Bays Guyer Band Reunites for Blackwater Trio Warmup

There’s a secret in Water Valley’s Velma community… one that can’t be kept hidden forever (but not from lack of effort).

The simple dynamic – the puzzle if you will – of how many folks, musicians and their gear can squeeze into a three-car garage is the only reason a “secret” is being sustained at all.

After two very successful casual Saturday evening concerts at a private event titled Grab Bag; organizers Kevin Guyer and Kerry O’Donoghue have tasked themselves with cramming three to four hours of amazing North Mississippi music (and food) into the listening ears (and mouths) of around 30 attendees.

Last Saturday, I was fortunate enough to be invited and I must admit that I’m having a hard time keeping the lid on the awesome event. It’s not so much that there is a proverbial “lid” – it’s a simple hitch of physics; there’s only so much space in the arena.

Anyway, I had no idea what to expect, but I knew there would be folks on hand that I admire and look forward to seeing (and hearing) – that means you Bud and Janice Bays, Kevin and Kerry, Kevin Smith, Beason and Beason, Kagan and Alexe and Amy Fisher (to name a few). It was a win/win for me considering the group on hand… but what about the tunes?

Bud Bays, guitarist for the Bays Guyer Band Photo by Jeff McVay
Bud Bays, guitarist for the Bays Guyer Band
Photo by Jeff McVay

Again, with no expectations I would have been content sitting around listening to Guyer play his acoustic guitar (which I did) but that was just the tip of the iceberg. After a beat, Bud Bays casually jaunted in with wife (Janice) and axe in hand – and the night was off like a rocket.

The Bays Guyer Band (from left) Bud Bays, Kevin Guyer and Kevin Smith. Photo by Jeff McVay
The Bays Guyer Band (from left) Bud Bays, Kevin Guyer and Kevin Smith.
Photo by Jeff McVay

Bays and Guyer formed a band a few years ago following the recruitment of bassist Kevin Smith with his unyielding rhythm and backbeat. I followed them awhile before I left the area for a couple of years, only to return to a new world in North Mississippi; one without the Bays Guyer Band.

Bud Bays plays with the Bays Guyer band in Water Valley Mississippi on Saturday, Jan. 30. Photo by Jeff McVay
Bud Bays plays with the Bays Guyer band in Water Valley Mississippi on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Photo by Jeff McVay

Anyway, you can imagine the shock and awe of Saturday when Bays entered, banging down the center aisle, case in hand and into the spotlight. It was a surprise for Guyer I hear, but you would have sworn the trio came fresh out of the studio.

Word has spread about the featured band last Saturday (Blackwater Trio) and their awesomeness (complete with 20-minute Bowie tribute) – and you can read about it on the HottyToddy.com’s post yesterday titled “The Blackwater Trio Travels, Rocks The Valley” (BlackwaterTrio).

Blackwater Trio performs in Water Valley on Saturday, January 30, 2016. Photo by Jeff McVay
Blackwater Trio performs in Water Valley on Saturday, January 30, 2016.
Photo by Jeff McVay

But little has yet to be said about their first warm-up act, the Bays Guyer Band – so let this serve as a fix: You three (Bays/Guyer/Smith) are treasures; as musicians and – even more so – you’re just damn fine folks! Keep up the dedicated work, guys, and revel in a job well done. Amen.

For more information, visit Guyer’s Facebook page at KevinGuyerFacebook or friend or follow him via this link. We can all use another friend or two… including Kevin I’d imagine.

Bays Guyer Band Photo by Jeff McVay
Bays Guyer Band
Photo by Jeff McVay

Jeff McVay is a staff writer and graphic designer for Hottytoddy.com. He can be reached at jeff.mcvay@hottytoddy.com.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Great article, great pictures! The collective “we” (meaning more folks than I can list in North Mississippi) are thrilled that you are back, Jeff! Nobody else tells it like you!

  2. Thanks Jeff for your kind words. It was as much a surprise to me as it was to you that Bud Bays would be in the house the other night. Kevin Guyer said bring your bass and we’ll do a few numbers together. When Bud showed up it was a great opportunity for us to play a few. And honestly… it was magic. We fell right in where we left off a couple of years ago. I’m hoping it’ll open the door for more gigs! Thanks again!

  3. Love the article and everything you wrote is pure truth! Bud has talent extraordinare and Janice is beyond words with her many talents. Thanks for the pictures!

  4. It’s wonderful to read your honest enthusiasm about these good folks. All so true.
    What an uplifting time we all had that night!!
    Thank you for the articles.

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