This past weekend the Purple Hatter’s Ball took place at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. One of the performances we most had our eyes on was a Sunday set dubbed “Roosevelt Collier & Nigel Hall’s Gospel Surprise.” Our friend and Collier’s publicist, Margaret Willard, was so moved by the set she penned a review and we’re honored to run it along with photos.
Roosevelt Collier & Nigel Hall’s Gospel Surprise @ Purple Hatter’s Ball – May 12
Words: Margaret Willard
Photos: Timothy Borland and Jeffrey Dupuis
Mother’s Day took special meaning this past weekend at the Purple Hatter’s Ball, when a fellowship of musicians uplifted the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park with an emotional Sunday gospel set dubbed “Roosevelt Collier & Nigel Hall’s Gospel Surprise.”
[Photo by Tim Borland]
PHB founder Paul Levine introduced the ensemble shortly after 1pm, with a prelude dedicating the afternoon to Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, whose life is remembered each year at PHB, and to all others who had lost loved ones recently — most notably Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff of Lettuce, who hadn’t performed for a live audience since he lost his mother Rita April 29. The sun shone brightly as the amphitheater stage transformed into a place of kinship and worship, with Smirnoff and the afternoon’s other special guests Lenesha Randolph (Robert Randolph & The Family Band), Pete Shand (The New Mastersounds), Jermal Watson (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), Jonathan Lloyd (Dubconscious) and The Shady Horns - Ryan Zoidis, Eric Bloom and James Casey(Soulive, Lettuce) all joining Nigel Hall (Warren Haynes Band, Lettuce) and Roosevelt Collier (the Lee Boys) for an inspired series of classic covers and old gospel tunes.