Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Guest Concert Review #1

Forgotten Hits East Coast Correspondent Shelley Sweet-Tufano has submitted three final reviews from her late 2018 concert agenda.  We're featuring the first of these today.  (kk)

Tarrytown, NY, is the scene for Washington Irving’s ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and today it is the home of The Music Hall which housed a show called 'Stars of the 60s' at the beginning of October. October is a perfect time to visit a place known for its spooky heritage. I love this fall pilgrimage and as Tarrytown is still a sleepy little hollow along the river, it is always a perfectly fun experience.  

There are four acts on the bill: The Chiffons, The Brooklyn Bridge, The Vogues and Jay and The Americans ... all American acts from the 60s who have experienced issues and reformations, still managing to keep the music alive and prosperous. 

Judy Craig Mann, original lead singer of The Chiffons and her daughter and niece are the first examples of this reformation. Judy left show biz, only to return and revive her career and the songs she introduced in the early 90’s. Originally The Chiffons were a group whose purpose was to introduce the songs of writer / composer Ronald Mack to the industry in an effort to market his creations to other performers. Surprise, surprise! The Chiffons became a hit and began shopping for matching dresses in which to begin their performances. ‘One Fine Day’ immediately gets the audience clapping and singing the praises of this wonderful day we all have in our memories … real or imagined.  ‘I Have A Boyfriend’ is next, followed by Judy’s daughter, Dawn, taking the lead vocals for ‘That’s The Way It Goes.’  NOW comes my fave moment as these girls “get real” about all those ‘Sweet Talking Guy’(s).  The pre-song repartee from each girl giving her opinioned attitude on these men we wish to forget, after having fallen victim to their words without meaning, brings all women in the audience into a single sisterhood of “UH-HUH! Been there, and NOT going back!” However, we absolutely MUST end acknowledging ‘He’s So Fine.’  Of course, THAT would be each of you men reading this review. Thank you, Chiffons, for bringing me back into the Spectacular 60s from a girl’s point of view. 

I have not seen The Brooklyn Bridge since Johnny Maestro’s last performance. It was at Bowzer’s Doo-Wop, Mohegan Sun in CT. I had no idea it would be his last and, from what I have been told, others did not either. So what can The Brooklyn Bridge offer me now? There are still three original members and a new lead singer. His name is Roy Michaels. And, as The Bridge tells us, “Johnny threw him down to our microphone suited up and complete with hat.”  Below is a piece taken from The Brooklyn Bridge’s announcement on their decision to continue. It explains it beautifully.    

The Brooklyn Bridge (Band) are excited and looking forward to continue the music that all of you are familliar, with such songs as 'Lonely Teardrops,' 'Give Me Some Lovin'' and many more. Since Johnny Maestro's passing in March of 2010 and Fred Ferrara's passing in October of 2011, the band and our families have felt their loss on many levels. We miss them terribly, as do all our fans. However, at this time, the band feels that the responsibility to carry on the music is something that can not be ignored. And so, the band is looking forward to performing the hits that are still popular on all of the Rock and Roll shows and all the oldies shows on the radio and the internet. Such songs as 'Welcome Me Love,' 'Blessed Is The Rain,' 'Your Husband And My Wife,' and our most popular million seller, 'The Worst That Could Happen,' along with many others of the Brooklyn Bridge song list will be performed once again to our fans and friends. 
Future bookings and events will be posted on this website. Also, you can log on Facebook to 'TheBrooklynbridgeband on Facebook' for more information on the band. 
Hope to see you at future shows and we thank you for always being a very important part of our lives and the music.   
Peace   ///    
Rn'R Forever ...
The Brooklyn Bridge Band   
So, what do I say now? I am SO glad they made this decision to go on with their musical performances. Roy’s vocals are spot on, and to be able to hear ‘Lonely Teardrops,’ ‘My Prayer,’ ‘Welcome Me, Love,’ ‘Blessed Is The Rain,’ '16 Candles’ and ‘The Worst That Can Happen’ in live performance with the feeling that Johnny is not only smiling, but saying, “YEAH! I did that! And the world still loves it!” made me weepy and joyful both. What happened to ‘Your Husband and My Wife’? I don’t know. It was not performed tonight. I hope all is well with them. (sarcasm ;-D).   
The last time The Vogues performed at The Music Hall, Bill Burkette was still with them. They were such a hit, the audience plagued The Music Hall to bring them back … and they listened. Today, The Vogues name is headed by Troy Elich and includes Royce Taylor and another vocalist who (according to their website) is not computer savvy enough for email. They tour with The Five O’Clock Band whose names (but not emails … again , not computer savvy) are Art DeLeonardis, Dean Mastrangelo, Tom Lamb, and Rich Gooch.   
This is sounding like a funeral dirge depicting loss, but I really see it as a positive of the music being carried forward. As with other bands, there are members here who performed with the originals and carry the blessings of them to go forward and keep the magic going. And, as I have said before, CDs are nice (actually my vinyls are better) but live harmonies ROCK the world! The vocals are filling the room bringing the songs to life. 
The Land of Milk and Honey
Magic Town
My Special Angel
Turn Around (Look at Me)
Five O’Clock World
You’re The One
These songs long for and are enhanced by some of the most beautiful harmonies and lyrics we can find in concert. A patron says to me, “The Vogues put on a great show. They know how to do it.” I am feeling warm, mushy, strong and determined as their section ends. At each concert I realize again the importance of music in my life and the lives of others.  
The show ends with Jay and The Americans backed by The USA Band! Several “Jays” have had the honor of strength of voice to deliver the HIGHS, with never a low, of the songs that went toe to toe with the British Invasion. Although there are many “shoulda been a hit” examples in music, there are also as many or more, examples of songs that lurched through the stacks to emerge victorious against all odds. Music can win when all else fails. And ‘Only In America’ is the place to start. It is BECAUSE of our melting pot existence that we are able to bring forth musical genres and styles that may separate or combine music from any area of the world.
Sandy Deanne, Marty Sanders and Jay Reincke appear tonight. The stage is minus Howie Kane and at times, I feel a burden on the other three to make up for “one man down”. You nailed it, guys. 
Jay Reincke appeared at times to be dissatisfied with his voice, but the audience didn’t feel it. This was an audience who were all glad to be attending this concert and they showed their appreciation.
Some Enchanted Evening
Let’s Lock the Door
She Cried
Young Blood
Over You
Oh, Pretty Woman
Let It Be Me
Cara Mia
Be My Baby (Sandy Deanne takes lead vocals)
Walking In The Rain
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore 
Come A Little Bit Closer
This Magic Moment  
This was my first concert in October. After this, my personal and professional life took on curves that didn’t allow me the time to finish this review, nor write the others for October and November. I can’t let this year end without acknowledging all the concerts I attended (YES, despite everything, I made it to every concert on my list, and thankfully so. I would not have survived, still smiling, without them.) So, I will be sending a whirlwind montage of the rest of my year in one fell swoop. Marty Sanders of Jay and The Americans will emerge again along with American Rock N Roll royalty, a trip involving a concert that didn’t happen, and The British Invasion. 
Happy New Year!
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano