MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

March 14, 2013

Black Diamond Band ready to roll

Foursome to play at St. Pat’s Party/MiniFest in Rentiesville

— Layce Baker Jr. and his Black Diamond Band are ready to roll into Rentiesville this weekend for the St. Pat’s Party/Mini Fest.

“Everybody is excited,” Baker said of the band. “They are so lose and comfortable there. We like the environment.”

The environment is the Down Home Blues Club opened by the late D.C. Minner. The club is on the old family farm where he made his home after playing music on the West Coast for more than 20 years. His wife, Selby, and D.C. have brought in thousands of musicians for the Dusk ’Til Dawn Blues Fest held Labor Day weekend, where 200 musicians come together on three stages.

The St. Pat’s show will be from 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday at the club. Admission is free but donations are welcome to help fund the trophies for the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on May 25.

Selby Minner said the Black Diamond Band of Oklahoma City is one of her favorites — “a power house.” Other stars include six blues hall-of-famers, Junior Markham, Baby Ray Mucker, Chuck Blackwell, Walter Watson and Pure Silk, Leon Rollerson and Minner.

Minner called this weekend’s fest “the annual season opener blowout” after being closed for the winter while touring in Arizona. Jam sessions are at 6 p.m. Sundays through the summer.

“Remember — blues if the best party music there is,” Minner said.

Minner, who plays bass guitar and sings, and her partner, Dan “Oklahoma Slim” Ortiz, who plays guitar and sings, will be playing tunes from their new CD of songs written by the Minners.

Baker said he first played with D.C. in the 1980s. Baker was inducted into the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame in 2005 where he played music out of Oakland, Calif., until moving back to Oklahoma City. Baker got his start in music from his late father, who played guitar, and is passing his passion for music onto his son, a third generation musician.

“He’s 16, does keyboards and sings,” Baker said.

The rhythm and blues band has played the St. Pat’s party and the Dusk ’Til Dawn Blues Festival before.

“We pick up a good following,” he said.

Minner said if you can’t make it to the St. Pat’s party, you can see it streamed to the web at jukezoo.com done by Randy Web of Checotah from 7 to 10 p.m. each night.

Minner said she is looking forward to starting another season in Rentiesville.

“Get out of the house and come down,” she said. “The weather should be good.”

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