The Lifesize Gorgeous Cocktails The Barfly Orchestra The Hey Baby Band

More Sugar 14 Anniversary Bash
The Lifesize Gorgeous Cocktails (left)
The Barfly Orchestra (middle)
The Hey Baby Band (right)
11/23/07 German-American Social Club 4:00-9:00pm
Putnam Valley, N.Y.

Concert review by Roger-Z (11/26/08)
Appeared in More Sugar, January 2009, P. 12A

Tom O'Reilly, the editor of "More Sugar" (the free Westchester Music monthly), sure knows how to throw a party. The magazine celebrated its fifteenth anniversary on Sunday 11/23/08 at the German-American Social Club in Putnam Valley, New York. A mere ten bucks bought a delicious, home-cooked buffet, a raffle for charity, and live music from the sixties and seventies performed by three distinctive bands: The Lifesize Gorgeous Cocktails, The Barfly Orchestra, and The Hey Baby Band.

The Lifesize Gorgeous Cocktails opened the show with a kick-butt version of the "Theme From Hawaii 5-0". The group celebrates the glory days of sixties garage-band rock with a serious show of attitude -- just what I love in a rock band. The lineup consists of front man "Stood Driver", bassist/vocalist Roxy Von Popov, keyboardist Professor Harvey Bangwaller, drummer St. Paulie Dangerously, guitarist Otto Wino, and the Luscious Lush Dancers (Plushie Lush, Slushie Lush, and Crushie Lush).

The band continued with "All Day And All Of The Night" by The Kinks, "I Ain't Got You" by The Yardbirds, "Just Like Me" by Paul Revere and The Raiders, "Acid Queen" by The Who, "The Seeker" by The Who, "A Little Fed Up" (an original), "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" by The Monkees, "Shaking All Over" by The Who", "Paint It Black" by The Rolling Stones, and the closer, "Born To Be Wild" by Steppenwolf. Someone in the audience actually mistook Stood Driver for Ozzie. What stage presence! Roxy absolutely glowed on her two lead vocals, "Acid Queen" and "Shaking All Over". The rhythm section pumped out the raucous dance beats while guitarist Otto Wino added the perfect short solos for each tune. Keyboardist Harvey Bangwaller added the whipped cream to each song.

Most bands don't really turn up the heat until the dancers hit the floor. What a great idea to supply your own! The Luscious Lushes looked hot and shook up a storm. I thought I died and woke up in a 1966 Greenwich Village discotheque.

Next up, surprise guests The Barfly Orchestra featuring host Tom O'Reilly on lead vocals and guitar; Roger Gorey on drums and vocals; Andy Rucufsky on sax, flute, and vocals; Danny Burgard on trumpet and vocals; Dan C on bass and vocals; and special guest keyboardist Professor Harvey Bangwaller from The Lifesize Gorgeous Cocktails. These guys covered a lot of musical territory. Tom O'Reilly kicked off the set singing "Sugar Pie, Honeybun" in a scorching tenor. Next, an old blues classic, "Jump Jive", with the silky smooth vocals of drummer Roger Gory and solos by O'Reilly and Danny C. The crowd flooded the dance floor. "Moondance", sung by O'Reilly, followed with a guest appearance from Hey Baby's Buddy Ox on trumpet. The four piece horn section swung like crazy and continued to do so through Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming". Gory once again rocked the house with The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There". Next, local legend Dino Fregosi grabbed the mike for an intoxicating rendition of "Mustang Sally". O'Reilly then lead Buddy Mile's "Them Changes". To end the set, Gory got out from behind the drum kit and sang B.B. King's "Sweet Little Angel which featured yours truly on guitar.

The Hey Baby Band, an eight piece "brass and roll" group, headlined the party. Together since the eighties, the group comprises front man Mr. Buddy Ox (Jimmy Ekizian) on vocals, trumpet, percussion, harmonica; Bert Haspel on various saxophones, percussion, flute; Steve Kaplan on tenor sax; John Skip Langworthy on bass; Bobby Max Bauer on drums; Eddie Murphy on congas, bells, and jinglestick; Dennis Jarosz on guitar; and Piano Pete on the ivories.

The show blew up immediately with the outrageous guitar of Dennis Jarosz on "Evil Ways". Singer Buddy Ox rammed home the next three tunes -- "Devil with the Blue Dress", "Honky Tonk Woman", and "Land of a Thousand Dances". Man that rhythm section rocked. The band hopped on the good foot with "Funky, Funky, Broadway" and then called Dino Fregosi up to sing a rocking version of The Stone's "Sympathy for the Devil". Fregosi stuck around to trade vocals with Ox on a crackling version of "All Right Now". Percussion and horns sparkled on Paul Simon's "Late in the Evening". "I'm Your Vehicle" roared like a Hummer on steroids. Guitarist Dennis Jarosz hijacked the mic for a murderous medley of "Not Fade Away" and "Who Do You Love". Buddy Ox strode back to play Joe Cocker on "The Letter". The group closed with an astounding version of Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath".

Another great night for "More Sugar". Hell, this is getting to be a habit! Once again, entire generations, from kids to grandparents, partied hard together and went away happy.

2008 Roger-Z