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December 06, 1985 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-12-06

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ARTS
Friday, December 6, 1985

The Michigan Daily

Page 7

Lonnie

Brooks

dishes

tasty weekend blues

Singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith comes north of the Mason Dixon from Texas for the third time in a year. Her
first show at last year's Ann Arbor Folk Festival prompted a quick return engagement at The Ark last spring.
Her sensitive lyrics and intelligent asides make her one of the most promising of the new generation of folk
stars. Her show Sunday evening at The Ark will be worthwhile for her longtime fans as well as newer recruits.
Tickets are $7, the performance will start at 8:00 p.m.

By Rebecca Chung
I T'M SO EXCITED! The
I performance is only two weeks
away and I already can't wait! This is
the greatest piece of music I've ever
sung, and it's going to be good!
Everybody's psyched!"
So spoke Sean Oslin, a member of the
University Choral Union, en-
thusiastically commenting on the
Choral Union's upcoming performan-
ce of George Frederick Handel's
Messiah, this weekend at Hill
Auditorium.
Over 200 students, faculty, and Ann
Arborites will perform this master-
piece. They will be led by Donald
Bryant, and joined by Kathryn
Bouleyn (soprano), Mary Wescott
(mezzo-soprano), Carroll Freeman
(tenor), William Parker, (baritone),
and the University Symphony Or-
chestra.
This performance of the Messiah is
an annual event in Ann Arbor. The
tradition was launched in 1879, when
four churches decided to create an in-
terdenominational choir between
them to sing the choruses from the
work. Later, they broadened their
repetoire, opened up their member-
ship - and the Choral Union was
born, giving their first complete per-
formance of the Messiah in 1886.
Handel received the libretto and
oratorio in 1741 from a Charles Jen-
nens, and completed the first draft on
September 14, 1741. For unclear
reasons, he brought it with him, un-
polished, on a trip to Dublin he made
in November of that year, where it
was performed the next year at a
charity concert.
Opinions about the Messiah were
rather polemic. Jennens wrote in a
letter that "he has made a fine Enter-
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tainment of it, tho' not near so good as
he might and ought to have done... I
have with great difficulty made him
correct some of the grossest faults in
the composition, but he retained his
Overture obstinately, in which there
are passages far unworthy of Handel,
but much more unworthy of the
Messiah."
Jennens was not the only one who
worried about doing justice to the
subject of the work. Once word
reached London that a piece about the
Redemption was being performed,
church officials quickly expressed
their alarm. One protester, under the

Handel's

nom-de-plume Phildlethes, wrote -
"It seems the Old Testament is not to
be prophaned alone, nor God by the
Name of Jehovah only, but the New
must be joined with it, and God by the
most sacred, the most merciful name
Messiah... How will this appear to Af-
ter-ages, when it shall be read in
History, that in such an Age the
People of England were arriv'd to
such a Height Impiety and
Prophaness, that most sacred things
were suffer'd to be used a publick
Diversion?"
However, when no one worried
See TRADITION, Page 8

Messiah':

. a tradition continues

ASIA
+ SALES
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&o
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with 1 TOPPING
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L ONNIE BROOKS by any other
name would smell as sweet. Yeah
man! The genuine article. The legen-
dary blues guitarist who toured as
Lee Baker, Jr. from East Texas, and
A- r

VE

.. - - - -

had a '50s hit with "Family Rules" as
Guitar Junior will be playing Rick's
this Friday and Saturday. Brooks is a
fine musician with a fine band. And
more.
A Louisiana native, Lonnie Brooks
was born in Dubuisson in 1933. He
didn't really start to play serious
guitar 'til he was in his 20's, but
quickly landed a gig with Clifton
Chenier. Working with the cajun king
of zydeco helped shape Lonnie's
sound. His singing and playing both
reflect the hot, cosmopolitan, nearly
religious zydeco flavoring. Tasty.
Over the years Lonnie has played
countless jobs in bars and dance halls
throughout the South. He established
quite a reputation as Guitar Junior
with the Southern hit status of
"Family Rules," expanding the tales
of his electrifying live performances.
How did we come to think of this
young Southern rocker as one of the
prime exponents of the Chicago blues
sound?

It was 1959 and Guitar Junior was
touring with the amazing vocalist
Sam Cooke. Junior (Brooks) had the
opportunity to tour Chicago with
Cooke, and decided to stay on in the
Northern blues mecca and make a
name for himself. Really. The windy
city already had its own Guitar
. Junitr. Brooks let go of his non de guitar
and became Lonnie Brooks. Thank-
fully.
Brooks leads a hot Chicago style
band that should have you shakin' and
shimmyin' before the big man even
takes the stage. His singing is a tur-
bulent blend of cajun sobs and
Chicago growling. And the guitar. My
God, what an acrobat. Lonnie Brooks.
If you are lucky enough to hear him
Friday or Saturday night you will
remember the name of the bluesman
after you have long forgotten that the
bar was Rick's and the town was Ann
Arbor. An education.
Marc S. Taras

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