Savtones at The Square
The Persistance of Memory
UU Church lawn, Gloucester,
The Dirty Truckers, Stop
Calling Me Frank, Muck & The Mires
on a boat in Boston Harbor
8/15 - 8/17, 2019
Two if by land, three if by sea or something like that. Tony
Savarino and the Savtones have a classy new disk out
its called Savvy Tonarino. Savarino
has a sly way of underlining his twang and surf with just the
right highlights to emphasize the feel of the songs - a little
secret agent man here, a little doo-wop there, a little space
and Avante spaz out on the margin. These guys are talented and
creative. They know their way around a genre. Live, Savtones
display many of the record's strengths. They role out an eclectic
mix of originals and covers. Then they ride the dynamics and solos
to keep these instrumentals interesting. On the disk the dewy-eyed
standard "I Only Have Eyes for You" is a shimmery standout.
Live, the band took it a click or two faster.
The Square Root is a small cafe plus space with
a fine selection of beer, munches and, of course, coffee. The
size of the room made the night's full crowd seem like a sellout
and created a good buzz. The High End band boys
Curt Florczak and Johnny Carlevale
are doing some of the bookings at Square Root. The idea is to
do a wide range of rock from the snazzy Savtones
to the rockin' October 19 gig with Watts, Kid Gulliver
and State of the Union. Well worth the drive
to the other side of the world.
Willie Alexander resurfaced in Gloucester after
a health scare and recuperation. He brought together his cubist
rock band the Persistence of Memory Orchestra
with Ken Fields and Mark Chenevert
on horns and Jim Doherty on drums. They thread-the-needle
through a twisted mix of Vincent Ferrini tone poems, angular sambas,
funked-up horn section vamps with a splattering of earthy sax
solo and of course Willie's inimitable originals. This all took
place on the lawn of the Unitarian church on a side street off
Gloucester center on a perfect summer night under the trees and
As for three on the sea, Eddie Barese, the drummer
in Stop Calling Me Frank was the impresario behind
the three-hour tour. You can't beat a party boat the ocean on
a perfect weather day with some of the cream of the Rum Bar music
crew." The combo definitely brought out everyone's A-game.
The show is so catchy it's contagious.
The Dirty Truckers were ready to rock the boat
and the boat complied with some good-natured rocking of its own.
This lead to a fair amount of splayed stances and wide dance steps
to highlight the Truckers exile on the harbor antics.
Stop Calling Me Frank took their hosting role
seriously and put out one of their best sets. They nod, they wink,
they honk, they mug. They pushed all the tempos into the red and
the crowd responded in kind. Lead singer Lennie Donohoe
was on fire especially during the second to the last song when
it looked like he might blow an eyeball out of its socket!
Muck and the Mires held down the last leg of
the three-hour tour. They keep the fashion quotients up with nautical
blue shirts and a couple of jaunty navy lids. They flew across
the harbor on a hydrofoil of old and new. I'm surprised there
isn't a listen-a-long flotilla riding the wake behind us. A lot
of familiar friends and faces - Gilligan, Ginger, Mr. and Mrs.
Howell - kept the boat in balance. Muck capped off a great day
with Jay Allen jumping in for a rip through a
cover of the Ramones' "Comando".