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No stranger to the blues, GARY CAVICO is himself the beneficiary of some Blue Cheer this Saturday, when an allstar assembly of cronies and contemporaries gather at Chico’s House of Rouse to jam him out of a jam. That, plus the fact that he’s just so easy to draw, give Cavico the nod over the lovely (but LEAVING…see Wednesday’s picks) ANJELIA PELAY for this week’s featured townie toon.
Well, when he “woke up that mornin,” we’ll wager that even as experienced a bluesman as Gary Cavico never reckoned he’d be having THAT bad a day. But several months back, the veteran Shore saloon singer — a guy who’s long been one of those performers you could count on to put his Muddy where his Wolf is at fundraisers and benefits of all shapes and sizes — suffered one of those born-under-a-bad-sign setbacks that tend to sandbag you from all fronts. A vehicle fire at his home managed not only to damage his house, but also destroy both his car (within which were “two of his Fender guitars, an amp, a substantial amount of cash, his wallet, and other valuables”) AND his van, the mobile “office” for his dog grooming business.
This Saturday, June 23, a gang of Gary’s friends, Romans and countrymen send forth some friendly fire, as they gather at Chico’s House of Jazz to help put Cavico’s livelihood back on track. Featured in the matinee hootenanny will be Jo Wymer (2pm), followed at 3:15 by Sandy Mack and Friends (Sonny Kenn, Marc Ribler, Eryn Shewell); The Incinerators (4:30); Stone Blue with Gary Neuwirth (5:45) and the Chuck Lambert Band (7-8pm). There’s NO truth to the rumor that a canine chorus of Cavico clients might join in on howling harmonies — but there’s always a chance that the guest of honor may be persuaded to join his fellow musical do-goodniks. Chico’s House of Jazz, 631 Lake Ave. (Shoppes at the Arcade building), Asbury Park • 2-8pm/ $15 suggested donation
Still, this ain’t but a momentary blip within all that’s going on round the Upper Wet Side this week. For MORE ‘pinionated picks pertaining to the days and nights ahead, turn that record OVAH…
His BIG annual Bobfest celebration of Dylan’s birthday has grown to notch its first edition at the Count Basie Theatre…he’s performed the Nat’l Anthem at BIG League ballparks…and he counts among his BIG Scary Friends the Lt. Gov of NJ (aka his sister-in-law). That said, Pat Guadagno isn’t above scaling down his bigger ambitions to grace practically every bar up and down the Upper Wet Side with his presence all throughout the calendar year; rescuing the noble calling of “saloon singer” from Sinatra tux-’n-toupee stereotype and playing every room like it’s Camden Yards. This Wednesday, the veteran entertainer racks up another BIG credit…when he plays the Ed McMahon/ Doc Severinsen role to BIG Joe Henry, as the supersized DJ presents a live taping of a new radio variety show at the ONLY venue that’s round enough to contain him: McLoone’s Supper Club!
Whatta weekend: rained upon torrentially while hustling home from the Clash Fest tribute at The Press Room on Fri-dur-day night; rained upon intermittently while trying to meet up with some friends at Sunday’s Pride Fest. Stayed on the Dry Side for First Saturday’s round of gallery opening events, and took in the afternoon Pride Parade from the corner of our (alternately Sesame and seedy) block, under skies the color of 1960s-vintage Blue Laws.
But enough about you: we’re wringing out the mildew from our fave bowling shirts, and with a seven-day slate of activity staring us into submission, we’re primed to milDEW it AGAIN, beginning with the first of our June 4-10 picks that pick up right around the cattywampus corner…
Leigh Howard Stevens, the maestro of the mallets, is in the middle of the annual Summer Marimba Festival in Asbury Park.
The Musser-Stevens Grip! Sounds intriguing.
But what is it? Some sort of secret handshake? A union crew guy on a Hollywood set? a maneuver from the apocrypha chapters of the Kama Sutra?
If you guessed it to be some manner of accessing an exclusive club, you’re closer to the mark than you might have thought. And even though this club is technically “marimbas only,” the public is more than welcome to observe its arcane rituals — for this is the annual Summer Marimba Festival, a generally below-the-radar event that gathers the nation’s premier classical marimbists in one seaside setting, with Ocean Grove and Asbury Park the host cities for music, master classes and mallets aforethought.
Of course, if you can name only one of the nation’s premier classical marimbists, let it be Leigh Howard Stevens — the artist, innovator, entrepeneur and proud son of Jersey who modified the existing “Musser grip” into a frankly revolutionary, vertically held, four-mallet technique that broadened the sonic spectrum of the percussion player’s palette. Developer of the world-shaking “MoM” (Method of Movement) approach; author of the definitive textbook on this new style of playing; scholar, guru and businessman; the 58 year old Stevens has built Neptune-based Marimba Productions into the world’s biggest name in publishing, record distribution and products for the instrument.
Put in guitar terms, it’s as if Hendrix, Zappa, Les Paul, Jimmy Page, Robert “Guitar Craft” Fripp and maybe Jimmy Buffett were all the same guy. And here in June 2011, the Hendrix-Zappa-Paul-Page-Fripp-Buffett of the melodically malleted/ harmonically hammered instrument group gives a rare public recital, right in our Upper Wet Side back yard.