by Rev. Lisa Dempsey
CANDLER PARK — For one night only, you can enjoy a concert that will begin with some gospel music that will encourage audience participation, and then roll into the blues for which blues legend Francine Reed is famous.
Ms. Reed will be joined by her friends Lola Gulley, Sandra Hall and The Shadows. The Potluck Mass Choir also will make an appearance. All proceeds go toward Epworth United Methodist Church's handicap ramp project.
The concert will be Friday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. in Epworth's Sanctuary, 1561 McLendon Ave. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Children 14 and under are $12, with a maximum of two (additional children in immediate family are free). You also may purchase them by calling the church office at 404.525.4746.
Ms. Reed grew up singing gospel music.
“I can still remember my first performance when I was a three-year-old in my aunt’s church," she said.
"Her name was Helen Francis, for whom I’m named, and I was so small they had to put me on the piano. I used to listen to rehearsals with her gospel choir and I’d sing ‘I Wanna See Jesus’ in front of the congregation.”
Ms. Reed has appeared with many artists, including Miles Davis, Smokey Robinson, Etta James, and Lyle Lovett, and been invited to the White House to sing. Ms. Reed lives in Atlanta and frequently performs at Blind Willie’s in Virginia-Highland.
The Rev. Lisa Dempsey is pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church.