By Frank Lewis
I have had my Christmas season fix. There is absolutely nothing I look more forward to every year than The Christmas Gift, concert and show presented by Sonshine School of Evangelism and my good friend Dr. James Spinnati.
Monday night, a packed house at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, to see some of the best talent assembled on one stage as you will experience during any holiday season.
Some newcomers graced the stage this year, including our very own Franklin Furnace resident Bobby Blanton and one of those very talented musical families – the Melton Family singers.
For the second year in a row, Bryan Goins and River Road, brought a great change-up with some welcome bluegrass sounds. Loved the mandolin. Steven Foster, pianist extraordinaire, brought the house down on more than one occasion during the evening. In fact, at one point I came to my feet and Rick Morgan was feeling the same thing and grabbed my shoulder. We were both moved by that man’s outstanding talent. As always, absolutely no Spinnati Christmas concert would be complete without Dan Bentley. He is definitely the Robin to Spinnati’s Batman.
Again in 2015 Art Bush, Jeff Bush and Tracy Tooley, knocked it out of the park. It will amaze you how big their sound is. Just when it seems like they have reached their crescendo, they turn it up a notch. If you ever get a chance to pick up any of their music, do it.
My wife got to spend some time with Jeff Bush and talk about his son, who was the subject of a message he brought several years ago to the same venue. He went through some health issues, but is now five and doing well. Jeff Bush understands grace and mercy on a level many do not.
But let’s focus on the one part of the show that makes it so special – Dr. James Spinnati. Jim has been a friend as long as I can remember. He has a way of making you feel important. His optimism is contagious. He really does care about this area and promotes it every chance he gets. His goal to bring a free evening of entertainment in a top-notch facility has now been reached 22 consecutive times. Try finding anything in this world that is 100 percent successful year after year.
I just want to express my gratitude to my friend Jim Spinnati for a great evening of fun and entertainment and to thank him for being one of the great ambassadors around the world for the real spirit of Portsmouth, Ohio.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.