To check out more PHOTOS from the show, click on the link Trevor Hall, Just Call Me John @ Vinyl Music

As I left Vinyl Music Hall on the first Saturday night of October, I was approached by a couple who were also exiting the venue after the Trevor Hall show. The well-dressed lady with wavy, shoulder length, black hair playfully stepped towards me and said, “How about that show?” In a manner that was more statement than question, her smile indicated that she was well aware that anyone inside the venue had a good time.

Like the old Frosted Mini Wheat commercials, my “whole wheat” socially-anxious side begged me to walk away from these people, while the “frosted” lessons of conscious competence side screamed for me to engage life and enjoy the potential conversation. I was oddly at ease this moment, and I instinctively smiled and said “Yeah, it was a cool show.”

The moment we all shared on the corner of Garden and Palafox was almost like a play…

Act II Scene 1. Middle-aged couple leave Vinyl Music Hall and bump into photographer/journalist who also attended the same show.

Wife: How about that show?

Reporter: Yeah, it was cool

Husband:  Yeah,  we came all the way from Mobile to see this show.

Reporter: Mobile? Isn’t Bayfest going on this weekend?

Husband: That’s why we came here. We aren’t into the crazy, party until you go even crazier atmosphere. It’s a carnival, that’s not how I want to enjoy music.

(Reporter laughs)

Husband: We decided to get a hotel room down the street and see the concerts here this weekend.

(Traffic light flashes the signal allowing pedestrians to cross.)

Reporter: Well, I hope you enjoy your stay in Pensacola.

Looking at the images captured on my camera after each show creates an opportunity to relive the events and emotions of that night. Tonight’s vibe was a peacefully energetic party one. Everyone was dancing, smiling and having a good time.

This was my first encounter with Pensacola’s “Just Call Me John.” Even though I know the members very well and have seen them throughout the years in various bands, this is the first time I saw this constructed collective. The trio includes brothers, Alex Steward (drums), Ryan Steward (bass), and Giovanni Lugo (guitar).  If I had a gun put to my head and had to describe the music in two words, I would describe it as ”damn good.”  Like many artists today, the musicians in “Just Call Me John” draw from many influences and after awhile, it becomes really difficult to label music. When I grew up, going to record stores meant choosing music that was segregated into convenient music holding cells “R&B, Oldies, Rock, Metal, Pop.”  Music is ever changing and mixing. Just like people; when I was in high school, I spent a week at an academy near Winter Haven, Florida and met a group of siblings from Trinidad & Tobago. Coming from a country that is a melting pot of diverse nationalities, there were striking differences in appearance from one sibling to the other. I did not even attempt to place a label or describe them. I just saw them as beautiful and playful children. And I say the same for the music of “Just Call Me John.”

Next on stage, were another Pensacola group, Acoustifunk. These hard working musicians are veterans of the local music scene and can be seen regularly playing their dance, groove music along the coast.

Following Acoustifunk’s  set, we reached the time for the night’s featured act, Trevor Hall. Trevor Hall’s story is very interesting. Developing a love for music that was established early in life from his family, Hall worked his way up in the music business only to have his opportunity for expression on a bigger scale taken away briefly. Trevor Hall is an underdog. His spirit and performance convey hope, inspiration and a global influence. It would be unfair to pin a label like reggae or folk on his music, but it would be completely appropriate to say that he and his bandmates share a strong connection with their fans.

As I left Vinyl Music Hall after the Trevor Hall show on the first Saturday of October, I now understand why I felt at ease when the well-dressed lady with wavy, shoulder length black hair playfully stepped towards me and said, “How about that show?”

Story & Pictures -by MLS

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