Monday, April 30, 2012

Bain Beakley at the 5 O'Clock Club

Was intrigued to see Bain Beakley onstage tonight at the Monday night blues jam at the 5 O'Clock Club in Sarasota. Having seen him perform in several venues around the Sarasota live music scene for the past year, as a solo act and backing up various bands, I thought I knew his "sounds", both instrumental and vocal.

But when he stepped out front for a few lead breaks tonight, I was blown away to hear him wail on that guitar. Did not know about the screamin' bluesman he's been hiding away.  Looking forward to more of that soulful sound.

Bain Beakley can be seen playing at Sarasota Vineyard and Mattison's City Grille in downtown Sarasota, at SKOB on Siesta Key, and various other music spots in this amazingly musical town.

Monday, April 23, 2012

David Smash at Ocean Blues

I'll cut to the chase: You absolutely must make it over to Ocean Blues on Hillview Street in Southside Village, Sarasota, on Monday night to hear David Smash and his band.

Here's a look and a listen. But video cannot convey the magic and the fun of seeing this talented young entertainer perform in person. He engages the whole room and has fun with the band, too.

David Smash's glib mastery of a soulful and dextrous electric guitar, punchy and throaty vocals reminiscent of Elvis and other iconic American blues singers, and stage presence of someone much more seasoned . . . well, he's quite the phenom in a town already full of amazing musicians.

On a related note, it's so great to finally have an alternative to the Monday night blues jam at the 5 O'Clock Club next door. Ocean Blues is blissfully smoke-free, with a classy interior and shiny dance floor that fills up with people of all ages who simply love to dance. Service at the bar is attentive and friendly. What a welcome addition to the neighborhood and to the Sarasota live music scene.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kettle of Fish at SKOB with Jimmie Fadden

Yet another unique feature of the Sarasota live music scene is the seamless collaboration of musicians from different generations, along with audiences of all ages enjoying the same show.

Case in point: Kettle of Fish offering up yet another evening of masterful bluesy rock at SKOB (Siesta Key Oyster Bar) on Siesta Key. Each player is master of his domain instrumentally -- base, lead, rhythm guitars, drums, harmonica -- and all four offer up a nice blend of harmonies, with each also taking turns on lead vocals.

Jimmie Fadden, of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame, is just one of the bandmates here, and I get a kick out of seeing the group perform 60s rock tunes -- a live memory no doubt for Jimmie and fresh classics for the other, younger players.

There are so many incredible, world-class (yes, I've said it before here) musicians in Sarasota -- like Jimmie Fadden -- and it's great that they can simply keep playing . . . on and on and on. And that we get to see, listen, and dance to them. What a special music town Sarasota continues to be. And all you have to do is walk around with your ears and your soul tuned to the magical sounds all around us.