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Thunder Valley Sets Off Dyno-mite!

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I was heading out to the Super ’70s Soul Jam at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort Thursday night, so I donned my rose-colored glasses, bell bottoms and platform shoes.

I packed snacks like Big Hunk, Bottle Caps and Screaming Yellow Zongers before leaving. I knew I would get the munchies since I’m such a burnout and can’t leave home without a joint or three (hey, I have a prescription). I was just hoping I could maintain with all that groovy music playing. The last thing I needed was for some narc to rat me out. As for the concert, it was far out, man, and, I should add, dyno-mite!

Right on. I get it. Not everyone can be as hip as the hipsters from the ’70s, but last night at Thunder Valley everyone was hip and just hanging out with the likes of the Dramatics, the Stylistics, the Delfonics, Heatwave, Carl Carlton and the emcee for the evening, Jimmy JJ Walker. The audience was grooving in their seats and boogieing in the aisles. I think there were a lot of sick people at the concert, since many of the people in the bleachers had the same prescription as me.

Jimmy JJ Walker

To start the night off, Walker took the stage. Most people remember Walker from his role on “Good Times” as James Evans Junior, or JJ. In fact, Walker coined the term “dyno-mite,” which became slang for great or fantastic.

Walker started right off with black people versus white people and didn’t let up throughout the evening. He attacked the criminal justice system and how black people are convicted and sent to prison while white people such as Casey Anthony and Lindsay Lohan walk. During a brief break, he told the black people to be back in three minutes, but white people to be back in 10. It was all in good fun and the audience loved it.

Carl Carlton onstage at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort

Carl Carlton was next on stage, singing two of his most recognizable songs, “Everlasting Love” and “She’s a Bad Mama Jama.” Right away people were up dancing in the aisles and having a great time. Carlton complained about the heat, hoping the sun would have gone down by the time he started, but they got an early start at 7:30, so no such luck.

Lonnie and Brenda Prudhomme dancing the night away at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort.

Following Carlton was Heatwave with original lead singer Keith Wilder. They performed a number of their hits, including “Boogie Nights” and “Always and Forever.” When “Always and Forever” started, more couples jumped up to dance, including Lonnie and Brenda Prudhomme (see photo). I think Lonnie was a reluctant participant, but that’s just my opinion.

Wilbert Hart from The Delfronics performs onstage at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort

Next up was the Delfonics with founding member Wilbert Hart and longtime member Garfield Fleming. After all these years, they still sounded the same singing their hits “La-La (Means I Love You),” “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” and “Break Your Promise.”

L. J. Reynolds of the Dramatics

When the Dramatics took the stage with original band member L.J. Reynolds, they got off to a rocky start. Not all of their songs sounded quite right, but they did hit their stride with “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” and “My Girl.”

The Sylistics

Headlining the show was the Stylistics with original band members Herbert Murrell and Airrion Love. They performed many of their hits, including “Betcha by Golly, Wow,” “I’m Stone in Love with You,” “Break Up to Make Up” and a medley of all their hits, ending the show with “You Make Me Feel Brand New.”

By the end of the show, the crowd had diminished somewhat due to the late hour, but those who remained were still up and dancing all the way to the last song. Everyone had a great time and just got lost in the moment, remembering years gone by.

Thunder Valley Casino and Resort

The summer concert series at Thunder Valley Casino is in full swing. The complete entertainment schedule is available on their website.

Randy Miramontez is a contributing writer and photographer with The Sacramento Press.

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