You can always tell that the Berks Loves Boney, when the front center rows are sold out with sisters who bounce out of their seats and dance from song 1 and wait for Boney to jump from the stage and serenade the crowd.
And the smooth, smiling reed player with his signature stingy brim hat, over flowing red Afro hairdo, and black & white deck shoes to match his ‘David Bowie’ tribute T-Shirt, Boney egged on the crowd with a hand to his ear, as the honeys said, “GO BONEY – GO BONEY”!
Boney and his band seemed to be mailing in a pedestrian performance with the usual stylish 3 man Slide Step with bass man Dwayne ‘Smitty’ Smith, lead guitar player Kendall Gilder, Jonathan Richmond on keyboards, and Omari Williams on drum, when BJ put the brakes on the Bachata and shifted the entire mood of the concert to a ‘Honesty’ vibe his latest CD which fans lined up for over an hour to get an autograph.
Honestly is Boney’s 16th album was the featured CD at the Berks, and of the 3 million records sold it became James’ eleventh No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart and also reached No. 22 on the Billboard Current Albums Chart, his highest pop chart debut to date.
Boney James stood at least 2 inches taller in his new wedgie heeled deck shoes, but faithfully covered 16 songs on his play list, including ‘Mr. Magic’ in honor of Grover Washington who inspired him in 1974 while a high school student to pick up the sax and make it his own.
The 16th and final song was Hugh Masakela’s ‘Grazin In the Grass’ as the sold out crowd at the Scottish Rights Temple would not leave until the band returned for an encore after a 2 hour finale concert.