Well, the week I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! The Fab Faux will be making their first appearance in the Hudson Valley this week! If you don’t know who The Fab Faux are, taking a look at last week’s column will give you a good idea. In short, The Fab Faux are the best Beatles band on the planet! Rather than try to write something new, I’m going to reprint what I wrote about the band last week, because I think that said it all pretty well. On Saturday, February 11, The Fab Faux, make their first trip to the Hudson Valley, with an appearance at UPAC in Kingston. If you don’t know them, The Fab Faux is a band that performs the music of The Beatles. They’re not a tribute band though, and make no attempt to look or dress like The Fab Four. What they do do, is to play the music, note perfect. As they say on their website, “It’s not a tribute. It’s a recreation.” And it is! When they do “Within You, Without You”, guitarist Jimmy Vivino plays the part on sitar! When they do “Savoy Truffle” or “Got to Get You into my Life”, a horn section appears. For “She’s Leaving Home” or “Eleanor Rigby” a string quartet walks onstage. They even have additional singers for a double tracked vocal! These guys are so good that when listening to them, they have at times, actually made the music of The Beatles clearer! What I mean is, you can hear the musical parts being played better than on The Beatles’ records! Not always, but often! The Fab Faux actually give the listener new insight into what The Beatles were playing on their records! And the musicians are top notch! The bass player is Will Lee from The Late Show Band, whom no less than Paul McCartney praised as one of the world’s best bassists, and the guitar player is Jimmy Vivino from Conan O’Brian’s Band, who also spends time in The Levon Helm Band, as well as numerous other projects, all first rate! This is the closest you’ll get to the Fab Four today! They often do a complete Beatles album in each set. I’ve seen them do “Sgt. Pepper”, “Rubber Soul”, “Revolver” Magical Mystery Tour”, “The White Album”, and “Abbey Road” as well as the psychedelic singles “All you Need is Love”, “I am the Walrus”, “Strawberry Fields”, “Penny Lane” and “Hey Jude”. The Beatles themselves never performed these songs live, but The Fab Faux do, and they do them perfectly! I’ve never before written about a live show in the main body of this column, but this is really special, so I’ve broken with tradition for The Fab Faux (and The Fab Four)! If you like The Beatles, (and who doesn’t), I strongly suggest you catch this show! If you only go to one show this Winter, make it this one! I guarantee you will be amazed and fascinated. Obviously, it’s this week’s Pick of the Week!
And now on to the best of the rest!
Wednesday, February 8 – As mentioned last week, THE YARDBIRDS and VANILLA FUDGE are touring together. The new Yardbirds have two original members who have done a great job replacing Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck! The new band is quite good and faithfully reproduce all of their immortal hits of the 60’s! Vanilla Fudge should be bringing back their unique semi-heavy metal take on classics like “You Keep me Hangin’ On”, their biggest hit from the 60’s. Last stop in our area is at the Tarrytown Music Hall. Very recommended!
For those of you downstate, there are three fine shows tonight. GEORGE CLINTON AND THE P-FUNK ALL STARS will be funking it up at BB King’s and BERNARD FOWLER, backup singer for The Rolling Stones for the past two decades, will be at The Highline Ballroom, both in Manhattan. Out in Brooklyn, PRIMUS rolls into The Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Thursday, February 9 – THE JACK GRACE BAND brings their old school, rockin’, wry brand of Country music to Keegan Ales in Kingston. This is my second Pick of the Week. These guys are great! And it’s free!
Friday, February 10 – Downstate – AL KOOPER at BB King’s and GUNS AND ROSES at Roseland Ballroom. Upstate – JERRY MAROTTA’S Birthday Party at Keegan’s. Further upstate – PETER FRAMPTON at The Palace Theater in Albany. Comments – Al Kooper has been on the charts for over a half century. Starting with The Royal Teens, then as a founding member of The Blues Project and Blood Sweat and Tears, in his spare time finding the time to play on records by Bob Dylan, BB King, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper, Cream, and The Rolling Stones, discovering, signing, producing, and playing on the first three records by Lynrd Skynrd, producing the first Tubes record, and writing the hit song, “This Diamond Ring” for vastly underated pop bubblegum star, Gary Lewis and The Playboys. Mister Kooper continues his illustrious career to this day with various assemblages like The ReKooperators and The Funky Faculty. I’d say his resume speaks for itself, wouldn’t you? Guns and Roses today is Axl Rose and whoever he hires. As such, much of the subtleties are bound to be lost, but I’d still love to check this out. Jerry Marotta was the drummer for Peter Gabriel, The Indigo Girls, and on countless records. There will be many special guests here tonight. Peter Frampton is best known for his pop records of the 70’s, but before that, he was in the first version of Humble Pie, and is said to be an excellent guitarist, so this could possibly be good.
Saturday, February 11 – As previously mentioned, if you’re in the Hudson Valley, it’s THE FAB FAUX at UPAC in Kingston. Pick of the Week! See above! Further upstate it’s PETER WOLF at The Egg in Albany. Peter is the former lead singer for the J. Geils Band. His solo records have been sort of pop-ish, but the J. Geils Band was one of the rockin’-est blues bands ever to live, especially their first two albums, “The J. Geils Band” and “The Morning After”, both of which I highly recommend, and both of which you should pick up, or load down, or whatever it is you kids do! In the City, one of the best jam bands, TEA LEAF GREEN will be holding forth at The Brooklyn Bowl. These guys are really great musicians, very innovative and very creative and original. And check out THE KILLS at Terminal 5 in Manhattan. Don’t know much about this mixed sex duo, but my girlfriend digs ‘em, and that’s good enough for me!
Sunday, February 12 – The immortal DOCTOR RALPH STANLEY AND THE CLINCH MOUNTAIN BOYS make a rare stop in Manhattan at BB King’s. You gotta check these guys out! Doctor Stanley is probably the last living original Bluegrass artist. Even if you don’t dig Bluegrass, good music is good music! And this is good music! GUNS AND ROSES reprise Friday night’s show, this time at Terminal 5. Up in the Hudson Valley, country-rock royalty POCO rides into The Towne Crier in Pauling. Don’t know if this will be the full band or just the trio they’ve been touring as lately, but if you like ‘em, you’ll love ‘em!
Tuesday, February 14 – Downstate, RICHARD THOMPSON begins the first of three nights doing all request shows at the City Winery in Manhattan. Upstate, it’s Tuesday, so it’s BEN ROUNDS’ Open Mic Night at The Catamount in Mount Tremper.
Wednesday, February 15 – RICHARD THOMPSON, Night 2.
Thursday, February 16 – Downstate – RICHARD THOMPSON, Night 3. Upstate – LUCKY PETERSON at The Catamount. Catch this great artist in the most intimate venue you’re ever likely to see him in. Highly recommended!
That’s it for now! See this space next week for my review of the Fab Faux show and other musings on the state of music and the music business. Until then, Vaya con Dios!