Blair Adams is the new President of the Mesquite Arts Council (MAC) and a newly married man. But at the age of 80, with over 60 years of musical experience behind him, over 1000 performances to his credit here in Mesquite and his many years serving with MAC, he’s an old hand in the local entertainment industry.
Adams retired as a US Air Force Civilian 25 years ago and traveled extensively oversees with the Air Force. He spent his last three years of employment living in Okinawa, Japan. He admits he speaks only a very little Japanese or any other foreign language, he just doesn’t have the same proclivity for languages that he has for music.
Adams also told the MLN that he’s never had one single music lesson in his life; he is completely self-taught. He began as a young married guy who just thought, “Music would be a good thing and I got my first guitar. Then I thought, well that was fun and so I think I’ll take it out on the road. So I did a few shows and started with some country bands. When the country bands started fading I went into folk music like the Kingston Trio.”
In the 60’s he sang with a group much like the Christy Minstrels. He went back to country for a while then tried a stint with dance bands. He decided to give up the dance bands when a fellow band member became too intoxicated to perform.
Adams owned and operated a music store in Layton, Utah in the 1970’s where he taught over 500 students to play banjo, guitar, violin, mandolin, and drums as well as teaching music theory, writing and how to analyze music. Sherman Bennett, late husband of Susan Bennett, one of MAC’s founders, used to give vocal lessons in the store along with Adams.
Since moving to Mesquite 11 years ago Adams has performed his original music in many venues in and around Mesquite. Adams has over 1,000 performances to his name in places such as The Festival of Trees, Kolob Care Center in St. George, music festivals and other events.
Along with being a newly-wed, just married to Jacqueline Warren Adams in February, performing in the community, writing music, poetry and three books, Adams has a full plate. He is excited to begin this season’s MAC performances with Bob Murray, a Waylon Jennings Tribute Artist who will be performing this weekend at the Virgin Valley High School Theater. Local Mesquite singer/songwriter, Jim Boatright, is scheduled to open for the tribute artist and Adams will host the concert.
Other MAC events and performances included in this season’s lineup are the Festival of Trees, Christmas Extravaganza scheduled just before Thanksgiving, Missoula Kids Theatre, The Long Gone Wrong Gong Show, a national champion fiddler’s show and of course Shakespeare; this year they will be performing Hamlet.
Adams has been with MAC for many years and thought he’d give MAC one more year. He ended up as President this year and hopes he’ll be a success. He admits that MAC is in desperate need, as are all the arts groups, of new volunteers and ideas.
He is currently struggling to get the word out about the performances but finds advertising to be a challenge. He is putting a lot of work into developing a Facebook page for the council where you can find more information on “What’s Happening at the Mesquite Arts Council?” and has made arrangements with a local business woman to begin working on Twitter as well. Direct ticket sales is also something new Adams and the other council members are trying so that audience numbers will begin to increase.
For more information on Blair Adams, the Mesquite Arts Council and the performance dates look them up on their Facebook Pages; “What’s Happening at the Mesquite Arts Council” and “Blair Adams Original Music/Songs” or call MAC at 702-346-2787.
“Prayer at My Son’s Birth” by Blair Adams
I pray that my son, if Thou choose, Dear Lord,
is born strong of body and mind.
I pray, through his life he will treasure your word;
Above all, I pray he’ll be kind.
I pray, Dear Father in Heaven above,
As the years roll along he’ll retain
Respect for his mother and womanhood too
And never his honesty stain.
I pray he’ll learn patience, charity, grace’
That he’ll seek for advice from the wise.
I ask in my heart he’ll have love for the earth
Even those that the world despise.
I ask when the time comes that he, just as I,
prepares for the birth of his son.
He’ll kneel down in prayer for your guidance and care
Just as his father has done.
As years takes its toll and his lifetime is lived,
I pray he accepts of thy grace.
Should I fall short of that sweet friendly shore,
I pray that my son takes my place.