The Sarasota Sky Bar is the place to be on Friday, September 1. Start your holiday weekend off right and jump in head first into some live blues-rock music. This double-bill of music is guaranteed to have something for everyone. There will not be a disappointed face in the crowd.
The Tucci band continues on the path set by its previous incarnation, The Toler-Tucci Band, which featured Dan Toler and recorded the acclaimed CD, Doc’s Hideaway, in 2012. Dan Toler was a longtime friend and mentor to the band, and his spirit informs the music. Toler passed away in early 2013 after a long battle with ALS.
The Tucci Band is a rockin blues, funk, R&B, jazz, often indescribably mashup a unique, funky sound. The band members include guitarist, Steve “Doc” Tucci, the main composer and ‘cat-herder’; drummer, Michael Tucci and bassist Harry Debusk who hold the whole mess together with their musical groove; Michael “The Professor” Hensley on keys, a returning original member and who has performed with some very well-known blues artist both local and touring; and the two newest members, Doug Mock, from the successful Cherry Bombs, on lead vocals; and a local favorite, Greg “Stretch” Gerdes also on guitar. Almost all the members of the band participate with vocals, as well as having their own unique style that they bring to the group which gels together to form a solid rockin’ blues/funk/soul band to be reckoned with.
The band’s latest CD “Olivia” is getting a lot of press these days and hundreds of reviews can be found in the music industry’s publications. As the “Elmore Magazine” states; “This is an accidentally timely album. Gregg Allman passed less than two months before this release, which often evokes those classic Allman Brothers licks and chords structures. It marks perhaps the last recorded appearance of Dan Toler, the late guitarist who played with ABB, the Gregg Allman Band and Great Southern, on the track “Play by the Rules”. Nonetheless, this is a band clearly steeped in the ABB sound.” The Tucci Band is dedicating this night at Kelly’s Live to celebrating the release of “Olivia” to their fans.
Steve Tucci has invited his friends, The Apocalypse Blues Revue, to join his CD release celebration at Kelly’s Live. This band is gearing up to start their fall tour as a guest of Kenny Wayne Shepard beginning later this September. They have been generous enough to give Sarasota a taste of what the rest of the country is waiting for.
Co-founded by Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin and guitarist Tony Rombola, and featuring vocalists Ray “Rafer John” Cerbone and bassist Brian Carpenter, the quartet honors blues traditions, while etching their own stamp on the genre. “As far as blues goes, we are a little heavier, a little darker..” affirms Shannon. “We wanted to make something deep that will provoke thought”.
“There’s always been some blues in my playing,” adds Tony. “It came from classic rock like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC. Then, I got into guys like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Gales. We decided to mix it up, merging the traditional blues and heavier elements.”
Tony and Shannon’s creative union grows stronger by the gig. It traces back to 2001 when Shannon joined Godsmack. Selling 20 million records worldwide and garnering four Grammy Award nominations, the duo remains a rock institution. Shannon says, “I want people to walk away with our songs stuck in their heads. The music speaks for itself”.
With southern rock, blues, and rock influences, this double bill of music is definitely going to be a hot night in Sarasota. Tickets are available for $10, which is well worth it for this amazing two-band show starting at 9:00p. Neither of these bands will be back in Sarasota any time soon, so mark your calendars for this unforgettable night of live music.
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photos from Gail Gerdes