Back from a similar concert in Georgia as he’ll be playing Tuesday night, Big Gus Samuelson said he is equally excited to be playing in Van Alstyne for August’s Music in the Park.
Big Gus and his two sidekicks, Thaddeus Moore on drums and Alan Burton on saxophone, will play from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the final Van Alstyne Chamber of Commerce sponsored concert for 2017. Also on hand will be John Allen, beginning around 6 p.m., with a special magic performance. This, like all the concerts, will be free and family friendly. Residents are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and ice chests. The Chamber will also have some free bottles of ice water on hand.
One thing might have to change, however, and that is location. Because the city is working on major repairs to the Dorothy Fielder Park, and because that completion timetable isn’t firmed up yet, the concert might have to move.
If the gazebo isn’t quite finished Tuesday night, the concert could move over to the Rail Car stage, on South Main. In case of rain, it will move into the Whistlestop Café on North Main, where two of the three previous concerts were held because of rain. Watch the Van Alstyne Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page for last-minute location updates.
Big Gus is always just a little hesitant to talk about himself. So as a little bit of background, the singer/songwriter/guitar picker extraordinaire got started in the music business by being Merle Haggard’s road manager. He has been a regular on-air personality for Dallas radio KHYI 95.3 The Range for years now. And, he’s also been writing and recording some compelling music for the past few years, music that is autobiographical at times and completely fictional at other times. But, all the time, his guitar picking compliment his lyrics and his voice flawlessly. He fronts the larger band, Swampdelic, a name that stems from his Louisiana roots. When he’s working as a trio, such as he will be at Tuesday night’s concert, it sometimes goes by the trio name of Sinner Man.
Burton has his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music from TCU, and has played, sometimes with the TCU jazz band, around the world. Big Gus called his buddy, “One of the best sax players I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, one of the best in the world.”
Burton has been with Samuelson for about five years, and played on other performers’ recordings.
Big Gus is equally as proud of Thad Moore’s skills on the drum kit.
“He’s solid as a rock, quite the steady hand,” he said. “Our last CD, Bottom Land, was nominated for a Grammy in the Americana field.”
Moore has been a part of this trio for several years, as well.
Bottom Land, recorded as Sinner Man, is plush with electric blues licks, and Kelly Dearmore, with the Dallas Morning News, said of it, “the sound is bigger than a trio… really cohesive.”
The CD made the Lone Star Music “Best of American” list, as well as the Grammy nomination. Visit GusSamuelson.com for more information.