Once again the “Rockabilly Riot” rolls into The Manhattan in downtown Moncton with it’s full bodied guitars, throw-back standards, and well quaffed hair styles…and throw in a little Burlesque to boot! Saturday night at the Manhattan, presented by Broken Chord Promotions, was the latest instalment of the Rockabilly Riot featuring Dapper Dan & The Drive-in Classics, The Whiskey Kisses, and Ginger St. James with burlesque entertainment breaks by Le Noir!
Bringing us up to speed was our host for the evening Lenora LeNoire, looking very much the part with her brilliant blue dress and pretty flower in her hair, letting us know what we could expect from the evening. A surprise from the previous event hosted by Broken Chord was the addition of ‘prizes’, available dance lessons, and a ‘limbo’ game that was a welcome addition it appeared from the enthusiastic crowd. Speaking of the crowd it wasn’t just regular fans like you and I out on this night but a plethora of ‘roller derby’ gals from two local teams that rocked the night with us as well!
First up was “Dapper Dan & The Drive-In Classics, from Fredericton, NB and they set the bar for the night…getting us tapping our feet and bouncing right from the get-go. That’s one thing I’ve found about “Rockabilly” when played right, you can’t help but get moved by it. If you don’t move to some of this music you have no soul, it can get in you and if you aren’t at least tapping your finger or bobbing your head I’d be shocked.
Dapper Dan and his cohorts are no exception, taking us through some tunes even I wasn’t familiar with and some old classics (no pun intended) like some Roy Orbison and the like. In no time the crowd was hopping onto the dance floor at The Manhattan and having a grand ol’ time. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I appreciate a bassist that plays a classic stand-up bass, and Aaron from the Classics plays a mean stand-up bass!
These guys will get you jumping, and jiving and moving all around…and you have to appreciate a band that can play a rockin’ Rockabilly version of “Sweet Child of Mine” by G N’ R!
During both breaks between bands we were entertained by Le Noir Burlesque, which everyone in attendance really enjoyed, both males and females alike appreciating the classy nostalgic feel that the burlesque adds to a Rockabilly show of this kind (just wish there was more!).
Next up was a great band from Halifax, Nova Scotia…The Whiskey Kisses. With a female lead singer it changes the tone of the evening so far and gives us a different look on Rockabilly from the female perspective. Playing some fun, upbeat, easy to dance to tunes…like the first group, the Kisses get you moving, I see a theme developing here…Rockabilly = Movement. I would be crazy not to mention guitar player Fabian who not only has the most unbelievably rigid hair I’ve ever seen (which is cool, it didn’t move the whole set), but also he played the whole set with a brand new tattoo on the palm of his hand! Crazy…and dedicated!
Last act of the night was our headliner Ginger St. James, in from Hamilton, Ontario. Getting her start in Burlesque herself, St. James turned her focus to strictly music in 2009 and since has been on an upward climb, from winning Best Female vocalist presented by Hamilton’s View Magazine for five years running and having her songs featured on TV shows like HBO’s “Call Me Fitz”. With the release of her new album, “Spank, Sparkle, and Growl” many more are starting to sit up and take notice.
You can’ help but notice Ginger with her firey red hair, huge baby blue guitar, and a voice that sometimes croons to you, and sometimes growls…she and her very good band (notice the stand up bass) will get you jumping to their beats. I was highly entertained by Ginger and her band and hope she plans on making another jaunt to the East Coast soon!
Another successful Rockabilly Riot at The Manhattan, the next being in June (stay tuned to the concert listings page for details), I encourage you to get out, stomp your feet, sing along, and have a great time at the next Riot! Thanks to all the bands, Le Noire, The Manhattan, and Broken Chord for another great event! Until next time!