Peter & James's Festival in NC!

A review by Theresa Clayton - and Monkees Central On-Line!

Peter Tork & James Lee Stanley' s Tanglewood Blues & Folk Festival - presented by the Lewisville Area Arts Council, Inc. (LAAC)
September 8, 2001 Clemmons, NC (Tanglewood Park)
September 9, 2001, Winston-Salem, NC (Brew Ha Ha's)

Hard to believe the LAAC, Lewisville Area Arts Council, can turn out such an incredible weekend-long party ~ the entire council consists of eight members at best!Tanglewood is a huge, beautiful outdoor amphitheatre with an enormous stage.

First up: Ogburn Station Blues Band. Great rock blues band! Got a free demo tape! Incredible talent. Very unassuming. Just milling about helping with any and all.

Second up: Ladies Auxiliary ~ All Ladies Blues Band. Why are we always so amazed that ladies can play the blues! Beyond impressive!

Third up: Aura (last known as Dodi & Co.) Lovely! Hard to "pigeonhole" this band. Originals, Southern blues, Celtic ~ you name it, they can do it all, in their own unique style. Beautiful insights, and sounds of their performance.

Fourth up: James Lee Stanley. James gives a great introduction of himself! "PLEASE WELCOME ME ~ I'M JAMES LEE STANLEY! Performed many of our favorites, add to that, incredibly funny stories that told how and why each song came to be, even if it wasn't always flattering to himself.

Then for some unexplained reason, James launches into a story about being a cast member of "Star Trek Deep Space Nine". Was it about Clingons, monsters from outer space? No, it was about the mysterious and binding under garments worn under the costumes. This came complete with demonstrations and an inside Capt. Kirk joke.

James has also added a new guitar and echo box. These have provided a huge wall of sound and he was having a fine time! Simultaneously there was a major golf tournament happening. James had a running commentary going on with a few "well-attired" golfers that happened upon the scene. They never knew they were the objects of James’s affections. We were all in hysterics!

James then introduces, "My best friend in the entire world ~ Peter Tork!" Peter took the stage, smiles and says, "some of you might know me, I used to be in a band?"

Lovely acoustic performance. This was classic Peter. Side note--Peter graciously flew in a full day before he was scheduled to perform. James makes note of Peter's stately attire, "Where's the red coat?!" James joins Peter onstage and starts throwing out songs. "How about 'Memphis?'" "Hmm, don't think I know that," replies Peter. "Ah com‘ on, you can do your blues licks!," replies James. "Okay, let's do it!"

Consummate professionals ~ impromptu performances!

Many numbers from the latest CD, "Peter Tork & James Lee Stanley ~ Once Again." Break for autographs. James invites everyone to "Step up and meet the band. 'Hi, I'm with the band, come meet the rest of the members!" A local florist (George K. Walker Florist) had provided free flowers for everyone. Peter started to eat one, "Oh no, not again!" Instead, James and Peter wore the flowers, in every way shape and form. Flowers out of ears, out of necks, Carmen Miranda style. If a camera didn't work, James would step up, take the helm, and snap off a few pictures of everyone in the crowd as well. Special attention was always given to the little ones.

Next up: Acoustic Syndicate. The theatre starts to fill up with even more folks. It ain't over with yet! I must admit, this band is beyond and it's easy to see why they have such a large following. Peter is strolling around, just enjoying the music; James is spotted helping a vendor take down their tent.


September 9, 2001
Brew-Ha-Ha's, Winston-Salem, NC
James Lee takes the stage ~ with new guitar and echo box which have taken on a life of their own now that we're in a club. James calls for requests. Each is responded to. Aura takes the stage and sings backup on "Born to Love You," as the newly titled, "James Lee~ettes." (Peter dubbed them the "Dodettes" in ‘98) More stories more jokes behind the music. The sound is getting larger by the moment.

Again, James' best friend is introduced, "Peter Tork!"
Peter takes the stage and with a smile says, "I used to be in a band?"
Now the roof is torn off the joint! Peter just tears it up! Does Elvis, his brother Nicks' tunes, slow, fast, jumping, keyboards pounding, even some Monkees, blues, rock, Bach, and all the while, dancing. James is standing in the doorway grinning, gets the feeling and jumps onstage for a bar, Marilyn & Aura take several refrains, (Higher and Higher and Lady Madonna) James starts dancing with everybody out in the audience, oh yes, and that banjo!

"Born in East Virginia" is dedicated to Marilyn, the special lady that makes this whole party possible. Peter and James then perform the duo set. The set consists of some of the new songs off the "Once Again" CD and also favorites from Two Man Band. The finale is "Daydream Believer" from "Once Again" but at the last minute James and Peter remember that they had practiced " Dirty Job" with Marilyn and the ladies of Aura. Peter, James and Aura jump back up and perform the song with Aura adding percussion. Huge applause. James, Peter, Marilyn, Dodi and Nancy then take a group bow. The crowd loves it! This is something you never see except at a LAAC show! (note: the girls also were reported to have been in Bluefield WV on the 2000 TMB tour as well as the usual NC shows in 2000) It was wonderful. The rapport was great, all having such a grand time together, smiles all around.

Dinner break. Peter invites everybody to have chicken. (Peter ad libbed "now you know how HUNGRY I can be!" during Daydream Believer) Starts to rain... James yells out, "My chicken's gettin' wet!"

Later Big Bump & The Stun Gunz take the stage with Peter. Shoe Suede Blues songs are blasting for hours! "Even White Boys Get the Blues" is a special hit. Peter shook hands all around and thanked the band. An obvious enjoyment for him. Goodbyes and many thanks all around in the parking lot.

Side note on the road home...
If you are ever in the vicinity of Gaffney, SC, there is classic chrome diner by the name of Mel's and it is completely decorated with classic memorabilia. It has a gold record on the wall of Headquarters. The gracious proprietor, Babe Rollins let me take it off the wall and pose for all sorts of wacky photos. In fact, when he learned we had just returned from seeing Peter and James, he abandoned his diner, ran across the street and bought discs so he too could have pictures!
Mel's Diner
121 Nancy Creek Road
Gaffney, SC 29341
Theresa Clayton... (and Monkee Central On-Line!)