Nightbeat: Hot Turner Band
by: Rory McHugh
The Southampton Press
Two observations made Saturday night in Bridgehampton:
1) Jim Turner is one helluva harp player.
Or maybe not. Maybe this is the beginning of the story. On Friday and Saturday nights last weekend, the Jim Turner Band plugged in at The Wild Rose Café in Bridgehampton and rocked the house. To the ground. To everyone’s complete satisfaction. You shoulda been there. If you were, then you know what I’m saying. Playing tight, muscular rhythm and blues, the band created a need for a bigger dance floor. And the crowd loved it, lining up outside the door well past midnight.
ut on the floor, the people danced into the depth of the night, new couples taking the place of those retiring and fatigued and smiling while the band, like a living, breathing organism, laid down nearly five hours of powerful country blues and rock and roll. Not like the stuff you hear on the radio or buy at the CD store. The real stuff, full of life, good humor and the strength of experience. Lord, it was beautiful. In Bridgehampton on a Saturday night. You shoulda been there. There was Larry Hunter on bass guitar and Joe Rendi behind the drum kit providing the solidest platform this side of rhythm masters Sly and Robbie — rock solid. Indefatigable. Smiles on their faces after five hours work.
And up in front of it all, Jim Turner himself, a true local legend, blowing harmonica like the late Paul Butterfield, entranced in a soulful beatific vision. Smiling to the dance floor, singing those songs (“Living in the Country” was an especial standout), laying down wonderfully complimentary rhythm guitar lines, leading the band tirelessly from song to song while the crowd danced and danced the winter night away. Let me tell you, Jim Turner’s got it going on, and the Jim Turner Band is a treat for your ears, your spirit, and your dancing feet.
You shoulda been there.