Monday, June 2, 2014

Doubling down...(Yes, Allen Kanovsky, the search for good music can be a gamble!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 06/02/14 a complex maneuver when playing blackjack. You are depending on luck, knowledge and the number of tens still in the shoe. Last night I won with a double of surprises. First there was Guiseppe Pucci sitting in on drums with Anthony Corrado. Guiseppe is a master of the dynamics of his instrument. Next there was Ken Burkhart playing keys with Sista' Marybeth. I hadn't seen or heard Ken in a while and so it was a treat. Sista' had young Krister Lanzhovan on drums and John Mazlack on bass guitar. She opened her program with a bit of funk "Let Me Know". The tune had everyone moving their shoulders and a gal in a short polka dot black dress on the dance floor shaking everything she had. I was seated with my buddy Bill Rutan. I thought he would have a heart attack. Her name was Mandy and she continued her assault on Bill's (and mine) heart rate over the next couple of songs. To what I call "Fish" rhythm Sista' sang "Love Me Like A Man". When she did a swing tune, I approached four women of appropriate age and inquired as to who would like to get up and dance. They looked at each other, pointing. You! No you! No no you! Her! No her!. I was sorry I started the argument, excused myself and walked away. Talk about getting shot down. This was an anti-aircraft barrage. I got to dance with one of the ladies who had come in with my pal Dave (Cat in the Hat) Posner.  Among the tunes Sista' sang were "Love My Baby", "Baby I Love You" and "Put A Smile On Your Face". Ken, when he catches a groove, is animated to say the least. When his foot and leg are raised off the ground, fasten your seat belts. John is no slouch on bass and the beat is clear and hard. Krister makes sure noone is left behind. Tony Messina (harp) sits in for a couple. Tony has a way with the BLUES. His solos always contain creative JAZZ riffs. Sista' sings "There's Something Wrong With Me Baby". Kenny does a memorable solo and Tony adds to the passion. Marybeth does an original "Try Not To Laugh" about a gal approaching a guy in a club. She follows with the Beatles "Can't Buy Me Love". When she started the tune the first couple of bars didn't sound right. WRONG SONG!!!! Sista' straightens it and herself out and gets it done. Next she does "Ain't Gonna Be Your Sugar Momma No Mo'". Tony rejoins the group and Amy Arlo steps up on stage to do a duet with Marybeth. Exciting moments in music. "Falling" an Alisha Keyes ballad has Dave up and dancing close. She closes the set with a kind of spiritual "Reach Up". The 2d set has BLUES, rock, shuffles, and originals, including "Never Loved A Man Like I Love You", "Heard It Through the Grapevine",  "Work On Me Baby", "She's the Girl" and "Man Sized Job".

The band took a break while Sista' remained on stage to sing a song she wrote on a paper plate, "Love Needs A Fool Like Me". It is probably the truest lyric ever written. A little R&B with "Hit the Road Jack" and into the hippy years with "Bobby McGee". My eyelids are starting to droop. My lower back is starting to hurt. My server, the sweet Shannon, suggests I pay my tab before falling asleep. I better head home. This morning while writing this I wondered why there are so many people, guys and dolls, named "Baby"?    

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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