The sound of the blues will return to Jefferson Street at Yai Yai’s, formerly the Jefferson Street Café. On Wednesday, March 16, Blues singer, NitaLou will bring the bring the sound of the Blues to Jefferson Street from 6-8 pm with an exciting old school Blues show that will take the audience back in time.
Producers of the show said: “The Blues has a history on Jefferson Street dating back to the 1950’s. The history of the Blues on Jefferson Street will never be forgotten and there will always be a story to tell about the sound of the Blues on Jefferson Street.” Several great Blues artists graced the stage of the Baron Club, and many other venues, along Jefferson Street. Artists such as Jimmy Hendricks, Etta James, Bobbly Blue Bland, Joe Tex, Aretha Franklin, and many more belted the Blues sound at those clubs and others along Jefferson Street.
NitaLou, known by many as Venita Lewis, is a native Texan. She moved to Nashville in 1983 to pursue a career in Country music. “I came from a singing family,” said Lewis. “My family opened programs for the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Original Five Blind Boys, Willie Banks, The Messengers and may other Gospel giants. NitaLou also performed with Bobbie Blue Bland, Rufus Thomas, Kala Thomas and as a backup artist for Luther Ingram’s hit song, ‘If Loving You is Wrong,’ just to name a few.
In 1990, NitaLou founded the Minority Country Music Association.
“We brought minority Country artists from around the country, and held performances at the Blue Bird Café, the Exit Inn, The African American Street Festival, The Elks Lodge and Sensations,” said Lewis.
The efforts of the Minority Country Music Association helped change the face of Country Music.
“During that time, there were no African American musicians or back up artists in country music,” Lewis said. “The Association held a meeting with Buddy Killen at Tree Publishing, Tom Collins, Barbara Mandrell’s producer, and other giants in the industry to demand change.”
While Lewis has played a big role in the development of Country Music, she is also dedicated to the love of the Blues. This Blues show will be an exciting attraction for Blues lovers. NitaLou will be performing a plethora of known cover songs.
“We will be performing songs from Gladys, Night, Denise LaSalle, Betty Wright and Billy Holiday, just to name a few,” Lewis said. Along with those great hits, she will also perform her hit song, written 30 years ago, entitled, ‘Nashville Tennessee!’
Jason Luntz, one of the owners of Yai Yai’s said: “We are glad to be able to provide a venue on Jefferson Street to bring back the Blues to Jefferson, and our neighborhood.”
The audience is guaranteed to have a great time with an exciting performance. To enhance your experience, there will be great food and drinks to purchase during the show.
Purchase tickets via Event Brite (NitaLou Sings the Blues) or at the door as a ‘standing room only’ crowd is expected at this event. There will be two shows. The first show is from 6-7:45 pm, and the second show is from 8-9:45 pm. Due to limited sitting, it is encouraged that you buy your ticket early.
Yai Yai’s is located at 1821 Jefferson Street.