Friday, May 24, 2013

Horace Greeley said... (and Allen Kanovsky listened?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/24/13

..."Go west young man" and so I did. West on Oakland Park Blvd. all the way to Pine Island Rd. I felt that I was only a few miles from the Gulf when I reached my destination, Buzz's Bar & Grill. As I enter I spy a guy in a black T-shirt with big white letters, LET'S BLOW THIS JOINT,  with a picture of a J below the lettering. The guys name is Larry-----. Standing next to him is a guy wearing a blue zip-up with big letters on the back. D.E.A. I sneak up behind him to see the littler letters below. Drink Every Afternoon. These are guys I could 'hang' with. There's a good mix of guys and gals and a BLUES band is on stage. Buzz's is the grand-daddy of 'jook' joints, a honky-tonk throwback. There are pool tables, dart boards, a coin operated "nets" game and a skee ball machine. If you don't know what a skee ball machine is you have never visited a penny arcade in Coney Island. There is a neon sign that reads BUZZ'S HIDEAWAY. The d is a little messed up so the sign looks like HIVEAWAY. Below that is a banner NY GIANTS FAN CLUB. Opposite is a larger banner announcing NASCAR. Talk about culture shock. Representatives from both elements are present. There is a little sign near the door that you probably won't read until you are on the way out, No Gambling On Premises. Pool tables, dart boards, no gambling? Why would I pick up a cue-stick?

Blues Bobby's band is just closing the first set. Bobby on harp/vocals, Bernie Rose(Keyboard/vocals), Dave 'BLUESman' Morgan(guitar/vocals), Charlie Valenti (tenor), Tim Adde(bass) and Tommy Coe(drums). The sound tech, Sonnie, did a great job with limited gear. His task wasn't easy considering the lay-out of this forerunner of the dive bar. The "jam" was on. Coming up to the stage, in no particular order, were on harp Denny Salerno and Carl Ansara. Guitar, Al Carter and Gabe. Mike Anton(bass), Mark, Steve, Kevin and Pete at the drum set. Ed Cobin had brought his congas and played with the house band and jammers. Late, and welcome, arrivals were Jerry Mascaro playing bass and Al Ferriera on tenor sax. Both are veteran BLUES players. Jerry has played keys with most of the local bands and Al is also sought after by those in the know.

I sat at the bar next to Tony Fenesh, a friendly guy who made me feel at home by introducing me to some of his pals and identifying the musicians. Blues Bobby has this as a regular Thursday night event at Buzz's. You can have an interesting evening.

You can catch up with me at Arts Garage tonight. Aaron Lebos is one of the leaders in the new direction of JAZZ. Take this opportunity to hear him before he wins a Grammy.         

Al's Disclaimer:
A short note: The reason I write this is because I love music and words. I do not book acts. I do not promote acts. I do not accept invitations to review artists. I go to venues of my own choice. When and where is not influenced by anything other than who I would like to hear that night or day. If I don't like what I hear, I won't write about it. When I like it I let you all know. I never mention a name without asking permission. "Pardon me, Miss. Would you like to dance?"       

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