Music Park: Brian Setzer Orchestra @ Warner Theatre — 11/25/17

Brian Setzer Orchestra performing their Rockin’ Christmas Show at the Microsoft Theater in LA
Brian Setzer Orchestra performs on their Christmas Rocks! Tour at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andrzej Liguz)

I vividly remember the friend who put me on to the music of the Stray Cats 30+ years ago, as he was living the zeitgeist of the ’80s rockabilly revival. I was in Rochester, New York, attending RIT, and he’d come up from Jersey to attend school there as well. He had the greaser haircut, the leather jacket, rolled up cuffs on his jeans, cigarettes under his T-shirt sleeve, and designs on marrying his still virginal high school sweetheart once he got his degree.

The Stray Cats were in constant rotation in his dorm room, and he said to me once, “Y’know, even if this whole rockabilly scene fades away tomorrow, this guy Setzer’s still got a job for life.” He was referring to Stray Cats frontman Brian Setzer’s formidable talent as a guitarist. It was clearly evident back then, even if Setzer’s stylistic trappings were a little different from rock hero contemporaries like Eddie Van Halen or Yngwie Malmsteen.

Continue Reading

Music Park: Molly Ringwald w/ Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra @ Bethesda Blues & Jazz, 7/28/16

Molly Ringwald 32
Molly Ringwald sings at Bethesda Blues & Jazz on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra welcomed a very special guest to its residency at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club on Thursday –- the irrepressible Molly Ringwald, Gen-X “it girl” and all around charming woman.

Singing jazz and big band standards, Dave and Molly along with The No Vacancy Orchestra, which included some players from our local Airmen of Note, entertained an attentive crowd. Dave kicked things off with early songs like “Nice ‘n’ Easy” by Frank Sinatra, looking and sounding every bit an old-fashioned crooner. (Waxing nostalgic for things “old-fashioned” during a performance of a song of the same name, Dave offered up the suggestion of drinking an Old-Fashioned. Not a bad idea, sir!) Dave captures Sinatra’s “tough but tender” persona well.

Continue Reading