Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Instigators are back in Sarasota

After too long away, The Instigators are back onstage in Sarasota. Last night, they packed the house at the Five O'Clock Club on Hillview Street. Fans happily swayed to their multi-instrumental, multi-vocal reggae sound.

Even better news is that The Instigators are slated to play every Sunday at Bob's Boathouse, hopefully starting in late September when the newly built restaurant reopens . . . finally.

Refer to for actual gig dates. Meanwhile, check them out at to listen to clips. But, truly, you have to experience them in person to get the whole flavor.

AJ and the Automatics in Sarasota

After seeing AJ and the Automatics two nights in a row in Sarasota -- first at The Blue Rooster, then at Ocean Blues -- I'm still smiling as I recall happy dancers, grooveworthy funk and R&B, and AJ's full-throated vocals and fancy dance moves on stage. Simply put, AJ evokes every popular R&B singer from the 60s and 70s, pressed through his own high-energy, full-body delivery!

The sound is loud, the house literally rocks, and each of the band members provides solid entertainment with memorable solo riffs and backup vocals. For instance, Burt Engelsman on bass and Mark Serio on lead guitar. Schedules being what they are, some of the musicians change depending on the gig, but all are top-notch and each gets a chance to show off his licks.

According to AJ, "The Automatics have been around for about 19 years, touring all over Florida, doing concerts, including the Chillounge events from the east coast to west, as well as the Orlando area, and Lake Eola Park."


Lucky we are, to have AJ and the Automatics right here in Sarasota FL. For updates on their schedule, check out

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pedro Arevalo in Sarasota

Here's a delightful video of a jam featuring vocals and guitar by Pedro Arevalo, with backup by additional Sarasota live music scene artists, including Acoustic Pete Arevalo, Berry Oakley, Barry from Mumbo Jumbo, and others. Like I keep saying here, there's SO much fabulous talent in this town!

The Missing Links at JR's Old Packinghouse Cafe in Sarasota

Time travel has a new name, and it's The Missing Links, a high-energy cover band which plays once a month on Friday at JR's Old Packinghouse Cafe, in Sarasota. A high school band during the late '60s in Sarasota, The Missing Links took a very long hiatus to create their adult lives, then got back together for a reunion concert in 2008 and have continued to play driving iconic favorites from the '60s ever since.

Band members Gary Roy, David Anson, John Purcell, and Jon Hausburg remember each lick, vocal, and beat from the Summer of Love era, and so do their fans, who pack the house at the OPC, dancing on every square inch of vibrating floor boards. Beatles, The Byrds, Motown, Beach Boys, one hit after another will leave you reeling, smiling and singing along, if you're of a certain generation (read: Boomer!).

Acoustic Pete Fundraiser at JR's Old Packinghouse Cafe, Sarasota

Kudos to all who organized and ran the big fundraiser at JR's Old Packinghouse Cafe, in Sarasota, on Sunday, August 4, to help local musician Acoustic Pete Arevalo with medical expenses.

Continuous great music by a succession of 14 different bands, food, drinks, t-shirts and CDs, and hard-working JR and staff made for a wonderful afternoon and evening event. Somehow, the hot weather didn't matter much, with lots of borrowed pop-up tents set up in the parking lot and a huge crowd full of good spirits and warm wishes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

David Smash Opens for Holly Williams in Sarasota

On Saturday, February 16, 2013, local Sarasota bandleader David Smash will open for singer/songwriter Holly Williams (daughter of Hank Williams, Jr.) at a solo acoustic show that begins at 8PM at WSLR radio station's performance space at 525 Kumquat Court, in Sarasota FL.

Williams is in town to open for Sheryl Crow at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. The WSLR concert offers an intimate yet spacious venue from which to appreciate the talents of both Smash and Williams. Tickets are $10 at the door.

David Smash's visibility on the Sarasota live music scene gained momentum on New Year's Eve, when he and his band -- including a wicked horn section -- took to the main stage directly under the "Pineapple" poised for its midnight drop, and rocked the huge crowd with his powerful delivery of classic covers such as "Minnie the Moocher" and debut versions of new original tunes such as "In My Small Town". Even in the chaotic street scene of New Year's Eve, Smash got the crowd clapping, dancing, and singing back to him.

Here's some video from those heady onstage moments: