As expected, just because Bon Jovi isn't on tour doesn't mean the guys (and me, too for that matter!) aren't still running around -- whether it's Jon shooting an Advil commercial (I'm assuming you brokered some sponsorship deal for the Soul Kitchen on this one, Jon. Yes?) or Tico hitting the links in support of a good cause (umm ... I could really use some help with my irons, T. Thanks.) As for me, I ran into one of the guys this past weekend at an event down in Baltimore.
For the past nine years, the Casey Cares Foundation has held their Rock 'N' Roll Bash. The event features an all-star band of musicians and raises a ton of money to help kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families. You know the truth about musicians is ... they spend a lot of time hustling for gigs, but are total softees and always the first ones to step up to do a benefit show. Seriously, it's true.
Anyhoo, I knew two of my favorite people (Christine Ohlman and Jeff Kazee) were doing this gig and it's a cause that is important to me and it sounded like fun, so off on the bus I went.
To say the night was a lot of fun would be a huge understatement.
The band is led by saxophone superstar Mark Rivera who has been playing forever with Billy Joel and Ringo Starr. In addition to Christine (SNL band) and Jeff (Jukes, etc.), the line-up included Tommy Byrnes (Billy Joel), Anton Fig (Letterman), Jeff Carlisi (.38 Special), Derek St. Holmes (Ted Nugent) and Hugh McDonald (y'all know who he plays with, I guess.)
They alternated sets with two tribute bands...High Voltage (ACDC) and Bad Medicine. I will admit, I had some great laughs watching the Bon Jovi tribute band. The frontman really did have some of Jon's moves down, including the Godforsaken "it's alright" section of WSYCGH. Haha.
But anyhoo, the all-star band played three sets I think and covered a slew of songs like Hungry Heart, Brown Sugar, Some Kinda Wonderful, Born to Run and just about every song that has the lyrics "rock and roll" in it. LOL. I really enjoy watching great musicians who are obviously enjoying what they do. And these guys were having a blast.
Master of Music Ceremonies, Mark Rivera
Mark, Tommy Byrnes, Hugh McDonald
Christine Ohlman (and the best earrings ever!)
Jeff and Tommy
Tommy and Hugh
Jeff and Mark
Tommy and Hugh
I loved Christine bringing up a ton of women on stage and doing Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders.
And though I have seen Kazee do this song a few times, I think it was the best version of Van Morrison's Domino yet.
The band played for hours. There was open bar and buffet (including some kick-ass fried green beans!) The venue was really cool (the Ram's Head Live) and I met a ton of fun people of all ages who gave me a million suggestions as to what to see during my whopping two free hours in Baltimore on Sunday. LOL Pretty darn good night.
So, I HIGHLY recommend if you're in the Baltimore/DC area, you should check it out next year -- it seems to usually take place in October. The ticket price is extremely reasonable (hey, we're Jovifans, no ticket price can shock us. Haha.) Oh ... and, if you don't live there, make a mini-trip out of it because there actually is a lot to see ... and the Inner Harbor area was awesome.
What's next? October is insane - Early Elton Trio at Rockwood Hall (yay!), MEMPHIS opening in Memphis (and we say good-bye to Chad Kimball as 'Huey' on Broadway. *sigh*) Then it's five shows in the UK with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. But, I'm kicking off the month with the annual Light the Night walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I truly appreciate all of you who have given to this campaign. THANK YOU! Anyone who would still like to donate ... see the box in the upper left corner of the blog.
Until later. Rock on!
Big Apple Jen
p.s. Thanks for all the messages in the last couple of days re: me vs the marble staircase. Outcome of bout ... stairs:1, bajg:0, wrist: -1. I'll be fine. Torn ligament. No surgery. :) No bassoon for 4-6 weeks, though. *pout*