The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Crashing drums and hard guitar riffs filled the Performing Arts Center at Lamar State College-Port Arthur Saturday night as Becky Barksdale celebrated her induction into the Museum of the Gulf Coast.
With a crowd of about 150 people watching Barksdale perform music from her decades-long career, the concert had a very personal feel.
Barefoot in a small black dress, Barksdale shared stories and joked with the audience in between songs. She said she was very happy to be home.
“To play here for the first time ever with my own band is crazy,” she told the audience.
Barksdale was born in Port Arthur, joining other music celebrities like George Jones, Percy Sledge and Janis Joplin. Her biggest claim to fame was being the lead guitarist for Michael Jackson during the “Dangerous World Tour” in 1993.
Barksdale was inducted into the Museum of the Gulf Coast’s music hall on Friday and played the concert to seal the event. The proceeds for the show will be split between the museum and the Commercial Music Program at LSC-PA.
Ben and Laura Stafford, who both work at LSC-PA, said they were excited to see another home-grown artist.
“It’s amazing the music talent that comes from this area,” Laura Stafford said.
The couple said they usually come to the college’s performances on Thursday nights, so this was “an extra treat.”
“We knew she was a local artist and we knew she played with Michael Jackson,” Ben Stafford said. “We were really interested to hear her music on her own.”
Van Green, a Port Arthur resident who came with her sister and friends, said she the concert just sounded like fun.
“She’s from here and she’s our age group,” Green said. “And we like good music.”
Barksdale played two covers, on from Jimi Hendrix and one from Led Zepplin, but the rest of the music was original. The band, consisting of a drummer, bass play and Barksdale on guitar and vocals, mixed old-school blues and hard rock.
Barksdale said she was most excited to play “Going Back to Texas,” a song written about Port Arthur.
The show started with a video montage of the compositions she made for popular movies, including Mission Impossible III, Inception, and Cold Mountain.
The crowd cheered Barksdale back on stage of an encore, and she played two loud blues jams to close out the night.