Monday, June 15, 2009

Point Beach Concerts 2009


Thanks to Mike from Wilmington for writing to me asking about the Somers Point Beach concerts, letting me know that there are people out there who are reading this stuff, and acting on it. A weekend warrior, Mike likes the blues, and he stops in Somers Point for the free Friday night concerts on his way to Wildwood. Well he'll get his share of the blues this season.

After previously beginning on Memorial Day, the traditional beginning of summer, and then struggling a few weeks with the weather and crowds, the free Friday night Somers Point Beach concerts are starting late this year, but getting better and extending the summer at the other end of the season.

As usual, it's a good mix of different styles, local and traveling recording acts, and bands that have played every year and keep getting invited back because they really are that good.

The beach blanket bingo begins Friday, June 19, with The Snake Brothers, who have basic blue grass roots, but extend that into classic folk, folk Rock & pop, and should set the right tone for the summer.

The following week, on June 26 Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Pack come back again after blowing everybody away the past few years. The legendary Saxman from the Howlin Wolf Band, is still on the Chitlin' Circuit, has played Somers Point, Atlantic City and Cape May Jazz Fest and can swing through here anytime and always find a gig.

The following week is when the real summer begins, as any local will tell you, so there's the Friday night July 3 gig with Hawkins Road, a country rock band with Danny Eyer on lead guitar, giving it a Rock n Roll twist.

The next night, Saturday, July 4 The Bob Campanell Band will play for the Holiday, a gig that Bobby can write on his calender for next year too. He'll bring his band of friends and play classic Rock n' Roll, pop, a few originals and a special patriotic salute accompanied by fireworks.

The following Friday, July 10, Bobby's old band The Shakes return to the beach, with their funky, Motown, party pop.

July 17 it's two incredible local guys - Dr. Bobby Fingers on keyboard and Howard Isaacson on horns, mixing your Sing-a-Long favorites with Isaacosn's Jazz Rock Fusion, Soupy Sales and Grover Washington, Jr.

On Friday July 24 Curtis Salgado Band, "the World Famous Artist who “Taught the Blues to the Blues Brothers" will put into the beach with the music that inspired Jake and Elwood to hold the benefit concert to save the orphanage and destroy every police car in Chicago.

July 31 is the Friday night that Chris Sooy brings his Swing Band to the beach, and featuring Lew London, the swingman, whose "Swingtime in Springtime" album is a classic. They feature Swing, Traditional Jazz & Great American Standards.

On August 7 things get hot and funky with The Kinsey Report, a comparative analysis of the best Caribbean, Funk, Reggae, World Beat and R & B music in one place, in which subjects are required to dance under an horizonal stick to pass the Kinsey test.

Friday August 14 will be a real special night since it will feature the return of the original "Eddie & the Cruisers" Saxman Michael "Tunes" Antunes, who won't have any trouble jamming with The Billy Walton Band, Walton being the best of the new generation of local guitarists.

In the Eddie & the Cruisers movie, as everyone will recall, "Tunes" ends up dead of an overdose in his MacArthur Blvd. motel room, which at first put a damper on getting solo gigs, though he did continue touring with the Beaver Brown Band. "Hell, I ain't dead," Tunes said on his earlier return to the Point with the BBB. Now he's back solo, and will fit right in with Billy Walton, who most certainly knows how to play, "Wild Summer Nights," "On the Darkside" and what's the name of that other song?

On August 21 the legendary Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, still on their never ending tour of the Gallaxy, will put into the Somers Point beach to play their unique blend of Sixties rock, classic swing and good old boogie woogie piano.

The following Friday, August 28, it's back to the best of the local jazzmen, with The Magnificent Seven featuring Bob Ferguson & Michael Pedicine, Jr., playing contemporary Jazz with a Big Band Sound. With Bob on trumpet and Mike on sax, both touring professionals who have played with the best jazz orchestras of our times (Maynard Ferguson, Dave Brubeck, et al),these guys are going to really jazz things up and keep the good vibs going. Pedicin played a toy sax at the feet of his father playing "Shake A Hand" at Bay Shores in the fifties, and now he's back as the senior sax man whose been around.

Another guy we're becoming familiar with is Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience
who bring their New Orleans, Grammy Award Winning Zydeco and World Beat Music music to the Point beach after playing the Good Old Days picnic a few years ago. Boy is this guy good.

You don't want to the summer to end when on September 11, the final show of the season features Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers - officially billed as One of the World’s Greatest Guitarists, who plays classic rock and blues. A hard billing to live up to, but hey, we've been impressed before and look forward to hearing this guy.


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