Boyd Lee Dunlop, performing beautiful soulful jazz on the grand piano, blew me away with the first performance of the night. Dunlop performed his own composition, a beautiful soulful blues variation, followed by Joe Primrose's Saint James Infirmary. Dunlop reminded me of some of the great pianists that have played at Buffalo's Colored Musician's Club over the years. There used to be a lot more great jazz in this town, I miss it dearly.
As musicians are inducted into this, the 30th anniversary of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, we first hear from a person that they selected introduce them, and they often give us interesting back stories about them. For example, Robbie Takac, Class of 1995, from the Goo Goo Dolls, made an appearance (I wonder how many inductees' lives Robby has touched.) Then the inductees receive their award, along with the recognition that goes with it. And then some of them perform for us. And oh, do they ever perform!
These post-induction musical performances alone are worth the price of admission for the night's sold out show.
Robby Takac introduces inductie Mark Hunt
What is amazing about the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame is that Buffalo's musical spectrum consists of so many musical genres, not just the classic rock, pop and country music that dominates Buffalo radio. Also, the true greats in any one type of music, often use music from many other styles to create a totally unique sound.
What the Class of 2012 achieved to get here sparkles once again this year. I won't duplicate their stories here, you can read about them
in Buffalo Music Hall of Fame announces Class of 2012.
Armand John Petri talked about when he signed the Goo Goo Dolls back in the 80's and nobody thought they would make it (I love success stories like this!) In his musical career Armand John Petri has accomplished so much in so many different roles that you may be surprised to learn he sings and plays musical instruments. After his induction, but just before his performance, he took a tambourine and joked that he might have to turn it upside down and pass it around for donations if his performance doesn't work out. Then Petri sang and rolled his tambourine to Marc Bolan's Ride A White Swan. Joining him on stage for the performance was Joe Rozler, Class of 2008, who Petri said he met in Band Camp.
Those are people who died, died
They were all my friends, and they died
Those lyrics are from poet and punk rock musician Jim Carroll's anthem from his autobiography The Basketball Diaries (1980's). That is what I thought of when the Hall of Fame recognized those members that had been inducted, but were no longer with us. Sadly the Buffalo music scene has lost more than its fair share of musicians. Here the Tralf shines with digital signage up top (stage right) listing those who have moved on to that great jam session in the sky, including the unforgettable Stan Szelest, Mark Freeland, Rick James, Harry Stewart, and Jerry Nathan, among many others. That night, Janice Mitchell sang the 1930's tearjerker For All We know, with Mark Winsick accompanying - a tribute to the now 40-some members of this very exclusive club. It was a beautiful interpretation, and brought tears to my eyes.
Janice Mitchell performs For All We Know in honor of the Hall members who have passed away
Coming soon look for Part 2 of this series...
Please share with us any memories you have of these great Buffalo music legends...