There are people who, no matter what mood you’re in, always make you smile. Paul and Linda Villanueva are two such people. While they may play the blues, they give you quite the opposite. The Villanuevas are warm, positive, upbeat and real friends to the community.

They go out of their way to help the community by doing many different things, but lately, they’ve been giving Mesquite the blues, and some classic rock.

On Saturday, June 3, they held a benefit concert and gave the Mesquite Toes the best of the blues, and the greens. They gave the audience a great concert. They both enjoy making people smile and they do it so well.

Emcee, Pericles Rellas opened things up with his charm and wit. Rellas has been Emceeing events at the community theater for several years now. He’s not only a favorite of the Toes, he even has a favorite former toe. No, Rellas didn’t get anything amputated. Pericles Rellas is the son of retired Toe Dancer, Claudia Rellas. He was the perfect MC for the fundraiser entertaining the crowd with zany antics, jokes and informational dialogue about the performers.

Opening up the concert was a long-time Mesquite favorite, Mike Rye. Mike is an accomplished musician and songwriter. Rye was once a member of the Mesquite Toes Musical Theatre Ensemble. Along with former ensemble members, Mike Schultz and John Sadlerthey once told a sad tale about Rye ‘Getting Nuttin for Christmas’ because Schultz and Sadler snitched on him. Perhaps he’s made up for whatever he did seven years ago and he’ll finally find something more than coal in his stocking after this latest good deed. Rye’s performance included some remixes of a few old-time favorites. After hearing the remixed version of one old country tune, I wonder if he’s a golfer. Apparently, for some, playing 18 holes of golf is nearly as bad as loading 18 tons of whatever. Rye may have made it entertaining and funny but it makes you wonder; the truth is often spoken in jest, just saying.

John Norwig has been a constant surprise lately. It’s not a surprise that he did a benefit for the toes, he and his partner Marsha have entertained audiences with some fancy footwork in the past and we have seen him play his harmonica with the band but who knew he also played the drum? He is far more versatile than most half his age. He has only been playing the harmonica for five years and already he’s challenging himself with drums and it appears, he’s coming out a winner.


The Toes may have gotten the money but the real winners and heroes of the day were of course the audience members.

Mike Schultz, Mike Rye and John Sadler,. Mike Rye got nothing for Christmas in 2015 because his buddies snictched on him. 2015 Photo by Teri Nehrenz







Leave a Reply