Rafael Espinoza Band with Shea Birdwell. Sept 1, 2012. Free Labor Day Concert in Mineola, Texas.

Originally posted on September 2, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

Rafael Espinoza and Shea Birdwell played in  a Labor Day concert at the gazebo in downtown Mineola yesterday. It’s a great spot for an early Fall concert. Even with the few trains that pass through most hours, the gazebo was set up nicely, well lit, and overall perfect.

Rafael Espinoza

Rafael Espinoza Plays the Blues

The opening act was Shea Birdwell of Quitman. His acoustic set consisted of original and cover songs. The crowd was still coming in for Rafael Espinoza as Shea was playing, but he kept the audience entertained for the better part of an hour. None of the literature for the concert mentioned the opening act. Perhaps this was a last-minute addition… and it was a good one. Shea played and sang and offered background on his original songs to an eager and receptive audience. Video of most of Shea’s performance is below.

Curtis Lane

Curtis Lane - Drums

When Rafael Espinoza and his band took the stage, the mood got blue and the volume increased. Rafael played several of his own songs and a litany of classic tunes from Percy Sledge to the crowd favorite, Stevie Ray Vaughn. Rafael was backed up by a collection of local musicians. Gib Maynard was masterful on the keyboard with just the right sounds and melodies. Tyler’s Curtis Lane and Golden native Tim Bohannon provided rock-solid rhythm with drums and bass. Overall, the band was very good. Of course, Rafael Espinoza dazzled everyone, perhaps even himself sometimes, with his hard driving guitar licks. Working himself into a full sweat throughout most of the show, Rafael gave it all he had for the appreciative Mineola crowd.

Tim Bohannon

Tim Bohannon - Bass Guitar

Rafael has just released his new album, Golden. CDs and t-shirts were available at the show. The CD has seven songs on it, all written by Rafael. Rafael is starting his second year at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and has found his place atop the class of guitarists at Berklee. It’s clear to see that this guy knows his way around his guitar.

Gib Maynard

Gib Maynard - Keyboard

Overall, this was an enjoyable evening. It was a semi-balmy September night with a summer breeze the helped keep the crowd comfortable. As for the performers, everyone gave it their all and there was lots of sweat on stage, which is exactly how it should be. Kudos to all for a great job.

Video of Rafael Espinoza’s performance in its entirety is available below. You can also find Rafael’s album on iTunes and CDBaby.com.
Due to file size constraints on YouTube, this video is generated at a slightly lower resolution than we normally publish.




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