Review and photographs by Timothy Reidy
The last day before Lent brought together tasty food, tasty beer and tasty music as the Sunny Side of the Street Band took over the stage at Albany’s Bayou Cafe for a downtown Mardi Gras party.
When I first entered the bar, the band was playing as a four-piece. This quickly changed as the saxophone player left for the night. The line-up kept changing throughout the evening. The second set was aided by the accompaniment of Olivia Quillio, who stayed on for most of the rest of the night, either singing or playing percussion. With three accomplished singers on stage – Thomas LaFond, Eric Margan and Olivia Quillio – they were able to deliver some really good harmonies.
This band did not fit my party mood on Mardi Gras, but they exceeded my expectations. The Sunny Side of the Street Band did give a concert hall-worthy performance in a bar setting. Although they threw some jazz
standards in during their three sets, the band performed quite a mixed range of songs for the five hours. Their Tom Waits cover, for example, was spot on. Other ladies showed up to sing on stage in the last set, and the band got the crowd dancing at the end.
Hopefully, SSSB can get a showcase at an upcoming jazz festival.