint with Dickey Betts and Great Southern. The Mark May Band’s recent CD, Blues Heaven, with 13 original songs, has received widespread acclaim.
Guests can enjoy delicious food that day between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. from Coffee Q. Well-known on the streets of Houston, Coffee-Q features a Qold Brew coffee made from a 15-hour infusion of Guatemalan roasted beans uniquely presented with a twist of international influences. Their signature brisket and pulled pork ‘Q (BBQ) is incorporated into a variety of dishes including tacos, sandwiches, and nachos – all loaded with big, Texas pecan-smoked flavor. In addition to Saturday, Coffee Q will be serving food and drinks on Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Guests are invited to come out earlier in the day to enjoy a good workout with Bootcamp at 8:30 a.m. and Joy Yoga at 10 a.m. People can always enjoy other park amenities, including imagination playground blocks, arts and games carts, corn hole, children’s play area, dog parks, ping pong and much more.
Levy Park is located in the heart of the Upper Kirby District at 3801 Eastside St., between Buffalo Speedway and Kirby Drive and Richmond Avenue and U.S. 59. Parking is available on Wakeforest Avenue and Eastside Street and in the parking garage for a fee.
For more information about the Direct Energy concerts and other Levy Park events, visit our website at levyparkhouston.org or call 713-522-7275.