It was no April Fool’s Day joke at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre on Monday night, there was live music instead of the usual comedy show! Funny man Les McCurdy is bringing local live music to his famous comedy venue in Sarasota!
He is supporting original live music by bringing all genres including jazz, blues, rock or jam bands to the local audience with a nightclub atmosphere instead of the usual bar scene.
Les made a great choice in premiering the series with hometown star Twinkle and her band Rock Soul Radio. Twinkle has grown up in Sarasota and has played with a host of musicians including opening for Aerosmith in Tampa and touring with Dickey Betts and Great Southern. There was a full house on a Monday night which is not an easy feat! The Twinkle Army was in attendance along with some newbies who had not seen her prior to the show. Singer Katt Hefner who was Twinkle’s co-star in the terrific Queen of Soul, An Aretha Tribute came to show her support! Just like a comedy show, there were no cell phones allowed for video or photos. This is a seated show although dancing was allowed in a specific area of the room. There was a humorous video of Les explaining the rules of the house and previewing upcoming comics that will be playing at McCurdy’s in the coming months including Pauly Shore.
Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio opened with their original tune “Sanctuary”. The band is Lenny Brooks on guitar, Benny Puckett banging the drums and Tony LeClerc, on bass, who also does vocal duty on a few tunes. Most of the setlist was original music including some new music. The band has been in the studio recording a new album with producer Bobby Croft, who was in the audience. Some of the new material included “Freaks and Weirdos”, “Love” and “Swamp” written about Twinkle and Tony’s dad, Buddy Yochim. There were a few cool covers including Twinkle on keyboards with the Temptations classic, “Just My Imagination” and the Hendrix guitar-driven “Little Wing” with local guitar god Lenny Brooks crushing it. Benny Puckett keeps the beat while tossing sticks and balancing them in the air like a Harlem Globetrotter on drums.
Twinkle’s magical voice just seems to keep getting richer with time! The encore brought Twinkle back singing the National Anthem with everyone up out of their seats and then dancing to Tony doing lead on Tom Petty’s “American Girl” which had everyone dancing through the Green Room Bar and out the door! A great time was had by all! Looking forward to the next live music show at McCurdy’s! In the meantime, you can always see some great live comedy right here in Sarasota!
Photos by Vicky Sullivan / The Sarasota Post