Monday, March 17, 2014

It has risen!!!! (And Allen Kanovsky is back online with the word on Brad Vickers & His Vestapolitans at Arts Garage and more!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 03/17/14

My computer that is --- it died and returned as something new --- making me forsake my life style for many days in the months to come. The only thing god about it is my being enabled to tell you about the music that happened in the last couple of days --- Saturday night at ARTS GARAGE in Delray Beach. Brad Vickers (guitar/vocals) and his band the "Vestapolitans". Margey Peters (bass/fiddle/vocals), John Collinge (tenor/clarinet) and Andrew Guterman (drums). This is a band steeped in the history of BLUES and rock'n roll. Brad and Margey opened the show with vocals on "Low Down Dirty Shame". It was done to a nice 'shuffle' tempo. Young John (25) shows his BLUES chops with some raspy-toned solo riffs. "Low" is followed with a 'rocker' titled "Traveling Fool". Brad had played with Chuck Berry's band for a number of years and the influence is evident. John toots his way into the hears of the audience. Next an original "Great Day In The Morning" has a country 'twang' to it. Piano Bob is in the audience when the band does a 'boogie' named "Because I Love You That Way". Back in the late 20's and early 30's a BLUES man known as "Tampa Red" recorded over 600 songs for Columbia. The Vestapolitans draw heavily on that history and play "Betting On You". It has Margey playing violin, John clarinet and Brad acoustic. One of the memorable lyric lines --- "I'll bring the hot dog--you bring the bun". BLUES and double entendre are inseperable. The red-light district of Dallas, Bebellem, was historical even back in 1935 when somebody wrote "Bebellem BLUES". Pure country swing. Another memorable place for music and strollers was Storyville where Jellyroll Morton would play. In memory of J.M. they play "Wandering Boy". Down memory lane with good BLUES, a little rock, a taste of country and some excellent musicianship.

Margey is a composer and well and the band did some of her originals. They call their program---American Roots and Roll---it fits. During the break I asked Margey for her favorit lyric line----"Put your arms around me, like circle 'round the sun". Homage is paid to yesteryear's stars like Chuck Berry, Pinetop Perkins, Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf and 9 String Joe Williams. Brad and Margey wrote a tune based on Wolf's "Meet Me At the Bottom". They call theirs "Up From the Bottom". Songs like that are what make me go out for music everynight. The audience tapped, clapped, shook their shoulders and bobbed their heads until the last notes of "I Don't Want To, But I Have To Leave You".

It's Sunday. There is a full moon hanging in a crystal clear sky. You can pick out the spot where we landed. I can tell I am going to have a great evening, being part vampire, you know. How do I know that I have that tendency? Easy. Every time I see Noreena Downey I want to bite her. And not necessarily on the neck. But first there is Anthony Corrado's Sunday Jam at Blue Jeans Blues. On the stage alongside Anthony's 10 or 12 instruments (he plays them all) are Paul Banman (piano), Guiseppe Pucci (drums), Gene patrelli (trumpet) and Jerry Mascato on bass guitar. They are playing "Has Anybody Seen My Gal". Anthony is playing banjo----does that make 13?----from the 20's to the 60's and "On Broadway". Martha and Carmine Licata have been dancing together for 40 years. Their style and grace is nice to watch even to the funky tune. The steps they do is what I would describe as modified cha-cha-cha. Corrado picks up the guitar(to my mind his best instrument) and takes us from the Iberian Peninsula to the Greel Isles and back. Anthony reaches into the piano well and comes up with a book. It is The Book. A Holy Bible. A Coletrain tune and the quotations "Praise Him". Plaudits, Anthony!!!!!

The Jam ends and now it is time for Ms. Noreena Downey and a trio with George Mazzeo on drums, Jeff Padowitz playing piano and the spped demon Nicky Orta on bass guitar. Let the games (dancing begin). I read my poem "The Danny's I've Known" in honor of the coming St. Patricks Day. They drag me away from the mic and play "On Broadway".

"Masconado" follows and I am up and dancing samba with Denise Shuster. OOOhhhBaaaaHHHH!. They swing it with "Rte 66" and it's hard to get off the floor. "Nature Boy" done with a salsa beat has a guy named Kevin Mears and Denise holding on and shaking all the approriate parts. Kevin is with a group of gals and guys who are in a Swing Dance Collective. The band does "Kansas City" and Noreena wants a turn with Kevin --- Noreena catches her breath and does "I Remember You". They follow with a slow ballad bolero so Bill can dance with Noreena. Bill does a slow dance and Kevin with a partner does a memorable bolero. They play I Can't Give You Anything" and I spot Martine and Jacques doing their unique rhythm following swing steps. Some dancers are gymnastic. Martine & Jacques are fluid. Super fast tempos, Shuffles, swing tunes, hops, salsa. Bop, rock, funk and most of all good music and lots of fun. I dance with Noreena --- I kid around with Nicky and Jeff. I don't fool with George (I hear he has some friends in the Apple). I hear Noreena do "Fever" in reggae rhythm, "Night and Day" witha great Orta solo, "Skylark" in a tempo so slow you could become engaged, get married and enjoy a honeymoon by the time the tune ends. I continue having to share dances with Kevin and another young man. We are all having a natural ball. Uh-oh! "Stormy Weather" prompts 'the fish', "Smooth Operator" in N.Y. Latin cha-cha. "Moondance" has Noreena scattin be-bop again. Brad Miller borrows Nicky's bass to sit in for a couple in the last set. Nice. When Nicky comes back to do "Lover Man" with Noreena he lets you know what playing bass is supposed to sound like. 

I'm trying to remember what they finished with --- heart beating a little too fast  --- alcohol racing through my veins and my head dropping in need of sleep --- strong coffee, hot and black --- car keys --- Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are. 

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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