Friday, January 3, 2014

"You came a long way from...(And, we all know Allen Kanovsky knows, because he has been everywhere!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/03/14

...Noo Joisy, You came in from the frozen north, and you certainly impressed me!" It's the Nick Clemons band. Some BLUES, some funk, mixed in to the R&R. A few originals, a few covers and a couple of standards. Nick is the son of the famed Clarence Clemons and does his father proud. They are out of New Jersey and it shows in their " 'tude". Raucous and loud but self assured. Nick plays guitar, does vocals and plays harp. How did a kid grow up on the Jersey shore learn to play BLUES harp? Two talented guitar/vocals Jimmy(unknown) and Mike Galicia played solos worth listening to, all night. Eric Gonzalez, playing a 3 cymbal trap set(unusual for a BLUES band) drove the band and Timmy Douglas(bass) provided the heart beat. They broke tradition by starting the first set right on time. I hope it doesn't ruin their reputation. The band noodled a little funky tune, with both guitars playing really nice licks. They did a couple of covers like "Easy Lady" and Jimi Hendrix "Red House" with both guitars playing impressive solos and Nick doing 'form the soul' vocals. When Clemons plays harp, with the boys playing underneath, you know this is no B.S. band. These guys are real and they mean it. I am tappin' and clappin' all the way. A young cat, Curt Wintors, playing soprano sax, sits in. They close the set with a tune titled "Dear Friend".  During the break I get a chance to say "Hi" to Babette and Steve. Then I spy Betty(lady in the hat) and Douglas(her old man) and tell my Cuba stories. Betty's hat is a new style. Black and kind of a derby, homburg, flat top mix. You have to see it to know what I mean. Kind of like "You have to pass it, to know what's in it". The second set has lots of Classic R&R like "No Worries" and "Captain Cory". Sadly, the band had to borrow amps which didn't function and they were working off the house system.

The bass drowned out a lot of the vocals and guitars solos. So what?? They still sounded great. Two gals got up to dance. They cold-shouldered me when I asked for their names. I'll just call them Miss Shoulders and Ms. Hips. The one in black and white was Ms. Hips and the off-shoulder brown blouse was Miss Shoulders. Nice movement to the rhythm. They'll never know that they missed a shot at real fame. Curt returned to the stage with a rousing soprano sax solo that brought the audience out of their seats. The band closed the set with "My Baby Took A Train".

The last set lasted way past schedule. The band and remaining audience was having a good time with the BLUES and Rock 'n Roll. Ralph De Curzio plays drums with the Old Man Skynard Band. He's local but the band plays up north. The band played "I'll Be Your Man" and Ralph blew the skins off the trap set. I thought the night had ended when Nick did some harp work on "Fire". I was wrong and glad of it. They continued with a Nick original "15 times" and then "Do You Have What You Wanted" and then "Run Rabbit Run". Jimmy sits down at the piano during "Run" and almost knocks the walls down with nothing less than fantastic keyboard work------last set, last song-----It is past 1am-----Thank you to the Nick Clemons band. Guys like you are the reason I go out to "listen to the music". New Jersey has declared a Clarence Clemons Day. There will be a celebration of his life with a 6 hour live music presentation in Pt. Pleasant sometime this month. 

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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