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Shawn Pittman offers intimate show from the Calumet Theatre

Photo from shawnpittman.com Bluesman Shawn Pittman (left) took the stage at the Calumet Theatre, and poses with fellow performers Bracken Hale, John Hiller, and Calumet Theatre general manager Marlin Lee (right) before the show.

Shawn Pittman put on a world-class show Monday at the Calumet Theatre. Despite a small attendance, the audience received a jaw-dropping performance.

A masked and socially distanced crowd was treated to an intimate, personal-feeling show as Pittman led a trio of experienced, professional, and fun-loving act. With just a bass, a drum set, and an electric guitar, the Calumet Theatre came to life under his direction.

Marlin Lee, the Calumet Theatre’s executive director, stressed how difficult it was to book acts and put on shows during a pandemic, but nobody can say he is not trying, and doing a phenomenal job regardless of the times.

Masked onlookers whooped, hollered, clapped their hands, and stomped their feet as Pittman played for a crowd of roughly 30 like they were 30,000. Pittman’s performance was worthy of a sold out crowd.

With soulful playing, jokes and little stories between songs, anyone who spent their Monday evening with Pittman could feel his energy, passion, and willingness to play in front of any crowd. Pittman made it obvious that it is not about the money, or the size of the crowd; it is about doing what you love, entertaining anyone and everyone that shows up, and as he would say, “making it right.”

During intermission, the Red Jacket Ballroom was set up for concessions, including now being allowed to sell beer and wine.

At the entrance to the ball room was a man with gloves and a mask, selling tickets for spirits. Behind him was the Red Jacket Ball Room with spaced out tables with customers well spread out and enjoying drinks and their limited company while Pittman prepared for the second half of his show down below.

At the beginning of his second act, Mr. Pittman intimated that he was more than thrilled to have made the long trip from Texas to Calumet for this show.

“There might not be many people here, with the pandemic and all,” Pittman said, “but I’m glad it’s y’all. Y’all are some real cool folks.”

Pittman did not care what the size of the audience was, and with eyes closed and sweat running down his face under the stage lights, he shredded his Telecaster the same way he would have at a packed blues festival.

“It’s really beautiful up here,” Pittman said, “and I’d like to come back again. Maybe you can come back and see me again. Bring some of your friends.”

After the concert, Pittman sat on the edge of the stage and dangled his legs over the side as masked fans got a chance to meet the Southern bluesman for some brief conversation and autographs. He made the trip worth his time as well as everyone’s who came out to the Calumet Theatre.

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