What a night!
For a moment, I felt like Nippertown’s Andrzej, zipping from one show to another. We left the house at 6:30pm to catch some of our son’s (Holly & Evan) show at the Coffee Beanery Café in Amsterdam – intending to leave well before 8 to get to Troy for the Spampinato Brothers (of NRBQ and Incredible Casuals fame) show at the Ale House.
Unfortunately, when we left, it was already pushing 8:30pm, so by the time we arrived the boys – and enthusiastic crowd – were already full out. I’m not sure how much of the show we missed, but we really enjoyed what we did see. It was obvious from the beginning that the band was having at least as much fun as the partisan fans in the audience. We somehow found a little nook to stand near the front and had a great view as they ran through the first of two sets. Luckily, our friend Denise saved two seats that had opened up for the second set.
On bass and vocals was Joey Spampinato, a founding member of NRBQ. Vocal duties, as well as lead guitar, were also shared between Joey’s younger brother, Johnny (also a member of NRBQ) and Aaron Spade. The quartet was filled out with drummer Liam Hogg solidly keeping the beat for the dancers in the audience. A look around at the standing room only pub showed that this was not a concert, but rather a party, as the band took the crowd on a musical tour of their own work and through some of the most hallowed halls of rock.
From the vocal harmonies of the Beatles’ “You’re Going To Lose That Girl” to the hot guitar work of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode” (Johnny was, by the way), the band was up to the task. If I was forced to pick, though, “A Bear Is A Bear Is A Bear” and “I Say Good-Day Goodnight”, off their CD, “Pie In The Sky”, were two of my favorites.
The time flew and before we knew it, the show was ending at nearly midnight. All in all, it was a great night for music. Now it’s time for the long drive home.
Review and photographs by Ed Conway
NOTE: The Spampinato Brothers are slated to make their next Nippertown appearance at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock at 9pm on Saturday, June 18. The Willie Amrod Band opens the show. Tix are $20 in advance; $25 at the door.