By photojournalist Jayne Drooger
The Sound at Clearwater’s Coachman Park is a 4,000 seat (covered) venue with an additional 5,000 lawn seating. There are Big Ass Fans on the ceiling (that’s the actual company) and a beautiful, enclosed VIP area known as The View with it’s own bar which seats about 150 and opens up in the winter. Above the View is a balcony with another amazing view of the stage all equipped with sustainable seating! I was particularly happy to see recycling bins throughout! Bravo, Ruth Eckerd!
Opening Saturday’s show was our own amazing Shaun Hopper with his fine finger-style guitar playing. Shaun’s entire band is in his hands as he plays multiple instruments with one guitar. Mike MacArthur, on Sax appropriately stepped on stage for The Beatles “Come Together” and what a duet that was! They continued with “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder. After a few more solo songs Shaun ended his set with the audience joining in on “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
Headliners started jamming with so much great music. All three were on the stage throughout the next hour and half in spite of the scorching heat. Eric Darius is from the Bay Area and it was so nice to have him home. Dave Koz is the veteran jazz man and joining the boys was the beautiful Dutch Candy Dulfer. Candy is known for her funky style having played with Prince who said of her “when I want sax I call Candy”. She sang a medley of his music. Together they did songs by Bobby Caldwell, James Brown, Grover Washington, just to name a few. Then each played their summer songs, Candy with “It’s Summertime” Eric, “Summer Feeling” followed by Dave with “Summertime in New York City”. The audience sang Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” and even though the temperature was high it truly was.