We came from drastically different worlds, but that was not important, and though we talked a lot, we spoke more by playing music together over the last decade or so.
His love of music, playing and people was infectious, and I learned a lot by being around him. More than just a singer, Ernie was an entertainer, and people loved him wherever we went. I was always extremely flattered that Ernie - who had his pick of regional guitarists - always made me his first call guitarist, and I played with him anytime and any place, whenever I was available. And we had some fine adventures.
Save for longtime drummer Rocky Petrocelli and saxophonist Charlie Vatalaro, band members came and went, but it didn¹t really matter, because it was all about Ernie. In more recent years, we had been doing acoustic trio shows with Ernie on bass and Charlie Vatalaro on saxes, and I enjoyed those the most.
Though Ernie was much older, he still had more energy than all of us put together, and somehow you never even thought that it could be possible that he would ever be gone.
We played last Sunday in Northville, and it was just a joy. As I left, I said, “That was fun, see you in May.” He said, “Yes, you will. Thanks, Dave!”
A rainstorm hovered ominously in the sky last Friday evening. Would they bring the Woodstock Allstars inside the Stewart House, where the audience and band would be in tight quarters? Or was the concert going to be outside? Thankfully, the show wasn’t moved indoors, but nevertheless, the band was hot.
At their annual concert in Athens’ Riverfront Park, David Malachowski’s Allstars played a whopping two-hour set of mostly standards peppered with a handful of Malachowski originals. And the Allstars lived up to their name. Daniel A. Weiss manned the stage-left keyboards, while organist Pete Levin anchored the other side of the stage. Brother Tony Levin “filled in” on bass for the usual Graham Maby, while Gary Burke provided the muscle and big beat behind the drums.
Dick Solberg – known to many of his fans as the Sun Mountain Fiddler – was seriously injured on May 28, when he was aboard a cabin cruiser that hit an unmarked submerged rock on the Fall River in Massachusetts. He went flying, breaking a table and ending up on his back on the deck unable to move his arms or legs. He was Medivaced to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence with a scalp wound, two broken ribs and trauma to his neck and spine. He’s home now after lots of hospital time and many more hours of physical therapy. “I’m on the mend. Everything works – just not that well,” says Solberg. “63 years of the world’s best luck, followed quickly by a fraction of an instant’s bad luck…ups and downs.” He was forced to cancel six weeks of gigs, but he’s hoping that he might be able to get back in the spotlight in time for upcoming gigs later this month at the Lion’s Den at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge at 8pm on Sunday (July 17) and the Inn at Saratoga in Saratoga Springs (7pm on Friday, July 22). Stay tuned to his website for updates.
No, it’s not about the economy, but the Charlie Watts Riots have down-sized from a quartet to a trio, following the departure of guitarist-vocalist Brendan Pendergast. The parting is amicable (Pendergast was in the crowd cheering on his former band at McGerary’s last Thursday), and as a power trio, CWR pump out a somewhat leaner, more muscular sound, packing more power into their power-pop. New tunes – like “Omaha” and the stompin’ “Caveman” – take advantage of the band’s new less-is-more approach.
Well, the show just completed its NYC premiere with a run of 11 sold-out shows as part of the annual New York Musical Theater Festival. And it had reviewers raving.
In The New York Times, theater critic David Rooney hailed the show as “poignant,” “tender” and “heartfelt.”
Rooney also wrote, “Memorable musical theater is about those transporting moments when a song reaches out and communicates that ineffable something to the audience, connecting with our feelings and deepening our insights in ways that dialogue-based scenes rarely can.
“I had my first such moment a few days into my festival rounds, when melody, meaning and a surge of genuine emotion made me sit up and pay attention.”
The song? R.E.M.’s hit “Losing My Religion,” which is included in the show because that’s the song that Rapp sang when he auditioned for the part in “Rent.” Yeah, the role that made him a star.
Up next, Rapp, Malachowski and the rest of the crew take “Without You” to Japan for a two-week stand in December.
Yes, indeed, it is. The Nippertown guitarslinger – who leads the rockin’ David Malachowski & the Woodstock Allstars and was recently heard (but not seen) in Capital Repertory Theatre’s summer production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes” – was recently tapped by Broadway star Anthony Rapp (of the original cast of “Rent”) to play in his autobiographical one-man show, “Without You,” which premiered last week in Manhattan during the seventh annual New York Musical Theatre Festival. All 10 performances of the show were sold-out even before the festival started. An 11th show was added, and that, too, is sold-out. Directed by Steve Maler, “Without You” continues its run at the TBG Theatre through Saturday, October 9.
Read Michele Lee’sreview of the production at Theatermania.com
Here’s the full schedule of performances:
3pm: The Joint Chiefs
4:45pm: Gary Higgins
6:15pm: Ashley Pond
7:30pm: Professor Louie & the Crowmatix
9:30pm: David Malachowski & the Woodstock Allstars
11:15pm: Friends Jam
Donation at the gate is $40, with proceeds to benefit local veterans organizations.
NAME: Machan Taylor
BAND AFFILIATION: David Malachowski & the Woodstock Allstars
INSTRUMENT: Vocals, guitar
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … It’s hard to remember that far back, but I think it was actually a single of a Beatles song. I recently uncovered a box of 45s out of my mother’s attic, and there are some great singles from the early ’70s – the Beatles, Rare Earth, the Rolling Stones. It’s a great little collection I forgot all about. I’m sure my first record is in there.
A batch of some of Nippertown’s finest homegrown musical talent graced the stage at the Palace Theatre on Thursday night. Slick Fitty kicked off the evening’s festivities by steamrolling through some gritty, roots-oriented rock & roll. Sirsy was in the number two slot, and the dynamic duo of Melanie Krahmer and Rich Libutti had no problem filling the theater, as they ripped through the title track of their latest album, “Revolution,” and served up new ones like “Goner” as well.
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